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?
When someone wants to find out if there is a god, what generally happens? They read all kind of books and listen to educated arguments of people and they will either be persuaded or not. But if that person wants to find out the truth of the matter, can they belong to either side? It makes sense to me, that a person must be free from all speculation, all knowledge and all belief in order to experience being free.
I discovered that a god concept stems from a need for one, and that is what I do not have. Freedom, I think, lacks desire, conclusions or even a need to conclude.
The answer to 'why not X?' is always 'Why not Y instead?'. From Occum, the explanation with fewer cogs, wheels, ramps, springs, hinges, shims, screws and tape is better.
Starting with 'why not god?' quickly gets me to
1. Flying Spagetti Monster
2. fly through the air on a carpet
3. accept that I am actually a fig being eaten by a crow
4. a flat earth
5. a square circle.
6. a skyscaper made of Jello
Really listen carefully to Hawking, Dawkins and Dennett. The algorithm does not need chocolate icing.
Why not Deism? Because Deism is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. It's like saying that I can fly when nobody is looking, or that I have a pet unicorn but only I can see it. Take a look at this article below;
The Dragon In My Garage
by Carl Sagan
"A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage"
Suppose (I'm following a group therapy approach by the psychologist Richard Franklin) I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you'd want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!
"Show me," you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle -- but no dragon.
"Where's the dragon?" you ask.
"Oh, she's right here," I reply, waving vaguely. "I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon."
You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.
"Good idea," I say, "but this dragon floats in the air."
Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.
"Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless."
You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.
"Good idea, but she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick." And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work.
"Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so. The only thing you've really learned from my insistence that there's a dragon in my garage is that something funny is going on inside my head. You'd wonder, if no physical tests apply, what convinced me. The possibility that it was a dream or a hallucination would certainly enter your mind. But then, why am I taking it so seriously? Maybe I need help. At the least, maybe I've seriously underestimated human fallibility. Imagine that, despite none of the tests being successful, you wish to be scrupulously open-minded. So you don't outright reject the notion that there's a fire-breathing dragon in my garage. You merely put it on hold. Present evidence is strongly against it, but if a new body of data emerge you're prepared to examine it and see if it convinces you. Surely it's unfair of me to be offended at not being believed; or to criticize you for being stodgy and unimaginative -- merely because you rendered the Scottish verdict of "not proved."
Imagine that things had gone otherwise. The dragon is invisible, all right, but footprints are being made in the flour as you watch. Your infrared detector reads off-scale. The spray paint reveals a jagged crest bobbing in the air before you. No matter how skeptical you might have been about the existence of dragons -- to say nothing about invisible ones -- you must now acknowledge that there's something here, and that in a preliminary way it's consistent with an invisible, fire-breathing dragon.
Now another scenario: Suppose it's not just me. Suppose that several people of your acquaintance, including people who you're pretty sure don't know each other, all tell you that they have dragons in their garages -- but in every case the evidence is maddeningly elusive. All of us admit we're disturbed at being gripped by so odd a conviction so ill-supported by the physical evidence. None of us is a lunatic. We speculate about what it would mean if invisible dragons were really hiding out in garages all over the world, with us humans just catching on. I'd rather it not be true, I tell you. But maybe all those ancient European and Chinese myths about dragons weren't myths at all.
Gratifyingly, some dragon-size footprints in the flour are now reported. But they're never made when a skeptic is looking. An alternative explanation presents itself. On close examination it seems clear that the footprints could have been faked. Another dragon enthusiast shows up with a burnt finger and attributes it to a rare physical manifestation of the dragon's fiery breath. But again, other possibilities exist. We understand that there are other ways to burn fingers besides the breath of invisible dragons. Such "evidence" -- no matter how important the dragon advocates consider it -- is far from compelling. Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion."
Terrific. I like the story about the anonymous letters. (Many variations can be had on this one, here is one of my own.)
You receive a letter in the mail one day. You don't know who it is from. You open it and it says "I love you."
Not sure what to make of it , you throw it away and think nothing of it. The next day , you receive another letter. Again anonymous. The letter this time reads "I love you. Do you love me too?"
Now you are thinking to yourself , perhaps this person is really serious. They know who you are and they are confessing their love for you. Is it possible to love this person back even if you don't know who it is? If you don't know where this Love came from? Again you decide it's a prank and you throw the letter away.
The next day you receive a third letter. It states "I created you in my image. I love you so much and all I ask is that you love me back. If you love me back I will reward you with great treasures."
So again you begin to wonder what sort of person would send letters like this? Do you know this person? How do they claim to have 'created you' ... your parents died in a car accident years ago. You begin to get worried about these letters ... but you think nothing of it and throw the letter away for the third time.
You expect another letter the next day. Surely it arrives in the mailbox and you open it up ... this time it reads "I know you are throwing these letters away .. how sad it makes me .. all I wanted was for you to Love me .. how difficult is that .. so for the last time do you Love me back? If you don't accept my Love and truly Love me back before you die , tremendous suffering and anguish will come upon you in your afterlife .. choose wisely ..
P.S I am God. "
Personally, I don't find deism all that interesting. It is too abstract. After all, what dogma, commandments, moral/ethical precepts, etc. follow from being a deist. I am much more interested in how religious belief impacts the world and all the creatures in it. Because deism offers no guidance for how any human should live it just seems like one of those "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" things. So, for me that is "why not deism."
But also, I looked at the following definitions of deism (I actually wasn't familiar with the first one):
So, as far as the first definition goes my examination/contemplation of "the evidence of reason and nature" has led me to believe that god does not exist.
As to the second definition - meh (see my first paragraph)
Deism presumes a supernatural deity. Atheism does not.
As Galen previously mentioned (and I paraphrase) the theist is saying (or simply believing) that a mythic/magic/supernatural entity of some sort has influence of varying degree over human existence. That belief is all well and good but it requires proof. The atheist makes no such claim therefore requires no proof.
If I said that there is a cow in the room and no one else could see it then I would be reasonably tasked with validating the existence of the cow. The others would not be required to disprove the imaginary cow.
As was also mentioned previously - belief in a deity is not a natural state of thinking. It must be taught. If you take hundreds of years and punish any person who disagrees with the cow being in the room (punishments ranging from social rejection to torture, imprisonment and death) then it is not unreasonable to find many who will strongly argue for the cow being there but that does not validate the cow.
Religion is rooted in ignorance and encouraged with fear. Why not deism? From a personal perspective, I constantly work on reducing my ignorance and shedding my fear so finding solace in them simply doesn't work for me.