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What is a deistic atheist?

 
Carstonio
 
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Carstonio
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06 January 2009 11:41
 
Immediate Suppression - 06 January 2009 04:31 PM

It is likely actually easier for some people to abandon religion itself, and even become anti-religious while at the same time keeping some deistic beliefs.  I doubt that most deistic atheists are very open about their deistic beliefs in public, but who in a telephone poll might be willing to be reveal them.  So they are mostly private beliefs which likely cause little harm to anyone.  That is why I am surprised there is so much resentment towards the acknowledgment of the existence of deistic atheists.

Deism is not a religion in the same way as theism. It’s really a metaphysical belief without a religion, whereas something like Confucianism might be described as a religion without a metaphysical belief.

While I bear no malice toward deists, the term “deist atheist” is a contradictory misnomer because atheism is also adeist. A person cannot believe in gods and not believe in gods at the same time.

 
goodgraydrab
 
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goodgraydrab
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06 January 2009 12:29
 
Immediate Suppression - 06 January 2009 04:31 PM

Yeah sort of, though I don’t think those analogies are completely accurate.  Abandoning deistic beliefs you have been brought up with can be a difficult thing to do.  I know this from my own Mormon background. 

It is likely actually easier for some people to abandon religion itself, and even become anti-religious while at the same time keeping some deistic beliefs.  I doubt that most deistic atheists are very open about their deistic beliefs in public, but who in a telephone poll might be willing to be reveal them.  So they are mostly private beliefs which likely cause little harm to anyone.  That is why I am surprised there is so much resentment towards the acknowledgment of the existence of deistic atheists.

You’re describing an “Atheist Wannabe” (someone trying to be something they’re not), or a “Closet Atheist” (someone pretending to be something they’re not). This does not fall into the glass half full - half empty analogy. You either have the glass with water in it ... or you don’t. It’s either with or without. Any amount of with can’t be said to be without.

There’s no resentment, we simply strive to be rational.

 
 
goodgraydrab
 
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goodgraydrab
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06 January 2009 12:43
 
Immediate Suppression - 06 January 2009 04:31 PM

Yeah sort of, though I don’t think those analogies are completely accurate.  Abandoning deistic beliefs you have been brought up with can be a difficult thing to do.  I know this from my own Mormon background.

By the way IS. Now that I know this, I’m going to give you a C+ for effort and heretofore, try to cut you some slack.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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06 January 2009 12:52
 
goodgraydrab - 06 January 2009 05:43 PM
Immediate Suppression - 06 January 2009 04:31 PM

Yeah sort of, though I don’t think those analogies are completely accurate.  Abandoning deistic beliefs you have been brought up with can be a difficult thing to do.  I know this from my own Mormon background.

By the way IS. Now that I know this, I’m going to give you a C+ for effort and heretofore, try to cut you some slack.

Does the “C” stand for Christian….

 
 
Carstonio
 
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06 January 2009 13:17
 
Immediate Suppression - 06 January 2009 04:31 PM

It is likely actually easier for some people to abandon religion itself, and even become anti-religious while at the same time keeping some deistic beliefs.

If that is the case, that’s probably only a small minority of deists. I suspect most deists were lukewarm at best about religion and arrived at their deist beliefs through an intellectual process and not an emotional one.

 
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07 January 2009 00:12
 
Carstonio - 06 January 2009 06:17 PM
Immediate Suppression - 06 January 2009 04:31 PM

It is likely actually easier for some people to abandon religion itself, and even become anti-religious while at the same time keeping some deistic beliefs.

If that is the case, that’s probably only a small minority of deists. I suspect most deists were lukewarm at best about religion and arrived at their deist beliefs through an intellectual process and not an emotional one.

It is a minority, but a significant one nonetheless.  And the poll I referred to earlier in this thread backs this up.  Religion is obviously not getting the respect it used to in American society, after events like 9/11 and other bad things that have come from theism, such as the current flare-up in the never-ending Israel/Palestine struggle.  People have reacted against it, and some of them have chosen to label themselves atheists, but only in that they are atheistic; opposed to religion.  That is how they interpret the word, and justifiably so based upon the broader wikipedia definition mentioned earlier.  For whatever reasons, which I have speculated to be an internal comfort of sorts, they have also hung onto some of their deistic tendencies; a belief in a God, higher power, or even universal spirit.

goodgraydrab’s label of wannabe atheists could also be applicable to these people, but the label deistic atheists is more accurate in terms of its descriptive value.  Really, it probably isn’t that big of a deal, deism itself seems relatively harmless to me, and many of these people could likely abandon their deistic beliefs over time.  Here is part of what Wikipedia says about Deism:

Wikipedia
Deists generally reject the notion of supernatural revelation as a basis of truth or religious dogma. These views contrast with the dependence on divine revelation found in many Christian[1], Islamic and Judaic teachings.

