Most of us from the western world have been born into a religious environment. I myself was a catholic, went through the whole circus of sacraments and religious teaching and kind of took my religion for granted.
Now one thing the old communist regimes had about them was atheism. They rejected religion outright, based on Marx's* view of religion as being a yoke to keep people subdued so that they accept the status quo where others had the power and they had to live with it - the hope principle.
Religion, of course, persevered through that period**, since even the commies couldn't completely get rid of it.
As I read these forums, I find that most have left religion behind them. This means, however, that most of us were religious at some point in their lives. So my question is: how much different would life be if we had been raised without religion? Are there members here from formerly communist countries who may be willing to shed light on how life is without ever having had a faith?
Of course, I don't limit the question to citizens of those countries.
How do you view religious people? How do you 'cope' with the idea of not having an immortal soul? What about not having to fear divine judgement of your actions?
Do you laugh at us who have for so long thought that 'an invisible man in the sky' was watching us? Or do you laugh at us recently made atheists for worrying about this stuff so much?
*whereas I believe that Marx was an honest idealist in these matters, I also believe that the people who used his philosophy as a foundation of their states found it convenient that he was against religion, since that would give them the means to get rid of a competitor (the church) and to impose their own quasi-religious political doctrines.
**it is interesting to note that after the oppressive regimes faded, faith actually declined.