Fear only reality. For reality might be a God whom swallows you in smoke.
God, or a creator species, could exist. However, for iteration powerful enough to contain or create the universe, and to envision it, would require a society, system, or species advanced enough to have intended that system for a purpose larger than its constituent parts. That purpose however must not centralize on Humanity.
Until this critical viewpoint is rectified in theologic structure, one cannot convince one’s intellectual equal nor superior of a reality otherwise.
In essence, an atheist cannot begin to accept a God exists, generally, if that God does not allow for contradictory realities between his will and man’s reactions or interpretations of said will. More importantly, to do otherwise is foolish as it misunderstands Humanity’s own need to humanize.
Fallibility is Human, and dehumanizing is not the way to gain a people’s trust nor fraternity.
The problem there, lies in the various systems of power built up around, and infinitely fueled by, the various, current, faith-culture systems. Take the middle-east, for example, their faiths:
Their people are people. People like any others. Strip away that which makes them individuals– land, clothing, status, even skin color– and recognize them as Human beings. Now recognize that Human psychology is not dictated by faiths, Gods, institutions, nor governing bodies. It is dictated by nature and nature alone.
Whether that nature is the result of a God, its creation, or something more or less, does not matter; only the system’s output. That is to say, the system of nature, emplaced or not, and its eventual effect.
The essence of a system– a binary inter-stitching of in/out, on/off, 0/1– is such that it is no more nor less complicated than necessary to function or output. Therefore, the complexity of Human reaction is merely the byproduct of Human referential layers atop one another. Layers of Human psychology and Human experience interlaced and interacting as per Nature’s output.
This does not require a God to occur. It requires only Humans, their nature, and Nature itself. Whether that nature is God-created, remains aforementioned– and obsequious to the Human ego alone.
The problem however, is within a corrupted system. Therein, all layers from corruption up are damaged and must be repaired or recreated. Either through cut and paste methods, or scratch-made efforts. Until such realities are corrected in Human belief-systems, progress cannot be made in improving them.
In context, power-hungry evangelicals and clergy masquerading as bandits, religious zealots, fools, thieves, and bad-actors, is the hitch in a system otherwise finely tuned for a sole function; to inspire hope, faith, and compassion.
This reality manifests via those impostors, alienating followers not only from the outside, but the system itself from any potential growth of belief as a whole. Meanwhile, inspiring misanthropy along the way forms an utterly isolationist system, damaged and dangerous beyond literal belief. Such isolationist mentalities seep into action, thought, hope, faith; thereby rendering the system itself pointless.
In parlance, this means power-hunger, prejudice and the shield of religious zealotry in spite of Societal damage, damages the belief-system itself.
Such systems remain bound by the same rules as any other; including damaged, internal low-level output damaging high-level output by increased degrees. Moreover, the more crucial the defect, the more critical the component and the more dangerous the effect to output.
Gods need not exist for belief systems to be built around them, nor for bad actors to manipulate or harm others through them. Thus, regardless of personal beliefs, Humans must recognize that all Humans suffer when any one is isolated from the rest.
As history shows, there is little that separates people more thoroughly than arguments about whose God has the bigger dick.