Yes. To make a long story short, I was a militant atheist, but I had a drastic life change. To keep all this out of the thread, I will send you a link shortly.
Lol, I evolved in the exact opposite way: was raised a good catholic, then realized the truth was not to be found in a litteral interpretation of the Bible - or any other religious source. The Hindus believe Ganesha is a four-armed elephant. Do you believe that too? or are you saying they are wrong
and you are right
Speak for yourself!
Then I assume you also believe the world and anything on it was really created in six days? And you believe the Red Sea actually split in two when Moses decided to take a shortcut? How about the walls of Jericho crumbling under the sound of the Israelite horn? Jonah being swallowed by a fish?
Very unlikely, isn't it? The wonder is: some people actually consider the unlikeliness of these and other facts as the proof of their being true. That's like saying "my three year old kid says the sky is made of blue cookie dough and the stars are white chocolate sprinkled on it. This is of course highly unlikely, and therefor it must
Personally I think everyone in the whole wide world is free to follow every religion he wants to follow. Or a combination of these. Or no religion at all. Most religions actually have a great significance, since they "naturally impose" societal values and normes on their believers. They help us to decide what's good and what's bad. They make us follow regulations that make it much easier to get along: Don't kill. Don't steal. Honour your parents. Marry. Have kids. Be kind to one another (at least to other members of the group). Love and be loved. Make time to think over the things in life. Every religion has roughly the same message. And it is a beautiful message.
For this reason mainly, I believe religion should not simply be discarded. It's an important part of our society. Of almost every society there ever was! The details - the people walking on water, the four-armed elephants, the feathered serpents - all these things are just there to fill in the blanks. To give an answer to questions there was no scientific answer to at the the time these religions emerged. A long time ago we all believed the world was flat - that you could fall off the edge if you didn't watch out. This vision was also embedded in many religions. Today we fly around the world in aeroplanes and hot air balloons, shoot satellites in the sky that orbit the globe every 90 minutes (meaning we wouldn't have GPS if the world was flat), send probes (and people!) to the moon and have even started looking for other earthlike planets in nearby star systems. We know a good deal more than we did back at those days. We know now that the world is no more flat than it is cubical. We accept that the flat worlds in some religions are relicts from a time when we did not know the truth (that the world is a globe), and consider them metaphores at best. To me, the same goes for many other things in many religions that have been proven impossible (well, it is
actually possible to walk on water, but only with very, very big shoes. Most scientific attempts to explain religious wonders make the performers of these wonders look rather silly).
According to me - and that's just me, a scientist and a linguaphile - taking all this litteral in a world that has changed so much, in a world where we know
so much we don't have to just guess
at most of these things anymore (an educated guess without a doubt, based on all knowledge available at the time, with many beautiful, important stories and metaphores derived from it), is equivalent to ignoring the evolution your own species has gone through. Looking for the truth is done by stating a possible explanation, a possible backstory for an unexplained event, and then trying to prove it wrong. This is exactly what happened to the supposed flatness of the world. Today the Vatican too accepts the sphericity of our world. How about you?