How can 600+ opinions clash together? Over 600+ opinions contradicting which each other AND with 100 % certainty to support it?
At one level of discussion bw77 is correct... "What's to explain?" And excaza is also correct... "comfort" over truth.
However I "suspect" you want "more"?
This is a science forum (in particular "Physics" Forum) so the answer to all valid questions
is using the scientific method you can test "all of them" (opinions) against the ultimate arbiter... the Universe "herself"... by way of an intelligently contrived experiment. If you are a scientist you will only want the truth? If you are not a true scientist... you will want only "recognition" for your cleaver answers. Other people offer cleaver answers too... Maybe this is all we "elves" are wanting so you should be on your guard and weigh carefully what I am saying for the "giveaway" that I am "selling something" that you should not buy.
Any reasonable question you ask can be tested with the right level of intelligence and testing and with an "a priori" understanding that questions must be intelligible and ask a truly valid question
. There are clearly very stupid questions that have no "valid" answers because a question can be couched in terms that are in the form of linguistic paradox... Are you still beating your wife... Please answer Yes or No? Typically used by lawyers and can be very "self incriminating" if the judge allows it. If you answer that question you will always turn out being a "wife beater".
Clearly stupid questions ... ones in which the human species wishes to wallow in... should not be asked of something so "noble" and "pure" as the Universe "herself". She will not be mocked. There is an old saying (very very old)... Those whom the g*ds wish to destroy they first send mad. There is a truly "deep meaning" to this. Do not be surprised when people or even yourself are asking a question such as "Which religion is the correct one?" recognize this is a "challenge" based on a linguistic trick like the one above. Firstly the supposition is that there is a valid religion and only one is "correct". A badly framed question I think you will agree. It implies that the many claims made by religions are supportable (such as "g*ds, souls, spirits, eternal rewards and punishments, eternal life, and eternal happiness in death). The onus of proof, as it is in science, is on the one making the "extraordinary" claim.... In this case it is the religious fraternity. Carl Sagan said ""Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"... believe me he was right.
The "correct experimental result" must rely on the religions being able to verifiably and repeatedly show they are the one with the only valid experimentally verifiable answers to the questions regarding life after death (which is a contradiction of terms), the existence of an "eternal G*d" (dubious claim), or the existence of an immortal spirit or soul (impossible to prove since no one has been able to measure one) or the notion that man has this solution. Of supreme importance we must not be swayed by claims of "authority" or "threats of punishment", truth will be truth and threats and rewards cannot change that.
Another important marker of potential falsehood is an "a priori" requirement for faith. Faith is fine up to a point but this should persist only as long as the experiment is still in doubt. The experiment will resolve the issue so that you will know and beyond that point faith will be needed no more. Every claim made must be open to be shown to be falsifiable... not false... just possible of allowing itself to be tested against the laws of our Universe. If the claim is couched in such a way that it cannot be tested it is already a linguistic "paradox". A claim by definition is a choice between various choices... if it cannot be tested there are really no choices. You then must decide if mankind itself has free choice. I think the choices of Science have shown that mankind's destiny is not "fixed" but has an outcome that is different from it's past (for good of bad). In the past when all things were decided by the direct intervention of angels these points were beyond the intervention of man and the events that happened in the world were the will of g*d. It is clear the outcomes of our actions can change these interventions since a knowledge of the forces of nature and the Universe falsifies the assumptions of religions which formerly put all these things beyond human intervention.
The claimants may also have a vested interests in their extraordinary claims ... in some case it is their livelihood so for them it is valid to extort a living from others by selling the idea of religion. The number or moral "quality" of "true believers" are also not a guide to truth. People are not necessarily seeking truth, they seek "comfort". Comfort alone is a different goal to science, the Universe is a relatively "uncomfortable and uncertain" place. The scientist will naturally accept this because they seek "truth" over "comfort". In these cases of "impressive religious figures of conviction" ... "it is the singer not the song". Truth will not need the added pressures of authority, numbers, "references from important people" or of punishment or rewards since once the experiment is performed the answer will be clear... Within the limits of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems a partial answer is always possible and that answer will depend on your ability to analyze the results and to continue looking for a better experiment. The experiment must be clear and repeatable by others who seek "truth". The goals of the experiment must be determined beforehand and the results to be determined by a process free of any personal bias or subjected to unnecessary chance or excessive systemic or operational errors. Any errors need to be determined and assessed to see if the results are beyond chance. Do that and you can be assured that you are "on the way to a level of truth" which can be relied on to be of more value than the untested statements of others. You can never "arrive" at a total truth since Gödel's Theorems assert that that level of total knowing is beyond our human processes but we can approach better and better approximations to the way our Universe works through these experiments. A model of this process may be advanced as a theory and can itself be tested. An ever circular process can be engaged in which the experiments are refined to discover more of the nature and quality of this "truth".
None of this protects you or anyone from emotional responses to some of these questions. If you behave in an emotional way to the data then you are applying a personal bias. You will get an answer but it will not be one on which you can rely for "truth". Even Newton wasted his efforts on Alchemy that bore no permanent fruits. Arguably the greatest scientific mind that ever existed was swayed by inconsistency and self delusion. He "dashed off" in his "spare time"... Calculus, Optics, Gravitation and a few other important sciences along the way and the source of the "Enlightenment" which spread around the world that led to such things as the Declaration of Independence and to the present era of Science but he believed his Alchemy was of supremely greater importance. Maybe you can't always be right eh?Wikipedia: Gödel's incompleteness theoremsWikipedia: Isaac Newton's occult studies