In today’s world, 84% of people are a part of a religion (https://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/dec/23/84-percent-world-population-has-faith-third-are-ch/).  For as long as humans have been documenting their day to day lives, religion has proven itself to permeate nearly every culture that has ever existed.  So, why is it that this one idea has taken over the world in such a massive way, especially something that no one can prove?  According to https://phys.org/news/2015-10-psychology-religious-belief.html,  religion is one of the only ideals that can hit all 16 basic human desires, which include acceptance, curiosity, eating, family, honor, idealism, independence, order, physical activity, power, romance, saving, social contact, status, tranquility and vengeance.
I am an atheist, and have been for a large portion of my life despite being raised Catholic.  One of the things that phys.org mentions is that a lot of the time what makes someone religious or not religious is whether or not they enjoy one of the basic human desires, and how they perceive it.  For example, if someone enjoys interdependence as opposed to independence, they are much more likely to be religious.  I am extremely independent and would much prefer to be so, so I fit the mold in this situation.  Looking at the list now, I can see how my perception of the desires would make me not need religion to be a part of my life, and I can also think of religious friends of mine and see how well they fit into the desires.
Another interesting factor is the emergence of science in modern day culture. Now that people know more about the universe than they ever have before, religion may seem pointless; many people use it as a way to explain things we can’t explain, so now that we know more and more it becomes less and less important.  In years past, we have seen a decline in the number of people that identify with a religion (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/07/why-people-with-no-religion-are-projected-to-decline-as-a-share-of-the-worlds-population/).  Despite this, in the next few years religious “nones” are actually expected to decrease as people migrate back towards religion.
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CC BY-SA 4.0 What Makes People Religious? by Zach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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