I remained so for ~30 years until I came to realize that the universe was actually incomplete for the foregoing reasons. Now I am both theist (non religious) and atheist depending on the time of day?
So from the scientific view (no god), the universe is a developing consciousness and ...
That is, no one can reasonably deny that individuals are conscious. So the universe is conscious in part at least. And as man develops, his collective consciousness constitutes the necessary God of whom we speak. This is not in contradiction with quantifiable facts and acknowledges common observation.
When we die then, our consciousness becomes a part of that collective entity in proportion as we have affected the lives of others. That this is so is evidenced by the advance of man over his Cromagnon/Neanderthal beginnings. We are genetically no different than they yet, if we could go back in time we would no doubt think them insane by present standards.
How did we improve if not through the accumulation of information passed down through the ages? Why is a 20th century baby so superior to a Cromagnon one? It is simply due to the general attitude to existence that is passed on to the child by its parents whose attitude was in turn passed to them getting more sophisticated and "truer" with each passing generation.
And at length, after all the fighting and squabbling is over we shall reach an end which will be the optimum state of man (all things considered). This is the reason for defending what one believes in. It goes into the melting pot to become a part of the final product. We are part of the final product. That is how we live on eternally.
From an atheist point of view, this is good enough for me. And cause enough to take a moral stand.