I kinda wanted to lay off the religion blogs but this is a highly personal thing I want to put down into something written.
Some people might have noticed that my user title has changed to 'deist'. So I thought I'd do a blog on this and people can read this for themselves.
What about all the other religions you've supposedly been?
I believe that whilst I have probably been a deist all my life, I was searching in the wrong place for what it is I am. It may have been in Christianity and Judaism I sought some knowledge of the divine, whilst in my stage trying to be atheist I sought reason.
I was also unaware until recently, when I began to read Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason that I found out there was a way I could reconcile reason with the divine- deism.
So what do you now believe?
I believe that there was a God who created the universe, a supreme force who cannot be given titles such as King or Master, which puts limit on the infinity of His power (and even my use of the word 'He' here is largely for convenience). But I believe also that God has nothing to do with the universe besides being the Prime Mover. He does not answer prayer, punish sins or intervene in human affairs either...
I also hold that the true knowledge of the divine cannot be found in a holy boook but in study of the universe and its laws through science, which in itself is infinite.
Why do you hold holy books like the Bible and Qur'an to be false?
Firstly, these books rely on the principle of divine revelation. Here this will mean any scripture which it is claimed was given by God to man through a messenger or prophet. This is the principle of the Qur'an, of the Torah and of the teachings of Jesus.
These can only be revelations in the first instance. It is only revelation to the person who actually witnesses the revelation first-hand. If they were then to tell someone else who did not witness the revelation for themselves, it is little more than hearsay to that person.
The other is the simple reason that such books often run contrary to established and verifiable scientific and empirical fact. Such a thing is not helped by the attitude among the religious to have not just faith but unquestioning faith. This stifling environment allows the most preposterous ideas to go unquestioned, and you only need look at Creation Science to see this in action.
Plus there is the simple fact that such books are riddled with inconsistencies, errors, plain out-and-out absurdities and atrocities on a grand scale. A truly holy book would, to my mind at least, not contain such wrong ideas.
Wouldn't it be easier to just take God out of the equation. A God who created the universe and then disappeared seems unnecessary.
My thinking on this is something along the lines of the following, and there a re a number of deist writings which agree with me.
Imagine a football. In itself it cannot move. It NEEDS something to unite matter (the ball) with the motion or action (moving across a field). This is the footballer, who kicks the ball. Now note that the footballer in performing the action has nothing to do with the ball once it is kicked away from him. He kicks it and it then has nothing to do with him. So it is with God.
What about faith?
Faith is a dangerous word. Instead a better term used by deists is trust. With faith, you have to simply accept a certain idea, often without empirical date to justify it. Trust is altogether different in that this requires evidence in order to do so. I quote Voltaire at this point:
"What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason."
I hope this answers any questions. Feel free to ask any more on my profile or on the comments section of this blog.
I have the same view for most of those questions, although I don't neccessarily regard holy books as false. Ive also studied alot of Hindu and Buddhist text, and would call myself either of those before any Abrahamic denomination.
If you haven't read any Hindu or Buddhist texts, I would suggest reading "The Bhagavad Gita". It completely changed my view of Life, Religion, and Everything.
The problem with the football parallel is that it applies common sense thinking to the preposterously complex workings of the universe. Common sense dictates that something can't move without being moved but this goes far beyond limited and personal human experience. The studies of Physics, evolutionary biology, psychology, economics, sociology and various other subjects are filled with examples that would seem preposterous had they not been empirically or logically shown to be true.
I myself have toyed around with the notion of deism, but I just couldn't really believe that there was a God originally. There was obviously something, but I don't think of it as a God as much as an event.
Do you believe one can prove there was a God? Or do you use the football analogy as logic enough to prove it?
genghisgandhi wrote on Sep 8th, 2010 at 3:15pm : People say agnostics have no balls. They should look at deists. Anyway, most of the founding fathers were deists, so you have that...
Beliefs have nothing to do with having 'balls'. I consider myself an agnostic, but just for the fact that there's no way of knowing whether there is a god or not. I would like to think that there is a god, but I'm not certain. That's why I consider people that say that there must be a god, and people that say that there is no god to be rather arrogant. Just because you believe that there is/isn't a god doesn't mean that it's correct. If anyone is more right about this subject it's the agnostic people because we're willing to accept that there may or may not be a god.
Also this makes quite a bit of sense as far as your new beliefs go Fassa. I hope this beliefs system works for you since the other 50 that you've gone through haven't.: