What's your opinion on Deism?

Dacara
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What's your opinion on Deism?

I'm just wondering, as an atheist, what do you think of Deists? Do you think these people are as delusional as theists? Do you think their theory is valid? I'm curious because I have sort of flittered between atheism, agnosticism and deism alot in the past.


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Dacara wrote: I'm just

Dacara wrote:
I'm just wondering, as an atheist, what do you think of Deists? Do you think these people are as delusional as theists? Do you think their theory is valid? I'm curious because I have sort of flittered between atheism, agnosticism and deism alot in the past.

I think that deist are in one sense more delusional than theists. Whilst their position is perhap more consistent with the way the world actually appears they are really practicing self delusion. They are really atheists who just cant admit it. The term God has been redefined by deists to mean something that no religion would recognise, the words meaning has been changed so much that it bares no resemlance to what it origionally meant AS such deists really do not believe in God they are atheists but are just too worried to admit it.


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Here is a pretty good

Here is a pretty good thread on

the -isms 

 

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Preferable to me in the

Preferable to me in the practical sense, but no more justified.


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 To me, Deism seems like

 To me, Deism seems like just a logical step after theism. They recognize that the theists' dogma is baseless, but still have difficulty letting go of the god. Perhaps Deists need a higher reason for their existance in order to live a satisifying life.

The whole idea seems strange to me though. To believe that a higher power exists that has no desire to show that it exists. What's the point? If their god has no desire to reveal itself then why waste any time pondering its existance?

Readiness to answer all questions is the infallible sign of stupidity. Saul Bellow, Herzog


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I personally went from

I personally went from indoctrinated theism, thoughtful deism, resolved atheism.

So deists are halfway between the two to me.

Really though, do any deists you know persecute anyone?  They can't really say anything about what the creator of the universe does or does not approve of, can they?

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Theoretically speaking, If

Theoretically speaking, If the god of the Diests were to suddenly die, 1.)  how could the deists tell and 2.) why would it matter ?....nothing would have changed !

What a stupid religion ! 

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I don't have too much of a

I don't have too much of a problem with deists, as I feel they help our cause more than harm it.

If we were to make a sliding scale of rationality (0 being completely rational, 10 being the opposite), I would place Atheism at 0, Deism at about a 2, Christianity at an 8, Mormonism at 9, and Scientology at 10. 

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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Deism was the step between

Deism was the step between my theistic Catholic indocrination and my current atheism.  I think I was there for about 4 years burning out the last remaining fear-based and wouldn't-it-be-nice-if arguments for the existance of a god.  Rational thinking at that time had pretty much rendered the idea of god inert in the real world to me, I just retained the love of the surviving my death meme for a few years.  It was actually The God Delusion that finally convinced me to step back and say "Wait, this is still bullshit even pushed that far back... why believe in it?"  I can still remember that day, with the audio book playing through my 1996 Cougar's speakers, driving through a light drizzle when I just looked up and said, "Wow, I think I'm an atheist!"

I don't have much of a problem with deists, I just think they need time to get over their fear of not having a person after their death to reward them for trying so hard to be good.

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magilum wrote: Preferable

magilum wrote:
Preferable to me in the practical sense, but no more justified.

My opinion exactly. Deism is harmless but the belief is no more justifiable than the theist's belief, maybe even less so. The deist's god seems to me to be the ultimate god of the gaps.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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I have the same opinion as

I have the same opinion as Magilum—preferable to theism but still unjustified. (For the record, I was a Deist for a short while.)

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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same shit different pile

same shit different pile


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To their credit, though, it

To their credit, though, it is a smaller pile.


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To be fair to Deists,

To be fair to Deists, especially those in the past, it was a more defensible position before we gained more scientific understanding of the Universe and Life.

Many philosophers of earlier centuries actually used the term 'God' to refer to a very abstract principle lay behind what they perceived to be the order and structure of reality. This usage seems to somewat match the concept Deists have, but not the personal interventionist God of the ordinary person.

Since we have now demonstrated more concretely various 'algorithms' (explicit logically and mathematically defined processes) which show how much of the order and structure and apparent 'design' we perceive can arise 'spontaneously', by principles such as random variation + selection (Darwin's insight).

There are other studies, of such things as 'self-organising systems', which can arise under conditions of strong entropy flow in systems a long way from equilibrium, which provide further insights into purely natural mechanisms that can explain many other signs of order and structure.

Unfortunately many of these concepts require a grasp of math and science which cannot be conveyed in a few sound-bites. So it is understandable if some people find it easier to think these things arise due in some way to the influence of some 'higher power', but there really is less and less justification for what is still just a big 'God-of-the-Gaps'.

