Some thoughts I've had about how the nature of God may possibly present itself within our psyche. I was thinking particularly of the way the concept emerges in times of need (“there are no atheists in foxholes”), and continuation of it due to security and fears revolving around that.
God fills an emotional role when humans feel backed into a corner. Their conscious or subconscious longing for help within their situation transforms the concept into a sentient being capable of understanding and with the ability to help. Humans’ instinct for safety and desire of easily of getting through difficulties gives God the powers it is known to have, which are usually incredibly idealistic. At such a point where the human asks for Gods help, the instinct is pushed to the limit, and so wants help with no effort on their part, because at this point they feel helpless. God is a form of idealism that means that not only is our desire for security fulfilled, but also that there is an objective reason for existence; because the fact there really isn’t one unsettles us from our need to know why things happen (evolutionary survival trait).
This “God effect” is a concept routed into the subconscious. The experience explained above would in fact dictate action towards securing back equilibrium, but this is not on Gods part. The subconscious often takes up action to subtly gain the individuals desire, in a minute way. This comes quickly or slowly, depending on the individuals mind. The Placebo effect sometimes takes a role in this, particularly with prayers. Action is taking in the physical realm, subconsciously, to solve the problem. The end result is usually attributed to God (if the subject is believer).
The concept of God itself comes from an astute awareness gained from intellect that we have been created and are in existence. Reality in human perception dictates that we follow the laws of cause and effect, and with the habit of anthropomorphising, together make up a view that something akin to ourselves (which is essentially what many conceptions of Gods are – an all-powerful superhuman) must have created the universe. We are, after all, creative beings ourselves.
Do you believe this explanation has some merit? And finally: have you personally been in a situation, in which you may have been thrown out of atheism/agnosticism (if you were either to begin with) because of its severity, or perhaps you at least began to hope that God might help? And if you believe in God, what train of thought in particular has led you to believe of its existence?