Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quotable Quotes

My adaptation of several relatively well known quotes. It's a little longer then I prefer, but it does cover a lot in a small paragraph.
The only thing that makes your particular faith absolutely true, is your absolute faith. It is your faith that matters to you, not truth. And maybe a billion others believe similarly too, but if a billion people believe a lie, it is still a lie. That's what Christians would say of a billion Muslims; that's what Muslims would say of a billion Christians; and that's what I say of two billion with blind faith.
-- One Deist Φ

One Deist Φ

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A New Deism for a New World

This is a must-read for those who would practice and promote Deism in a positive light.

Celestial Lands » Blog Archive » A New Deism for a New World.

One Deist Φ

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Incredulous Christian

A Christian recently expressed disbelief and skepticism for my claim of peacefulness within Deism. The following represents part of our conversation:
After decades of Christianity I have finally found tremendous peace in Deism. Looking back, I am reminded of the profound faith it took to be a Christian. An unreasonable faith, based on fantasy, fear, myth, prejudice, elementary errors and blatant conflicts as presented in the Bible. For myself, it simply got to the point where I could no longer believe in the perfectness of God as revealed through such an imperfect body of literature. No more apologists, no more rationalizing, no more excuses – it’s just wrong.
G.B. said: I would love to hear more about this ‘tremendous peace’ of which you speak. I hear your feelings about the Christian writings and their story, but I would love to know what specifically your deism offers for you to feel peaceful.

Yes I have tremendous peace in Deism, as well as joy, liberation, comfort in belief, and profound awe of God’s work. I am no longer shackled by the delusions and ascendancy of a select few people, but can lead a sound and fulfilling life which utilizes, to the best of my abilities, the reasonable wisdom of all human history.

The fact is, if you were born into a Muslim family, especially within a Muslim nation, odds are overwhelming that you would be Muslim. And much the same can be said of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. If you are an adherent of one, you are heretical to another. Choice of religion is societal, not divine.

Most people, if fully informed, would look at Scientology as a complete farce. A mind controlling cult that bilks millions of dollars from adherents, created by a science fiction writing madman. Looking at his organization reasonably and objectively, Hubbard’s methods are easily discounted. Those outside the group find it difficult to understand how those inside could have been manipulated into belief. And these same ideals of reason and objectivity can carried over to Mormonism, Christian Science, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc.

Those things considered divine in any given faith will not be found unique to that faith. God, satan, immaculate conception, virgin birth, savior, healing, heaven, hell, miracle, angel, prophet and much more, share a common thread in many faiths. Several of those faiths predate and contributed to Christianity as well as other faiths. I understand that the faithful who read this will feel that theirs is the correct one, and that their holy text is the true word, but there are other compelling faiths which present proof within their holy texts. It is paramount to understand that scripture, in and of itself, is not proof.
G.B. said: If Christianity is false then we’ve added rules and codes, morality and ethic that constrains our taking full advantage of our life in the Now.

YES! I want make clear, though, that as a Deist I believe morality and ethics are very important, but certainly not divine. In other words, it’s through God's gift of Reason we find the answers, not revelation.

Religion, in every instance, stifles the progression of man. It makes the world flat (and the center of the Universe), rather then putting a man on the moon. It prays and lays on hands, rather then giving needed medical attention. It credits God for good and bad, rather then discovering bacteria and antibiotic. It rebukes and murders those who lack identical beliefs, rather then finding peace among cultures. It lives in the past, rather then encouraging and embracing the future.

After all, if we ambitiously learn new things we might find scripture errant and unreasonable, right?

One Deist Φ

Friday, September 4, 2009

Farewell Mom

My heart hurts. My Mom has passed away.

I've been away from my home, and my computer, for the funeral and time with family. While my beliefs are unfaltering and my interests are still the same, I never quite realized how much everything else is so meaningless in times like this.

I'm torn as to what I should share with you, and exactly how much. From my previous post, Letter To My Mother, you already know she was a devout Christian. Her entire existence was an extrapolation of her faith. She spent over thirty years studying, researching, analyzing and writing about the Bible. Mom has one published book, had plans for at least two more, and she was a prolific writer on a personal level. She loved her God, her family, her friends, her home and her cats. But oh how she loved her God. No matter how devastating things might have been at times in Mom's life, she never lost sight of her faith.

