For awhile I have thought that:
Religions are mental syndromes consisting of bizarre, typically but not always inherited, maladaptive, abusive, time-wasting obsessions and compulsions, which people feel compelled to obsessive over, believe in, do, learn about, teach to other people, and spend money on, in order to avoid feeling too guilty about themselves due to the possibility of not obsessing over, doing, believing in, learning about, teaching to other people, and spending money on, the things they were taught that they have to obsess over, believe in, practice, learn about, teach to other people, and spend money on.
I can explain this in more detail. I thought of this, so it is copyrighted to me.
Another thing: religions start in the brains of people who are schizophrenic, extremely obsessive-compulsive, and have good charismatic leadership qualities. I got this idea from Robert Spolsky, except that he calls these people schizotypel, which he uses to mean only partially schizophrenic, but for now I will call them schizophrenic.
Sad that genocide is socially acceptable.
It's probably the other way around.
Probably schizophrenic tendencies result from human characteristics that evolved to accommodate religious belief.
Almost all cultures have had a religion. The tendency to be religious probably evolved because it was adaptive - it provided group cohesion, enabled a group of people to survive better.
Visionary tendencies, voices from the sky etc. could create the legal system of a society. As in the Ten Commandments.
The tendency to be religious evolved in human society. Probably because it was useful for the survival of a group.
I don't agree that religion can be useful for the survival of a group. Maybe religion is useful to the survival of a group if one group is going to kill a second group unless the second group converts to the first group's religion? Religion is completely maladaptive and there is not one speck of good in it. Religion does not evolve in society. It evolves in a few bat sh-t crazy individuals, who then brainwash other people into their religion.