Reason, Religion, and the Trinion Contradictions – Third Edition
© 2022 Dr. David M Robertson. All rights reserved.
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The Trinion Contradictions © 1999-2022 Dr. David M Robertson. All rights reserved.
The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Deist Community collectively.
This entry is provided for free as a gift and an apology to my readers. Mistakenly, a rough draft was published as the Second Edition. Hopefully, this free Third Edition rectifies that mistake.
Sources are noted when available.
To my children, family, and friends:
May you never be shackled by the thoughts of another but instead be set free by your own.
JUST SOMETHING TO PONDER
What if life really was made in God’s image, but we have just been confused about what that image might look like? Think about DNA and RNA for a moment. These long chains of molecules contain all the information necessary for the life functions of a cell. All living organisms store genetic information using the same molecules. What if this (or something similar) was the image we seek?
Consider the fact that all living organisms have DNA and RNA. Now consider that humans share 60% of the same DNA as chickens and bananas. For that matter, regarding protein-encoding genes, mice are 85% similar to humans, and a 2007 study found that about 90% of the genes in the Abyssinian domestic cat are similar to humans.
We hear that “all life is special,” but what if it really is? Perhaps life really is made in God’s image. However, maybe that life means all life, and God’s image is simply a reflection of the complex power that gives life to everyone. If this is true, then perhaps God is much more magnificent than we have ever imagined.
Table of Contents:
- CHAPTER I – PROFESSION OF FAITH
- CHAPTER II – THE RELIGION OF INTELLECTUALS
- CHAPTER III – WHAT IS A DEIST?
- CHAPTER IV – DEISM: THE RELIGION
- CHAPTER V – SECTS OF DEISM
- CHAPTER VI – NEODEISM – THE NEW DEISM
- CHAPTER VII – THE TRINION CONTRADICTIONS
- CHAPTER VIII – WHAT DEISM IS NOT
DEIST THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
- CHAPTER IX – IS THERE PROOF OF GOD?
- CHAPTER X – DEISM & NATURAL RIGHTS
- CHAPTER XI – THE PROBLEM
- CHAPTER XII – THE CHRISTIAN NATION
- CHAPTER XIII – THE AMERICAN FOUNDERS
- CHAPTER XIV – GOD IS NOT LAZY
- CHAPTER XV – THE AGE OF EARTH
- CHAPTER XVI – A MESSAGE TO ALL FAITHS
- CHAPTER XVII – WHAT DEISM IS NOT
- CHAPTER XVIII – DEIST FAQ
- NOTABLE DEIST QUOTES
- MY PATH TO DEISM
- REFERENCED WORK & RECOMMENDED BOOKS
Imagine a world where the following did not happen…
- The Crusades
- The Thuggee Murders
- Islamic Jihads
- Buddhist Burma
- The Inquisition
- Roman Persecution of Christians
- The Salem Witch Hunts
- Aztec Human Sacrifice
- The “30-year War” between Protestants and Catholics
- Mayan Sacrifice
- The Northern Irish Conflict
- Armenian Genocide
- Hindu-Muslim Conflict in India
- The Ku Klux Klan
- French Wars of Religion
- The Iraqi Sunni-Shia Divide
- The Mountain Meadows Massacre
- The Afghan Sunni-Shia Divide
- The Holocaust
- Israeli-Palestinian Divide
- The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
This is the Legacy of Organized Religion.
“The nations who never heard of such books, nor of such people as Jews, Christians, or Mahometans, believe the existence of a God as fully as we do, because it is self-evident.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER I – PROFESSION OF FAITH
Let me begin by making a profession of my faith. I have stared at the stars for many years and pondered life and our place in the universe. I applied scientific data when available and attempted to challenge my own conclusions when possible. Those conclusions seem fantastic but straightforward at the same time. Yet, they have always led me to the same place.
As the weight of the world begins to unfold before us, it has become evident that the current power structures and religious institutions have purposefully divided the people of this world into warring factions. Progress as a species seems hindered if not stifled accordingly. Meanwhile, my faith seems to be systematically eliminated from modern teaching. It now seems imperative that this work be completed while I still have an opportunity.
I believe in one God. However, the God with which I place my faith, I think, is universal and much more powerful than any other entity or force that I have read about in either scientific or religious texts.
Like many others, I, too, hope for some happiness beyond this life. However, because of my understanding of physics, I feel that knowing what awaits me is impossible but still very real.
I believe that the doctrines of the various organized religions seek to scare humanity and demand subservience. However, this subservience is more to man than to God. These organizations extort money and power in the name of something unproven and illogical, and they empower government bodies to achieve the same result.
Overall, civilization has knelt before the oppressors while forgetting or never knowing their unalienable Rights. People have been coerced to hand over their powers and rely on those who would do them the most harm. This harm is not only physical; it is also psychological and monetary.
The bodies left by many injustices have obscured the path to equality. Humanity is now being forced, at the barrel of a gun, to give up to others some of the bread he has earned, while those who carry out the collection take the most. This has created only further division.
I contend that this is not the will of God. If there be a God, I believe that justice, equality, love, and mercy would be the rule and path to happiness. No real “father” would want any less for his children. Tyranny does not have to be our reality. However, tyranny and injustice remain constant, and nothing seems to be stopping them.
Indeed, there are many belief systems in the world, and everyone has the right to believe as they wish. My hope in writing this is not to destroy those belief systems but to instead offer a logical alternative to their oppressive practices and goals.
Thomas Paine once said, “When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?”
I believe this defines the sum of modern revealed religions and religious leaders that take from their followers but are not held to the same standards they demand of those followers. These same people often participate in or encourage government agendas seeking to place tyrannical institutions above their flock. This should be self-evident to any freedom-loving citizen of any nation.
There is a better way.
CHAPTER II – THE RELIGION OF INTELLECTUALS
Religious belief has had a strenuous relationship with intellectualism over the years. Actually, this has been an issue for thousands of years. This struggle is partly due to intellectuals’ perception that being religious meant you were intellectually dishonest or perhaps lacked intellectual consistency. Of course, the other side of that coin is the perception that intellectuals are out to destroy religion and use science as a weapon. There appears to be one exception to both of these ideas.
Once coined as the religion reserved for the intellectual, there is a religion that merges science and faith. It is a religion that attempts to prove the existence of God through scientific, logical, and reasonable means and teaches that people are free to find, know, and worship God in their own way. This religion is called Deism.
So what is Deism? Who are the people who follow it, and what are they about? There is a bit of confusion about Deism, and even some Deists sometimes have difficulty explaining it. This confusion is not just about Deism but also about what it means to be a Deist. Of course, there are several different types of Deism, which further complicates the issue. Unfortunately, this complexity has created a high degree of confusion for those seeking information.
The term Deism is derived from the Latin word Deus, which means God. An “ism” is, by definition, a distinctive practice, system, study, philosophy, or, in some cases, even a specific movement. Deism is then, by definition, the practice, philosophy, movement, or study of God.
Generally speaking, Deism revolves around some basic core concepts. These principles include the belief that all humans are created equal under God and have the same Natural Rights. Deists generally believe that there is a single Creator; that reason is our guide; that a complete understanding of what God is may not be possible due to limitations of the mind; that the order and complexity of the universe demonstrate design; and that God gave humanity reason and conscience so we could develop our own moral and ethical principles.
It just so happens to be an old way of thought, finding its roots in ancient philosophers such as Heraclitus and Plato. For instance, Heraclitus thought that the universe was constantly changing but had an underlying order or reason. Plato wrote something called Timaeus. In this piece, Plato spoke of the natural sciences and the creation of the universe by the Maker. Plato also stated that this universe was created in an ordered fashion and believed that fire, air, earth, and water made the compounds necessary to create the Body of the Universe.
These ideas were later pondered and expanded upon when Isaac Newton worked out universal gravitation. This led to the idea that perhaps the natural universe was controlled by specific laws of nature. Over time, Deism would become arguably one of the world’s most prestigious yet underrated religions, boasting some of the most influential people in human history as its followers. These associations include Voltaire, Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Ethan Allen, Mark Twain, Neil Armstrong, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and many more.
Deism is unique because it generally rejects the notion that previously unknown facts are somehow disclosed to humans by divine or supernatural means. This means that Deists tend to reject the idea of “revelation,” “prophecy,” “miracles,” and associated ideas. As a result, just about all “revealed religions” are rejected. Instead, Deists conclude that merely observing the natural world or universe through the eyes of reason can offer all the evidence one would ever need to prove the existence of a Creator or God and that any phenomenon that we may experience has a natural, reasonable and explainable answer – when we can discover it.
Deism is about looking at nature and trying to understand its complexities. This has been humans’ natural way of life for thousands of years. Oddly enough, throughout history, various churches have murdered people for doing just that. Nevertheless, by taking this approach, you can see that there is a rhyme and reason for things; and that rhyme and reason are indications of the potential for intelligent design.
The preceding is not just my opinion. Some scientists tend to agree. A great example of this might be found in a paper published in the PLOS ONE journal titled: ‘Biomechanical characteristics of hand coordination in grasping activities of daily living.’ This paper was written by a team of researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and Huazhong University in China and published on the 5th of January, 2016.
The paper opens with statements suggesting that the link between muscles and hand movements is the product of “proper design by the Creator.” It suggests that human hand coordination “should indicate the mystery of the Creator’s invention.“
Unfortunately, PLOS ONE decided to print a retraction on the 4th of March, 2016, because some readers raised alarms about the language. They suggested that making references to a ‘Creator‘ raised concerns about the overall rationale and findings of the study. Does it?
Regardless, the rhyme and reason are sometimes not so apparent. This is where study and the scientific method come in. Again, something many religious institutions have frowned upon.
Of course, this also means that most Deists reject the idea of divine intervention. There are some logical and specific reasons for this, and we will discuss this in detail later. Still, overall, Deists feel it would be unnecessary for a supernatural deity to interact with humankind. Deists believe that God put things in motion, setting up specific laws to govern us so God would not have to do it personally and that the universe plays itself out accordingly.
For clarity, Deists tend to believe that God does not intervene in our lives and that miracles are nothing more than coincidence under extraordinary circumstances. This insight might also explain why God does not heal some of the sick, why some people starve to death, why some people are murdered, why some innocent little girls get raped, how and why horrible things happen to good Church-going people, and perhaps why revelation never seems to occur in anything besides burnt toast or a cloud (think Rorschach test). It might also explain why a church denies scientific data, why ignorance is sometimes encouraged by a church, and why religious texts condone horrific things like slavery or killing your children.
However, Deism overall does hold several different beliefs regarding God’s want or need to intervene. Some Deists believe in a lightly involved deity, while others reject the idea altogether. This has resulted in several subdivisions of Deism, and we will discuss this later.
Regardless, these “laws” with which we are governed are not to be confused with a law in human terms. Nobody told humans about these laws. Humanity discovered them after realizing that they are governed by them. Furthermore, most Deists do not believe that you will be judged for attempting to break these laws because such laws cannot be broken. These are not laws of morality; they are laws of the universe. These include concepts such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, etc.
These are what we know as “Nature’s Physical Laws.” However, we must understand that these are just words used to describe the phenomenon. Another way to look at it would be to consider these things as merely God’s Laws. These include cause and effect, inertia, gravity, biogenetics, the periodic table of elements, etc. This is also why many in the scientific and intellectual communities eventually turn to Deism or related ideas regarding their faith.
As mentioned, these types of laws govern our existence, and they cannot be broken. They can merely be discovered or learned and figured out how to be used or worked within. These laws not only govern us personally but also rule the world and the universe. It is the essential, complex, and yet-to-be-discovered physics that controls all of life. It is what governs energy and matter. What we know about these laws already tells us that an essential balance exists. Positive and negative, up and down, left and right, light and dark, matter and anti-matter, life and death, and so on. The question we must ask is, what governs this balance?
It should be noted that if you put a hundred Deists in a room, you would probably end up with a hundred different variations of Deism. This is because Deism is very personal for each Deist for various reasons. The vast array of different backgrounds, education levels, exposure, and so on create different understandings of the world and nature itself. For instance, one who studies physics would have a completely different appreciation and understanding of “God Laws” than someone who has never studied such topics. However, as one becomes more educated throughout life, the better their understanding, the more finite and focused the belief becomes.
