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New Theism’s Michael Dowd has the spiritual authority of a carnival barker.


Free sawdust.

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.

I met Mr. Dowd at Unity Church on a Wednesday night in Houston where he was guest speaker a few years ago. He and his wife were nomads traveling in an RV with no home base. After his talk I raised some objection one on one with him and mentioned my financial support for the ID project; he and his wife were not pleased to hear it. I suppose he thought that everyone at Unity is as superliberal as he is and he’s not that far off in thinking that. Basically the New Age movement is full of liberal flakes, many of whom go far out there with their philosophical inventions, styling themselves as spiritual revolutionaries on the cusp of fame and fortune. groovamos
Wading through all the garbage, trying to find an interesting OP. Mung
The new theism sounds like the old atheism. Ugh. The old atheism wasn't as syrupy and disgusting as this. Does anyone of number even pay attention to this weiner? Even Templeton would rather throw money at someone who is less transparently hacky and who has more intellectual weight (in this case, more than none.) I have the sneaky suspicion that he's not very popular, but is bankrolled by someone. Incidentally, his wikipedia page reads like it was written by his publicist. Someone has to add to that the fact that he is, and at the very least is accused of being, an atheist con-artist. nullasalus
He looks one happy-clappy atheist doesn't he? That expression... terrifying in its simplicity. He's just told one heck of a joke to his pals in the 'hood. Axel

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