I was born a Buddhist, raised in Science and then kind of.. set free. I think it was around A/Ls and my first few years of college that I had strong atheistic leanings; the latter part of college I was enthralled by Taoism and the Bhagavad Gita (note to self: get my textbooks back). Now, after many discussions with my very religious boyfriend, I've settled into agnosticism- the lazy man's atheism. In the words of Jeff Winger, "to me, religion is like Paul Rudd. I see the appeal, and I would never take it away from anyone. But I would also never stand in line for it".
I think religion is whatever gives you peace of mind. For instance, the hours I spend browsing Vintage Rose Garden some would called procrastinating; I call it meditating. But what spurred this post was actually this article on New Atheism and some interesting points it raises. Particularly interesting to me was the juxtaposition between fundamentalists and New Atheists, who are radical in their own right. Which took me back to a conversation I had with G about something he wrote last year. Initially, I couldn't see anything wrong with the particular sign but after hearing his side of the argument I understood that religious freedom and the right to express yourself should not come at the expense of another's belief. Which is technically what New Atheists do, which turns it into another radical philosophy, and we have enough of those already.
Something else that caught my eye was this statement left as a comment on the same article:
Fundamentalism IS religion, everywhere. It's just been watered down by people's innate humanity, real common sense, and science and art - all of which it hates instinctively, as it recognises its most formidable enemies.which I thought was a really interesting way of looking at it, given that we generally believe religion to be peaceful and loving and giving, and is in fact the way defenders of religion will argue for it, sectioning themselves off from the "fundamentalists" who distort religion for their own gain. This argument instead makes religion the distorter instead of the distortee..