Hence, our first point. A big part of Deism is the practice of study. If God gave us the gift of reason, curiosity, and the ability to observe, it only makes sense then to exercise such gifts. Through this process, we can become closer to what we would consider God. However, it all starts with a question. You MUST be willing to question EVERYTHING.
CHAPTER III – WHAT IS A DEIST?
Simply put, a Deist is someone who practices Deism. However, the key to this definition is “practice.” To practice Deism means that you engage in the ideas of Deism. This becomes a problem if one is unaware of those ideas. Furthermore, it is one thing to have a vague idea, but it is another when you have a firm idea and can apply it.
True, some claim to be Deist but do not study and are not interested in the discovery of any kind. I suppose this is similar to those who might call themselves Christian but do not adhere to the principles of the religion or read the text. You will have these types in any belief system, unfortunately. However, by definition alone, we know these people are not what they claim to be.
We spoke of reason in the previous chapter. Deists use the eye of reason to observe nature to find and better understand God and our place in the Universe. Reason is the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments through logic. It is the discovery of a cause, explanation of an effect, or justification for an action or event. Of course, these truths require a Deist to study and sometimes to experiment. I have heard it best said this way: “The easiest way to be Deist is to proactively learn something new every day.”
Study is the devotion of time and attention to acquiring knowledge on a particular subject. Concerning Deism, this can include many different topics. It could include history, health, physics, geology, mathematics, biology, and even theology. A true Deist will attempt to find enlightenment through various sources, but enlightenment always remains the goal. This is the hallmark of the intellectual.
Again, Deists tend to reject revelation. However, this does not mean that Deists necessarily ridicule or completely dismiss the information found in other religious doctrines. Deists tend to understand that knowledge can be acquired even from the minds of those with whom we disagree. In fact, it has often been said that one cannot truly embrace their own belief unless that belief has been or can be tested.
Alternatively, perhaps a better way to say it would be that one cannot truly embrace their faith if they do not truly understand WHY they do not believe in something else. For that matter, it would be unwise to reject something you do not fully understand completely. This is why many Deists are well-versed in many world religions and various other disciplines, such as science. We can only definitively say we either do or do not believe in something through objective examination.
The most devout Deists devote extensive time to studying many different subjects. This is often accomplished through the scientific method. Science is the intellectual and systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Being Deist means proactively trying to learn as much as humanly possible and challenging the paradigms with which you have previously been taught.
This is not to suggest that there is a requirement for scientific exploration, as there is no requirement for a Deist to be a scientist. Instead, it is merely the appreciation of acquired knowledge. Of course, this also means that a Deist usually does something useful with the knowledge gained. Again, not required, but many Deists throughout history have gone to great lengths to improve the human condition in some way, shape, or form after acquiring a certain level of enlightenment. This effort has been true, even if it is merely sharing information with someone who needs it.
“There is a happiness in Deism, when rightly understood, that is not to be found in any other system of religion.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER IV – DEISM: THE RELIGION
There seems to be a lot of debate on this matter. It is true that, in a classical sense, Deism would not be considered a religion. However, this position is somewhat unfair in the grand scheme of things, which has led (at least in part) to its omission from various religious studies. Consider this: religion is a particular system of faith and the belief in and worship of a deity. Most true Deists would then agree that Deism is, by definition, a religion.
Does Deism have a system of beliefs, and do Deists hold a strong belief in a deity? Absolutely. Is that deity worshiped? Absolutely, just not in a way that some in organized religion might recognize. I want you to understand that “worship” is merely the expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. Deists definitely have this.
The problem is that “religion” is often confused with “organized religion.” Organized religion is also known as institutional religion, where the belief system and related rituals are systematically arranged and formally established by some authority. Of course, this practice is sometimes called “dogma.” Dogma is a belief or set of beliefs laid down and taught by an authority (such as a church) as incontrovertibly true. Therefore, the critical distinction would be that Deism is NOT considered organized religion; but it is a religion nonetheless.
It is safe to assume that you have probably never seen a Deist church. This is because Deists generally do not believe in church or the need for a particular type of building used explicitly for public worship. You would also be hard-pressed to find a Deist willing to follow a religious authority. Deism is a personal religion and does not require public approval or authority. Besides, there are probably not enough of us in any given area to fill such a facility.
Still, some Deists might attend a church outside of their faith. There are several reasons for this, which will often vary. For example, you might see a Christian Deist attend a Unitarian Church for fellowship. You might find another Deist who will attend a church for council or research.
Many Deists oppose the idea of the church altogether. The reasons for this vary from simple to complex. A simple example might be disagreeing with a church taking money from its followers.
An example of the complex might be that God created the universe out of energy and matter. Everything in the universe is made up of the same thing. Moreover, perhaps God is a part of that universe in some form. Therefore, the universe (and everything in it – including humans) is essentially made up of the same stuff. As a result, perhaps God truly is inside all of us, so why would we need to go to a building for inclusion?
As a whole, Deists do not believe that a designated building is an appropriate place of worship, in great part because such structures are human-made. Instead, worship is often more internal, with and during an examination of the natural world. This practice can and often does take many forms. For example, some Deists will find that a walk through a park is most appropriate or perhaps in a study behind a book while learning something new. Sometimes it is merely to ponder the universe and our place in it while watching a sunset or gazing up at the stars. However, this may often depend on the type of Deism being practiced, and the variation depends mainly on the needs of the individual. In Deism, there is no wrong way to worship.
To clarify: Deists have a robust belief system about God and express reverence and adoration for the same in various ways. Just because their activities do not happen in a church does not mean they do not participate in a religion, and it also does not mean that worship does not occur. Additionally, just because there is no governing body does not mean Deism lacks a system. Each Deist is the authority and provides the necessary system on their terms.
“It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER V – SECTS OF DEISM
There are several different types of Deism. While the central premise and core principles tend to hold true between the variations, there are some distinct differences regarding the details. These differences are usually predicated on where a Deist is at in their study, their current level of understanding, and to some degree, their background before becoming a Deist. It is not to say that one is either right or wrong, as every journey provides a different experience for each traveler, and Deists tend to recognize and respect that.
- Paleo Deism is a term that only some Deists are familiar with or use. However, Paleo Deists represent Deism before Deism had a name. These Deists were the precursor to what would later become mainstream Deism. This sect would include those who lived by the definition of Deism in its primal form. In other words, these Deists predate the 17th century, rejected most elements of revealed religion (when they could or were allowed) but looked instead upon the natural world through the eyes of reason and science in search of proof of the existence of God, and for answers about the phenomenon they had witnessed. Examples of this might include Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher who lived from 500–428 BC, or perhaps Al-Maʿarri, an Arab philosopher who lived from 973–1058 AD.
- Christian Deism is Deism influenced by Christianity. Some could consider the works of early Deists, such as Matthew Tindal, to be Christian Deism. Christian Deists tend to believe in the moral teachings—but not divinity—of Jesus. They also believe that the human Jesus was likely a Deist, and they find inspiration in his words. They will often look upon the Bible and seek knowledge and guidance from it. However, they will reject the Old Testament and most supernatural events. However, some in this group believe in a lightly involved deity where intervention is sometimes possible.
- Classical Deism is sometimes said to be the closest to the classical definition of Deism. Classical Deism views God as separate and distinct from the natural universe. This view of Deism is most associated with the watchmaker analogy of the Creator, who no longer intervenes or interacts with the natural universe. However, many Classical Deists base their faith on something called Lord Herbert’s “Five Articles,” which include:
- The belief in the existence of a single supreme God
- That humanity’s duty is to revere God
- The linkage of worship with practical morality
- That God will forgive us if we repent and abandon our sins
- And that good works will be rewarded (and punishment for evil) both in life and after death.
They take what they consider a balanced approach but also tend to be highly critical of revealed religion. The Deism of Thomas Paine has been regarded as Classical Deism. However, some that study Paine will find stark differences based on his words.
Even among Classical Deists, there is a wide variety of beliefs. Not all Classical Deists agree on everything, including their approach to Deism or how involved God may or may not be. Hence, this form of Deism is considered open, and many may start their journey under this classification.
- Modern Deism is a relatively new spin on Deism. Though not universally recognized as a distinct branch of Deism, the number of Modern Deists has grown substantially over the years. This gain comes primarily from those in Classical Deism growing into this modern form. Modern Deism is the term used by those who promote the idea that God does not live in our universe but may interact with it on some level. As a result, Modern Deism is sometimes considered to be a mere extension of Classical, with the most significant change being God’s actual location.
- Pandeists believe that God preceded the universe and created it but is now equivalent to it. Alternatively, perhaps it is better said that they equate the universe, or a multiverse, with the “body” of God. Some believe God is nature but became an unconscious and non-responsive being by becoming the actual universe. So essentially, God equals the universe.
- Panendeists believe that God both encompasses and transcends all of nature. They believe that the universe is part of God. However, not all of God. Moreover, they believe that the universe operates according to natural mechanisms without the need for intervention, similar to the Native American concept of the Great Spirit.
- Spiritual-Deism is similar to any “Spiritual but not religious” sect of religion. They teach that “each person is an individualized expression of the Divine,” and there is a personal God.
It should be noted that some have made attempts to form Deist Churches to extend some legal right or privilege. However, such attempts are often frowned upon by those within the faith (regardless of the sect). This resistance is because doing so would place those who try into a leadership position and an opportunity to benefit personally. Even though such endeavors attempt to maintain the absence of established dogma and ritual, the efforts usually lack support from those within the faith.
Something New Emerges
The variations of Deism are unique when we consider the details. While their overall premise is similar, we can begin to imagine the sub-variations within each sect. What many find equally impressive, and yet another way that Deism as a whole is different from any other religion is how many Deists will start in one sect of Deism and gradually move into another. Not only is this fairly common within the Deist community, but it is also encouraged. Deism, as a whole, is about growth and furthering our understanding of Nature and the Universe.
However, this encouragement of expansion and growth can sometimes push someone outside of the Deist faith altogether. Not because the Deist no longer believes in a single non-intervening God but because the general premise of a particular variation may no longer apply to them. That could be why Neo-Deism developed and why it is rapidly gaining popularity even out outside of existing Deist circles.
Neo-Deism or “New Deism” appears to close some of the gaps found in other variations while encompassing the attitudes of Deists in a post-Classical Deism era. It provides clarity that is sometimes missing in the other sects and aims to revive deistic ideas moving forward. It remains broad but is defined in such a way that it bridges intellectualism and religious conviction. Scientific principles such as “cause and effect” are used to help prove the existence of God. However, the faith remains open and objective concerning location and form.
“It is curious to observe how the theory of what is called the Christian church sprung out of the tail of the heathen mythology.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER VI – NEODEISM – THE NEW DEISM
Emerging at the turn of the millennium, NeoDeism is arguably one of the more diverse sects of Deism. Rooted in Classical, Modern, and Panendeism, NeoDeism shares some of the same foundations. The concept that humans are all created equal under God and have the same natural rights remains. However, they emphasize the importance of the term “unalienable.” Furthermore, they concede that moral and ethical principles are sometimes subjective and rooted in culture and society. However, they believe that such views (either religious or in general) should be respected so long as they do not cause harm or oppress the views or Rights of another.
NeoDeism relies heavily on the sciences, highlighting the exploration of the universe and the expectation of alteration of fundamental understanding. With interpretations based on logic, Occam’s Razor, and even the probability curve, with a heavy emphasis on education and the free introduction of ideas, NeoDeists still look to nature for answers. However, they seek to better understand what God is or is not through scientific examination while proactively seeking new information to adjust or alter their current understanding. Therefore, while a complete understanding of God may not be possible due to limitations of the mind, they feel that it is our responsibility to reduce as many of the limitations we put on ourselves because doing so will get us closer to God. This position allows for and expects advancements in science and alterations of what is already known.
