This comparison is a day late, but I didn't have time to post it yesterday.
It seems that for many, all it takes is the desire for there to be a God and all his rewards for belief. They want this to be true with all their heart. In fact, over time, many convince themselves that they know it is true. In fact, I've been asked by many, "But don't you want to live forever/go to Heaven?". As if the desire for this translates to causing it to be reality. Of course, we know that simple desires do not influence reality. You can point this out, but it is often just brushed aside.
But this magical desire for reward is comparable elsewhere. It is said that at the end of a rainbow you'll find a pot of gold. I would like it to be true that I could stumble upon a pot of gold, or even track one down. But I of course know that wishing I could find a pot of gold does not translate in to one actually existing 'at the end of the rainbow'. Similarly, the Theist may wish for an afterlife, but in this instance they are actually able to trick themselves into thinking it's real. But what if I devote my life to finding that gold? I could watch the weather reports 'religiously', track down rainbows and speed to the area the end of the rainbow appears to be! Does that make it true now? Of course not! But the religious can devote their days to their God in hopes of the 'ultimate reward'. Yet they see it almost as if they collect points down the line. Like the more they devote to it, the realer it is in their mind. Next, I may point out that a rainbow is just an optical phenomenon caused by light shinning through water droplets in the atmosphere. Thus, there is no end, beginning, etc. Phisically, there's nothing there, it's just light. Since there is no physical end, there is no where for a pot of gold to be hidden. Ah, but then someone tells me that that's just true for 'regular' rainbows. Leprechauns rainbows look exactly like regular ones, are indistinguishable and DO have an end! Sounds a lot like when someone tells me that God lives in Heaven in a different realm from you and I. Both are unsubstantiated qualifiers. A desperate moving of the goalposts to keep their claim from failing.
It's sad, and I believe a bit childish as well, that so many can't draw this distinction. A wish, is well and good. But no amount of wishing can ever make it true if it isn't. Whether this comparison would make many realize this fact is questionable. But we can always hope.