I said religions. I didn't say anything about Gods. Religions are made by men and have been used as tools of manipulation with "divine" power to legitimate anything and prevent questions from being asked (who would dare question God anyway, as mere humans?) and potential rebellions from happening (while it did, with protestantism for example - they still switched from one circle to another).
Why would people follow a God who threatens to send them to Hell for eternity for refusing to bend the knee?
Which God is real in the end? There are thousands of Gods the world has believed in for hundreds of thousands of years.
How can we trust the words of men who are long dead, from a time where not understanding something was said to be divine because humans hate not having answers to questions they have.
When you believe in something real hard, you interpret many odd things to be divine actions or entities - see with somebody who believes in Ghosts and somebody who does not - put them in a so called haunted house and you will see two sides of a story, both which can be convincing with the right people. The brain interprets many things, and most of all - memories decay over time and it becomes filled with thoughts your brain generates to fill the gaps and make the memory "readable".
Notice how stories can change, and are taught differently over time.
These are a lot of possibilities for religions to be nothing but tales based on corrupt memory and biased interpretations of the brain with a touch of "romance". Just like war stories were and are still often changed to be more interesting or more epic.
Notice how, if you start telling yourself to believe a certain thing and add it to a memory you've experienced - overtime you'll definitely believe what you added is true as memory and imagination become more blurry.
These things have definitely been proven. And as it is, there is more evidence that religion and even the existence of divinities were simply created by our brains and spread as facts.
Very old religions seemed alike across the world because they were inspired by events, elements, human behavior and human needs. Monotheistic religions have taken a lot from these and from each other - words spread and interpretations were different until it created a new book, but also because of certain people and their, perhaps, greed for power and unhappiness with certain faiths, believes or actions of an authority (such as the catholic church, for example).
Everybody has the right to judge, and everybody does whether they like it or not. You've just done so yourself.
While I wish there could be some sort of divine world so I cannot really die, I don't wish to be delusional and choose to believe in something which is as uncertain as belief, and thousands of different versions of divinities and divine worlds. Not even common points such as the existence of Heaven and Hell prove anything as humans have a strong sense of survival and obviously want to avoid death but humans also like the simplicity of putting things in only two different colors and to make information processing easier: black or white. And a good way to represent our wish to live forever while seeing a perfect world in two colors (good and bad) is to create Heaven and Hell, two opposites - the good and the bad, reward and punishment.
We simply represent and communicate primitive and simple mammalian thoughts and instincts with beautiful human creativity in a language we all understand.
I don't need to keep my thoughts for myself, you do not need to keep yours for yourself either. The minute I mention the hugely possible non existence of Gods and the obvious manmade religions, you're shielding yourself, putting your fingers in your ears and telling me to shut up.
Isn't that an exact proof of what I said? A system meant to be followed and defended without questions asked? Don't tell me you're an agnostic seeing as you defend that concept as hard as you do. You could spread the same message as you have in an emotionally neutral way.
Besides, one rule we use is that something's existence has to be proven - not the other way around.
Religion is also a source of conflict and hatred as you have said so yourself. Humans do not need religion to do that, but it can be a trigger source and even make it somewhat legitimate.
People believe what they want but it does not mean it cannot be questioned for without questions there is no progress. Therefore, I will remain free to criticize and question.
Religion is manmade, and follows the theory of the existence of God(s). Just like articles, books and websites are created about the multiverse theory.