Re: Stuff you like to believe happened in Nolan's series
Yes I agree with that. Its one way to see it, but what I tend to focus is in the citizens. If Harvey's truth was revealed at that time, a truly terrible time with all of the Jokers actions upon the city, people would be disheartened, and all of Harvey good deeds would go to point zero. In creating the lie, Batman invalidated all of this. People would be safe. "The Joker cannot win" He was in the position of doing this "He can make the choice no one else can face".
He had to trust the people of Gotham in the ferries. But after everything they went through, he could spare them one more grief. One that could potentially put them again in danger, with all the criminals again on the streets.
It was a sacrifice, meaning that he had to suffer for it. That is a very noble thing to do, but not necessarily something pleasant. In Rises I don't think he cares that the people still hate him, if they do. He does the right thing not because he is redeeming himself, but because it is the right thing to do. Climbing the pit is a very powerful thing, he is willing to give life another chance, he learns that he can overcome pain. And in the end it all comes as it should. I can only imagine the people of Gotham after learning the truth of Batman, that of a man that was willing to put himself in the worst position in order to protect them. They understood the why of the lie. So there is now a statue of Batman in the city, honoring this man who gave everything for them.
At least that's my point of view.
A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended.