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Why be a deist?


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Lately I've been leaning towards deism in the Einstein, Spinoza, Jefferson sense. I'm leaning this way because I can conceive of something outside of our universe, laws of nature, etc. But such a "god" doesn't actively participate in our lives. What's the point?

 

Wouldn't it be better (or less misleading) to just say agnostic?

 

I'm not looking for a label. I'm just a new ex-Christian and trying to understand the world without my previous faith. The idea that there is something else is enticing and comforting, but would it be without my previous faith coloring my perspective? Is it nature or nurture? Is it just more confirmation bias?

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There si no problem with comforting yourself, @AcrobaticDetective, but some, like myself, choose to cling to reality instead of make-believe.

If you feel strongly that there is something out there bigger than yourself and who created the universe then you GO, girl!

 

Just don't subscribe to harmful religion like that which wished to control elections, the masses, and our pocket books via fear tactics.

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Many of us, myself included, went through a part of our deconversion where we thought of ourselves as Deists.  Meaning having a belief in some supreme but impersonal intelligence, as opposed to a deity who takes an interest in the lives of humans.  After giving up belief in the God of the Bible, it can feel like too big a step to not believe that there is anybody "in charge" of the universe.  Maybe there is, maybe there isn't.  Or maybe the closest thing to somebody being in charge is the existence of the laws of physics.  In any case, the Deist and the non-Deist both have to live their lives the same way in these respects: we have to derive our own meaning in life and we have to figure out our own morality (usually with a lot of help from our culture).  So Deism isn't much to hang your hat on, so to speak.  That's why most of us (I think) move on from Deism to simple agnostic non-theism.

 

I hope that makes sense...

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48 minutes ago, AcrobaticDetective said:

Lately I've been leaning towards deism in the Einstein, Spinoza, Jefferson sense. I'm leaning this way because I can conceive of something outside of our universe, laws of nature, etc. But such a "god" doesn't actively participate in our lives. What's the point?

 

Wouldn't it be better (or less misleading) to just say agnostic?

 

I'm not looking for a label. I'm just a new ex-Christian and trying to understand the world without my previous faith. The idea that there is something else is enticing and comforting, but would it be without my previous faith coloring my perspective? Is it nature or nurture? Is it just more confirmation bias?

 

TABA pretty much said it all. 

 

The main thing is that it's unnecessary. There could be an intelligence beyond the universe, but there doesn't have to be. The laws of physics don't require that an intelligence exists in order to account for the laws of physics. And like he said, many members have come here deist for similar reasons and then out grown deism in real time as the community watched the changes play out. Nothing wrong with it. It's just something that is generally outgrown with time and further thought on the issue. 

 

It's one thing to imagine that there's more to it, more out there than we understand. 

 

It's an entirely different thing to then try and place a name on it and call it something. Like a god. If it's left as unknown, which it is, then I don't see why agnostic isn't the right fit for what's being described. More to existence, not known, but acknowledged as very likely. 

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Thank you everyone. Your replies definitely help. And TABA, yes that makes perfect sense. It's good to be able to talk to people who understand what this change is like and have been through it before. Thank you!

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6 hours ago, AcrobaticDetective said:

Lately I've been leaning towards deism in the Einstein, Spinoza, Jefferson sense. I'm leaning this way because I can conceive of something outside of our universe, laws of nature, etc. But such a "god" doesn't actively participate in our lives. What's the point?

 

Wouldn't it be better (or less misleading) to just say agnostic?

 

I'm not looking for a label. I'm just a new ex-Christian and trying to understand the world without my previous faith. The idea that there is something else is enticing and comforting, but would it be without my previous faith coloring my perspective? Is it nature or nurture? Is it just more confirmation bias?

 

Christianity has rules. When you leave the faith, no more rules. No label is required. No belief in this or that is required. There is no requirement that you 'stick to' a certain particular way of thinking either. 

 

1. Being unsure about the existence of gods is fine. 

2. Concluding that there is not enough evidence to believe in a god is fine. 

3. Concluding there are no gods is fine. 

4. Believing in 'something else' is fine as long as you are it's master. Dont kow tow to any belief system nor label.

 

 

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I've been agnostic 30 years, and see no move from the position in sight.  LOL, the next phase will likely be finding out if there is an afterlife!  Either way, I don't care.  But if there is, I hope they have Enduro motorcycles and lots of wilderness area to ride!

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     I made a brief stop at deism.  Stretched my legs and had a bit of a look around.  Once I realized there wasn't any reason to be there I moved on.  It's nice if you're really into beige.

 

          mwc

 

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I briefly considered a deist God. Then I realized it was simply God of the gaps so went straight into atheism. Also a deist God is an unfalsifiable proposition. A god set everything off with a big bang then let it roll, and doesn't want to be found? Might as well not exist as far as we mortals are concerned. 