The premise remains that there is One Creator God (possibly the first cause) who will not prioritize one world over another and does not value one life form over another. The universe, as we know it, is probably not the only universe there is or has ever been. Earth is likely not the only planet containing life, and studying the universe is key to discovering God. Additionally, all life (based on what is known about energy and matter) is connected and occurs with some level of balance. Perhaps all life within life is cyclical to some degree. They believe that all life is subject to cause and effect, common cause and entanglement and that “reason” is essential for understanding.
It is also held that understanding is only sometimes possible, but that does not negate proof. Instead, it means that we have yet to find proof or perhaps need a better understanding of what the data suggests. Accurate understanding is believed to be a process, and instant gratification is not always an option. NeoDeists seek that understanding and want to know God for what God is – regardless of what that answer might be or mean.
The Human Situation and Life’s Purpose
- Man is born free and should remain free.
- All men are equal.
- Natural Rights are ours, but Natural Rights exist in the absence of authority.
- Natural Law and the Laws of Nature are true governors.
- The individual is not so special in the grand scheme of things. However, we can advance collectively through reason, understanding, and cooperation.
- The purpose of life is to further our understanding of the world in which we live and teach future generations this information to expand upon that knowledge and improve as we evolve. Only through this cause-and-effect scenario can we advance out of our (somewhat) primitive state as a species.
- Science continually introduces new information that changes or challenges what we know as a species. Neodeism considers (and often relies on the fact) that information will change. We must be fluid enough to accept this new information to understand the context better and act in a way that benefits the human condition.
- Evolution is a natural part of creation, and spontaneous generation does not exist.
- While things evolve, it is also true that cause and effect exist, which means there would have to be a “first cause.”
- Energy never dies; it merely transfers or changes form. The matter is energy. Consciousness is energy. There is eternal life in this regard, but knowing how this applies or what this means for us individually may not be truly known until it happens. Presumptions are usually not made.
- Some NeoDeists practice prayer of thanks – not of requests.
- Cremation or open burial is often preferred to expedite our part in energy transfer.
- NeoDeists dedicate their life to learning and teaching.
- The Trinion Contradictions
CHAPTER VII – THE TRINION CONTRADICTIONS
As previously suggested, most Deists tend to reject the idea of divine intervention. Free Will, Prayer, and Devine Intervention are all tenants taught and subscribed to by those who participate in revealed religion in some way, shape, or form. The problem is that these ideas cannot co-exist.
The Trinion Contradictions attempts to demonstrate how design, detailed arrangement, or established plan negates the idea of individual power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate. It also explains how any plan negates the idea of direct intervention or the need to request such intervention because the ability to act at one’s own discretion would ultimately and continually alter any established plan and void any such advanced arrangement or design due to what is known about “cause and effect.”
Any intervention would negate the assumed reasons behind free will. This is because one could not ultimately do what one wanted if such intervention existed. After all, the action could be altered. Additionally, aid would not be rendered through prayer if a plan were in place because any such intervention would negate free will and change any established plan.
Ultimately, if there is a plan, there would be no such thing as free will, as all actions and decisions would be a part of said plan. If free will is a reality, then the plan would continuously change. Intervention could stop the actions of someone, but this voids any notion of free will. Furthermore, any intervention would alter or modify the plan, negating any idea of destiny. By way of the Three Rule Method (logic, reason, and Occam’s Razor), the Trinion Contradictions demonstrates that Free Will, Destiny, and Intervention cannot coexist.
Thomas Paine called God his “friend.” Consider the following: Reason is our friend. Logic is our friend. Nature is our friend. Why would God not be our friend in the same way? These friends are personal to us but not “personal” through intervention or interaction.
Similarly, we love a sunset or the wind in our faces. We feel and express our reverence and adoration for these experiences. However, these events are simply expressions of nature. For deists, these are expressions of God. When we think about it this way, it is easy to see that we can like or even love God. However, this emotion does not equate to intervention or reciprocation. Remember the definition of worship: the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity (found in nature).
Thomas Paine also said, “All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe.” Intervention negates the rules of nature, the laws that God has established. By definition, a miracle is “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.” So, Paine is clearly saying that such interventions are not possible, and the Trinion Contradictions help to prove this.
- Source: 1 – Paine, T., & Conway, M. D. (1894). The Writings of Thomas Paine collected and edited by Moncure Daniel Conway. New York: G. P. Putnam.
“Deism, from the Latin word Deus, God, is the belief of a God, and this belief is the first article of every man’s creed.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER VIII – WHAT DEISM IS NOT
Deism is relatively unique in the grand scheme of religions. However, it is often confused with other belief systems. This confusion likely resides in slight overlap and general ignorance of the faith.
Deism is largely absent from public academia. We could speculate the reasons, but none would be more compelling than the fact that a Deist’s job is to question everything. This perspective is not exactly a quality many educational institutions support these days.
While Deism is many things, there are a few things Deism is not. Some elements may be shared with other beliefs, but we should not confuse one faith with the other. The following is not a complete listing of differences but merely a few examples to demonstrate the point.
- To be atheist means that you have disbelief in the existence of God or “Gods.” Some atheists will correct this by saying that it is a lack of belief in Gods, debate in nomenclature at best. It is not a religion. As a result, there is usually a lack of shared beliefs and no doctrine to speak of.
- Why this is not like Deism: Aside from the obvious, Deists believe in God and seek to further knowledge to support this belief.
- Scientology is not scientifically based at all. Scientology is a religious system based on spiritual fulfillment through graded courses of study and training. There is a religious authority, a church, and so on. It was founded by a controversial American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1955, who also experienced tremendous opposition for proposing to treat traumatic events from past lives.
- Why this is not like Deism: Aside from Scientology having a church and being relatively new, Scientology is considered a “revealed” religion. At various stages, pieces of certain teachings are revealed to church members.
- An agnostic is a person who has removed themselves from the debate altogether. An agnostic denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge and believes that the existence of a greater power, such as a God, cannot be proven or disproven. Finally, perhaps God (if there is one) is unknown and possibly unknowable. This is because they tend to believe that human knowledge is limited to experience – but as a result, they tend not to look.
- Why this is not like Deism: Agnosticism does not hold a particular conclusion about God. Instead, they use a method that prohibits one from making assumptions about the existence of God in the first place, or anything else, without verifiable evidence. Nature is not considered evidence for the agnostic.
- Many often confuse Unitarianism with Deism for a myriad of different reasons. One reason is that Deists and Unitarians do share a similar principle: that religion is a matter of personal experience and that, therefore, only the individual can decide what to “believe.”
- Why this is not like Deism: Unitarians tend to believe in a church and a church authority. Some Unitarians also believe that Jesus may be the son of God or maybe even inspired by God, so many of the teachings rely heavily on Christian theology and sometimes even the Bible. The closest link between the two may be Christian Deism.
- Theists are like Deists in that they believe in the existence of God. They believe that one God created the universe. Those who do attend are more likely to choose non-denominational churches.
- Why this is not like Deism: Theists believe God intervenes in and sustains personal relationships with his creatures. They think that God may require worship, can answer prayers, may judge sinners, and may have created a divine son or other entities to live among humans.
- Polydeism is similar to Deism only in name and the idea of non-intervention. However, Polydeists believe that multiple “Gods” exist.
- Why this is not like Deism: Deists believe in one God.
DEIST THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
CHAPTER IX – IS THERE PROOF OF GOD?
This topic can get a little confusing, but I will attempt to convey the importance of Deistic thought concerning what many consider evidence of God. For a Deist, new information can be exciting. Often, Deists do not look at things through a black-and-white lens. Instead, they tend to believe that any message has hints of truth. This idea is especially true when we consider complicated concepts such as God and the universe.
Certain scientific principles are essential to note as we delve into the information. The first would be logic. Logic is reasoning conducted according to strict principles of validity. Logic and reasoning are arguably the backbone of the Deist faith. Logic is also an extension of philosophy and mathematics.
Another essential element of Deist thought would be causation. Simply put, this is the action of causing something. It is the key to noting a relationship between actions or events because if we are pondering why something happened, chances are we are already dealing with a result. Ultimately, this demonstrates cause and effect.
A cause is WHY something happens. An effect is WHAT happened. It is the chain reaction of reality. This idea is critical to understand because past events have affected the events of today, which will ultimately influence tomorrow’s events.
We know this to be true for several different reasons. A great example is a glow stick. Someone is going to bend the glow stick. When they do, the inner glass tube will break. When it breaks, it releases a hydrogen peroxide solution. This solution will then react with a diphenyl oxalate contained in the outer tube. This reaction produces 1,2-dioxetanedione. Of course, this product is volatile and begins to decompose to carbon dioxide, which releases energy. Then this energy is absorbed by electrons in the dye molecules, which start to fall back to their original state. As this happens, they are shedding the excess energy in the form of light.
So, where did the light come from? Which was the cause, and which was the effect? In truth, some of the causes were effects, and some of the effects were causes at some point in the chain. However, we can track it back with the proper information and identify the beginning. Then, we can rationalize the beginning and the end.
Of course, sometimes we can go even further. For example, we can talk about the glass itself, who made it, who invented it, where the sand came from, and so on. Alternatively, we could talk about plastic and where it comes from, etc.
Some say quantum mechanics muddies the waters, but I beg to differ. Such work only helps to prove the overall point. Even physicists in quantum mechanics say it is only possible to imagine situations in which a single event can be both a cause and an effect of another one. However, this is called circular causality, and it is a paradox. I will explain this in a moment, but let me express that while a single event can be perceived to be both a cause and an effect, the actual cause in a given situation will still be the cause to which the result will always be the effect.
Our understanding or identification of this relationship does not influence either the start or the outcome. Observing the cause is not always necessary to prove that an effect has occurred or vice versa. However, with the proper tools, measurements can be taken to find potential A and B relationships. However, even then, causation can sometimes elude us. Nevertheless, it is not required. Quantum mechanics does not necessarily change this.
On the other hand, sometimes, we have to factor in common cause. We are all people subject to some form of a common cause. A common cause is always present and affects every outcome. These are usually the more significant elements but can also be minor; it just depends. Here are a couple of examples.
- Everyone swimming in the pool is screaming, and their eyes are bloodshot. Everyone outside of the pool does not have red eyes—common cause.
- The sun decided to blow up, and we are all dead now—common cause.
Just as there are common causes, there are also common effects. These effects, however, may differ slightly for a variety of reasons. This is primarily because everyone is affected by various events and each moment in time a little differently. A great example might be when a car explodes. The impact on the person sitting in the car will be different from the person standing near it and different still from the person watching the event on television. However, the car still exploded.
The point is that the idea of cause and effect seems almost infinite. This complexity is where it begins to get interesting. Let us examine the Big Bang Theory for a moment. The Hubble telescope found that stars and galaxies are not uniformly distributed throughout space. It found that they were moving. Not only are they moving, but they are moving apart. Cause and effect suggest that they must have been closer together in the past. Moreover, they would have been bunched up at some point if the speed were constant.
At the time of this entry, the Big Bang Theory is the leading theory of how the universe began. It theorizes that the universe, as we know it, started with a small singularity. Then it exploded. Over the next 13.8 billion years, it turned into the universe we love today.
Of course, this is just theory. It is an educated guess. Nevertheless, it is based on science and math. The problem is that the instruments we have available today simply do not allow us to look back at the universe’s birth definitively. Therefore, we must use the scientific method and challenge our conclusions to develop the best options and possible solutions.
This theory helped to explain quite a few things. However, many scientists were still unhappy with the universe having a starting point because it seemed to prove that physics had broken down. That is a problem. Enter in quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is the science of the very small. It attempts to explain the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. Physicists in this field are discovering some amazing things.
Imagine, if you will, cause and effect on a universal scale. What if the universe was subject to a similar cycle? What if the universe we know today is merely an effect of a previous cause? Some models predict this.
By eliminating the singularity we spoke of earlier, models have shown that the universe may have had no beginning, that perhaps it has existed forever as a kind of quantum potential. This theory also suggests that when a universe gets too big, it collapses back into another big bang. Cause and effect on repeat.
