^This^ Very close to the very way I think.
It seems like Christians jump over the prime question, and I could understand that. It's a troublesome question, even borderline annoying. It appears to me that people want to get on with the "good stuff," talking about how a god loves them, how they were created in the image of a god, how they will live forever, and no matter how prickish they act, it doesn't count, because they will always be forgiven.
I say it seems like they do ignore the prime question. Perhaps deep inside, they are more astute than I was. Perhaps they realized immediately that the question can never be answered. No that's probably wrong, because they do answer the question and insist that god exists as a matter of faith (they believe God exists because they believe God exists), and they are unable to see the fallacy of an existence based only on belief.
Even as a child, I was haunted by the question, however. I could not simply ignore it. I guess I was obsessed with needing to answer the question, preferably in the affirmative, but grudgingly willing to accept that it might not have an answer. My Baptist grandmother told me I would go to Hell if I so much as had a doubt about God's existence. Talk about fucked at the starting gate! Not knowing is a gentler word than doubt, but doubt can be the only response to not knowing. But then you go to Hell. You have to know, but you are not given the evidence required to know. Yeah, you're in an impossible predicament, and you're fucked. No god of love would do that to a mortal. A god that was a total dick might, but neither of those possibilities answers the question one way or another.
Wait! The Bible is God's word. The Bible is the evidence that God is real. But there is a logical problem. For the Bible to be real, God must be real. If God is not real, but the Bible still exists, then who wrote it and for what reason? Unfortunately, for sincere seekers we can infer some reasonable answers about where the Bible came from. Some of it is speculative, but some of it we actually can know, and that's a Hell of a shitload more than what we can actually know about a god's existence.
First, we know that it was written by men. These men were from ancient times, and were ignorant about almost everything. They had never heard of a dinosaur or a polar bear. They knew nothing of DNA. They thought the stars were little holes that let the light through a dome.
They wrote their ignorant speculations down with authority, and the crowds marveled. Maybe not right a way, but hundreds of years later, equally ignorant men found them in caves, and read them as best they could, and found they agreed with them. Stars were little holes to let the light through! Here it is in black and white, written by ancient ancestors, so it must be true, and man is still coming up with similar flawed conclusions today.
So is God real? Hmmm, maybe. Do I believe in one? No. There's just a big empty gap in my beliefs about that. But intuitively I'm going with non-existence. But the rules made up by ancient men, and even more modern ones like Pascal, demand a bet on this conundrum. OK then, I'm leaning toward non-existence. I'm going to bet "No." Now it might be a losing bet, but I promise it's an honest bet, so that's my bet. I could lie and bet "Yes on existence." But lying sends you to Hell.
I think I'm going to stop now and go read a comic book.