Welcome to the forum. A grand entrance you make.
"Following this path may be mundane at times, exciting at times, but "BELIEF" alone, regardless of the subtle variations in itís interpretation, does NOT constitute a shortcut on this path if it is in the absence of evidence-- rather, at times it leads us to stray far off the road."
I believe what you say to be true, about belief, as a shortcut. Funny as that response may sound.
Others have posted that religion has been a major cause of unrest in the world. With respect to your statement "the shortcut on this path that leads us to stray far off the road." would you say that "current world events" are a good example of the result of straying off that path. What did you mean by straying off the path?
I believe that we are on our own in the universe, which is not to say that we are alone in the universe, but that our decisions decide our future. We have history as a teacher along with our intelligence to self guide "US".
Now, I do believe in GOD, and I'm a big believer, but that GOD, no matter how powerful we make GOD to be (all knowing, etc...) has "rolled the dice" so to speak (no reference to gambling/chance - take my meaning with good intent), and let nature take it's course within the framework of the universe.
Now, because I was not "there" when the scriptures were written, I can not dispute, obviously, whether those scriptures were really the work of GOD or prophets etc., and my faith dictates that I simply believe. Maybe this thinking, technically destroys my faith, according to Judaism, but that's how I see it. I do believe in the power that GOD holds, but based on how I view the universe and life as I see it through my eyes, it only makes sense to me that "the dice were rolled" and history speaks for itself. Does that make any sense. Maybe I would be considered a partial believer. Can that be? Or is it as simple as "That's my belief."
I have come to believe, hopefully through common sense, that life (existence), no matter how it started or may end for that matter, just is.
In reference to the human race:
We drive our own car(s). Sometimes we drive straight, and sometimes we act as if we have had too much to drink. In a few cases we have actually driven off the highway (life's highway) on to the shoulder, or worse. Like the dinosours, sometimes that road comes to an end, without the ability to see the end coming up, nor having any control over getting into a terrible wreck that kills us. Fortunately, we (man) have not driven our own car off the highway and off the cliff, but I'm sure, it's very obvious, that we have definately taken that path.
What do you see?