A philosopher John Gray doesn't think so. His position is that a belief in the existence of god is not necessary for either religious folks or atheists. He points to the fact that many religious groups, both poly theistic and mono theistic believe that it's more about the ritual and meditation than the actual belief in the existence of a creator or supreme being.
What it all comes down to in a genuine hope that there is something after this life. Am I hopeful that there is something after this? Not really, I feel like if I spend my time hoping that something good happens after I die that I waste my time HERE doing things to make my LIFE more fulfilling and happy. Rather than focus on what might be or 'could be'. I want to focus on what IS.
I was recently told that my disbelief in god is stemming from my anger towards god for some slight. This is wholly incorrect; I am not angry with god. It would be impossible for me to be angry with something that I don't believe exists. It would be much like being angry with the Easter Bunny for not giving me a chocolate rabbit and discounting it's existence because of it. That is just silly. I know that there isn't a giant bunny rabbit that delivers candy once a year, much like I know that there isn't a fat guy dressed in red that delivers presents to good children once a year. I'm not angry at him either. I just know that he isn't real, he is a story told to children to make their holidays more entertaining.
Then there is the crux of most believers arguments. Salvation. They want to believe in god because they want to be saved. It is natural to want to be spared the 'slings and arrows' of damnation or to be saved from pain and misery. Everyone wants to be comfortable and have a nice life. The believer focuses on the "all good, all knowing god" who according to their belief structure will 'save' them if they are good enough and follow all the rules. The fallacy to this belief is this: Even IF there is an all good, all knowing god, just because you do follow all the rules and do everything your beliefs tell you should, this could still be your fate: "Even if god is all powerful and all knowing, and powerful enough to save all the souls of the devout believer and of course is loving enough to do it, god still may NOT do it."
I choose to not believe and work to better my world as I can while I am in it. Spending time focusing on something that may or may not be there with no evidence that it does is not how I choose to live. I choose to live now.