I suppose you could say it's my fault. In the late 1960's Mom was an encyclopedia salesperson who liked to target homes with children, and I was an innocent five year old riding my bike on the sidewalk. She asked if I lived nearby; I answered yeah, follow me, and raced back the opposite direction before she could get her car turned around. Mom managed to follow me though, met my Dad, and eventually married him. You see, "Mom" was step-mom to my younger sister and I, and the only Mom we ever really knew. My Dad would later quip that most kids normally drag home a cat or a dog, but I had to drag home a Mom, and his wife.

I must admit, most of those years growing up with Mom were rocky. There always seemed to be tremendous lows and tremendous highs. Seldom, it seems, were there times that were just normal, whatever that would be. It was a roller coaster. What hasn't been revealed to you until now, is that Mom had Bipolar Disorder. I believe it was present, although relatively mild, throughout the time I was being raised, but undiagnosed until years later. I should emphasize that the good times are dominating my thoughts right now. Berry picking, family vacations, picnics, camping and lazy afternoons at the lake. Mom was a great cook, and always had a delicious dinner ready at five sharp. She taught me to love and take care of animals, and she gave me the freedom to explore the world around me. Together, my Mom and Dad taught me to love your spouse through thick and thin ... no matter what. Mom was always a person I could talk to, even if it hurt. She taught me that even guys have to express what's inside now and then, and that an apology is better then stubborn machismo. Mom would always give me the straight answers - and angles not considered - no matter how much I tried to rationalize my point of view. Mom absolutely adored my Dad, for 41 years, and I know she loved us kids equally too.

I left my parent's home at seventeen, never to return except for vacations, which we all cherished. In thirty years of vacations I had never visited my parents during Mother's Day until this year, and you can only imagine how poignant that is to me now. Mom's funeral was made very special by the participation of three of my cousins on Mom's side of the family. It was a traditional Christian ceremony of which my cousins made up nearly the entire event. One cousin performed music, one read passages and hand-written notes from Mom's Bible, and the last provided a sermon and lead vocals. The pastor of the church filled in the gaps and provided other necessary rites. Christian indeed, and I would not have wished for anything different. It revered and honored my Mom and the life she stood for. And although I don't believe as she did, I can only hope she found the Heaven and the God she so very much desired.

Well, I was there for Mom's birth into our family, and I was there at her last breath. I loved my Mom; I respected and honored her; and I am really going to miss her.

One Deist Φ

Monday, August 17, 2009

Discussion With A Christian

A Deist and a Christian (let's call him Boomer) have a conversation on Boomer's blog.

Boomer's blog post was referring to one of those terrifying stories in the Bible, and at the end of his post he quipped, "I truly don't understand how the Deist can believe that God doesn't intervene into history. Left to our own devises, would we not all be aligned with Satan himself?"

I suppose the Deist was motivated to provide a response. Boomer's goal in their discussion, of course, was to save a soul, whereas the Deist wanted to be just a bit more pragmatic and reasonable. Kudos to them both for being very cordial - an interesting read.

A Boomer in the Pew: Brutal Rape, Dismemberment, and a Tribal War.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stop Blaming God and Satan

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
-- Dr. Steven Weinberg

These words haunt me.

The entirety of all lives lost in the name of religion haunt me. Parents killing children, nations killing nations, one sect killing another sect - all in the name of their religion. It is all, in it's totality, insanity. Your religion is no excuse, your God is no excuse, your perceived superiority is no excuse.

It is all myth. There is no satan; and God would not ask these things of you. If you choose to do evil things, it is simply your choice to do so, not the choice of God.

I am to the point of equating religion with alcohol - people are drunk with their beliefs. There was a time when alcohol intoxication was a marginal excuse for the evils of man. Now it simply isn't so, and it should be the same with religion. If you kill or hurt anyone, in any way, in the name of your religion or your God, it shall be no excuse for your evil deed. You have done the evil deed at your own sad discretion.

To paraphrase the quote above:
There are good people and evil people in the world. Religion does not make you good if you do evil - you are simply evil.

One Deist Φ

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wholly Unholy

I've seen, somewhere, the Koran described as a copy of a copy of a bad original. Indeed, there are several references to the Bible within the Koran. And of course the entirety of the Bible is an extension of the Pentateuch. And the Pentateuch is crammed full of archaic fables, superstition and mythology. The "miracle" of the fulfilment of a savior - Jesus, and hence Christianity - is derived from one tiny passage from this mythology. This, of course, is just another in the thread of superstitious teachings within all the pages of these "holy books".

