From Deism to Atheism
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24-04-2015, 10:12 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 10:03 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  
(24-04-2015 08:16 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  My question is primarily for folks who at one point in their life considered themselves deist but who eventually accepted atheism.

What led you to be a deist? And what caused you to go from being a deist to an atheist? Why did you reject deism?

I went from a Catholic to a deist. This happened pretty quickly. Then not much long after I became an atheist.
From catholic to deist because I couldn't accept all of the ridiculousness. From deist to atheist once I realized there was no actual evidence for a god.

As a side note.
I don't have a problem with the deist mindset. They don't seem to claim to know gods mind and I don't think they cut heads off.
A headline I'd be surprised to see is "Deist Rebels Attack Atheist Stronghold."

Well, it was those deist rebels that created the United States. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-04-2015, 10:15 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 10:12 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(24-04-2015 10:03 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  I went from a Catholic to a deist. This happened pretty quickly. Then not much long after I became an atheist.
From catholic to deist because I couldn't accept all of the ridiculousness. From deist to atheist once I realized there was no actual evidence for a god.

As a side note.
I don't have a problem with the deist mindset. They don't seem to claim to know gods mind and I don't think they cut heads off.
A headline I'd be surprised to see is "Deist Rebels Attack Atheist Stronghold."

Well, it was those deist rebels that created the United States. Drinking Beverage
I suppose that's true but I'm sure they didn't do it because they were convinced that god told them to.
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24-04-2015, 10:15 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
For me, I was in my early 20's when I would have called myself a deist. I thought that there was something there but it really didn't care about what we did and whatnot. That was the only way to account for all the suffering in the world. I didn't know whether this "god" could not or would not do anything about it but it made more sense of the world. I was well aware of the christian answers for why thousands of people starve everyday and that was part of the plan but they were all "praise jesus" when one person who had cancer was "cured" because...god. The chriatins had answers, but they were all terrible. I thought there was a god, but it absolutely was not the god of the bible. For me, it was a few years at that when I was reading and came upon that Epicurus quote in my signature. That really caused me to analyze why I even thought there was something to begin with. I realized I was still assuming something without actually breaking down WHY I thought there was something there. So I started off this time with the assumption that there was nothing and set to convince myself that there was something. So matter what argument I came across, Kalam, TAG, etc., I kept noticing that these arguments were absolutely without merit. A professor then loaned me "The God Delusion" and that was fascinating. The hypotheses were so much better and rooted in reality. It was scary for me for a while as I came to grips with the absolution of death and it took me another several years to actually say the word "atheist" out loud. I value life far, far, more than I ever did before and I couldn't be in a better place.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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24-04-2015, 10:19 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 09:50 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  
(24-04-2015 09:36 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  But in my view Deist unlike Atheist don't have to defend similar ideological commitments, they're not as dependent on defending and upholding materialism to the extent that many atheist would. And I think a lot of the views expressed by many liberal, humanistic atheists types, make a better fit with some sort of deism, than atheism. The views becomes more coherent, and less contradictory when aligned with deism than not.

Can you explain this further?

The most readily available example, is morality, particularly some form of moral realism. Many atheists that I encounter here and elsewhere seem to hold views aligned with this, but it's not particularly coherent, or reconcilable with materialism. The atheists philosopher, Sharon Street, acknowledges this, that moral realism is incompabitable with the Darwinian account, and therefore she has to reject moral realism. Thomas Nagel also drew the same conclusion as she did, but instead he rejected the Darwinian account, and found himself forced to settle for a "neutral monism".

Atheists are unable to get around relativism, that "all that is wrong with wanton cruelty is that they don't like it". This is not to say that many atheists are vocally opposed to relativism, just that there opposition is contradictory, and incoherent, though they may not realize it, but clearly others have, including other atheists.

A deist on the other had is able to get around this same conundrum, by lacking the same allegiance, and dependency on a materialist account.
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24-04-2015, 10:32 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 08:39 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(24-04-2015 08:33 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I didn't know what deism was really -- I mean I had a vague understanding about it. Still some of the ideas were part of my deconversion.

That said I did embrace something a bit like it. The hippy dippy side of religion that god just wubs all and wouldn't send anyone to hell unless they did super bad things. I didn't believe miracles ever happened.

Then I studied what other gods could do via mythology.

Then the light went on.

So for you, the transition was from some supernatural cuddly, feel good God to atheism? I don't think the God you had in mind, would be a deistic one.

I was raised roman catholic and was sent to a baptist school. I first believed in the fire and brimstone shit. Then moved to a more deistic belief.

Yes and no. I didn't believe in the idea that god had a plan. I didn't believe in miracles, or much of the stories about resurrections, healings, withering figs...I believed in an idea of a "creator" that set things in motion but beyond that didn't give a shit.

Then I studied mythology and other religions.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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24-04-2015, 10:38 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 10:06 AM)Simon Moon Wrote:  You seem to be implying here, that atheism and materialism are some sort of dogmatic positions.

