deism - belief in a singular god, that for all intents and purposes, is somewhat undefined and ambiguous in nature, and is not concerned with the object of his creation. Most of the founding fathers of the United States were considered Deists.
It is noteworthy that there is a near continuum from deism to agnosticism to atheism, with all three of these terms frequently referring to those who believe in objective reality, science, and the application of human reason. There is a world of difference between someone saying something to the effect of "in considering all of the evidence, I believe that the universe was created by some type of supernatural being" and someone saying "I believe that there is a God that intercedes in our lives and..." Regardless of whether it is Jesus or Mohammed or Joseph Smith, most of those who follow organized religions submit to some type of "God"-inspired authority which superseded human reason. There aren't large organizations of deists lining up in front of abortion clinics and there were [noteworthy deists] advancing the age of reason and establishing the United States.
As an example christians and some atheists necessarily have an adversarial relationship -- each believes the other is not only wrong, but is immoral or harmful -- but atheists are less likely to object to deists' influence on the world.
Last updated by Nelson Feb 9, 2009.