This theory may seem farfetched, but the idea is rooted in science. Physicists have proposed something called a cosmological collapse. This model predicts that the universe will soon stop expanding and collapse, obliterating everything. Theoretically, the whole thing will start again.
However, by eliminating the singularity and eliminating one paradox, you create another. A paradox is a situation that combines contradictory features or qualities. Circular causality is a paradox. In other words, a consequence cannot be the root of a problem. If it could be, it would violate the critical laws of physics and time. Therefore, quantum potential cannot be the answer either because of the breakdown in physics. In fact, one could argue that, in theory, it would lead to much more than a paradox in the universe; it would lead to its obliteration. No matter which way we want to go, eventually, there is a breakdown in physics.
When it comes to the known, there has to be a cause because everything else is the effect. Now, this cause could have been trillions of years ago. Our universe could have been regurgitated a hundred times since, for all it matters. There could be hundreds or infinite universes, but that does not matter either. Everything we will ever know is based on God’s laws (physics and math). We cannot violate them; we can merely learn about them.
Nevertheless, we know that they do not break down. They are constant. All this means is that we simply do not understand something or have yet to figure it all out.
Whether or not we understand all the rules yet is another topic. However, it seems logical that the paradox we have discovered is a paradox for a reason. Moreover, no matter how we work the equation, we end up with a paradox of some sort. By getting rid of one, we seem to create another.
This paradox may be the creator of the universe and the first cause of all effects. Maybe it is God – arguably the one powerful enough to create and supersede the laws of nature and roadblock us with such paradoxes. Perhaps we will never know. However, I sleep at night believing that every end has a beginning. The beginning or creator of everything must have been something very powerful. It is much bigger than my comprehension or any equation to date. For me, this has to be God.
CHAPTER X – DEISM & NATURAL RIGHTS
It is a strong-held Deist belief that we are all born with a specific set of moral and legal entitlements that you cannot alter, trade, adjust, take away or even give away. These are referred to as natural or Unalienable Rights. Every person on earth is given these Rights upon birth as a gift from our Creator. We all generally feel these to be true on several levels. For hundreds of years, men have fought and died trying to secure them from oppressive authoritarian governments and religious institutions.
Allow me to walk you through a brief exercise. This exercise will transition us into a better understanding of how things were supposed to be versus how they currently are. Some of this might be familiar. What follows is a listing of some of our Natural Rights.
We have the Natural Right to believe and worship as we choose, and no just authority should ever attempt to place one belief system above another. We have the Natural Right to say what we want and convey our message without restraint. We have the Natural Right to assemble with other people as long as we are not doing so upon the property of private ownership where it might be unwelcome. We also have the Natural Right to complain to or seek authority’s assistance without fear of punishment or reprisals.
We have the Natural Right to self-protection and to aggressively protect our homes, families, and communities against any intruder or agency that seeks to infringe upon our Natural Rights or our collective safety or security. We have the Natural Right to be secure in our homes, and we do not have to offer either shelter or bread to anyone outside of our choosing.
We have the Natural Right to keep to ourselves; to have our personal effects remain private; have our private conversations and correspondences remain confidential; and to remain unmolested from anyone, including agents of the state. Such agents can only rummage through our homes or property if someone can give them enough reason, based upon already known facts, that a crime has been committed. Even then, there are rules.
We have the Natural Right to be a free people; to never be held against our will for arbitrary or untrue reasons; to never be compelled to be a witness against ourselves; and to never have our property, freedom, or our lives taken from us without fair and equal treatment in a court of law. We also have the Natural Right only to have our property taken from us for the use of others if we are appropriately compensated.
We have the Natural Right to be judged by a jury of unbiased equals when our integrity or actions are questioned and to have this judgment be waged quickly and in public view. We have the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusations we are being challenged on. We have the right to face the person or persons accusing us of such actions. We also have the right to get a witness on our behalf and to have the help of someone competent in the law if we need one.
And suppose we happen to be tried in a court of law, and a jury concludes that we are in the right – regardless of what the law might suggest. In that case, we have a Natural Right to be done with such accusations, and no other court can overturn what our peers have decided. Suppose we are arrested and charged with a crime. In that case, we have a Natural Right to be released temporarily while awaiting our trial. Furthermore, the government can neither fine us excessively, inflict torture, nor force deliberately degrading or excessive punishments upon us.
We also have Natural Rights that can sometimes be hard to define. However, they remain ours all the same, and we have the Natural Right to any power outside of what was agreed upon in the Constitution.
I am sure we all feel these universal truths on some level because these ideas are simply the “right thing to do.” As you may have figured, these basic Natural Rights were enumerated in the American Bill of Rights. Nevertheless, just because someone else wrote them down does not mean that each of us does not own them personally. Again, these Rights were provided to us by God, not an authority. They are not privileges to be handed out in exchange for something else. Furthermore, these Natural Rights are universal, meaning every person on the planet owns these same Rights. Let me close this chapter with the words of another great Deist.
“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.” Thomas Jefferson December 20, 1787
CHAPTER XI – THE PROBLEM
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – The American Declaration of Independence.
It does not get any more Deist than this. As already addressed, Natural Rights are Rights that no authority (be it religious or government) can either provide or take away. Neither religion nor government has the authority to do so. We are born with these Rights. Again, these Rights are not privileges.
Unfortunately, from the beginning, organized religion and various government institutions have seemingly conspired to keep the people ignorant of these certain truths regarding Nature, the Universe, and the people’s unalienable Rights. Consider the American Bill of Rights. Theoretically, these were supposed to be “unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.”
Yet, these Rights are taken away, amended, altered, and transferred all the time. A big reason for this is the lack of education on Deism and our collective Rights as a society. Some may argue fear of the people. Regardless, the fact that any of these can be taken away even temporarily should be a shared concern. It is a massive concern for some Deists because violations of these Rights are also seen as religious infringements.
We see blatant violations of these Rights in America almost daily. Globally it is an even bigger problem. Furthermore, we see the illegal and immoral conversion of our unalienable rights into so-called privileges. This may seem like a bold claim, but consider the following:
Not only are all of our Rights repeatedly adjusted, but governments often create and pass laws based on religious reasons that infringe upon our Rights. Governments use fear tactics to stifle speech, make arrests for satire against their agents, and use critical speech as the reason for targeting and unlawful scrutiny.
Citizens are now forced to pay a fee for assembly. If their views or complaints somehow contradict the views or opinions of the government, they are aggressively targeted with unlawful scrutiny while publicly labeled as threats to their neighbors.
In many cases, people are denied the Right to self-protection, and they are continually being told that they can only do so with specific tools and in certain circumstances. Moreover, when better tools are sought, or when the need arises to protect themselves against those who would infringe upon their Rights, they are targeted, arrested, and sometimes even killed as a result.
Sometimes they are even forced to kneel before officers of the state and forced to provide such officers a tactical advantage via their homes against their neighbors. The government repeatedly spies on its people without permission. This is done via warrantless wiretapping and unreasonable searches and seizures, usually for arbitrary and often bogus reasons.
The government allows eminent domain for public purposes. They take the money we have earned and give it to another by the threat of further seizures. They suggest that our silence is evidence of guilt, and so on.
People are arrested and held for extended periods without a trial or charge. In some instances, people are not permitted to face their accusers because their accusers are an entire government body enforcing unconstitutional rules and regulations. It may not matter anyway because they are being tried in courts that support the very government making the accusations.
Courts overturn juries’ decisions and impose penalties in opposition to the wishes of the jurors. The government assassinates citizens without due process and imposes solitary confinement and undefined prison sentences for arbitrary reasons.
Worst of all, the government acts as though our Natural Rights are privileges that they provide. They treat us all as though they are the power or authority. These falsehoods contradict the religion of Deism and flat-out violate the Constitution they have all sworn to uphold and protect.
We could go on. However, within this chapter, I have shown how the ENTIRE Bill of Rights (each one) has been infringed. I ask you: how can these acts happen in a nation founded on Deist principles? Apathy? Ignorance? Of course, some might like to argue this nation was founded on Christian principles. Let us explore that idea.
CHAPTER XII – THE CHRISTIAN NATION
What if I told you that the United States was a Catholic nation? Would that be offensive? Perhaps you would laugh in my face because you knew it was false. Such a statement would be incredibly offensive to the 10% of all Americans who consider themselves “former Catholics.” Moreover, what about those who subscribe to a different kind of religion altogether or, perhaps, no religion at all? What if I said that the U.S. needed to allow Catholic law to take the place of Constitutional law? It might be a problem for some, right?
Still, there are a few reasons why the U.S. could be considered a Catholic Nation, especially considering the number of Catholics who make up the fabric of the states are many. Heck, a couple of the Founding Fathers were Catholic. Perhaps even because American Catholicism is on the rise due in significant part to Latinos – who already account for roughly one-in-three adult Catholics overall.
Of course, we already know that this rise can be attributed to the United States’ current immigration policy. Consider this; Latinos already represent nearly half of all Catholics ages 18-29 (45%). Furthermore, each Latino immigrant adds to that overall number.
Of course, we do not call it a Catholic Nation because of facts, like the fact that over 50% of the population subscribes to some form of Protestantism. So perhaps we should call it a Protestant nation? No, because that leaves people out, too, right? Moreover, it would be inaccurate because of the varying forms of Protestantism.
Because of this complexity, most people default to calling the United States a Christian Nation. However, there is little evidence to support that such a statement is true, even when considering simple percentages. Understand that we would literally have to include groups such as non-denominational to get the number of people who might even own a Bible to roughly 75%. Furthermore, that would have to include Jehovah’s Witness, all forms of Orthodox, and Mormon.
We need to ponder the following question: is the United States really a Christian Nation, and if so, why? We need to be able to do more than add up anyone remotely or loosely affiliated with a certain religion to affix such a label. To clarify: it is probably best not to use the percentage debate, especially in light of the many facts contradicting this approach.
The reason there is any debate at all is due in great part to ignorance, and that ignorance starts in schools. Perhaps it begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Alternatively, it could be because they teach that the Founders came to the United States to escape religious persecution, which, to be blunt, is extremely misleading. To be honest, calling the United States a Christian Nation would actually come across as a massive insult to some of the most influential Founding Fathers.
Arguments for the label have been made by pointing at examples (provided by the government) that have religious overtones. They suggest and believe that the Founders wanted to honor God by placing things such as “In God We Trust” on our money or “One Nation Under God” in the pledge. However, there is a problem with such ideas.
Because of a growing Communist threat, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God” to the pledge in 1954. Of course, Eisenhower is also the one who, in 1951, signed an executive order making Jesus Christ the first American.
“In God We Trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. However, it replaced the unofficial and already established motto of “E Pluribus Unum,” which means “One out of many.” For the record, that was precisely 174 years AFTER the Act of Congress, which adopted “E Pluribus Unum” in 1782.
It should be shocking how acts made almost two hundred years after the foundation can be accepted as foundational principles. This contortion is why I thrust this topic into this religious debate. Clearly, such ideas were not included in the founding.
Did the founders flee England to escape religious persecution? No. Our FORE-fathers fled England to escape religious persecution LONG before the FOUNDING Fathers were born. The Pilgrims founded Jamestown, Virginia, in 1602, precisely 174 years BEFORE the idea of the United States was seriously pursued.
Both of these falsehoods (Money & Forefathers) straddle the truth by 174 years. A better illustration might be had by saying there is a 348-year spread. Moreover, to give you an idea of timelines here, England renounced religious persecution in 1689 – almost a hundred years before the United States became a country.
So, let us get this straight: the Founding Fathers (I.E., those who founded the official government of the USA) were not Pilgrims, and they were definitely not paying homage to a “Christian God.” In fact, a few founders would probably laugh at that notion.
Allow me to arm you with a powerful weapon. To do this, we need to look at a couple of different elements: the Constitution and, of course, ratified law.
The Constitution –
Bill of Rights – 1st Amendment Clause 1 – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Simple enough, but ask yourself: “What does respecting mean”? During that time and in proper context, respecting would mean a privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges, an acknowledgment, or even the condition of being esteemed or honored. So, in other words, and still in context, Congress shall make no law acknowledging or holding an establishment of religion in an honored or esteemed regard or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Give that some serious thought. Now that you know what you know, do you believe our Founders would have held the U.S. as a “Christian Nation”? Not according to the 1st Amendment. Would they have allowed ANY organized religion to rule above Constitutional law? Probably not.
