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Switch to Forum Live View A most basic question
9 years ago  ::  Sep 17, 2008 - 1:00PM #1
comradesoul
Posts: 111
I am ignorant as to what Deism actually means. Can someone explain it to me in simple terms?

For instance I describe myself as a theist. What is the difference between a deist and a theist?

Thanks so much.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2008 - 1:18AM #2
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
[QUOTE=comradesoul;766764]I am ignorant as to what Deism actually means. Can someone explain it to me in simple terms?

For instance I describe myself as a theist. What is the difference between a deist and a theist?

Thanks so much.[/QUOTE]

Theists believe that God talked to one person or a few persons and told THEM to tell everyone else what God had to say and then wait 75 years to write it down and then a few hundred years more before an emperor threatened them with death unless they cam up with a consesnus as to what they THOUGHT was divine and what wasn't...then to spread that word and then threaten those that disbelieved with torture and death if they didn't accept it all the while accumulating great wealth and property as they controlled the world.

Deists believe that God is revealed in nature by creation itself' that God is perfect in creation through the laws of nature (physics); that since creation is perfect and creation works based on the laws of nature and not the whims of a bearded guy that answers the prayers of one little league team over another for victory, that prayer and intervention negate the perfection of those laws; we mostly don't believe in heaven or hell; we have no true dogma and come together by personal discovery rather thana bible, koran, or talmud being bashed over our heads as we are threatened with eternal damnation, we reject these works and the hold they have over humanity and the evil way in which they portray God.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2008 - 11:19AM #3
cclendenen
Posts: 34
[QUOTE=RevKeithWright;768229]Theists believe that God talked to one person or a few persons and told THEM to tell everyone else what God had to say and then wait 75 years to write it down and then a few hundred years more before an emperor threatened them with death unless they cam up with a consesnus as to what they THOUGHT was divine and what wasn't...then to spread that word and then threaten those that disbelieved with torture and death if they didn't accept it all the while accumulating great wealth and property as they controlled the world.
[/QUOTE]
Certainly true of Theism from a Deist point of view.

[QUOTE]
Deists believe that God is revealed in nature by creation itself' that God is perfect in creation through the laws of nature (physics); that since creation is perfect and creation works based on the laws of nature and not the whims of a bearded guy that answers the prayers of one little league team over another for victory, that prayer and intervention negate the perfection of those laws; we mostly don't believe in heaven or hell; we have no true dogma and come together by personal discovery rather thana bible, koran, or talmud being bashed over our heads as we are threatened with eternal damnation, we reject these works and the hold they have over humanity and the evil way in which they portray God.[/QUOTE]
Certainly many classic Deists see God and his Creation as perfect. I see order, and I see complexity, and I see design, but I do not see perfection, nor do I see any evidence that the Creator is perfect. Powerful beyond our imagination? Yes. Perfect? Doubtful.

As you know, Deists are from Missouri most days.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2008 - 10:43PM #4
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
JQ...why don't you see perfection...perfection in that it needs no tweaking from the moment of creation...everything runs by the laws of nature...no matter if we see them as "right" or "wrong" everything happens by those laws.

That is a program running for 13 billion years without any updates.

How long does the program (creation...and I don't mean a deterministic program, just the laws of nature) have to run before you see perfection?

Any tweaking would make God imperfect...Any intervention after the moment of creation would make creation imperfect and that creates an Occams Razor kind of logical problem with prayer, creationism, determinism, Panendeism/Pandeism, etc.

Replies?

Yours,
Keith
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2008 - 7:28AM #5
cclendenen
Posts: 34
[QUOTE=RevKeithWright;775706]JQ...why don't you see perfection...perfection in that it needs no tweaking from the moment of creation...everything runs by the laws of nature...no matter if we see them as "right" or "wrong" everything happens by those laws.

That is a program running for 13 billion years without any updates.
[/QUOTE]
Enduring? Certainly.But only until entropy brings it all to an end (which is short of perfection). An excellent closed system that needs no tweaking? Absolutely. Nature's cycles and circles are fantastic creations. But evolutionary change also leads to dead ends. The fact that it is all awesome and wondrous does not meant it is perfect. Do you still have your appendix?

[QUOTE]
How long does the program (creation...and I don't mean a deterministic program, just the laws of nature) have to run before you see perfection?
[/QUOTE]
Forever. And that is not going to happen. The laws, as far as we are able to understand them, say heat death is the ultimate future, at which point the laws become pointless. Or it all collapses and goes bang again in a never-ending cycle. I haven't seen a really solid theory yet that predicts that.

[QUOTE]
Any tweaking would make God imperfect...Any intervention after the moment of creation would make creation imperfect and that creates an Occams Razor kind of logical problem with prayer, creationism, determinism, Panendeism/Pandeism, etc.
[/QUOTE]
I see no evidence of intervention or miracles. Why would God need prayer? Or anything else we could offer? That's not where I am going with this.

The fact that the Creator has not intervened does not equate to perfection. I don't see perfection anywhere. I suspect that it does not exist. I do suspect that the Creator exists, but if He does not intervene, and He doesn't need worship, then his existence could be considered somewhat irrelevant. What IS relevant is His intent. Our need to understand makes Him relevant. Our intelligence and powers of reasoning are coupled with a drive and a need to KNOW. I feel the Creator must have had a reason for Creation. It is that quest to understand God's reason that makes God relevant.
[/QUOTE]
Replies?

