Okay, Nerdy Keith, I'll bite: Why would someone be a deist?

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #1604

    Unseen
    Participant

    First, Umar, maybe this category needs a name change to something like “Atheism, etc.” or “Theology.”

    NK, you mentioned in your self-introduction that you’re really a deist not an atheist. I’m wondering why you think deism is a better position than atheism?

    What happened to God? In Death of God theology, some DoG theologians believe that God died literally by, as some put it, “pouring himself into the universe.” In other words, God committed suicide. Other deists, as I understand it, simply think God metaphorically stepped back to let things run themselves.

    Does God intercede in the world anymore, ever? Does the Holy Spirit reveal himself to mankind anymore, ever?

    Explain.

    #1605

    Rebel
    Keymaster

    You have posted in the right category. We already have Atheism category.

    #1607

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    Well truth be told; I don’t think that one position is better than the other. Deism is just where I’m at spiritually and philosophically. I think both positions have something to offer to the table in regards to embracing reason, rationality and scepticism; just in very different ways.

    I personally feel that there is something to deism. Based on what I currently know about the laws of nature; to me it seems very structured very systematic. Therefore it stands to reason that there is a strong plausibility that something rather than nothing is responsible as the first cause. Do I know that this is the case as a fact? No I don’t. I can only base faith on nature and reason.

    In regards to what happened to God? I have no idea. For all I know the God of nature could be still acting as a first cause to create other universes (if the multiverse theory is correct). This idea that God died upon the formation of the universe is going more down the lines of pandeism. I find the idea of pandeism interesting; but I personally don’t believe in pandeism. I’m much more persuaded by modern / contemporary deism. In that I believe in plausibility of something that was a first cause of sorts to get the ball rolling; but doesn’t intervene beyond the starting point of creation. It would need a big bang and evolution as its process to create the universe; in order to maintain this distance. I would imagine that if this deity exists; it purposefully does not intervene as to not disrupt the natural order of the universe.

    Does God intercede in the world anymore ever? In terms of how a Christian or Muslim believes in revelation? I don’t believe so. I see no reason for it to interfere with he laws of nature it would have set up originally. I also see no reason why such a deity would obtain human emotions as the biblical and koran deity is portrayed. This deity would truly have to be above human emotions. Which is another reason why theistic concepts of Gods will never make any sense to me. I reject direct revelation; most deists tend to be with me on that regard. If this God exists; I would imagine it would have some sort of higher more advanced state of existence. Taking a trip down to Earth; would not really be on its agenda. We are but one planet within a seemingly vastness universe (we don’t know the exact size at present; at least not to my knowledge). Human beings or indeed an creature on Earth are just not that special. Thats the thing with many theists; compared to deists. They think human beings have special privilege over all other creatures of the universe; this simply is not so.

    I don’t mean to nick pick at semantics; but the idea of a “holy spirit” is a very Christian idea. Which is really only used by Christians (more notable Catholics) to define the trinity. As a deist I don’t believe in a trinity. Its possible that there was one single entity responsible for the first cause; bringing about the big bang; followed by evolution etc

    Edit:

    I would just like to add that I’m still in the process of educating myself on my belief system. Reading various texts written by deists philosophers (both of the classical and contemporary areas). At the moment I’m reading a very interesting book written by Beth Huston called “Born Again Deist”. She is a former Christian turned deist. Interesting stuff to say the least. So I’m a working progress

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by  Nerdy Keith.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by  Nerdy Keith.
    #1620

    Simon Mathews
    Participant

    Hi Keith. I have more respect for the position of Deist than that of Theist. I can see it’s appeal. However, don’t forget the Anthropic principle when discussing why the laws of nature appear to be so systematic and ordered. If they were not, we would not exist and therefore could not ask the question. It’s possible there are billions of other universes where the laws would seem completely random to us but whatever beings inhabit those universes are asking exactly the same question. How come our universe is so ordered and designed for us to live in?

    #1629

    Davis
    Participant

    Keith…I see you’ve found the design argument too tempting to resist. What do you say about the overwealming chaos and epic failures in “design and orderliness” (at every level) in the universe?

    What do you think about fine tuning?

    #1630

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    Hi Davis,

    The way I’ve looked at this for some time is that when anything is in the process of design; there are going to be problems until completion. The universe is not a complete product; and therefore unfortunately natural disasters and disease is inevitable. Due to the nature of nature (so to speak); I’m not so sure if we can ever be at a point to say “Ok the universe is done now”. I believe it is an ongoing process.

    #1631

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    Some very valid points there Simon; as I say I’m still educating myself on my belief system. With deism; scientific principles come very much into play with our belief system.

    #1632

    Davis
    Participant

    Hi Davis,

    The way I’ve looked at this for some time is that when anything is in the process of design; there are going to be problems until completion. The universe is not a complete product; and therefore unfortunately natural disasters and disease is inevitable. Due to the nature of nature (so to speak); I’m not so sure if we can ever be at a point to say “Ok the universe is done now”. I believe it is an ongoing process.

