What's wrong in believing anything is possible? I know, scary thought. It's human nature to fear the unknown. That is why people tend to cling to religion when they think about what happens after they die. That is also why Atheists tend to cling to science. It's a tool used to understand the world, and gives people a sense of security. Science says demons, werewolves, and vampires could not possibly exist, and therefore, you are safe in your beds. It's perfectly understandable. I don't fault anyone for it. The only thing that really grinds my gears is when people call me stupid, delusional, or gullible for having an open mind.
No, it isn't, and no, it doesn't. That is, no, atheists do not "cling to" science because it's comforting. Science and atheism happen to overlap in a lot of cases, though not necessarily always. The reason it's often the case is because science is the only tool we have which time and time again has proven that it can accurately describe and predict how the natural world works. And, secondly, science does not say that demons, werewolves, vampires, or whatever else can't exist. Science is a tool, and it's a way of skeptically investigating reality. Science doesn't say demons can't exist, simply that until there's evidence to support the hypothesis, there's no reason to believe they exist.
I also quite resent your implication that atheists and skeptics do not have open minds. The idea that religious people are more open-minded than skeptics is, at least generally speaking, completely wrong. There's nothing open-minded about believing something with no evidence, against all evidence, and in the face of all doubt. Faith, by definition, is close-minded.
The existence of God is not something I believe, it is something I know; just like you know if you take a pen and drop it, it will fall to the ground. I can't explain it, nor would I try to. It's part of who I am. I am made up of my experiences, as are the rest of you. As for whether or not my beliefs are true, well, to me, they are. Trying to tell me my truth is wrong because I can't cough up tangible proof is just asinine. I mean, yes, I could be wrong, but look at it this way... If I am wrong, and I die, there will be nothing. I lived my life in a way that makes me happy, and that's that.
However, if I am right, boy are you screwed. I'm not trying to use fear to convert anyone, of course. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. In my truth we all have our own unique experiences here on the Terrestrial Plane so we can learn and grow. Of course, Buddhists could be right, and we'll all just go on to another existence. If Christians are right, we're all screwed. There really is no way to prove it except to drop dead and somehow come back with proof. Since that will likely never happen, why can't we all just get along?
This, frankly, is just insulting. Your three first sentences in the second paragraph here basically seem to say "I'm not saying you'll burn in hell, but you will, but that's your choice".
That said, I think you also show, perhaps unintentionally, the difference between the skeptical and the religious mind. Which is that the to the skeptic, it actually matters what's true. The name for what you've just described is Pascal's wager, as Sabby explained earlier. It's unsatisfying in many ways ( for instance, consider the number of true religions - all religions that ever were and ever will be and never will be, and your odds of picking the right one are basically zero ), but another unfortunate implication of it is that it basically suggests that you shouldn't troubling yourself with actually trying to figure out what's true.
Here's the thing, though: there's no reason we can't just live and let live. I don't pick fights over religion with strangers in the streets. It becomes a problem when someone tries to deny someone their civil liberties on religious grounds, or want to teach creationism as science. Because, contrary to what you invoked in passing by saying something is "true to me", reality does not conform to our beliefs. The trouble is, of course, that religious beliefs in many cases do touch upon those most important issues, and that, I think, is where this whole conflict comes from.
I don't believe it will ever be possible for Science to prove the existence of God. A few of you have said you hate it when people say it's because God isn't of this world because then you can't argue back with logic. But what if it's true? What if it isn't just a religious person trying to win the argument with something you can't refute?
I got into this briefly above, but it bears repeating, I think. It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you don't try to change or force other to live according to something they don't believe in. It's only a problem if you tell someone they have to live a certain way, but they have to take it on faith.