I’ve always suspected most of the religious attend church or mass more because of tradition than because they are true believers.
Do you believe the religious attend church or mass more becaus it’s the traditional thing to do or because they truly believe the religious nonsense?
Where i live in sheltered accommodation A lot of people go to church and mass as something to do - a reason to get out of the house and socialise with someone who they know from outside here. Its only my thinking but the familiarity of it must seem comfortable - When I am with old friends we slip into old ways of being and its comfortable, all the edges are known.
I just wanted to say I went with my aunts and they are pretty up there in age- it didn't cost me anything to give them a good memory- my aunt cathy pulled me aside and said this was the day my unkle John passed a few years ago- so I looked at her as she had tears in her eyes and said this is for him to- it doesn't cost me anything if I do it once in awhile- as long as im not doing it every time lol
I still go to church sometimes with my Catholic parents, and I think the key difference in the perception of church is the element of faith. Just about everything preached during a service hinges on a belief in god. To me as an atheist, there is no other reason to go but to appease my parents, as they's ostracise me if they thought I was "negatively" influencing their children with atheism.
However, I think that element of faith opens the believer to rushes of dopamine. I remember feeling that way when I was a kid. The music gave me goosebumps as it swelled, and the pastor's homilies would put me in awe of the supposed unbound love that god had for me.
Now, I may be wrong, & the numbers may go the other way, but I think for many church attendance is more tradition, habit & a social event, not necessarily a whole-hearted involvement. Too many people know that too much of their holy-books is just myth, so I think "true" belief is the exception rather than the rule. That being said, even the "closet doubters" may vote along religious lines for many reasons, protective coloration being one of them.
I believe that most modern "Christians" attend church events as a form of social experience. They want to see and be seen. It's a part of their social identity that they want to cultivate. They want to be surrounded by people whose behavior they find predictable, and want to avoid people that are different. I think that most religious people are caught up in a social system.