Ratified Law –
Perhaps the most compelling evidence to prove that the United States is not a “Christian Nation” comes from The Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed at Tripoli on November 4th, 1796. This document was an agreement between the United States and the Bey and subjects at Tripoli of Barbary. It is important to note that this document was first drafted during George Washington’s administration and ratified during the administration of John Adams. Article 11 of this same official government document starts by saying the following:
“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…”
Freedom of Religion, right? Deists want you to have your faith; they do. However, they do not wish to be governed by someone else’s. This idea was central to the design. So let us discuss the Founders for a moment.
CHAPTER XIII – THE AMERICAN FOUNDERS
There are many things that I find quite peculiar concerning the American population concerning American history, understanding, of course, that public education omits certain kinds of information for political reasons. For instance, why don’t more people know about the thousands of black or native slave owners? Better yet, when considering ideas such as “Natural Right,” why do so few know what it means or where it comes from?
Offering more information on the topic is essential. It is as simple as this: if people truly understood the source, they would understand the reason. If they know the reason, they can figure out the desired result.
Sure, there were some Christian Founders. Some were Protestants and Roman Catholics. We should also delineate the Episcopalian, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Lutherans, Dutch Reformed, and Methodists. However, what if we looked deeper?
When you read the founding documents, you see words such as “Natural Rights” and “Nature’s God” (a term used in the Declaration of Independence). These are both Deist terms, as we have already discussed. However, public education does not teach this anymore. Moreover, the establishment tries to ignore it when at all possible. The truth is that Deism was a prominent school of religious thought in America (and worldwide, for that matter) during the 17th and 18th-century. Some of the most enlightened Founders were, in fact, Deists.
Benjamin Franklin never accepted the divinity of Christ and clarified himself as a deist in his 1771 autobiography. Ethan Allen, the hero of Fort Ticonderoga and revolutionary leader of the Green Mountain Boys, published “Reason: The Only Oracle of Man,” which rejects revelation, prophecies, miracles, divine providence, original sin, and the need for atonement. Aside from Thomas Pain, of all the American Founders, Thomas Jefferson (who wrote the Jefferson Bible) is most closely associated with Deism, to the point that in the Presidential election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson was depicted as the Francophile anti-Christian.
We could discuss other Founders as well. This discussion might include guys like Phillip Freneau and Stephen Hopkins. The point is that, for some reason, we have a belief system that is getting erased from our history books. At the same time, it is being replaced with the idea that the United States was supposed to be a Christian Nation and Democracy, both of which are inaccurate statements.
If we wanted to get into a debate, we could discuss the big guy himself. George Washington is assumed to be Christian. However, Washington’s Deism is often inferred from his failure to mention Jesus in his writings, his freemasonry, and his apparent refusal to take communion during most of his life.
True, some would like to split hairs and bring up the fact that historians such as Gregg L. Frazer said that many of the leading Founders, such as Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and even Washington, were neither Christians nor Deists. Frazer believes our Founders were supporters of a hybrid “theistic rationalism.”
Despite the words of our Founders, and regardless of how we want to paint that picture, it only proves the point that I am trying to make. These Founders were not Christians, and non-Christians would probably not build a “Christian Nation.” Furthermore, they probably would not want a specific religion or religious law to have power over the Constitution. That might be why they repeatedly used terms such as “Natural Right” – a Deist idea.
The Declaration of Independence of the United States lists life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as “natural rights.” Natural rights are rights that people have under something called “natural law.” Natural law is a doctrine that states that human affairs should be governed by ethical principles that are part of the very nature of things and that can be understood by reason.
There are a couple of keywords that we should be focusing on here, primarily “doctrine” and “reason.” Our founders thought it was wise to build our nation on the premise of “natural right,” which comes from “natural law,” which is a belief that our decisions should be based on deep thought, enlightenment, and the process of logic.
Within this theme, though, is the idea that it is reason that gives us all the information we need. That reason alone is the critical tool for exposing and rejecting nonsense. This belief system (as you already know) is Deism. Again, just like today, Deists accepted the existence of a creator based on reason and rejected the belief in a deity who interacted with humankind.
So why do public schools no longer teach this? After all, Deism was extremely popular among intellectuals during the Age of Enlightenment (1620s to the 1780s). That seems like an important history lesson, at the very least. Regardless, these intellectuals relied upon reason, analysis, and individualism instead of the traditional lines of authority, like the authoritarian church or governments. That might be a clue regarding its omission from public education. So again, why are we not being taught about it if it was so popular and widespread?
Encyclopedia Britannica states the following:
But the widespread existence in 18th-century America of a school of religious thought called Deism complicates the actual beliefs of the Founders. Drawing from the scientific and philosophical work of such figures as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Isaac Newton, and John Locke, Deists argued that human experience and rationality—rather than religious dogma and mystery—determine the validity of human beliefs. In his widely read “The Age of Reason,” Thomas Paine, the principal American exponent of Deism, called Christianity “a fable.” Paine, the protégé of Benjamin Franklin, denied “that the Almighty ever did communicate anything to man, by…speech,…language, or…vision.”
- Source: The Founding Fathers, Deism, and Christianity. 2016. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 17 November 2015, from http://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Founding-Fathers-Deism-and-Christianity-1272214
Consider the names you have heard throughout this book. Thomas Paine, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and John Locke. These names should provide at least a few red flags concerning American history and influence. We are taught extensively about these men but rarely hear the word “Deism.”
There are other clues to examine. For example, non-Christian Deists (both then and now) usually refuse to use Judeo-Christian terminology. Instead, they describe God with such expressions as “Providence,” “the Creator,” “the Ruler of Great Events,” and “Nature’s God.” Can you find such ideas or words written throughout our Founding documents?
Many of our most influential heroes during that time fall under the list of people who were either Deists or heavily influenced by Deism. This list includes John Adams, James Madison, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Samuel Adams, James Monroe, etc. Heck, even people such as Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison are believed to be Deists.
There are a few things I want you to take away from this chapter. The first is that our most influential Founders rejected the traditional lines of authority and believed that our Rights were provided to us by our Creator alone, not a government or a church. This means that your Rights (The Bill of Rights) are given to you upon birth, which is NOT something the government or church can provide, regulate, or even take away.
Second, a group of intellectuals decided that reason and logic were tools God provided us. They created a nation built on this premise. They hoped these tools would deliver the people of this land from the stranglehold of authoritarianism.
Indeed, these truths may be rather upsetting for some who would like to believe that the United States is a Christian nation or that government should save us from ourselves. However, it would help to imagine what this means regarding our Rights and where our nation sits today.
If you are not an American, consider what this means for you in your particular situation. Imagine the power this information provides you concerning opposing tyrannical or authoritarian behaviors by a government. Now imagine what the Founders intended the U.S. to be and what they expected the people to do when Natural Rights were trampled upon by those who were supposed to be representing the people and helping to protect them from authoritarian groups.
Ultimately, I want you to understand that the Founders would not have stood for most of what the people are subjected to these days. I used to say that “The Founders would have done something by now,” and I want you to understand that they would have because they did. If you look at the list of reasons they provided in the Declaration of Independence about why they did act, you will be amazed.
If you are a Deist, I challenge you to embrace the Founder’s way of thinking, even if only in part. Take ownership of your Natural Rights, or better said, your religious Right. I challenge you to understand where they were coming from. I challenge you to embrace the power they fought to secure for you. Examine the detailed reasons why you or anyone else should fight to retain such power. Finally, I challenge everyone to think logically and reject the things that divide us.
If life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are really “Natural Rights,” detailed in the Bill of Rights, then consider once again what Thomas Jefferson told James Madison in 1787. “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.”
Ideas like this were not written or stated by accident. These ideas were believed down to the core of their hearts. These ideas were their religious conviction that individual liberty was a natural-born right and that such rights were worthy of fighting a tyrannical monarch. The truth of this has not changed.
Let us exit this chapter with a couple of things to ponder. During the time of our founders, thunder and lightning were considered the wrath of God by most. Because of his religious views, Franklin knew there was a simple, natural, and reasonable explanation for the phenomenon. So he set out to discover what it was using the scientific method. Was the “kite and key” experiment simply a Deist exercise? Probably. So too, was his illegal exploration of human anatomy.
Deism is about accuracy. Accuracy can only be found with questioning, testing, and examination. That may be why the public education system attempts to omit Deism from its curriculum. Deists will question authority. Thomas Jefferson also provided that very recommendation to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787. He told him to “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” Question everything, including your own conclusions. Seek your answers. Defend your Creator-given Rights. Learn and experience life.
“The belief of the redemption of Jesus Christ is altogether an invention of the Church of Rome, not the doctrine of the New Testament.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER XIV – GOD IS NOT LAZY
If God truly created the universe, it is counterintuitive to believe that God could or would be lazy. However, many modern religions believe in just that. They believe that God could create unbelievable and inconceivable designs and systems but then decided that was enough. Therefore, instead of providing undeniable guidance that all men could follow, he established oppressive structures and commands over men with a central figure somehow able to communicate with God directly, leaving you out of the loop. I am not buying that.
Are we now to assume that God is sharing a different message with his various messengers? If not, then someone is lying. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world, with about twelve considered to be “classical” or “major,” and almost all of them claim to be the “one true way.” Ironically, most of these have had a leader or “prophet” who claimed to have some special knowledge provided by God. Some are considered to speak to God directly to this very day.
As a result, these religions have warred against each other and carried out unspeakable atrocities against their fellow man in the name of both their God and their Church. Nevertheless, these actions do not stop with opposing Churches. From basic judgment to murder, the Church often condones similar behaviors against its followers. These actions are somehow justified by the book they claim to be the word of God, a word often contorted over time and selectively followed anyway.
Are we to assume that God loves us so much that he refused to offer revelation to the individual but decided to play the most elaborate game of “telephone” that history has ever witnessed? That sounds more like a cruel joke. It seems illogical to love or follow something that would rather see you confused and scared rather than healthy and happy. So why do we do it?
On a similar note, are we to assume that God loves us so much that he knocks on our door to save us from horrible things he will do to us if we do not open it? That sounds more like an abusive relationship we often encourage others to run away from. It seems illogical to love or follow something that will have you damned or killed for non-adherence. So why do we do it?
God provided humanity with certain gifts. These include but are not limited to thought and reasoning skills. Yet many under the influence of the Church are encouraged to ignore these gifts and reject the various fruits they provide.
Many are instead fearful of questioning the religious authority, afraid to express their views, encouraged to practice self-denial, and told to yield their will to the Church or religious body. They are indoctrinated to believe that they have no power; that the best things they can do to affect change are worship, pray, and continue to be good followers – but to do so of their will – which they were previously told to yield (or else). That must be confusing.
To this end, followers are often taught that their leaders (both government and religious) must be above reproach. They are taught to obey and submit to their leaders despite how corrupt or abusive they might become. They are taught to do so because these leaders somehow keep watch over their souls.
These directions often come from the same texts, which state that masters must treat their slaves justly and fairly, that husbands are to control their wives, that unruly children must be beaten or killed, and so on. Nevertheless, these parts are often ignored in modern times because they are considered antiquated. Indeed. Well, perhaps other parts are antiquated as well.
I want to close this chapter with the words of Thomas Paine because he simply summed it up better than I can. You will find the following excerpt from his book “Age of Reason.”
BUT some perhaps will say—Are we to have no word of God—no revelation? I answer yes. There is a Word of God; there is a revelation.
THE WORD OF GOD IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD: And it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man.
It is only in the CREATION that all our ideas and conceptions of a word of God can unite. The Creation speaketh a universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they be. It is an ever existing original, which every man can read. It cannot be forged; it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost; it cannot be altered; it cannot be suppressed. It does not depend upon the will of man whether it shall be published or not; it publishes itself from one end of the earth to the other. It preaches to all nations and to all worlds; and this word of God reveals to man all that is necessary for man to know of God.
