Why is exclusivity of thought such a key component of some religions? Many religious traditions believe that if one does not practice religion in precisely the same way that they do, that God will not favor them and they will be doomed to 'eternal damnation'. Of course this creates all manner of groups, each of whom believe that their way is the ONLY way. They also believe that the rest of the world is going straight to Hell (or the equivalent).
Does this make any sense? Why is this a reasonable way to approach religion? Why can't people look to deeds and character and faithfulness, broadly, as definers of the "value" of man? Is this more about controlling people than teaching an appropriate religious path?