On page 136 of ‘The Moral Landscape’ Sam discusses obtaining a belief simply because it makes a person feel better. He describes a debate with Philip Ball who believes that a person can acquire a belief simply because it makes him “feel better”. Sam asks rhetorically “Has a person like this ever existed? I highly doubt it”.
I came from a religion which requires exactly this process for acquisition of a belief or a whole belief system. The Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) have a saying something like “You will know its true buy the burning of the bosom”. The idea is that if you repeat some idea, preferable in front of the congregation you will feel a sensation of warmth that will be God affirming the belief to be true.
I wonder if this occurs in other religions as well
I suspect there are many aspects of religion that SH is not familiar with, or, more likely, has to ignore for brevity. I would guess your experience occured as a youth. It seems positive experiences in childhood can have long lasting impressions on our adults tastes. There is also the influence of group activities on the emotions of individual participants. Opposite your church experience is the negative example of riot mobs.
To my knowledge SH has never mentioned the community that people can get from their church/mosque/synagogue. Face it, other than work, there is little chance for adults to interact as peers. In my view these practices seem to act as networking opportunities for all sorts of personal and public issues.
I also find it funny SH nevers mentions the negative influence of, for lack of a better word, materialists. People who neither practice religion or seem to care much about ethics. The example that comes to mind are the producers, participants and consumers of reality TV. Talk about unhelpful practices.