An excellent post by Lemon Blossom really made me think about the roots of religion and why people feel such a need for it. It seems like it revolves around the very sound marketing principle of getting people to feel a strong need for something that they'd have otherwise never wanted. And what is that thing? Salvation from unimaginably awful eternal torment for sins inherited, past, present, and future whether actually committed or only imagined in the mind. Without that guilt and that fear, what is the need of the metaphysical aspects of the religion?
If a person can improve and live a bountiful life by purely secular means, and I know they can and many do, then religion is really the answer to a problem that doesn't exist. Enter evangelical religions that urgently try to convince you of your need to come to Jesus and be saved. But I don't need saving. Heck, I don't want saving. I want to actually improve those aspects of my life that are broken. Can they do that? I don't want a god that forgets my sins because I'm willing to kiss his ass. How would that make me happier? Would such a god even be worthy of my worship?
So, is it good to consider your actions and work to improve them? If you try your best to do that throughout your life, then why would a just god require you to bow down to him. Wouldn't a good life be the best and highest worship possible? Why would god require anything else? And, if I can do that without suspending disbelief for lack of evidence, then why would god care?