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Switch to Forum Live View What's the point: Earth and Eternity
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 10:09PM #1
beforHim
Posts: 38
Eternity examples:
Islam, Judaism, and Christianity- to live in the glory of God for eternity.
Hinduism and Buddhism- Leave reincarnation cycle and become part of the "divine onness" .
Athiesm- There is none as we simply cease to exist.


On Earth examples:
Islam- Submission to Allah through peace
Judaism and Christianity- Love Him and others
Hinduism- Get more good Karma, shed more bad Karma
Buddhism- Cesation from desires via the eightfold path
Athiesm- Most athiests will say "create your own".

I agree that those are VERY simplified, but they need not be elaborate for purposes of this question.
So what is Deism's point to life, here and in eternity?

This has really been on my mind lately, the question "what do religions have to offer". We must choose only what's true no matter what we get from it, but this is still something I'd like to know. Thx!
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 8:57AM #2
beforHim
Posts: 38
Anyone?  What does Deism offer me on earth and after life on earth?  Sounds very selfish, I agree, but this is simply for research.  I promise I'm not picking a religion on the basis of how it makes me feel.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 10:50AM #3
ospreyguy
Posts: 6
This sums it up well from Wiki... Basically, there are mixed feelings.

"Specific thoughts on aspects of the afterlife will vary. While there are those who maintain that a God will punish or reward us according to our behavior on Earth, likewise there are those who assert that any punishment or reward that is due to us is given during our mortal stay on Earth. Some do not believe in an afterlife."
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2008 - 11:03AM #4
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
[QUOTE=beforHim;418987]Eternity examples:
Islam, Judaism, and Christianity- to live in the glory of God for eternity.
Hinduism and Buddhism- Leave reincarnation cycle and become part of the "divine onness" .
Athiesm- There is none as we simply cease to exist.


On Earth examples:
Islam- Submission to Allah through peace
Judaism and Christianity- Love Him and others
Hinduism- Get more good Karma, shed more bad Karma
Buddhism- Cesation from desires via the eightfold path
Athiesm- Most athiests will say "create your own".

I agree that those are VERY simplified, but they need not be elaborate for purposes of this question.
So what is Deism's point to life, here and in eternity?

This has really been on my mind lately, the question "what do religions have to offer". We must choose only what's true no matter what we get from it, but this is still something I'd like to know. Thx![/QUOTE]

Most Deists are also armchair scientists/naturalists/astronomers/biologists and find deep satisfaction in exploring the universe and our world.  We are amazed at the web of life and its interconnectedness, and the majesty of the heavens which is easily beheld by the Hubble telescope through the internet.

Through these pursuits, many of us, as fomer members of various revealed religions, had epiphanies while observing nature.  For some of us is was gazing at a leaf during a break from a hike in the mountains of Califorinia.  To another it was a walk in the Maine woods..to me I was during a dive off of Fort Lauderdale beach.

We looked at nature and we looked at our religion and found a deep and moving experience in nature which we didn't find in our religion.  Many of us searched further and came across writings of Jefferson and his friend Thomas Paine.  We read of Spinoza, Aquinas, Tindale and Palmer.  We found similar thoughts and finally gave a name to our belief.

Through logic and reason, each one of us reconciled our former beliefs in God.  Some continue to believe in prayer and heaven and others have applied logic to the question and have abandoned both.  I will address the latter.

I speak for myself, but many Deist will agree with my position.  We are called Classical Deists.  We believe in the idea that God created the universe perfectly and then since creation was perfect, as defined by the laws of nature, that no further intervention is needed.  We believe that God is natural, rather than supernatural, and exists outside of our dimension.  We don't believe in God in anthropormorphic terms.  We don't believe that we can ever know God as God is truly outside our range of comprehension at this point.

Now to get to the answer to your question.

