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You’re a Deist Hey, So What’s the Point

hmmmWhen I discuss religion with pagans, atheists, agnostics and even non monotheistic revealed religions like Buddhists saying I am a deist may result in what is that, but never what’s the point.   Just about all of these folks seem to simply accept that I simply believe what I believe.

Many of course don’t agree, well if they did they would be deists too right?

Actually with these folks I find many self described pagans to not be pagans at all, often they are deists they simply take the name pagan as almost a protest against organized faith.  I also find many self labeled atheists to be more accurately agnostics and many agnostics to be closer to deists, but those are subjects for another post on another day.

When I tell a Christian I am a deist though, the common question is “so what’s the point?”  I can see why a Christian specifically a devote christian would feel that way because here are some basic tenets of deism…

  • There is a god, a creator an architect, some larger intelligence that is responsible for the creation itself.
  • As deists we are driven by fact, reason and inspiration, there are no “rules” only morality.  Said morality is driven by reason.
  • Due to this we are all responsible 100% for ourselves, we do good for good’s sake, we do evil due to weakness and greed.  The penalty for evil is guilt, law and karma.  (Note – Karma here is not Buddhist karma but simple reality, do good and good is returned onto you, do evil and evil is returned to you.  Basically your fellow humans are smart enough to treat decent people and scumbags differently.)
  • We can know God though God’s creation, though reflection, though our fellow man, though science (which explores the creation) and though a type of prayer that is more an inner dialog with our true selves, yet we can’t define exactly what God is, where and how God exists and certainly not what God looks like.
  • Prayer has value but many of us don’t even call it praying.  It is more a quiet internal discussion that allows us the inner dialog and reflection mentioned above and will lead us through reason to our own answers.  Yet we know God isn’t a genie that grants wishes so we are not going to pray for snow and think God answered a prayer because it happened to snow.
  • We don ‘t go to church, kneel, bow down to anyone or anything.  We don’t have rules for what we can eat on what day.  We don’t condemn other faiths, we don’t condemn others for their lifestyle choices, pretty much our only real rule is don’t harm others.
  • When we die many of us believe in some sort of afterlife, others think our energy simply returns but consciousness ceases, some believe in reincarnation and we are all okay with each other.  One thing we all tend to agree with though is there will be no “judgement” other then some of us believe we may in fact judge ourselves.
  • Some of us are very spiritual, contemplate deeply on the creation, pray in our way often and deeply investigate the spiritual realm.  Some of us deeply explore accounts by those who have had near death experiences or with deep meditation practices.  Others simply say, “hey there is some sort of creator to all of this” and live our lives without much thought of it.  Most are somewhere in the middle of these two extremes and yet we all get along and no one has a need to convince the others of anything.

Yes I can see where a Christian would ask what the point is.  In Christian faith there is a list of rules which all are called to follow and a belief that no one can do it anyway.  So God sent himself to earth to be killed on behalf of his children because that is the only way he can save them.  Christians believe God intervenes with man actively (which would deny us free will) and feel there is a strict penalty for anything less then seeking forgiveness in his dead and risen son.   That all men are inherently wicked because Satan (who God also created) tempts them.

I could go on but I think you get the point.  Christians struggle with the point of Deism mostly because it is largely counter to everything they have come to believe is true.  They would rather believe they can “know God” even if said God ordered the deaths of children, called for the stoning of adulterers, killed every living thing on the planet other then one family and two of each animal and sent his own son to death on a cross before accepting that they can’t really know God.

So what is the point of deism?  Well the eight bullet points above are in large part the point.  For me though the bigger point is as a deist I do not have to make excuses for my God.  Such as

Well God is eternal and everlasting and knows all, yet he is also a jealous God who killed countless millions.  It is all okay though because he later offered his own son as a sacrifice and allowed him to be brutally murdered and killed in a horrible way on our behalf because that is what we all actually deserve.  Because of that he will never kill countless millions again or ask that disobedient sons be stoned, etc.

The point is also that I can answer many questions about God and creation with “I don’t know” and be okay with that.  I don’t have to know, I can accept that I am a limited being in a limited plane of existence at a specific point in space-time and that is simply where I am, at least for now.  I don’t have to walk around with some sort of twisted notion that I am not to be worldly and then also say God has no problem with me being wealthy and successful.

What is the point?  The point is simply that we are as Deists free, 100% free.  I don’t for a second feel that any creator would create something as amazing as humans and want anything less then true freedom for them.  We are the most advanced life form we know of and yet self aware enough to know we are not as advanced as such station would seem to indicate.  We know that our future can be wonderful or awful and that it is up to us to determine that.  We can split and atom for either good or evil, we have traveled off our our world and set foot on a foreign one.   We can use our bodies to inflict pain on others, or pleasure or to heal others.

