The Human Truth Foundation

Deism

By Vexen Crabtree 2015

#atheism #deism #god #monotheism #omnipotency #omniscience #polytheism #prayer #properties_of_god #religion #theism

deism
Links: Pages on deism, Other Religions
God(s)Atheist / Monotheist / Polytheist / Other
Adherentdeist
Adherentsdeists
TextsNone
AfterlifeNot defined
Founding
Heritagetheism
Area of OriginPrehistoric/universal
Whenprehistoric
Founder
Numbers in the UK (Census results)
2001 63920111 199

Deism is the belief in a single creator God whose sole task was to design and implement the Universe and then to let it all play out1,2. As a being that is beyond time, beyond change, and utterly transcendental, God doesn't interfere or meddle in its own great plan. All of time, all events, are the product of the omniscient plan of God and so once set in motion, there is no need for God to perform miracles, found religions, communicate with any particular being, or interact in any way. The only way to study God, is to study its creation3. Deists tend to be skeptical of all such religious claims unless they are rationally acceptable1. Such things would only need to be done if the original plan was not as perfect as it could have been. Therefore, deism does not permit organized beliefs, organized religion or any dogmas at all. It is the purest and most innocent form of theism, but is also the most pointless, where belief in God is almost completely inconsequential. It is an ancient doctrine, known in ancient Greece as logos4. Thomas Hobbes in (1651)5 made the deistic argument that nature itself is "the art whereby God hath made and governes the world"6. Because of its lack of supernaturalism, magic and ritual, deism only suits those who can fit their personal spirituality into a logical and dry box, whereas most religious folk are interested in religions that have social, irrational, emotional and procedural aspects7. Therefore, deism has always been proclaimed by only a small number of people.

Opponents of Deism

#christianity #USA

Christian institutions have often feared the rational outlook of Deism, especially in the extent to which Deists argue (very well) that nearly all of religion is unfounded nonsense.

Many of the founding fathers of the USA were outspoken advocates of Deism, but well-funded and energetic campaigns by religious institutions (especially Calvinists) convinced many that Deism was "satanic"11.

Deism, they insisted, would promote atheism and materialism; it worshipped Nature and Reason instead of Jesus Christ. [...] When Thomas Jefferson ran for president in 1800, there was a second anti-deist campaign which tried to establish a link between Jefferson and the atheistic "Jacobins" of the godless French Revolution.

"The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam" by Karen Armstrong (2000)12