So, if the Pentateuch is wrong, doesn't that make the Bible wrong? And if the Bible is wrong, doesn't that make the Koran wrong? And if these are wrong, doesn't that make all related and supporting texts wrong as well? To my simplistic way of thinking, this concept is the "black hole" of all the revealed religions. Once you get the facts nearby, the unstoppable force of the black hole will unwaveringly draw them in faster and faster, extruding the truth for all to see - if you choose to see.

This all started with a blip I heard on the radio of a "believer" touting "facts" from the Bible where it is proposed that people used to live extremely long lives - even eight or nine hundred years. What fantasy! What kind of person really believes this stuff? There is absolutely no scientific evidence that anyone ever lived to that age. No paleontological/archaeological record of this whatsoever. Well, what do you know ... it was God who decided, at some point early in Genesis, we shall only live to about 120 years. But I sure wish we could find just one or two of those skeletal remains that lived 900 years. I'd even take 300 years old, but it will never happen, because it never actually happened.

Not much is reported of this Bible errancy. But along with conflicting stories, dragons,  satyrs, unicorns, a man living in a fish for days, reports of God killing millions of people, etc ... what in the world does it take for people NOT to believe these books?! Seriously.

One Deist Φ

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This One Is Golden

There are lots of rules. It seems that during every waking moment our lives are directed by some rule. And if someone disagrees with something we do, there is sure to be a rule which should have precluded us from doing it in the first place.

With few exceptions, our laws and religions are based on one thing -

The Golden Rule

Also known as the Ethic of Reciprocity, it asks that all of us be fair and just to everyone else, and that everyone else be fair and just to us.

It can be prescribed as a negative:
"Don't do to others what you don't want done to yourself."
or as a positive:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Sometimes these are differentiated as The Silver Rule and The Golden Rule, respectively. There are philosophical grounds for the difference, but for me it's only a matter of the glass being half empty or half full. I like my glass half full.

This primitive and fundamental rule of humanity has been debated on principle. It is argued that I don't know what you would have done to yourself and you don't know what I would have done to myself. Also, it's argued that just because you like something, it doesn't mean I would like that same something too. But I would argue another way - the "glass half full" way.

It isn't the literal interpretation of this idea, but the spirit or intention of The Golden Rule that matters to humanity. It isn't necessarily the specific things in our lives to do, but the fact that we would consider doing; it's the consideration of others that matters in our lives. This is important - to have CONSIDERATION of others. The things for consideration change with location, culture, age, and many other human factors. But the fact that we have consideration is what we need to hold dear.

Empathy is the essence of The Golden Rule. It begs us to put ourselves in the place of another. It's good to receive the consideration of others, and it's imperative that we likewise do the same. The Golden Rule, when properly applied, perpetuates itself.

It may be true that we Deists don't have scripture or dogma, but I for one would suggest The Golden Rule as paramount in our religious philosophy, immediately following our belief in God.

I would do this in consideration of you.

One Deist Φ

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Deism Is Spiritual, Not Political

I have seen, several times, some people associate Deism with politics, and an assumption that Deists have only a single direction as to their political views. Usually this slant is toward a liberal political party. I have also seen where this behavior of relating Deism to politics pushes people away from Deism.

I believe this is a mistake which we should not make, and certainly we should not repeat. We don't want to lose Deists because of the political views of just a few. Some people are simply more reserved then that, and many do not normally express their political opinions. Even if political views were to be expressed, it would preferably not take place in a spiritual or religious arena. The two are not necessarily related.

But the biggest issue I take with the mix of Deism and politics is this:  As Deists we do not believe in dogma. We don't blindly follow, but use our God given gift of Reason to make our own decisions. Once politics is injected into the equation, suddenly everyone becomes a lemming - Deists are liberals, and liberals are Deists, and there is no in between. If you dissent from the political views of others within the group then you become an outcast, and thus you are scorned and shunned. Suddenly it becomes zealotry, fanaticism and militancy, which is not Deism. Deism is not blind faith in clergy or political leaders, which goes against the very principles of our Deistic beliefs.

I refuse to be a card carrying member of anything except Deism. I will do the research on all matters and reach my own conclusions without the need for political affiliation. I refuse to be a political zombie, mindlessly following  the political crowd.

Let's leave politics out of our spirituality. I believe it makes all of us better Deists.