The reality is a human being is a miracle in the true sense of the word itself.  The point of deism is it sets us 100% free to be that miracle. To create poetry, write stories, inspire others, explore the creation and be who we are, free of judgement for simply doing that.  This scares Christians because they often say, “what would happen if everyone did just that”, as though only fear of the fires of hell prevent rape, murder and massive harm by every man to every other man.  Well, the problem with that belief is there are million of atheists, agnostics, deists along with non Christians of other faiths and many who don’t describe themselves in anyway that have never harmed anyone and likely never will.

The point?  Freedom, that is indeed the point.  So my answer to the question of “what would happen if everyone did just that” is simply, I think we would have the happiest society ever known to mankind.

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10 comments to You’re a Deist Hey, So What’s the Point

  • ParadoxFox

    I think im going to convert to Deistism from catholic there is so much i dont believe in the catholic teachings. here so much makes sense. like you wrote GOD killed all except a family and some animals but the tragic is so many people believe that literally. its so stupid. all animals wouldnt stay in a Ark. and then moses taking the jews out of egypt i believe some but can never believe that he killed all first born. ive been catholic 25 years but have choosen what to believe since i have free will to believe or not to believe whats true in the bible written by men.

    ive asked this before do deists believe there are any difference in mine and your afterlife then one of an childkiller please answer

    • DJ

      We all have to search for our own belief in the matter of afterlife workings and status. I personally believe that it works like a school system. For example, if ‘Johnny’ fails the fourth grade, then he must repeat this grade until he passes the requirements. One progresses or hinders their growth by personal choices in life – a karma of sorts. Thus, the child killer would hinder their spiritual growth, thus be required more life lessons in order to progress and become more enlightened.

    • Algernon84

      Well, some pandeists have an interesting take on the afterlife…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5U7w2ggzLU

      In the end though, their is no single definitive answer. Some deists believe in an afterlife, some don’t, some have no particular opinion one way or the other. Virtually all of agree there’s no way to know for sure.

  • ModernDeist

    For some reason the vast majority of Deists I talk to seem to come from a Catholic background. You would be in good company for sure.

  • Apollinaire N.

    The main purpose of Religion is to blind-fold its believers through what is called faith. The high priests or Pastors prepare every lessons carefully, dictate it to you after but the question is that you can’t comment or ask any questions. It is in the same process that most of touchable verses from the bible are not read. Myself as a Deist, don’t want to be forced to agree with any irrational point of view, even tough is expressed by my deist friend. I am free to think!

    • ModernDeist

      Hey you think what you want I am only asking a question, one it seems you can’t answer.

      What does anything organized religion does or doesn’t do have to do with my question. The answer is nothing. Prayer has nothing to do with the bible, organized faith, pastors, fear, control, etc. not a thing.

      In fact my bigger question to you is what is prayer? If you define it only as incantations and beseeching of a higher power, I get your point.

      Whether you do so or not, do you feel for instance that meditation has value? Given it has done as much to reduce high blood pressure in studies as any harmful medication has, I say just in that alone, it has value.

      So is mediation a form of prayer even if “faith” isn’t part of it?

      I am trying to have a conversation with you not a debate. You seem stuck on a point we agree on. That organized religion is based on fear, blood shed and murder and neither of us wants a thing to do with it. Then I ask a question that has NOTHING to do with that, and you say that is why?

      Deism is about reason right? This means if you are going to make a choice, “I won’t pray” you should reason out why. Now you are under NO OBLIGATION to justify your decisions to me, I am only asking because you are engaging in a discussion and I seek deeply to understand others.

      So again with no judgement why don’t you pray? Try to answer that without two things.

      1. How bad organized religion sucks (it doesn’t matter)
      2. That you feel God doesn’t respond to prayer (I agree but beseeching is NOT the only form of prayer)

      If this isn’t fun for you, decline to answer, I won’t be upset or anything. Just so far your answers have little to do with the question. If we are to be led by reason, we should have reason in our answers is all.

  • May I use this and others from your web site on my web site giving you full credit.

  • Bronson

    This shows the Deist God to be arbitrary and capricious with the ultimate purpose being meaningless freedom. All “reason” would be ‘ultimately’ subjective. This sounds alot like man making himself God.
    This is because all purpose would be self-defined, which refutes the original God. Knowledge of anything(including acceptance or rejection of this statement)would be impossible.

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