The Argument for Deism 

Taken from:

http://pub228.ezboard.com/foutsidethebox61172frm7

I was challenged from someone who believes the Old Testament (Tanakh) is the word of "Yahweh". Here's how it went:

Quote:

Deism is the creation of a man.


This may be true, but no more true than any "revealed" religion. Nobody has yet been able to prove that the bible (Tanak or NT) is the "breathed word of 'God'" and until that proof is given, all of the great revealed religions (and their "holy books") are to be assumed to be merely the works of men.

Quote:

In Deism there is no absolutes, no objective right, no objective wrong. Even the notion that there is a creator is very flexible.


Deists obviously believe in a "Deity", else they would be atheists and not "DEISTS". Whether or not that Deity is a Creator God or a Director/Caretaker God, now that is something we just don't know.

Quote:

It may be just a creative force with no personality like the workings of "mother nature".


Right. That very well could be the case. There are many possible alternatives. Deists don't pretend to know the truth of the nature of the Deity being that this simply has not been revealed to all of mankind. If and when that happens, then all of the speculation can end. Deists do not believe that "God" only revealed "Himself" to a few "prophets" and scribes and priests and required the rest of the population to take these men's word on the matter.

Quote:

It may be a he or she, but that is irrelevant because it MAY transcend gender.


Most Deists that I am aware of would not dogmatically say just what the nature of the Deity is, since that has not been revealed to all of mankind. So with that in mind, yes the Deity might be anything. Nobody knows.

Quote:

They pick the moral laws that make things comfortable for them, and reject others.


Not exactly true. Most Deists follow one main moral law which the supposed god-man Jesus/Yeshua spoke of and which we know as the Golden Rule. Jesus/Yeshua only gave half of this moral code... "DO unto others as you'd have them DO unto you". However, it is also understood that Hillel the great pharisee teacher gave the other half of this moral code, stressing the other side of that coin, to wit; "DO NOT unto others that which you WOULD NOT have done unto you". Put the two halves of this basic moral code together and you have a basis for world peace.

Quote:

They say that you should care for each other and live as one. But not all of nature is like that. In nature, war, murder, stealing is just a way of being, beyond morality, just for the sake of existence. But the deist won't use that. Why? Because they are selfish creatures, like the rest of us.


Selfishness is not a bad thing for without it, mankind would never have achieved anything. Greed is another animal, and it is greed that is at the root of many of the evils man has wrought upon man. I don't know of any deists who would condone murder and theft for the sake of existence. I've never even heard that accusation made before now. Deists do recognize that nature works for our benefit and for our destruction. Just look at weather for example. Deists are realists therefore and acknowledge the forces of creation as well as destruction throughout the known universe.

Quote:

According to them, there is no one religious book that is authoratitive enough to be called the word of the creator.


Agree.

Quote:

In our case, the Tanakh may have some good stuff in it, BUT it is seriously tainted by lies, inventions of men, unethical animal practices, voodoo, primitive nonsense that has outlived its usefulness if it had any to begin with.


Agree.

Quote:

A Deist will just take out the bits that are convenient to him/her, just like a supermarket.


This may be true of some Deists, yet even then they would not pontificate that the "bits that are convenient" are the literal revealed words of the Deity. Maybe they are, but there is no proof of that. They may just be the words of men which happen to make sense in order to maintain a civil society, such as in the Golden Rule spoken by Hillel and Jesus mentioned above. Should a Tanakh-only believer disregard this moral reasoning known as "The Golden Rule" spoken of by a Rabbincal teacher and the supposed "Son of God"?

Quote:

In the Deist world, the creator has no mouth apart from nature and creation. What an unforgiving creator if it/he/she is like nature.


This may or may not be true. The Deity may in fact have a very loud voice but chooses at this time to remain silent. Whether or not the Deity is like nature and is unforgiving simply is not known at this time. The Deity hasn't revealed this information to all of mankind. The supposed "word of God" books were only revealed to certain (and very few) men. A man called Paul had a revelation so the story goes. None of the rest of us had that revelation so we are to either believe that he actually had this revelatory vision and that it was truly of "God", or that he had a hallucination and supposed it to be of "God" or that he lied and never had any such revelation but merely wanted to start another religion possibly for profit and/or power.

Quote:

Morality is subjective. One person may have one morality, and another may have another. Because of that subjectivity a man may enjoy a life of murder and rape and he may never get caught.


