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Deism

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posted on Jan, 10 2003 @ 09:13 PM
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"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.



Overview:
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.

Deists:

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 religious texts.
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."



History:
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.

Further Information




posted on Jan, 11 2003 @ 06:09 AM
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I believe that deism is the thinking man's religion, no offence to those that follow other religions.

I myself follow buddhist and quaker philosophy, they are in my opinion the best and most compassionate religions.

Toltec, and anyone who likes Deism, you should look up Quakerism, it is not the religion you think it is.

I'm not trying to convert people, just to educate, deism and quakerism follow many of the same ideas, at least, I as a quaker do.

XAOS

[Edited on 12-1-2003 by xaos]



posted on Jan, 12 2003 @ 01:50 AM
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As a point of info Xaos...It is possible for you to hit the Edit button on one of your posts & check the "Delete This Message" box under the text-_..Only Mods & Admins here can do this to *other peoples'* posts, but anyone can delete *their own* posts. I've saved quite a bit of space here by deleting my own posts when I needed to.



posted on Jan, 12 2003 @ 07:20 PM
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As far as I know what were the American founding fathers adhered to the Deist system of belief. Would ask that anyone out there who has alternative opinions (to what have just mentioned) would present same (that includes George Washington, TC).



posted on Jan, 13 2003 @ 12:50 PM
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Not all the founding fathers were deists. Washington certainly wasn't, though I forget which faith he was. But the movers and shakers were indeed deists.





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