Do we want to contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of the creation. Do we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible Whole is governed. Do we want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his mercy? We see it in his not withholding that abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what God is? Search not the book called the scripture, which any human hand might make, but the scripture called the Creation.
“The Deist needs none of those tricks and shows called miracles to confirm his faith, for what can be a greater miracle than the creation itself, and his own existence?”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER XV – THE AGE OF EARTH
The Christian Bible (whichever of the nearly one hundred English versions one can subscribe to) provides a complete genealogy from Adam to Jesus. Not many people have sat down and read the Bible as though it were a book. However, if one did, one could (if they were so inclined) go through the book, add up the years, and see how old the Bible suggests the earth is.
If the math is correct, we get just over 4,000 years. So then, we need to add in the 2,000 years since the time of Jesus. That gives us just over 6,000 years since God created everything.
6000 years old. That is it? Of course, the Bible also suggests that the cradle of life started in Mesopotamia, a name for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system. This area corresponds to modern-day Iraq, the northeastern section of Syria, and to a lesser extent, southeastern Turkey, smaller parts of southwestern Iran, and Kuwait.
I am somewhat surprised that so many Christians would subscribe to this story. This surprise is especially true because Jesus is often portrayed as a white European. Perhaps it has more to do with ignorance regarding where Mesopotamia is, but I digress.
The funniest retort I have seen to the idea that civilization might be older than 6000 years old was that the earth was created with the appearance of age. Similar to how Adam was not created as a newborn. Evidently, this included previous civilizations, fossils, etc.
The question should immediately be, “What drives someone to say such things”? Perhaps it is a fear of the truth or of going against what they previously believed to be accurate. It is hard to say.
However, there is little to debate when presented with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. For instance, one could not argue that something was an automobile when, in reality, it was a Blue Jay. Similarly, we could not say something was black when it was clearly white.
Science is not a blind guess. Modern scientists try to avoid mistakes. They tend to want to be correct and usually go to great lengths to prove it. This effort is especially true when dating material. Scientists will avoid using a single sample when attempting to work out the age of what they are testing. Where possible, they will take several samples from the same layer and date them all, and also, when possible, use different dating methods to get the most accurate result.
Regarding religion, let us assume scientists were off by half regarding material dating (which would be a “best guess” based on visual evidence – AKA: NOT SCIENCE). Such conclusions would still disprove the simple stories passed down and contorted for generations. This truth becomes evident upon simple observation. Allow me to clarify the point.
We could discuss recent discoveries of pottery that date back roughly 6000 years. This discovery might align with the religious narrative. However, considering that the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ended around 19,000 years ago, how can one explain the pottery found in China that dates back to 20,000 years ago? Did God leave it behind for us to find because he wants us to be confused? Once again, if we are halfway wrong, that still outdates the Bible’s guess by at least 4000 years.
Nabta Playa was a civilization thought to be from 7000 and 6500 BCE. Catalhöyük was an agricultural civilization thriving between 9,000-7,000 years ago in what is today south-central Turkey. Of course, this civilization is denied by the religious community even though it is from the Mesopotamia area.
Gobekli Tepe predates Stonehenge by at least 6,000 years. It also changed the conventional view of the rise of civilization, even in religious circles. Still, many in those religious circles deny it.
The San culture is thought to have emerged around 20,000 years ago. A new analysis of artifacts from a cave in South Africa revealed that the residents were carving bone tools, using pigments, making beads, and even using poison as far back as 44,000 years ago. Are scientists lying to us?
Researcher Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, stated, “Our research proves that the Later Stone Age emerged in South Africa far earlier than has been believed and occurred at about the same time as the arrival of modern humans in Europe.” Is he confused? The discovery of Graecopithecus freybergi – a 7.2 million-year-old pre-human, might change the narrative about when or if modern humans moved into Europe from Africa or moved into Africa from Europe.
In my opinion, knowing any of this and exploring new possibilities does not destroy the idea of God; it enriches it. Using logic and reason as a guide, would we rather believe that the world is simple, or would we rather believe that God was so amazing that he actually allowed amazing things?
Our body is so ridiculously complicated. The plant life outside of our home is ridiculously complex. The universe is beyond most people’s comprehension. Everything seems to be highly complex, so why believe that the planet is simple and only 6000 years old? For me, such a narrative does not align with everything else that we can clearly see. Of course, the evidence of my point continues to mount.
Released November 25, 2013, “a remarkable archaeological find in the Judean lowlands southwest of Jerusalem includes a six-millennia-old cultic temple and a 10,000-year-old house”. We find similar evidence all the time… when we look.
People should embrace these numerous examples. We should stop sticking to a history created by people seeking to retain power. Of course, that would mean knowing or embracing history for what it is. How sad is it that modern education often does not provide us with what we need?
“I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER XVI – A MESSAGE TO ALL FAITHS
What is the difference between a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, or any other religious person? The answer is their religious belief. It is not race. Every major religion in the world has followers that comprise almost every different race on the planet. It is all about belief. So I want to convey a couple of simple truths here, and I hope that EVERYONE walks away with at least something to consider.
Judaism comprises three different sects; liberal-leaning Reform, conservative Orthodox, and Conservative. Judaism is also one of the oldest monotheistic religions on the planet and was founded over 3500 years ago in the Middle East, in Canaan. However, each sect practices its faith a bit differently.
Islam has several different sects as well. There are Sunni Muslims, which are the vast majority. There are Shi`ite Muslims, which is the second largest group. Then there are the smaller branches of Sufis – sometimes called Islamic mystics – and the Baha’is and Ahmadiyyas. By 2070, Islam is projected to be the world’s largest religion because it is currently the fastest-growing. However, just like Judaism, the different sects practice their faith differently.
Christianity is substantially different from both of the previous. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia by Barrett, Kurian & Johnson, there are over 33000 Christian denominations worldwide. In general, there are about 35 major sects of Christianity, ranging from Protestants and Catholics to Orthodox and Independents. Again, each denomination follows its religion a little differently.
What I find particularly interesting is what these three religions have in common. All three share Jesus in some way, shape, or form. They all share Father Abraham as well. Oddly enough, Jerusalem is the holy city for all three. When we dig deep, we find that their doctrines share common elements. For instance, the Tanakh and the Talmud of Judaism are the Old Testament in the Bible. Even the Quran teaches of the crucifixion of Jesus and recognizes him as a prophet.
Of course, some would like to argue that Islam is NOT of the Abrahamic faith, and Islam never claimed Jerusalem until near the middle of the 20th century. This simply is not true. The following helps to demonstrate the point.
“Ibrahim ibn Azar, known as Abraham in the Hebrew Bible, is recognized in Islam as a prophet and apostle of God and patriarch of many peoples (Quran 87:19 – The Great Story of Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) In Islam).”
“In Islam, Abraham is seen as a strict monotheist who calls his people to the worship of God alone (Islamiclife.com).”
“The third most sacred city in Islam is Jerusalem, which was the original qibla (direction of prayer) before it was changed to Mecca. Jerusalem is revered because, in Muslim tradition, Muhammad miraculously traveled to Jerusalem by night and ascended from there into heaven. The two most important Muslim sites in Jerusalem are the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The most notable Muslim site in Jerusalem is the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhrah), which, like the Ka’ba, is built over a sacred stone (ourislaminfo.com).”
Regardless, and despite these similarities, these three religions have been at each other’s throats for thousands of years. Although all three are Abrahamic religions, they continue to hate and kill one another and often take joy in doing so. Even more shocking is that there is a startling amount of in-fighting within each religion and between the different sects, all because someone believes something a little different than the other.
Let me clarify that paragraph for effect. What I am saying is that historically, Christians killed a lot of Christians, Jews killed a lot of Jews, and Muslims killed a lot of Muslims. In fact, history shows that Christianity was once one of the most violent religions – against their own. After Christians, most of the Jews killed were murdered by their fellow Jews. And as a matter of fact, radical groups like Al Qaeda have killed more Muslims than non-Muslims.
I have only addressed three religions so far. Let me reiterate that according to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions worldwide, 12 “classical” and at least 21 large religions leading the way. This gets complicated rather quickly, but these include religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism to things like New Age or even Deism.
With so many religions to choose from, what is the BEST religion? It is whatever is right for you! However, it is probably wise to explore the options to truly know it is correct.
We all believe differently, and that should be okay. This difference is not a bad thing; this is a good thing. If we all thought the same thing and in the same way, we would still be back in the stone age, beating the one person attempting to make the wheel.
Let me ask you a very serious question, and when I ask this question, I want you to keep in mind that every organization has a purpose. Have you ever asked yourself what the goal or point of religion is? Have you ever asked what the purpose or point of YOUR religion is? If you are thinking of “getting to Heaven,” perhaps you are not digging deep enough.
Regardless of the religion’s name or doctrine, there are a few simple goals (as taught by their collective texts and oral histories) that each religion seeks to achieve. Furthermore, out of the thousands of different religions and the multiple thousands of different sects, they all seem to have similar end-games. The commonalities are insightful.
The first is to get good with God, the Creator, or Higher Power. This effort usually means understanding that you are not the center of the universe. You are a small piece to a much bigger puzzle – so do not pretend to be God, because you are not.
The second is to be good. While relative, it generally means doing good things for your fellow human. Do not rape, kill, steal, and so on; be charitable and be a good father, son, daughter, mother, brother, sister, friend, husband, or wife.
The third is basically to be good enough that you can find some inner peace and die without regret or a terrible legacy for your family to deal with. Or perhaps even leave this life/planet better than when you got here. Some religions teach that if all that works out, you may or may not get a perk at some point.
Clearly, most people have been doing it wrong. Does a higher power really need anyone to kill on his behalf? Does God need us to do his work at all?
If you believe in those religious texts, then instead of trying to kill one another, perhaps we should do what it says and reach out and help one another. We do not need to believe the same things that someone else does just to be a good person. Moreover, we do not have to convince someone else of something to be right. We do not even have to believe what someone else does just to learn from them. It is okay to discuss different beliefs with one another; just remember your place.
There are flaws and contradictions in every religion – including yours. If you do not think so, then you are delusional – and this includes Atheists, by the way. I understand that religion and beliefs are essential for most people. However, if we are genuinely trying to be better people for the Creator, each other, and ourselves, then we must start by making sure we can practice our religion. If your faith is strong, you do not need anyone but your Creator, and from what I have read, your Creator does not need ignorant masses. Instead, your Creator needs you, and your Creator needs you to do what is right for the right reasons. Besides, who cares what anyone else thinks or worships, especially if you are right?
You just need to do good for others, not sell them or scare them into believing what you do. Do you think God would want a follower who follows out of fear? Do you believe your Creator would want a follower who thinks they can do his job better than him? Nobody wants that kind of follower. Real leaders want followers who are willing and wanting. Real leaders inspire and lead their people to better things, not worse. Furthermore, when a leader gives you a gift, that leader usually expects you to appreciate it and use it.
Ultimately, if we are all God’s creation and serve any purpose whatsoever, I doubt that God would want you to kill someone else or oppress them in his name. Now, with that said, we must also all understand that any true father would not expect his children to tolerate someone who aims to kill, rape, or steal, because life is precious. Every major religion views life as a gift or as something precious.
In Islam, Imam Ghazali states, “Every breath of life is a precious jewel which can buy eternal treasures. Wasting these breaths or using them for detrimental purposes is such a great loss which no intelligent person could justify.“
In Christianity, all humans are made in God’s image and likeness, making humans the most special.
Other than God Himself, Judaism values nothing greater than life; “I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life, that you and your seed shall live….“
If life is so precious, then that also means that precious lives should be guarded against the wicked. If someone aims to do harm, then we must eliminate that threat – so that you and your seed shall live. This is not murder; this is unintentional death because you would not have been in this position had another not attempted such harm in the first place. Of course, this does not mean we should bring such defense to the door of another. As I often say in my religious teaching, let the wicked bring the fight to you so that you have the energy to fight and defend harder than they can attack.
