I am a research psychologist. I do experiments. I apply the scientific method to studying the mind. Some people see a science and religion as being in conflict. I do not agree, although there is a conflict between science and "fundamentalist" religion. Richard Dawkins (who wrote The God Delusion) likes to refer to the bible as a bunch of bronze age scribblings. Dismissing the bible in this way is only legitimate if you take it as a book that is meant to be factual about history and metaphysical reality. There are a lot of different ways to approach the study of religion, but my focus in is on understanding religion as a method for creating and developing states of mind. However, in the past people often expressed ideas about this metaphorically, through myth and story (google Joseph Campbell on this). The experiences and states of mind resulting from religion are the parts that are real, that we actually experience. Maybe something happens after you die (heaven, reincarnation), maybe not. Jesus said, let the dead bury the dead. In Zen they say, if you meet the Buddha, kill him. In other words, focus on living in the now, not on external philosophical questions.