I have been challenged and have challenged myself why I am not a Diest and the only reason why I am not at the moment is because I do not like to make quick decsions, perhaps the God of the Bible is the actual God? but perhaps He isnt? So at the moment I am inbetween; both a Deist and some sought of Theist.

 

My question for you guys is; why not Deism?

Many of you guys used to be Christians/Muslims or just plain religious and your belief that God does not communicate with us or contradictions in the Bible does not mean there is not a God.

However, with society most people are either the two extremes and this can be seen with atheism and theism.

 

So why Atheism? Is it just an emotional reaction to seeing contradictions in the Bible and other religions and claiming there is no God or having a belief that there isnt one? And why not Deism? 

 

Thanks.

 

 

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For me it is simple.  There is no reason to "believe" there is a god.  It is Bertrand Russell's celestial teapot.  I cannot prove its not there but I have no evidence suggesting it exists.  Therefore, I must proceed as if it does not exist. 

As to your inquiring of a possible "emotional reaction," I find it just to the contrary.  There is no emotion involved.  There is simply no justification for believing. 

If you do find a compelling justification for the belief please do share...my life would be a hell-of-a lot easier if I could believe.

 

Cheers 

 

If you are that curious about deism, perhaps you should do some research on the subject (if you have not already that is)

For what it is worth however, here is a quote from Anthony Flew in which I have quite appreciated:

"Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. 

The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intellectually organised and purpose driven beings which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature."

- Anthony Flew

I love the way Christians gather around Anthony Flew like underequipped campers around a fire gathering whatever heat they can from a small campfire. 

Anthony Flew is hardly one of the great philosophers of the 20th Century. He's no Sartre, Heidegger, Bertrand Russell, or Ludwig Wittgenstein.

What I will say to that is. That when Anthony Flew converted to deism. There was a massive frenzy in the media point blank assuming that he had converted to Christianity. Just go to show you how dishonest Christians really are

I'm not sure the problem was Christians. The way you explain it, it may be that the main problem is journalists who don't understand enough about religion or philosophy to write or talk intelligently about it.

Bertrand Russell complained about popular expositions of his ideas by saying something like "I'd rather have my worst enemy among philosophers explain my views than my most enthusiastic layman supporter."

If you are that curious about deism, perhaps you should do some research on the subject (if you have not already that is)

The closest thing to deism I could accept is the God of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan and Spinoza, the God of naturalistic pantheism: God = Nature + Reverence.

This is what Richard Dawkins refers to as sexed up atheism.

"Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intellectually organised and purpose driven beings which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature." - Antony Flew

This is Antony Flew (re)stating the non-arguments for creationism: the 'fine-tuned universe for life' tautology and the 'nothing comes from nothing' canard.

It's regrettable that Flew spent his life as an opponent of religious crackpots like William Lane Craig only to reverse himself as his intellectual powers faded in old age; even to the point of advocating that intelligent design be taught in public schools.

Well I personally don't agree with everything Flew had to say. I do think he made some strong cases for deism.  Unfortunately Dawkins skips over Flew's actual key arguments that he discussed in his "There is a God" book. 

Most of Flew's key arguments are actually based on the systematic order of the laws of nature as you can see from my above quote and not so much in intelligent design

Well I personally don't agree with everything Flew had to say. I do think he made some strong cases for deism.  Unfortunately Dawkins skips over Flew's actual key arguments that he discussed in his "There is a God" book. 

It's really Roy Varghese's book. (That's Roy Varghese, the crackpot who says flying bees and grains of sand are proof that God exists.) When questioned as to the contents of "his" book in an article for the New York Times, Flew himself was oddly unfamiliar with it:

In “There Is a God,” Flew quotes extensively from a conversation he had with Leftow, a professor at Oxford. So I asked Flew, “Do you know Brian Leftow?”

“No,” he said. “I don’t think I do.”

“Do you know the work of the philosopher John Leslie?” Leslie is discussed extensively in the book.

Flew paused, seeming unsure. “I think he’s quite good.” But he said he did not remember the specifics of Leslie’s work.

“Have you ever run across the philosopher Paul Davies?” In his book, Flew calls Paul Davies “arguably the most influential contemporary expositor of modern science.”

“I’m afraid this is a spectacle of my not remembering!”