I think they are, in the sense that those who subscribe to these views seem to be quite entrenched in them, have their feet quite deeply dug in. But this should be expected when these positions are ones that folks who subscribe to them value very much, where one's atheism is seen as a part of one's identity, something he feels he should be able to freely express as his friends religious sentiments.

When the Nagel questioned materialism, he was tarred and feathered as a heretic, a name with they would no longer mention as a result of it, as Simon Blackburn put it “If there were a philosophical Vatican, the book would be a good candidate for going on to the Index.”

The response was seemingly irrational and mob like, like Nagel had slapped someone's mother. Without a doubt people are quite possessive of these beliefs, questioning them, putting them into doubt provokes ire.
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24-04-2015, 10:41 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 10:32 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(24-04-2015 08:39 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  So for you, the transition was from some supernatural cuddly, feel good God to atheism? I don't think the God you had in mind, would be a deistic one.

I was raised roman catholic and was sent to a baptist school. I first believed in the fire and brimstone shit. Then moved to a more deistic belief.

Yes and no. I didn't believe in the idea that god had a plan. I didn't believe in miracles, or much of the stories about resurrections, healings, withering figs...I believed in an idea of a "creator" that set things in motion but beyond that didn't give a shit.

Then I studied mythology and other religions.

But you still believed in an afterlife and stuff, a hell reserved for the very worst? Or was there a period where you didn't believe in the "hippy dippy side", but just a god who set things in motion?
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24-04-2015, 11:00 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 10:41 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  But you still believed in an afterlife and stuff, a hell reserved for the very worst? Or was there a period where you didn't believe in the "hippy dippy side", but just a god who set things in motion?

When I was younger i believed in the whole purgatory thing. No one went straight to heaven except for saints.

Then I believed in order to see heaven you had to accept Jebus and be a good person who followed god. Later, I went hippy dippy, because I couldn't believe god would eternally punish someone for making one mistake and a small one at that.

Then I went to a more deistic belief -- where maybe the creator didn't particularly care about me or anyone personally....but rather took a vague overview. Where the natural explanations made sense and no deity interfered with that process.

From there I went to being agnostic -- couldn't prove it and didn't care...

Then I went to spirituality...the whole cosmic consciousness, astrology, tarot cards (which I still own).

Then back to agnostic and finally an atheist.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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24-04-2015, 11:05 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 09:41 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(24-04-2015 09:22 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I don't know, I just talked about randomly going into earthy-pagan phases and Buddhist phases yesterday in a thread questioning earth religions and their appeal to some people. I suppose it was just a piece of the pie still left over as if there might of been some thing to some cosmic idea that could of been out there. Most of the writings and poetry I was also into was 19th century writings at the time which often had a plea of deism to their thoughts.

So would you say the reason you held on to deism, or deistic inclinations, was pretty much for emotional reasons? There wasn't any real rational consideration involved? That you pretty much believed because it felt better than not to, at the time, and not because it made more sense to you than atheism?

No, it was more a lack of thinking about it or having spent time considering other options. It wasn't a position I had long, this would be short early 20s ranges of thinking. I couldn't say when it began or stopped definitively but probably by 23 it was all awash.

Like Moms said, I was in that realm of studying mythologies and other religious thoughts. That's what pushed me toward these thoughts but it was once I began to see more science programs that I had been watching a lot of since I was a highschool senior that I really thought about it more. It may of been before I was 23 but then I definitively wasn't deist or whatever.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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24-04-2015, 11:51 AM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2015 11:56 AM by Simon Moon.)
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(24-04-2015 10:38 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think they are, in the sense that those who subscribe to these views seem to be quite entrenched in them, have their feet quite deeply dug in. But this should be expected when these positions are ones that folks who subscribe to them value very much, where one's atheism is seen as a part of one's identity, something he feels he should be able to freely express as his friends religious sentiments.

When the Nagel questioned materialism, he was tarred and feathered as a heretic, a name with they would no longer mention as a result of it, as Simon Blackburn put it “If there were a philosophical Vatican, the book would be a good candidate for going on to the Index.”

The response was seemingly irrational and mob like, like Nagel had slapped someone's mother. Without a doubt people are quite possessive of these beliefs, questioning them, putting them into doubt provokes ire.

I can guarantee that for the vast majority of atheists, their atheism is a provisional position, not a dogmatic one.

The attack on Nagel is not because he questioned materialism, it is because his reasons for doing so are arguments from ignorance.

Here's just one example:

"The modern materialist approach to life has utterly failed to explain such central features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, or value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology."

So, basically what Nagel is saying here is, that since science has not explained consciousness, intentionality, meaning or value YET, then materialism is wrong.

This is why other philosophers are deriding him. Not specifically because of his views, but because of his views are based on argument from ignorance.

So, according to Nagel, because science has not explained some things yet, the supernatural must be responsible. Seriously?!

Doesn't matter what the credentials of the person guilty of argument from ignorance, it is still flawed thinking.
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