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   Deism was atheism,

   Deism was atheism,

to be an atheist back then in Jeffersons day meant a perverted idea that god was god of abe , a godless idea of silly superstition .... 

 Words and definitions are really fucked up ....

read what Jefferson and his friends wrote ..... they were total atheists by todays standards ..... 

, so was jesus ! , the way way I read it .....   

   


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To answer the original

To answer the original question, no I do not think the deist theory is valid.  They don't have any evidence to support their views of deity.  It's still a belief in the supernatural no matter how they attempt to rationalize it.


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Maybe I'm misinterpreting

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the concept of deism because my views on it don't seem to match up with what some people are saying here.

 

With regards to what would it matter if the 'deists god' was dead? Answer = It wouldn't. Not a bit. All they're really subscribing to is the idea that the universe was created. That's it. Beyond that what happened to this creator is irrelevant.

 

When you look at the precise way in which all the aspects of our universe have come together to make life sustainable, it comes down to two possible theories (at least two possible theories that we can wrap our heads around). Either the universe was designed, or you subscribe to the multiple universe theory, in that ours is one in trillions that has all the parameters necessary for life. Either choice is at best a guess, so what makes deism any less valid than atheism?

 

A deist isn't putting faith in superstition. In fact the very belief that this creator does not interfere with the way of the world means that a deists view of how our world works is essentially equivalent to an atheists. The only place it differs, that I can see, is on the origin of the universe, which is virtually irrelevant to how we live our lives.

 


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Dacara wrote: Maybe I'm

Dacara wrote:

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the concept of deism because my views on it don't seem to match up with what some people are saying here.

 

With regards to what would it matter if the 'deists god' was dead? Answer = It wouldn't. Not a bit. All they're really subscribing to is the idea that the universe was created. That's it. Beyond that what happened to this creator is irrelevant.

 

When you look at the precise way in which all the aspects of our universe have come together to make life sustainable, it comes down to two possible theories (at least two possible theories that we can wrap our heads around). Either the universe was designed, or you subscribe to the multiple universe theory, in that ours is one in trillions that has all the parameters necessary for life. Either choice is at best a guess, so what makes deism any less valid than atheism?

Because both positions try to answer the question of how the universe came to be or why it is the way it is. It is as you say a guess, we really don't know so why not just admit that we don't actually know? Atheism makes no comment on the origins of the universe other than there is no reason to suppose a God created it.

Desim does make a positive claim about the origins of the universe and as there is no evidence to back it up it is an irrational faith based postion. 

 



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Dacara wrote:   When you

Dacara wrote:

 

When you look at the precise way in which all the aspects of our universe have come together to make life sustainable, it comes down to two possible theories (at least two possible theories that we can wrap our heads around). Either the universe was designed, or you subscribe to the multiple universe theory, in that ours is one in trillions that has all the parameters necessary for life. Either choice is at best a guess, so what makes deism any less valid than atheism?

There is no need to adopt either one of these views. I don't think much of the multiple universe theory and I certainly don't think much of a deist god. Now, even though I don't like it much, the multiple universe theory has much more going for it than the deist god.

First we know what a universe is. We see one all the time. We know one can exist. God, nope.

MUT also doesn't require one attempt to envoke supernaturalism or immaterialism. God- supernatural, immaterial. 

MUT is also, at least in theory, open to scientific examination and thereby falsifiable. God, nopers.

So, even though I don't like the theory, it is miles more productive than deism.

Deism is nothing more than saying "I don't know how this could be so I will put the term 'god' there as a placeholder." It has no value either scientifically or intellectually. It is a non-answer, and not only a non-answer, but a non-answer that we have no reason to think reflects anything about reality.   

 

 


 

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It seems to me any 'theory'

It seems to me any 'theory' which tries to explain the existence of order and mind by proposing the existence of an entity which itself contains order and mind, and of a higher order, has missed the point, and explained nothing.

Any Deist idea which thinks of 'God' as anything other than some abstract metaphysical principle of existence, has fallen into the same trap as any other Theist. The abstract Deist God is just a dressed-up way of avoiding the honest 'I don't know'.

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Dacara wrote: I'm just

Dacara wrote:
I'm just wondering, as an atheist, what do you think of Deists? Do you think these people are as delusional as theists? Do you think their theory is valid? I'm curious because I have sort of flittered between atheism, agnosticism and deism alot in the past.

Gone to the pub ideology ? 

Thank you, I don't drink.

Ecrasez l'infame!


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Blind_Chance wrote: Gone

Blind_Chance wrote:

Gone to the pub ideology ? 

Thank you, I don't drink.

