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deism and christianity

syo

Well-Known Member
both deism and christianity believe in a creator god. the difference is that deists believe god left nature on it's own, while christians believe god sent jesus for us. isn't the deist logic kind of harsh? like god abandoned his creation? in deism where is the message of love that jesus taught?
 

idav

Being
Premium Member
I'm not particularly deist but it could be seen different from abandonment. Could be God only had enough power to set the whole thing in motion and now we are stuck in its spin.
 

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
both deism and christianity believe in a creator god. the difference is that deists believe god left nature on it's own, while christians believe god sent jesus for us. isn't the deist logic kind of harsh? like god abandoned his creation? in deism where is the message of love that jesus taught?

Actually, I don't believe so. I feel deism makes more sense because humans can relate to god. Some religions I came encounter with talk with their god through ancestors and other gods in between. So the relationship is between the ancestors and gods and goddesses rather than directly to god himself (like Christians, they don't differentiate between the two). Christianity has a similar mindset. Can't get to god directly so one must go through jesus. So if jesus did not exist, would christians see god as deists do?
 
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George-ananda

Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
Premium Member
both deism and christianity believe in a creator god. the difference is that deists believe god left nature on it's own, while christians believe god sent jesus for us. isn't the deist logic kind of harsh? like god abandoned his creation? in deism where is the message of love that jesus taught?
Yes, I like the Christian belief better and I also believe it comes closer to the truth than deism.
 
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ThePainefulTruth

Romantic-Cynic
both deism and christianity believe in a creator god. the difference is that deists believe god left nature on it's own, while christians believe god sent jesus for us. isn't the deist logic kind of harsh? like god abandoned his creation? in deism where is the message of love that jesus taught?

A deist God, if It exists, created the universe to spawn us (creatures with FREE WILL). God could have done anything else instantly. (Add water, stir, voila instant yes-sir-may-I-have-another angels.) And God can NEVER interact in the slightest way, or our precious gift of free will be negated knowing God exists and is watching over our shoulder. THAT's why God can't interfere, not through lack of love or interest. Why would God create this universe and then "walk away", as the 19th century theists characterized us. It's absurd.
 

Brickjectivity

Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
Staff member
Premium Member
both deism and christianity believe in a creator god. the difference is that deists believe god left nature on it's own, while christians believe god sent jesus for us. isn't the deist logic kind of harsh? like god abandoned his creation? in deism where is the message of love that jesus taught?
Love is certainly very important, however this comment I think misrepresents what Jesus and Paul require. First, lets not smash Deism and instead examine the situation again. Deism does indeed believe in a creator God of the physical universe, but Jesus does not insist upon a particular view. It is permissible for Christians to hold various points of view about the origins of physical matter, provided they love one another. Jesus begins with a Jewish cosmos which is concerned not with physical planets but with people, nations, families and individuals. This is the only creation which 'Matters' to Jesus. He would probably say "Don't argue on the way!" Jesus point of view seems to be that God is immanently no respecter of persons but recognizes that not everyone gets the same fortune. He says it is God's will for us to share. So Jesus recognizes that God allows suffering, and that is compatible with Deism. I think a Deist may be a Christian then provided they follow Jesus, sharing and showing compassion.
 

PureX

Veteran Member
I'm not particularly deist but it could be seen different from abandonment. Could be God only had enough power to set the whole thing in motion and now we are stuck in its spin.
The more logical presumption would be that once the existential whole was 'set in motion' to the Creator's satisfaction, no further meddling was necessary.
 

ThePainefulTruth

Romantic-Cynic
Love is certainly very important, however this comment I think misrepresents what Jesus and Paul require. First, lets not smash Deism and instead examine the situation again. Deism does indeed believe in a creator God of the physical universe, but Jesus does not insist upon a particular view. It is permissible for Christians to hold various points of view about the origins of physical matter, provided they love one another. Jesus begins with a Jewish cosmos which is concerned not with physical planets but with people, nations, families and individuals. This is the only creation which 'Matters' to Jesus. He would probably say "Don't argue on the way!" Jesus point of view seems to be that God is immanently no respecter of persons but recognizes that not everyone gets the same fortune. He says it is God's will for us to share. So Jesus recognizes that God allows suffering, and that is compatible with Deism. I think a Deist may be a Christian then provided they follow Jesus, sharing and showing compassion.
Deism, before all the hyphenated glom onto a popular term versions cropped up, is not so much concerned with God creating the universe, it's prime tenet is that God does not, must not, interact in the universe, for the reasons I stated above. That premise makes it impossible to mix it with Christianity or any other revealed religion out there. God went to a lot of trouble to keep It's existence unknowable--IF It exists.
 

ThePainefulTruth

Romantic-Cynic
The more logical presumption would be that once the existential whole was 'set in motion' to the Creator's satisfaction, no further meddling was necessary.
Exactly. And it stands to reason that God wouldn't go to all this trouble, and then hide, without a very good reason. And given all the evidence against revealed religion with none for, it also stands to reason that either God doesn't exist, or laissez-faire is God's Prime Directive.
 

