I tend to think of god as originating from some nebulous concept of mystery. One of my favorite thoughts to consider is stripping myself of all scientific knowledge and imaging the sound of thunder. It brings about a paradox: one of being alienated by nature, but at the same time subsumed by it. And that feeling, I think, sparks religious awe or an experience of the numinous. Of course, that would mean the experience is contingent on our knowledge of the natural world.
Today, science tells us the ‘how’ of thunder, tells us a deity isn’t growling at us from the sky. And for that reason, it’s mystery isn’t quite as ripe in comparison to how it was experienced millennia ago. I think this points to the modern reliance on faith as an approach to god. Many will not agree, but I think science dominates the realm of objective inquiry, leaving only the subjective faith-based claims to the religious sphere. When the natural world becomes reducible and mathematically predictable, it loses a great deal of its mystery.
I think this is why the biblical times seem rife with wonder and miracles and a theistic involvement within the scope of history -- a sufficient knowledge of the natural world simply wasn’t there, so mystery loomed at every corner. Thus, when thunder was heard in the sky, it was experienced as a growl. Today, we don’t experience the immediacy (in a culturally holistic way) of a theistic involvement within the natural world in the same way as the ancients. This implicates a distinction in world views and the basic premise that our knowledge necessarily dictates how we experience the world.
For this reason, I don’t think the ancients were spinning fairy tales. I believe they were honest in their accounts, and perhaps those accounts were meaningful in their own context. We don’t live in that context, though, and should not align ourselves with its validity in such a rigid and at times feverish way. Perhaps there’s truth that can be applied allegorically to the modern human experience (the moral teachings of jesus), but those claims about the natural world (such as creationism) overreach their proper scope.
That was a longwinded way of saying I think theism has anthropological origins, and really speaks little to what we consider the important question of ‘what created the world, what created us?’