Pure nonsense. The crime rate among atheists is no higher than that of theists. In fact it is probably much lower when you peruse the history books and see the evil which has been done in the name of various revealed religions and their "holy books". Therefore, Deists are neither more prone to commit murder and rape. The Tanakh tells us of a man called Abraham who raped his wife's handmaiden (slave). That sort of thing is not supported by Deism. The Tanakh tells us of stories whereby innocent infant children are ordered by Yahweh to be butchered to pieces. Deism has no tolerance for this sort of evil and are therefore more moral in this regard than any men who actually may carry out such atrocities.

Quote:

But he enjoyed his life, despite the cries of his victims and their family. There is no justice. Justice is just another human mind that changes every couple of years.


But justice according to the Tanakh is that a man should be dragged out of his house by "men of God" wearing robes, and stoned in the streets because he may have picked some fruit or picked up some sticks. Deists don't believe in justice "Tanakh style".

Quote:

A country or government may invade another ruthlessly and because it is too strong there is none to oppose it. What an unforgiving creator!!!


No Creator has ordered one country to invade another ruthlessly. The so-called "Creator" found in the Tanakh did in fact order such ruthless invasion on several occasions and as mentioned above also ordered the horrible slaughter of innocent civilian women and babies. But the Tanakh is merely the words of men, not of the Deity. The Deity did not order such atrocities to be committed in "His" name.

Quote:

Existence is just that: existence. You would have reason to just let your heart grow cold at famine, pestilence, and the plight of developing countries like africa. You won't make much difference because that's the way existence is. Merciless and unforgiving.


A person who does not accept the Tanakh to be the revealed word of the Deity does not automatically become cold hearted. Not anymore than one who does accept the Tanakh to be the "word of God". Deists and atheists are more likely in fact to love their fellow man than the self-righteous sanctimonius followers of the various "revealed religions" of the world. Deists and atheists view the world as a place that can be made better if everyone would stop warring against each other in the name of a particular "God". It therefore would also stand to reason that deists and atheists believe in general that the money and resources used to inflict death, mutilation, and destruction could be used for positive purposes such as feeding the hungry and ridding the world of other plagues. Merciless and unforgiving is the "God" of the bible towards those who don't believe in "Him", and as history has shown many times, the same is true for many "men of the cloth".

 

Quote:

The god of Thomas Paine, the god of deists, isn't really their god at all. It is their servant, their idol.


This is more nonsense. There is no such thing as "the god of Paine", nor "the god of deists". There either is a Deity or there is not. The Deity belongs to no man and is obviously not the servant of any man.

Quote:

They created it.


Yeah sure, whatever.

Quote:

They had no voice in their head apart from their own.


And that's a good thing. Most people would assume that anyone who hears other voices in their head beside their own to be mad.

Quote:

They had no book or teacher to teach them apart from their own ideas and dreams and those who agree with them. And you know what? If their logic was true in all cases, then all gods, even their own, is just a creation of man.


Correct on the no book or teacher to teach them, for if the Deity were to operate in such manner we would have all sorts of men claiming to have "the book". And each religion and religious "holy book" are just what you say, the creation of man. At least deists don't go around claiming to have such revelations or "holy books". Deists are very tolerant of the revealed religions by the way, up to the point that the revealed religions attempt to impose upon everyone else. Deists do not wish to impose their individual or collective beliefs (if there be any such thing as a collective belief) on anyone.

 

Quote:

Each image is tainted by a lie or two, or three, always enough to make it that the whole image must be wrong and thrown away as they do with YHWH of the Tanakh.


Just how many lies should one tolerate before the whole image is to be considered tainted?

Quote:

So there is no deity, no creator.


I think you are confusing Deism with Atheism.

Quote:

Or maybe it should be named "the unknown deity". Or even better, "the unknowable deity". Why not just become an atheist or an evolutionist?


The unknown Deity might work. Agnostic Deists (such as myself) might go so far as to say the Deity is potentially unknowable in this life, but not necessarily in death or a potential afterlife. The jury is still out in other words. Many Deists (if not most) are evolutionists to one degree or another. And Deists do have more in common with atheists than with "revealed religionists". However, strong atheism (the brand that boldly proclaims "there is no god") is just as dogmatic as "revealed religionists". The Deist is not so dogmatic. Neither is the agnostic.

Quote:

People, I am not a preacher. You can probably see that in the way I talk. Or maybe I am by the fact that I am talking. Whatever. All I know is that deism is not a religion of peace and utopian niceness.


