The British scientist Haldane treated it as a type of natural force preventing some human types from disrupting the harmonious progress of evolution. I take that position myself.
I've written several books about belief which I had iuniverse print. Actually, belief is the bottom rung of human thinking. Regardless of the tremendous scientific triumphs we see nowadays, mankind is so far away from truth that he doesn't even know what it is yet. About all we can do so far is assume that truth is hazy. I have also assumed that Nature intends for each being to possess an ego. I came by this assumption after reading the Thomas Gospel and some Hindu works on the nature of Belief versus Truth.
In the absence of reliable approximations to truth, belief is our only bed partner, and a very unreliablem unfaithful and whorish one at that. God grant us the wisdom and steady scientific progress necessary to someday rid ourselves of this scourge!