I was actually a really religious kid. I was raised Christian and was fascinated with spirituality at a very young age. I've been going through a lot of my old drawings and I've found all these pictures of angels and manger scenes. Lol I can even recall gutting a roll at lunch time and sculpting the dough I gutted into a manger scene. I took my faith very seriously to the point where I never swore or especially uttered the the word "hell" until I was about 14 years old. I used to attend youth groups around that time. There was always a band playing Christian rock songs and video games after the services and it was a fun time. But one service in particular stood out to me. We were asked to come forward to ask questions about life that we don't understand and they were willing to demonstrate how those answers can be found in the bible. At the time, I hadn't seen my father for 10 years and I had hoped they could give me some kind of answer as to why. I asked and they tried but they had no answers for me and not enough time to spend on me to find it so they moved on to the next kid. I think it's about at that point that I started to question my religion. I identify as an agnostic because I don't think any religion has the concept of God correct. I'm atheist towards Christianity, I'm atheist towards Satanism, I'm atheist towards Judaism, I'm atheist towards Buddhism (although it has some great concepts) and I am atheist towards the Muslim religion... but I am still agnostic to the possibility of a God. I believe in what can be experienced and what can be weighed and measured and what can be proven as fact. If God ever happens to be at the end of any equation known to man then I will be happy to accept and experience this aspect of reality in its rightful place. But there are no shortcuts, the concept of "God" has to earn it's place into the reality I know with my own mind, I will no longer accept an assumption of proof based on what a book written by men says. The part that troubles me the most about the concept of "God" is at what point in human development it was inspired. It has become obvious that religion was used to inspire others to fight wars and maintain prejudices towards those who do not believe the same way. It can be used as a tool to oppress the masses and control people through manipulation of emotion and declare moral superiority over others. It was the most dogmatic and controlling force on the planet at one time but it has faded (only to be replaced by even more dominating vices). I still respect those who choose to believe because I realise that some people need that moral code to help guide their lives. For some people it seems to be the only thing holding them back from their otherwise violent impulses... but it only seems to be a kind of "morality under threat of pain" mentality with the idea of hell and torture as deterrent. Some people establish a routine based around their religion that seems to establish a sense of order and organization. It helps make their modern capitalist world turn more easily and they give all the credit of their success and orderlyness to their religion. Technically it just makes them a more ignorant and docile slave to the system but you know, whatever about all that Oompaloompa poop for now. Also the idea of a cleansing of one's conscious is appealing to those who have to do things they are not proud of just to get by. So what's my take on religion? I think it is important to have a personal philosophy and moral code to live by but you don't need to join someone else's little club in order to be a good person. You can take what you consider to be the best parts of any religion and compile it all to make your own. You can set rules for what you will or will not do and carefully define why you will or will not do something if only for the sake of a more harmonious existence on this earth. You can set rules like never owning your own pack of cigarettes as part of your code for the sake of maintaining your health. I believe that religion and philosophy should be a personal experience based on the way the world hits a man. It's a code that helps a human being survive in his environment to the best of his abilities and can help inspire a more harmonious existence in a social environment. Honor seems to be something that is very under rated in society today but maintaining honor for one's self can greatly reflect the positivity in a person's character and make a person unstoppable in accomplishing their goals.