Do Invisible Agents Control the World?
Micheal Shermer has an article in Scientific American titled Why People Believe Invisible Agents Control the World.
I think that a major reason people believe in religion is because they never view their own religion with the same skepticism that they view others. Take the Jehovah’s Witness proclamation of Jesus’s second coming in 1975 (or any of the other ones). This failure made them the subject of much ridicule. However, their prediction in no way stands out from other biblical prophecy. Jesus himself predicts the end times in the foreseeable future:
“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Excuses are often made for this passage. The most common one I’ve heard was that the Kingdom of God DID come in the 1st century AD. But, it was a spiritual kingdom, therefore there is no record of it, no manner of verifying it, no perceivable change to the Earth, whatsoever. And, apologists honestly do not see this as being a silly response in the least.
There is an even better parallel in the Old Testament. The Flood. God sees man is corrupt, so he sends a flood to kill all the corrupt people on the Earth. Yet, look around you. Is there not still corruption? The flood appears to be a pretty ridiculous extreme measure for such a temporarily solution.
So, why do people believe in superstitions? They want to.