Deism

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Freethinker43
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Deism

Post #1

Post by Freethinker43 »

I believe in God and I believe that God works through nature, specifically through evolution and the Big Bang Theory. I believe that we serve each other best when we use our God- given reason. I believe that the philosophy of Deism is the most practicable one today. Here's a link for those interested in exploring deistic tenets: http://www.deism.com/index.html.

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Post #2

Post by Divine Insight »

Your link didn't work. I fixed it for you"

World Union of Deists

My first question was: "Where is the evidence for a deistic God?"

I believe I found the answer on the first page of Deism Defined

However, I don't find this "evidence" to be very compelling.

Their main "evidence" appears to be in the last paragraph/quote under the first section of "Welcome to Deism".
"But in Deism our reason and our belief become happily united. The wonderful structure of the universe, and everything we behold in the system of the creation, prove to us, far better than books can do, the existence of a God, and at the same time proclaim His attributes."
I suggest that this is the same argument Paul gives in the Christian Gospels:

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (who disbelieve) are without excuse:

I hold that Paul's argument is without merit, and so is the argument given by the World Union of Deists. There is nothing in nature that implied that anything was purposefully designed. To the contrary, even mere mortal humans have already suggested many ways that the things we see in nature could be improved upon in terms of design. This implies that if our universe was designed it was designed by a designing God who isn't any better than current human engineers.

So I see no reason to believe that our universe was purposefully designed by a designer deity.

In the first paragraph of "Welcome to Deism" they say:
Deism is knowledge of God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. The designs presuppose a Designer.
See this whole religion is based on this flawed premise that the universe must have been intentionally designed and thought-out prior to having evolved into its current state.

The problem with this premise is that this designer-God would then need to be totally responsible for having created a dog-eat-dog world filled with horrible diseases, all of which he must have purposefully and intentionally designed.

This is already extremely problematic.

Why would a God purposefully design life that needs to eat itself? :-k

An omnipotent God could have easily created (designed) a plant kingdom and and animal kingdom that are totally separate from one another. And then all living animals could have been designed to be vegetarians instead of viciously having to prey on each other in horribly brutal ways just to survive.

And then, of course, there would be absolutely no need to design any horrible diseases that would attack and destroy the very life that this God had designed.

So contrary to what these deists claim it is actually far more reasonable to conclude that the universe is not well-designed at all, but instead most likely just evolved to be what it is by pure accident.

So as far as I can see there simply is not compelling evidence or even good reason to even suggest that we should think that there exists a deistic designer God. To the contrary, the world in which we live appears to have been far more the result of happenstance than of any purposeful premeditated design.

Just my thoughts about the information you've linked to.

I really see no reason to read anything further about Deism since it is clearly based upon an extremely faulty and unreasonable premise to begin with. Precisely the opposite of what it claims. It claims to be based on reason but the reasons it offers are grossly flawed.
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Post #3

Post by Freethinker43 »

Divine Insight wrote: Your link didn't work. I fixed it for you"

World Union of Deists

My first question was: "Where is the evidence for a deistic God?"

I believe I found the answer on the first page of Deism Defined

However, I don't find this "evidence" to be very compelling.

Their main "evidence" appears to be in the last paragraph/quote under the first section of "Welcome to Deism".
"But in Deism our reason and our belief become happily united. The wonderful structure of the universe, and everything we behold in the system of the creation, prove to us, far better than books can do, the existence of a God, and at the same time proclaim His attributes."
I suggest that this is the same argument Paul gives in the Christian Gospels:

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (who disbelieve) are without excuse:

I hold that Paul's argument is without merit, and so is the argument given by the World Union of Deists. There is nothing in nature that implied that anything was purposefully designed. To the contrary, even mere mortal humans have already suggested many ways that the things we see in nature could be improved upon in terms of design. This implies that if our universe was designed it was designed by a designing God who isn't any better than current human engineers.

So I see no reason to believe that our universe was purposefully designed by a designer deity.

In the first paragraph of "Welcome to Deism" they say:
Deism is knowledge of God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. The designs presuppose a Designer.
See this whole religion is based on this flawed premise that the universe must have been intentionally designed and thought-out prior to having evolved into its current state.

