Alright, I'm sure you consider yourself very educated, correct? It sounds as though you have some educational background, and you offer many of the stock arguments: "How could God really be there? all these people killing in his name? and he does nothing?"
Yet, earlier in your post you clearly identify that priests (human beings) contort and pervert what good there is in their "religion." Now there's some troubling conflation taking place throughout where Catholicism and Christians are being generalized. This is problematic. As is presuming that a religion is the same thing as a religious text. Where in the bible does a hierarchy every get expilcitly established for the catholic church? (i'm sticking with christianity from here on out, since this seems to be where your bone to pick with God originates).
What's confusing is that you use the fact that man is corruptible as proof that God doesn't exist? Perhaps all of this killing and hatred comes from man's hatred and fear of change, his troubling egoism, and a latent fear of the Other (call it a metaphysical xenophobia).
What merit is there in stepping in and saving people over and over? They never learn when you do that. We are very frail and insecure species at this point in our history. These religious texts all hit upon the fact that by divesting ourselves of judgment, desires, seeking personal power, we can cultivate a happy, free, peaceful existence. God is a human word for a force that started it all. You can go back in time and history to a point before earth even existed, but you can't pre-date existence itself. So when you remove time all that you have left is cosmic energy that has always existed and will always exist: that's God.
Now, to move on to the statement that you can just learn from living: this is true but only true because books provide a way for knowledge to be passed on indefinitely: we need all kinds of books, including ones which discuss our metaphysical nature(s), if only for fodder to contemplate and argue against. You see, you have articulations with these religions you reject: how could you reject them without their existence and knowing something of them?
I do believe there is a sense of arrogance in someone who thinks that God sees killing the same way we do, and so supposes God doesn't exist. God is inevitably of stronger spirit and will than you, He also sees a much bigger picture than you do, and who knows, maybe all the innocent slaughtered are rewarded once their state of existence changes/passes through life? Your presumption is grand but as contradictory as the religions you lambast. It seems like you say science will reveal all of the facts of existence, essentially demystifying reality, but ask any real scientist and you'll find that the ultimate limits of science provoke some of the greatest leaps of faith.
I agree there are a lot of people who don't know and don't care to know about themselves and what they believe. Your grievance about cherry picking, however, is a little epistemologically puerile. Do you really suppose that a God who created a world which only thrives through adaptability and diversity really expects there to be only ONE right answer to how to live your life? Again, religions are, IDEALLY, for the purpose of providing a guide for achieving that peaceful happy existence. The problem is when man becomes extremely power crazed and fearful--in that metaphysically xenophobic way--and starts repressing logically harmless, amoral activity (AMORAL NOT IMMORAL).
In short, following the spirit of a religion is not cherry picking and does not invalidate anything. A religion is a group of people who declare that they share a set of beliefs which will offer the best, most peaceful, happiest life to everyone. to some extent even atheism is a religion.