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 Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree

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Paul Anthony

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PostSubject: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:48 pm

There was a time, not long ago, that the well-dressed man had his suits custom-made by a tailor. There were ready-made suits for sale in all the stores, but for those who cared a great deal about their appearance, nothing “off the rack” could compare to the fit of that tailor-made suit.

When it comes to our relation with our Creator, churches encourage us to shop for a good fit by choosing from the religions that have been designed to fit everyone. For something so personal as a relationship with our maker, can something “off the rack” really suffice? More important than the fit of our clothing, how well our personal philosophy and spiritual beliefs fit us as individuals is key to a happy and productive life. In order to find God, we must seek him in our heart and in our mind. He is not waiting for us at the local shopping mall, or at the local church.

This thought occurred to me after encountering yet another well-intentioned Christian zealot who made the mistake of knocking on my door. He was touting the advantages of attending his church (no doubt, the only “true” church) over whatever religion I might be “wearing” at the time. He was so confident that he had found the best value among all the religions being sold these days that it never even occurred to him to ask me what I believed!

In this environment of consumerism we find ourselves in, it is not considered inappropriate to discard our still-useful possessions, to be replaced with the latest and greatest that is offered for sale. But, if we have shopped carefully and purchased what really fits us and serves our needs, we should not be so easily persuaded to trade it in for something new. We should also be leery of the sales pitch that tells us we need the very same thing that others have. It’s important to remember that, when it comes to clothing, “one-size-fits-all” usually means no one gets a good fit. The same is true of religion.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:45 pm

Nice meditation.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:07 pm

Very good point and very well said so you'll have to excuse me this one time for agreeing. Smile Wink

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Schizophretard

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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:58 am

I know I shouldn't but I totally agree with you!
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stretmediq

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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:28 am

Totally agree- on this point anyway. It reminds me of something Steve just posted over at PD:

sdowell wrote:
I went to a UU church service this morning. During the course of the service, they had a responsive reading (where the speaker says parts of the reading and the congregation says parts of the reading). Today they did a reading called "Cherish your doubts". I thought it was really good. I know we've discussed this very topic here before.

After a quick search, I found the text on the net. Here it is....

RESPONSIVE READING #650, Cherish Your Doubts, Robert T. Weston

Cherish your doubts,
for doubt is the attendant of truth.

Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge;
it is the servant of discovery.

A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error,
for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.

Doubt is the touchstone of truth;
it is an acid which eats away the false.

Let no one fear for the truth,
that doubt may consume it;
for doubt is a testing of belief.

The truth stands boldly and unafraid:
it is not shaken by the testing:

For truth, if it be truth,
arises from each testing stronger, more secure.

Those that would silence doubt are filled with fear;
their houses are built on shifting sands.

But those who fear not doubt,
and know its use, are founded on rock.

They shall walk in the light of growing knowledge;
the work of their hands shall endure.

Therefore let us not fear doubt,
but let us rejoice in its help:

It is to the wise as a staff to the blind;
doubt is the attendant of truth.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:55 am

Yes that's an excellent meditation on truth, and specifically sums up a deist point of view of the sacred, where truth must still apply.
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Chattan



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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:06 am

Paul,

All that I can say is awesome.

I have been thinking along the same line but I have not been able to put it into words. Your analogy is wonderful and it gets right to the point that those who argue for a personal relationship with God also contradict this by arguing that one must believe just as they do.

Joe
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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:15 pm

This thread reminded me of a response on another forum to an unrelated topic that may nevertheless apply to the diversity of Deist opinion.



UNREASONABLE, ILLOGICAL, AND YET TRUE.

After years of philosophical head-butting, I have learned that when another person’s argument seems unreasonable or illogical to me, it’s not necessarily because they are stubborn or stupid. More often it’s because they are reasoning with different facts and different premises from mine. Our histories have brought us to divergent world-views.

Any set of objective facts that don’t agree can be forced back into alignment by discussing definitions and comparing sources of information. But premises and especially axioms (unspoken premises that are taken for granted) are much more difficult to harmonize. It takes time, and goodwill, and an open mind, and dispassionate dialog to work-out the kinks in our mutual understanding.

Our limited understanding of Truth is relative to our personal points-of-view. But we can broaden our world-view by seeing reality from another’s perspective. That is exactly what a discussion forum like this offers: A buffet of beliefs to select from, and a range of realities to experience.
A veritable banquet of truths to enjoy.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Why Deists don't - and shouldn't - agree   Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:07 am

Gnomon wrote:
This thread reminded me of a response on another forum to an unrelated topic that may nevertheless apply to the diversity of Deist opinion.



UNREASONABLE, ILLOGICAL, AND YET TRUE.

After years of philosophical head-butting, I have learned that when another person’s argument seems unreasonable or illogical to me, it’s not necessarily because they are stubborn or stupid. More often it’s because they are reasoning with different facts and different premises from mine. Our histories have brought us to divergent world-views.

Any set of objective facts that don’t agree can be forced back into alignment by discussing definitions and comparing sources of information. But premises and especially axioms (unspoken premises that are taken for granted) are much more difficult to harmonize. It takes time, and goodwill, and an open mind, and dispassionate dialog to work-out the kinks in our mutual understanding.

Our limited understanding of Truth is relative to our personal points-of-view. But we can broaden our world-view by seeing reality from another’s perspective. That is exactly what a discussion forum like this offers: A buffet of beliefs to select from, and a range of realities to experience.
A veritable banquet of truths to enjoy.

Very well said. Smile

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