Deism

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by CParso, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. CParso

    CParso Founding Member

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    Deism

    Deist - One who believes in the existence of a God or supreme being but denies revealed religion, basing his belief on the light of nature and reason
    - Websters Dictionary

    Deism - The Enlightenment endeavor to purify Christianity, to rid religion of all that was not rational, natural, and moral, and develop a natural religion. An international movement, Deism reflected local religious, philosophical, and social expressions of the Enlightenment. In England, it was critically concerned with the origins of religion, but positive in moral and religious affirmation; in France it was anti-Catholic, shading into skepticism, atheism, and materialism; in Germany it was championed alongside nationalist metaphysics and historical criticism; in America it embraced a revolutionary creed... Though indebted to various European cultural developments, Deism was particularly an early eighteenth century English affair.
    - The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions

    Ben Franklin, among many other important minds during the American revolution, was a Deist. The rational thought process that Deism envokes lead to the creation of perhaps the greatest nation the world has ever seen. Where has it gone now?

    I recently heard of Deism (although not for the first time) during my History class. It interested me alot, so since then, I've been trying to learn more and process all the different parts of this "religion".

    I know on this board we have both sides of the spectrum, devout Catholics and athiests. I'm curious about everybody's thoughts on Deism.



    To me, it just makes sense. No science can ever explain where everything came from, there has to be a beginning. This has always led me to believe in something higher than myself. However, organized religion has never been able to "touch me". Why is it necessary to go to church, do a cross on my forehead, eat some crackers and drink juice every sunday? I can do that at my apartment. Most things that occur in the world can be explained through logic & reasoning, but through out history, anything people didn't understand was labeled as God's work. "Holy crap! Fire from the sky! (Lightning) It's God's work! He is angry with us!", "Oh my god, my crops are all dead. God is angry with me! I must repent!" No..... logic & reason have answered these questions for us.
     
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  2. martin

    martin Banned Forever

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    it seems like every "ism", including atheism (if it is defined as denial of existence in god rather than mere non-belief) is sort of based on unfounded assumptions. i dont know that god doesnt exist, i am only atheist in the sense that i see no reason to believe, so i dont.

    i feel the same way about god as i do about any random fact. it may be so, but as far as i can tell, it isnt. all i know is that the universe exists. thats it, i know nothing more.

    you say "No science can ever explain where everything came from, there has to be a beginning."

    but i dont know if i agree. why does there have to be a beginning? maybe there wasnt. if there was, and the universe was created by a deity, who created the deity? where did he begin? nobody knows, all answers here are unfounded assumptions that could just as easily be incredibly wrong as they are right.

    the only answer is ignorance. maybe science will eventually figure something out. maybe not. my lack of an answer doesnt mean anyone else's answer is right.


    "Deist - One who believes in the existence of a God .... basing his belief on the light of nature and reason"

    how does nature and reason lead us to believe in a god of any description? all i know is what i know from living, and what scientists tell me (and they could be wrong). thats all.

    so deism is flawed, in my opinion. the only thing anyone can say for sure is that they do not know anything.

    i think maybe deists believe in "god" in the same sense that i believe LSU will beat alabama tomorrow. i sort of think it will happen, but maybe thats wishful thinking. and i cant see the future, so my beliefs are essentially just guesses.
     
  3. CParso

    CParso Founding Member

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    Of course Deism is flawed, everything is flawed. To say that you don't know anything is also flawed, for you know that you exist (sorry, some stuff from philosophy class just came out). I'm not trying to suggest that Deism is flawless, rather that it's a better answer than organized religion.

    I openly admit my ignorance to the ultimate answers. I see no reason not to explore thoughts about it though.

    As I mentioned, science cannot answer all the questions. Whether there was a beginning or not, everything came from somewhere. A universe cannot appear from nowhere - reason tells me that the only way for the first thing to go into motion or whatever you want to say, would be through a divine spirit, God or supreme being. Also, deism seems to suggest not just that reason indicates there is a God, but that he doesn't interfere with day to day things. That, I think, is what truly sets it apart from other beliefs.

    I like your analogy to the Alabama game tomorrow. I don't think that is necessarily what Deism is based on, but I'm sure plenty of Deists feel that way.
     
  4. Frogleg

    Frogleg Registered Best

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    One of many things I can say for sure is that statement is wrong.


    The founding fathers were some of the greatest minds in history. They belived in a higher power, good and evil, doing the right thing (spike lee?), liberty, justice, and the pursuit of good karma.
    but didn't get hogged tied by what had been written before--by men.

    I would have made a great founding father.
     
  5. martin

    martin Banned Forever

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    right, thats what i said above: "all i know is that the universe exists. thats it, i know nothing more"

    i think that the less we proclaim to know, the less we are wrong. since deism is very unspecific, it is far less full of lies than the main religions. they are buckets upon buckets of made up dogma, crazy procedures, loony explanations. deism has a scant few premises, they are still made up though.

    same here, but i dont foresee that i will get very far.

    i dont see why not. we have plenty of time. they have sure figured out a hell of a lot recently. my grandma died at age 93 a few years ago. when she was born they couldnt have really imagined how much we understand now. the same could be true about our decendants. she predated airplanes. space flight was a ridiculous impossible dream to her parents. for all i know, my great great grandson will figure out the concept of infinity, how things always existed. already there is a field of science that is basically beyond all of our understanding (quantum physics). maybe we will figure it out, maybe we will make robots smarter than us that can explain it to us. maybe we upgrade ourselves with robot brains with much higher levels of understanding.

    why not? this is what some people call "argument from incredulity". it seems crazy, so you dont believe it. no real reason.
     
  6. CParso

    CParso Founding Member

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    You had better have some kind of argument for thinking you would be a great founding father. Spitting out that sentence about their beliefs certainly doesn't qualify. :hihi:
     
  7. martin

    martin Banned Forever

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    righ, i believe in human rational creations like liberty. i meant knowledge about things like where the universae came from. and i dont think you are right in that all of the founding fathers believed in a higher power. some of them did, and even if all of them did, so what. we had a lot more answers back then about questions like "how should we run a government" than questions like "what is earth doing here?" hell, we didnt even figure out obvious things like plate tectonics until like 60 years ago. when it comes to the hard questions, you and i know zero.
     
  8. CParso

    CParso Founding Member

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    I believe that, the thought of there not being a God is to much to handle for many people. As Jesse Ventura put it, "Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded." Perhaps it is beyond me too, for the thought of the universe not being created by something higher doesn't make sense to me. I suppose science could, theoretically, answer these questions one day, but I don't see it happening.
     
  9. Frogleg

    Frogleg Registered Best

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    Plate tectonics was a hard question until it was answered. Hard questions of today will be eventually answered. All of them, given enough time.

    A crutch for the weak-minded is casting a decisive judgement on something that is not proveable.
     
  10. mesquite tiger

    mesquite tiger Diabolical Genius

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    I think science makes a very good argument for the creation of the universe with the Big Bang theory and evolution. I believe in God, but can see the hiccups in religion versus science. I am comfortable knowing and believing in a higher being that is watching out for me and will give me peace and comfort when my time on Earth ceases, but where is the proof?

    on a side note, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown tackles the creation issue....good read.
     

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