Yours,
Keith[/QUOTE]
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2008 - 11:06AM #6
SeraphimR
Posts: 12,687
Hi,

I just read about another possible end for the Universe called the Big Rip;

"The Big Rip is a cosmological hypothesis first published in 2003, about the ultimate fate of the universe, in which the matter of the universe, from stars and galaxies to atoms and subatomic particles, is progressively torn apart by the expansion of the universe at a certain time in the future. Theoretically, the scale factor of the universe becomes infinite at a finite time in the future. The Big Rip should not be confused with exponential expansion due to a cosmological constant, which would not rip individual galaxies apart."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

----------------------------------------------------

And Hi, Rev. Keith,

I was around posting on the Deus Project, lo these many years ago.  It was a class act and very helpful to me.  I eventually ended up as an Orthodox Christian and might not have made it without the Deus Project.

I may not agree with you, but I respect your integrity and honesty.  You are making the world a better place.
“So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves but also to spread it evenly.”

http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 10:19AM #7
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
[QUOTE=cclendenen;776036]Enduring? Certainly.But only until entropy brings it all to an end (which is short of perfection). An excellent closed system that needs no tweaking? Absolutely. Nature's cycles and circles are fantastic creations. But evolutionary change also leads to dead ends. The fact that it is all awesome and wondrous does not meant it is perfect. Do you still have your appendix?


Forever. And that is not going to happen. The laws, as far as we are able to understand them, say heat death is the ultimate future, at which point the laws become pointless. Or it all collapses and goes bang again in a never-ending cycle. I haven't seen a really solid theory yet that predicts that.


I see no evidence of intervention or miracles. Why would God need prayer? Or anything else we could offer? That's not where I am going with this.

The fact that the Creator has not intervened does not equate to perfection. I don't see perfection anywhere. I suspect that it does not exist. I do suspect that the Creator exists, but if He does not intervene, and He doesn't need worship, then his existence could be considered somewhat irrelevant. What IS relevant is His intent. Our need to understand makes Him relevant. Our intelligence and powers of reasoning are coupled with a drive and a need to KNOW. I feel the Creator must have had a reason for Creation. It is that quest to understand God's reason that makes God relevant.
[/QUOTE]
Replies?

Yours,
Keith[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]


Why is entropy short of perfection?  Even entropy works based on the laws of nature...just because we may not understand or disprove of it doesn't make creation imperfect...maybe confusing because we haven't seen creation to it's end result...but the very fact that the universe has operated on these laws, and these laws alone, indicates perfection to me (as imperfection cannot exist without perfection).

I love your concept of the need to know the Creator.  To me, it is what makes our experience on the planet.  An Athiest misses out on the experience of the pursuit of knowing...even if the answer is untenable, it is an uniquely human experience...one that separates us from the rest of the living beings on the planet.

There have been many statements regarding the differences between the primates and the great ape.  Language and the use of tools have booth been disproved.  What truly separates us, is the pursuit of knowing the divine.  Athiests find our pursuit frivilous, as Richard Dawkins has so fiercely proclaimed...I counter that it would be a loss to not experience this most unique of our qualities.

The fact that you don't see perfection, and I do, is proof of the rich tapestry which is woven even within the Deist community.

The only important thing we must do as Deists is not proclaim to have THE answer, but to challenge others, and ourselves, to test our beliefs based upon logic and reason instead of by fear and ignorance.

It is so nice to have this dialogue with you.

Gregory...nice to see you again...and thank you for your words...has it been 5 years?
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2008 - 10:29PM #8
cclendenen
Posts: 34
[QUOTE=RevKeithWright;778540]...
Why is entropy short of perfection?  Even entropy works based on the laws of nature...just because we may not understand or disprove of it doesn't make creation imperfect...maybe confusing because we haven't seen creation to it's end result...but the very fact that the universe has operated on these laws, and these laws alone, indicates perfection to me (as imperfection cannot exist without perfection).
[/QUOTE]
Good point. If entropy is the intended end-state, then it represents the fulfillment of nature's laws. I can only guess at the Creator's intent.

[QUOTE]
I love your concept of the need to know the Creator.  To me, it is what makes our experience on the planet.  An Athiest misses out on the experience of the pursuit of knowing...even if the answer is untenable, it is an uniquely human experience...one that separates us from the rest of the living beings on the planet.

There have been many statements regarding the differences between the primates and the great ape.  Language and the use of tools have booth been disproved.  What truly separates us, is the pursuit of knowing the divine.  Athiests find our pursuit frivilous, as Richard Dawkins has so fiercely proclaimed...I counter that it would be a loss to not experience this most unique of our qualities.
[/QUOTE]
Dawkins so desperately needs to be right, and he desperately needs religionists to be wrong. He "disproves" religion, and then he uses basically the same arguments as his opponents to justify (or demand, really) atheism. I have no problem with agnostics or even with atheists who strongly suspect there is not a God, but fundamentalist atheists just make me laugh. Every culture on Earth has religion, but we MUST become atheists, by God!

[QUOTE]
The fact that you don't see perfection, and I do, is proof of the rich tapestry which is woven even within the Deist community.

The only important thing we must do as Deists is not proclaim to have THE answer, but to challenge others, and ourselves, to test our beliefs based upon logic and reason instead of by fear and ignorance.

It is so nice to have this dialogue with you.
[/QUOTE]
Likewise.

Someday I would like to have a dialog with you about your experience being part of creating a Deist church. I see how a church can be a part of the Deist community, and I am putting together some ideas. It is all still very much in its infancy, but some ideas are definitely starting to jell. It may never be larger than a church of one, but the quest alone is worth the effort.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 24, 2008 - 4:12AM #9
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnitedDeistChurch/

Our regular site was hijacked.  This was our backup site but I've decided to return to it and get-going.
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9 years ago  ::  Sep 25, 2008 - 7:21AM #10
cclendenen
Posts: 34
[QUOTE=RevKeithWright;780661]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnitedDeistChurch/

Our regular site was hijacked.  This was our backup site but I've decided to return to it and get-going.[/QUOTE]

I'm there.
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