Tom Rees reviews a study showing how self-inflicted pain relieves guilt. College students who describe guilty events feel less guilt after subjecting their arms to painful ice baths. Is this one of the several mechanisms which makes Christianity attractive — guilt assuagement? Certainly Christianity sells itself as a means to be free from guilt. But remember, someone can incorrectly explain the cause of an effect even though they accurately understand the effect.
Many atheists are totally anti-religion and call it nothing but pure foolishness. First, their generalizations are grossly distortive and second perhaps this is yet another study showing a psychological phenomena that some religions capitalize on to sell their product — and thus showing that religion is far from being all foolishness.