No, it's not utopian like the bible, which teaches that the law of Moses will again be enforced in the future. The law that permits human slavery. The same law that demands stoning for a simple sabbath violation. Is this your vision of Utopia and peace? Deists as a whole are more peaceful than religionists, and I'll stand behind that statement any day!

Quote:

It's not built on love or selfless thoughts of others. It's built on rebellion against establishments that cramped their high.


It's not built on any of the above. It is only built upon nature and reason. However, most deists would certainly rebel against any establishment (political or religious, it matters not) that imposes tyranical laws that remove life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from their fellow man. Most deists certainly would oppose the inquisition for example and thereby show their love and concern for their fellow man.

Quote:

Example of the god called intellect, the god of the Deist. People who respect the Tanakh will understand that we cannot understand the ins and outs of everything and thus will settle with the fact that we don't know everything. Doesn't anyone fully understand why houses had to be atoned for if there was "leprosy" in it? Does anyone fully understand animal sacrifices? But since some deists don't understand it and see no human logic to it (apart from comparing it to pagan rituals like voodoo or greek sacrifices to Zeus) they say it is rubbish, primitive, foolishness. In fact it shows that the book which contains it was just a book wholely written by man, or so tainted by man's lies that it couldn't possibly be written by a deity, the creator.


I agree with this entire paragraph except the notion that the Deity is called "intellect", at least in as much as this would mean "man's intellect". The Deity is no more the "intellect of man" than the "stupidity of man". The Deity merely IS according to most deists. Nothing more is claimed to be known about the Deity than this one principle. If and when the Deity chooses to be made known to man, most deists believe this revelation would be made to ALL of mankind and not just a few prophets and priests wearing robes, stoning people, and collecting tithes.

Quote:

Example of the god called modern animal rights mindset, the god of some Deists. In their mind animals should have the same rights as humans.


Some deists are particulary concerned with animal rights and the stopping of animal cruelty. Most Deists I think would consider it folly to grant animals the right to own property or firearms however.

Quote:

It is wrong to kill an animal as a sacrifice, especially since their creator never requested it or probably wants it.


Yes, most if not all deists would agree with that.

Quote:

But why? Because of their circular reasoning. In other words, the reason why their creator wouldn't want animal sacrifices is because in their mind, animals should get the same rights as humans (please note how the conclusion is based on the premise and the premise is based on the conclusion).


More nonsense. As I mentioned above, I don't know of any deists who claim animals should have the same rights as humans. But to ritually sacrifice an animal to a god that doesn't require it might be considered cruelty to many deists. Especially in the manner of the slaughter whereby the animal is in mortal terror as it is being held against it's will and a knife is brought up to it's throat. The animal's adrenalin kicks in and causes the blood to flow faster, all the better to drain out the excess blood of course, but without regard to the terror the animal is experiencing.

Quote:

The only problem that apart from their own voices in their heads (and I'm not calling them schizo, because they're not. I'm talking about their thoughts and notions) their creator has never spoken a word. So they don't know what it even wants. Maybe it doesn't even care. Maybe it doesn't even feel. It's never said that it wants people to care for each other, or that war is wrong, because during every war it has remained silent, and during every bit of peach there has been even more silence.


You are correct that the Deity has not spoken to mankind in any revealed religious manner. Maybe the Deity does speak to man through the conscience, which many will ignore. The conscience tells us it is wrong to abuse animals for example, but many religionists will ignore that part of their conscience in the name of their "God". The true Deity does not command men that it's ok to take slaves and slaughter innocent babies.

Quote:

All in all, the main understanding is this: the "creator" of a deist is the deist's creation.


More nonsense. It's the "God" of the bible (or Koran, et.al) that is the creation of man. Deist no more created the Deity than they created the universe. And they are honest enough to admit it.

Quote:

The god of the Deist is the servant of the Deist.


You keep saying that. I don't understand why you say such nonsense. Deists do not pray for miracles from the Deity like the bible believers and koran believers do. Deists make no demands at all of the Deity. How then can the Deity be called the servant of man?

Quote:

It has been chiseled by their own minds, formed by their own notions, fashioned by their own prejudices and mindsets. That is called a idol.


Still more nonsense. Deists ponder the possibilities of who or what the Deity is but do not dogmatically proclaim the Deity to be whatever the individual might think. No, that sort of dogmatic forming of of "God" is fashioned and chiseled by the minds of men in robes who claim to have the revelation of "God" but who don't actually have any proof of this revelation other than words penned by scribes and copied and edited by many other men over the centuries. The "God" of these men is clearly the "chiseled God".

Quote:

It won't help you when it comes to making moral choices.


