I should start this post by saying I am an atheist. I believe in science - the big bang theory, evolution all of that stuff that is quantifiable and proven by people way more intelligent than I am.
That being said, this post isn't going to be about bashing religious people.
I have been thinking about why some people are religious and some aren't, especially in these times were science has ultimately proved that God can't exist in the literal sense (I refer here to the Christian God - I don't know enough about other religions to comment).
I think in part, faith comes from a need to explain the unknown. Centuries ago, people believed in a God who pulled the sun across the sky in a chariot, a God who made the seas move and a God who created thunder to mention a few. Over time, we learned how these things actually came about, and the belief in these Gods was no longer needed. Today, pretty much the only thing we can't explain is the meaning of our existence. It makes sense then for people to believe in this being who created us, gave us a home and loves us as his own. When science explains the meaning of life, there will be no more need for religion.
I think faith also stems from fear. Fear of our own mortality - I imagine dying doesn't seem so scary if you genuinely believe that you are going to a better place.
Looking at the Christian bible, I think it projects, for the most part, a moral code that is a good thing to live by. In my opinion, it was originally written as a way of controlling the masses - if you don't live this way you fear going to Hell. That being said, if everyone lived by the 10 commandments, I think the world would be a much nicer, safer place.
Sometimes I wish I could believe in it all. It would be nice to believe in a higher power, someone who would forgive mistakes and make everything ok again, but I just can't do it.
I think the power of the mind is an incredible thing that is often underrated. For example, if I prayed, I don't think it would work, because I don't believe it would. However, if someone who does believe prays, maybe it will. Not because I think God is listening and making it happen, but because the person believes it will work it just could. The power of positive thinking goes a long way.
I don't understand non religious people who think everyone should be the same. If you have faith and it makes you feel good, who are you hurting? By the same token, I can't stand religious people who try to "save my soul" by converting me. Let's all just agree to disagree!
Feel free to comment :)