Anyhow, let's recap them in order.
QOTD: What is the significance of having a belief? By this, I mean, if you are religious, why? What is the significance of having your religion? (This is not a debate. This is not a "I am a Muslim instead of Christian because. .." This is a "I am religious, whatever religion that may be, because of 'this' significance. " or a "In general, religion is or is not significant because of this...") I would like to state a rule for this post only. In order to keep this from a debate, you must only post ONCE to this comment. If you feel more comfortable messaging me privately with your views, please do! Do not post in response to any comment but this original question. Thank you!
"I guess my short answer to this is: "I believe, because I've been through too much to do otherwise. I desperately want to be with those I have lost again someday when it's my time, and when you get right down to it, the world is too dark and empty of a place to go it "alone" or without it.""
"This is a deceptively complex question. Let me start by saying I'm going to be answering this to the best of my knowledge, but I am a Historian, not a theologian. So please take all of this with a grain of salt.
That said, let's consider for a moment that there is a very definite different between religion and belief. A religion is the final evolution of a belief, but people have beliefs all the time, about things as simple as luck to as complex as Christianity.
Historically, as others have mentioned, religion was a mechanism which society relied on to explain the unexplainable world. This includes things such as the nature of water and air, to why do bad things happen. Religion also ordered society, because it allowed a ruling class (Priests and Kings) to maintain their rule through divine blessing.
Now, this is all here nor there, because I haven't actually answered your question yet. Again, bear with me. This is a very complicated topic!
History has shown us that religion can be the crafter of some of the most beautiful things (Sistine Chapel) and is also the reason some of the worst wars have been fought (The Crusades), which really makes this a hard question.
Now, finally, after laying the foundations and keeping all of the previous statements in mind, I will say this:
It is my belief that belief is very important in life, and extremely significant. It can be religious or not, but having one is what keeps humanity grounded. Without beliefs, civilization historically would've never existed. If belief in the form of religion had not dictated laws for people to work together, humanity would've remained a hunter gathered society. Belief is extremely important because it separates humanity from the animals. It answers questions such as, "What is my purpose? Do I have a soul?"
Belief is the mark of sentience. It is what allows us to be grounded that the world is not going to fall out from under us. It is belief that drives reason and rational thought, and in turn, civilizations."
I'd like to propose, that the soundest Atheist and Agnostic do themselves have a belief in something. They would like to challenge me on this, and they often do. But let me first make the case that it is wholly illogical to say: "I do not believe what I feel is correct." We all believe that our conclusions are correct. And we all make conclusions. Even if they are: "I conclude that the question is unanswerable and no one can know." By claiming this, you conclude that no fellow human should be able to answer the question either, thus making your stance the right one. You believe you're right.
Now to address the question in more of the direct way that you intended it to be. I am religious, because I am a scientist.
*Everyone derp faces*
Contrary to belief, I don't think these two things are at war. Quite the opposite. I would reference to those that counter me the theory of Occam's razor: "The simplest solution is most often the correct one." This is a governing rule in the scientific process, and one I feel makes my point. Divine intervention in the process of the universe is my argued simplest solution. One that brings me -- and the majority of the human race -- the most peaceful sleep at night.
This leads to my second and final point: if you -- and mind you I say this in full objectiveness, and without meaningful condemnation -- if you consider yourself to be nonreligious, you are in the vast minority of the human existence. This is simply a fact. But one I feel holding many implications itself. You can make the poor argument that herd mentality alone propagates religious beliefs. But I do not feel comfortable myself discrediting the genius and logic of millions of our greatest forefathers.
I simply challenge anyone to consider what concrete basis you are placing your beliefs on, if the overwhelming whole of civilizations past and present have utterly missed the mark by disagreeing with.
I am religious, because it is the conclusion I have made to make the most sense of my existence. It is logical, comforting, sensible, and overwhelmingly satisfying at this stage in my life discovery process."
Religions have evolved and taken from each other over thousands of years and the significance of it now is that some people find comfort in thinking that there is a god/gods who take an interest in our personal welfare and want only the best for us.
But I think the ultimate significance, is that religion serves as a way for humans to be immortal. To be eternal. Many people are too scared that after this, there is nothing. Religion provides an afterlife with loved ones and I honestly think that is the reason so many people still cling to religion.
As she said this was not a debate, but I would be more than willing to talk more on this subject in a private message as well. I am always interested in why people involve themselves in religion."