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Dacara wrote:

Dacara wrote:
I'm just wondering, as an atheist, what do you think of Deists? Do you think these people are as delusional as theists? Do you think their theory is valid? I'm curious because I have sort of flittered between atheism, agnosticism and deism alot in the past.

Although deism doesn't spread hatred and bigotry like theistic religions, I don't consider it to be more rational or true in comparison with the "holy trinity" or allah or whatever. The deist god, as mentioned numerous times, is nothing more than the god of gaps. Someone once told me that she believes that god exists because "everything is just so perfectly designed". Of course we all know that's not true but I decided to let her be.


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Watcher

Watcher wrote:
Blind_Chance wrote:

Gone to the pub ideology ?

Thank you, I don't drink.

What are you, muslim? Sticking out tongue

No personal insults, please.

LoL

Ecrasez l'infame!


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Dacara wrote: I'm just

Dacara wrote:
I'm just wondering, as an atheist, what do you think of Deists? Do you think these people are as delusional as theists? Do you think their theory is valid? I'm curious because I have sort of flittered between atheism, agnosticism and deism alot in the past.

My quick answer is YES, they are. And as much as I love Thomas Jefferson for his stand against religious politicing and his skepticism of the biblical hocus pocus , he was a deist who believed that a god created everything and then stepped aside.

A deist is in the same position as an outright subscriber to a specific club. LACK OF EVIDENCE. 

New agers such as pantheists or people who claim a "universal conciousness" are as well, in the same boat as any deist or theist. It really amounts to all in these three catigories, who may be decent people outside the issue of their specific claim of "what is", it amounts to them merely being deluded into a "warm fuzzy" idea they like. 

 

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   I"d sure like to have

I"d sure like to have one of those dictionaries that are the absolute authority ?

Then we can make claims of who was what by who said what and that and this goes here and there.

The Tower of Babel , destroy it , hey we are little by little, we got a ways to go yet.

 My hunch is Jefferson was an atheist, just being politically correct/careful, .... his time was the problem / different.

Seems the word atheist in his time meant morally corrupt / evil, not sure tho ???

Define God = Life/Death; Reality; Energy/Matter; Ying Yang; Everything/Nothing ,

how's that for a definition ???

words are words , what is a word ?


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As a former deist, allow me

As a former deist, allow me to share my thoughts.

 Deism is that strange beast of thought that is born when you've shaken off the obvious absurdities of organized religion but have yet to come to terms with the gravity of what you have accomplished.  For a believer, God is (was) a BIG DEAL.  While some have the ability to go straight from unwavering belief to stout rationality, not everyone can handle the trauma of losing their faith so well.  Perhaps it's a sort of seperation anxiety, where they've become comfortable with their belief in a god and are unwilling to throw it away just yet.  They figure, "Well, even if God as written here in this book was proven wrong, that doesn't mean that there is nothing greater than humans in the universe."  It is only when they feel comfortable with confronting this belief that they will take that last step.

I consider deism as a transitional period.  Yes, they're still wrong.  Yes, they're still operating under a delusion.  But they are unlikely to hurt anyone with their misconceptions, and likely that in time they will becomes atheists.  Heck, they're 9/10ths there already.


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  bumping  TheHermit  ,

  bumping  TheHermit  , put that in the dictionary !

under Atheist Tendency

?

 


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TheHermit, it sounds like

TheHermit, it sounds like you and I had a very similar period in Deism.  Kind of like a person trying to quit smoking, some people can go cold-turkey in one shot, others need to slowly get off the stuff.  I think Deism was my god-addiction patch, giving me that tiny trickle of superstition I needed to finally realize I didn't need it anymore and kick the habit.

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HumanisticJones

HumanisticJones wrote:
TheHermit, it sounds like you and I had a very similar period in Deism. Kind of like a person trying to quit smoking, some people can go cold-turkey in one shot, others need to slowly get off the stuff. I think Deism was my god-addiction patch, giving me that tiny trickle of superstition I needed to finally realize I didn't need it anymore and kick the habit.

That's a really good analogy!  Now I wish I'd thought of it. 


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I was a deist not too long

I was a deist not too long ago. My transformation was from christianity -> deist -> atheist-agnostic(now).  I left the deist type of thinking pretty quickly after Christianity when I realized that god's existance cant be rationlized or proven.  Now I just say I dont know if there is or isnt a god.  I dont think it affects my life either way.  I just think there are problems that need people's attention here on this earth.  So I asked my self why worry about something im unable to interact with if it even does exist.

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BobSpence1 wrote: It seems

BobSpence1 wrote:

It seems to me any 'theory' which tries to explain the existence of order and mind by proposing the existence of an entity which itself contains order and mind, and of a higher order, has missed the point, and explained nothing.

