Internet Source Reference:
DEISM VS. REVEALED RELIGION
Revelation, or revealed religion, is defined in Webster's New World
Dictionary as: "God's disclosure to man of Himself." This should read, "God's
alleged disclosure to man of himself." For unless God reveals to each of us
individually that a particular religion is truly His disclosure to us of
Himself, then, by believing that religion, we are not taking His word for it,
but we are instead putting our belief in the person or institution telling us it
is so. This is what we are doing when we believe in any revealed religion, and
that's all Christianity is. It's a revealed religion like many others such as
Islam and Judaism. Revealed religion gets dangerous however, when it crosses
over the line into politics. This is the admitted goal of the Christian
Coalition. God allegedly revealed to Pat Robertson and his Coalition, that He
wants them to take over America and eventually the world with "His Word," so the
laws of the nations will mirror the laws in the Bible, which, if you know what's
in the Bible, is terrifying. This, too, is what the Ayatollah's goal was, only
his "revealed word of God" was the Koran, an other revelation. Are we to believe
Pat when he says the Bible is revelation of God's Word?
As THINK! has already offered several examples in the above article, YANKING
THE TEETH FROM THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT, taken directly from the Bible itself to
prove itself false and NOT the Word of God, reason alone will now be used to
demonstrate Christianity is NOT revelation from God.
Thomas Paine, the man who elucidated Deism for the masses and who is the
primary personal impetus for THINK! and the World Union of Deists, wrote:
"The Calvinist, who damns children
of a span long to hell to burn forever for the glory of God (and this is called
Christianity), and the Universalist who preaches that all shall be saved and
none shall be damned (and this also is called Christianity), boasts alike of
their holy [reveled] religion and their Christian faith.
"Something more therefore is
necessary than mere cry and wholesale assertion, and that something is TRUTH;
and as inquiry is the road to truth, he that is opposed to inquiry is not a
friend to truth. "The God of truth is not the God of fable; when, therefore, any
book is introduced into the world as the Word of God, and made a groundwork for
religion, it ought to be scrutinized more than other books to see if it bear
evidence of being what it is called. Our reverence to God demands that we do
this, lest we ascribe to God what is not His, and our duty to ourselves demands
it lest we take fable for fact, and rest our hope of salvation on a false
"It is not our calling a book holy
that makes it so, any more than our calling a religion holy that entitles it to
the name. Inquiry therefore is necessary in order to arrive at truth. But
inquiry must have some principle to proceed on, some standard to judge by,
superior to human authority.
"When we survey the works of
creation, the revolutions of the planetary system, and the whole economy of what
is called nature, which is no other than the laws the Creator has prescribed to
matter, we see unerring order and universal harmony reigning throughout the
whole. No one part contradicts another. The sun does not run against the moon,
nor the moon against the sun, nor the planets against each other. Everything
keeps its appointed time and place.
"This harmony in the works of God
is so obvious, that the farmer of the field, though he cannot calculate
eclipses, is as sensible of it as the philosophical astronomer. He sees the God
of order in every part of the visible universe."
"Here, then, is the standard to
which everything must be brought that pretends to be the work or Word of God,
and by this standard it must be judged, independently of anything and everything
that man can say or do. His opinion is like a feather in the scale compared with
the standard that God Himself has set up."
Since we know we did not create the
creation or ourselves, yet we and the creation do exist, it is logical to
believe that God, or an Eternal Cause or Creator created
us. This belief has absolutely nothing to do with revealed religion. In fact,
all the absurdities of revealed religion are responsible for many sincere
thinking people to reject and close their minds to natural religion/Deism. The
priests, ministers, and rabbis need to suppress, or at least complicate, the
pure and simple belief and realization of Deism for their own job security. And
the power elites have no use for Deism because they can't use Deism to "inspire"
mankind to wage war against itself for the elitists' own selfish purposes. In
fact, Deism, by focusing on the first creed of all religions, belief in God,
could frustrate the war/money machine permanently.
The following quote from Thomas
Jefferson points us in a direction free of the confusion of priest-craft and
"I hold (without appeal to
revelation) that when we take a view of the universe, in its parts, general or
particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a
conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of
its composition. The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their
course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces; the structure of
the Earth itself, with its distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere; animal
and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles; insects, mere
atoms of life, yet as perfectly organized as man or mammoth; the mineral
substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human
mind not to believe, that there is in all this, design, cause and effect, up to
an ultimate cause, a Fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their
Preserver and Regulator, while permitted to exist in their present forms, and
their regeneration into new and other forms. We see, too, evident proofs of the
necessity of a superintending power, to maintain the universe in its course and
Because Deism is based on nature,
the laws of nature, and the creation, it is a natural religion as opposed to
revealed or man-made artificial religion.
