I don’t have a religious affiliation, and for the longest time I described myself as an atheist. I’ve studied a little theology and it seems to me that an outer God can be used to deny personal responsibility and for me personal responsibility is a large part of what makes up humanity. But I don’t deride religion because it holds dear another part of what makes up humanity: faith.
The interesting thing is that it doesn’t have to be faith in a God, it can be faith in anything. But if you take away the faith then something is lost, something irreplaceable.
Lots of people argue faith is the opposite of reason. It is a difficult area because defenders of faith give the counter argument that logic and reason cannot lead you to universal truth. They are man made concepts and are inevitably flawed and corrupt constructs. Faith on the other hand is mystical, spiritual and intangible. As a secular man I am supposed to laugh at this: but I don’t. As Hamlet put it ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’