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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
Posts: 787
Loc: Texas
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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Posts: 12990
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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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Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
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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Posts: 787
Loc: Texas
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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Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
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.
_________________________
"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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#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
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
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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Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 274
Loc: Hell
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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- Noxilenticus Zodameranu

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#149585 - 03/07/06 10:12 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Poetaster]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
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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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
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
Posts: 787
Loc: Texas
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
CoS Reverend

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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Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 42
Loc: Long Beach, CA
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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#149597 - 03/10/06 08:15 AM Theism and Satanism [Re: Atheon]
Achilles Offline


Registered: 11/19/05
Posts: 223
This reminds me of a good article I found by Magister Nemo in '94 called "Church of Satan on Anonymity, Sacrifice & Stupidity." Another one being "Nemo's MFMFAQ."

If he still remembers.

Edit: Oh, I got Theism and Deism mixed up. Nevermind.


Edited by Achilles (03/10/06 02:31 PM)
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#149598 - 03/10/06 10:55 AM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Atheon]
Bill_M Offline
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Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11552
Loc: New England, USA
>>I cannot see how deism and Satanism could "technically"
>>be compatible since Satanism by necessity is atheistic.

Says who? Satanism is a certainly non-theistic religion, but that doesn't automatically make it atheistic. I know some COS representatives will use the term "atheistic" in interviews when they just want to make it clear that Satanism isn't devil worship, but it doesn't hold in the strictest sense of the word.

Theism (or at least the externalized kind) is certainly incompatible with Satanism, but that doesn't mean deism or agnosticism can't work here. The actual existence or non-existence of deity, or how exactly the universe was spawned, is simply irrelevent to Satanic doctrine. That's what makes Satanism non-theistic. Whether the universe was created through the forces of physics, a big invisible man, or a Flying Spaghetti Monster, it doesn't matter -- the dogma of Satanism wouldn't change one bit.

"To the Satanist "God" - by whatever name he is called, or by no name at all - is seen as the balancing factor in nature, and not as being concerned with suffering. This powerful force which permeates and balances the universe is far too impersonal to care about the happiness or misery of flesh-and-blood creatures on this ball of dirt upon which we live." - The Satanic Bible
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#149599 - 03/10/06 05:11 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Bill_M]
RustySpring Offline
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Registered: 03/10/04
Posts: 1109
I agree with all of what you've said, Bill.

The Satanist should focus on doubt, not on belief.

Show me God and I will 'believe' in him; Don't, and I'll carry on assuming he doesn't exist (based on the limited scientific evidence available) until proven otherwise.

The bottom line is that I don't actually have anyway of knowing for sure if God exists or not. However, the evidence that we do have leads me to the conclusion that he does not exist.

The quote taken from TSB that you've used should sum things up quite nicely, leaving very little for interpretation.

I would argue that waiting for the 'scientific absolute' may be a lot more useful than trying to guess. Until then, doubt is our ally, not mindless belief!

On this note, I would argue that although I am a Satanist, I am also somewhat agnostic.

Atheism is essentially nothing but a ‘belief’ in the non-existence of God, and is - in my opinion - as arrogant and blinkered as Theism.

Or maybe I'm being a little bit too simplistic here?

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#149600 - 03/13/06 02:21 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: RustySpring]
Atheon Offline
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Registered: 11/28/05
Posts: 42
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Atheism in the strictest sense of the word is not a belief in the non-existence of God. It only discribes those who are without a theism - theos (God) being defined as a personal being that created and/or is involved in the universe. There are positive atheists (one who says, "There is no God.") and negative atheists (one who says, "There is no proof of the existence of God. There I do not belief in one."). An agnostic says that there is no way to know if God exists or not. So, an agnostic is an atheist (a negative atheist to be exact). (Positive atheism is also called strong atheism. Negative atheism is also called weak atheism.)

Satanism is atheistic - is it a system of belief that does not include belief in a God (as defined above). Satanism IS necessarily atheistic. Belief in a personal universal creator has little to nothing to do with any actual scientific inquiry. It has more to do with the feeling that most humans have that they are not enough (powerless and therefore hopeless) and that something greater outside of themselves must give them value. Satanism is completely opposed to this, of course.

Deism is just as untenable as any other form of theism. It's really an intellectual cop out that does nothing to answer any real questions. Perhaps some can convince themselves that deism and Satanism are compatible. It really would just be a mental masturbation exercise that solves nothing.

I do agree with the statement from the TSB. However, the understanding of "God" there has nothing to do with atheism or agnosticism at all since that God is unrelated to the common definition of the word. "God" (or Satan, have you) is redefined to mean the forces of nature and nature itself. Satanism is, therefore, in agreement with a non-theistic pantheist (religious naturalist) view of the world.


Edited by Atheon (03/13/06 02:30 PM)
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#149601 - 03/13/06 03:54 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Atheon]
RustySpring Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/10/04
Posts: 1109
Although this misunderstanding is essentially a matter of semantics, it appears that upon further investigation you are indeed correct.

