From John's 24th of January Posting--
"I'm not a religious person, but I like religion, and it plays an important part in Generational Dynamics theory. (See "Book review review: Christopher Hitchens: 'God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything'.")"
John, having just read your 2007 comments about religion, which I find most interesting. I would have to say that I take a similar position on the topic and you also seem more researched on the subject then I. Yes, religion does have it's pluses and minuses.
Having said that, I think their is another facet to the issue, (which I have briefly mentioned in previous posts). This facet has affected religion and is part of a larger whole, and from personal observation, experience and reading, I think has some validity. So, lets take the perspective of a disinterested observer, and consider the following.
Organized religion was/is used to civilize, control and structure human populations by using their respective gods.
From the ancient Sumerian writings one learns that different groups of people,( geography separated ) had their own gods ( living non human entities, ET's if you like) which people were to obey. The gods created humanity for a purpose, ( about 250,000 years ago ). just strong enough and just smart enough to do the expected work, but not to be a threat to the gods. ( You shall worship no other gods but me!, I am your god ! ). Worship meant,"to work and die for". Since the gods (kings) lived a very long time, ( thousands of years ) and were sometimes bored, they would entertain them selves by have having wars between humans, for a laugh. ( like people have fights between animals ). After the gods completed the task they went to Earth for, they left, leaving humanity to fend for it's self. And, humans having been programed genetically how to behave, continued in their mode of operation. Which may be why we have "organized" religion and the concept of "the Divine right of kings"
It should be noted,( from other sources ), that all of creation, multi-dimensional, multi-universes, etc, is "controlled/created" by a "God Force". The best illustration of this is the concept of "the force" in the "Star Wars" movie. It is neither good nor evil, it is just there, a structure. For most people these concepts are not comforting.