I sometimes find that Neo-paganism is a stepping stone for Christians on their way to Atheism. Certainly, one of the most monumental moments from my early days was letting go of the Christian belief -- not in the idea of God or prayer, but in context of my relationship to the world. Prime example: If we reincarnate, my mother isn't "my" mother. In Christianity, she only has one go around, and I am her child. She may not be my mother next time, and I might not be her son. Severing the thoughts of "my" from "mother" hurt a lot.
For some, which questions they have to rephrase in their spiritual journey lead the down other paths. Steven Hawkins is an atheist, and it seems because he has convinced himself that reality is perception, perception is quantifiable, and thus reality is quantifiable. Good for him. The numbers are bad for us, however, because Darwin's evolutionary model suggests that aliens will come and devour us/Earth as soon as they realize we are a food source.
Meanwhile, Magus Peter Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan, recently described Satanism thusly: "Since the universe is indifferent to us, we Satanists choose to establish our own subjective hierarchy of values with ourselves as highest among them. Thus atheism moves to what I call 'I'-theism, where we are each our own "gods." We accept the full range of human emotions as healthy" (io9 source).
From this microcosmic evaluation of Atheism's spectrum, we can determine that religions purpose is to provide us a framework for the our worldview. Where some believe there must be a source (God), we seem to acknowledge curiosity (magic), and others' don't want to reconcile the differences between reality and their framework (make-believe).
Hawkins' aliens are a threat because, without make-believe, they have a ravenous agenda; without make-believe, they have no moral. LaVey, however, says they could have a moral, because they might choose to. To this end, the threat of our world relies on the existence of make-believe.