The main purpose of any belief system, from political ideology to religion is to make sense out of the chaos of life. Those are structures meant to explain and form our outer as well as our inner world.
Let’s take religion, whatever type you like: animism, monotheism or polytheism. All explain how the world function (you should listen to what Pope, Shaman, President, Highest Priest says because he is the representative of God). Plus, they explain who you are: son of God, child of the stars, clay figure, etc. and how you should behave: don’t eat meat, obey the 10 commandments, you know the drill. Kind of like a manual with weird instructions and explanation.
What I mean is that the beliefs systems try to explain the world by answering questions about, how the world came to be (through the body of a great monster or by the benevolence of gods), our condition within the world (in the beginning man had 4 hands, 4 legs and 2 heads, and the gods cut them in 2 to have fun, or Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit), where are we going (Nirvana, Paradise, another alien world) and how to get there (go every Sunday to the church). Nobody had a problem with these explanations until we discovered, atoms, bacteria, nuclear power… when we start asking questions and doubting everything when we started to model reality according to our will, gods did not make much sense because we find other answers to our questions.
However, when we encounter something we do not know we try to associate it with something familiar. Are we created in the image of God or did we create God in the image of us?. Justice, knowledge, truth, are abstract concepts and in most part of history, people were illiterate, even kings were. How can you make someone understand what is the ultimate state of love or beauty if not through something he knows like a beautiful woman, Aphrodite or a fascinating story, the myth of Eros and Psyche?
Gods personify concepts and ideas. Deities are in some sense simplifications of more complex processes. Additionally, it is easier to bargain with a god in a more humanoid form, I’ll give you this lamb and you give me a virgin wife or rain. It seems like a good deal.
My point is that we need God. Now most than anytime. We need a strong value system and an embodiment of it in some sort. We do not need a Messiah that would solve all our problems nor a punisher to watch over us. We need something to inspire humans to aspire for more, to exceed their current condition, to acknowledge their potential. Call it God if you like it.
It is not that we do not need God but rather we need to redefine it.