Highly interesting here is that people with damaged frontal lobes are predisposed to criminal behavior; really tends to explain why the jail populations are more religious than the decent people outside.
Short and snappy: My information mainly comes from New Scientist. The way they tell it, we have a frontal lobe in our brains. Our emotions reside in this little piece of equipment, that has been a strong influence in our evolution.
As far as I can see, this is the very same lobe that's taken out of you if you have the bad luck to be a schizo, or something (
Whatever you may think of evolution (and if you didn't think much of it you wouldn't be reading this) it is a matter of considerable interest that, the closer you get to the human race (like, apes), the larger this frontal lobe grows. Now this piece of grey matter enables us, among many other interesting things too numerous to go into, to get into a trance.
It's also the lobe that gets professionally damaged in Pro Pugilists, which is a good reason to hire old members of that honorable profession to teach somebody a little lesson, when he steps out of line in an Organization. John D. MacDonald describes this very well in one of his best novels, Condominium
I, for one, get tranced up really easy—music does it to me, or movies. Thankfully, I never fell into the trap of believing such a trance had been caused by god. Because, if you're so unlucky to have that happen to you, you're a goner. I can go into a trance with religious music or ceremonies, but it doesn't count. I have, luckily, always been able to recognize that it was the (Gregorian? Hayden?) music, not religion, that affected me like that.
Coming to the point, what I resent about religion is this:
Religion uses these emotions to sell you something, just like politics does: They use emotions as arguments, side-stepping the much larger part of the brain reserved (if you insist, god given) for reasoning it out.
Adolf Hitler was a notorious example. He went on for hours, ranting and raving, without actually saying a thing, just bringing you in the mood for totalen Krieg. Essentially, all politicians are preachers: Great entertainment. (Well, maybe not so great, but they certainly do tend to sound alike.)
You know what? Give me plain entertainment any time. It's honest and kosher, and I'll gladly pay you for getting me in an emotional trance. As long as you stay away from trying to convince me of something, no matter how worthy the cause, I'll joyously feel along with you:
Now that's show biz!