While it is true that I was raised in a nominally christian home, I didn't come to faith in God until I was 18 and out of the house. My experience with God was not a rational one- by that I mean I did not philosophize myself to faith- but rather it was a subjective experience with God. While I realize that there are numbers of people who believe in God and haven't had the benefit of a "crisis experience" it does not diminish my own experiences and belief.
I won't bore you with the anecdotal story except to say that I do not hold to a vision of God that is removed and distant but one in which he is personally close and imminant.That he responds, in biblical fashion, to the prayers of those who love him. But surely there are those who haven't experienced my experience. When they (aggressively these days!) try to attack my belief system I give them some of the following reasons why I could never be converted to atheism.
#1 Atheism is unnatural. All men are religious creatures. Cultures all over the planet have gods. There gods might be different than my God, but they represent the inherent nature of man's quest for truth, meaning and significance. This can be seen even in the scientists who argue for a strictly rational view. For instance, in Carl Sagan's anthropomorphisms. (An anthropomorphism is when we speak of an inanimate object as though it carried the character of a human being.) While some paint that as innocent nuance of language- I would argue that this is provoked by the innate personality of the universe. Since all mankind was created with that inborn hunger to know God (though men settle for desperate substitutes) it stands to reason that we were designed that way.
#2 Complexity. I simply do not have the faith necessary to believe that all that is came together without divine direction. I may not speak authoritatively on HOW creation happened but I am convinced that the guiding hand of God was in the mix. To believe otherwise is impossible for me. If I gave you a 36x12X24 inch box and filled it with screws and parts- hundreds of them- how many times would it have to be shaken before they assembled themselves into a DVD player? Similarly the complexity of the human machine is WAY more complicated and Infinitely more advanced than a DVD Player.
#3 Morality. The Atheist has no basis for his morality. That is not to say that I am only moral because I know that I will face an eternal judge someday. What I mean is that the definition of what is right and wrong is woven into the fabric of mankind. And, while the conscience can be seared, most of us know that stealing is wrong, that murder is a crime, that rape is not acceptable behavior, that genocidal killings are a bad idea, etc. The atheist has to find a pragmatic reason to refrain from stealing my bread when he is hungry. He may justify in his mind that I have much and he has none, or that mine is better than his stale crust. But in the long run there is not a compelling reason not to steal my bread. But faith in God implies that I am not to reduce myself to the worth of a loaf of bread. That there exists another avenue of supply- that the universe is not closed but open to various possibilities, among them hard work!, that will provide me with bread.
#4 History. Christians are responsible for building hospitals, for changing the penal system to include reform rather than punishment, mandatory education,for medical research grants,etc. Who are the famous Atheists you know? Marx, Neitzche, Stalin, Hitler, Gengis Khan, Mao? They have left a trail of bloodshed and genocide. (often they proclaimed equality or genuine concern when really they were living luxurious lifestyles) If the argument is that atheists don't have to be bad I probably agree. But that might not make them good, consistant atheists. Who would you rather have running the universe a consistant follower of the teachings of Jesus or a consistant atheist?
#5 Evil. Its existance becomes increasingly undeniable. Evil is the absence of good. Brain chemistry, poor socialization, psychological formation, etc cannot alone explain why some love their neighbor and others rape, murder and bury them in their back yard.
#6 Jesus. The highest and most noble teacher of mankind. His historicity is undeniable (even by the harshest critics) and his influence is even more clearly seen. His followers have sometimes represented him poorly. But writing off Christianity based upon that would be like judging the validity of a brilliant professor's teaching by asking questions of a pot smoking drop out from one of his courses.
So I will attempt to represent (imperfectly to be sure) the God who loved the world enough to send his Son to die for them. And while it would be nice at times not to care about those dying in Peruvian earthquakes, those abusers of children, and those destroying their lives on crack cocaine-I can't simply write it off as natural selection. I have to believe- and therefore- I have to try to make a difference.