DEISM VS. ATHEISM
In George H. Smith's book ATHEISM -
THE CASE AGAINST GOD, it is stated that rationality will not lead to God. That
instead, God can only be brought about by rationalization. The book describes
rationality as first finding evidence, then arriving at the idea, like Newton
seeing the apple fall to the ground and then discovering the law of gravity. It
then describes rationalization as first accepting an idea and then searching for
evidence to support it, like someone inventing the idea of God and then saying
God created the universe. Deism says it is rationality and reason that leads to
God. To the Deist, the evidence is the creation and the idea of what brought
about the evidence is the Creator. There is absolutely nothing known to man that
created itself. For example, if someone shows us a computer, and tells us that
all the individual parts that make up the computer just came about by chance,
that they somehow just formed into a perfectly working computer system all by
themselves, we would be foolish to believe that person. Reason, if we use it,
won't let us believe a statement like that. Likewise, if someone tells us the
ever growing creation and its perfect order "happened" by pure chance, we are
under no obligation to believe them. From our own experience we know everything
created has a creator. Why then should the creation itself be different? There
is, however, one quality the creation has that makes leaving its existence to
chance even more remote. That quality is motion.
Turning again to Thomas Paine we
find the following pertinent observation he made regarding atheism in a speech
to the Society of Theophilanthropists in Paris, France, shortly after the French
"In the first place, admitting
matter to have properties, as we see it has, the question still remains, how
came matter by those properties? To this they will answer, that matter possessed
those properties eternally. This is not solution, but assertion; and to deny it
is as impossible of proof as to assert it.
"It is then necessary to go
further; and therefore I say - if there exist a circumstance that is not a
property of matter, and without which the universe, or to speak in a limited
degree, the solar system composed of planets and a sun, could not exist a
moment, all the arguments of atheism, drawn from properties of matter, and
applied to account for the universe, will be overthrown, and the existence of a
superior cause, or that which man calls God, becomes discoverable, as is before
said, by natural philosophy.
"I go now to show that such a
circumstance exists, and what it is.
"The universe is composed of
matter, and, as a system, is sustained by motion. Motion is not a property of
matter, and without this motion, the solar system could not exist. Were motion a
property of matter, that undiscovered and undiscoverable thing called perpetual
motion would establish itself.
"It is because motion is not a
property of matter, that perpetual motion is an impossibility in the hand of
every being but that of the Creator of motion. When the pretenders to atheism
can produce perpetual motion, and not till then, they may expect to be credited.
"The natural state of matter, as
to place, is a state of rest. Motion, or change of place, is the effect of an
external cause acting upon matter. As to that faculty of matter that is called
gravitation, it is the influence which two or more bodies have reciprocally on
each other to unite and be at rest. Everything which has hitherto been
discovered, with respect to the motion of the planets in the system, relates
only to the laws by which motion acts, and not to the cause of motion.
"Gravitation, so far from being
the cause of motion to the planets that compose the solar system, would be the
destruction of the solar system, were revolutionary motion to cease; for as the
action of spinning upholds a top, the revolutionary motion upholds the planets
in their orbits, and prevents them from gravitating and forming one mass with
the sun. In one sense of the word, philosophy knows, and atheism says, that
matter is in perpetual motion.
"But the motion here meant refers
to the state of matter, and that only on the surface of the Earth. It is either
decomposition, which is continually destroying the form of bodies of matter, or
recomposition, which renews that matter in the same or another form, as the
decomposition of animal or vegetable substances enters into the composition of
"But the motion that upholds the
solar system, is of an entirely different kind, and is not a property of matter.
It operates also to an entirely different effect. It operates to perpetual
preservation, and to prevent any change in the state of the system.
"Giving then to matter all the
properties which philosophy knows it has, or all that atheism ascribes to it,
and can prove, and even supposing matter to be eternal, it will not account for
the system of the universe, or of the solar system, because it will not account
for motion, and it is motion that preserves it.
"When, therefore, we discover a
circumstance of such immense importance, that without it the universe could not
exist, and for which neither matter, nor any nor all the properties can account,
we are by necessity forced into the rational conformable belief of the existence
of a cause superior to matter, and that cause man calls GOD.
"As to that which is called
nature, it is no other than the laws by which motion and action of every kind,
with respect to unintelligible matter, are regulated. And when we speak of
looking through nature up to nature's God, we speak philosophically the same
rational language as when we speak of looking through human laws up to the power
that ordained them.
"God is the power of first cause,
nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."
