At Metanexus, in “The New Theism: Shedding Beliefs, Celebrating Knowledge” (May 30, 2012), Michael Dowd advises us of “A Manifesto for the New Theism”:
A new breed of theist is emerging in nearly every denomination and religion across the globe, and many of us are grateful to the New Atheists for calling us out of the closet.
New Theists don’t believe in God. We know that throughout human history, the word “God” has always and everywhere been a meaning-filled interpretation, a mythic and inspiring personification of forces and realities incomprehensible in a prescientific age. We also know that interpretations and personifications don’t exist or fail to exist. Rather, they are more or less helpful, more or less meaningful, more or less inspiring.
New Theists view religion and religious language through an empirical, evidential, evolutionary lens, rather than through a theological or philosophical one. Indeed, an ability to distinguish subjective and objective reality—practical truth (that which reliably produces personal wholeness and social coherence) from factual truth (that which is measurably real)—is one of the defining characteristics of New Theists.
The new theism sounds like the old atheism. That’ll be no surprise if we pull some of the UD News files on Dowd:
Here’s a bunk detector for “evolution” claims from therapists and counsellors
Michael “Thank GOD for EVOLUTION!” Dowd on the authority of the Bible
Get your head evolutionized here
Michael “Thank God for Evolution!” Dowd explains about … Gowd
He said it: Can you pronounce “creatheism” right?
You get the picture.
A friend has wondered whether Dowd will get the Templeton prize for science and religion. Some of us would be thrilled. And rest our case.