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 Is Deism lacking anything?

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:20 pm

Are there any aspects of Deism or the deist approach that you feel are lacking?

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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:32 pm

That depends, I suppose, on what one is expecting from Deism and the deist approach.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:53 pm

Uriah wrote:
That depends, I suppose, on what one is expecting from Deism and the deist approach.

Well that begs the question what are you expecting from Deism and the deist approach and does Deism offer it to you? Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:58 pm

That's true, and it brings to light the very point I was speaking to. That being: Deism has no mythological dogma, not ritualistic rites, or specific cultural memes it is attempting to impart on us all. It is, as near as I can figure, much more a philosophical approach to spirituality than it is a spiritual approach to philosophy. Meaning, it is just an idea - a way of looking at things which allows reason, logic, and intuition to rule over culture, ritual, and historical narrative.

The one thing all Religions share which Deism does not, is a cultural, oftentimes ethnic, history they are trying to impart, to keep people part of even as they evolve culturally and time carries them away from the authoring events and historical roots. Deism is based purely on pre-existing human faculties - innate attributes and abilities - and not on learned behaviors and ideologies. Because of that, there is nothing it really could lack.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:00 pm

What we need is believers.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:28 am

I think we are lacking apologetics. Other religions defend their faith. We need more of that and not just proving revealed religion wrong. We need to take the best arguments that prove the existence of God and/or at least arguments that prove that it's more reasonable to be a deist than an atheist and put them all together in a book and/or online. This just gave me an idea for a new topic. I think I'll post that next.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:55 am

Well for me, we are lacking an organization that would enable and facilitate us to do works in the name our Lord, as all reasonable logic would suggest that anyone who believes in a God would do!
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:24 am

Helium wrote:
Well for me, we are lacking an organization that would enable and facilitate us to do works in the name our Lord, as all reasonable logic would suggest that anyone who believes in a God would do!

Do you really need an organization to do that?

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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:30 am

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I think we are lacking apologetics.

Not on my account. I've written a New York Times (non-)Best Seller, come to deist, atheist and Christian boards, and in person, hit non-deists upside the head with a 2x4. What else can I do? (Self-immolation is not an option.)
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:26 pm

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Do you really need an organization to do that?

No I guess now that you mention it, it's pretty well an excuse.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:22 am

Helium wrote:
Quote :
Do you really need an organization to do that?

No I guess now that you mention it, it's pretty well an excuse.

At least you're honast. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:28 am

I personally feel that the deist approach is wonderful, but perhaps it's a bit too cerebral at times. I think that's why it eventually died out at the beginning of the 19th century. The approach just didn't capture the hearts of the majority of the people out there. I don't know if it's something that can or even needs to be fixed but it is a limitation IMHO.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:17 pm

Aaron wrote:
Are there any aspects of Deism or the deist approach that you feel are lacking?

As a general philosophical worldview Deism covers all the bases. But as a specific religious practice Deism is too arcane, too abstruse, too abstract, too absurd, too abyssmal, too agnostic, and too austere. And yet, too plus too plus too . . . . = G*d.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:16 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Are there any aspects of Deism or the deist approach that you feel are lacking?

As a general philosophical worldview Deism covers all the bases. But as a specific religious practice Deism is too arcane, too abstruse, too abstract, too absurd, too abyssmal, too agnostic, and too austere. And yet, too plus too plus too . . . . = G*d.

Wonderfully put.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:07 am

Uriah wrote:
The one thing all Religions share which Deism does not, is a cultural, oftentimes ethnic, history they are trying to impart, to keep people part of even as they evolve culturally and time carries them away from the authoring events and historical roots.

Deism has a mythological golden age of Enlightenment, back in the 18th century; we have the prehistory of Deism in the Unitarian movement within the Anglican church, dating from 17th century, and a posthistory in the form of the French revolution that went haywire from deist principles of limited governace to atheist principle of radical rationalism and restructuring of society through state, intead of restricting the state to the presevation of social order based upon human and property rights; we also have great heroes in the form of the American "four" fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin); and finally, we have a prophet in the form of Thomas Paine, whose journey from England to Pennsylvania, from an English excise collector to a radical American whig, to his journey back to England and his exile from there on account of his defense of the French revolution, to his honorary membership of the French National Assembly of the 1st republic, to his imprisonment by the Jacobites during the "reign of terror," to his publication of Age of Reason and intervention of Madison and Adams that allowed him to escape the guillotine and come back to his beloved United States--to whose citizens he had dedicated the Deist Gospel; and in a fateful irony, rivalling any Greek tragedy, he is denounced by his fellow countrymen, and as of today remains the only significant founder who is not recognized anywhere in this nations capital, all on account of his "infidelity."
What a martyr we have to celebrate!
I recommend forming a committee with the express purpose of making a Mel Gibson type movie (the Patriot meets the Passion) over the life of Thomas Paine: Our Savior from Tyranny and Mysticism!


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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:54 pm

Excellent post and idea. I volunteer to be Best Boy, sign Nicholas Cage for the title role, and be on the screenplay steering committee. All we need now is the money.

A couple of nits to pick. Paine escaped execution by happenstance. His cell door had been marked with an X for his execution, but it had been on the inside of the door since it was open because he was so ill. When they came to collect the condemned the next morning, it was closed.

He received no help from Ambassador Morris for his release because they were enemies. He was released within a month, I believe, when Monroe replaced Morris. Could Jefferson have had something to do with it, being in the cabinet when Morris wrote this to Jefferson, "Lest I forget it Paine is in prison publishing a pamphlet against Jesus Christ."

