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World religions

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Deism: About the God who created the universe,
set it going, left, & hasn't been seen since.

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Overview:

The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus."

Deism is a natural religion. Deists believe in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds, without any reliance on revealed religion or religious authority or holy text. Because of this, Deism is quite different from religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The latter are based on revelations from God to prophet(s) who then taught it to humans. We like to call natural religions by the title "bottom-up" faiths and revealed religions as "top-down."

The opposite of Deism is Atheism -- the lack of a belief in god(s).

Deists:

bulletDo not accept the belief of most religions that God revealed himself to humanity through the writings of the Bible, the Qur'an or other religious texts.
 
bulletDisagree with strong Atheists who assert that there is no evidence of the existence of God.

Many Deists reason that since everything that exists has had a creator, then the universe itself must have been created by God:

bulletThomas Paine concluded a speech shortly after the French Revolution with: "God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."
 
bulletIn his book "The Age of Reason," Thomas Paine wrote that "everything we behold carries in itself the internal evidence that it did not make itself." This includes trees, plants, humans and other animals. This conclusion carries us on "... to the belief of a first cause eternally existing ... this first cause, man calls God."
 
bullet Antony Flew (1923-), a son of a Methodist minister was once a leading Atheist. Later in life, he accepted the existence of God on the basis of design in the universe. In 2004, he became a Deist while still rejecting the gods promoted by the various revealed religions. He wrote: "How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self replication capabilities and coded chemistry?"

Topics covered in this section:

bulletDeist quotations and history

bulletNumbers of followers in the U.S.

bulletDeist beliefs, practices and symbols

bulletDeists' beliefs on the origins of life and species; Richard Dawkins' beliefs

bulletDeist books and links to websites

bulletThe Deus Project and the United Deist Community

Reference used:

  1. Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason," Page 29, at: http://books.google.com/

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Site navigation: Home page > World religions > here

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Copyright 1999 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-AUG-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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