Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
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03-07-2017, 02:03 PM
Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
With the Independence Day coming tomorrow, I can't help but think about the founding fathers and the inevitable "Our country was founded as a Christian nation" tripe that will be coming. Of course, our national gov't was supposed to be secular with states having the rights to do whatever on that front (so long as it doesn't violate the constitution). I know a lot of the founding fathers were Deists, which means that it was NOT assumed that the creator God was judeo-christian.

If Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the other Deists were alive today, do you think they would consider themselves Deists? I think this is no longer a serious position anymore and that they would be Agnostic. Has anyone ever met a self-professing Deist? I never have; however, I've met Theists (active belief in something), Atheists and Agnostics.
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03-07-2017, 02:11 PM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
(03-07-2017 02:03 PM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  If Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the other Deists were alive today, do you think they would consider themselves Deists?

Don't know don't care.

Quote:I think this is no longer a serious position anymore and that they would be Agnostic.

Impossible to check so speculation is pointless.

Also was deism ever serious position? It's still built on the same failure as theism - that god exist.

Quote:Has anyone ever met a self-professing Deist?

Only "met" such in internet forums.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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03-07-2017, 02:20 PM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
Like Szuchow, I've only met self-professed deists online, although I may well have met the real-life equivalent from time to time. Some people have very loosely and non-dogmatically held beliefs about god, and often not very specific. Many people who are Unitarian/Universalists, for example, are like that. I see deism as a desire to hold onto some sort of first cause or supreme being with virtually no dogma, but it ultimately has no more basis than any other form of theism.

Deism can be thought of as a form of agnostic theism. Another form might be the so-called "spiritual but not religious" camp, although that can at times hold forth a more dogmatic belief that is simply self-made rather than borrowed.

It is interesting to speculate whether 18th century deists would now be more likely to call themselves agnostics (more accurately, agnostic theists, since most atheists are agnostics) but who really knows. My own theory is that most of those guys would be emboldened to call themselves atheists since I believe that deism was just a public mask over unbelief, which was still quite unthinkable in that era.
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03-07-2017, 11:57 PM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
..... doesn't calling it "outdated" imply that it was once applicable, or suggested by the known evidence?

....

Okay, but in all seriousness, I got no problems with deists. And I love throwing Paine's quote about Christianity being a form of blasphemy into the faces of those "founding fathers were Christian" idjits.

It also makes a good talking point in a debate, to illustrate how such-and-such weaksauce argument won't get you farther than deism even if it were right, and oh by the way it's not.
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04-07-2017, 05:52 AM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
I wouldn't think someone of high intellect would consider a deist god to be a viable proposition. I had about a 1 month phase of deism as I transitioned from Christian to deist to atheist. When I thought about it, I realized a deist god is exactly the same in terms of how it impacts humanity as a god that never existed.

It was functionally equivalent to an atheist position.

Though I have seen some obnoxious deists on this forum, whenever they want to assert that they know about this alleged deist construct and we'll have some sort of afterlife tied to it, then we are right back to religion and it's unsupported claims.

Deism is a form of intellectual cowardice IMO, if a person admits that a god isn't affecting the universe, except as a first cause, then you would have to acknowledge a first cause construct will not provide you an afterlife, answers to any prayers, or any kind of communication or acknowledgement to humans.

If you acknowledge those things, then what's the point of a god concept?

It's as useful as the garage dragon.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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04-07-2017, 05:57 AM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
(03-07-2017 02:20 PM)mordant Wrote:  Like Szuchow, I've only met self-professed deists online, although I may well have met the real-life equivalent from time to time. Some people have very loosely and non-dogmatically held beliefs about god, and often not very specific. Many people who are Unitarian/Universalists, for example, are like that. I see deism as a desire to hold onto some sort of first cause or supreme being with virtually no dogma, but it ultimately has no more basis than any other form of theism.

Deism can be thought of as a form of agnostic theism. Another form might be the so-called "spiritual but not religious" camp, although that can at times hold forth a more dogmatic belief that is simply self-made rather than borrowed.

It is interesting to speculate whether 18th century deists would now be more likely to call themselves agnostics (more accurately, agnostic theists, since most atheists are agnostics) but who really knows. My own theory is that most of those guys would be emboldened to call themselves atheists since I believe that deism was just a public mask over unbelief, which was still quite unthinkable in that era.


The "I'm spiritual, not religious" line of shit just indicates a woo- soaked brain that's ignorant compounded by arrogance......

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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04-07-2017, 08:04 AM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
(04-07-2017 05:52 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  When I thought about it, I realized a deist god is exactly the same in terms of how it impacts humanity as a god that never existed.

It was functionally equivalent to an atheist position.
Exactly. An absent or indifferent god is the same for all practical purposes as a non-existent one in that it doesn't impact your life (or anyone's life) for good or ill in any way. In the pursuit of elegance and simplicity, all entities or ideas that have no impact should be dispensed with.
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04-07-2017, 08:08 AM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
(04-07-2017 05:57 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  The "I'm spiritual, not religious" line of shit just indicates a woo- soaked brain that's ignorant compounded by arrogance......
It all depends on the specificity and nature of the woo. Some of them just hold vague beliefs about non-interventionist (demi)gods and have the notion that some affinity for "spirituality" is important to one's mental and emotional well-being and adjustment. Some of them have florid and bizarre beliefs borrowed from the worst precincts of theism. In both cases "spiritual but not religious" is an apologetic for not participating in accepted mass hysteria, and substituting some form of personal belief (or hysteria).

I think we notice the nutbag types more than the more benign forms, but both exist.
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04-07-2017, 08:09 AM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
(03-07-2017 02:03 PM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  If Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the other Deists were alive today

Where did you get the idea that Washington was a Deist?

If I were somehow convinced that the Bible isn't true, deism would be the only logical thing I could believe in. The fact that life is too complicated to have developed by chance proves that there is a creator. This fact alone isn't enough to prove that God is concerned about our welfare, so it would mean that deism must be true.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
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04-07-2017, 08:29 AM
RE: Deism is an outdated concept - agree?
(04-07-2017 08:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  If I were somehow convinced that the Bible isn't true, deism would be the only logical thing I could believe in. The fact that life is too complicated to have developed by chance proves that there is a creator. This fact alone isn't enough to prove that God is concerned about our welfare, so it would mean that deism must be true.
The Bible is a lot of specific claims about god. If you were convinced that the Bible were not true then you'd be forced to be less specific. You are correct that Deism is just making minimal claims about god, mainly that he is a the creator / first mover and wandered off somewhere since then and does not engage with us. But even this is an unwarranted claim. It is just a standard argument from incredulity: this complexity doesn't intuitively seem possible to exist or to be configured to sustain my life so therefore it must be created.
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