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  #1  
Old 04-30-2010, 08:46 AM
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Default Classical Deism vs Modern Deism

I just wanted to make a thread about this, since I am somewhat influenced by classical Deist thought. What are some of the differences you can think of right off your head between classical and modern Deism? I'll wait a bit to post my ideas about it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:05 AM
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Classical Deism seems to me to be a belief in Natures God, that is, a designing God who used natural law to design and move creation in a certain direction. Miracles and reveled revelation are not only unnecessary, but irrational. Yet God still had a somewhat interventionist hand in human affairs.
As in "When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Classical Deism sees the necessity of God as the "First Cause" or "Prime Mover" behind all of Creation.

Modern Deism, at least for me, admits that both the lack of known physical laws beyond our universe and the apparent spontaneity of nature at the quantum level show that no first cause is necessary. Rather than rationalizing a belief in a God, my version of Modern Deism concedes that all that occurs in our universe is guided by natural law without any need for the divine.
A truly reasonable Modern Deist should be able to see that his belief in God is based purely on faith, without any dogmatic disregard for advancements in scientific knowledge of the workings of the universe.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:09 AM
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Couldn't it be said that Classical Deists also asserted that one could have a relationship with God to a certain extent? They seemed to rule out that God had revealed any religions, but at the same time, didn't rule out that God could communicate with a person individually.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:14 AM
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Couldn't it be said that Classical Deists also asserted that one could have a relationship with God to a certain extent? They seemed to rule out that God had revealed any religions, but at the same time, didn't rule out that God could communicate with a person individually.
Yes, this was asserted by many Deists at the time. And still is on many deist websites.
Personally, I see this as a highly unlikely supernatural event.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tumbleweed41 View Post
Modern Deism, at least for me, admits that both the lack of known physical laws beyond our universe and the apparent spontaneity of nature at the quantum level show that no first cause is necessary. Rather than rationalizing a belief in a God, my version of Modern Deism concedes that all that occurs in our universe is guided by natural law without any need for the divine.
A truly reasonable Modern Deist should be able to see that his belief in God is based purely on faith, without any dogmatic disregard for advancements in scientific knowledge of the workings of the universe.
Isn't that modern Deism similar in many respects to scientific pantheism? How would it differ from Voltaire's Deism?

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Old 10-27-2010, 07:57 AM
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Isn't that modern Deism similar in many respects to scientific pantheism? How would it differ from Voltaire's Deism?
Can't speak for all Modern Deists, but for me, God exist outside of time and space. And I doubt that God is able to interact with our universe directly. To be able to do so would seem to me to be a violation of the Laws that came into existence the moment time and space appeared immediately after the Big Bang.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:14 PM
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Could it be said that the concept of deity in classical deism is informed by Christianity and, to a slight extent, Judaism, whereas the concept of deity in modern deism is informed by a more diverse group of religions?
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:52 AM
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Could it be said that the concept of deity in classical deism is informed by Christianity and, to a slight extent, Judaism,
I would say that would be a fair assessment of the Classical Deism of the Enlightenment Age.

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whereas the concept of deity in modern deism is informed by a more diverse group of religions?
Not so sure about that as I hold to no concept of God other than God exists, and that this existence, being outside of our Universe and the Laws that govern it, is indescribable and incomprehensible.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:09 PM
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Couldn't it be said that Classical Deists also asserted that one could have a relationship with God to a certain extent? They seemed to rule out that God had revealed any religions, but at the same time, didn't rule out that God could communicate with a person individually.

Can one not have a personal relationship with the Earth and Nature?
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:37 AM
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Classical deists seem much less tolorant than modern deists.
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