Difference between revisions of "Deism"

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(Definition of deism is slippery, cite source. Other dictionaries un)
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Deism is a belief that God initially set natural laws in motion but has done nothing more.  
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Dictionaries definitions of '''deism''' include:
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The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.<ref>American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition</ref>
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and
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:"a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe."<ref>Merriam-Webster online: [http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/deism deism]
  
In other words, this is the belief that God started everything and then left it alone.  This belief rejects the divinity of Jesus, and rejects prayers for divine intercession.
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In other words, this is the belief that God started everything and then left it alone.  This belief not only rejects the divinity of Jesus, but also rejects prayers for divine intercession.
  
 
This philosophy became popular in England during the seventeeth and eighteenth centuries, and some of the founding fathers of the U.S. were self-described deists. [[Thomas Paine]] espoused deism and popularized the term in his book [[The Age of Reason]]. [[Benjamin Franklin]] wrote in his autobiography about an earlier period in his life,
 
This philosophy became popular in England during the seventeeth and eighteenth centuries, and some of the founding fathers of the U.S. were self-described deists. [[Thomas Paine]] espoused deism and popularized the term in his book [[The Age of Reason]]. [[Benjamin Franklin]] wrote in his autobiography about an earlier period in his life,

Revision as of 05:55, 31 January 2007

Dictionaries definitions of deism include: The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.[1] and

"a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe."Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

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.'"

Sources:
  1. American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition
  2. Thomas Jefferson Randolph, undated letter to biographer Henry S. Randall, reprinted in Masfield et al., The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 321.