I've highlighted the propositions that I think are most provocative. These are not exactly new ideas, but they've certainly not had much of an airing in general debate. Of the six, numbers 2 and 3 wouldn't get a lot of argument from most atheists. The more monochrome among them (i.e. those more combative and uncompromising) may however bridle at this sort of redefinition, but in essence these ideas have the potential to form a kind of bridge that embraces spiritual values (on one bank of the river) with a thoroughly secular world-view (on the other bank). God is, according to this perspective, a human construct, but one that can direct us in positive directions.
- God is an emergent reality.
- God did not exist before human beings existed.
- God emerged from the human mind and cultural evolution.
- New realities emerge from simpler components. "No atom of my body is alive yet I am alive."
- God is the emergent reality of humankind's aspirations to be something more than we are.
- Thus God is real. (As real as you and me, the economy and democracy).
The six points are drawn from a book by Nancy Ellen Abrams who has recently been interviewed on John's podcast Religion for Life. It's worth a listen.