- They both provide tremendous mental comfort.
Well clearly religion works just the same for one's mental discomforts. I believe stress-buffering would be the correct term. Do not fear of being alone, mortal, weak, stupid or wrong -god is with you, has always been and always will be, whatever you do and wherever you go. How 's that for a reassuring thought? (What's that? You don't actually hear or see god, and feel no connection ? Try harder. There, see? This legitimate feeling of awe you have for nature, superimposed with the love you feel for your parents? Well now we will call this His Presence.)
Nobody will be surprised to hear that the same holds for religion. Even in its less dangerous forms, religious people develop in communities. At the fundamendalist end, we get dangerously well-organised clubs.
- They spread and work best on gullible people (young and/or non-educated and/or less intelligent)
There are well documented anti-correlations between religiosity and intelligence, and also between religious fervour and education. Moreover it is deplorably common to see young children and their much more malleable minds enrolled into more or less intrusive religious programs or teachings.
Again, it is no big news that the impact of cigarette on teenagers is just massive -and also not uncommon in younger persons. What I find interesting though, is that teens with high Emotional Quotient are less prone to smoking.
- Both are damaging for one's health, and for other's.
What is striking however is that religion and tobacco are both so addictive that even when aware of the harm they cause, many choose to pursue them to their very deaths. I don't think Marlboro's poor cowboy would have denied that:
And neither would the 9/11 terrorists