Op-Ed Columnist - Heaven and Nature - NYTimes.com: "Pantheism offers a different sort of solution: a downward exit, an abandonment of our tragic self-consciousness, a re-merger with the natural world our ancestors half-escaped millennia ago.
But except as dust and ashes, Nature cannot take us back."
It seems like Douthat thinks we are not part of Nature any longer? I guess this article is a skilled attempt by organized religion to bring down these pantheists as people of a lesser class. People that go to the movies instead of to the church. However, if certain charming tales in the Bible once stimulated the minds of youngsters, it is now correct that they have gotten competition in the form of movie art. I believe this competition is serious and healthy.
I myself am a pantheist but a pantheist that believes in a materialistic God concept of Nature. I'm aware that Richard Dawkins think I am an atheist. Christer Sturmark, the head of the Humanists in Sweden, seems to think I'm an agnostic. But they are both wrong, since I'm deeply religious and believe in a God that I do not need proof of its existence for.
As it turns out this belief has given me peace of mind, because I no longer have a problem of reconciling religion and science. On the contrary science is the study of Nature, ie., of God. Mankind's journey of scientific pursuit has transformed the world the last 450 years. It has influenced philosophy and almost made philosophy a subject of its scope. The true progress of science, something religion have lacked, has seduced people into considering that true knowledge rest in Nature. This translates into religion and belief in Nature, as Douthat points out.
For those of you that want to review our scientific progress you might find is useful to read short posts in my blog 'etiketted' as "scriptures". There are some thirty of them now that highlights the main discoveries since Copernicus in 1543 laid down the Heliocentric Theory.