This is an interesting question to ponder. Fact is, I stopped believing in a “higher power” a long time ago. Sure, I dabble. I like to think I can bargain — you know — Pascal’s Wager and all. I can support the idea of deism, and I really do find divinity in nature.
I do not, however, attend religious institutes. I do, however, rock a MACH 10 morality system. Seriously, the only thing keeping me from being a nun is the aforementioned lack of belief and a tremendous love of sex. Plus, I’m married. They kind of frown on that. Apparently Jesus can be a polygamist, but I can’t.
In that sense of having a very defined sense of right and wrong, of purpose, and of community, I’m 120% religious. I actually believe in churches and support their good works in communities. I strongly support any institution that puts the well-being of others first, challenges its community to be the best it can be, and does the hard work of making the world a better place.
I’m even religious in that old-fashioned sense of wanting to tell you how to live, to a point. I don’t like drugs, alcohol, an over-attachment to material possessions, or the need to obsess over one’s phone. I think we can all use to get over ourselves. I think we all need to walk a mile in someone’s shoes, learn to be humble and show humility, and that there is greatness in being graceful.
While I define myself an atheist, I am in no way removed from the realm of religious. I act in many of the same ways and hold many of the same beliefs. Save that I think you only live once — right here, right now. There is nothing else when you’re gone — no punishment, no reward.
I push myself to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do — not for a reward in Heaven or to please a deity.