Any Deist idea which thinks of 'God' as anything other than some abstract metaphysical principle of existence, has fallen into the same trap as any other Theist. The abstract Deist God is just a dressed-up way of avoiding the honest 'I don't know'.


Perhaps I'm getting my terminology mixed up here but isn't your second paragraph describing a pantheist rather than a deist?


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I don't like deists all

I don't like deists all that much, really. More specifically the ones that are deluded enough that there's no arguing with them.

From experience, when a deist claims every little thing they see out of the corner of their eye, every little dust speck that just happens to move enough for your eye to catch, any unexplained phenomena, are all fairies...when they claim to worship the "male/female" aspect of existence (without explaining genderless single-cell organisms, etc), and that their personal experiences "proves" the existence of "deit(y/ies)" are ON PAR with empirical evidence in science, that's when I tell them goodbye.

Damn near said it to them when they told me I "really need to think through" whether or not there is a god, assuming off the top of their head that I never did so in the first place.

It's hard for me to be in their presence and hold back what I really want to say to them, if just for the sake of not having them shoot "wiser-than-thou" glares at me.

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TheHermit wrote: As a

TheHermit wrote:

As a former deist, allow me to share my thoughts.

Deism is that strange beast of thought that is born when you've shaken off the obvious absurdities of organized religion but have yet to come to terms with the gravity of what you have accomplished. For a believer, God is (was) a BIG DEAL. While some have the ability to go straight from unwavering belief to stout rationality, not everyone can handle the trauma of losing their faith so well. Perhaps it's a sort of seperation anxiety, where they've become comfortable with their belief in a god and are unwilling to throw it away just yet. They figure, "Well, even if God as written here in this book was proven wrong, that doesn't mean that there is nothing greater than humans in the universe." It is only when they feel comfortable with confronting this belief that they will take that last step.

I consider deism as a transitional period. Yes, they're still wrong. Yes, they're still operating under a delusion. But they are unlikely to hurt anyone with their misconceptions, and likely that in time they will becomes atheists. Heck, they're 9/10ths there already.

That is a good way of looking at it. An intermidiate step. Some never make it to atheism, but at least deists are not club cheerleaders even if they fall in the same boat of lack of evidence. 

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defence of deism

as a deist i can say we are very rational. The universe must have been "created" by some intelligent being that resides outside the bounds of time and space (by the way if he were to die then he would need to reside inside the bounds of space and time). we as human beings with a set amount of understanding can not define this being so religion (a man made creation) must be thrown out the window. atheism also fails to hold up because no scientic theory can defend the universe's origin (once there is i will be happy to join the atheistic elite), both the steady state universe and the multi-universe fail. according to occams razor the deism should make the most scence because the complexity of the universe is too much to be done without an intelligent designer. Theism fails under the law of occams razor because to interfere he needs a reason, and that lays claims to a religious philosophy and wth so many of those going around it would be too complex to know. Theism also fails because God would constanly need to cross the bounds of space and time and that would really fuck up the laws of the universe. Deist believe not out of a fear of death but to preside a rational thesis to the origin of the universe.

 

 


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could it be rational indecision

the belief that a God is necissary to explain the universe. though I would consider myself to be more of an atheist, I still struggle to account for existance (in total like universal sense), and may have to fall back to some pseudo "God logic" in order to explain my position to a theist.


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I can agree

I spent more of my life a desit, posing as a theist. Than I abondoned the belief in any even careless deity, since I don't really have a reason to belive in one, atleast not a conscious one, or it would just be a wildelly confusing conciousbeing who acts unconcious.


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Thread necro, whoo!

Deism is fine.  I can understand the logic behind it.  Although I don't find it convincing, I can't make a very powerful argument against it because by nature it is not very falsifiable.  The arguments that try to prove deism is false are not very convincing to me either.

 

Once you get to that stage, all you are talking about is what existed before the big bang, and honestly it is all rampant speculation so I don't see any harm in deism.

Now, if they make even a single claim beyond basic deism I probably have an issue.  But as long as the deist says:

1. Naturalism is the best answer known for events that take place in our universe

  a. Morality is natural

  b. There is no immortal human 'soul'

  c. Man is an animal

As long as their deism is strictly cosmological then they are just secularists with a fun thought problem.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Deists are the diet coke of evil

I agree with EvilSatan on this one partly because he obviously possesses mystical powers the proof of which can be

seen in the radiance coming from his eyes.

However, if I was planning to eye for an eye the godly by casting them into a lake of jelly wrestling bikini models for eternity,

I think the deists would be last to go. I don't really like them and I think they're stupid but it's not personal.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck