What if a person doesn't actually believe, not in the scriptures, not in the soul or even God....
Is it worse to lie and try to convince oneself, almost manicly, that this is real, and just go through the motions
Knowing God is not about straining to convince oneself. But that does not mean going through certain motions is unimportant; to the contrary.
"Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, "My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean '? So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." -2 Kings 5:12-14
"'Go,' he told him, 'wash in the Pool of Siloam' (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed." -John 9:7
"To obtain anything from God, the outward must be joined to the inward; that is to say we must kneel and pray alone, etc. so that proud man, who would not submit to God, may now be subject to the body. To expect any help from this outward act is superstition; a refusal to join it to our inward acts is pride. For we must not misunderstand ourselves; we are as much machines as mind. And hence the means by which a man is persuaded are not demonstration alone. How few things are demonstrated! Proofs convince only the mind. It is habit that produces our strongest and most accepted proofs; it guides the machine, which carries the mind with it unconsciously. Who has proved that there will be a morrow and that we will die?” -Blaise Pascal
"FIRE: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. God of Jesus Christ… He can only be found by the ways taught in the Gospel… He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel."