beliefs of a Deist

Every so often there are some hard core Christian folks who spar a little with me about a post I’ve written and invariably the question is asked “what is my world view?” or “are you an athiest, buddhist, hindu?” or “where do your morals come from? do you believe in God?”

Below is a list of what many deists believe and comes from a website called Positive Deism.

So… here ya go… here’s what I believe (for the most part) as a Deist.

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While there are no “official” tenets of Deism, many of the following “unofficial” tenets might be the best way to introduce generally accepted beliefs within Deism. The unofficial tenets of Deism are:

1. Belief in God based on Reason, Experience and Nature (nature of the universe) rather than on the basis of pure faith, holy texts and divine revelation. Essentially, through the use of Reason, God’s existence is revealed by the observation of the order and complexity found within nature and our personal experiences.

2. Belief that the nature of God is generally incomprehensible and is beyond definition for humanity at this time. Furthermore, human language is limited and inadequate to define God; however, man can use Reason to theorize and speculate on what this possible nature is.

3. Belief that mans relationship with God is impersonal and abstract. However, this does not create a feeling of a distant and cold deity but of one in which God has a profound and unfathomable relationship with all of creation (nature) rather than just one aspect of it.

4. Belief that humanity has the ability to use Reason to develop ethical/moral principles and through the application of Reason these principles can be used to implement moral behavior, which in turn creates a Utilitarian-Humanist morality. Essentially, humans can be guided by their conscience in matters of morality.

5. Belief that humans have the individual capability of experiencing God, which is defined as spirituality. These spiritual experiences are multi-faceted and all of humanity has the innate capability to have these experiences. Essentially, each human is capable of having a profound experience of God and nature.

6. Belief that God should be honored in a way that the individual believes is best and most appropriate for them. Individuals must determine for themselves how best to honor God and only they can develop how to accomplish this. For many, it is a multi-faceted and an individualized process.

7. Belief in the principle of Natural Law that states that all men and women are created equal to each other with inherent freedom and liberty so that no human has more worth than another. Essentially, each human is equal in terms of the freedoms that they have and in the eyes of the law.

8. Belief that mankind’s purpose is to use our God-given reason to understand what it means to be alive in every sense of the word (to live life to the fullest) and to act in such a way as to secure human happiness and contentment for all involved.

9. Belief that Reason and Respect are God-given traits to mankind and that we are to utilize them in all aspects of our daily lives thus creating a pragmatic approach to life. This includes respecting other alternative views and opinions of God (other religions) as long as they do not produce harm and/or infringe upon others.

39 responses to “beliefs of a Deist

  1. I believe in the healing power of chocolate. I believe that the only way a child will learn to NOT eat play doh is to eat play doh. I believe in retail therapy but I can’t afford it. I believe that my daughter spilled milk in my bedroom somewhere because I smell sour milk.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. :)
    I’ve come to discover that i really need to quit taking drinks of anything when I read your posts or comments. (hee hee hee… “i believe my daughter spilled milk…”) know any good ways to get coke off of a monitor?

    You did it to me the other day also with your
    reply to the Orgasms in Heaven post you made. “… start a new cult.” :) you make me laugh. hope you have a good day.

  3. While I’m aware that across the nation many a computer monitor has been violated by the unfortunate spewing of liquid as a result of something funny someone read. I’m honored to be the instigator of at least one such spewing. I’m sure it was milk but I’ve controlled it with Febreeze and Lysol. I know you are dying to know.

  4. I related completely to this definition. As one who is searching for peers, this is encouraging. I hope to meet Deists in Portland, Or some day. I am sure there are many. Thanks for the lift!

  5. Hey Terri… thanks for stopping by. do you have a blog?… let me know the address and I’ll stop by now and again as well. ~julian

  6. For the love of GOD, Deists are everywhere, not just in Oregon..the nice part is that we are never broke. My father actually turned me on to the name Deist, having no clue myself of where I fit in society as a whole. WOW!!! Talk about a perfect relation, I immediately knew what it has been all my life that I have been looking for. Now that I have found it, I want to experience the bliss in the fullest sense of the word. Thank you Jim,Dad, and everyone who was there to help me along the way.

  7. Where do I start????????? I walked into a UU “church” for the first time this past Sunday. I feel like giving up my Christian “stories” is like when I found out there was no Santa Claus. I have children (at least I think the two short men in my home are children………), how do we celebrate “Easter” with no rising CHRIST! How do I allow myself to truly create my own world of beliefs. I’m carrying around the guilt of Jewish Caltholic person….AND I’M NEITHER!!!

    Where do I start?

  8. Well I’m a Deist, I was one for several years before I knew there was a word for the way I veiwed the world. I have been outright called a heretic. I’m from a small town in GA, if the USA has a Bible belt I live in the Buckle heh. I guess its a passed off trait but how can you have a religion that does no involve yelling at people??? (If you have ever been in a southern baptist church you will get that joke)

  9. I heard the word “Diest” for the first time tonite and I looked it up to learn the definition…I found a written definition of my personal thoughts that I have believed in my whole life! What a great discovery, really, I feel like I fit within this way of thinking and I love that! Thank you Dave…

  10. I do believe that I have been a Diest all my life. but that is only a short 75 years. Good to find a place that lets God be God and leaves the rest to the wonder of our ability to think. What a universe eh ?

    Good stuff on all of you.
    Jack.

  11. I have to agree with many others here.

    Someone referred to me as a Deist tonight in conversation and I hit Google to figure out what insult they had just thrown my way. Little did I know I would find a definition of my thoughts that I feel I may have written myself someday.

    Thank you for the insight as I begin to study this term and how it applies to me.

  12. I discovered this page while googling deism as it related to Voltaire. Little did I know that it would fall in line with just about everything I’ve always thought! Thanks for giving me a way to name what I have believed all this time.

  13. so thats what i am.

  14. Ummm… Does the fact that I beleive God is personal, and gets His hands dirty and is involved in every aspect of your life (if you remember to acknowledge Him), and the fact that if you avoid Him and go do your own thing He is terribly achingly unimaginably patient for you to come back around, and He can speak to our hearts through peace and love… make me… ignorant? I’m sorry I am very much a head thinker, and can understand the idea that God is there, that He set the world into motion, but really I feel in my heart that this mindset lacks a certain… intimacy?

  15. A post on Face Book regarding the survey, ” Should In God we Trust” be removed from the dollar bill. Before responding to the discussion, I reference the classic “The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyer” which was based on the interview Joseph had with Bill. During the interview, the question about the statement, ” In God we Trust ” was dicussed and Joseph referenced the founding fathers as Diest. I wanted to learn more and after I googled the term… this info/post came up. This is wonderful and the Diest info was excellent. Thank you.

  16. # 8 and #9 definitely have components of stoic philosophy.

  17. Jules:
    I am a “mature” Arizona native. The reason that the word “mature” is used is because my father, who lived in excellent shape until “passing with his boots on” at 100, always said to NEVER use the word old in your vocabulary and to stay away from negative people. At any rate I would like to state that I have been a DIEST since I was four years old. I was in the middle of going through one of those “Accepting” ceremonies at our Methodist church when it struck me that something was wrong with this picture. I did not speak of my revelation since it would have been unpopular at that time for a four year old to step out and say that he has an issue with this “Christ” thing. I was a reader, even at that age, and knew that many of our country’s founders were Diest’s. As I grew and studied and read, I was active in main stream churches, even becoming a Catholic school board president for three years. And I will admit that it was due to political expediency since I was married to a Catholic at that time. However, I did give it my all. My experiences during the first 40 years just showed to me the dirty underbelly of our mainline churches. They are just as political as the government and the members are used similar to how politicians use voters. But, as you know, the majority of our citizens need something to hang onto for security, so if the churches fill their need, so be it. May GOD bless them and keep them safe.

