I hear many people say that they believe in this or they believe that. There is usually a large discrepancy between what they say they believe and their behaviour on a day to day basis. Most of the religious here believe in one form of Christianity and one of the most demanding phrases attributed to Jesus is Matthew 5:48 (KJV) "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." which even in it's less demanding translations where the word perfect is translated as mature or complete. The fact is that the religious do not measure up to their own scriptures.
Why is this?
Could it be that we all live actually believe rather than what we say we believe. Even those whose 'profession of faith' is their means of earning a living have a discrepancy between their words and their deeds. What we do is what we believe (is best for us) even if regret that behaviour moments later but at the moment we did it we believed it was right for us.
I might regret eating another slice of cake but at the moment that I ate it the pleasure of eating the cake was more right for me than the pleasure of feeling virtuous by not eating the cake.
I assert that we always behave in the way way we believe is right for us. We have a tool that aids us and this we call a conscience and when we look at what we have done and in hindsight believes we have made a mistake makes us feel guilty. This guilt only serves a purpose if it causes a change in behaviour and if it fails to do this it slowly becomes destructive.
We do what we believe and we believe what we do. This is healthy for us both as individuals and as a species. This belief system only harms us when we another belief system imposed on us through indoctrination systems of politics or religions (they are closer than a lot of people would like to admit).
Religions often impose rigid behaviour rules that cannot be lived in order to manipulate people through their guilt response to their failure to live by 'the rules'.
We need to develop systems that reflect more closely how we actually behave (believe) only tinkering when the behaviour of the individual harms others. I think slowly we are developing such systems, not as a special project but just because they are the only ones that will work.