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 Deism as Folk Theology

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Deism as Folk Theology   Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:44 pm

I don't think that many people in this country put much deep thought into their personal metaphysics or theology. IMO most people base their beliefs on common sense, intuition and/or their gut instincts in such matters. Either that or they base them on what they've been told by others.

The people in the first group often deny religion and dogma. However many of them retain a belief in some sort of "higher power" or "creative force". I would concider this group to perhaps be the most populous group of deists in America (even if most of them don't know they are). It's this sort of belief system that I would call "folk reasoning" a term borrowed from "folk psychology" and "folk religion".

Do you agree with this? Are these people really deists? Can Deism really exist as a "folk theology"?

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:59 pm

By the way, this is not a value judgement, just an observation.

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:24 pm

No, I think you are on the right track. Most Deists are at first relieved if they came from a more rigorous revealed religion, and simply just like to be at peace with where they are at. Later they may explore it some more, but it isn't quite the hobby some of us make it into!

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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:57 am

YOu're right Aaron, most people don't think about these things as much as us.

Just perhaps they might have a life. lol!
Couldn't resist that. I'm the only one I'm intending to insult with that remark. Embarassed

But yeah, I think what I stress that is that you don't necessarily have to do as much analyses as us. We're driven to do it. YOu know I know some people that are just natural. So comfortable in their own skin, you know. And sometimes I wish I was like them. Just so natural.

And that's why sometimes I think we need to worry more about the underlying values and how people are living their lives and what we really have in common, rather than technical beliefs in the sacred. I mean it's fine we know that we're deists, in fact we even know to the fifth power, what kind of deist we are lol!

But one thing to add to what you said, it would be nice to get our point of view out there. Maybe we'll have our own deism television station and university just like Richard and Oral Roberts. I shudder to think about our football team though. Embarassed
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:44 am

Quote :
IMO most people base their beliefs on common sense, intuition and/or their gut instincts in such matters.

IMNTBHO, no.
Quote :

Either that or they base them on what they've been told by others.

I believe this is by far the most populous group. In less polite terms, I'd call it bellowing your best mooooo and following the heard. Fear of not following the heard and everwhat in the world might actually be going on with God, religion and such superstitions keeping them close at hand.

I think the fastest growing group, which may be larger than any of us imagine, is the don't give a damn, materialist group. They are the mavericks who've strayed from the herd because the social pressure to stay with it on this issue is much less now--in the industrialized world anyway.

Freeing some people from their habits and fears while showing others that the Truth actually matters are our only avenues to these people's heads, and that's what makes me afraid.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:51 am

Quote :
But one thing to add to what you said, it would be nice to get our point of view out there. Maybe we'll have our own deism television station and university just like Richard and Oral Roberts. I shudder to think about our football team though.

LOL... Yes our football team would probably suck, but I'm sure we'd have one hell of a debate team. Wink tongue

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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:00 am

The Paineful Truth wrote:
I think the fastest growing group, which may be larger than any of us imagine, is the don't give a damn, materialist group.

I agree with you there. It's probably even more prevalent here in the Northeast then anywhere else in the country (I'm not sure about Canada). The acquisition of money and material possessions has become the new religion for an ever growing number of people. Keeping up with the Jones' has become the new line of conformity, "Martha Stewart Living" the new bible.

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Paul Anthony

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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:54 am

The Paineful Truth wrote:



I think the fastest growing group, which may be larger than any of us imagine, is the don't give a damn, materialist group. They are the mavericks who've strayed from the herd because the social pressure to stay with it on this issue is much less now--in the industrialized world anyway.


Yes, probably true. We hear that the majority of Americans are Christian, but I think we're hearing that from the Fundamentalists, who are actually the minority - but a very vocal minority. Most people are Christian in name only, preferring to sleep in on Sunday (or play golf) rather than attend church on a regular basis. I disagree that the social pressure has abated, though. Most people will say they believe in God rather than admit that they really haven't thought about it! No one is going to announce that they are an Atheist or a Deist. All the political candidates seem to be tripping over each other in an effort to tell us how religious they are - even the Democrats!

But saying you are religious and actually living up to it are two very different things. Most people are more fervent about their favorite sports team than they are about their church. This is nothing new, though. George Washington was a member of a church, even though he didn't attend "religiously" and refused to kneel or take Communion.
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:43 am

Quote :
All the political candidates seem to be tripping over each other in an effort to tell us how religious they are - even the Democrats!

lol!


Quote :
I disagree that the social pressure has abated, though.

Abated, not gone away. If it was like it used to be, no member of society in good standing would sleep in or go golfing on Sunday, and out west here, NFL coverage starts at 9 o'clock. Indeed sports teams are the religion of many and the stadiums are the temples. Look at how much money we've put into those things, and the vendors selling $9 hot dogs and beers are the modern day moneychangers. Every game there's a whole lot of praying going on for what is actually a frivolous, vain and empty past time. Nothing wrong with sports per se, it's just that the emphasis is way overblown and cheating to win is acceptable as long as you don't get caught.

It's ironic and a further indication that the social pressure has abated that the one's who actually practice their religion are set apart by calling them(selves) fundamentalists or evangelicals, when they were yesteryears mainstream singin' gimme that old time religion--it's good enough for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Deism as Folk Theology   Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:04 pm

Deism as a folk religion? Old Deism probably not, modern deism... I'll need to think about that
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