In addition to motion acting as a
perpetual preserver, it also acts as a continual source for the universe's
constant expansion. Every second the universe is expanding at the speed of light
(186,282 miles per second). According to Astronomy Magazine, 2/14/92, page 49,
"Astronomers presently believe there isn't enough mass in the universe, even
with dark matter, to stop its expansion." This exciting realization should fill
everyone with unlimited appreciation when we realize we are a part of this
amazing and spectacular universe! The Creator is immeasurably generous!
In ATHEISM - THE CASE AGAINST GOD,
the author writes, " . . .when I claim not to believe in a god, I mean that I do
not believe in anything "above" or "beyond" the natural, knowable universe."
Deism teaches that the Creator is knowable and discoverable through the creation
itself. It is very understandable how people could be turned off by man-made
religions and superstitions with their bombings and financial beg-a-thons, and
confuse artificial or revealed religion with God. However, the atheist attitude
of accepting things simply as not knowable is dangerous to the progress of
humanity. Many things were not knowable in the past that are knowable today. At
one time Europeans believed it was impossible to know what was on the other side
of the Atlantic Ocean: but they were wrong. As we learn more about the sciences,
we are learning more about the Power that put those principles in place. An
eternal Being, as Thomas Paine said, "whose power is equal to His will."
DEISM AND DEATH
Revealed religions all teach
different opinions on death. Even the different denominations of the same
umbrella religion preach different dogmas. A good example is Christianity. Some
of the Christian denominations say an essential qualification to get into heaven
(of course they all agree dying is a key requirement) is that you have to be
baptized "by submersion," while others say just a "sprinkling" is fine. Which is
it? Sprinkling or submersion??
The fear of death is a big motivator
for many people to support a particular religion. We all know, without the
possibility of doubt, that a day will come for absolutely all of us when we will
die. This realization brings fear to many people. It also brings money to
religious charlatans who aren't ashamed to prey on this fear. In fact, it can be
truthfully said that the revealed religions of the world all use the fear of
death to put cash in their own pockets.
Contrary to this self-serving
attitude of the revealed religions, Deism teaches that no one knows for certain
what happens after death, if anything at all. It teaches that, based on the
creation we are all a part of, we shouldn't worry about it. That instead, we
should be concerned for the present and future of planet Earth and humanity.
That we should work hard to improve life and also enjoy it here and now. Why
should we worry about death when we have so much to do in life? And do we think
so little of Nature's God that we don't trust Him with our future? Ethan Allen,
a Deist from America's Revolutionary War era, wrote, "Ungrateful and foolish it
must be for rational beings in the possession of existence, and surrounded with
a kind and almighty Providence, to distrust the author thereof concerning their
futurity, because they cannot comprehend the mode or manner of their succeeding
and progressive existence."
Another Deist that had interesting
thoughts on death was Benjamin Franklin. One quote of Franklin's was, "Take
courage mortal, death cannot banish you from the universe."
Ben Franklin's epitaph on himself
provides a look at his belief that our life on earth is not the beginning and
end of a personality. He, like Ethan Allen above, seems to have believed that
the state of our spirits or souls is of an evolutionary nature. Franklin's
epitaph reads, "The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old
book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies
here, food for worms. But the work shall not be lost; for it will, as he
believed, appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and
corrected by the Author."
In Thomas Paine's the AGE OF REASON,
we read on pages 177 and 178 the following: "But all other arguments apart, the
consciousness of existence is the only conceivable idea we have of another life,
and the continuance of that consciousness is immortality. The consciousness of
existence, of the knowing that we exist, is not necessarily confined to the same
form, nor to the same matter, even in this life.
"We have not in all cases the same
form, nor in any case the same matter that composed our bodies twenty or thirty
years ago; and yet we are conscious of being the same persons. . .
"That the consciousness of
existence is not dependent on the same form or the same matter is demonstrated
to our senses in the works of the creation, as far as our senses are capable of
receiving that demonstration. A very numerous part of the animal creation
preaches to us, far better than Paul, the belief of a life hereafter. Their
little life resembles an Earth and a heaven - a present and a future state, and
comprises, if it may be so expressed, immortality in miniature.
"The most beautiful parts of the
creation to our eye are the winged insects, and they are not so originally. They
acquire that form and that inimitable brilliancy by progressive changes. The
slow and creeping caterpillar-worm of today passes in a few days to a torpid
figure and a state resembling death; and in the next change comes forth in all
the miniature magnificence of life, a splendid butterfly."
In an essay Mr. Paine wrote the
following short and to the point passage:
"I consider myself in the hands of
my Creator, and that he will dispose of me after this life consistently with His
justice and goodness. I leave all these matters to Him, as my Creator and
friend, and I hold it to be presumption in man to make an article of faith as to
what the Creator will do with us hereafter."