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#149575 - 03/07/06 09:00 PM Okay, what is a Deist?
Witch_Scarlet Offline

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Registered: 01/09/06
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I keep coming across this in various material.

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#149576 - 03/07/06 09:18 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
TrojZyr Offline
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In a nutshell, deists believe that a god created the world, and then took off, or backed off to observe. Either way, he/she/it is out of the picture, and isn't involved in what we are doing down here.
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#149577 - 03/07/06 09:19 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Asenath Offline


Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 36
A person holding the idea that the universe was created by God, then tossed into the slush pile. Abandoned.

I suppose that's a quick excuse for evil things that happen in the world!

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#149578 - 03/07/06 09:22 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Poetaster Offline
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A Deist is an adherent of Deism.

Deism is the belief that God created the universe, and then abandoned it.
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#149579 - 03/07/06 09:28 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: TrojZyr]
Witch_Scarlet Offline

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So I am to take it that when they say that they are a group of “Freethinkers, from Atheists to Transcendentalists” that they are blowing smoke up someone’s ass, namely their own?

Or is it that their ideas are made to fit in with the statements they make and therefore justifies their flagrant attempt to make people think that they do not believe in a god and never did, and that religion is their enemy?

It seems that the very thing they are trying to convince people they are against is the very thing they believe in, or perhaps I have missed some vital point?

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#149580 - 03/07/06 09:33 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Poetaster Offline
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An Atheistic Deist is oxymoronic.

I think it's safe to assume they are confused.

It sounds like a group of hodgepodge teenagers who haven't figured out what they want to be yet.
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- Sam Harris





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#149582 - 03/07/06 09:53 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
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What are you quoting here?

These terms are all old. Hundreds of years old. They don't all mean the same thing -- at least not in their original senses.

Who's lumping them together? There's a lot of overlap between them, so someone might identify as "Deist" and be attracted to all these terms. But they mean different things if you're asking what they mean in a historical context.

EDIT: Here's my quick defs.

- Atheist: Someone who denies the existence of God.

- Freethinker: Someone who reserves the moral right to decide his own beliefs, on the basis of his own power of discovery and judgment.

- Deist: Someone who maintains that nature reflects principles of intelligent design that are revealed to reason, but has no room for miracles or special revelation.

- Transcendentalist: Someone who endorses a 19th century American cultural movement that emphasized the role of the active and perceiving subject as a co-constituent of natural order.


Edited by reprobate (03/07/06 10:03 PM)
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#149584 - 03/07/06 10:09 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Noxilenticus Offline
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Quote:

Or is it that their ideas are made to fit in with the statements they make and therefore justifies their flagrant attempt to make people think that they do not believe in a god and never did, and that religion is their enemy?




It's more like in order to be accepted or appreciated by the xtian worldwide community people are often referred to as deists. One great example is Stephen Hawking. In his book A Brief History of Time, he leaves the possibility of the universe being created by a God, but says that there is no way that he could interfere with the universe as it is now. The creation scientists often bash people like this because they are all about brainwashing people into reforming back into xtianity. Being an Atheist is considered even worse than a Deist or Polytheist (multiple god creationlists) because it leaves out no possibility for their god to exist. The main reason people get classified as Deists or Polytheists is to give them some credit in the eyes of the white-lighters. Most of the scientists that adhere to atheism are strongly bashed upon by scientists imposing their xtianity on others and throughout history many important researchers have been snuffed as a result. At least if they were Deists or Polytheists they were given some credit. In retrospect, lots of people are referred to as Deists or Polytheists cause xtians see them on the level of someone who just doesn't pay their taxes whereas atheists are almost viewed like child molesters.
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#149585 - 03/07/06 10:12 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Poetaster]
Old_Pig Offline


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Quote:

An Atheistic Deist is oxymoronic.




Not necesarily. Just for fun, I can imagine a Deistic-Atheistic concept of the Universe.

Let’s say some being of proportions far beyond human understanding created the Universe as we know it… Let’s say this hypothetical super-being picked his nose and flicked the resulting bugger away, thus creating the whole Cosmos by accident. The galaxies and nebulae we see are just the molecules that compose this discarded secretion.

