God can’t be a mental process because the notion is only in the mind if you’ve learned about it.
not so sure and here is my reasoning. The concept of the a mystical all knowing source has a few characteristics that are reminiscent of child development.
1) A force beyond understanding or of the 5 senses. (abstarction)
2) Object permanence. (that we “know” exists even though it is out of the detetcion of our senses
“Abstractions such as happiness, sadness, joy generally have emotional or limbic system connections.
To the undeveloped senses of the child the parent is both a concrete noun or thing and an abstraction. Infant perception is very poor . Studies suggest that a form of synesthesia is present in newborns. The concept of a protector from a mystical realm is quite possible given these undeveloped tools. Once this neurological groundwork or wiring is established the concept of a God is easily adapted. The wiring for belief is present.
Object permanence embeds due to emotional attachment. Object permanence is the human ability to understand that something exists even though it is out of reach of the sense. Children develop this skill relatively early. A parent leaving triggers the emotional response of crying.
As the child matures a new world requires protection beyond the mother. Wonder, nature, awe require anthropomorphic sources or first cause.
Proof of this lies in the history of burial. During evolution the first religious practice was burial. Object Permanence led prehistoric man to believe the abstraction of self, soul or consciousness were objects. Transcendent objects. Very much an infantile response to the realization of mortality.
These concepts were embedded through the same mechanism that create Object Permanence in infants.
The other thing that fascinates me are the “nones”. and why more?
The “nones” are those with belief in anthropomorphic “God” archetypes while having no religious affiliation. This is the remnant of the evolutionary concept of Object Permanence.”