Hogwash. As explained above, man is given the gift of a conscience. To my knowledge there has never been a crusade by Deists or atheists in which millions of people died horrible brutal deaths. Deists and atheists have never brought inquisitions upon their fellow man. From what I can tell, Deists and atheist are more moral than religionists.

Quote:

It gives you not application of what is good and bad.


Yet your bible tells you that your "God" created both good and evil so what would it matter to you? Your "God" believes slavery, rape, mutilation, murder and genocide are good things. Stoning a man for picking up sticks is good. Killing 70,000 men for the sake of David's sin of the census (and at the same time, letting David live) is good to your "God". So what is it exactly you have against the deists again?

Quote:

It leaves you defenceless in the eyes of a robber, rapist, murderer, Nazi, or worse. Your only defence is the sons and daughters of the robbers, rapists, murderers, and nazis. Who is that? Humanity.


I'm not following you here... you seem to be on a rant. Why does a deist not have any defense? I maintain the right to self defense at all times and not only that, but the defense of helpless persons who may be held by a robber, rapist, murderer etc. If I see someone raping a young girl, I will have no hesitation in killing the rapist in order to save the girl. That is because of something that the Deity has given me, the conscience of the "good samaritan". But since you reject the New Testament, I suppose you might reject that statement. (Not that I have this gift BECAUSE of the New Testament mind you.. it's just there, a gift that I choose to utilize and not squander).

Quote:

When you are alone and the whole world despises you, you have no comfort, because you truly are alone, despised. Your creator/creation is silent and watches over you as you live and die in misery. As each person on this planet has a different mind, that's how many "creators" exist. Pick your favourite and blow yourself away.


And your "Creator God" is somehow different I take it? Funny, because I have personally seen many "people of God" cry out to "Him" and pray on bended knee while in their time of turmoil, only to be answered with the sound of silence, while evil men continue to prosper. I don't think you are facing reality my friend.

Quote:

I give no mercy to this type of thinking because of all these reasons. They would probably show me the same mercy behind my back as they ridicule my beliefs and my holy book (the Tanakh), or even to my face.


Nobody has accused you of being merciful. I don't seek to ridicule your beliefs. But I do ridicule the bible. I can't help it if you happen to believe in something that I find worthy of ridicule. If you believed in Santa Claus, I wouldn't stop ridiculing the notion of Santa Claus just because you happened to believe in him. By the way, I'm not in the least bit offended if you don't want to believe in what I believe. That doesn't bother me one bit to tell you the truth. I just enjoy the dialog here.

Quote:

Yahweh says to me that I should serve him and him alone and to respect his word.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Yahweh didn't say anything to you. I think that you have read some words penned by men, and you have believed these words to be from Yahweh, but that Yahweh hasn't actually personally spoken to you.

Quote:

I find it difficult to truly respect someone who disrespects it, especially one who laughs it to scorn, as they are laughing YHWH to scorn.


The bible is certainly worthy to be laughed at. Since Yahweh doesn't exist, I don't actually mock "Him". I mock the words written by men which serve a priesthood of prophet types by bringing fear and ignorance to mankind, and also pays them a nice salary (or tenth of the wealth, whichever manner the "prophet" chooses to take his payment). If you speak out against the New Testament (as I have seen you do), then are you not mocking "Jesus"? Are you being somewhat of a hypocrite therefore?

Quote:

But for them, there is always Psalms 2. Who'll be laughing then?


I guess time will tell huh?

Quote:

Although there was no confrontational aspect of this person's post, it is necessary to understand something. The bible verse that he uses at the end of his post has little to do for respect for our beliefs. As far as I understand, it is a badge of ridicule, showing how it has similarities and maybe even ties to voodoo. The verse is only there to show the "foolishness" of such "primitive" notions used in Leviticus.


Actually (and you may not believe this) I didn't intend for my signature to show on that post because I highly respect the people who come here. I have personally met most of them and I have the greatest love for them and don't wish to cause them undue stress. That is one reason why I decided only to post in this section. I forgot to uncheck the signature box, so it was only a mistake on my part.

However, the verse speaks for itself. It is not anything taken out of context. I encourage true seekers to read that whole chapter and ask themselves if this could truly be the words of the Creator of the Universe.

I do truly wish peace to you my friend. I will not let religious differences get in the way of the love and concern I feel for you and others in your camp. I do not seek to convert you to my way of thinking. All I ask is that you treat me the same. I do believe in loving my neighbor and I trust that you do as well. On that, we have common ground.

Shalom,
Steve