So here's a thought experiment to ponder, religious believers...
Aliens have come to Earth. They're from an advanced civilization in a galaxy far far away. Their spaceship is way beyond anything our scientists have even imagined.
Technologically, it's immediately apparent that we are as sophisticated in their eyes as a chimpanzee with a termite-removing twig is to us.
Fortunately, the aliens haven't come to destroy humanity. Well, let's rephrase that: they're fine with destroying us Homo sapiens one at a time. It's part of a game they like to play with denizens of the planets they visit.
The rules are simple. They ask intelligent beings (though, obviously, nowhere near as intelligent as they are) questions about reality.
Not super-tough questions. The aliens understand that few, if any, cultures on the worlds they visit possess knowledge about the cosmos that's anywhere near as complete as what they know.
So their game is to quiz members of the most advanced species on this planet, Earth, about things we should know. The aliens are expert at gauging the overall planetary I.Q. of the worlds they visit.
What they like to do is test individuals on their knowledge base -- sort of like an educator with a Ph.D. quizzing pre-schoolers on what they should have learned about the world.
Except, in this game a wrong answer has a nasty consequence: death. These aliens are like planetary ant farmers. Aside from simply being fun to them, their game ends up with a planet inhabited by the beings most knowledgeable about reality.
Which to them is an open book.
There's a few nooks and crannies of the cosmos they don't totally understand, but not many. So they play a fair game -- especially since they only ask questions of humans that people should know the answers to.
Called to play the game (naturally you don't have a choice), you're pleased to see that the first questions you're asked are easy to answer.
Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. Photons move at the speed of light. Our planet is spherical, not flat. You're beginning to feel pretty confident about winning this game and staying alive.
Until you hear the final question: "Does the God you believe in actually exist?"
The aliens know your religious beliefs. After all, they know virtually everything. It won't work to respond with "I don't believe in God." They know that you do.
Your problem with this question, compared to the others, is that you had good reasons for answering the aliens' previous queries the way you did. Facts are facts. A religious belief though... that's very different.
The aliens are waiting for your answer.
You're tongue-tied, but your mind is racing. After all, for as long as you can remember you've been sure that God exists. Your faith is super strong. You've had no doubt, none at all, that the God of your religion is the most real entity in the cosmos.
Yet here you are, faced with aliens who know the truth about God in the same way they know the truth about every other significant fact about reality. There's no way to argue with them. They know if the God you believe in exists.
What's your answer? Yes or No. Choose the wrong answer and your life is over. (The only upside is that you've learned whether your God is real before you die; the downside is that you're dead.)
Of course, the aliens could ask a similar question of human atheists: "Does any God actually exist?" We'd find it easier to answer, though, since the evidence points to "No." Religious believers are the ones who will have a much tougher time with "Does the God you believe in actually exist?"
So how would you respond deeply religious person? Are you willing to stake your life on your belief, knowing that the aliens possess the factual answer?