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Classical Deism vs Modern Deism

Discussion in 'Deism' started by Rainbow Mage, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

    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.
  2. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie Staff Member

    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.
  3. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

    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.
  4. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie Staff Member

    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.
  5. St Giordano Bruno

    St Giordano Bruno New Member

    Isn't that modern Deism similar in many respects to scientific pantheism? How would it differ from Voltaire's Deism?
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  6. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie Staff Member

    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.
  7. geofra

    geofra Slow, but I get there.

    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?
  8. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie Staff Member

    I would say that would be a fair assessment of the Classical Deism of the Enlightenment Age.

    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.
  9. Herr Heinrich

    Herr Heinrich Student of Mythology


    Can one not have a personal relationship with the Earth and Nature?
  10. conrad beckman

    conrad beckman New Member

    Classical deists seem much less tolorant than modern deists.
  11. Courtney_Capps

    Courtney_Capps New Member

    I believe that we did not just come from a "big bang" and God or some higher being does exist but no...He DOES NOT observe our every day to day lives. There is no need for a "Bible" or any other religious text because it is inaccurate to say that "he" said all this and told these people to write these things. Its false intellect.
  12. droque

    droque New Member

    Classical Deism vs Modern Deism!

    Classical Deism: the belief in a God of Nature with connection to God through the Laws of Nature (Nature evolved a Heart to “Love the Truth” that the Truth will set us free from men’s ignorance and a Mind to “Know the Truth” that we may Know the Truth so the Truth may save us from platonic Royal Lies”) vs Modern Deism: the belief in a God that has divine interventionist hands in human affairs by “rationalizing” a Newtonian Heaven or burn in eternal Damnation.
  13. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

    That would be revelation as well.

    Deists have to look at why things are set up the way they are, why no divine intervention? The only apparent answer I can find is, in order to maintain our free will, which means free from divine influence. That would also mean no "divine providence" which most early deists believed in. Why free will if the outcome is set?

    Most so called modern deists have corrupted the core concept of deism, an absolute laissez faire God, in an effort to proselytize and make deism diverse and "all inclusive". Thus the plethora of hyphenated deisms.
    Classic-Deism, Ceremonial-Deism, Humanistic-Deism, Intuitive-Deism, Moralistic/Therapeutic-Deism, Christian-Deism, Continental-Deism, Modern-Deism, Monodeism, Pandeism, Process-Deism, Provisional-Deism, Panendeism, Polydeism, Scientific-Deism (oxymoron), Deism-Is-Lost-In-The-Shuffle-Deism. Truth has fallen so far behind the current primal goal of inclusiveness, it's out of sight, and all that's said is, "that's your truth, not mine"--all in the name of attempting to make the core concept of deism irrelevant.

    Nothing is more incongruent than "Christian"-deism. Some might want to associate Jesus with deism somehow, but Jesus wasn't a deist after all. So far I haven't heard of anyone trying to put Islamic-deism out there, but give 'em time.
  14. Zulk-Dharma

    Zulk-Dharma Active Member

    道 धर्म تصوف‎
    Classical Deism is to conclude the existence of God by reason and scientific observation instead of dogmas and fideism. They tried to rationalize a belief in God or were scientists attempting to prove God with arguments such as intelligent design. Nowadays with the rise of confrontational atheists, this idea is ridiculed by most atheists, admitting that regular theists have at least scriptures as to what they consider evidence and that Deism has none and that these arguments are far from conclusive and have been debunked many times.Deists were basically atheists materializing the belief in God. And most atheists consider deists what they have in mind of most theists, believing in God with no proof, not even a scriptural one - Deists are definitions of this. It's faded away nowadays since the arguments plays no role in science and are incorporated nowadays in religious stition.

    Modern Deism is the faith in God with no religious authority for the theist's conclusion to believe in God, they believe them for their own individual, personal, spiritual faiths rather than the materialist belief in God that is being ridiculed by most nowadays for its failed attempts. Other times, it's used to mean any theism without religion.
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