He said this with a laugh. When we began the interview, he warned me, with merry self-deprecation, that he suffers from “nominal aphasia,” or the inability to reproduce names. But he forgot more than names. He didn’t remember talking with Paul Kurtz about his introduction to “God and Philosophy” just two years ago. There were words in his book, like “abiogenesis,” that now he could not define.

When I asked about Gary Habermas, who told me that he and Flew had been friends for 22 years and exchanged “dozens” of letters, Flew said, “He and I met at a debate, I think.” I pointed out to him that in his earlier philosophical work he argued that the mere concept of God was incoherent, so if he was now a theist, he must reject huge chunks of his old philosophy. “Yes, maybe there’s a major inconsistency there,” he said, seeming grateful for my insight.

This is not Flew's work. Varghese, a Christian apologist, wrote this book and took advantage of an enfeebled old man to credit the concepts and authorship to Antony Flew's name and reputation:

When I asked Varghese, he freely admitted that the book was his idea and that he had done all the original writing for it. But he made the book sound like more of a joint effort — slightly more, anyway. “There was stuff he had written before, and some of that was adapted to this,” Varghese said. “There is stuff he’d written to me in correspondence, and I organized a lot of it. And I had interviews with him. So those three elements went into it. Oh, and I exposed him to certain authors and got his views on them. We pulled it together. And then to make it more reader-friendly, HarperCollins had a more popular author go through it.”

This is simply a sad story of a fading scholar who was manipulated into becoming a "former atheist" by a team of frauds for creationism: Roy Varghese, Gerald Schroeder, John Haldane, Liberty University, and Biola University.

Most of Flew's key arguments are actually based on the systematic order of the laws of nature as you can see from my above quote and not so much in intelligent design.

I'm sorry Keith, but an appeal based on "the systematic order of the laws of nature" resembles a key component for the non-argument for intelligent design (the new name of creationism).

Anyone who believes that the universe was created by a ghost (spirit, soul) is pretty much a crackpot or idiot in my view. 

1. That there are recognizable patterns in nature doesn't prove that a supernatural being fixed those patterns. That leap of logic requires a large overdose of faith. It can be explained rationally without any magic.

2. Once people learnt the secret behind a magic trick or a solar eclipse or how the circulatory system worked...it was no longer mysterious nor divine seeming. It's the same with self-replicated DNA that spontaneously forms out of ordinary matter. It is not magic. It is easily explained by reason and science.

3. Organic matter, the rings of Saturn, black holes, sunsets, shooting stars. They all give us goosebumps and are beautiful and rare and complex...but none of them need a creator or god. They are all easily explained through reason and science.

All the reasons given (in the last page or so--I haven't read the rest of the thread) not to be a deist are good ones.

I'd much rather live in a community of deists than Christians, however.  (Though a community full of very tolerant Xians wouldn't be too bad.)  Deists, as far as I know, are not intolerant of other points of view on the doG question; and they'd dismiss the proposition that doG wants them to be.  Much harder for an Xian to square with his beliefs.  I could imagine having a non-acrimonious conversation with them on the subject of whether doG exists. 

But then, I am not so much hostile towards believers as I am hostile to believers who think doG wants something from me and they are going to force me to give it to him.

One negative of deism, of course, is that the Christians may see your references to "our Creator," "Divine Providence" and the "Architect" someday and try to claim you were in fact Xian someday, after you are too dead to deny it.  (And the fact that you never said "the Lord" or "Jesus" won't carry much weight with them.)  That is what happened with the founding fathers.

Deism, like Christianity, covers a lot of ground. There are so-called Christian Deists. The Founding Fathers of the United States, however, were almost certainly NOT Christian deists:

Deism was a philosophical belief that was widely accepted by the colonial intelligentsia at the time of the American Revolution. Its major tenets included belief in human reason as a reliable means of solving social and political problems and belief in a supreme deity who created the universe to operate solely by natural laws. The supreme God of the Deists removed himself entirely from the universe after creating it. They believed that he assumed no control over it, exerted no influence on natural phenomena, and gave no supernatural revelation to man. A necessary consequence of these beliefs was a rejection of many doctrines central to the Christian religion. Deists did not believe in the virgin birth, divinity, or resurrection of Jesus, the efficacy of prayer, the miracles of the Bible, or even the divine inspiration of the Bible.

That the United States was founded as a Christian country is a persistent myth.

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