We know, as armchair scientists, where carbon comes from.  It comes from the shell of a dead star.  The molecules which make up our bodies were once part of a glowing sun which shone for millions of years before the shell of carbon was cast-off into the heavens.  We can observe those same stars as they explode now, well as the light reaches us now...though the actual explosion happened millions if not billions of years ago.  It is akin to witnessing our molecular birth.

Those particles coalesced into our solar system and the planet earth where it is believe that some sort of trigger caused life to come forth.  Not by the actual hand of God, but by the possibilities which the laws of nature afforded the conditions to take place on our planet.

I compare this to Genesis accounts as the biblical version has us planned as a pregnancy...and the Deist version is being told you can't have children and then getting pregnant.  One version is expected and taken for granted...the other one is a rare gift to be cherished for its uniqueness and improbability.

So...we are stardust....and we are AWARE!

Can you step back and comprehend that?

We are so caught-up in our day-to-day lives that we are oblivious to the un-freaking-believable experience we are going through.

We are surrounded by life...by a multitude of creatures and organisms living in places, such as fumeroles, where life shouldn't exist...but it does.  Life finds a way.

Imagine...stardust...for a brief...oh so very brief...moment in time, we are here.  Aware.  Living.  Laughing.  Loving.  Creating.

Our molecules have won a prize so great that it dwarfs even the greatest of financial lotteries by an infinite scale.

Stardust...aware and alive.

We have each won the galactic lottery by being alive.

This is enough for me.  I have a hard time, sometimes, dealing with the overwhelming sense of my existance that I weep.

For those in revealed religions, this grand prize isn't enough...they want more!

They want to live FOREVER!

I doubt that forever exists in their terms (which were mine at one point as well...I was a Christian for 30 years or so).

Which is more precious...a one-time chance at life...or immortality?

Filter the "sacrifice" of Christ through this idea.

Christ "The Word" always was with God, came to earth for about 30 years, and then went back to where he always was.

How is that a sacrifice?

When you leave your house and go to work, and then return home...did you "sacrifice" anything by leaving work?




To Deists, this life is the prize...and we are grateful for the opportunity to be alive.  We are saddened by the billions of people who are more concerned about life after death, than living this wonderful life.

As far as eternity?

My atoms are immortal.  The law of conservation of matter and energy assure me of that.  It is proven.  Nobody has ever proven heaven.

Oh...Taoism is my philosophy...it is an amazing philosophy to behold.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2008 - 5:33PM #5
ospreyguy
Posts: 6
Wow Keith!  Way to un-summarize it!  Such a good explanation.  Can you give me a synopsis of what you feel about Taoism?
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2008 - 8:48AM #6
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
[QUOTE=ospreyguy;433854]Wow Keith!  Way to un-summarize it!  Such a good explanation.  Can you give me a synopsis of what you feel about Taoism?[/QUOTE]


As I have stated before, I have rationalized God to be simple as expressed by the formulas and equations which are used to explain nature through geometry, physics, and mathematics.  To me, a philosophy which attempts to describe what our actions should be, should rise off of the page as a mist and enter your being as breath.  When you inhale it is familiar and adds to your being.

If you have ever read the Tao Te Ching, the 81 verses of simple, profound insight into the human condition are as
fresh and applicable now as they were almost 2500 years ago.  There is no harbingers of doom...no penalties of hell, no casting of babies against rocks or the killing of children by bears for mocking a bald man.

There are passages which, when read, almost make you feel as if YOU wrote them as they are universal truths.  There is no contradictions to confuse the innocent nor the highly educated.

There is just simple truths to describe a simple philosophy.

What a lovely philosophy to go with a simple, Deist faith in God the Creator.

The most wonderful thing is that though many different tr5anslations are to be had; they all say pretty close to the same thing.  Even children can be enlightened with the Tao of Pooh.

"Pooh looks like a Taoist master to us because, unlike Eeyore who frets, or Piglet who
hesitates, or Rabbit who calculates, or Owl who pontificates, Pooh just is. "

It is when we look at the universe as though we have seen it for the first time, with innocence and simplicity that we let go of the fears of man and his constant quest to make God evil and wicked to equal that of his own hardened heart.

