I do not believe in a designer, buddy god, nor an ultimate creator god. Why? I haven't seen any evidence. When I speak with religious people, I am less interested in changing their views than I am in understanding WHY they have the beliefs they do in light of all the evidence that contradicts such beliefs. I will ask the simple "why" question to see how they respond. Even the most knowledgeable theist and apologist will give a final answer whose essence is in the following sentence.
The world/universe is beautiful and complex. I can't understand it, so it is evidence that a superior deity HAD to be involved.
Theist look at the world and to them it is self-evident that god created it all. This is where theists and atheists differ and it seems to me that this first basic belief requires more examination in order to understand (in my point of view), why man created god in the first place.
I'm reading a fascinating book right now called "The Belief Instinct, The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life" by Jesse Bering. This book directly addresses this issue.
Mr. Bering (an evolutionary psychologist) proposes the following:
I'm not quite done with the book, but this idea (back by many very interesting psychological studies), helps to explain why people can be lead into their beliefs so easily and hold them so dearly. Even completely rational people can fall into this trap since it is such a natural part of being human.
I would highly recommend this book to atheists and theists alike.
If you have read this book, please let me know your thoughts.