Religious faith and belief in God have equally adaptive evolutionary explanations. Religion is a social institution that evolved to reinforce group cohesion and moral behavior. It is an integral mechanism of human behavior to encourage altruism, reciprocal altruism, and indirect altruism, and to reveal the level of commitment to cooperate and reciprocate among members of a social community. Believing in God provides and explanation of our universe, our world and ourselves; it explains where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. God is also the ultimate enforcer of the rules, the final arbiter of moral dilemmas, and the pinnacle object of commitment.
It is time to step out of our evolutionary heritage and our historical traditions and embrace science as the best tool ever devised for explaining how the world works. It is time to work together to create a social and political world that embraces moral principles and yet allows for natural human diversity to flourish. Religion cannot get us there because it has no systematic methods of explanation of the natural world, and no means of conflict resolution when members of competing religions hold absolute beliefs that are mutually exclusive. Flawed as they may be, science and the secular enlightenment values expressed in western democracies are our best hope for survival.
To mention again as stated above, Science is the study and understanding of the real world based on fact and truth. But there are many questions that science cannot answer, and that is a place for religion to answer with faith. Perhaps for those questions that science can answer, science and scientific fact and truth could be incorporated into a religion, keeping intact those critical aspects of Religion as a social institution that provides group cohesion, moral behavior and raison d’etre. To go one step further, perhaps science and the understanding of the world based on fact and truth could be part of your beliefs, with those questions that cannot be fully answered by science answered within a particular faith or your own faith - your Realigion.
Realigion - an understanding of the real world based on scientific fact and truth, but believing in the existence of God to explain the unknowable with aspects of existing religion, or faith of one's own choice, or accepting the unknowable as God.
Perhaps God is truth, and for questions that science can’t answer, only God knows the Truth.
Here is a brief summary of Religion in the present world:
A particular Religion, as in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and various denominations, and many other religions, with science incorporated to differing degrees.
Realigion - an understanding of the real world based on scientific fact and truth, but believing in the existence of God to explain the unknowable - with aspects of existing religion, faith of one's own choice, or accepting the unknowable as God.
An Agnostic - a person who claims neither faith in God nor disbelief in God.
An Atheist – a person who does not believe in the existence of god, a person who believes there is no god.
The Believing Brain: Michael Shermer, 2011, St. Martin’s Press
Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind: Yuval Noah Harari, 2015, HarperCollins Publishers