I've been waiting for you
So what makes people believe in fictious things like religion?
I've always kind of associated with the E3/E6/E9 fitting in thing. Like create a common feeling in order to feel included, and exclude others that may disrupt "comfortable" feelings.
I'm not as concerned about religion in general as it's usually reasonably benign - but I suspect the same thing leads people to believe in following those who are clearly wrong without having free thought, free thinking, and being their own person.
Landlord of the Dog and Duck
The reasons will be innumerable, and will of course heavily depend on whether the individual themselves believes what they are following to be fictitious.
I think the inheritance of memes must be the key reason for the continuation of a particular religion. I think in generally, those that are attached to conservative/traditional views are inclined to be themselves conservative//traditional in nature.
Validation in the subjective nature of things. Perhaps because validation is a subjective thing.
A sense, potentially artificial, of cohesion that brings inner peace. People really seem to like the idea of inner peace and some value result slightly more than process.
A belief that either road bears sacrifice and simply staking preference.
A sense of reward and superiority for feeling more enlightened than the rest. More of the domain of dogmatists though.