The problem with this premise is that this designer-God would then need to be totally responsible for having created a dog-eat-dog world filled with horrible diseases, all of which he must have purposefully and intentionally designed.

This is already extremely problematic.

Why would a God purposefully design life that needs to eat itself? :-k

An omnipotent God could have easily created (designed) a plant kingdom and and animal kingdom that are totally separate from one another. And then all living animals could have been designed to be vegetarians instead of viciously having to prey on each other in horribly brutal ways just to survive.

And then, of course, there would be absolutely no need to design any horrible diseases that would attack and destroy the very life that this God had designed.

So contrary to what these deists claim it is actually far more reasonable to conclude that the universe is not well-designed at all, but instead most likely just evolved to be what it is by pure accident.

So as far as I can see there simply is not compelling evidence or even good reason to even suggest that we should think that there exists a deistic designer God. To the contrary, the world in which we live appears to have been far more the result of happenstance than of any purposeful premeditated design.

Just my thoughts about the information you've linked to.

I really see no reason to read anything further about Deism since it is clearly based upon an extremely faulty and unreasonable premise to begin with. Precisely the opposite of what it claims. It claims to be based on reason but the reasons it offers are grossly flawed.
Thank you so much for offering your thoughts on the matter ( and also for fixing that daft link). I agree that evolution is key and ( for me, anyway.. subjectively), the complexities of the universe point to a Designer thereof. I also happen to think that ideas evolve ( different ideas, conflicting priorities lead to people projecting who they think God is and establishing rituals around those beliefs and boom! Religions emerge). If we are comprised of atoms that have existed since the beginning of the Universe and are the result of seven million years of evolution from the time of the Sahelanthropus tchadensis to the Homo sapiens sapienshttp://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/ce ... /bang.html, http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/hum ... tchadensis, I would say that the probabilities of a Creator ( non- anthropomorphic, Life in general) are at least as great as the probabilities of random chance bringing our species where it is today. Sure, life feeds on life and death is a part of a process of recycling nutrients, but that's objective truth, neither good or bad. We've also got viruses and bacteria to contend with and genes that age to the point of non- function, as you pointed out. We also have the technology we need to carry us through illnesses today that would have been fatal even a century ago https://www.buzzfeed.com/kdries/12-dead ... -has-cured.

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Post #4

Post by Divine Insight »

Freethinker43 wrote: the complexities of the universe point to a Designer thereof.
The problem with this argument resides in the simple obvious fact that it assumes that anything of any serious complexity must have been "designed".

Do you see the problem?

Here's the problem. If anything of any serious complexity must have been "designed" then this would necessarily also hold true for any "Designer God" who would have necessarily needed to have been designed as well, via this very same argument.

Something of great complexity (i.e. the proposed designer God) would have needed to exist without having been designed. But that violates the argument.

So since something of complexity would need to have come into existence without a designer why not just accept that the universe is this complex thing that came into existence without a designer?

There's simply no need to go any further than this.
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Post #5

Post by Freethinker43 »

So, the universe we see is the " Self- Created Creator?" Yeah, I can buy into that.

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Post #6

Post by Divine Insight »

Freethinker43 wrote: So, the universe we see is the " Self- Created Creator?" Yeah, I can buy into that.
Even that view defies your original argument. :D

Also, I'm not even arguing that a highly sophisticated complex "God" could not have created the universe.

All I'm saying is that the argument that because the universe is so complex it had to have been designed is a bad argument. That argument would then also demand that if a complex God exists then it too must have been designed.

But yeah, if you want to view the universe as a "self-created creator" have at it. But that wouldn't require your original argument that the universe is so complex that it must have been designed. So now you need a different reason for why you view the universe as a "self-created creator". :D

Just saying.
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Post #7

Post by Freethinker43 »

Divine Insight wrote:
Freethinker43 wrote: So, the universe we see is the " Self- Created Creator?" Yeah, I can buy into that.
Even that view defies your original argument. :D

Also, I'm not even arguing that a highly sophisticated complex "God" could not have created the universe.

All I'm saying is that the argument that because the universe is so complex it had to have been designed is a bad argument. That argument would then also demand that if a complex God exists then it too must have been designed.

