in response to what i posted yesterday, a couple of friends made interesting comments. here's a bit more detail explaining my attitude:
i'll have to take back my non-quote, some people do come to the conclusion that the atheists are right. essentially, though, from a psychological point of view it's trading one kind of god for another; it's just that the new god isn't a vindictive, grumpy old man. which i won't argue isn't a good thing, just as long as you're not being mean and derisive to other people who're happy with what they have.
the discussion we're having is about the difference between the objective universe and the subjective. in the objective universe, according to our understanding at present the chances of there being a god are laughably small. but the subjective universes that each of us owns and operates? we can't escape ideology, and the functions that we attribute to god (create the universe, give meaning to existence, whatever) map to necessary parts of what generates our inner experience.
so whatever i believe performs those functions? good for me. and nobody's business unless i make it so. and judging people for their religious beliefs is exclusively the domain of the religious. the rest of us don't care as long as everyone behaves with agreeable moral / social values.