Sunday, 28 September 2008

Why I could be a Deist

"Deism is the belief that a supreme God exists and created the physical universe, but shall not intervene in its normal operation." 

Most commentators agree that two features constitute the core of deism:
  • The rejection of revealed religion (religion that began by divine revelation)
  • The belief that reason, not faith, leads us to certain basic religious truths

Most Deists also reject scripture, miracles and prayer (due to the belief that God won't intervene anyway), while many Deists accept evolution and put emphasis on the importance of reason and rational thinking, which in most cases leads to emphasis on the scientific method.
Deists differ, however, in their beliefs about the existance of an afterlife and whether god still exisits or simply set the universe in motion.

So Deism for me is really the only way I COULD accept that some form of god either does or used to exist. The god in question here isn't Allah or Yahweh however. In this case it would be more of a powerful creative force, perhaps with a form of conciousness, that caused the big bang and set in place the physical laws of the universe. 
The main problem I have with being certain in my Atheism (obviously very few atheists ever say they are certain; only that it is so highly unlikely that god exists that it effectively amounts to total disbelief) is that the furthest back science seems to be able to explain is the big bang. The question of 'what caused the big bang' is the most intriguing question and hardest to answer or even think of a time when there could be an answer.

I say I COULD be a Deist, but the reason I am NOT is that chosing the position of Deism serves no purpose. It doesn't explain anything any better than an atheistic and scientific viewpoint and only presents further questions about the nature of the god-like entity that began everything. If there was a god that began the universe, and he doesn't intervene in the operation of the universe, then prayer is useless, worship is useless and attempting to find evidence of him is useless, so we may as well not bother, And then it has no affect on our lives, so belief and non-belief are essentially the same thing. Therefore it's simply a matter of preference, and I don't feel a need to explain the creation of the universe until science gets closer to being able to, so i'll stick with Atheism!

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