We've all heard about the Founders (US) and their Deism. It's such a mystical word to us today. I don't know any Deists. A two sentence description of what Deists believe...
1. The Creator was a watchmaker God.
2. That means he built the world then went about his business of building worlds and had no further influence here.
I was thinking today that Deists are nothing but Atheists who lack information. So in my ever scientific manner, I look up Atheism in Wiki. Under Etymology
I find that prior to the 18th century the term Atheist was an insult. Not a term a man looking for power might bestow upon himself. I type in Deism
and find that these were people who viewed the world in a natural way. They used reason to decide things. That sounds an awful lot like a lack of religion to me.
During the founding of this country, not much was known beyond what was visible with the naked eye. It wasn't until nearly a decade after Jefferson's death that Bassi brought forth Germ Theory
. There was no Google in those days. it might take a decade for a book or theory to become popular or known. So these men and women were faced with trying to understand the world without biology. Without Evolution. Without Red Shift. More importantly, without great authors to spread the word and enlightenment to free enslaved minds. These were minds that were great, but the concept of no God would be confounding without other possible explanations.
So is it time that we take the term Deism under our belt? Hearing quotes from our great leaders like Madison asking, "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." These aren't the words of a religionist. These are the arguments that we make here daily. It's time that we take this claim of Deism being a religion away from the religionists. It's a historical stepping stone to Atheism. Deist's were a microscope away from being Atheists, and it's time that people talk about it.