Initially religions were invented to explain those things in nature for which primitive humans had no explanation. Earthquakes, weather, and other natural occurrences were not within the control of humans. What caused them? When the concept of cause and effect developed in early humans they naturally assumed there was a cause for every effect. There had to be something in control of natural occurrences as well, they reasoned. This thought originated the concept of a God. With a God in control of such natural forces a measure of control was bestowed upon humans for they could petition said God and therefore influence the natural calamities and perhaps steer the consequences of them. Gods were created to lessen the fear of humans of natural disaster, death, and provide comfort in time of war and the everyday stresses of living in the primitive world.
Today this process continues… there are many, who dissatisfied with their religion leave it, and either alter it to suit themselves, or invent their own brand new religion. This religion, with it’s singular member, creates a feeling of superiority within it’s inventor. Such an overwhelming sense of excitement, satisfaction, a spiritual high ensues, and the inventor decides that such an experience must be shared. He/she embarks to persuade others of this new viewpoint. Sometimes, rarely, the premier member is successful in persuading others, drawing others in, acting as a spiritual guru for the new religion. A new belief system is born. This is how the many diverse cults of a religion begin to form.
Instead of simply abandoning religion why do people either go to another, or invent their own? What is it that perpetuates this?
Is it fear of death? Is it a dissatisfaction with life, not being content, proclaiming that this life cannot be all there is? Is it a need to have a controlling power in charge, a “father figure”, a “mother figure”. Is it in fact a lack of maturity, an inability to face life, assume responsibility which promotes this need of an authority figure? Memories of childhood, where all the decisions were made for you, where discipline was instilled by a parental figure, where responsibility meant doing what you were told, you didn’t have to worry about your needs or wants, everything was simply provided… what a life. Earthly parents die some day, but with a God as father or mother, you never have to grow up.
Growing up is harder. Making your own decisions, the failure of which cannot be blamed on the action or inaction of an entity is more difficult. Facing the eventual end of life, knowing that there will be “no more me”, is stressful. Reality is stressful. It is much easier to believe in some Godly father/mother figure than being an atheist. Nevertheless, there are many atheists, non-believers, humanists, who have the strength to do so. They have found the strength to make their own decisions, to take responsibility for the outcomes. They have managed to face the specter of death, and accept the inevitable. They have grown up.