But yeah, if you want to view the universe as a "self-created creator" have at it. But that wouldn't require your original argument that the universe is so complex that it must have been designed. So now you need a different reason for why you view the universe as a "self-created creator". :D

Just saying.
Okay, check this out. :D The Universe exploded in the Big Bang, right? As a result, a lot of interstellar gasses coalesced and boom! You get the stars and the planets. On some of those planets, the conditions were right for life to evolve ( generally from bacteria) and some of that life became sentient after millions of years of evolution. Who established these cosmic conditions and various natural laws that permitted life to form and conform to the conditions of their biospheres? I would argue that this Creator was God. Can Creation create itself? Sure! Here's an analogy, maybe a convenient myth that I'll make up off the top of my head:

In the beginning was a lot of heat and gas, time and space, all congealed into a Singularity. The Singularity exploded, passing gas throughout a newborn Cosmos. As matter formed, it went from smaller to larger sizes, ultimately resulting in stars and planets. Life evolved in a similar vein, beginning with bacteria that steadily evolved into higher forms of life as biospheres formed on select planets and sentient beings came into being. These beings understood that there are certain natural laws that are universally adhered to and certain instincts that urge organisms to survival. First came faith. They attributed these laws to Lawgivers, beings that would be later known as gods and goddesses. Then came practices based on faith, rituals, vows and sacrifices that later became codified and written on parchment, later recorded in books and much later copied and put on the internet.

Some religions slowly became aware of a singular God that acted as a universal Sovereign and ascribed attributes to Him that were formerly ascribed to lesser gods and goddesses, which were themselves relegated to history. Then, philosophy entered the scene and shortly thereafter, the disciplines of scientific study emerged. Natural laws and the anatomies of creatures were studied in a more dispassionate way. So, knowledge increased and reason was emphasized over faith.

Some saw no need for a God during this Age of Reason and those of a religious nature doubled- down and reemphasized the importance of religious orthodoxy and traditional beliefs, multiplying houses of worship and religious membership, even appealing to the sensibilities of government to maintain their influence. At the back of all this remains Nature and Nature's God, which may not be separate from the Nature He creates and upholds through laws established to maintain Creation.

Myths still have a value of expressing certain values and an appreciation of the miracle of life that is constantly being created, preserved, destroyed and then re- created, as life is self- recycling. Who says a Designer needs a prior Designer? Especially since the Big Bang itself established time and space? There was no " before" because that still implies a time that was nonexistent 13.7 billion years ago. This argument might be a bit closer to pantheism than to deism, truth be told.

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Post #8

Post by Divine Insight »

I actually support the idea of a plausible panentheistic reality. But that idea is far from Deism.
Freethinker43 wrote: Especially since the Big Bang itself established time and space? There was no " before" because that still implies a time that was nonexistent 13.7 billion years ago.
In the study of physics the only time that was created during the Big Bang was Entropic Time. Or to put that in other terms it was Entropy that was created at the Big Bang. Prior to this "Time" may have indeed existed but it would have been Non-Entropic Time. That is to say that dynamic changes could have been taking place prior to the Big Bang, it's just that those changes did not leave any memory of what "caused" them. In fact, in non-entropic time it doesn't even make any sense to speak of "cause and effect". All that can be said is that changes are taking place. But there is no record of any "past". In other words all records of "past events" are annihilated the moment things change. This is known as non-entropic time. Dynamic change that isn't restricted by entropy.

In fact, the most favored theory today is not that the universe arose from a "singularity" but rather that it arose from a quantum fluctuation, which would have been a non-entropic event.

That quantum fluctuation then "inflated" to a very large size and changed to become a dynamic event that does obey the law of Entropy and thus entropic time was born, and has been with us in this physical universe ever since.

So it actually does make sense to speak of what happened "before" the Big Bang as long as you aren't going to ask for a historical account of it. :D

~~~~~

The panentheistic worldview that I entertain is that the "mind of God" is the quantum substrate which resides in an eternal non-entropic time. It has no past and no future, it simply exists as an eternal dynamic "Now" that does not actively record past events. And this quantum "mind" has become our physical universe. Or at least part of the quantum mind has become our universe. The the "en" in Panentheism. In other words, God is more than just the universe.

