Deism is defined in Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1941, as: "[From Latin Deus, God.Deity] The doctrine or creed of a Deist." And Deist is defined in the same dictionary as: "One who believes in the existence of a God or supreme being but denies revealed religion, basing his belief on the light of nature and reason."
This common sense approach to God and a spiritual philosophy can not only bring a lasting profound sense of peace and happiness to the individual, but it also has the potential to go light years in eradicating religious fear, superstition and violence.
For comparing Deism to revealed religion and atheism please click on Deism vs. Christianity & Atheism, at the bottom of this page.
What is the basis of Deism? Reason and nature. We see the design found throughout the known universe and this realization brings us to a sound belief in a Designer or God.
Is Deism a form of atheism? No. Atheism teaches that there is no God. Deism teaches there is a God. Deism rejects the "revelations" of the "revealed" religions but does not reject God.
If Deism teaches a belief in God, then what is the difference between Deism and the other religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.? Deism is, as stated above, based on nature and reason, not "revelation." All the other religions make claim to special divine revelation or they have requisite "holy" books. Deism has neither. In Deism there is no need for a preacher, priest or rabbi. All one needs in Deism is their own common sense and the creation to contemplate.
Do Deists believe that God created the creation and the world and then just stepped back from it? Some Deists do and some believe God may intervene in human affairs. For example, when George Washington was faced with either a very risky evacuation of the American troops from Long Island or surrendering them he chose the more risky evacuation. When questioned about the possibility of having them annihilated he said it was the best he could do and the rest is up to Providence.
Do Deists pray? Only prayers of thanks and appreciation. We don't dictate to God.
How do Deists view God? We view God as an eternal entity whose power is equal to his/her will. The following quote from Albert Einstein also offers a good Deistic description of God: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
Is Deism a cult? It's impossible for Deism to be a cult because Deism teaches self-reliance and encourages people to constantly use their reason. Deism teaches to "question authority" no matter what the cost.
Unlike the revealed religions, Deism makes no unreasonable claims. The revealed religions encourage people to give up, or at least to suspend, their God-given reason. They like to call it faith. For example, how logical is it to believe that Moses parted the Red Sea, or that Jesus walked on water, or that Mohammed received the Koran from an angel? Suspending your reason enough to believe these tales only sets a precedent that leads to believing a Jim Jones or David Koresh.
What's Deism's answer to all the evil in the world? Much of the evil in the world could be overcome or removed if humanity had embraced our God-given reason from our earliest evolutionary stages. After all, all the laws of nature that we've discovered and learned to use to our advantage that make everything from computers to medicine to space travel have existed eternally. But we've decided we'd rather live in superstition and fear instead of learning and gaining knowledge. It's much more soothing to believe we're not responsible for our own actions than to actually do the hard work required for success.
Deism doesn't claim to have all the answers to everything, we just claim to be on the right path to those answers.
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