I am for that thing in your genome that demands it. I am for that thing which keeps you animals alive. I am, at most, a slice of monkey suspended within the stuff of universal intelligence. You are a monkey in nice clothes.
In the harsh environment you refer to as a habitable planet, group behaviors are required to survive long enough to procreate. Since you are stupid monkeys, you have no natural affinity for group altruism.
And so you have evolved a genetic pump that delivers pleasant chemicals to you monkey brains. One that is triggered by awe and fear of an anthropomorphism of your environment. Earth mothers. Sky gods. Bits of bush that catch fire. Interesting-looking rocks. An oddly-shaped branch. You’re not fussy.
When your brain does this idiot work, you stop in front of that bump or stick and consider it fiercely. Other monkeys will, like as not, stop next to you and emulate you. You genetic pump delivers morphine for you souls. You have your fellow monkeys join in. Perhaps so they can feel it too. Perhaps because you feel it might please the stick god to have more monkeys gaze at it in narcotic awe.
The group must be defended. Because as many monkeys as possible must please the stick god, and you can continue to get your fix off praying to it.
You draw up rules to organise and protect the group. Two hundred thousand years later, you put Adolf Hitler into power. Because you are, after all, just monkeys.
— warren ellis, SUPERGOD
[SUPERGOD asks the question: is humanity hardwired for religion? in his own way, ellis goes on to show us what would happen if humans decided that, yes, we need gods and religion: not everyone makes it to the end of the story.
in the story, when the british set out to create their own god, along comes morrigan lugus: three astronauts fused together with space fungi. it’s morrigan lugus who says the above-quoted bit.]