Religions, to me, represent the attempt by various groups to own natural inborn human spirituality. If they can’t achieve this by the positive aspects of their founding prophet’s teachings then they tend to employ emotional blackmail techniques such as: if you don’t join our church and believe what we teach, then you will go to hell. It is this emotional blackmail that has turned many people against religion in recent times. That, combined with the unsavory nature of some of the teachings, and the inability of many religions to grow and evolve with the changing times, has resulted in falling number of believers in most of the developed world.
This movement against religion has caused many people to declare themselves “atheists” and to align their beliefs with the teachings of establishment science and its reductionist, materialist view of life. This is a shame because by adopting the scientist's godless & spiritless view of the universe people are denying their own natural inborn spiritual nature that yearns for a meaningful view of life with them included within it. Materialism cannot provide this. It describes the universe, and life itself, as random, chaotic and meaningless. The human life is seen as limited, human spirit as non-existent, and death as the end of one's existence. Hardly an optimistic teaching! And yet the evidence for there being more to life that purely the physically measurable is overwhelming but it isn't in a form to impress most scientists with their focus on observable matter rather than people's experiences. Much is the pity and we are poorer for it!