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Deism Defined

"The Creation speaketh a universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they may be. It is an ever-existing original, which every man can read. It cannot be forged; it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost; it cannot be altered; it cannot be suppressed. It does not depend upon the will of man whether it shall be published or not; it publishes itself from one end of the earth to the other. It preaches to all nations and to all worlds; and this word of God reveals to man all that is necessary for man to know of God." ~ Thomas Paine

 

 

More Deism Information...

 

Deist and "Deist Related" Books

  Deism
    Deism is the belief in God based on reason, experience, and nature.  Many deists hold several additional beliefs, however this is the core of what most deists believe.

  "My mind is my own church." ~ Thomas Paine

 Are You A Deist? You Might Be If:
  1. You believe in God but are not accepting of the authoritarian creeds of any particular religion.
  2. You believe that God's word is the universe (nature), not human-written holy books.
  3. You like to reason or speculate what God might be like rather than be taught about it.
  4. You think that religious ideas should reconcile with and not contradict science.
  5. You believe God can be best found outside rather than inside a church building.
  6. You enjoy the freedom of seeking spirituality on your own.
  7. You are morally guided by ethics and conscience rather than by scriptures.
  8. You are an individual thinker whose religious beliefs are not formed from tradition or authority.
  9. You like to call yourself rational or spiritual before you call yourself religious.
  10. You believe that religion and government (church and state) should be separate.
Copyright 2002 Jay Boswell

          "Deism declares, that the practice of a pure, natural, and uncorrupted virtue, is the essential duty, and constitutes the highest dignity of man; that the powers of man are competent to all the great purposes of human existence; that science, virtue, and happiness are the great objects which ought to awake the mental energies, and draw forth the moral affections of the human race." ~Elihu Palmer

Deism A Synopsis

     The moderator of a freethinking group has asked me to describe the current state of Deistic belief. The following is what I reported from my point of view.

    Thanks for the welcome. I have been surveying, polling, debating, and discussing many religious, philosophical, and political subjects with my fellow Internet Deists for the past 3 years, and I'm going to try to fairly describe the current climate of Deism.

    We have employed a broader definition than the dictionary's "belief in God that created the universe, set it in motion then abandoned it, and gave no supernatural revelation"; but instead define it as a belief in God based on reason and nature. There is no creed, but most Deists that I know fully support science and evolution, use the observation of nature/universe rather than a holy book as revelation, speculate on characteristics of God such as the degree of design input or spiritual power, have no great expectations of an afterlife, and accept a golden rule model for living. We consider Deism to be included in the umbrella of freethinking, and most lean toward something else similar, such as generic/rationalistic monotheism (like me), pantheism/panentheism, or agnosticism/atheism. The trend seems to be going in the direction from the historical monotheism to modern agnosticism. We have nicknamed these 3 leaning sets of Deists as believing that God is "hands on", "hands open", and "hands off" respectively.

    Many reasons have remained for maintaining a belief in God, admittedly not expressed as proof, and they range from believing that the universe was created by something, to it has an incredible design quality/order to it, to wishing to revere something powerful, to plugging in God for the unknown, to clinging to a God concept due to one's upbringing.

    My fellow Deists treasure things that are historically supportive of Deism, whether it's the American Founding Fathers, English/French Enlightenment, Greek philosophers, or modern scientists, but most all consider Thomas Paine's The Age Of Reason as the definitive Deistic work. Continuing Paine's scathing criticism of Christianity is prevalent. As for organizations, there is a World Union of Deists, but I think we're mostly connected by freely associating Internet discussion groups. Some of us have maintained some traditional church attendance for families' sake (like me), some go to Unitarian churches, but I gather that most do not go anywhere (except outside to enjoy nature on weekends).

    Politically, we are wide-ranging, but I think we skew a little left of center due to issues of separation of religion and government, environment, education, and more personal liberty. The "hands off" God and non-church member themes seem to correspond politically with many Libertarians and Independents respectively, but modern Democrats (like me) and Republicans are well-represented also.


Copyright 2001 Jay Boswell