    I have felt so much more at peace since I “Came out of the closet” as a Diest, twenty years ago. I speak about it openly and find that more people agree with me than not. Yes, I do believe that there was a good man named Jesus Christ and that he was a very charismatic traveling preacher, that he had gone to India and studied there during the missing twenty years to fine- tune his “Miracles”. Yes he did do a lot of good and through his oration and skills was able to build up the largest following of all the traveling preachers in those days who also preformed similar miracles. It is amazing the reaction you get when you speak to a evangelistic church goer and explain how their bible, that they take straight, word for word, from God and Christ, that they get in their bible only what the Catholic Church decided should be in at The Council of _______________ (Please fill in the blank as I can not recall which council it was, off hand.) I have found that many of them have never heard of the Coptic Bible. All I am stating is that man should always be open to learning, and never be closed minded because a “Leader” tells them that their way is the only way.

    At any rate, I am a DIEST and I am very comfortable in my skin.

    Joe Marshall

  18. HI Joe… thanks for leaving a comment here. Very thoughtful and deliberate… thank you very much.
    I believe the Council you are referring to is the First Council of Nicea where the divinity of Jesus was agreed upon.

    Was wondering if you have a blog or your own website I could visit.

  19. Julian:

    No, I do not have a website or blog. I have been know to put my thoughts on my high school alumni site, where I have been call the school “Iconoclast” for that point in time. It was in a HS of 245 students in a small desert river town 100 miles from any other civilization. When you are out there by yourself in the midst of large rock mountains, a beautiful river, and many creatures who are out there surviving, you know, without any doubt whatsoever that there is a GOD. They did not just happen and “Man” can not now or ever create anything close to them.

    Thank you for pointing out the Council of Nicea. I did go back after I posted and found that out also. It was driving me nuts.

    Joe Marshall

  20. Wow, I think I could be a Deist, by this definition. And I see I’m not the only commenter to think that!

  21. Well I have no website, however I am all over the net. To find me all one has to do is google “lyonpurrs”…whoop there I am. As far as diety, I find it another fascinating denomination, may I call it? I am involved with the quaker religion at this time and seemingly happy. However a friend on facebook has diety as his religion and I started diving,lol. well I like what I see, and too I want to go to bible school,, have for awhile, unfortunately, I dont do all and cannot preach what I dont see sense in. My intended.. after both divorces, (not what you think..we were high school sweeties and found each other after separations) we do not plan on marriage but a “life commitment” I would even go as far as a ceremony for that, I dont believe the government should be involved in our commitment to each other. Well he brought up that if I were to start preaching how would it look to my congregation to be “shacked up”, well after 2 weeks thought, I decided we are not shackin up only to “big brother” we are committed to each other thru the eyes of God. Well I would not be able to make folks to what is right by laws, thats what southern baptist are for,haha.. I do believe God gave us free will and we must do what we believe is right, for it is only us that would answer later at the gates. I believe in God but dont get all the laws and rules to follow. I believe God in what is in our hearts and right at this moment I am having a discussion which makes it two or more folks speaking in his name.. Therefore why do we have to go to church all the time? I do want to preach Gods word, but not traditionally. I believe in the universe and that yes God has a wife,, to study we will know this, however not too much ever said about it.. Yes God has a wife and well in wiccan we are calling to a female diety sometimes therefore mother earth.. a God is Father. Do I make sense? Well I get passionate about this. I do not wanna be or start a cult but do wanna know does this qualify me as a diest.. I mean I have been searching for who I am. Well us Quakers are very loving, let be will be ,, peace loving and caring.. So I believe all that. I have been thru hell in my life and I am a walking testimony. I never lost faith and was never traditional about my religeon. So what does that make me,, a basket case or a Diest??

  22. yes my apologies.. I have some misspells.. oops get over it I did! i was typing fast and ment to spell check. Like I said my apologies!!

  23. I couldn’t really put a name on my beliefs, until I looked into Deism. It was like opening a window and seeing the sky for the first time!!

  24. Just a quick shout out from Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas (they say) under 9 flags we’ve been and still counting…he he. Nice to know I am not alone here in the pineywoods of “deep East Texas”, cause when I landed here I discovered a church on every corner and it made me wonder if I would be burned at the stake for believing I had stepped in deep doo doo.