One Deist Φ

Friday, April 10, 2009

Absolutely Deism

In English grammar there are words called "absolute terms". These are words that cannot be compared or used with a modifier. Words like dead, pregnant, infinite and unique. You don't get a little pregnant, nor is something more infinite. One of the most abused absolute terms is "saturated". You see it all the time in weather reports when the forecaster says "The ground is extremely saturated." No, no, it's either saturated or it's not.

I've felt for some time that Deism should be taken in the same context - as an absolute term. Deism seems so fundamental in nature that we shouldn't add modifiers to the name. We openly have the latitude to apply our own individual beliefs within its broad parameters, but if we apply our own parameters, aren't we changing Deism to our own belief system, requiring a different name?

Let me give you an example - "Christian Deism". This must be the greatest oxymoron in Deism. I have read some descriptions of this school of thought, but am not convinced their nomenclature is proper nor accurate. A Christian is someone who "accepts the divinity of Jesus as Savior and follows his teachings." Most of the Christian Deists say they believe God is active in the world, and they believe in the teachings of Jesus. Deists don't have many tenets, but one of our core beliefs is that God is not active in the Universe; and, generally Deists also reject revelation. So, "Christian Deism" in its very foundation is not Deism at all. (And I dare say, not Christian either.) Obviously they can call it what they like, but it doesn't benefit the cause of Deism in any way whatsoever. It would be nice if folks are going to make up their own religion, that they would make up their own name too.

As a Deist I encourage all of us to use our tremendous gift of Reason to learn from the wisdom of the past. To use our mind is to fully realize God's blessing to humanity. Just because we follow some of the teachings of Buddha does not make us Buddhist Deists. If we are comfortable with a few of the lessons of Zoroaster it doesn't mean we are Zoroastrian Deists. Using Plato as our philosophical compass doesn't make us Platonian Deists. As Deists we should acknowledge the brilliance of great people. We're free, not only to explore all of the sages, but to apply their wisdom to our lives while discarding the outdated notion that they were divine. We are simply being great Deists!

To me, modifying the name of Deism is kind of fatal.

One Deist Φ

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Blog and Forum

Website and forum eventually abandoned. There are lots of great ones still around.
I leave this post up merely for posterity.

Although the new web site is still being built, I have have already activated my new blog and community forum.
This blog has been transferred to my own servers, rather then being hosted here at You will need to change your RSS feed with the link available in the blog to receive new entries. Please click on the following link and add to your bookmarks for the new blog site:

The new community forum is set up and ready to go, albeit a bit barren at the moment. I'd like to invite everyone interested in Deism to come on over, register, and join in the discussions. It's going to be a race to see who will be the very first registrants on the new forum! Discussions will generally be limited to Deism and its promotion, plus there is a large area for general discussions as well. Enjoy our community of like-minded people! Please click on the following link to the forum, and bookmark so you can get back:

To be continued at the new site. See you there!
One Deist Φ

Living In The Past

As a westerner, I often hear it said that certain countries or regions are living in the past. It's not meant as a put down, but more of an observation, usually describing an area's religion or lack of technology. And it's true ... many religions covering large regions and populations are two or three thousand years old, along with technologies that are on the same par. The commentary usually ends with some remark that the west could bring great technology to those people and make their lives much better. We could enrich their lives with technology for food, water, manufacturing, health care, and so much more.

I realized today that  westerners are the same as all those other people around the world when applied to religion. Almost the entire globe is living in the distant past with faiths that are two or three thousand year old fantasies. Few others but Christianity have even tried - very stubbornly - to reform, attempting to keep up with modernization. Many other faiths proudly boast that their beliefs are unchanged for millennia. Islam, in particular, is stuck with what they have. Their faith dictates that Mohammed was the last prophet and there will be no other; the Koran is the final and literal word of God, and cannot be changed; and anyone who tries to adapt, improve or change this religion in any way, is an "innovator" and will be cursed. Mohammed did very well profoundly imprisoning his followers.

People of revealed religion, ask yourselves,
"Why would God want to repress mankind?!"

Every revealed religion restrains the progress of man to some degree. In what way would God benefit from this? Why would He care? How does it honor God for men and women to not progress and not become the greatest creatures He ever created?!