It seems I have been slightly misinterpreting the word 'atheist' until now, as I thought the term only applied to one who absoluely denies the existence of God, when in actual fact is also applies to one who simply disbelieves the existence God.

You have actually cleared up a misunderstanding on my part and I thank you for that.

Hail Satan!

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#149602 - 03/13/06 04:14 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Atheon]
Achilles Offline


Registered: 11/19/05
Posts: 223
The better point is, however: how does Deism have any affect on the philosophy and religion of Satanism? It doesn't and a Satanist is free to believe a dark force, Satan, God, etc. started things in motion. It has no affect on Satanism. The problem comes in when a person worships or depends in an external force.

There really isn't a difference between being atheistic or deist, come to think of it. Deism believes a supreme being or something else started everything and left it, while atheism states that there is no supreme being in the first place. Both have no belief in anyone "watching" or "guiding" or intervening in human affairs.
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#149603 - 03/13/06 08:58 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Atheon]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11552
Loc: New England, USA
>>Atheism in the strictest sense of the word is not a
>>belief in the non-existence of God. [...]
>>There are positive atheists (one who says, "There is no
>>God.") and negative atheists (one who says, "There is no
>>proof of the existence of God. There I do not belief in
>>one.").

Many times I've heard atheism similarly divided into "strong atheism" (the assertive disbelief in deity) and "weak atheism" (simply, the lack of belief in deity). But yes, I agree that "atheist" does not always mean "an assertive disbelief in deity". But it still doesn't have anything to do with proof, and mean you can use it as a synonym for "non-theistic", nor for that matter (and more on this later) "secular".

>>An agnostic says that there is no way to know if God
>>exists or not. So, an agnostic is an atheist (a negative
>>atheist to be exact).

The term "agnostic", coined sometime in the 19th century, was originally defined as somebody who firmly believes that the question of whether or not "God" exists has never been answered, and never will be. One could very well be a "weak atheist" and not have this opinion.

>>Satanism is atheistic - is it a system of belief that
>>does not include belief in a God (as defined above).

While one who simply lacks a belief in deity can be thought of as an "atheist", that doesn't make all religions and organizations who find deity to be non-applicable, "atheistic". The Coca-cola company, a Justice of the Peace wedding ceremony, and AT&T all operate with no mention of deity, but that doesn't make these atheistic. Just secular. Again, Satanism is a non-theistic religion. There is no contradiction with being both a deist and a Satanist. Views, or lack of them, on the creation of the universe are irrelevant to Satanism.

>>Deism is just as untenable as any other form of theism.
>>It's really an intellectual cop out that does nothing to
>>answer any real questions.

I'm going to assume by "cop out" here that you mean the common corrupted defintion, meaning an excuse. While again my personal view is that deists are atheists who haven't researched enough science, that's still just my view. We've debated lots of metaphysics in the members-only section of this forum. I don't think of such people as being less of a Satanist for, say, believing in ghosts when I personally don't.

>>However, the understanding of "God" there has nothing to
>>do with atheism or agnosticism at all since that God is
>>unrelated to the common definition of the word.

"God" is a vague enough term that you can find many people who identify as theists yet have a view of "God" that's quite different from the traditional monotheistic religions. To quote that first chapter again, "There are many diferent interpretations of God, in the usual sense of the word, as there are types of people. The images run from a belief in a god who is some vague sort of "universal cosmic mind" to an anthropomorphic deity with a long white beard and sandals who keeps track of every
action of each individual. Even within the confines of a given religion, the personal interpretations of God differ greatly."
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http://www.devilsmischief.com: Carnal Comedy Clips, Netherworld Novelty Numbers,
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#149604 - 03/13/06 09:53 PM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
The most amicable sort of believer. Deists are just right; a world full of them would be a beautiful thing.

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#149605 - 03/16/06 02:27 AM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
Noel Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1220
Loc: Amerika
Simple bullshit sniff test:

Q: Does the concept involve an external deity?

A: In this case, the answer is yes: deism is "belief in the existence of an all-powerful creator who does not intervene in the universe" (OED).

Deism is theism without miracles.

With deism, intelligent design is inherent, as creation of the universe by an "all-powerful creator" requires intentionality; and not intervening in human affairs involves intentionality on the part of the "all-powerful creator."

Don't let people cook up a definition of deism or deists that runs contrary to most dictionaries or philosophy dictionaries.

It's bullshit.

Pure and simple.

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#149606 - 03/16/06 04:56 AM Re: Okay, what is a Deist? [Re: Witch_Scarlet]
MalkaviuZ Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Germany
found this out on the web
hope it could help a little..
Quote:

Historical and modern deism is defined by the view that reason, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God. Deists reject both organized and revealed religion and maintain that reason is the essential element in all knowledge. For a "rational basis for religion" they refer to the cosmological argument (first cause argument), the teleological argument (argument from design), and other aspects of what was called natural religion. Deism has become identified with the classical belief that God created but does not intervene in the world, though this is not a necessary component of deism.


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