This concept of Creation would be both Deistic and Atheistic, because it admits the world being created by someone… but at the same time doesn’t means this someone needs, wants our deserve our worship at all.
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#149587 - 03/07/06 10:35 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Maya Offline
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It is also interesting to note that quite a few thinkers took up Deism in a time when Atheism was socially unacceptable. One wonders if they would have been atheists if they had been born in the latter half of the 20th century.

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#149590 - 03/07/06 10:47 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Poetaster]
reprobate Offline

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Loc: Canada
There's also another way they might not be contradictory: I can say that I'm an atheist in the narrow sense that I don't believe in the mythological God of the Abrahamic religions, but I might still believe in some kind of intelligent World Soul. That was the traditional (though discreetly put) Deist line in the 18th-19th centuries. (They didn't talk about abandonment or distance; if anything, the creator was inseperable from creation.)

Although I'm not a Deist anyway, so it's not like I care about the subtleties of it.


Edited by reprobate (03/07/06 11:08 PM)

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#149592 - 03/07/06 11:04 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: reprobate]
Poetaster Offline
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Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
I think it's safe to say that I fouled that one.

I can see where the terms are fuzzy and lending to loopholes for those inclined to find them.
_________________________
"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#149594 - 03/08/06 03:36 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: reprobate]
Witch_Scarlet Offline

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Registered: 01/09/06
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Sorry, not my quote but from their material.

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#149595 - 03/09/06 10:21 AM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Bill_M Offline
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Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11552
Loc: New England, USA
>>Okay, what is a Deist?

The dictionary is our friend. But this was covered in the first few posts anyway.

>>So I am to take it that when they say that they
>>are a group of “Freethinkers, from Atheists to
>>Transcendentalists” that they are blowing smoke
>>up someone’s ass, namely their own?

As others have pointed out, these terms can be mutually exclusive at times. You can certainly have a deist or even atheist who believes in objective morality and upholds a specific set of rules, and thus isn't into freethought. But that doesn't mean these people you're quoting are liars. They may very well be a group of freethinkers that include people who additionally identify as atheists, or transcendentalists, or some other ~ist. Perhaps there's a bit of self-righteousness going on here, but I don't see it as being that big of a deal.

>>It is also interesting to note that quite a few
>>thinkers took up Deism in a time when Atheism was
>>socially unacceptable. One wonders if they would
>>have been atheists if they had been born in the
>>latter half of the 20th century. [Maya]

I suspect it was more about atheism being intellectually unacceptable. In the 18th century, the was no real well-developed science that offered adequate explanations as to where humans, the earth, and/or the universe came from. So deism seemed to make sense. Even the social aspect had more to do with notions of human dignity than challenging the Bible. Darwin's work outraged people, but not so much because it challenged the Bible. People were more shocked with the idea that we oh-so-superior humans could be considered just another animal, cousins to apes.

While deism and Satanism are technically compatible, these days I'd define a deist as an atheist who's ignorant of cosmology and evolutionary biology! I sometimes wonder just how many self-proclaimed "atheists" are ex-christians who jumped to that term under the assumption that there were no other options that they'd agree with.

>>or Polytheist (multiple god creationlists)
>>[Noxilenticus]

You're equating theist here with creationist (assuming that’s what you meant by “creationlists”). They're not one in the same. Creationism is a religious-political movement that holds that either humans, the earth, or the universe, or some combination of those, was intentionally created by one or more conscious beings, and furthermore reject any scientific evidence that says otherwise. Not all theists are creationists; there are plenty of theists who know that evolution and cosmology do not inherently disprove the existence of deity. Likewise you find some people who believe the earth and humans were created by a group of aliens, but that doesn't mean they deify such aliens.
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#149596 - 03/09/06 11:46 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Bill_M]
Atheon Offline
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Quote:

While deism and Satanism are technically compatible, these days I'd define a deist as an atheist who's ignorant of cosmology and evolutionary biology! I sometimes wonder just how many self-proclaimed "atheists" are ex-christians who jumped to that term under the assumption that there were no other options that they'd agree with.




I cannot see how deism and Satanism could "technically" be compatible since Satanism by necessity is atheistic. All true Satanists are atheists. We don't believe in a conscious being that created and/or is involved with the universe. That precludes theism and deism.
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