I have a somewhat ambivalent view towards religion. In general I approve of it but modern Christianity fills me with dismay.
As to whether I’m actually a believer, I have to be honest and say I tend towards agnosticism. However I do feel that no society can survive without religion. Religion is simply something that is hard-wired into us. If we stop believing in mainstream religion we almost invariably end up turning towards fringe cults, or new age silliness, or pseudo-religions like environmentalism, Social Justice or even liberal democracy. It always ends badly.
There is however another very important argument in favour of religion. Without the moral framework of religion we end up judging everything on the basis of emotions. We don’t know what is right or wrong so we go for whatever gives us the most satisfying warm inner glow of emotion. And we end up on an emotional roller-coaster as we desperately try to find the certainty that we never can find.
The third argument in favour of religion has to do with social conformity. Human beings have a very strong, and sometimes very dangerous, instinct to conform. It takes great inner strength to stand against this temptation, and religious faith is one of the few things that can offer us that inner strength.
But that brings us back to the problem of modern Christianity. Christianity, a practised by a majority of Christians today (and as promoted by the vast majority of church leaders) is not a religion at all. It is a pseudo-religion and it has all the disadvantages outlined above. It is based on emotion and social conformity. On the whole it is doing us more harm than good.
If the West is to survive we need to find real religion again.