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A passing thought I had while leaving the faith:

 

"god" is a gestalt entity.  Everything in the universe has a place and a function.  "Good" is the result of all the things being in their place and performing their function.   "Bad" is the opposite; things out of place, not performing their function.  But the sum total of "good" is greater than the sum of its parts.  There is more "good" than each individual instance of "good" added up.  This total is "god".  

 

It ended up being far too convoluted for a simple-minded Redneck such as myself; but it might be of some benefit to worthier minds.

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5 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

I briefly considered a deist God. Then I realized it was simply God of the gaps so went straight into atheism. Also a deist God is an unfalsifiable proposition. A god set everything off with a big bang then let it roll, and doesn't want to be found? Might as well not exist as far as we mortals are concerned. 

 

Excellent point. 

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On 4/24/2020 at 11:26 PM, Weezer said:

I've been agnostic 30 years, and see no move from the position in sight.  LOL, the next phase will likely be finding out if there is an afterlife!  Either way, I don't care.  But if there is, I hope they have Enduro motorcycles and lots of wilderness area to ride!

 

I was watching, "The Others" today with my wife because she hadn't seen it. But afterward I got to thinking about the afterlife. It would be odd to find oneself in an after life that runs contrary to their belief system, as in the movie. One contrary to the bible. Or any after life that runs contrary to atheistic disbelief in any at all. 

 

But it had me focused on how much I just don't care, like you're saying above. If I found myself in that position, then so be it. If I'm in no conscious position at all, so be it. There's literally nothing that would change the natural unfolding of what is. If you find yourself somewhere, then it just is what it is. 

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On 4/25/2020 at 8:48 AM, LogicalFallacy said:

I briefly considered a deist God. Then I realized it was simply God of the gaps so went straight into atheism. Also a deist God is an unfalsifiable proposition. A god set everything off with a big bang then let it roll, and doesn't want to be found? Might as well not exist as far as we mortals are concerned. 

 

I flew right past it all. It was fundy theism straight to hard atheism, and anti-theism. 10 years later I wondered about a god beyond the universe as a potential explanation behind the BBT. But it was brief. Because I quickly realized that I was not looking at deism but more so at pantheism. It was actually pantheist speculation, but I didn't understand pantheism well at the time enough to recognize what I was actually speculating about. And then went off into reading on pantheism and figured it out. 

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@AcrobaticDetective Like everyone else here has stated, Deism is often a pit-stop before atheism. Very common, and I too made the stop. As TABA stated, going straight to atheism is too far from the get go for most people. Reflecting on my own journey, I believe it has to do with how trained your mind was to think a certain way. In the Christian worldview, God is everywhere, he is in control, the supernatural is just on the other side of perceived reality, etc. Dropping all that at one time is really difficult. It is already tough to have your worldview shaken up, and it is too much to process at one time.

 

What got me past that stage was learning to reason better. Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) I realized that unless something can be tested or demonstrated to be true, it is pointless to exercise a belief in it. Ultimately it is speculation. Could be a god out there, but there is no way to know that, so why believe it? Because your belief could be dead wrong, and I agree with Matt Dillahunty and Aron Ra when they state: "I want to believe as few false things as possible." Meaning, I want my thoughts to comport to reality, as much as that truth may be difficult to swallow. If there is more information provided later on that demonstrates a god - however we may define that, then my thoughts will change to comport to this new information.

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8 hours ago, Lionheart said:

@AcrobaticDetective Like everyone else here has stated, Deism is often a pit-stop before atheism. Very common, and I too made the stop. As TABA stated, going straight to atheism is too far from the get go for most people. Reflecting on my own journey, I believe it has to do with how trained your mind was to think a certain way. In the Christian worldview, God is everywhere, he is in control, the supernatural is just on the other side of perceived reality, etc. Dropping all that at one time is really difficult. It is already tough to have your worldview shaken up, and it is too much to process at one time.

 

What got me past that stage was learning to reason better. Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) I realized that unless something can be tested or demonstrated to be true, it is pointless to exercise a belief in it. Ultimately it is speculation. Could be a god out there, but there is no way to know that, so why believe it? Because your belief could be dead wrong, and I agree with Matt Dillahunty and Aron Ra when they state: "I want to believe as few false things as possible." Meaning, I want my thoughts to comport to reality, as much as that truth may be difficult to swallow. If there is more information provided later on that demonstrates a god - however we may define that, then my thoughts will change to comport to this new information.

 

Excellent advice. Thank you for sharing your journey as well. I think you're right. I just need time to reprogram. I recently started listening to Dillahunty and Ra. I really like them especially Dillahunty.

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