And there was one founder who never turned his back on Paine:

Quote :
Alluding to Paine's visit to Washington, the editor of the Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris says that "Jefferson received him warmly, dined with him at the White House, and could be seen walking arm in arm with him on the street any fine afternoon." This was eight years after Paine published his Age of Reason, and when in the eyes of Christians he had become infamous.

President Jefferson continued to correspond with Paine on theological subjects up to Paine's last illness, which occurred about the time he retired from the Presidency.

And to punctuate this tragedy, Christians hound him on his deathbed to recant his deism and then vandalize and desecrate his grave to put the final exclamation point to this saga of "love" for their neighbor.

God is in the details.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:52 pm

Yes, it was Monroe who negotiated his release, when he was the US ambassador to France. I'm not even sure who was the president back then--Adams or Jefferson? Or were we still in Washington's presidency?


The only monument to Paine, that I'm aware of, is a little island of a park infront of the US district court in Manhattan, New York. It has an insignificant sign saying "Thomas Paine Park."

When I heard about it I tried to find it for two hours, in the chilling winter of December 2004 (the year I had converted to Deism), traversing the area round about the disctrict court, crossing the park several times in plain view of it, untill by accident I came upon the sign and it brought tears into my eyes: I just couldn't fathom the banality of that trivial little space dedicated to such a prometheus.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:41 pm

Averroes wrote:
Yes, it was Monroe who negotiated his release, when he was the US ambassador to France. I'm not even sure who was the president back then--Adams or Jefferson? Or were we still in Washington's presidency?

Yes, it was Washington. Paine felt that Washington had left him hanging with the whole French prison episode. The two had an adversarial relationship from that time forward. In fact, it was Paine's bashing of Washington after Washington's death that eventually stripped him of his political clout and reputation in this country.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:19 pm

Averroes wrote:


Deism has a mythological golden age of Enlightenment . . . .

As a recent "convert" to Deism, I appreciated that capsule history of the movement. Seems it does have some earmarks of a religion after all: prophet, martyr, doctrine, etc. However, I hope Deism doesn't follow the devolutionary path of most religions: from prophet to demi-god; from martyr to savior; from doctrine to dogma.

Historically, popular religions tend to begin as revolutionary philosophical worldviews, adapting to changing social conditions. As time goes by though, they typically fossilize into reactionary religious rule-books, and regressive rote rituals. This may sound elitist, but if Deism becomes too popular, it will be in danger of losing its "soul".

Regardless, I would also like to see the "Passion of Paine" on the movie screen, preferably with less emphasis on the suffering martyr, and more on the epochal concepts. Even though such a mind-flick would likely bomb at the box office, it could be a minor hit on You-Tube, or the History Channel. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:26 am

Freedom
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:39 am

Helium wrote:
Well for me, we are lacking an organization that would enable and facilitate us to do works in the name our Lord, as all reasonable logic would suggest that anyone who believes in a God would do!

I wasn't aware that our God had a name! Smile

Seriously, one of the things I find most annoying about Christians is the habit of doing things they believe to be right and just, but doing it in the name of their Lord instead of admitting that it is their own opinion and just doing it in their own name. I don't pretend to know what God wants.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:57 am

...or put words in God's mouth. But we could do things in the name of science, justice, love and art--and mean it.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:33 am

Paineful said
Quote :
But we could do things in the name of science, justice, love and art--and mean it

Well now I'm confused, if God is truth, truth is God, then is not science, justice, love and art but aspects of the truth. And if we seek the truth, no matter what the medium, are we not seeking God? Then what does it matter whether we do it in the name of the aspect of the truth, or in the name of truth or in the name of God?

Averroes said
Quote :
Freedom
But as a Libertarain you know that if you were to open a bar, okay lets make it a coffee shop, you would have the right to categorically deny the freedom of anyone to enter your premises. And if you couldn't do that you wouldn't have freedom. So it's a catch-22. As it stands, I don't think freedom is one item that deism happens to be in short supply of.

PA said
Quote :
I wasn't aware that our God had a name!

Hmmm, one could easily conclude you just contradicted yourself in that sentence.

Quote :
Seriously, one of the things I find most annoying about Christians is the habit of doing things they believe to be right and just, but doing it in the name of their Lord instead of admitting that it is their own opinion and just doing it in their own name. I don't pretend to know what God wants.
Yes, I also find that completely annoying. Most deists would, I assume!
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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:12 am

Helium wrote:
But as a Libertarain you know that if you were to open a bar, okay lets make it a coffee shop, you would have the right to categorically deny the freedom of anyone to enter your premises. And if you couldn't do that you wouldn't have freedom. So it's a catch-22. As it stands, I don't think freedom is one item that deism happens to be in short supply of.

scratch

Freedom in a civil society is not absolute, but contingent upon rights. Freedom, in the negative, corresponds to the rights of human beings and not their abilities. The difference between totalitarian schemes (such as those of Hegel and Marx, or even to an extent those of the positivists such as Hobbes) and their libertarian counterparts (such as Locke, Acton, and Jefferson) is that the former define freedom in the positive--the ability to do something--while the latter define it in the negative, which is the restraint on others from coercing you into conformity within your own private sphere.

Now, to the extent that my bar or coffee shop is my property (which means that it is the byproduct of my freedom of choice and earnest labor), I have the right to dictate the terms of service as I wish. Just like in my own rented apartment (which is mine under contractual agreement that is renewed on a monthly basis) I dictate how people can behave; and in my room I dictate how my roomate would behave.
There is no loss of freedom, unless you consider all safety devices, that inhibit intruders, as instruments of oppresion because they deny the thief his freedom of breaking and entering.


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PostSubject: Re: Is Deism lacking anything?   Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:04 am

Okay, ya can stop bangin' your head against the wall. I think I'm on the same page with respect to freedom. We kinda like the free exchange of ideas but respect those who might have a different take, be they deist or not!
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