Furthermore, we should never blanket the repercussion across faith, race, or ethnic group. We should always address the threat and that threat alone. Again, there are just too many differences to deal with. If that threat presents itself as a group, then that group should be dealt with accordingly. If that threat presents itself among the innocent, then an effort to save the innocent should always be made. However, this effort should not be at the expense of the “seed” or of ourselves.
Think of it like this: let us pretend your spouse was being held hostage by someone aiming to do harm. The stranger demands that you deliver your child to them or your spouse dies. However, you know that if you provide the child, something terrible will happen to the child. What do you do? Most rational people would suggest that you do your best to end the life of the stranger without hurting the spouse, but that if the spouse died in the transaction, at least you saved the child – as the child (seed) theoretically has more to live for and you must ensure that your seed survives.
These are challenging thoughts and hard decisions. The point is that you should never expect great things when someone arrives at your door with hate in their heart. Also, caution yourself from harboring such hatred yourself; it blurs the mind. If your Creator is about peace and love, you should at least try to achieve peace and love yourself. Of course, sometimes peace and love are not enough to stop those who wish to do harm. That is why we all have something special inside of us; this overwhelming feeling that we need to protect ourselves and our families from external threats (fight or flight).
If someone aims to do harm contrary to religious beliefs, they should be prepared for the appropriate repercussions, and you should be prepared to provide them. So if that means standing and fighting, that is fine. If that means running away and fighting them a little later, that is fine too.
Let me close this chapter with one final thought. If you truly want to be a good person, believe in your God, and want to do good by your fellow man, then let me beg of you this one thing. When you see someone claiming to be a part of your religion but acting in a way that is inconsistent with that religion, please stand up and announce it. It does not have to be aggressive or violent. It just needs to be said that you are not aligned. It could be done in a blog, a video, or anything else. Just let others know that you are not a part of this inconsistency. Differentiate yourself from the other. Reach out for fellowship and understanding.
In other words: Christians – if you see a group of people claiming to be Christians who act unchristianly, simply state, “that is not me.” Muslims – if a group claiming to do Allah’s work is clearly not, then let others know, “that is not me.” Jews – if you are witnessing acts by those who use Judaism as a shield but who clearly disregard the purpose, then let others know, “that is not me.”
This advice goes for every person in any religion. Remember, there are thousands of religions with numerous sects – so those outside of your faith can become confused without such clarifications. Such confusion can lead to misunderstandings, hard feelings, and horrific acts. We do not have to judge or ridicule, and we do not have to force anyone to change. That is not our place. We do not even have to go to battle – unless, of course, that battle is brought to us. Thankfully, none of us have to do God’s work, as none of us could do that anyway.
A simple declaration is easy enough. It is similar to how some conservatives have no problem stating that they are not Republicans or liberals are not Democrats. Yet, these groups can still work and live next to one another. The point is that there is a better way. We have to strive for it. It starts with us.
“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”Thomas Paine
CHAPTER XVII – LIFE IS LOVE – LOVE IS TIME
Life: the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to the environment through changes originating internally.
How funny is it that we rarely think of life like this? If you ask someone what life is to them, they will probably not give you an answer anywhere near that definition. So how should we define it?
Some of us would define it as pain, hurt, sorrow, and regret. While others might say, it is all about experiences, happiness, or freedom. Some suggest a mixture of both. However, notice that these are all attached to something.
I sit here and ponder what life means to me. I think of my daughter. I think of my few friends or family members. I think about wanting to protect them because I love them. I think of those I have lost, both still alive and now dead. I think of lost love and my regrets associated with them.
Perhaps it is more about the things I will never forget about them and loved them for. I also think about my passing; who will remember me, and for what reasons? Who will love and miss me? And still, it all seems related.
Can it not be even more basic than all this? When I visualize life, I think about just waking up in the morning and still having my eyes closed, reaching next to me, and being able to grab the hand of someone who loves me, and loving them for having the bravery to still be there in the morning. I think of the pain associated with not having that hand in the morning when that person is no longer there, or worse… never was.
Even more straightforward is the thought of soft music and a sunset next to someone who cares to share it. Sitting on a hilltop and just enjoying the show that nature has provided. Nothing intimate, really, just a longing for someone more interested in the world’s beauty as opposed to the blinds.
What stirs my soul most is the thought of my daughter’s sweet kiss on my cheek, telling me how much she loves me and how I am the best dad in the world for the simple things I do, like sharing ice cream with her. Or how she appreciates my efforts even when I cannot quite give her the moon. Or perhaps how instead of wanting to go shopping, or playing in the park, or play with her friends, she would rather sit on the couch and watch TV because it is a chance to cuddle with her daddy.
So what is the point? The point is that they say that “Life” is a challenge for scientists and philosophers to define in unequivocal terms. Still, whether we take a lifetime or even a solid minute to REALLY think about it, it becomes simple when we realize that life is not only about love but also about time.
For me, the three (life, love, and time) could almost be interchangeable. Think about it for a second. One could say that Life is Love, and Love is Time.
Think about this: life is often measured by time. With love, there is never enough time. The more you love, the less time you seem to have.
Without love, life can feel like an eternity, and a person will often spend that time pondering the point of living in the first place. And when we lose those we love, we often wish we had more time. And such is life.
It is THE four-letter word and a double-edged sword. It is a beautiful dying rose with a thorny stem. It is the simple compounding complexity.
Regardless of how you define it or which words you want to use, here is a simple truth and something we should all think about…
Where you are at with it depends solely on where you are without it.
At least for me. At least for now.
CHAPTER XVIII – DEIST FAQ
Do Deists Have a Doctrine?
A doctrine is a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other groups. For Deists, doctrine boils down to faith in God and learning more about his creation and our place in it. Deists do not have an authoritative holy book. However, reading materials related to our faith or belief exist, and some Deists may attempt to expand upon them or use them as a base.
Generally speaking, Deist doctrine is any material that helps to develop a better understanding. Such materials might include but would not be limited to books such as the “Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine or theories such as the “Trinion Contradictions” provided herein. It may also include texts not necessarily related to Deism itself.
Do Deists Have Faith?
By definition, faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Deists have faith by the truckload. However, this faith is usually backed by logic, reason, or scientific evidence.
Regarding God, faith is a strong belief in God or the doctrines of a religion. Again, faith is necessary, even from a logical perspective. A great example is the NeoDeist premise of cause and effect. It is simply a fact that there is a reaction to every action. For instance, energy cannot really be created or destroyed; it does not stop; it merely transfers. Energy does not dissipate; it only changes form. We are all made up of the same energy and matter that created the universe and are all connected.
With this in mind, we can turn the clock back to the beginning. Reverse cause and effect back to the very first cause. Here, one might have to rely on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. As of right now, we do not fully understand “the beginning.” Some could call this the creation of energy. Since we cannot currently or definitively wrap our minds around this, and since this creation somehow set in motion all natural law and phenomenon, one could conclude that such intricate designs found in nature, and because there must be a clear starting point, that this might reflect upon what we know to be God.
The essential element to grasp is that there is also no such thing as spontaneous or anomalous generation in nature. Simply stated, the process by which living organisms develop from nonliving matter is not possible so far as we know. In fact, Pasteur’s experiment pretty much refuted the theory of spontaneous generation in 1859. Francesco Redi further disproved spontaneous generation for large organisms in his experiments.
Granted, there are still some who subscribe to Biopoiesis. However, pretending that it is possible, one would still have to rely heavily on cause and effect and then go back to the principle of energy transfer, which brings us back to square one. Biopoiesis would be a result, not a start.
This explanation is not a science lesson but rather a case in point. There are still many unanswered questions in the universe. Some of the most complex ideas revolve around the actual beginning. For Deists, it seems naïve to believe that something was simply created in its full form out of nothing and just because. Due to some scientific principles available to us, it appears that someone or something put things in motion, and things eventually got this way. Our “faith” is that God would be responsible because there are no other reasonable explanations at this time.
With that said, a Deist will often search for and examine new information when new information is available. As a result of this search for knowledge, their Deism will grow and change with each piece of information acquired. However, a Deist will again seek it out and aim to alter current paradigms instead of falling back on “just because.“
This perspective is quite different from many religions that I have examined. For instance, many religions stick with and follow the same texts and ideas throughout their lives as they find comfort in that type of consistency. In contrast, most Deists seek to consistently alter and adjust their current understanding as new information becomes available and have faith that our purpose is to expand knowledge, not hinder or limit it.
Do Deists Pray?
For some, yes. For others, no. And all for many different reasons.
In general, and to the best of my knowledge, most Deists do not pray. However, if they do, prayers are usually prayers of thanks or prayers that allow that person to vent their frustrations to the universe. Such prayers are generally not prayers of request because it is believed that such requests will likely go unanswered.
Some Deists will use prayer as a way to organize thoughts. One essentially throws an idea out into the universe by speaking or praying. This type of prayer can help someone think through problems. By doing so, they generate better questions that help them find better answers.
I have heard several Deists relate prayer to the Law of Attraction. This “law” suggests that positive thoughts bring positive results. From a prayer standpoint, it becomes a way to speak positivity into the universe regarding desires and hopes. However, from a Deist perspective, such prayers are not a request.
Considering physics and biology, it would be hard to imagine that prayer is not beneficial. For instance, considerable scientific research analyzes and demonstrates the benefits of prayer regarding health. This research has been conducted at some very prestigious universities around the world. Many have concluded that religion and prayer provide a positive, optimistic worldview, meaning, and purpose to life, enhanced motivation, and providing hope, among many other things. So for health alone, it may be a good idea.
We also now know a few things about energy and matter. The first is that energy and matter are the same things. Matter is assembled energy in a particular pattern. We also know that when any two particles are joined, they are forever linked. Therefore, one can argue that we are all a connected part of the universe and will continue to be a small part of the universe moving forward. So why not speak to the universe or God? Whether or not God hears it is somewhat irrelevant.
How Do Deists Feel About Other Religions?
That likely depends on which Deist you are speaking to. Generally speaking, Deists love that other religions exist because not everyone is cut out to be a Deist—those people will need options. Similarly, Deists like the idea of a diverse religious field because it provides more questions and information to explore.
Deists tend to support and encourage individual exploration regarding life, even if that understanding comes from a different religion. Overall, Deists are pretty laid back when it comes to the belief systems of others. However, Deists almost universally believe that we have our religion, and you have yours. We can co-exist in peace. We will not recruit you to ours, and we do not want to be recruited to yours. Once this becomes a problem, we will have a problem.
Do Deists Celebrate Holidays?
Why not? Sure, Deists will join in on holiday activities because it is an opportunity to spend time with loved ones. The religious affiliations of others generally do not concern Deists.
Let us take Christmas, for example. Most Deists believe only in God, not Christianity. They also believe God created the world long ago and left it running by itself, as evidenced by historical data demonstrating that homo-sapiens have been around for MUCH longer than suggested by the Bible. Yet, Deists still believe that we should take care of the world and each other. Most Deists believe that the purpose of life is to do some good for humanity and to “pursue happiness” in this life.
So while Christmas is just another holiday like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July (IE: not necessarily religious), they will give presents to their families and friends, donate to charities, or donate a jacket or food to the homeless. You may even see them engage in some Christmas carols or prayer at the dinner table. For Deists, it is not about the premise of the holiday itself but rather about appreciating their time with loved ones. Deists know we are few, but being generous, thankful, kind, and appreciative are not actions reserved for those who attend church.
Do Deists Recruit (proselytize)?
Generally speaking, no. Sadly, many people are probably Deists or follow Deistic principles but have yet to discover the name of what they are. Unfortunately, these people will have to figure it out for themselves.
Deists do not proselytize, which is to convert or attempt to convert someone from one religion, belief, or opinion to another. Furthermore, Deists do not usually spread the word outside of Deist circles. Remember, Deism is said to be the religion reserved for the intellectual. Intellectuals tend to study; it is usually through study that one stumbles upon Deism.
It may seem odd to some, but this tends to be the culture of the religion. Furthermore, while it may not be the most efficient way to relay the message, it is the best way to keep Deism honest. Deists tend to welcome but not seek others serious about the premise and point. The Deist belief is that people are free to find, know, and worship God in their own way.
