Deism: About the God who created the universe,
set it going, left, & hasn't been seen since.
Quotation by Albert Einstein:
It was directed to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein in 1929, and describes the essence of Deism:
"I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind."
The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus."
Deism is a natural religion. Deists believe in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds, without any
reliance on revealed religion, religious authority, or holy text. Because of this, Deism is
quite different from religions like Judaism,
Christianity and Islam. The latter
are largely based on revelations that Jews, Christians and Muslims believe mostly came from God to prophet(s) who then taught it to humans. We
like to call natural religions by the title "bottom-up" faiths and revealed religions as
One opposite of Deism is Atheism, which is the lack of a belief in the existence of god(s). Another opposite to Deism is seen in the beliefs of most Theists who conceive of God as a deity who is all-present, all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing and has a personal interest in every human on Earth.
||Do not accept the belief of most
religions that God revealed himself to
humanity through the writings of the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament), the Christian Scriptures (a.k.a. New Testament), the Qur'an or other religious text.|
|Disagree with strong Atheists who assert that there is no evidence of the existence of God.|
Many Deists reason that everything that exists has had a creator -- from a wristwatch, to a television set, to the Internet itself. Thus it is logical that
the universe itself must have been created by God:
Thomas Paine concluded a speech shortly after the French Revolution with:
the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."
In his book "The Age of Reason," Thomas Paine wrote that:
we behold carries in itself the internal evidence that it did not make
This includes trees, plants, humans and other animals. This
conclusion carries us:
"... to the belief of a first cause eternally
existing ... this first cause, man calls God."
Antony Flew (1923-2010), a son of a Methodist minister was once a leading
Atheist. Later in life, he accepted the existence of God on the basis of design in the
universe. In 2004, he became a Deist while still rejecting the gods promoted
various revealed religions. He wrote:
"How can a universe of mindless
matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self replication capabilities and
Topics covered in this section:
- Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason," Page
Copyright 1999 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2015-JUN-21.
Author: B.A. Robinson