Deism: Why is it wrong? (Split & Revisited)

Hi, I’m new to this forum. Stumbled upon this thread after googling “Catholic Deism”.

I grew up Catholic but after some reading in the last year I’ve come to see Deism as more in line with what I believe.

Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” is an excellent resource.

I disagree with what I read online that Deism regards God as detached from creation. He’s not personal in the sense that he won’t listen to your prayer and grant you your wish. He knows what you deserve even before you ask!

The purpose of prayer and meditation instead is for us to know and understand his will.

“Thy will be done on Earth as in Heaven…”

AmbroseSJ had recommended The Analogy of Religion as counter-proof. The google reference is a scanned book, 240+ pages. I’m not sure if I’d have the time for it.

Care to give us a few examples of where Deism is false?

I dont think disbeleif in salvation is a strictly athiest thing, original sin only appears in Abrahamic religion. if by salvation you mean something after death then that would be an individual thing. As far as i know Deists is almost alwase agnostic.

No, Deists do believe in God. They are not agnostic.

Agnostics incorperate 2 kinds of people

  1. those who are uncertain of gods existance
    2.those who beleive in the existance of but do not actively worship god/gods (not just non-pracicing but non worshiping)

so yes Diests are agnostics

Sorry, but this is incorrect. An agnostic is a “not-knower” (from αγνωστος, “unknowing”), i.e. someone who does not know whether or not there is any god.

There are ‘hard’ agnostics (who do not know and believe that no one else can know either), there are ‘soft’ agnostics (who do not know), and there are agnostics of both kinds who choose to believe in a god or gods whilst acknowledging their own ignorance. I am one of those last.

To give you the light, as Catholics we are DEISTS. So are the Jews, Muslims and any other Religion that claims belief in a HIGHER BEING. However, we are not the kind of deists that were popular in revolutionary France, and the enlightenment thinkers. Those were agnostics, Illuminati and in the end atheists, as Peter Kreeft best said in His catechism and I quote “Agnosticism on the death bed almost always turns into Atheism, which is a no, a rejection of Our LORD” end quote (this was almost the way he said it)

Deism is defined as:

  1. belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation ( distinguished from theism).

  2. belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.

Taken together or separately, both are completely incompatible with Catholicism. As the first variety rejects supernatural revelation, your view that he has any interest in what you need or deserve is itself rooted in your Catholic upbringing. That God has any interest in the affairs of man at all is not something that be discerned from nature. Your further citing of Jesus’ words again reverts to revelation. The person of Jesus Himself is, in fact, the ultimate revelation, and thus a deist can have no recourse to Him.

The second is clearly opposed to any sort of belief in a benevolent and personal God at all, and thus I don’t need to elaborate on its incompatibility.

But your question is not its incompatibility with theistic religion, but examples of its falsehood. I have provided the former, however, to show that your own thought still reflects a good deal of your theistic background. I don’t think you are as much of a deist as you think you are. As to the falsehood of deism, the best example of this is quite simply the person and ministry of Christ and the legacy of His Church. Other examples would be the fact of miracles, of which the most recent and nearly irrefutable example is that of Fatima. Also, I would recommend reading C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” if you never have. It is by far one of the best introductions to Christian thought ever written.

Actually, we are “theists.” To be a deist means to believe in an impersonal, “divine watchmaker” God who created everything and then let it run by itself, with no personal intervention in things.


There is the miracle of creation. Hearsay miracles are a dime a dozen. Other than that, there have been none. I’ve looked at some of the “evidence” for Fatima but find them unconvincing.

And there are also indifferent agnostics (who dont care) and diestic agnostics (who dont worship)

If you acknowledge God, and live by the code He ordained, and seek to understand creation’s purpose and how you ought to fit in that purpose, isn’t that worship enough for you?

Sacrifice, offerings to appease, asking for things, fear of damnation, punishment and reward, to me those are primitive forms of worship.

We ought to grow up.

But thats the thing, they beleave in a “Divine power” but they dont beleave he ordained some moral code, and they dont necisarily seek to understand anything. they think some misty, distand, powerful being/force created the universe but does not interven in it, and that they cant or dont understand it.

also, no i wouldnt qualify that as worship. I respect and beleave in the gods but i do not worship them. worship is a submissive act.

Read Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason. You got it all wrong.

If love exists, then where the hell did it come from, if not God? No self-respecting Deist will dispute that statement.

chemical reactions in the brain designed to foster pair bonding as a result of natural selection sounds pretty good.

You have no idea how much i respect Thomas Paine but they simply didnt have the scientific ability to know that when he was alive.

Fine and dandy, IF Thomas Paine was a reductionist, which he is not, and neither am I, and neither should you be.

Reductionism is wrong. If it were correct, then ideas are mere sentences, which are mere words, and all these are pixels on a screen, and we are nothing but atoms.

Bad idea.

I certainly am not a pure reductionist, but it is important to understand tht just because something goes beyond the physical dosnt mean it is no longer physical. Love is a chemical process in the brain which can, through means beyond human understanding, do so much more than just change our mental chemistry.

im not a reductionist im a realist, I love when things are big and grandeous and epic, but to find truth one must look past what one sees or wishes to what actualy IS.

I’m not of that type. What we see is as far as relevance goes. We could all be brains in vats for all I care.

Besides, we can never know what actually is. Proof always hinges on postulate. Godel’s Theorem and Tarski’s Undefinability Theorem, if you are interested in reading further.

Also might read Hawking’s Model-dependent Realism.

Sorry! :o my bad, yes Edward is right, the word is “Theist” not “Deists” (Im going to have to do some more memorizing) :o

Thanks Edward!!

If indeed God is a watchmaker and creation is a watch that needs constant tinkering, then God must lack wisdom, for why create a faulty watch that needs constant adjustment?

God, per Deism, is the mechanism that runs this watch, and it’s working okay, exactly as he ordained it. Without his blessing/grace, the watch would simply stop.

Where in Catholic thought, or any theistic thought for that matter, do you find the idea that creation needs “constant tinkering”? That’s simply a fabrication.

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