I am about to begin reading William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience. I borrowed the book from the library but it is available online here: http://www.psychwww.com/psyrelig/james/toc.htm
The author takes the stance that the veracity of claims about deities are separate and apart from the utility of religion.
I have been following the same line of thinking. Deist have a lot to prove when they claim God exist, Atheist have a lot to prove when they claim humanity does not need religion. In other words: God may not exist, but that does not mean we do not need him.
I am encouraged over the possibilities represented by the presence of this group. Looking forward to fruitful discussions here. Thanks for setting this up.