During a normal lifetime most people encounter what I will call pretenders or mythical beings/creatures and we first accept them as real or actual. As we grow older we discard them one by one when we decide they are not real or actual.
For instance, there's the tooth fairy whose reality we at first accept because our parents tell us there is one, and we find money where our tooth was last night. Then we begin to doubt when we catch our parents in the act, or we notice that the kids with wealthy parents seem to have a much more generous tooth fairy or our older sibling lets the cat out of the bag.
Then there's the Easter bunny which we believe in because there's a basket full of goodies on Easter morning and our parents act surprised and the yard is full of eggs. We start to doubt the reality of the Easter bunny when we become old enough to realize that a bunny would not be able to put together a goodie basket and bunnys don't lay decorated, hard-boiled eggs.
Maybe the next to go is Santa Clause whose reality is evidenced by the gifts that we asked for in the letter appearing on Christmas morning and the milk and cookies have been consumed. But, we start to doubt when we become old enough to realize that one guy can't make a worldwide trip to everyone's house in one night and reindeer really can't fly and Santa is much too fat to ever make it down the chimney.
I believe the last great pretender is the god of the religion your parents schooled you to believe in or the god of the religion you chose for yourself when you became older. I don't know what evidence you claim for his/her existence. If it's because a book says so, then where's the evidence that the book is correct. If it's because your religious leader says so, then where and how did they get that information. If you say it's because you want to believe in him/her, then you don't really believe but instead you "hope" that he/she exists. If you think he/she exists because so many other people profess to believe he/she exists, then this is not an acceptable answer because many people professing to believe something does not make it so.
The only reasons I can come up with for adult people to profess belief in a benign, all-powerful, personal god are as follows:
1.) They are afraid of punishment after they die or even during their lifetime.
2.) They have the false idea that good morals can only be obtained by this belief.
3.) They think it's the only way to gain acceptance in society or their circle of friends.
4.) They want someone to tell them what is right rather than decide for themselves.
5.) They have been so brainwashed by society or their parents that they can no longer reason for themselves.
6.) They believe they have had an epiphany or spiritual experience that revealed this to them.
7.) They are hypocrites or have an ulterior motive and are lying about it to themselves and/or others.
8.) They so much want the fellowship that church provides that they will say they believe something based on faith alone.
What should I add to this list?