Religion has two aspects: practical and theoretical. The practical aspect involves the moral rituals and the teachings. The theoretical aspect involves metaphysical commitments and how practical teaching is articulated. Atheists take different attitudes from the two aspects. It could be respectful or hostility. The attitudes of an atheist towards religion can be summarized in the following:
The Theoretical Side
The religious belief has no serious intellectual content and is more of a superstition than a fact. The agreements offered in defence often have feeble rationalization and are easily refuted.
The religious belief has serious intellectual content. Philosophers and theologians have developed this. In previous generations, it was defensible. However, today, the advances in science have refuted it. Nevertheless, the intelligence of these philosophers is still respected.
The religious belief is defensible but not as defensible as atheism. This means that an intelligent and informed person can be convinced by the arguments presented by religion, but the arguments made by atheists are eventually more plausible.
The Practical Side
The religious practice is crude, and we should get rid of it. This means that the ritual side of religion is superstitions. Moral principles associated with a particular religion do not depend on the religion for justification and the association is merely an accident.
The religious practice tends to fulfil a human need in some people. This means that it treats the rituals respectfully, but the well-informed humans have no need of it.
The religious practice may fulfil a universal human need, but it has no rational foundation and the suppositions are false. This means that the loss of religious practice will leave a void in the human lives that cannot be filled. However, for an intellectual person, it is unavoidable.