i see religion as a test
a test for people to learn anything good it has to offer without getting weighed down by all the details of the religious story and how that story was told and who the characters were…
the important thing in a religion, is the meaning of what is said in a religion; not what the characters were called; not where and when it was set; so in that regard, it doesn’t matter that the bible has been translated and chopped and changed a gazillion times, the basic message, is still the same.
“After thousands of years superhero dude came along and taught a bunch of backwards people how to be good to each other by helping those people in need, but other snooty people didn’t like that for some reason so they killed him, in spite of the fact that this dude could have used his superpowers to smash them, because that would not have been a nice thing to do.. the end.”
See, it didn’t matter what the dude’s name was, nor who his mother was, nor if he was gay or not, it doesn’t matter when he died or when he was born or what all his powers were or where he came from or whether he was real or whether he was god in the flesh… these are all trivial additions to the basic story, designed to flush it out.
I view religion in the sense that once I had learned about what it had to say in terms of moral lessons, i could discard and not bother with anything else in it
For instance: I often see christians talking about how they revere the ten commandments, but just because someone mainly adheres to most of the ten commandments, that doesn’t mean that they automatically can regard themselves as being a good person. Why should it?
These people who cling to the ten commandments are using it as a thing a prop up their own beliefs – they look at the ten commandments and say .. “I am a believer!”
However, an evil person, can follow the ten commandments exactly and still be a hideously cruel human being to everyone excluded by those rules.
Throwing away religion means that you are throwing away the irrelevant things that surround that religion’s basic message, which means you are then able to grow by reading new stories to expand your moral pool of knowledge! Most people gain their morals from their family and friends and from going to school. Religion would seem to throw a spanner into the works to provide interference to mess up the moral compass.
And when a person throws away their religion, they are not necessarily rejecting any good lessons it has taught them, they are merely rejecting the frivolous paraphernalia (aka “bullshit”) surrounding the religion, thus freeing you to actually follow the message of the religion, without getting distracted by all the superfluous rituals that allow you to identify with a religion in the first place..
the test of religion, is to learn its lessons and move on and live those lessons that you have learned, not prance around chanting praise to god, when you know damn well that you are supposed to praise your god by following those good lessons that you have supposedly learned from your precious and sacred stories.