Do feelings have any relevance when it comes to belief? Many theists argue that they believe what they believe because they "feel" better doing so.
A Christian says "I believe in Jesus because this belief helps me through life and comforts me and gives me strength."
Even though this is technically not a scientific argument for belief in Jesus, does this argument have any pragmatic grounds or philosophical grounds? It is true that belief in something which does not exist can have negative consequences, but this is not always the case. Belief that you can fly can have negative consequences, but what about other false beliefs which have no obvious negative consequences in people's lives?
An example: A Christian believes that God exists and that Jesus is watching over them. This person isn't too interested in the details of the bible and does nothing beyond the societal norms due to their beliefs. They simply live their lives just as anyone else would, religious or not, but have comfort in their lives created by this belief of theirs which happens to be false. In all other areas of their life they are typical and even excel.
Is there any justification in believing in something that makes you feel good, if it helps you through your life and takes the edge off of life, even though the belief does not represent reality? Why must a belief always represent reality if it serves a pragmatic purpose and has no obvious negative consequences? Why can't beliefs be used as tools, like anything else in life, to make things easier and to make the journey through life a bit less rough.
Surely, one could argue that beliefs necessairly impact the actions of people and have negative consequences, but in reality this doesn't happen a lot. In many moderate religious people in secular societies, they live their lives just like anyone else and even do work which directly contradicts their beliefs while still holding such believes. They have cognitive blocks preventing them from making the connections, but it doesn't negatively impact their lives in any obvious manner.
So what are the opinions on this? I'm not saying I agree or disagree, but just presenting an argument.