I think ones has a right to ones own beliefs. It is only when they starts to interfere with others that I have a problem with religion. There have been so many attacks on science lately in the name of a vengeful deity that something needs to be said.
A friend of mine said it better than I can:
Live your life honourably, honestly and ethically, and try and leave the
world a little better than you found it.
Understand that the doubt and uncertainty you might feel from time to
time, and particularly when time is short, are good things. Doubt and
uncertainty make us careful. They make us slow down and think. Great
evil is usually done by people absolutely convinced they are doing the
right thing. You should, as Douglas Adams so aptly put it, "demand
rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty."
Let us assume that, by some chance, you find that you were wrong, God
does exist, and you must be Judged.
Any God that treats you worse than he does a "believer" who acted in a
similarly ethical manner is not worthy of anything but your disdain; you
would expect better behaviour out of a middle-school student. If
anything, He should treat you better, for you acted not out of fear of
Eternal Damnation, but out of Love and Honest Reflection, and with no
expectation of reward.
I recently came across this quote, sums it up pretty nicely for me:
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." Marcus Aurelius AD 121-180
- 15 Dec 2009