Where does belief in God come from?
Psychological interpretations of God generally fail, turning God into some sort of psychic crutch. Sigmund Freud argued that God is a based on the childish idea of a powerful and protective father (The Future of an Illusion). D. W. Winnicott, a British pediatrician and psychoanalyst working a generation after Freud, approached the question of God from a different direction, asking where he was located. If God were just an external being, he would lack emotional meaning and resonance. This is the God of a petrified religion, composed of a list of do’s and don’ts, a religion in which ritual has become sleepwalking.
But if God were just an internal reality, he would be no more than our fantasy. The God who feels real, the God who excites us (and God should be exciting) is the God whom we discover because we help to make him real.