Difference between revisions of "Deism"

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In its typical modern form, deism is anti-[[Christian]], as it denies the divinity of [[Jesus Christ]], rejects the Bible (and all other texts) as God's scripture, and denies his signs and miracles to men.  It lacks any coherent morality, and is an excuse to claim to be religious while engaging in immoral activity.  Thus it is a favorite of [[liberals]] who do not want to be branded with atheism.
 
In its typical modern form, deism is anti-[[Christian]], as it denies the divinity of [[Jesus Christ]], rejects the Bible (and all other texts) as God's scripture, and denies his signs and miracles to men.  It lacks any coherent morality, and is an excuse to claim to be religious while engaging in immoral activity.  Thus it is a favorite of [[liberals]] who do not want to be branded with atheism.
  
Deism is also only a short step away from [[atheism]], and deistic beliefs often create a slippery slope to atheism{{fact}}.  This is a common tactic of atheist evangelists: first convince a Christian that God has left the world alone, and then deny the necessity of God. Atheism and Deism are, for the most part, morally and cosmologically equivalent, given God's presumed inaction of any moral and cosmological revelation, an exception being that Atheism more easily permits worship of man by man while Deism holds that God is greater than man.  
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Deism is also only a short step away from [[atheism]], and deistic beliefs often create a no slippery slope to atheism{{fact}}.  This is a common tactic of atheist evangelists: first convince a Christian that God has left the world alone, and then deny the necessity of God. Atheism and Deism are, for the most part, morally and cosmologically equivalent, given God's presumed inaction of any moral and cosmological revelation, an exception being that Atheism more easily permits worship of man by man while Deism holds that God is greater than man. CHRISTIANITY IS A LIE
  
 
DEISTS ARE WAY BETTER THAN CHRISTIANS
 
DEISTS ARE WAY BETTER THAN CHRISTIANS

Revision as of 17:00, 6 August 2012

Deism is the combination of the intuition of the transcendence of God and the belief that God cannot, or, at least, does not, interact with, nor otherwise involve Himself in, the Creation. Deism is contrasted with pantheism, in that pantheism is the combination of belief in an omnipresent Creator God and the belief that God's omnipresence implies that God is the Creation.

In its mildest form, Deism is nearly equivalent to a belief that no one can truly know whether there is a God or not (agnosticism). In its strongest form, Deism is a systematic religion of rejecting all claims to a personal, or otherwise involved, God, in that God is supposed incapable, by His transcendence, of any kind of interaction with the Creation.

In its typical modern form, deism is anti-Christian, as it denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, rejects the Bible (and all other texts) as God's scripture, and denies his signs and miracles to men. It lacks any coherent morality, and is an excuse to claim to be religious while engaging in immoral activity. Thus it is a favorite of liberals who do not want to be branded with atheism.

Deism is also only a short step away from atheism, and deistic beliefs often create a no slippery slope to atheism[Citation Needed]. This is a common tactic of atheist evangelists: first convince a Christian that God has left the world alone, and then deny the necessity of God. Atheism and Deism are, for the most part, morally and cosmologically equivalent, given God's presumed inaction of any moral and cosmological revelation, an exception being that Atheism more easily permits worship of man by man while Deism holds that God is greater than man. CHRISTIANITY IS A LIE

DEISTS ARE WAY BETTER THAN CHRISTIANS

Deism and the Founding Fathers

While almost all of the Founding Fathers were devout Christians[Citation Needed], some it is believed were deists, at least according to some definitions of the term.

Paine

A famous deist in early American history was the Englishman Thomas Paine, who espoused deism and popularized the term in his book The Age of Reason. It is believed this had an influence on deism in the colonies. Benjamin Franklin wrote in his autobiography about an earlier period in his life,

Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

Franklin

Franklin later repudiated many of his earlier views and he believed in a God that "ought to be worshiped," and at the Constitutional Convention less than three years from his death Benjamin Franklin advocated public prayer. He praised Christianity, but his letter to Ezra Stiles a month before his death was noncommittal as to the divinity of Jesus:
"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and His Religion as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see.. I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubt as to his Divinity; tho' it is a question I need not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect Soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble. I see no harm in its being believed, if that belief has good consequences, as probably it has, of making his Doctrines more respected and better observed."

Jefferson

Another Founding Father described as a deist was Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson personally struggled with the divinity of Christ and produced an edited version of the Gospels, later known as the Jefferson Bible, which contained only the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus and omitted third-person accounts of his life, particularly the accounts of the miracles.

Ten years from his death Jefferson stated that:
"[The Jefferson Bible] show that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel, and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its Author never said nor saw."[1]

The closer Jefferson approached his death, the more Christian he appeared. He read the Bible daily as the end grew near. His grandson described Jefferson as follows:[2]

He was regular in his attendance [at] church, taking his prayer book with him. He drew the plan of the Episcopal church in Charlottesville, was one of the largest contributors to its erection, and contributed regularly to the support of its minister. I paid, after his death, his subscription of $200 to the erection of the Presbyterian church in the same village. A gentleman of some distinction calling on him and expressing his disbelief in the truths of the Bible, his reply was, 'Then, sir, you have studied it to little purpose.'"

Washington

  • "Washington cannot be called a Deist — at least, not in a sense that excludes his being Christian. Although he did most often address God in the proper names a Deist might use — such as "Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be" and "Disposer of all human events" — the actions that Washington expected God to perform, as expressed both in his official public prayers (whether as general or as president) and in his private prayers as recorded, are the sorts of actions only the God of the Bible performs: interposing his actions in human events, forgiving sins, enlightening minds, bringing good harvests, intervening on behalf of one party in a struggle between good and evil (in this case, between liberty and the deprivation of liberty), etc." [1]

Modern Deism

Modernly, as noted above, Deism has both declined and fractured, with some of its original ideas being adopted as part of "new age" movements. Variations of Deism that have developed or been proposed include Pandeism (enunciated in the 1850s, and merging Deism with Pantheism, the idea that God is equal to the Universe); Polydeism (merging Deism with polytheism, proposing that multiple Gods created then abandoned the Universe); and Panendeism (merging Deism with the 1830s idea of Panentheism, that the Universe was part of God, but was also transcended by God). None of these offshoots has garnered a significant following relative to organized religions, although it should be noted that many strains of Hinduism are in fact Pandeism.

70 Years of Miracles Account

There is a book by Richard H. Harvey, entitled "70 Years of Miracles." In it Harvey relates his experience in a Chemistry class at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania in the 1920's.

According to Harvey, his professor Dr. Lee was a deist who for many years had spent time with each freshman class lecturing against prayer. After a couple of sessions discussing the power of natural laws and the lack of evidence that any god interferes with those laws, Lee would announce that he would drop a flask to the floor and challenged anyone to pray that the flask would remain whole.

Harvey then related that one year, a student finally found the courage to stand up and volunteer to pray. Lee dropped the flask and it rolled off his shoe to the floor without damage. The class cheered and Lee no longer delivered his annual lectures against prayer. fair use



Sources:
  1. Jefferson, Letter to Charles Thomson, January 9, 1815
  2. Thomas Jefferson Randolph, undated letter to biographer Henry S. Randall, reprinted in Masfield et al., The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 321.

See Also

External links