Brickjectivity

Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
Staff member
Premium Member
Deism, before all the hyphenated glom onto a popular term versions cropped up, is not so much concerned with God creating the universe, it's prime tenet is that God does not, must not, interact in the universe, for the reasons I stated above. That premise makes it impossible to mix it with Christianity or any other revealed religion out there. God went to a lot of trouble to keep It's existence unknowable--IF It exists.
I'd be perfectly willing to accept your definition of deism if it could somehow not attempt to pigeon-hole Christianity as a revealed religion. Sure, Jimmy Swaggart preaches revealed religion; but saying Christianity is a revealed religion is just too broad a stroke. I can accept that Deism is not, but as I pointed out above a Christian does not have to accept particular views of reality to be a Christian. Therefore a Deist can be a Christian, though they cannot be a disciple of Jimmy Swaggart or certain other apostles.
 

idav

Being
Premium Member
The more logical presumption would be that once the existential whole was 'set in motion' to the Creator's satisfaction, no further meddling was necessary.
I find it logical to presume such a being would run out of energy creating a universe.
 

siti

Well-Known Member
both deism and christianity believe in a creator god. the difference is that deists believe god left nature on it's own, while christians believe god sent jesus for us. isn't the deist logic kind of harsh? like god abandoned his creation? in deism where is the message of love that jesus taught?
There's nothing in deism that says Jesus did not exist - or that he did not teach "a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man" as Thomas Jefferson put it - perhaps thinking of his own collection of Jesus' sayings which became known as the Jefferson Bible. The deist position is not (and never seems to have been) that God "abandoned" his creation but that he provided it with every means to achieve "good" without the requirement for periodic supernatural intervention and divinely revised revelation. This is evident even just from the titles of some of the writings of Deists of earlier centuries such as Matthew Tindal's "Christianity as Old as the Creation" and John Toland's "Christianity Not Mysterious". It is even more evident from many Deist authors' frequent use of the term "Providence". None of them, as far as I know, ever suggested that either love or the teachings attributed to Jesus could not or should not be part of either Leibniz's panglossian "best of all possible worlds" that God made deistic providence for at the creation or Voltaire's cultivation of "our garden" for ourselves.

PS - if you haven't read Jefferson, Toland, Tindal or Voltaire it's possible that you don't really know what deism is. Here are a few links to online resources just in case anyone is interested:

Jefferson Bible (Thomas Jefferson)
Christianity As Old As The Creation (Matthew Tindal)
Christianity Not Mysterious (John Toland)
Candide (Voltaire)
 

ThePainefulTruth

Romantic-Cynic
I'd be perfectly willing to accept your definition of deism if it could somehow not attempt to pigeon-hole Christianity as a revealed religion. Sure, Jimmy Swaggart preaches revealed religion; but saying Christianity is a revealed religion is just too broad a stroke. I can accept that Deism is not, but as I pointed out above a Christian does not have to accept particular views of reality to be a Christian. Therefore a Deist can be a Christian, though they cannot be a disciple of Jimmy Swaggart or certain other apostles.

You're the first one I've come across that's said that. Revealed mean Replythat scriptures at least are divinely revealed. And revelation is only one form of revelation. Miracles are another like parting the Red Sea or raising Jesus from the dead. Of course there's small "c" christian, but how do you talk about the authority and righteousness of Jesus without the Bible?
 

ThePainefulTruth

Romantic-Cynic
There's nothing in deism that says Jesus did not exist - or that he did not teach "a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man" as Thomas Jefferson put it - perhaps thinking of his own collection of Jesus' sayings which became known as the Jefferson Bible. The deist position is not (and never seems to have been) that God "abandoned" his creation but that he provided it with every means to achieve "good" without the requirement for periodic supernatural intervention and divinely revised revelation. This is evident even just from the titles of some of the writings of Deists of earlier centuries such as Matthew Tindal's "Christianity as Old as the Creation" and John Toland's "Christianity Not Mysterious". It is even more evident from many Deist authors' frequent use of the term "Providence". None of them, as far as I know, ever suggested that either love or the teachings attributed to Jesus could not or should not be part of either Leibniz's panglossian "best of all possible worlds" that God made deistic providence for at the creation or Voltaire's cultivation of "our garden" for ourselves.

PS - if you haven't read Jefferson, Toland, Tindal or Voltaire it's possible that you don't really know what deism is. Here are a few links to online resources just in case anyone is interested:

Jefferson Bible (Thomas Jefferson)
Christianity As Old As The Creation (Matthew Tindal)
Christianity Not Mysterious (John Toland)
Candide (Voltaire)

How could you not include The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine? And most if no all of them were wrong anyway because they believed in Divine Providence. Intervention is intervention, and predestination is predestination especially when you consider why God does not intervene.
 

siti

Well-Known Member
How could you not include The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine? And most if no all of them were wrong anyway because they believed in Divine Providence. Intervention is intervention, and predestination is predestination especially when you consider why God does not intervene.
So why does God not intervene? To guarantee human freewill? How in the name of the Deus (careful!) is guaranteeing our freewill not either providential or predestination? I presume you don't suppose that freewill is guaranteed for all "God's creatures" - do you?

On the positive side, I take your point about AoR - essential reading for anyone interested in the history of deism but it is a later, cruder and more explicitly irreverent exposition of the same ideas that Tindal, Toland and others had already expressed (a century earlier in the case of Toland). Anyway - here's a link to an online version if anyone is interested:

The Age of Reason - Thomas Paine
 
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PureX

Veteran Member
Exactly. And it stands to reason that God wouldn't go to all this trouble, and then hide, without a very good reason. And given all the evidence against revealed religion with none for, it also stands to reason that either God doesn't exist, or laissez-faire is God's Prime Directive.
None of that "stands to reason". One would reasonably assume that a god that could create a universe will have done so as desired, from the start. And therefor, what exists would require no further creative meddling on this creator-god's part. What was intended to be, is what is.

This does not logically imply that this creator-god does not "care" about what it created. Nor that this god is "hiding" from what it created. Nor does it negate a human experience of divine revelation. As all that would require is a kind of 'transcendent awareness' on the part of the human, and requires nothing in particular from the 'gods'.
 

syo

Well-Known Member
Can't get to god directly so one must go through jesus. So if jesus did not exist, would christians see god as deists do?
exactly! it's through christ that christians approach god. without christ they would be deists.
 
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