Religion, the obvious mystery
How did it start?
The answer is simple: Fear.
Who would want to live in a world in which injustice goes unchecked.
The average person is a child compared to the vastness of the universe. And just like a child, he seeks safety in the arms of his parents. Every child believes that his parents can protect him from everything and care for him at all times. To a child, world is safe and fair.
This is obviously not true, parents are not superheroes as it seems in the child's imagination. A lot of bad things happen everyday, it is out of randomness that it happens to particular people and not others. but for a child, this thought can be too much to handle. Much like that, the average person seeks universal justice and safety, reassurance that someone is looking out for him. even if something unjust happens, it is more comfortable to believe that a powerful entity planned it for mysterious reasons that will eventually return in his favor.
The question here rises, is it wise to convince people that there is no powerful entity looking out for them and bad deeds can go unchecked? Of course not, if history taught us anything is that people became tyrannical when they feared no judgement.
People were ruled by the simple law of nature "survival of the fittest".
Then the great idea of religion came to spark civilization. Religion convinced people that there's an old man in the sky more powerful than any human, he represents justice and punishment to all those who dare commit wrongdoings.
Even more genius, religion filled the holes of him being unseen and unheard by reserving punishment to the after life where no one has gone and came back to prove that it doesn't exist. And for those who could be crippled by fear, religion gave another great idea: greed. Religion promised rewards for those who live a fair life. So basically religion is nothing more than a human reward and punishment system similar to the one humans use to train less evolved species (the irony of it).
Personally, I don't think most people are ready to face the truth yet. I think we need to lift the illusion gradually, to change the reward and punishment systems with humane beliefs. Meaning, doing good deeds for the sake of making the world a better place without personal gain at some point (in this life of the next) and refraining from bad deeds because of empathy for others and not fear of punishment.
Is it logical?
I think we need to define what is "logical" first.
For something to be considered logical for me, I first strip the idea of the number of people following it, then put it under the microscope. If this is done to religion (every religion) it might change how you feel about it.
Consider the idea that a man flew on a winged horse to the heavens and talked to people, angels and god in the sky in a matter of few seconds. Or the idea that wine is the actual blood of another man and a cracker is his flesh. Or that your ancestor fought god to make him favorite you over all other people he created. Now consider how you feel about them if only one man in the world believed in them. Surely, this man would end in a mental institutions and be considered crazy for believing in those ideas. Meanwhile, 1.8billion Muslims believe in the winged horse story, 1.2billion Catholics believe the blood and flesh story, 14.7million Jews believe they are chosen over all other people by god.
I only scratched the surface on the "miracles" and non logical events in religion, the rest doesn't help make it more logical.
The number of the people following religion gives it it's credibility, period.
You might be a religious person doubting these stories. But when another billion people don't question it, you'll find yourself shutting this doubting voice inside you.
Why is religion becoming so extreme?
The difference between the multiple religions is how seriously religious leader follow the rules of their books. Every religion lives in a bubble, and with the world becoming so open with social media, religion needs to sustain the bubble more and more to exist. As a solution to not burst the people, some religious leaders relinquish power and change rules for the religion to keep existing (widening the bubble so it includes new things), while others hold even tighter to rules that might or might not have existed in the original religion in order to make touching the bubble the most critical offence.
Religion is just like marketing, you either make it so cheap and easy to buy in order to keep your clients interested. Or make it very expensive to the point where old clients keep sacrificing everything to get the latest product out of loyalty, it is similar to expensive brands where clients don't even check the specifications of the new products, they just feel the need to buy it because it is all they know and feel comfortable with.
For example: In 2018, the pope declared that there is no such thing as hell.
Personally, I think this is a smart move. With the western world becoming more and more open, people are refusing the negativity of religion (especially with the long history of the church persecutions and power madness). The Vatican eased the rules to keep people interested.
Meanwhile in the Islamic world, people are fighting progress in fear of losing the teachings of Islam and eventually losing the whole religion. They prefer the old ways because that's all they know, and in the name of loyalty they are ages behind the modern world.