When I explained Deism to one of my friends his response was simply, “so you don’t believe in anything miraculous right”? My response took him a bit back when I said, “of course I do I see miracles ever day”. His next question was, “but you don’t believe in things like raising the dead, walking on water or say feeding a multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish right”? I looked at him with a smirk and said, “Well I have to say that both yes and no is the only honest answer to that question I can give you”. Now he was really dangling so I decided to let him off the hook.
I continued, “when you ask that question I know how you mean it and my answer to it that way is no. No I don’t believe Jesus walked on water, called Lazarus from his tomb or that he took some kid’s lunch and fed a huge crowd. However, I do believe in a way, all three things are possible and even when they can be explained they are still in my view or the view of any honest person a miracle of creation”. A long and enjoyable conversation occurred after this. I will just continue with the essence of what I explained to my friend and leave out his countless attempts to “save me from the eternal damnation of hell”.
So let’s start with raising the dead, this already occurs in modern medicine. It has been done by the common man with CPR, heart surgeons do it all the time and many people have had near death experiences during times of clinical death. In these and many other examples by understanding how the body works those who were dead by all ways such things can be measured were called back to life. To me that is a miracle and not just one of science. The fact that the human body can literally die and be brought back life is amazing beyond words. Just because a process can be explained doesn’t mean it isn’t a miracle. When I see a sunset I know very well how the light is refracted to create it, yet each one is different and each beautiful. In both examples the process itself is the miracle.
What about walking on water? Well we can’t do it yet but the laws of physics say it is certainly possible as would be walking through a wall. Some day we will figure out how to do both, the miracle isn’t so much in how it is done; it is that it can be done. Cutting edge physics is now telling us that our universe is one of energy and universal fields that link everything as one. The only limits we have are those which we have not yet cast aside and that is a miracle beyond words for me. No accidental assemblage of random matter could yield a system so perfect with so many possibilities. Yet even in the limited material world we see miracles every day, even some that are considered completely mundane.
Let’s consider my friends final example in the story of the feeding of the multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish. The biblical account of course is that Jesus as the son of God used his god like power to turn these seven items into enough food to feed a huge crowd and even then there was much left over. Now if I were to allow myself to believe in this type of religion, pardon me but I don’t see this as a miracle. Of course an omnipotent God could multiply things, what is the miracle in that? It is like saying if you take a shower you will get wet. But what if I told you that man has and continues to feed multitudes with loaves and fishes in a way that is truly a miracle? Oh ye of little faith, watch how it works!
To make a loaf of bread I need about 2 cups of ground wheat, well that wheat starts out as wheat berries. If instead of grinding them I plant them I get more wheat, give me enough wheat to make 5 loaves of bread and I will give you a field of wheat. Give me another year and I will give you 40 fields of wheat. Now we can have plenty of bread and still have a literal ton of seed to plant the fields again. Give me two fish, a male and a female and a pond, give me a few seasons and I will give you tens of thousands of fish, many to eat and many as fry to populate new ponds. Planting wheat and growing fish in ponds is about as old as civilization and to me it is a true miracle of creation.
Consider that with my way anyone with some knowledge and resources can “feed multitudes”, is that not miraculous to you? Each tiny hard wheat berry contains a life waiting to happen. I can even store this wheat for a decade and when planted most of it will still germinate. Again an accidental assemblage of atoms doesn’t create such an elegant system. The problem with most religions is they have convinced us that which would be mundane even if true is miraculous. Again if an omnipotent God wants to make something happen doing so isn’t a miracle, seriously think deeply about that.
[…] 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, […]
Thank you for clarifying a lot of things. This is exactly how I think, although I have never taken a physics class, or for that matter any science beyond physiology and zoology. I was raised a Lutheran (not the radically conservative Missouri Synod, thank goodness) and am now Episcopalian.
Tomorrow is Easter. I love the traditional music, the flowers, the community, but I will struggle with the whole resurrection story, once again. I somehow put it in my own framework of resurrecting one’s spirit to a higher level after incredible sacrifice. The gospels put the fairy tale part in. Let’s face it, Pilate didn’t like what Jesus said and he had him killed in public so nobody else would challenge his government.
Anyway, it’s nice to know there are other kindred spirits out there.
By the way, I’m sure others have mentioned this, but you need to have someone proof read your blog. You keep using “then” when you should use “than.” There are some other errors. I only mention this because when there are grammatical errors, you lose some credibility. I don’t mind, but some others may get hung up on these details and fail to recognize what you’re trying to say.
Thanks for this beautiful expose of Deism. I’m currently reading the Jefferson Bible. It’s Thomas Jefferson’s edition of the Holy Bible. I love it. He just cut out all the stuff that Jesus said, which is pretty wise verbiage…mainly what you said about just being nice. I always remember that the most important commandments Jesus tried to get people to pay attention to are as follows: A)Love God (to me the world) with all your soul and all your might and B) Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Love does set one free.
Thanks for reading and I don’t worry about typos, this isn’t high level literature. Anyone who thinks you lack creditability over a typo or homonym misuse isn’t listening anyway.
“It’s a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.” ~ President Andrew Jackson
This blog is a gift to any that have questions and want to know more about Deism, I don’t have time to hire a proof reader I run a full time business and do this when I have a thought and the time to type it up.
The Jefferson Bible exists because Thomas found the morality inside Christianity to be the finest moral code he had ever discovered but found all the fairy tails as you put it unbelievable. For over 100 years every Freshman Congressman was given a copy by the way.
A book I really recommend is Illusions – Confessions of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach.
Given you are from a religious background and still appreciate the tradition, etc. Check out “A Modern Priest Looks at His Outdated Church” by James Kavanaugh I think you will like it and highly recommend his poetry in There are Men to Gentle to Live Among Wolves” as well. Here is that poem,
There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves
“There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men to gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.
There are men to gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant’s profit and gain.
There are men to gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.
There are men to gentle too live among wolves
Who devour them with appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men to gentle for an accountant’s world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.
There are men to gentle too live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant’s world
Unless they have a gentle one to love.”
The work of Bach and Kavanaugh helped me deal with leaving the Catholic church fully behind when I was a very young man. I left physically in my teens but it took until my 20s to let go of the programming. You would also like the works of James Redfield I bet.
Being a Deist doesn’t mean letting go of the mystical just understanding that mystical is really more accurately the natural which we have yet to fully understand.
What a pleasure it is to have found your blog with its positive presentation of deist beliefs. Though I see no evidence for a personal intervening God, I too experience the miraculous regularly. I understand how a rainbow works but that does not diminish my awe in seeing one. And though I know the universe could exist without such beauty, I feel blessed that the architect decided to include them anyway.
Modern Deist,I have considered myself a Deist,starting in My Marine days seeing the destruction of human life,for no reason. I thoroughly enjoy your articles,and the folks getting hung up on spelling and such,seem to be proofreading instead of just reading and comprehending.