On deism: does god exist?


I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D’Alembert, D’Holbach,Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.

Thomas Jefferson

Deists are goddites except they don’t believe in revealed religion.

The author of does god exist? tells us yes.

The author tells us we commit a category error when compare Santa, fairies and god. He writes

fairies and Santa Claus demonstrably belong in the realm of childhood and most people, adults and children, know what they are and look like.

and I say that gods belong to our more childlike origins, that is, they belong to the ignorant ages. That adults believe in gods or that today god is conceived as anything from being personal to a vague ground of being doesn’t negate the fact that belief in god is similar to belief in gremlins. The only difference being some people grow up and stop believing in gremlins.

So when he writes

This is not true of God. Islam rejects any possibility of representing Allah and Judaism used Yahweh to signify God, originally not a name, rather an unpronounceable collection of letters. Christianity has given God a human face in Christ, but even then that is only an aspect of God who is ineffably greater.

it is only to say that human beings have created, in their imagination, a being whose name they fear to mention, a monster. I remember as we were growing up, we would not mention leopards by name at night. They told us, if we mentioned its name, we  would be its meal for the night. I never found out the reason behind this prohibition. Fear was enough to prevent us from trying. The church uses the same mechanism to get its adherents to toe the line.

One wonders why most people think of atheism as a belief system just like theism. How is it difficult to comprehend atheism is a lack of belief. The author tells us

it is as much a belief system as theism, both being faiths profoundly held. It often seems the God atheists vehemently do not believe in is not a God theists do.

I want to count those atheists of faith. And if you missed it, atheists lack belief in all gods.

Agnostics, like the ones I interact with, and Bob comes to mind, is in practice an atheist. His position of agnosticism is one of knowledge. He says, as an empiricist, the nature of god is unknowable one way or the other. From this point, I only go a step further and say, if the nature of god is unknowable it is not for us to know and for all purposes, non-existent. I only differ with my friend Bob in the fact that I believe to know the origins of god belief, we must look at the savage state, and we will find in all cases, god belief was born out of ignorance and the rationalizations are later developments.

One can see even in this statement

This leads some to posit a Prime Mover or Grand Designer, which is not to suggest some human-like being on a grander scale. Both phrases can be picked apart if they’re taken literally, but accepting the limitations of language to describe what may always lie beyond human comprehension, they can be used indicatively.

that it is ignorance that is the mother of all gods. The author instead of admitting his ignorance of why the universe is, imagines there is a grand designer and very quickly tries to defeat accusations of anthropomorphism by declaring this designer as something other than human like.

Deists like Voltaire were those who could no longer believe in the god of revelation. They imagines a god who didn’t give a fuck, but still believed in a god. It is easy to understand then why Voltaire is accused of trying to suppress the Testament of Jean Meslier, a priest turned atheist.

I will conclude in the words of Ingersoll

A few years ago the Deists denied the inspiration of the bible on account of its cruelty. At the same time, they worshiped what they were pleased to call the God of Nature. Now we are convinced that Nature is as cruel as the bible; so that if the God of Nature did not write the bible, this god at least has caused earthquakes and pestilence and famine, and this god has allowed millions of his children to destroy one another. So that now we have arrived at the question- not as whether the bible is inspired and not as to whether Jehovah is the real God but whether there is a god or not. The intelligence of christendom today does not believe in an inspired art or an inspired literature. If there be an infinite god, inspiration in some particular regard would be a patch-it would be the puttying of a crack, the hiding of a defect, in other words, it would show that the general plan was defective.

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

33 thoughts on “On deism: does god exist?

  1. “The author instead of admitting his ignorance of why the universe is, imagines there is a grand designer and very quickly tries to defeat accusations of anthropomorphism by declaring this designer as something other than human like.” Very true. The 4 words a theist fears most: I do not know. Excellent post my friend.

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  2. emmylgant says:

    The plan is definitely defective. It may not rule out a malevolent omniscient god ( 😉 JZ) however the benevolent one is glaringly absent.

