It's very tempting to soap box about religion and how it is the cause of many ills and much evil in this world. Yet to do so wouldn't be fair to others because it would take pages and pages of material and sourcing. Suffice it to say that organized religion is bad, because it eventually takes ona life of its own that is different from the original intention.
I feel that lifestyle and religion are personal choices, and no one should ever gain say another for their choices unless those choices lead to the harm of another individual. People should be free to live their lives as they see fit to the point where it does not negatively impact another huan being (John Locke).
At heart, at the base fundamentals, most religions begin with good intent. Love thy neighbor, or at least visit no ill will or deeds on them, etc. Most have a conduct code, Ten Commandments or otherwise. The problem is, religion is for humans, but ultimately fucks up because it's by humans.
Galileo Galilei is firstly known for his astronomical discoveries, but he was a religious man as well, and among the best theologians of his time or any other time. He understood that the Bible was meant to show believers how to go to heaven, and not how the heavens go.
Problem is, most faiths are more interested in laying down man's law on earth, not god's, but they're all to quick to stamp it with god's will and word to give it ultimate validity.
Many are just as fast to define the universe and existence for us, but none of them are up the task. If you follow up on cosmology at all, it doesn't take an overly keen mind to figure out that one frame of reference is far too narrow and lacking to truly understand the great mysteries.
Far too many are willing to take it on faith alone that they're actually hearing the true word of god, and not just the mere word his would-be representatives on earth. If you pose this topic to some, you'll hear that proof is never needed, as faith is all they need. An extremely dangerous thing.
But faith is believing, not knowing, and there is a critical difference between the two. You can't argue it with them; it's like having a conversation with a brick wall. It seriously brings into focus that the line between a 'true' religion and a cult is a very, very fine thing, but that's a thread onto itself and an avenue I'm not going to venture down at this time.
Without citing pages of research, the one point that I am making is that one does not need
an organized faith in their life to be fulfilled on some level, or to seek the big answers. I know this to be fact through personal experience. But religions like team players; they love people who will fall in line with them without asking too many questions. Sadly, what never enters the minds of many is that you don't need to choose a team. As agnostics, we don't necessarily deny god, an educated mind never rules out anything, but we do