The method of the "why" to the power of 5 (or more)
It is a very effective method to know the primary causes of an event or of a human phenomenon.
The answer to the "why?" is often the consequence of another cause, that is itself the consequence of an other upstream cause....
The why of the why of the why of the why... of an action or of an attitude makes possible to be approaching the primary explanation.
1 - Why did I have a car accident?
Because I did not respect the red light.
2 - Why did I not respect red light?
Because I was drunk.
3 - Why was I drunk?
Because I drank too much alcohol.
4 - Why had I drunk too much?
To forget my bad results of the competitive examination.
5 - Why did I have bad results?
Because I had not revised enough.
We could continue so on... and be nearing more and more the original cause.
What happens if we try to apply this method to the need for belief?
The list below doesn't suppose to have reached the true causes, nor to be exhaustive.
Why does man believe so easily?
Because of the promises
A better life after the terrestrial life.
To meet again the dear departed.
The eternal salvation.
Virgins of the Allah's paradise (in fact it's mistranslation; Koran promises only white fruits or dry grapes).
The pangs of death, the existential anguish.
Hell promised to those who are not good believers.
To face our ignorance: To explain what we do not know by a divine intervention makes possible to calm the anxiety generated by the questions without answers.
In period of distress and misfortune, to believe in something which exceeds us, may bring comfort.
By intellectual idleness (or early indoctrination)
Conformity within its family or social sphere: "if everyone around me believes in God, so what religion says must be true"
"Ready for use" beliefs, to explain the universe, the life, the man...
To believe makes possible to take our desires for realities.
Incapacity to control our impulses, without a supernatural parapet, without the fear of the divine punishment and of the eternal damnation.
Moral values presented like existing a priori, universal and absolute.
Because he has met God
Some people claim, that God appeared directly to them and that he illuminated them of his presence. One can call that an apparition, even if the phenomenon is purely interior. Was this apparition God or the Devil? A reality or a hallucination? No one will be able to have the knowledge.
For the positive contribution of the religions
Their appeasing capacity in relation to the existential anguishes, to the fear of the naught. They show the way to followed for happiness on Earth (what is nevertheless rather exceptional) or for the eternal salvation.
For charitable works
The man, who is a gregarious animal, feels well in the religious community to which he belongs.
For the emotions he gets from the ritual in a group (to belong to the same spiritual community).
To shiver listening Chorus in a church.
For the positive contribution of the faith
To give courage in front of death and infinite.
To give hope in facing misfortune.
To cure, transform life, to give strength that moves mountains, by placebo effect.
Because man needs "spirituality"
What is spirituality?
For unconscious or symbolic reasons
God is the outward manifestation of the father (Sigmund Freud).
God is the symbol of the community (Emile Durkheim). Consequence : religious rites organize the social life.
The religious concepts have the characteristic to be very easily transmitted from generation to generation, without being modified, because they are perfectly adapted to the cognitive processes of man (Pascal Boyer / Man Creates God).