    Mmmm…I think you might have to iron out a notable kink here. On one hand…completion is on its way…but on the otherhand…we can never say the universe is done. Do you mean that even after completion the universe continues in an ongoing process or are we at a state of ROCK AND ROLL when completion arrives?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by  Davis.
    #1634

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    Davis,

    The only way I could imagine that the universe is “done”; would be (and some scientists do have interesting arguments to back this up); if another big bang was to occur. But this would be more of a reset; than a state of completion in this case.

    I’m curious to know however; what you are defining as “completion”. What exactly makes the universe complete? I think that like biological beings; the universe itself evolves, changes and adapts in its own way.

    #1646

    Deism is just where I’m at spiritually and philosophically

    Hi Keith, good to hear from you again. Would it be more accurate if I reworded your opening sentence to read…..Deism is just where I’m at intellectually?

    #1647

    Davis
    Participant

    Davis,

    The only way I could imagine that the universe is “done”; would be (and some scientists do have interesting arguments to back this up); if another big bang was to occur. But this would be more of a reset; than a state of completion in this case.

    I’m curious to know however; what you are defining as “completion”. What exactly makes the universe complete? I think that like biological beings; the universe itself evolves, changes and adapts in its own way.

    Completion and universe dont belong in the same sentence as there is no reason to consider te universe as some project.

    It is actually you who mentioned completion…not me.

    The way I’ve looked at this for some time is that when anything is in the process of design; there are going to be problems until completion.

    So judging by how you have explained away the epic failures in the design and order in the universe…it seems as though you think they are inevitable kinks in the process…until some completion arrives. But the only completion you can think of is another big bang. So…all of these flaws in the design are part of a process leading up to another big bang?

    #1655

    Unseen
    Participant

    The universe is not a complete product; and therefore unfortunately natural disasters and disease is inevitable.

    If it’s incomplete because God isn’t done with it, that seems to fly in the face of the deist position which I’ve seen defined as “belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.”

    If God isn’t done yet, in what sense are you a deist? If he is done, how is it that the universe is in some way “incomplete”?

    #1656

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    On one hand…completion is on its way…but on the otherhand…we can never say the universe is done.

    Davis I was referring to this comment you made. I was just wondering what you meant by “completion is on its way”. I don’t actually view the universe as a project; I’m just open to the plausibility of it existing due to an external first cause.

    Well I don’t agree that they are “epic failures”. I think many people are so used to hearing the Christian intelligent design where; every aspect of creation is hand crafted by a revealed deity; that it can be very different to the idea of basically “deistic evolution” for a better phrase.

    They key here is to say for argument sake that the God of nature is real. Just imagine that for a second. If that where they case what conditions and criteria would need to be present for the universe to come about in this way? In my view this deity needs to create a universe externally without interfering when the ball is rolling (so to speak). So therefore it would need to devise processes like the big bang and evolution to go about this; while also setting up laws of nature to maintain order within nature.

    I think perhaps you may have misunderstood where I was going with my comment about a completed universe. I’m actually denying the possibility of a completed or finished universe. The ongoing formation of the universe; as far as I am concerned is eternal. I have the very same view on evolution as it happens. I don’t think that any one specie will be at the end of the evolutionary process; humans aren’t even at the end of our evolutionary process.

    Now returning to this idea of a flawed design or arguably flawed universe. It is only flawed as far as human beings are concerned. What we might subjectively find more desirable to us; may not be suitable to the rest of the universe. There is a lot we just don’t know about the rest of the universe; so I would argue that it is likely that the harshness of nature may be actually essential to maintain balance and order within the universe itself.

    #1657

    Unseen
    Participant

    I don’t mean to nick pick at semantics; but the idea of a “holy spirit” is a very Christian idea. Which is really only used by Christians (more notable Catholics) to define the trinity. As a deist I don’t believe in a trinity. Its possible that there was one single entity responsible for the first cause; bringing about the big bang; followed by evolution etc

    Let me nitpick back. ANY trinitarian version of Christianity believes in The Holy Spirit, and that is almost all of them.

    #1659

    Nerdy Keith
    Participant

    If it’s incomplete because God isn’t done with it, that seems to fly in the face of the deist position which I’ve seen defined as “belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.”

    If God isn’t done yet, in what sense are you a deist? If he is done, how is it that the universe is in some way “incomplete”?

    Well I actually never said God isn’t done yet; the process the God of Nature triggered is not complete; its still occurring in nature.

    ANY trinitarian version of Christianity believes in The Holy Spirit, and that is almost all of them.

    I’m well aware of that; deism is separate from Christianity. Even Christian deism isn’t really “Christian” in the strictest senses. As it rejects Christ as the son on God; and believes Christ to be simply a son of God. But I’m not a Christian deist myself.

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