  25. Hey there Jules! I just re-read this and am thinking I am actually a Deist… I wrote a post today about how everyone should create their own religion. In reading this, it seems like Deism suggests that too. Everybody has their own individual way of experiencing God…

    Thanks again for this explanation. I think I read it before, but today it really “clicked.”

    • Hey Les… Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I’ve been buried under a lot of stuff and it’s all I can do just to come to WordPress just to look at my comments tab, quick view of the stats and then logout.

      I’ve been reading a book called “Faith of the Founding Fathers” which is pretty fascinating. One term the author used was “Christian Deist” to describe a couple of the founders. I need to re-read that section to try and truly understand this term. Also, something interesting is that some of the founders (actually many) allowed in their own personal spirituality a God that did in fact work in human affairs. So it seems the Deism of 200 – 250 years ago is different than what I thought it was.

      Anyway… for me, the philosophy of Deism coupled with Buddhism works very well for me and I wonder if that might be the nature of Deism in that it sort of defines as best we humans can our view of the nature of God. Adding to that view of the nature of God a practice that comes from another faith tradition fulfills our own sense of worship to that nature of God. I don’t know… maybe we’re really supposed to be speaking in Pirate talk and eating more noodles.

  26. MiddleagedMermaid

    I too am in East Texas. My husband is on staff at one of those churches at every corner. I too have always been a Deist in my heart. My Southern Baptist upbringing did not make sense. I have felt very isolated and try to keep quiet about my beliefs. It is always such a relief to google and find others that are connected to my soul. Thank you for sharing. I wish we could find each other in real life. It seems there are more of us than you would think.

  27. Charles Calloway

    The founders of deism must have all been Free Masons. One-third of the founding faters of the USA were Masons and I have to believe that “In God We Trust” was meant to include one or all Gods, esident Frankiln Delano Roosevelt was the first to coin (no pun intented) “In God We Trust” for use on currency. By the way, FDR was a Mason.

  28. I stumbled onto the definiton of Diest on September 2, 2010 (Two days ago). It was like I had written down my thoughts about GOD and the Universe and now I was reading them for the very first time. I want to know more.

  29. I believe in one God and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.
    I believe the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavouring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

    Yeah … I know … I stole it from somebody :^)

    PS:
    Great site, sir. All the very best to you and yours.

  30. Rick Blaskovich

    I am in total agreement with this. I also believe that God is in all things and my relationship with him is my responsibility to him to understand and define. Nice work

  31. As a man in the East Texas area I always felt different from all the people around me for not believing some of the things I was being told by every other so called Christian I would meet . I spent years going from
    Church to church questioning things they would say and being made to feel I was at fault for even thinking these thoughts . , And then I heard a radio broadcast on Deism and felt I had just discovered my real family . . . Are there any Deist organizations in the East Texas area in which I can learn more . .

  32. Hi Ron. Thanks for taking the time to comment. To be honest I don’t know of ANY Deist organizations in Texas except those you can find online.

    Click here for a list of some links to some sites I’ve found helpful.

  33. Do you mean, that diest don’t believe in Christ Jesus? I believe in Jesus the Christ. Otherwise the doctrine of this thing called diesm doesn’t sound that bad.

    • I don’t speak for all Deists but I’d be willing to bet that 95% of all Deists do not believe in the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. Or at least that Jesus is any more divine than you or me. Peace.

  34. Well, that leaves me out then. Because I believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the true Son of the Living God. And that Jesus is the Messiah. But…I also believe we are Children of God.

  35. Hi. For a while now, while i sat in church. watching as all these people worshipped and prayed and loved, I wondered what was wrong with me! I didnt feel it. I didnt understand thier blind faith, thier sheep-like following…why? i asked. why?
    and then I realized I was a Diest.
    Nothing’s wrong with not having a religion. I will proudly pronounce my theology. I’m also only fourteen. I guess I have a lot to think about, but do i care? No. I believe this is the right way. And I won’t judge other’s. If they want to believe what they want to believe, so be it.

  36. I like the concept; don’t know if it’s true, or not; I do like the concept.

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