~~~~~~

We then are entities that have evolved within this universe and out of it. In short, we are this universe, there is nothing else we could be. And this universe is an aspect of the "mind of God". And thus we are an aspect of the "mind of God". In fact, that's all we are. We have no 'minds' of our own. But we do have individuals brains of our own. And you could say that each one of us is the experience of this physical universe being recorded by our physical brain and ultimately being experienced by "God". And of course since we are having this experience, we are this "God". Or at least a facet of the mind of God.

This is one panentheistic worldview. One that I personally see a lot of potential in. It's NOT Deism, by far. It's Panentheism.

Deism generally thinks of "God" as being a separate entity from us. One that simply doesn't actively intervene in our live.

In Panentheism there is no separation between us and the mind of God. There can't be since we are one in the same.

~~~~~~~~~

However there is a caveat here. And it can be HUGE!

As I said there are two aspects to each of us. The brain and the mind.

Let's just break these down a bit:

The brain: I biological computer within our head that senses and records everything we experience.

The mind: The actual entity that is having the experience.

The brain is a physical configuration. The mind is God (the quantum mind that gives rise to the physical universe)

We can also view this in another way.

The brain: The ego. The sense of individuality. The identity we associate with via our experience.

The mind: Our "True Nature". In other words, the thing that is actually having the experience of being a brain (or an ego).

~~~~~

Now we have a choice.

We can choose to associate with the ego (the brain) and the illusion of being an individual physical entity. If we do this then our focus becomes entirely the ego. Thus when the brain and ego die that vantage point dies with it and God (the entity having the experience will forget about that ego when it's gone). The ego dies and every experience it ever had dies with it, along with the identity it had constructed.

Or we can choose to focus on our true self which is the actual experience of being alive. When we do this we see our brain (and ego) through the eyes of "God" (i.e. from the mind of God. When we do this we remember this experience when the brain and ego die and we survive as an experience remembered in the mind of God.

This is one way of thinking of this.

Buddhism has this all down pat. This is why they refer to the ego as the "illusion" and not the true self. And when you realize you true self (i.e. that you are the entity that is having the experience) this is called being "born again" or "spiritual Enlightenment". And when your ego dies (your brain dies) you will continue to live on as an experience of God.

~~~~~~~

Disclaimer: I'm not claiming that anything I've just said above constitutes truth. I'm just trying to explain one worldview of Panentheism. :D

And this is quite different from Deism. Deism imagines "God" to be separate from us not unlike the Abrahamic religions.

What I've described is more like Buddhism.

Just thought I'd share this for whatever it might be worth.
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Post #9

Post by Freethinker43 »

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My belief system is very simple: I believe in a God that is perceived through His Creation. I do believe that God can be accessed through prayer and meditation. God works through people and He works through technology. I see no need for a lot of verbiage for what ( for me) are very simple and direct beliefs. The Universe is self- created ( by the unseen Hand of God, if you like).
The one universal " Word of God" is the Creation we see.
God dwells within as well as without.
We fail and then we fail again, sinning against each other, occasionally being in a state of grace where we are in harmony with ourselves, our God and each other.
If that doesn't sound like deism to you, then so be it.

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Post #10

Post by Divine Insight »

Freethinker43 wrote: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My belief system is very simple: I believe in a God that is perceived through His Creation. I do believe that God can be accessed through prayer and meditation. God works through people and He works through technology. I see no need for a lot of verbiage for what ( for me) are very simple and direct beliefs. The Universe is self- created ( by the unseen Hand of God, if you like).
The one universal " Word of God" is the Creation we see.
God dwells within as well as without.
We fail and then we fail again, sinning against each other, occasionally being in a state of grace where we are in harmony with ourselves, our God and each other.
If that doesn't sound like deism to you, then so be it.
It's definitely deism as opposed to pantheism if you think of God as being a separate entity from yourself. :D

I don't see how it could be deism though if you claim that God "works through people". That would hardly be a God who doesn't intervene in human affairs. If he's "working through people" then he's intervening via using some people as puppets.

I would also add that any religion that teaches people that a God could be "working through them" is potentially extremely dangerous. This could too easily result in people going out and doing things in the name of a God they claim is working through them. I think this is the basic philosophy of Islamic extremists.
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