R/atheism post featuring Christopher Hitchens YouTube video
It's all about emotions. I remember the time i was "Saved". I was the teenage boy of an alcoholic and a carping mom. I didn't know the right thing but i knew what i saw in my parents was not it.
So i went to church hoping to experience something. The preacher rambled on about getting saved and if i didn't obey that i would go to hell. Then he tells about a young boy that didn't make the decision and died in a car wreck on the way home and talked about how miserable and painful hell was. As a young boy, i respected the elders opinion and thought they were right. All i knew was that i was scared to death and didn't want to go to hell and didn't want to make god mad by not getting saved right then and there.
The older i grew the more i thought about that experience and was it really god speaking to me or did the preacher manipulate me into scaring me into doing something.
Several years ago, I started studying hypnosis and the brain. I was amazed at how i could change someone outlook or habit through hypnosis. Then one day it hit me. Religion is basically self hypnosis. We convince ourselves into believing something that is not true but because we believe it it becomes real to us.