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A Thought: Deism and Atheism

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15 replies to this topic

#1
TopHat

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I was wondering, after I saw some statistics for Canada in Religion. Most people identify as Catholic or Christian, but not many go to church. Could Canada be changing into a Deism country? Dawkins is right that Atheism is the future, and I agree with the statement, but many people constantly challenge Atheism and such. I think the first step, to stop all this crazy religious nonsense is to show them there is no God, however most people hate Atheists for some reason. If my dad knew what I typed on here he would probably hate me for it, but I digress.

Deism seems to be next in line of the evolutionary religious scale. Great minds were Deists, and I think that Atheism is the future but Deism is becoming the present. Does anyone understand me or am I just rambling?

#2
Seti

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This could well be a kind of interim step. Many people recognise that the stories the established religions tell are just so much gobbldegook, but don't feel ready to take the step of being an atheist. We've discussed before how some kind of beleif in "god" meets all sorts of emotional needs.

I'm OK with this. It's organised religion that causes the problems. Deists should have enough scepticism about those who claim to "know the mind of God" to be less easy to manipulate, they won't be so keen to tell other people how to live their lives.
:farao:

#3
Ungodly

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Good points, Seti. I agree.

And for some persons that identify as Deists it may be out of a desire to be PC, one that Richard Dawkins might disagree with.

I've known many people, as I expect many here have, who self-identify as belonging to some  Sky Daddy-based faith yet privately do not believe any of the major dogma.

I suspect there are few churches, mosques, or synagogues that do not have a few closet Deists or atheists  in attendance at each session of co-delusional imagination.

#4
Unbeliever

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This could well be a kind of interim step. Many people recognise that the stories the established religions tell are just so much gobbldegook, but don't feel ready to take the step of being an atheist. We've discussed before how some kind of beleif in "god" meets all sorts of emotional needs.


That makes sense to me, too. If we could figure out other, non-religious ways of meeting those emotional needs, or even eradicating the needs altogether, through a more rational method of raising children, then I think the world would be able to realize that we're a single planet in a vast ocean of lifelessness. That the survival of our only conceivable habitat (at least for the foreseeable future) can be threatened by our own actions.

I'm OK with this. It's organised religion that causes the problems. Deists should have enough scepticism about those who claim to "know the mind of God" to be less easy to manipulate, they won't be so keen to tell other people how to live their lives.
:farao:


That's similar to what Elton John said recently, and one of the things I like about atheism is that it's not organized, the atheist community is composed of a myriad of individualists, nonconformists, etc. Atheism has only recently been able to constitute a community at all, with the advent of the internet. Prior to that we were fairly isolated, singly and in small groups, people wondering why they can't buy into the local deity cult (or why everyone else does), thinking they're all alone in the world. We haven't really had time yet to organize much, but the various forums and websites available to atheists and other freethinkers is constantly growing, and we can get our viewpoint out into the public debate better than ever before.

#5
Frozenwolf150

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The future is critical thinking, reason, and skepticism, regardless of which label you choose to slap on it.  It need not even be a total shift away from belief, just so long as religious hypocrisy and extremism are allowed to go extinct.

#6
Unbeliever

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We should use the past as a torch, to light our way to the future.

#7
Tyger Tamer

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According to Thomas Paine, Deism was the first religion, so I guess it is only fitting that it be the last. However, I do believe there would be a benefit to diversity. I am sure there was some evolutionary benefit to the god concept, I am just not sure what, and I have no idea if Atheism is pre- or post- Deism. I do know that they are different mindsets, and that both have their benefits, and an alliance would be an unstoppable resistance to organized religion.

#8
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Clearly atheism is the original and natural state of all self aware creatures. It must certainly be true that there was a time when there were beings we would call human, but nobody had yet imagined any Imaginary Bearded Sky Daddy.

If my hypothesis is correct, if there were people before there were people afflicted with religious beliefs, then atheism must logically predate all religious fantasies.

#9
Tyger Tamer

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I'm not so sure about that. Deism is called a natural religion for a reason. It is certainly possible that people acted in accordance with what they perceived as a deity prior to becoming self aware. Perhaps it even talked to them, issuing commands from one half of the bicameral mind to the other, which evolved to the point of merger, and all that remains now (in some people) is the sense of some kind of presence. Or something like that.

#10
Frozenwolf150

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Clearly atheism is the original and natural state of all self aware creatures. It must certainly be true that there was a time when there were beings we would call human, but nobody had yet imagined any Imaginary Bearded Sky Daddy.

The behavioral traits that make up what we know as religion today would have been there, only they hadn't yet been confined into the narrow forms of rigid dogmatism we see with organized religion.

#11
Unbeliever

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I am sure there was some evolutionary benefit to the god concept, I am just not sure what, and I have no idea if Atheism is pre- or post- Deism.


I think that in humankind's earliest days each distinct group had their own separate beliefs about what we now refer to as religious, like, say, animism, etc. But in those times groups of people were small and spread out to such an extent that their beliefs didn't normally come into conflict, and therefore friction, with the beliefs of other groups. And I think that, generally, travelers who visited a group with beliefs other than those they were taught would usually take a "when in Rome" sort of attitude, since, if they didn't, they were liable to be sacrificed, or something. Now we have much more inter-group contact then ever before, and so we consequently have more friction over religious ideas than ever before. Early on I figure religions were good for cultural cohesion, but now they might destroy civilization, if not the world.

#12
Frozenwolf150

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Except that even without religion to encourage them, humans, being the dumb panicky and violent animals that they are, will likely still find excuses to kill each other over strips of mud.  Religion is only a catalyst, and it can bring out the best and the absolute worst in people.  Even chimpanzees, who have no cultural behavior resembling religion, will organize war parties to exterminate rival groups.

Religion is a lot like a sweet tooth.  At one time in our development as a species, it would have been highly beneficial to our survival.  For example, if food is scarce and you're starving, you'd want to eat something with a lot of calories in it.  Nowadays though, that same trait is precisely what is killing a lot of people.  Now we've got heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.  Naturally you still need a little bit of sugar in your diet, but the problem is that far too many end up overindulging.

It's times like this I'm reminded of how many overweight evangelical preachers there are out there.  Looks like these addictions run hand in hand. :snork_blin:

#13
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Well put, SilentKnight.

Yes, if religion magically disappeared overnight (my favorite dream of all time, well except for the other kind) then we certainly would find new reasons to kill each other.

#14
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Hatred and racism seem to be good motivators. Don't forget Greed.

#15
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Hatred and racism seem to be good motivators. Don't forget Greed.


Yes indeed. It seems to me that racism is so common in human societies that we must almost certainly be inclined toward it as a reaction to people that are different. I think it is very important to educate young children against racism. It is a huge requirement for having a viable society.

And greed is hardly rare in human beings either. But at least greed can be channeled in a constructive way, a la reformed capitalism. But racism is just completely and absolutely wrong as far as I can tell.

#16
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More money should be spent to try and stop the racism in the world, instead of useless wars. Stopping drugs is useless if everyone is still trying to kill people.

Capitalism is fun and grand, and in my opinion I love small businesses. Great and homey, but I cannot stand large ones. But it is a person's choice to do what they want. Isn't that awsome?


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