Hello! I'm a Deist! Ask me anything!

Hello everyone, as the titles of my post so poignantly states I am practicing Deist and have been for about 8 years now. I was reading through some of your threads to learn more about Catholicism, I am a scholar of religion, and noticed that the threads you had on Deism tended to have very little deist input. In fact the majority of the people conversing in these threads seemed to be catholic so I figured I’d pop in and try to answer any questions that people might have about deism. So please! Fire away!

Hello and welcome!!

My question is, what exactly is a “practicing deist”?

How does one actively practice deism? :slight_smile:

Is it true that many of the founding fathers of our country were Deists?

How do Deists deal with the objections to the Doctrine of Existential Inertia from Aristotelian Philosophers? That is, with no intrinsic power of existence to the object it necessitates a conserving and sustaining cause as per the Cosmological Argument. I’ve always been interested.

Yes, it is always a problem when we have only few Deists who choose to participate. Since this is a Catholic forum most posts will be by Catholics. Are there any statements in the Deist threads that you would like to correct? Also, as you claim to be a “scholar of religion” you might want to state your credentials for your own credibility.

In any event, welcome to CAF!

God bless.

Steve

A complex question in the guise of a simple one lol

Truth be told one cannot be a “practicing” deist the way one can be a “practicing” catholic because there is simply nothing to practice. Deism is less of a religion and more of a belief system and because of this there are no rituals or ceromonies that are universal among deists. A person is general held to be a deist if they subscribe to the majority of the basic tenets that make up the core beliefs of Deism. I say majority because there is no official creed or set of beliefs, merely beliefs that you will find almost always. Those beliefs are as follows.

[list]
*]Deist believe there is a single Creator (termed God for convenience)
*]God created the universe and all contained withing but has chosen to not interfere with it.
*]This belief is based on reason and the observation of the complexity of nature and the universe.
*]God is wholly incomprehensible to humans and it is futile to try and understand it due to the limitations of the human mind.
*]God gave humans reason in order to develop our own morals and ethics.
*]God created the universe and all contained withing but has chosen to not interfere with it.
[/list]

If you believe those 4 basic principles then you are termed a deist! Of course there are as many different beliefs among deists as there are deists so there are things I believe that others don’t and vice verse.

Do you as a Deist believe in the afterlife? Heaven?

So would it be accurate to say that Deism is completely a man-made set of beliefs limited by human understanding and not based upon any divine revelation?

Is it true that many of the founding fathers of our country were Deists?

Quite true! Two of the most famous were Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. While several others were not deist in truth they did seem to follow some of the thoughts behind deism. Deism, after all, has its root in Christianity.

How do Deists deal with the objections to the Doctrine of Existential Inertia from Aristotelian Philosophers? That is, with no intrinsic power of existence to the object it necessitates a conserving and sustaining cause as per the Cosmological Argument. I’ve always been interested

Hahaha well metaphysics isn’t exactly my thing so I don’t have answer for you off the top of my head. Give me some time to research and I’d be more than willing to provide you with an answer.

Yes, it is always a problem when we have only few Deists who choose to participate. Since this is a Catholic forum most posts will be by Catholics. Are there any statements in the Deist threads that you would like to correct? Also, as you claim to be a “scholar of religion” you might want to state your credentials for your own credibility.

There are a few but I’m sure they will arise over the course of this thread and I’ll address them then. As for my credentials: I am a recent graduate of East Tennessee State University where I did a double major in History and Religious Studies and a minor in Psychology. In both majors the brunt of my coursework was dedicated to the Abrahamic Traditions and their off shoots. I have recently been accepted in the Stanford Master’s History program where I intend to continue my work before moving on to my doctorate.

Do you as a Deist believe in the afterlife? Heaven?

This is actually a very polarizing debate within the Deist community and the answer largely depends on the background of the Deist in question. I personally believe that there is a soul and there is an afterlife. Whether or not it is a traditional Heaven is open to debate but I do believe that people will be rewarded and punished for their actions and intents.

So would it be accurate to say that Deism is completely a man-made set of beliefs limited by human understanding and not based upon any divine revelation?

In a word, yes. But that isn’t to say it does not have divine inspiration. Rather than requiring that the Creator reach down to man in order for us to understand the universe Deists hold that we were created with the tools we need to understand and all we have to do is use them.

I do hope I am answering some of your questions! I have to go for a little bit to run some errands but I will be back. If I say anything that isn’t clear or that you don’t understand please do not hesitate to ask me for more explanation. I’ve developed the bad habit of writing for history professors instead of everyone else :confused:

Once you’ve had the time message me or I’ll be checking in here :slight_smile: I’ve always wondered how the objection could be gotten round. The arguments I’ve been able to find I found to be quite unsatisfactory.

Isn’t a deist God insignificant since it doesn’t care about human affairs? Why wouldn’t it/he/she tell us what is right and wrong like the Abrahamic God?

Deism is ultimately a form of nihilism, for it does not guarantee (1) free will and (2) eternal life. There is no reason to care about deism.

:slight_smile:

Well, Mark agitated me. When I remembered my daughter, my eye opened. BANG. Spark, and explosion. They call it the big bang.

Pre-existence. The time and place before the universe exploded into existence. Also called nothing, or nothingness. It’s a permanent temporary place. I’m the container.

The explosion is caused by an extremely intense urgency to protect (my daughter). Her name is EmmaGrace. Emma means Universal. And you know what Grace means.

It’s a big universe and a big planet and a big world. God is a word.

Eternity is right now. Eternity is all there is. It’s every yesterday, every day and every tomorrow. The future already exists, it just hasn’t happened yet. But it exists. It’s sort of like driving on a highway. Ten miles up the road already exists, you just haven’t gotten to it yet. But it’s there.

I may be missing something but I have no idea what you are talking about. Could you please explain?

Meet Tori Amos. She’s an Angel from a realm up above the Earth. She’s a guiding light, here on Earth. Study her lyrics, she sings a lot about satan, lucifer and some other things.

White Telephone to God

You understand a thing called “the big bang” in a “scientific” way. I know it from experience because I’m part of the process of “the big bang”. It’s my eye (vision) that makes it happen.

In the time and place of pre-existence, there is no universe. No galaxies, no stars. Nothing. But there is consciousness. Consciousness always exists and is not dependent on human beings, brains or even planet Earth.

When I was considering Deism. I struggled with whether a deist should pray or not. So do you as a deist pray?

I also do not have the foggiest notion… :confused:

Does this have anything to do with Deism?

Does this have anything to do with Deism?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.