I am an atheist in that I don’t believe in a literal, all-powerful person who created the universe, or that any part of my cognitive function will survive the death of my body.
I am an agnostic in that I am always open to new evidence.
And I am a believer in that I believe that the ancient scriptures were more than just superstitious nonsense. Yes, they contain all manner of error, contradiction, superstition, and local custom, as well as countless rewrites, arbitrary editing, and political contamination.
They also contain deep insights into human nature that science has yet to refute, or even improve upon, in some cases. The difficulty in seeing these pearls of wisdom is that we post-Enlightenment Westerners are accustomed to taking virtually everything we encounter literally, or dismissing it as gibberish. We seem to have forgotten how to interpret allegory or how to engage symbolic meaning.
The ancients were not idiots. Not much human evolution takes place in a couple thousand years. They were, genetically, virtually identical to 21st century humans. Their smartest were as smart as our smartest, and their dumbest outnumbered their smartest in similar ratios to our own. The only thing of substantive difference was their culture, and the fact that science, as we know it, was still some sixteen hundred years (in the case of Christianity) in the future. But that didn't render them incapable of keen observation. The ancient foundations of science stretch to thousands of years BC. By a hundred fifty to a hundred years before Christ's purported life, the Greeks were already building complex, miniaturized, mechanical computers for calculating astronomical movements.
By Jesus' time there was already a well developed understanding of human psychology, from a behavioral perspective, much of which is still unsurpassed. What they lacked was the scientific language we use, and the Western, materialist perspective. They thought, wrote, and spoke not only in Aramaic or Greek instead of modern English, but also often in metaphor or "poetry" rather than the "literalese" we take for granted.
When unpacked linguistically, God looks a lot like the collective forces beyond our control, sin looks like behavior that has negative psychological consequences, hell translates to depression, guilt, envy, despair, etc., life after death is life after the death of ego identification, heaven is an advanced stage of cognitive development only hinted at by 20th century psychologist Jean Piaget, and so on. There is reason to believe they were in some ways ahead of us in understanding how to manage their psychological challenges. It's no mystery why this information was misunderstood, butchered, suppressed, and perverted by subsequent generations; in what arena have humans ever not done that?
So I am, above all else, a believer. I believe the true essence of religion is, and probably always has been, simply whatever practice we use to maintain our psychological health, regardless of how many people think otherwise. I believe this does now and always did include learning the truest facts available to us in our time. I believe most major ancient traditions contain useful insights into our own human nature if we have the patience to tease them out and the humility to learn from them. I believe a significant degree of relief from personal, as well as societal, psychological ills can be achieved through certain time-honored (and in some cases, forgotten) disciplines, such as meditation and other practices. I believe there is not necessarily any substantive, fundamental conflict between ancient religions, properly understood, and modern science, once we account for linguistic and other cultural differentials, and I believe the truth today can indeed, set you free, as it always could.