Deism vs. theism
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23-12-2014, 12:23 PM
Deism vs. theism
So, in honor of goodwithoutgod and his Yahoo debates, I decided to look for a group like that in Facebook. I found one that pits theists vs. atheists.

In the very first thread I contributed to, there was a woman on there who said she was a deist but still wanted to contribute. Someone said a deist is a theist so you're fine. I argued that while deism falls under the overarching umbrella of theism and yes she's fine, their is a second definition of theism that explains the believer also believes their god is concerned with their lives, etc., while a deist believes a god created everything but is indifferent to its inhabitants, etc.

The mod of the group disagreed and said there is no category for someone who believes their god is personal and that we would have to probe deeper into their religion to understand and to label. I told him the very first definition of theist in most if not all dictionaries explains that the deity is involved in the day-to-day lives of its believers and the second definition is the blanket version that means a believer in a god.

Am I wrong? And I am, then what do you call a person who believes in the god who cares about his creations? If you say theist then how can a deist be a theist in that aspect?

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23-12-2014, 01:07 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
(23-12-2014 12:23 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  The mod of the group disagreed and said there is no category for someone who believes their god is personal and that we would have to probe deeper into their religion to understand and to label. I told him the very first definition of theist in most if not all dictionaries explains that the deity is involved in the day-to-day lives of its believers and the second definition is the blanket version that means a believer in a god.

Am I wrong?

I think I agree with the moderator. Deists are a subset of theists and while I'd usually use the more general term only for people who do believe in a personal god, it really isn't restricted to them. It's kind of like square versus rectangle; all squares are rectangles but if I say something is a rectangle I usually mean it isn't square. There just isn't a word for "rectangle but not square" like there isn't a word for "theist but more than deist".

Quote:And [if] I am, then what do you call a person who believes in the god who cares about his creations?

Mistaken? Deluded?
Consider

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23-12-2014, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 23-12-2014 01:33 PM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: Deism vs. theism
I agree. While I'm certainly no Theologian I've always had the understanding that the "god" alluded to in a deist worldview was that of an ambivalent designer. Maybe it's like squares and diamonds, all Deists are Theists, but not all Theists are Deists?
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23-12-2014, 01:28 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
I agree that deism falls under theism, but when we make the distinction that there are people who believe in a god who is intervening we give those believers a title, what is the title? It's theist. A deist is NOT a theist in this example. That's why the distinction.

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23-12-2014, 01:37 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
(23-12-2014 01:28 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  I agree that deism falls under theism, but when we make the distinction that there are people who believe in a god who is intervening we give those believers a title, what is the title? It's theist. A deist is NOT a theist in this example. That's why the distinction.

Right, but that just means "theist" has more than one definition, as you noted in your OP. All you can do in any given discussion is come to an agreement as to which of those definitions to use. There is no word (to my knowledge) that unambiguously means "theist but not deist".
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23-12-2014, 01:47 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
Thanks Grasshopper, that's exactly my point, that there are two definitions for theist, so we need the distinction.

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23-12-2014, 03:55 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
There are differing definitions, but generally speaking theists postulate a loving/moral all powered god, with a personal link to the consumer. Rather weird in Christianity,as the unified god becomes three via the trinity.

Deism seems more about a creating nature god, minus the personal links, and adherence to specific scriptures........
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23-12-2014, 04:18 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
That's how I understand it Woofie

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23-12-2014, 07:20 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
Deism is technically a subset of theism as they do believe in god, but not in a religious way.
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23-12-2014, 07:25 PM
RE: Deism vs. theism
Right, that's been said, but it gets me no closer to the answer.

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