Why else did every single society have a religion? Do you really think one of them actually got it right, and the rest just hallucinated? No! It's a political move that allowed people to have a source of authority. It was successful, but now we are past that and don't need an invisible man to unite us. Religion is now superfluous.
First of all, I can't stand it when someone asks a question with answer options, and then posts it in the Yes/No Opinion page.
Now, no, in my opinion, religion was not created to control the population. I believe that religion was created because of the preexisting spiritualism that we, as humans, all experience. For the most part, we as people believe that there is more to our world than we can observe. In search of answers, we turned to ancient texts and stories, referencing legendary people, creatures, or mystical beings, and we reasoned that there must be a higher power than humans, which is a pretty natural assumption. As we have slowly evolved, we have developed scientific explanations to explain our world. However, almost all early science is owed to the pursuit of religion. Early astronomy, medicine, and law were all advanced by religion, so religion clearly was not intended to understand the universe independent of science.
In my mind, religion is intended to be the pursuit of understanding of all the things that science is incapable of explaining. Science and religion are 2 sides of the same coin, not contradictory, just separate. Whether God exists, I can't say with absolute certainty, but I believe he does.
Religion was used to control the masses from the time it was created till current times. During the medieval ages the pope used excommunication to control the king and his decisions until the king of England broke that chain. The subjects of many countries were persuaded to fight for the church in the religious holy wars of the crusades. There are many examples of this throughout history
The original purpose of religion was to make sense of the natural world; the pagan religions of ancient times offered answers to questions that people had about nature; what causes thunder? Why do the seasons change? Why does it rain? According to their religions, it was the gods/goddesses. Religions also offer answers to how we came into being and why we exist. When it comes to certain religious/spiritual movements (e.G. Scientology), it's all about power and control.
-Tho it has been used to control people, I doubt that they were created for that purpose.
-How would creating a belief help you understand something you have no knowledge about? Basically that makes no sense as the only thing you could do is speculate.
-There is no evidence of god outside of claims by various books. Seeing there is no evidence that any of the mystical events ever occurred, there is no reason to accept them as factual.
-The vast majority of religions have some things in common. They tend to have some kind of mystical being(s) that creates and controls things in mankind's world. Aside from that, they tend to be as different as the languages they were originally written in. Tho some don't have a god, most do and some have/had many. Some gods are elemental beings, some have human-like shapes, some have an animal appearance and other various forms. These are things we know about various religious beliefs. So why are they a bit similar yet so vastly different?
-You could say that they likely originated with the various languages. Because early mankind would not be as adaptable to his environment, he likely lived a nomadic existence like many still do. He probably followed heads of wild animals as well as habitable climates. As the species grew in number, they would have split off into tribes. Some of these tribes may have settled into areas and developed the first communities. With less travel, they had time to observe nature and gained knowledge about how it works as well as ways to shape it to suit their needs. They would have developed basic agriculture, ways to build shelter, as well as developed ways to communicate with each other.
-Around this time, mankind would notice something. Because he knew so much, could control some of nature, and he could create things to suit his needs, he could tell he was the most advanced creature on earth. At least as far as he could see. This posed a problem. He knew that no other creature knew so much, could control so much, or crate so much as he but there was still so much that he did not know, control, or create. Because he associated these things with him being a more advanced being, he made came up with a somewhat logical conclusion the there must be a more advanced being that knew, created, and controlled what he did not. Because he could not see this more advanced being, he assumed that it must be otherwise hidden from view. Seeing that he would not know much about dreams either, he likely believed that a dream was this being talking to him.
-Because this would have happened to various tribes in different places and time, the god too on the traits unique to the people.
-Basically, a god was an early attempt at logic.
The idea of God was there to answer questions. Ignorance isn't a very nice thing, even back when mankind first came about. The idea of a God provided people with answers to all their questions. Some people realised the idea of God could be used to manipulate others.
So I think it was intended to be a way to find out things, and it continues to be that way for the majority. However, it has also been used at times to control others.