Children keep pretending to believe in Santa Claus for some time after they have ceased to do so; this is partly to please the Powers that Be, partly because they recognize the benefits that flow from pretending to believe, and partly out of sentiment.
Societies go through exactly the same process with regard to faith in God.
I present the above reflection to atheists and religion-bashers for their use in debate; simply because I can't bear to listen to the "I just believe in one fewer god than you do" or "We used to think that thunder was Thor's hammer" lines anymore.
Seriously, I think I could make stronger arguments against religion than any of the ones I hear from secularists and anti-theists. This is not because I think I'm clever. It's simply because people who have arrived at religious faith very often have thought through all the objections, and have come out on the other side.
I can't remember ever having a naive belief in God. Maybe I did in early childhood, but I don't remember it if I did. I can remember listening to a hymn being sung in primary school and thinking, "Surely they can't believe all that stuff, can they?"