In part 2, I established the basis of my argument, that morality exists, and christianity recognizes it.
Now I will attempt to say what I think religion is and what it's purpose is. It's important to note though, that my opinion might greatly change throughout the experiment.
Ok, so I stretched my thinking a bit more historically. I thought about the ancients. They had moon gods, sun gods, sea gods, love gods etc.... What do they all have in common? They are all things which were too great, complex, and intricate for the human mind to explain, until today, it'd darn near impossible to define love. It's pretty obvious that those people created their own Gods, there's no mystery there. The reason they created their own Gods is because they needed something explained, that explanation couldn't come from science and math, so Gods were created to answer those.
Here's what I believe the premise was that the Gods were created under. I'll make a math analogy. Say you're working out a math problem. The answer comes up double what you had hypothesised it to be. Now assuming your work is 100% correct, there would be an anomoly. Similar to the ancient people's anomoly of the Sun, Sea, and Love. What you might be inclined to do, is to multiply the initial formula by 1/2. That would make the problem 100% sensible. Now imagine the ancient people could create something who had infinite wisdom and power, then that could be the basis for the explanation of any anomoly.
"Why did my son die before me?"
"Because God wanted it that way."
"How did we come to being?"
"God created us"
See my point? I really need to stress that I have not yet denied God's existence. I am simply stating that in my opinion, the idea of God as it is taught to Christian and Muslim kids is too physical, vague, and unsatisfying. Something about the definition of God as "An all knowing, all power being who'se shape/form we are in" leaves much to be desired for me.
Now's the really juicy part, here's what I think of God, and of religion. As I stated, I believe all humans are born with an understanding of morality (You can't say God gave us that morality because that assumes God exists, a problem which I already discussed). Now, if you go up to Joe Shmo in the street and tell him "You have a basic understanding of good and evil, go and try to do all that is good and stay away from evil", then leave him for the rest of his life, the evilness of human nature will overpower him and he will end up evil. But, If you tell him "You are Christian/Muslim, go to church every sunday/friday and pray every day (5 times)", and you successfully make him follow through, then that person will follow the teachings of the Church/Mosque.
That's what I think of Religions. All religion is, is a way to keep people on the right track. A way to keep people living happy, a way to keep the average person in touch with his morality.
What about God? I think God is a perfect embodiment of that morality. God isn't a being in my form/shape, God is an idea. What does it mean when God talks to Moses for example? It means that Moses has found a way in which to fullfil better moral perfection.
What does it mean when God talked to The Profet Mohammed? It means that Mohammed had found a way with which to better communicate moral fabric to his followers.
Islam is another factor that pushed my thinking into this. Think about Islam (Forget the political propaganda), Islam teaches it's followers to be better humans. Don't drink, don't eat pork (for health reasons) etc etc... Remember that Islam teaches the same basic moral values as Christianity does, it jsut preaches it to it's followers in different manners.
God is perfect, and we can never be perfect. No matter how religious we get, and in touch with our morals, we will always be human (the after life is for another post) and have the evil inclination. Another math example: think of God as the x-axis, and humans as a function which has a horizontal asymptote as y=0. At y=0, we have achieved perfection. We can always get closer to perfection, but there will always be something holding us back, preventing us from getting there (Disregard the fact that the function can cross the asymptote, we're talking at infinity).
Now what seperates the different religions? Simply speaking...tradition.
What's the difference between a muslim and a christian? christians eat pork, muslims don't. Christians pray once a day (more depending on how religious you are), Muslims pray 5 times a day. Christians drink, Muslims don't. Follow my drift?
So what about the buddhists I mentioned earlier? The buddhists exactly fit the description I gave, they believe in the same moral values we do, and their religion translates that belief into the average joe.
So in the end, I guess what I'm saying is I'm a believer. I'm a believer that there is a moral fabric i'm born with. There is also an evil inclination combined with it that is a result of my morality and my nature as a human. I'm a believer in the idea of God. I believe that my life should be to strive to get in touch with the x axis. I'm contempt with my imperfection, and my inability to rid myself of mischief. I'm a Christian because I agree with how it tries to teach and enlighten people about their morality. I'm a Christian because I put aside the political past and believe in it's traditions. I'm a Christian because I choose to be one.