Deism

Argue for and against religions and philosophies which are not Christian

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
Freethinker43
Student
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:18 pm

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.

hoghead1
Guru
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Post #61

Post by hoghead1 »

[Replying to post 60 by American Deist]

I am inclined to agree with you, though I would describe my position as panentheism rather than Deism. I don't think the question of God is a scientific question. It is more like a question in math or logic than in science. I don't think science a anywhere near equipped to deal with the question. Astronomy, chemistry, physics, the whole nine yards, will never settle it. The job of science is to tell us what kind of a universe we have got. And that job is neutral on the question of God. If the scientists tell us we've got a different universe than what we have thought, that simply means God has created in a different way than we thought, and that's it. The job of science has nothing to do with whether God actually exists or not.

In my process metaphysic, I see the basic building blocks of reality, the "atoms," as drops of experience, not passive, inert, dead matter. I view mind and matter as one, not as two separate, independent, conflicting realities. Even atoms have tiny minds. I find no hard-and-fast dividing live between the organic and the organic, the living and the non-living. What is the case at the top of the evolutionary scale is generally the case at the bottom, though significantly less so. We have been so busy extending mechanical principles up the evolutionary scale, to explain things, that we have forgotten it is only fair and logical to extend psychological principles down the scale, to explain matters.

User avatar
American Deist
Apprentice
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:08 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

Post #62

Post by American Deist »

[Replying to post 61 by hoghead1]

Yeah, the lines start to blur when talking about pan-views. Pandeism, pantheism, panendeism, panentheism, etc. They take deism and add 1 small flavor.
I am only responsible for what I say, not what you fail to understand!
P.D. Chaplain w/ Th.D., D.Div. h.c.

hoghead1
Guru
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Post #63

Post by hoghead1 »

[Replying to American Deist]

I don't follow you here. What is the 1 small flavor? Panentheism or process theology is largely a reaction to classical theism, not traditional Deism.

User avatar
American Deist
Apprentice
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:08 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

Post #64

Post by American Deist »

[Replying to post 63 by hoghead1]

Deism, although not coined as such until the Age of Enlightenment, would come first in the natural order of belief in a deity, as that is all it is; the belief in God(s). That belief must come first before rituals, dogma, etc. are created in order to worship said deity.

Theism, as a belief in God(s) that intervenes or that you can have a personal relationship with, would sprout from a deistic concept and expand upon it. The same for the pan-beliefs. For example:

Deism: the simple belief in God as the Creator of the universe

Theism: the belief in God as the Creator that continues to be involved with the universe, offering divine revelation, intervention and miracles

Pantheism: the belief in God and that God became the universe and thus omnipresent

Panentheism: the belief in God and that God interpenetrates every aspect of the universe, but still remains a separate entity from the universe
I am only responsible for what I say, not what you fail to understand!
P.D. Chaplain w/ Th.D., D.Div. h.c.

hoghead1
Guru
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:02 pm

Post #65

Post by hoghead1 »

[Replying to post 64 by American Deist]

OK, that is what I thought you might say. Unlike Deism, process sees a continual interaction between God and the universe. The universe is part of the being of God. I like thinking of the universe as the body of God. And I see creation as God's own self-evolution from unconsciousness and mere potentiality, into self-consciousness and self-actualization. So God is not wholly separate from the universe, but is continually conditioned and influenced by it. However, a blanket equation does not exist between God and the universe, as God transcends the universe, just as I transcend my body.

I don't see much sense in the notion of a God who simply creates, gives it a kick start, and then walks off, turning his back on the world. Such a Deity would be largely indifferent to the world, and I have no place for an indifferent Deity. Such a Deity would be unable to deliver us from the evil of evils: that the past fades, that we achieve a value, only to lose it. On the other hand, if we can pass our lives into God, then it is a different story. Everything has meaning, because everything is preserved and enjoyed in God's eternal memory. So I see God as the supreme effect as well as cause.

User avatar
American Deist
Apprentice
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:08 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

Post #66

Post by American Deist »

hoghead1 wrote:
I don't see much sense in the notion of a God who simply creates, gives it a kick start, and then walks off, turning his back on the world. Such a Deity would be largely indifferent to the world...
I have encountered this line of thinking many times, and I answer it with this: God gave us free will. It is because of that gift that we are not bound to predestination or that God is in control of everything that happens. The choices we make affect our lives or the lives of those around us. It also explains why bad things happen to good people. Someone chose to do something bad (murder, rape, theft) and it had a negative outcome for the victim. It is because of free will that I do not believe in miracles, divine revelation or intervention.

