I haven't read all the posts but a couple caught my eye that I wanted to respond.
People have a natural instinct towards religious like beliefs, you can't get rid of that. And I don't know how you would argue that religious people should be converted to atheism.
No, there is no natural instinct towards religion. Absolutely NOT. We are socially conditioned to go towards and seek out a religion. Religion is a device that separates us all.
I am kind of depressed by what the majority of the people commenting on this post have made into a general consensus of religion.
The OP's generalization seems to have only allowed a negative argument. It might be more poignant to ask a world without faith in an everlasting life past this one, or maybe a specific religion.
There's negative and positive but on the whole, religion and religious divisions based on different faiths divide mankind. They allow for and promote judgment. By joining a religious faith, I now judge others that don't follow my same faith.. this isn't divine, it's divide.
I have witnessed things that have forced me to believe there is something out there more powerful then my consciousness. If there isn't then we may be lost. (I am kinda in the process of feeling this one out and have been since I can remember) Am I agnostic? Does your word religion = GOD? Explain what counts for religion and I might be able to play devil's advocate on this one.
Everybody has. Funny thing is they usually witness things based upon their perception of things. If you perceive that God is a deity and Christianity is the true religion, then your witnessing of such will first be created within your thoughts prior to manifesting itself into it's physical counterpart.
There's a lot of social conditioning involved in religious belief systems. Cause when we were born, we didn't have any religion. We were groomed and trained by those around us to look in a certain direction. We were taught how to judge right and wrong and conditioned like a well trained dog to believe certain things and based upon traditions, cultural backgrounds, family, social surroundings... these are what form our view or perception of religion and the world.
All these damn religious people in the world and look at it. Just look at it. Watch the news and take a good look around and what religion is doing to divide and provide a device to judge each other. Blind leading the blind as usual. Following blindly the doctrine of man.
WE made GOD in our own image.