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Why Deism?

Discussion in 'Deism DIR' started by Neo Deist, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    So many people believe in God and they read the Bible. But then they start trying to rationalize things such as:

    1. If God loves us, why would He send us to an eternal torment in hell?
    2. Why do bad things happen to good people, especially children?
    3. The Bible stories don't make any sense. Science tells us differently.
    4. What proof is there of the afterlife?

    These are all good questions that many of us have had at one point or another. If you explore my Deism 101 and 102 threads, those questions are answered in a way that makes perfect sense, while maintaining a belief in God. Welcome to modern deism!
     
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  2. Deidre

    Deidre Well-Known Member

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    I explored Deism, and it is somewhat believable to think that a god is not a personal one. But, I returned to Christianity, not because of the Bible. Not because of fear. But because of the Holy Spirit, and no one may believe me, but I honestly don't think I would have ever returned on my own. So, there must be somethin' to it. ;)
    :D

    I hope you are happy in the path you follow, for that is what matters. :sunflower:
     
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  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I never understood deism. In my personal opinion and observation, it seemed like separating oneself from former theistic thoughts (however one defines theism), while still maintaining belief in God. Kind of like a "just in case" theology. The way deism is described, I don't see what makes it unique besides what it is not (contrasting it to other faiths it disagrees with).

    I mean, that's my impression. Is that what deism really is or just some deist fall into this catagory while others don't?
     
  4. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    The basis for deism is the belief in God based on observations in nature, not ancient holy books written by man. Deists look at nature and the universe and see purposeful design, not randomness. That is the very core of deism.

    Every religion that has a holy book is referred to as one that received divine revelation. In other words, at some point in history some person(s) claimed to receive word/visions from God, and wrote down what they saw. The human element tends to corrupt things, as we are very biased toward what we believe and think. If God wanted the world to know about religion, He could simply plant His religion into everyone's DNA or minds and be done with it. There is a reason that there are so many different religions, beliefs and traditions...humans made them up.

    Think about this: the Holy Bible is full of mysticism and supernatural elements, but if you strip those away you are left with a book that basically condones mass murder, rape, enslavement, an easy rich life for priests, and is very male chauvinist in nature, as well as having stories (Eden, Noah's Ark, Tower of Babel) that make no sense and that science easily debunks. It is so blatantly obvious that all of that stuff is man made. Then there is the Christian concept of Satan as the devil...the need for a supernatural boogeyman to blame all the crap on, instead of just accepting responsibility for our actions. There is only one God, so therefore Satan can't have godlike powers and be independent from God, otherwise you have a polytheistic religion, not monotheistic.

    Deists remove the human element and man made holy books, and simply worship God with respect and reverence.

    Now, some people (myself included) refer to ourselves as Christian Deists. We add the belief in the moral teachings of Jesus to our lives and try to live accordingly. That is what it means to be a Christian...a follower of Christ. All that mumbo jumbo about accepting Jesus into your heart is purely symbolic. There is not a verse in the Bible that states that you must do that in order to be saved. As a matter of fact, Jesus said there were only two commandments: love God, love people. Christian Deists do that.

    We also take it a step further and study what the Bible actually says, instead of repeating stuff from tradition. A classic example is the Christian concept of heaven...no where in the Bible does it say that when we die, we are immediately judged and go to heaven. That verse does not exist. The Bible does say that we die, go to the grave, remain "asleep" until judgment day, and then we will be raised, judged according to deeds (not just faith), and the righteous go to paradise on new earth (not heaven). [Revelation 20 and 21]

    Granted we can't debate about it here, as this is the Deism DIR, but feel free to look those verses up and we can discuss them elsewhere, if you like.
     
    #4 Neo Deist, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  5. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    Deism sprang up during the Age of Enlightenment (Paine's Age of Reason) in the pursuit of reason which led to a rejection of the supernatural, which includes divine revelation--the foundation of many if not all organized religions. Those religions were hard put to defend themselves against deism what with their foundations being completely in faith and hearsay, which eschew reason. Besides emotional reactions to deism, their only argument was to portray the deist God as aloof and uncaring; leaving deists with no defense since most if not all don't claim certainty that God even exists in the first place. Why would God just walk away as the revealed religions claimed (and which was incorporated into the dictionary definition of deism)?

    I haven't read it elsewhere, but I've proposed an answer to that question, why no divine interaction? God could well have created this universe to spawn sentient, self aware creatures with the ability to exercise their resulting moral free will in a natural, rational environment--free from divine influence which would spoil the "test", if you will. I call it God's Prime Directive (for Itself).

