I have found religion to be a belief in an unsupported conclusion, unsupported because the conclusions theology reaches are drawn on a predication, the predication that a supernatural being exists. Understanding this can aid non-theists in realizing the futility of debating with theists. The truth is that religion is a system structured to appeal to the most immature of human psychology and countless self proclaimed messiahs have proven the power this can have when it is applied properly. It is rather simple to understand, religion fills the same needs that children have for their parents. For the mature individual, it provides the psyche with the continuation of the need for protection, care and love, all of which are rooted in survival. While the associations of protection and care with survival are obvious, love is a more complex psychological process but its tie to survival is no less important. Love provides the child with the ability to accept to learn from the parent. Rudimentary skills such as walking are almost innate but higher skill sets such as those necessary for social survival require a trusting bond with the parent to achieve.
Religion simply extrapolates this into a supernatural being so as to have the same appeal to mature individuals. These basic parental needs that people have as children don't disappear, they are simply psychologically managed on an independant level by a mature person, in other words – they grow up. But because they don't disappear they are available for manipulation and religion almost perfectly applies itself here. This is why it is so incredibly difficult for theists to self-examine their belief in religion, because it requires an alteration in the psychological processes to meet these needs. There is almost never a singular event or discovery that can lead a theist to move to an atheistic view, it is a compilation of many events and discoveries that allow the new processes to form. Most refrain from these new processes however out of fear, the same fear a child would have attempting to face life without its parents, but it can be done. The most effective way is the generational process, where religion is slowly identified for what it is, or what it is not, which then lowers it's importance for an individual who then introduces it at this lowered level to their offspring. This process is repeated and at each step religion's role is incrementally reduced into the following generation. Once reduced to at least the level of a free and open choice to discover on ones own what to believe, rational thought intervenes leading to the acceptance of reality and the power and freedom this offers will eventually cause religion to lose its hold. There are a few who have researched and developed theories on this like a recent one by Julian Jaynes who approaches this from a physiological standpoint in that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. In his book, "Theory of the Evolution of Human Consciousness", he explains the evolution of the brain and bicameral mind and how brain complexity and growth has formed human consciousness and the formation and evolution of gods and spirits.
Whether the evolution of the human brain is responsible for the psychological processes that developed religion or not does not change the result that religion and the belief in God are purely psychological processes that are only individually and subjectively true.