"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive
with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the
incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. " Albert Einstein.
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own - a God, in short, who is but
a reflection of human frailty. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect
upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the
intelligence manifested in Nature." Albert Einstein
"Members of the United Deist Church hold the belief that God is discovered through Reason -- but the task of discovery is never over. We each pursue
a lifelong intellectual odyssey; harvesting from the tree of knowledge all the wisdom that we can. Members are encouraged to participate in fellowship
with other members, continuing the search for Truth together. Our open minds and open hearts are changing the world with love and deeds, as no other
religion can." Excerpt from the United Deist Church web site.
The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus." Deism involves the belief in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds,
without any reliance on revealed religion or religious authority.
Do not follow the fundamental beliefs by most religions that God revealed himself to humanity through the writings of the Bible, the Qur'an or other
Disagree with Atheists who assert that there is no evidence of the existence of God.
They regard their faith as a natural religion, as contrasted with one that is revealed by a God or which is artificially created by humans. They
reason that since everything that exists has had a creator, then the universe itself must have been created by God. Thomas Paine concluded a speech
shortly after the French Revolution with: "God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."
The term "Deism" originally referred to a belief in one deity, as contrasted with the belief in no God (Atheism) and belief in many Gods
(Polytheism). During the later 17th century, "Deism" began to refer to forms of radical Christianity - belief systems that rejected miracles,
revelation, and the inerrancy of the Bible. Currently, Deism is no longer associated with Christianity or any other established religion. Then, as
now, Deism is not a religious movement in the conventional sense of the world. There is no Deistic network of places of worship, a priesthood or
hierarchy of authority.
Deism was greatly influential among politicians, scientists and philosophers during the later 17th century and 18 century, in England, France Germany
and the United States.
Early Deism was a logical outgrowth of the great advances in astronomy, physics, and chemistry that had been made by Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, etc.
It was a small leap from rational study of nature to the application of the same techniques in religion. Early Deists believed that the Bible
contained important truths, but they rejected the concept that it was divinely inspired or inerrant. They were leaders in the study of the Bible as a
historical (rather than an inspired, revealed) document. Lord Herbert of Cherbury (d. 1648) was one of the earliest proponents of Deism in England. In
his book "De Veritate," (1624), he described the "Five Articles" of English Deists:
belief in the existence of a single supreme God
humanity's duty to revere God
linkage of worship with practical morality
God will forgive us if we repent and abandon our sins
good works will be rewarded (and punishment for evil) both in life and after death
Other English Deists were Anthony Collins (1676-1729), Matthew Tindal (1657-1733). J.J. Rousseau (1712-1778) and F.M.A. de Voltaire (1694-1778) were
its leaders in France.
Many of the leaders of the French and American revolutions followed this belief system, including John Quincy Adams, Ethan Allen, Benjamin Franklin,
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison Thomas Paine, and George Washington. Deists played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and
state, and the religious freedom clauses of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.
We have been unable to find estimates of the number of Deists in North America. Although both the U.S. and Canada census document religious
affiliations, many Deists are listed under Freethinkers, Humanists, persons of no religion, etc. Many Deists who feel a need to join a spiritual
community of searchers for truth become members of congregations associated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.