    The best that the revealed religions can come up with to explain God's seemingly erratic and irrational "responses" is the Book of Job. In it God (via some scribe or other) tells man it's none of our business to demand reasoning for It's actions or lack thereof. Where were we when "He" hung the Moon. But every action God doesn't take to come to our aid, is a monument to the preservation of It's gift to us of our free will.

    (Note on form: Since this step in the evolution of deism may be attributable to me, I honestly don't know if that crosses the line from discussion into argument. But I don't think it would if it wasn't, so....)
     
  6. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    I'm good with it. It defends the concept of free will.
     
  7. MARCELLO

    MARCELLO Transitioning from male to female

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    Coz,deism seems to be the mathematics that a supposedly god is doing for us. In deism there is no place for mercy,as the god has no mercy.
     
  8. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    More that that even, it makes free will the one and only reason for Creation. An omnipotent God could do anything else instantly instead of over 13 billion years.

    It isn't that a laissez-faire, deist God has no mercy, I feel certain that such a God (if It exists) would sympathize when we suffer. But It can not, must not, intervene or even reveal It's existence, in order to maintain our all important free will.
     
    #8 ThePainefulTruth, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
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  9. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Deism: Naturalistic Theism?
     
  10. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    Not so much as theism typically believes in God interacting with creation, by way of control, miracles, etc.
     
  11. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    I disagree with you and @Deist Mentor both, really. I think you guys add beliefs that are about what you prefer to believe that aren't supported by any evidence. Mainly about the nature of God, sapience, and the human situation.

    I see no reason to believe that the creator cares about anything. I see no reason to even believe It is sapient, any more than gravity is. Not that God is somehow less than we are, just the opposite. It seems vastly more likely that we are no more able to understand It than an amoeba can understand cutting edge physics or the beings who work in the field.
    Nor do I see any reason to believe we are in any way more important than amoebas are. The universe shows no sign of being built for us, quite the opposite.
    Nor do I believe that free will exists beyond the powerful illusion created by our limited perceptions and understanding of ourselves.

    The universe exists, I call the reason for that God. The best we can do to learn about God is to study creation, and the best methods for that are referred to collectively as science.
    Theism is the study of the stories people tell each other about things that they don't know about, generally.
    Tom
     
  12. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    What evidence is there for theism? It's all negative evidence, hearsay, lies and misperception. Not one revelation or miracle has anything more than that. If the choice was only between which the evidence favored, theism or atheism, atheism was walk away with it.

    I see one huge reason, It created the universe. You've got to go a long way to convince anybody that it was done for no reason.

    Either the universe was created by will, or by happenstance. Will implies reason and purpose.

    Humans are apparently the only ones with full self awareness, which is the source of our innate morality, which puts us above all the animals, which are innocent.

    That's a perception without a reasonable foundation. Yet you accuse me of inventing perception in the form of preferences.

    Yet you allow in your opening statement that I can't learn from studying the universe, for no apparent reason other than you label our conclusions unreasonable--for which you offer no evidence. All you do offer is what you don't believe, with no evidence to support that either.
     
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  13. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    What does this have to do with my post?
    I was talking about deism, and you posted about theism and atheism.
    Tom
     
  14. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    So, where is the reason?
    We both agree that the universe exists. But where is the reason that God did it?
    You are attributing agency to God that there is no evidence for. Maybe God just left a scrap heap. Who knows? Not me.
    And not you either.
    Gravity does not "decide" to pull objects with mass together. Gravity has no agency. And you have not shown that God has agency either. What you did was a logical fallacy called "the argument from incredulity".
    Tom
     
  15. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    I was responding to your "see no reason to believe..." comments. You don't get to criticize our (reasonable) positions with such non-responses. It's like saying "you can't not never prove a negative." Re-read my last paragraph...again.
     
  16. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    In what way is changing the subject I was talking about (deism) to something else(theism vs atheism) responding?
    Tom
     
  17. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    Keep in mind this is a DIR, and thus actual debating is not allowed here, even among deists.
     
  18. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    Yes, and I try to abide by the guidelines, but to be honest, I have a hard time differentiating between where discussion leaves off and debate begins. And I usually come to a post via a link which drops me down into the middle of the discussion/debate.
     
  19. Neo Deist

    Neo Deist Th.D. & D.Div. h.c.

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    I have the same issue...I wind up scrolling to the top of the page to check where I am at before I post.
     
  20. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

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    Still doesn't help walking that fine grey line between discussion and debate. If someone posts some erroneous information or uses a logical fallacy, is it OK to point that out in a debate, but not in a discussion? It appears that objective qualities are being subject to subjective rules.

    Is this a debate or a discussion?
     
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