Religion was invented to control people
People invented religion to frighten other people into obedience. This conclusion is based on there being no reliable evidence that Hell exists but priests pretend that it does exist. This is probably motivated by the desire for personal power or the honest wish to coerce people to towards God.
"Religion is always in the control business, and that’s something people don’t really understand. It’s in a guilt-producing control business. And if you have Heaven as a place where you’re rewarded for you goodness, and Hell is a place where you’re punished for your evil, then you sort of have control of the population. And so they create this fiery place which has quite literally scared the Hell out of a lot of people, throughout Christian history. And it’s part of a control tactic."
- — John Shelby Spong, Retired Episcopal bishop
"The most general formula on which every religion and morality is founded is: 'Do this and that, refrain from this and that — and then you will be happy! And if you don't...' Every morality, every religion, is based on this imperative; I call it the original sin of reason, the immortal unreason."
"Today we no longer have any tolerance for the idea of 'free will': we see it only too clearly for what it really is — the foulest of all theological fictions, intended to make mankind 'responsible' in a religious sense — that is, dependent upon priests."
- Matt Slick, Was religion invented to control people?