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A proposition held in a person's identity -- a belief -- is the essential core of a person. For a-theists and others who denounce/decry religious beliefs is to ignore the obvious: that we all operate on a set of beliefs [some may or may not have scientific and/or doctrinaire basis]. Just because a religion codifies belief does not mean that beliefs are inconsequential. In fact, they are omni-present in the human race. It might just be that having beliefs is nothing more than 'the soul.'