different cultures interpret the religious experience differently, but in essence, most of the underlying principles are the same.
religions, in their pure philosophic form, bring the wisdom of the ages as a tool to possibly help center & discipline oneself. but, over time, power corrupts all religions; this describes much of the book of history & sadly, slants far too much of "the wisdom of the ages" to boot.
since all belief begins with doubt, the more dogmatic the religion the less it can actually instruct & the more it tends towards divisiveness & destruction; the more mutually exclusive & fundamentalist a religion is, the lesser the relative value of its particular interpretations of teachings.
most people are religious due to the institutionalized social construct of it all and actually are religious mostly through obligation, & ultimately, through fear.
religion, if not vital to one's being, quickly becomes rote meaningless routine; routine grounds us, but routine also conditions us to not receive anything new...what edifies can also poison...there is a balance to be struck in all things.
dogma is far more parts pretention than instruction; couple that flaw with inherent hypocrisy & religion isn't very attractive.
religion's saving grace is that, on its purest level, it lifts the veils of denial (far too often these days, devotion to a religion only serves to increase one's denial though) & can lead to self-knowledge that assists one on the stages of life's way.