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Episode-02- Beyond the Clock Maker Version of God

Deism is usually described by non deists as a believe that God is like a clock maker, meaning he simply created the universe and walked away with no concern or further involvement.    While there are a few Deists who feel this way the vast majority are far more spiritual in nature.

While we tend not to believe in miracles or a God that alters the world because we pray for something, we do acknowledge both our own spirits and the spirit that is God.  To blanket Deism as the belief that God is like a clock maker to the universe is both a disservice to Deism and the Deist view of God.

Today we examine the spiritual side of Deism and reveal that indeed, reason and logic are not exclusive from spirituality and wonder.

4 comments to Episode-02- Beyond the Clock Maker Version of God

  • Willem Overbeeke

    Dear Jack,

    I fully concur with the content of this podcast, except for a minor (but to me essential) point. You seem to say that after having created the universe with all its characteristics, and natural laws) god then became part of it, and by that means can still emphasize with it. Given the principle of rationality I deem that not “logical”, and also not necessary. The whole proof point of god’s necessity is that he himself is outside space and time (and thus by definition outside the universe). He could and possibly has created many universes, and himself is outside all of them. However, why would that prevent him from looking into any of them at his volition?

    I would even go one step further than most deists and postulate that he might even elect (very selectively, while only rarely necessary) to exert an influence, though almost certainly not at an “individual level”. Certainly no reason to try and cajole him for personal favours!


  • I appreciate your efforts to get beyond the “clock-maker” version of God, Jack. This, IMO, “cold deism” would not be attractive to many people. Being a parent myself, I’m not sure what kind of “creator” I would be if I impregnated my wife and then abandoned my children to whatever fate life had for them. We also know, scientifically speaking, that “creation” continues, perhaps not as an act of a supernatural Being, but as creative forces in our universe continue to birth new content. I suspect that the “clock-maker” view of the creator was an over-reaction to the Christian claim that God intervenes and controls every aspect of our lives, a claim that certainly needs to be challenged because it robs us of human will and responsibility. But, for me, modern deism might hold that our creator continues to interact with and from within creation via our natural laws, perhaps most of all through our own consciousness. This view of “God” might be appealing to quite a few people who have been put off by being either puppets to theism or valueless randomness of atheism.

  • Dustin

    Does anyone on here have any thoughts on Quakerism? I’ve read some material on Quakers and they seem to have a lot in common with modern deist?

  • The classical notion of an eternal spiritual creator who —for no apparent reason — transformed into a material world, was probably grounded on the common 17th century assumption that the universe itself was eternal. But in the 21st century we need to update that theory to conform to the current understanding that the space-time universe is a on one-way ticket to nowhere. So the Clockmaker myth of creation leaves the eternity before & after the metamorphosis unexplained. However, a caterpillar-to-butterfly-to-caterpillar explanation for the existence of the physical environment, that produces & sustains us, may be compatible with PanDeism (all is God), if you assume an infinite cycle of birth & death. Nevertheless, my attempt to imagine a more comprehensive God-model (god-construct) is better described as PanEnDeism (all within G*D).

    My metaphysical theory of the origin (creation) of our universe, physically described as a “Big Bang”, is based on the modern concept of metaphysical Information as equivalent to physical Energy (see below). With that scientific “fact” in mind, I refer to G*D as the “Enformer”, who creates matter from He/r own eternal “substance” (the power to exist, i.e. BEING). That power or potential is what I refer to in the Enformationism thesis as “EnFormAction”. In the material world, that force is equivalent to physical Energy, which can transform from an intangible pervasive “field” into mundane localized Matter, and can also emerge as Mind. In traditional religious writings, that invisible energizing vitalizing force is known as Spirit. In my thesis, I refer to the mechanical Big Bang as a mental Conception, the emergence of a new idea in the form of a world.

    The backstory leading up to the Big Bang then, envisions an eternal infinite “field” of potential energy (Ideality) that, for reasons unknown to us, “decides” to create a Reality limited to space & time. Hence, I must assume, since our reality includes intentional minds, must have always had the potential for Intention, which is manifested in the world as the Arrow of Time. Beyond those inferences, any other characteristics of G*D are speculations without evidence. For example, I can’t imagine such a principle-of-BEING as a human-like Person, but I could be wrong. As for why such an entity would intentionally place limits on a portion of He/r being, I can only guess. So, the reason for creation is still unexplained, but I have my own metaphorical speculation.

    A conceiving Creator then would not be an absentee mechanical Clockmaker with no further connection to his creation. Instead, the Creation would be more like a physical fetus within the “body” of a transcendent Mother, connected by an immaterial umbilical cord of Spirit/Information/Energy. Just as a mother can’t directly intervene in her embryo’s development, S/he is still in constant contact via the two-way exchange of Information (energy). So, everything the “baby” would need in order to evolve into a mature world had to be included in the original quickened “egg” (singularity). And everything Deists will need in order to flourish in the world (womb) is already in there. All we have to do is find & use it — not by praying, but by doing.

    Information/Energy Equivalence :

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