reply to post by LesMisanthrope
Actually, I think it was do to the shortcomings of the Deists, not because it was an advantageous viewpoint. In that time, revealed religion was
feeling the squeeze from the intelligentsia, who believed that what science and philosophy were uncovering was incompatible with said religion. Rather
than reconcile the two, as most non-Fundamentalist Christians do today, they decided that there was a god out there, but that, in order to fit it in
with the modern viewpoint, they needed to redefine what God was. The result, Natural Religion, only lasted as long as people didn't realize how
ridiculous that conclusion was.
Though I have had personal experiences that belies it, there is something attractive about the detached Deist position, but when viewed with an eye
toward when, how and why it became a theistic position, it seems even less likely to be valid -- being more of a "lowest common denominator"
perspective than anything reasonable.