I don't subscribe to that theory. People use their faith in that way, but, I believe the impetus for our concept for God comes from a very different place: probably from God himself trying to reveal the truth to us or from our own latent ability to see beyond our senses.
Let's suppose for a moment though that it is true; that we invented all this just to make ourselves feel better, to have some comfort and hope faced with the certainty of death and the uncertainty of life.
What kind of cruel person tells people this without offering anything as an alternative?
It's one thing for some over-read, middle class twit like myself luxuriating in the relative ease and security of the west to speculate that God doesn't exist, we at least have the consolation of knowing that we have it fairly well in this life, but most of the world isn't nearly so fortunate.
Most of the world needs some sort of comfort and assurance that their lives have meaning, that they're not just the fodder of evolution and random chance. Even if it is just a delusion, it gives them hope and with hope, even the most unfortunate life becomes bearable and full of potential.
Even though it's controversial, I highly recommend the film The Last Temptation of Christ. The film is the fictional account of Jesus speculating what might happen if he escaped the cross and lived rather than sacrificing himself.
In it, the Jesus that didn't die encounters Paul, preaching about the Jesus that did die. Jesus comes to Paul and says "I am the man you are preaching about", expecting Paul to embrace his new life as an ordinary man, but Paul gets angry. He says that the people he preaches to need the Jesus who died. Jesus says "You can't save the world by lying" and Paul replies:
I created the truth out of what people needed and what they believed. If I have to crucify you to save the world, then I'll crucify you. And if I have to resurrect you, then I'll do that, too.Death is inescapable. We all know that. We have all always known that. If the concept of God gives us hope in the face of this unerasable but horrible truth, then it is worthy of us, even if it is a delusion.
...You don't know how much people need God. You don't know how happy he can make them. Happy to do anything. He can make them happy to die and they'll die. All for the sake of Christ. Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth. The Son of God. The Messiah. Not you. Not for your sake. You know, I'm glad I met you. Because now I can forget all about you. My Jesus is much more important and much more powerful.
If a man's search for truth should lead him to the conclusion that there is no God, that's fine, but don't evangelize it, don't shout it, not without something to offer in its stead because it's better for men to live with a delusion but have hope then to know the truth and have none.
Where's the mercy in taking away hope? Where's the love? There isn't any.
People who don't believe have a tendency to consider themselves superior to those who do, because they at least know "the truth".
Maybe that's what they use to fill the void left when they abandon faith. Considering oneself superior in life can go a long way toward replacing the hope they abandon, but that too is only a delusion, because none of us are superior to anyone, no matter what we believe or don't believe.
Science offers us information, not "the truth". Certainly information is innately and uniquely valuable, but it's not God.
One thing that's very clear from the history of science, is that no matter how much information we uncover, there's still more left to be uncovered. Science brings us no closer to complete knowledge now than we were ten thousand years ago.
I'm capable of abandoning my faith. I've done it before. But after very careful consideration, I choose to embrace it now
Maybe I am deluded for believing in God or believing that our lives extend beyond these physical bodies. Maybe I am. But, you know what? I'm satisfied with that.
I'm satisfied with it because I know my limits, and one of my limits is that I need God. I need to know there is more to me and the people I love than just what I perceive.