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    • makagutu says:

      This idea of making god good I think is a later evolution. Most gods were worshiped for practical reasons. He was god of harvest, god of sex, love, war but never entirely because a god was good.
      JZ’s conception of a creator comes closer to explaining the facts as we observe them

      Liked by 1 person

      • emmylgant says:

        True. When the environment is hostile and random, the gods will be too. The worship is more a plea for mercy than anything else and of course gratitude when the crops were good on the sky did not fall on their heads;-)

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        • niquesdawson says:

          GOD DOES EXIST.

          Who amongst you can explain to me 100% of what u see. Yeah.  This is in response to the guy who says…..bliv in things you see (add others….feel, touch,  taste etc etc).  Well,  bliv this. ….you can only see etc just so much enough.  Much of what happen to us are borne so unconsciously,  and it is this blog it was declared…..the unconscious is more abundant than the concious. Hmmmmmmm. So we bliv so much in our thoughts yet we we cant bliv in the ultimate thought of all these ?

          Just to add here….we may not all be scientists …but Galileo blived the earth was round when for thousands of years pple blivd it was flat and he put to death for it, (by the church by the way).

          So. Don’t only bliv what u see. There are such obvious stuff. God or else……

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        • makagutu says:

          I usually prefer the alternative explanation; the intellectual environment determines the nature of the god. The god of the Hebrew is the god of a savage; violent, jealous name it

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    • john zande says:

      Mischievous warring Sprites explains this world better than a benevolent creator 🙂

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  3. shelldigger says:

    Great post Mak.
    When one hears the attributes given to a god, Santa comes damn close to fitting the description. I can see why they would want to distance themselves from that little problem.
    The art of theology, or theistic philosophy, has forever and always been an excuse factory to keep the gods infinite and unknowable. The believers want their invisible friends, but not the association of childish belief. Sorry, now run along and don’t fall and get a boo boo.

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  4. john zande says:

    I only differ with my friend Bob in the fact that I believe to know the origins of god belief, we must look at the savage state, and we will find in all cases, god belief was born out of ignorance and the rationalizations are later developments.

    Bingo, a thousand times over, BINGO! That’s it, right there in a perfect frame.

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  5. I think Deism falls flat when one asks, “So what?” I mean, suppose what they say is true. There’s a being out there that created everything and is watching it run. It doesn’t interfere or pick sides. All it has are the rules which govern nature.

    What this belief does is establish a concept where it doesn’t matter if people are just as uncaring as this deity is. Whether it exists or not is completely moot. One still needs to rely on science and reason.

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  6. A Guy Without Boxers says:

    Thank you, my Nairobi brother, for opening your introduction with the quote by Thomas Jefferson, one of my favorite US presidents and a man who was enlightened on most subjects. Great quotation!

    Have a terrific and safe weekend! Much love and naked hugs! 🙂

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  7. mike and brandy says:

    this post was ruthless. thank you for the different perspective. I’m not sure yet where I land on these things but I’m still asking questions and weighing the answers. this post will be helpful in that regard. thx again.
    -mike

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  8. “It often seems the God atheists vehemently do not believe in is not a God theists do.”

    Yawn, the usual claim of the Sophisticated Theologian(tm) that is so vague no one knows what this “god” is at all.

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    • makagutu says:

      You know. Talk of the megalomaniac jealous god of the OT, they will say that’s not my god. Talk of the tribal Jew of the NT, they will say, nay, that ain’t my god either. Goddites, you can’t win with them

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  9. Peter says:

    A Deist Joke

    Greater than god…What is greater than God, More evil than the devil? The poor have it, The rich need it, And if you eat it, you die?

    Nothing seems to be the answer.

    To the deist, Nothing is greater than god, Nothing is more evil than the devil, the poor have Nothing and the rich need Nothing. Eating Nothing would obviously kill you soon enough.

    Like

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