Not everything our brains can do necessarily has an evolutionary function. What is the evolutionary function of imagining time travel? Our brains are highly evolved so we can out-think stronger species. Imagining God could simply be a by-product of our complex thinking ability.
Or perhaps imagining a god is a way for people to give meaning to what could otherwise be perceived as a meaningless existence. If our brains thought that life was meaningless, we might not have a drive to survive. That could definitely be the evolutionary function that you are seeking. However, it doesn't mean that an actual god exits.
Originally Posted by Lipslikewindows
What would be the evolutionary function of being able to fantasize about something that could never exist? And it's not something like a unicorn (a horse with a horn on it...combination of two things) but rather something completely foreign to the universe. For what reason would that kind of imagination be desirable enough, from a survival standpoint, to be part of the dominant human genetic makeup? Why human beings would imagine a God, or why their brains would be able to do so cannot be explained by evolution alone. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think it's illogical. I think if the overwhelming majority of human beings, early human beings, all from different cultures which had, for the most part, never interacted, all believe in a creator or creators, there's some root of truth to it. That's all I'm saying. Am I saying it couldn't be perverted or confused until it turns into "no crops this year...rain god's mad at us" or "no crops this year...must sacrifice humans"? No. But I'm saying at the heart of it, there was truth. I don't think that human beings evolved to a certain point and where finally able to imagine a God starting about 6000 years ago. Or even 20,000 years ago. Did one person imagine it and somehow word of this fictional character spread across the earth to all these different cultures (even though these different cultures never interacted (such as Native Americans and Jews, or Native Americans and Romans))? Or did, somehow, all of these different cultures simultaneously start imagining God? Either one seems completely impossible to me. Maybe I have a lack of imagination, but I don't think so. I think it's illogical to think either of those two things happened.
You said "our highly evolved brains make it possible for us to imagine a 'loving god'"...why would they do so? What would be the point? And, to restate my second point again, how did all the cultures of the world basically start imagining God or gods at about the same time?