I read FrumSkeptic's post last night(here)since its something that has always bothered me I figured Ill make my own post on the subject.Her main issues as I understood them are whether people do things because that's what God wants or simply because that's what the society they live in requires of them.The second issue is whether someone can continuously sin in one or many matters and still be considered as a believer in God.
People forgot how to think.You hear many stories from 20/30/40 years ago about people searching for the truth,they try different religions until they find the one they believe to be the truth be it Judaism or Buddhism or something else.The point is they searched investigated and most of all thought about it.Today, it seems to be as in style to go on and off the derech as it is to get on and off a bus.But how many people do it for intellectual reasons? Some do it out of laziness,some because of bad experiences with parents,teachers or classmates ,some do it simply to rebel and as is apparent from numerous speeches and articles some do it because of cell phones and i-pods (would somebody please explain that to me).Rarely does someone go off the derech because he thought about it long,hard and deep and decided it doesn't make any sense.The reason this is,is because we were brought up to believe in God the same way.We do what were expected to by society rarely delving into anything deeper than the most superficial level never trying to understand the reason and never wondering if this is what God really wants.The answer to Frum Skeptic's question is no they don't really believe in God,but in the defense of all Jews I beleive that they think they believe in God.
As for the second question I seem to remember being shown a Sharei Teshvah where he says that someone who constantly sins in one area even though hes righteous in all other areas hes considered a sinner.The reason for this is,you can sin once or twice or even many times (different sins) and still blame it on your evil inclination,but if your righteous in all aspects of your life except one in which you constantly sin that cant be excused by your evil inclination because you are by default saying you don't believe this one issue is so important to God.If that is the case,all your good deeds which we know from the same source were not done for God but for your own reasons whatever they may be.(Basically,you're showing you're not doing your good deeds for God because if you were you wouldn't pick and choose the convenient ones)