From my latest acquisition, the fascinating book Universally preferable behaviors:
The idea that being born creates a contract with a fictional agency, which in practical terms makes you a quasi-slave to specific individuals, is common to both religion and the state – and one other, far more personal agency, which I talk about in my first book “On Truth: The Tyranny Of Illusion.”
Whenever a priest says: “Obey God,” what he is really saying is: “Obey me.” Since God does not exist, any commandment that the priest claims is coming from God, is actually coming from the priest. “God” is just the fictional entity used to bully you conceptually in order to obtain your very practical subservience in the real world, to real individuals, in terms of voluntarily handing over money, time and resources.
It is far more efficient for exploiters to have their slaves consider slavery a virtue, since it cuts down enormously on the costs of controlling them. If I can convince you that it is evil to avoid serving me, and virtuous to be my slave, then I do not need to hire nearly as many thugs to bully, control and steal from you.
Excellent book on morality. The book hasn't yet schematized the principia moralitas that it promised, but so far it has done an outrageously good job arguing for an universal, secular morality.
Oh, and it's free (I did donate 15 dollars to them -- it's chump change considering the quality of the work in the book).