Deism practically begs mankind to become more tomorrow then we are today. It embraces science and discovery. Deism wants all of us to use our tremendous reasoning skills to advance our lives and the lives of our children. If the whole of mankind would have used these tremendous God given gifts throughout history, I'm certain we would have explored most of the Universe by now. I'm sure our lives would be as rich and fulfilling as the religious dreamers from history had imagined for us in heaven. But there is no scriptural heaven, and what they didn't imagine was that the religion they were creating would actually prevent us from attaining happiness here on earth. Revealed religions stifle us from living up to our full potential, and prevent us from finding peace on earth.

Let's break free of the shackles of revealed religions developed in antiquity, and advance ourselves to levels of humanity that we can't even fathom today. Deism is the perfect religious philosophy in advancing mankind. Deism simply asks that we become everything in our ability to become; that we live up to our absolute full potential.

Let's do amazing things!

One Deist Φ

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Amazing, Truly!

It simply amazes me that we humans have allowed ourselves to be completely duped all this time. So very many people have happily gone along with the fairy tales and lies of the "revealed" religions. How could this have happened in human history? Forget history, it’s happening even today! One day our species will look back on this “Religious Period” and scoff at us! Our descendants will say, “How could they have been so foolish and blind?!”

I can only imagine what might have been, had we not been so consumed on proving that our various religions were the true one. So much of our energy, for so very long, wasted on the fantasies of just a few individuals, then propagated to the masses. Those few may have been charismatic, but certainly not divine.

In the dawn of mankind, and on through ages, we had absolutely no idea about the science of the world around us. Raise your hand if you believe the Bible came from God and is unerring. Don't you think God, creator of the Universe, would know that the Earth is not flat, or that the Universe does not revolve around Earth? These simple facts were unknown when men, who claimed to be inspired and/or communicating directly with God, wrote and assembled the Bible. Because of the “revealed" religions and their abhorrence for anything that even resembles heresy, advancement of human kind has been stifled for literally thousands of years. Shame on us!

The laws of God in "revealed" religions amount to no more then the laws of humanity. The fine folks who revealed the laws, and hence created their religions, may indeed have been wise, especially considering that way back then many of the inhabitants of this planet were very uncivilized and needed some good laws to go by. Using the God-given gift of Reason, it is easy to see that those basic “rules” still apply today. But we do NOT need a Bible to tell us that killing another person is wrong. Lying is wrong. Adultery is wrong. Cheating is wrong. Gluttony, lust, stealing – all wrong. The time of those who once may have been considered inspired and holy for bringing such laws to the people is long past. These principles are now merely common sense.

It is time to move beyond the dark ages of man-made religions.
Please, utilize God's divine gift of Reason.

One Deist Φ

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thomas Paine Day

Happy Birthday Thomas Paine! (January 29, 1737 – June 8, 1809)

You helped shape nations, including our own, and your writings have inspired us for over 200 years.

Today we honor you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So Now What?

It has been months since my last post to this blog. It's not that I don't want to add more. Nor is it that I don't have any further ideas to share. It's almost as if I kind of "got it out of my system" - like I ran a sprint instead of a marathon. But I don't want to be one of "those" bloggers. You know, they make one or two posts and that's it forever.

This eye opening conversion to Deism still consumes me. Almost every waking moment I draw comparisons to what is now, for me, and what was then. I see the inspirational billboards for a Christian church. I see the old shopping strips where three out of seven stores are actually a "church". (If still a Christian, I could never do the shopping strip store front church thing, by the way. And yes I understand that it's not the building, but the people who make the church. Whatever ... that's not a church to me.) The giant electric billboard-type sign outside another church flashing a well known Aesop quote as if it's biblical. The construction of a new church near an affluent part of town, with the biggest concrete cross in the state, I would think, complete with neon highlights. Jewish leaders running radio ads condemning the trouble in the middle east. The middle east fighting their perpetual wars in the name of Allah. (Seriously, is it so ingrained that you cannot even consider peace?!) The revealed religions continue to march on.

So now what for Deism? No question we need to share our story - we have so much to offer humanity. We have wisdom, we have peace, we have inspiration and hope and love. But how do we share these aspects with the world? This challenge is made more difficult because of a couple of our fundamental precepts - no dogma and no revealed texts. For instance I feel more wise and totally at peace with my belief in Deism. I feel more inspiration and hope and love then at any other point in my life. Not because of the untruths from man made religions of old, but because of the truths I have discovered thanks to Deism, science, books and the internet; and the likes of Paine, Jefferson and Johnson.

Perhaps what we should do in Deism is simply march on as well. Let's share our principles and history every chance we get.

One Deist Φ