I can't speak for the mind of God, but who is to say that God is not disheartened when someone chooses to do something wicked? Who is to say that God does not feel sorrow or pity when something bad happens not just on this planet, but any planet with life? However, I try not to attach human emotions to an immortal deity, so make of that what you will.
hoghead1 wrote:Such a Deity would be unable to deliver us from the evil of evils...
Perhaps we are to deliver ourselves from evil by choosing to live moral lives.
I am only responsible for what I say, not what you fail to understand!
P.D. Chaplain w/ Th.D., D.Div. h.c.

User avatar
William
Savant
Posts: 10488
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:11 pm
Location: Te Waipounamu
Has thanked: 494 times
Been thanked: 1130 times
Contact:

Post #67

Post by William »

[Replying to post 66 by American Deist]
I have encountered this line of thinking many times, and I answer it with this: God gave us free will. It is because of that gift that we are not bound to predestination or that God is in control of everything that happens. The choices we make affect our lives or the lives of those around us. It also explains why bad things happen to good people. Someone chose to do something bad (murder, rape, theft) and it had a negative outcome for the victim. It is because of free will that I do not believe in miracles, divine revelation or intervention.

I can't speak for the mind of God, but who is to say that God is not disheartened when someone chooses to do something wicked? Who is to say that God does not feel sorrow or pity when something bad happens not just on this planet, but any planet with life? However, I try not to attach human emotions to an immortal deity, so make of that what you will.
I think with this reasoning it is best then to allow for the possibility that while GOD may indeed generally allow for the unfolding of individual free will and subsequent ripple effects, that IT is not so unattached as to not want/be able to respond to the individual if the individual - by the act of their own free will, asks GOD to respond.

It seems reasonable enough. How does Deism see such a possibility?

eta;

For example, if a person finds it difficult to accept their situation or find ways of changing it for the better, and they ask GOD to help them with doing so, and this in turn helps them in doing so, this does not contravene the law of free will, and in itself is helpful in contributing to the overall effect of living a moral life.

Perhaps we are to deliver ourselves from evil by choosing to live moral lives.
Perhaps there are options as well. Perhaps some decide that for them, living a moral life, has to include a personal relationship with GOD.
I am not - of course - saying that everyone proclaiming to have a relationship with GOD is living a moral life, or that those who lack belief in GODs are not living moral lives. Actions speak loader than words, regardless.

User avatar
American Deist
Apprentice
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:08 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

Post #68

Post by American Deist »

William wrote:
I think with this reasoning it is best then to allow for the possibility that while GOD may indeed generally allow for the unfolding of individual free will and subsequent ripple effects, that IT is not so unattached as to not want/be able to respond to the individual if the individual - by the act of their own free will, asks GOD to respond.

It seems reasonable enough. How does Deism see such a possibility?
I can't speak for all deists, only myself.

If an individual asks God to respond, would that response go against the grain of free will? I would have to hear what the question was before I could give my answer.

For example:

1. Someone smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day for 30 years. They develop lung cancer and ask God to heal them. Since they made the free will choice to smoke, God is not going to intervene.

2. A soldier gets injured in combat and has his legs amputated. He prays to God for a miracle to regrow his legs. Since the soldier chose to enter the military knowing that he could be sent to war, God will not intervene.

Under the same scenario, the enemy chose to fire the mortar that resulted in the soldier losing his legs. God will not intervene because of the enemy' free will choice.

3. A baby is born with a defect. Obviously the baby did not choose to be that way. However, the mother smoked, drank or did drugs. Her free will choice affected the child during pregnancy.

Or, an ancestor did something such as incest, and that action tainted the genetic line. That genetic mutation can creep up and cause birth defects. God won't intervene because of the free will choices that can echo for an eternity.
I am only responsible for what I say, not what you fail to understand!
P.D. Chaplain w/ Th.D., D.Div. h.c.

User avatar
William
Savant
Posts: 10488
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:11 pm
Location: Te Waipounamu
Has thanked: 494 times
Been thanked: 1130 times
Contact:

Post #69

Post by William »

[Replying to post 68 by American Deist]
I would have to hear what the question was before I could give my answer.
I gave an example. The person is not affected by external judgement as to what others might think GOD should or shouldn't respond to in relation to the individual. It is between GOD and the individual. To repeat the example I gave.


For example, if a person finds it difficult to accept their situation or find ways of changing it for the better, and they ask GOD to help them with doing so, and this in turn helps them in doing so...

User avatar
American Deist
Apprentice
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:08 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

Post #70

Post by American Deist »

William wrote:
For example, if a person finds it difficult to accept their situation or find ways of changing it for the better, and they ask GOD to help them with doing so, and this in turn helps them in doing so...
If their previous choices put them in that situation, then no, God won't intervene because it would violate their previous free will choices.
I am only responsible for what I say, not what you fail to understand!
P.D. Chaplain w/ Th.D., D.Div. h.c.

Post Reply