And this is, I guess, why I don't personally understand religion. And I am speaking in very broad terms here -- I know what follows does not apply to all religions or all believers: I can understand how religion is likely to have evolved, but I don't understand the drive to believe. Isn't the natural world enough? Isn't it beautiful, bizarre, curious, and profound enough on its own? Why must we cling to a supernatural, when there is so much wonder yet to be understood. To me, our habit of "projecting our own nature onto nature," to quote Sagan once more, seems trivializing, and it is the height of arrogance to imagine that it was all created just for us.
I, too, am speaking broadly and not to all religions and all believers: in my experience, those who cling to religion place a higher value on social standing and conformity than they do on understanding and discovery. To most people, the value of a concept is measured solely in terms of its utility to immediately serve people with a minimum of disruption. Frankly, I think most people are simply happier going with the flow and participating in what their families do and have always done than they would be facing the stark uncertainty that follows from what is actually known. Their goal is not understanding. Rather, it is stability.