It is my hope to offer a new vision of God to thiose who have adoped this Judeo-Christian  (as well as other religions) view of God and hopefully that they will learn to love God in a different way with a different view of God...filled with awe, wonder and joy and with no notion of hell, vengeance, jealousy or fear.
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7 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 10:43PM #7
beforHim
Posts: 38
[QUOTE=RevKeithWright;425224]Filter the "sacrifice" of Christ through this idea.

Christ "The Word" always was with God, came to earth for about 30 years, and then went back to where he always was.

How is that a sacrifice?

When you leave your house and go to work, and then return home...did you "sacrifice" anything by leaving work?
[/QUOTE]

Man- I always thought the sacrifice was the infinite shame- becoming human, a servant, and us rejecting and ultimately killing Him; I don't think the amount of time has anything to do with it.  I've never seen that angle (only 30 years), so it's good you explained it for our knowledge.  Thx!  Anyway...

Correct me if my thinking is wrong- God does not intervene, so this life being the 'gift' is merely the best yet still arbitrary reason/purpose deists give to their lives?  Is my thinking totally wrong?  if so, explain further, I'm here to learn.
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7 years ago  ::  May 06, 2008 - 2:24PM #8
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
[QUOTE=beforHim;478027]Man- I always thought the sacrifice was the infinite shame- becoming human, a servant, and us rejecting and ultimately killing Him; I don't think the amount of time has anything to do with it.  I've never seen that angle (only 30 years), so it's good you explained it for our knowledge.  Thx!  Anyway...

Correct me if my thinking is wrong- God does not intervene, so this life being the 'gift' is merely the best yet still arbitrary reason/purpose deists give to their lives?  Is my thinking totally wrong?  if so, explain further, I'm here to learn.[/QUOTE]


What purpose?  Must there be a purpose?  Is it not good enough to just, "be?"

This lifes reward is to simply be born and live.  After being stardust for billions of years, I welcome the change in scenery.

Isn't the reward for watching the sunrise, the moment itself?  Do you crave more than watching the sunrise?

Isn't the reward for beholding a mountain lake in the springtime, the moment itself?  Do you crave more than the view?

Why isn't THIS life enough of a reward for you that you crave life everlasting?

It is sad that this life isn't enough for so many that they want purpose, eternal life, more, more, more.

I am content to just be.
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7 years ago  ::  May 06, 2008 - 10:40PM #9
beforHim
Posts: 38
Thx for patiently enduring my questions, RevKeithWright.

Is this the doctrinal stand of Deism (is there an official deism 'doctrine'?), or do most people just believe what they want (that is phrased sounding horribly bad [believe what they want] but I don't mean it bad).  Thx.
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7 years ago  ::  May 07, 2008 - 5:55PM #10
RevKeithWright
Posts: 137
[QUOTE=beforHim;482885]Thx for patiently enduring my questions, RevKeithWright.

Is this the doctrinal stand of Deism (is there an official deism 'doctrine'?), or do most people just believe what they want (that is phrased sounding horribly bad [believe what they want] but I don't mean it bad).  Thx.[/QUOTE]

Deists don't believe what they want, they believe what they see.

Deism doesn't need doctrine; the universe is self-evident (which is what you would expect from The Creator.  It is so simple that a child can understand what it is to look around itself and reason that there was a Creator for all that it sees.

Logic and reason drives a Deist...not fear of a jealous, megalomaniac.

There are several concepts which most Deists agree on.  They are found elsewhere in the Deism thread.


if Christianity was the ONLY truth then there would be ONLY ONE church.  Since that isn't the case, Christianity fails as a "truth."

In the Deist church, one only needs to believe that there was a Creator.  That isn't dogma, it is a basic determining factor in the belief.

Everything else is based upon your own experiences.
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