For clarification purposes, let me state that a Deist’s goal remains to teach and spread knowledge and improve the human condition when possible. However, the information shared or taught will usually only be about the fact or the specific discovery. This sharing is rarely blurred with faith unless it is required for a point.
For example, a Deist scientist might share their discovery about a new energy source. However, they would likely not turn the sharing into a Deist lecture. The sharing is of the discovery of fact, not the sharing of a Deist belief concerning that fact.
How Does One Become a Deist?
There is no governing body or Deist “authority.” Without a religious authority, it can sometimes be challenging to understand how one practices a non-organized religion. It is relatively simple, though. You can convert to Deism when and if you choose to. When and if someone decides that Deism is the direction they wish to go, they simply study and learn about which type of Deism is right for them and address themselves accordingly. They can read Deist doctrine and perhaps seek a fellowship or a mentor – neither of which is necessary.
Fellowship or Membership?
Again, there is no governing body in the Deist community. However, this does not mean Deists will not come together to share ideas or fellowship. In fact, fellowship is rather important and is encouraged. Fellowship is a friendly association, especially with people who share similar interests.
Deists have been able to use technology to a very high degree for this end. There are numerous websites, forums, and social media outlets where Deists have come together to exchange ideas, engage in philosophical or scientific debate, and share their experiences. There are also Deist Conventions from time to time, where a speaker might come to share something enlightening or controversial.
Again, these activities are not only embraced in the Deist community but they are also encouraged. There are many outlets to choose from. If one does not find what they are after, one is always welcome to create their own.
“God has not given man reason to embarrass him, but to prevent his being imposed upon.”Thomas Paine
NOTABLE DEIST QUOTES
“Deism is the belief that nature and God are one and the same thing. If you study nature, you’re getting insights about God.” – Bruce Lipton
“Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel person.” – Thomas Paine
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” – Thomas Jefferson
“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.” – Albert Einstein
“More violence has occurred in the name of religion than for any other reason.” Deepak Chopra
“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in Nature.” – Albert Einstein
“The Deist needs none of those tricks and shows called miracles to confirm his faith, for what can be a greater miracle than the creation itself, and his own existence?” – Thomas Paine
“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” – Thomas Jefferson
“My Parents had early given me religious Impressions, and brought me through my Childhood piously in the Dissenting Way. But I was scarce 15 when, after doubting by turns of several Points as I found them disputed in the different Books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some Books against Deism fell into my Hands; they were said to be the Substance of Sermons preached at Boyle’s Lectures. It happened that they wrought an Effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them: For the Arguments of the Deists which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much Stronger than the Refutations. In short I soon became a thorough Deist.” – Benjamin Franklin
“For if you look over the State of Religion as it standeth in Christendom, there is no Church whatsoever which will accept you as a Member of its Communion, but upon some particular terms of Belief, or Practice, which Christ never appointed, and it may be such as an honest and a wise Christian cannot consent to. I am not more able to give up my Reason to the Church of England, than to give up my Senses to the Church of Rome; it looks like a Trick in all Churches to take away the use of Mens Reason, that they may render us Vassals and Slaves to all their Dictates and Commands.” – William Stephens
“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.” -Thomas Jefferson
“Of the six men who have done most to make America the wonder and the joy she is to all of us, not one could be the citizen of a government so constituted; for Washington, Jefferson and Franklin, certainly the mightiest leaders in our early history, were heretics in their day, Deists, as men called them; and Garrison, Lincoln and Sumner, certainly the mightiest in these later times, would all be disfranchised by the proposed amendment… Lincoln could not have taken the oath of office had such a clause been in the Constitution.” – Rev. John W. Chadwick on a proposed “Christian Amendment” to the Constitution making Christianity the state religion.
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. To understand the true nature of the universe, one must think it terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Nikola Tesla
“Soon after I published the pamphlet COMMON SENSE, in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion. The adulterous connection of church and state, wherever it had taken place, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, had so effectually prohibited, by pains and penalties, every discussion upon established creeds, and upon first principles of religion, that until the system of government should be changed, those subjects could not be brought fairly and openly before the world; but that whenever this should be done, a revolution in the system of religion would follow.” – Thomas Paine
MY PATH TO DEISM
It is easy to say that my reading of history led me to Deism. I could blame either Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Paine. Perhaps I could blame Christianity. Every Deist has a path, and I definitely walked mine.
By definition, I am very religious. I was raised Christian and have attended various Christian churches from several different denominations. However, the more I studied, the less I felt I belonged in church. Ironically, much of why I even began to study can be blamed on the church itself.
When I was young (approx. 12), I was very inquisitive. I loved attending church because all my friends went, and I loved my pastor. However, I started listening intently to what was being taught; some of it did not add up.
One summer, I visited my grandmother and attended her church. I remember being frustrated because every time I would ask a hard question, the preacher could only say things like, “That’s just the way God wants it.” This explanation did not sit well with me because I had already begun developing theories, and I expressed this frustration to the preacher accordingly.
One day, when church let out, I found myself getting a drink from the fountain in the hallway. My grandmother walked in and began talking with the preacher. Then, I overheard the preacher say that perhaps I should not come back because my questions created doubt in the other children. I was heartbroken. However, this event would put me on the path of exploration and, eventually, Deism.
As a student of history, I enjoyed reading about Colonial America. I stumbled upon the word Deism in Franklin’s autobiography. However, I was unfamiliar with the term at the time and promised to research it. However, unfortunately, I put it off. Flash forward a few years later, and I found Thomas Paine. I read the Age of Reason and found some of his statements to be curious and somewhat contradictory to what I had been previously told.
My research picked up, and I found a lot of truth in what he said. I discovered that a pagan created a Catholic church to keep some warring cults from further tearing apart his empire. I found that there is no continuity regarding the “word.” In other words, no organization is tasked with keeping the message the same. I began to find irony in the idea that most sects of Christianity denounce Catholicism, but all derive from it.
Then I found out that the term “lost in translation” actually came from the process of translating the Bible from Hebrew and Greek to English. The more I looked, the worse it got. For instance, the word “qadishtu,” the word used to describe Mary, does not mean whore at all. The word is more closely associated with “sanctified” or “holy women.” This got me curious about the overall accuracy of the Bible. This exploration resulted in a demonstration of contortion that seemed almost comical.
However, then something hit me. Jesus is said to have died somewhere between 30-36 AD. The First Council of Nicaea (the event that started the creation of the Bible) was convened in 325 AD. The person who put this event together was a pagan. This means that the Bible was created roughly 290 years after the death of Christ. Yet, this creation happened before ideas such as the Grim Reaper and Dragons, which did not come about until the mid-1300s. It was very confusing.
Even outside religious texts, I found that the church had a long history of being unbelievably wrong. For instance, I discovered that, at one point, the church claimed that the devil caused disease. The church initially denied evolution. The church burned innocent older women, claiming they were witches. Thunder and Lightning were the wraths of God. The cradle of life was 5000 BC Mesopotamia. Dinosaurs did not exist. Etc. Etc. Issue after issue—doubt after doubt.
Severian, Bishop of Gabala, wrote that the Earth was flat and the sun does not pass under it at night but “travels through the northern parts as if hidden by a wall.” St. John Chrysostom explicitly advocated that the Earth floated on the waters gathered below the firmament based on his reading of Scripture. St. Athanasius expressed similar views in “Against the Heathen.” All this, even though there was evidence to the contrary.
I learned that the Trinity was considered blasphemy when the Bible was originally written, and the church changed the rules and the teaching when it gained so much favor. They refined the story because doing so fit the need. However, I also learned that there were three messiah claimants from the same area during the time of Jesus. All three (including Jesus) were rebel shepherds or slaves the Romans eventually killed.
I was frustrated and confused, so I decided to give the Bible another read. However, with this new lens, I began to find many contradictions within the text. These contradictions made me analyze it even further, and I found more contradictions the harder I looked. For instance, is God all about war or peace?
- EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
- ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Who was the father of Joseph?
- MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
- LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.
I brought these concerns up to a Christian friend of mine, and he quoted me ECC 1:18, “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” This made sense because I was going out of my mind. However, even that advice was a contradiction.
- PRO 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
- 1CO 1:19: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
In all, I found over 70+ examples of blatant contradictions and even more between the different versions. I was stressed out, frustrated, and appalled. How could this have gone on like this for so long?
I knew I believed in God, but I was not sure how interested in humanity this God could be if he allowed people to kill in his name and let his “word” become so contorted. As I looked through other revealed religions, I found similar issues. Islam, Judaism, etc. None of it made any logical sense to me.
So one day, I was researching paganism. I was floored by what I was looking at. It ultimately changed my life forever and solidified what my heart had been suggesting.
- The Sun = the Son
- A cross = the oldest symbol for the seasons.
- 12 disciples = the months
- Dec 25 = solstice (two things to note: usually between December 21 and December 23 – and the change between the Gregorian and Julian Calendar in 1752)
- Easter = equinox = the sun dies and starts a new cycle three days later.
- Peter the Lion, Jesus the Lamb, the Virgin, the serpent, the scorpion, the archer, the water bearer… = the Zodiac.
- Etc., etc.
I had already compiled a list of things that did not make sense, such as suggesting that all things tempted Jesus. However, this idea could not be true if the stories provided were accurate. For example, if the story was correct, Jesus could not have been tempted to beat the children or wives he never had. Moreover, he could not have been tempted to cheat on his wife because he did not have one. I could go on here, but hopefully, you understand the depths of that flaw.
Still, I knew God existed. Logic dictates that if an effect cannot be the cause of itself (which it cannot) if every effect has a cause (which it does), and if spontaneous generation does not exist (which it does not), then the only thing powerful enough to be first-cause (which supersedes and creates the laws of nature) would (by definition) be supernatural or God. I also do not see cause and effect as not a matter of chance. The cause is the reason for the effect, which (to me) also implies a specific purpose regarding that first cause.
The more I fell into Deism, the more I enjoyed the freedom of thought and exploration. I was able to breathe again. It was like oxygen finally began to fill my lungs, and I could sleep at night.
I believe God is a magnificent God who created the incredible universe. This universe is filled with things we cannot even imagine yet. The God I know is a God of balance and significant power, and I figured that if God cared, he would do so objectively.
God gave me the gift of reason. It seems that if I am truly a creation of God, he would not provide me with such amazing gifts and then tell me not to use them. In appreciation, I use my gifts to understand God better, not make him simple or scary.
If God is our “father,” then I can tell you this as a father: if I confuse my child and make things hard to understand, my child will resent me. If I purposefully make something difficult, I have no right to punish her. If I help her understand the world around her, she will love me more than I could ever hope for.
So the question we must all ponder is, what kind of father would you like to have? For me, my father wants me to learn and explore. Deism is about the quest for knowledge with the expectation of altering what I know to be true over time. Deism is clearly not for everyone for any number of reasons, but for me, Deism just made the most sense.
“Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior…” “Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests.”Thomas Paine
REFERENCED WORK & RECOMMENDED BOOKS
Paine, T. (2013). The age of reason: Being an investigation of true and fabulous theology. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. (2011). Reason,the only Oracle of Man; or a Compendius System of Natural Religion. The University of Adelaide Library.
Westmoreland, Cuthbert, (2015). Deism: The Knowledge of God – Based Reason and Nature.
Johnson, B. (2014). God gave us reason, not religion.
Hudson, W. (2009). The English deists: Studies in early Enlightenment. London: Pickering & Chatto.
Palmer, E. (1819). Principles of nature. London: R. Carlile.
Clendenen, C., & Contemporary Deism Project. (2010). Deist: So that’s what I am! : a product of the Contemporary Deism Project. Cedar Park, TX: Front Room Enterprises.
Walters, K. S., & Walters, K. S. (2011). Revolutionary deists: Early America’s rational infidels. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books.
Herrick, J. A. (1997). The radical rhetoric of the English Deists: The discourse of skepticism, 1680-1750. Columbia, S.C: University of South Carolina Press. Hefelbower, S. G. (1918). The relation of John Locke to English deism. Chicago, Ill: The University of Chicago Press.
Read about The Remarkable Leadership of Thomas Paine
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