Deists typically reject most supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God (or “The Supreme Architect”) has a plan for the universe which he does not alter either by intervening in the affairs of human life or suspending the natural laws of the universe. What organized religions see as divine revelation and holy books, most deists see as interpretations made by other humans, rather than as authoritative sources.

Having said that, I am not a deist and do not advocate it in any way.  I don’t see any proof for any type of deity of any sort existing.

 
 
Carstonio
 
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Carstonio
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07 January 2009 03:44
 
Immediate Suppression - 07 January 2009 05:12 AM

People have reacted against it, and some of them have chosen to label themselves atheists, but only in that they are atheistic; opposed to religion.  That is how they interpret the word, and justifiably so based upon the broader wikipedia definition mentioned earlier.

Despite their intentions, they are using the word incorrectly, and so is Wikipedia.

 
goodgraydrab
 
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07 January 2009 20:46
 
Immediate Suppression - 07 January 2009 05:12 AM

goodgraydrab’s label of wannabe atheists could also be applicable to these people, but the label deistic atheists is more accurate in terms of its descriptive value.  Really, it probably isn’t that big of a deal, deism itself seems relatively harmless to me, and many of these people could likely abandon their deistic beliefs over time.

So why don’t you just give it up and quit beating a dead horse? At the time they completely abandon their deistic beliefs, we’ll be glad to dub them Atheists in as an elaborate ceremony as they would prefer ... but you don’t earn the diploma til you graduate.

 
 
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09 January 2009 00:55
 
Carstonio - 07 January 2009 08:44 AM
Immediate Suppression - 07 January 2009 05:12 AM

People have reacted against it, and some of them have chosen to label themselves atheists, but only in that they are atheistic; opposed to religion.  That is how they interpret the word, and justifiably so based upon the broader wikipedia definition mentioned earlier.

Despite their intentions, they are using the word incorrectly, and so is Wikipedia.

Do you agree with me that deistic atheists do exist, according to the polls, and can justifiably be called deistic atheists, when going by the definition on Wikipedia?

Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
Atheism, as an explicit position, can be either the affirmation of the nonexistence of gods,[1] or the rejection of theism.[2] It is also[3] defined more broadly as an absence of belief in deities, or nontheism.[4]

And would you also agree that their existence is not negative in any way, especially in comparison to religion, if we are talking about deism as defined by wikipedia?

Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
Deism is the belief that a supreme natural God exists and created the physical universe, and that religious truths can be arrived at by the application of reason and observation of the natural world. Deists generally reject the notion of supernatural revelation as a basis of truth or religious dogma. These views contrast with the dependence on divine revelation found in many Christian[1], Islamic and Judaic teachings.

Deists typically reject most supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and tend to assert that God (or “The Supreme Architect”) has a plan for the universe which he does not alter either by intervening in the affairs of human life or suspending the natural laws of the universe. What organized religions see as divine revelation and holy books, most deists see as interpretations made by other humans, rather than as authoritative sources.

I wonder if it might even be a good thing to have deistic atheists under the atheist umbrella?  What do atheists think about that?  More atheists?

 
 
Carstonio
 
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Carstonio
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09 January 2009 06:15
 
Immediate Suppression - 09 January 2009 05:55 AM

Do you agree with me that deistic atheists do exist, according to the polls, and can justifiably be called deistic atheists, when going by the definition on Wikipedia?

Such people may indeed exist, but that term is incorrect. When someone rejects religion but still holds onto god-belief, it is incorrect to call such a person a “deist atheist.” That’s because such a person may subscribe to a personal form of theism, as opposed to an organized one.

Immediate Suppression - 09 January 2009 05:55 AM

And would you also agree that their existence is not negative in any way, especially in comparison to religion, if we are talking about deism as defined by wikipedia?

I would say that their existence is much less negative since their beliefs don’t involve authoritarian absolutism. But deism still goes against the principles of empirical science since it’s not backed up by evidence.

 
Eaton Shirdlu
 
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Eaton Shirdlu
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10 January 2009 07:33
 
Immodium Suppository - 09 January 2009 05:55 AM

And would you also agree that their existence is not negative in any way, especially in comparison to religion, if we are talking about deism as defined by wikipedia?

Here’s a question for a “deistic atheist”, then. Why be opposed to religion if you still believe in some form of higher power or afterlife or non-material existence after death? After all, if there’s an afterlife and/or deity, is there a difference between what happens after death to conventional theists, deistic atheists, and the usual kind of atheist who believes in neither concept? I mean, if there’s an afterlife, the annoyance of religion in this life is at worst a brief and minor one. Why be opposed to religion if there’s an afterlife? To a deistic atheist, a conventional biological lifetime is still negligible compared to the eternity of the afterlife. Perhaps you need to flesh out your non-theology a little better.

There just doesn’t seem to be much motivation to join a political movement that is simply against organized religion while believing in an afterlife. The negative effects of superstitious beliefs in disembodied consciousness or unspecified “higher powers” will make you ineffective as a citizen in a rational, non-religious, non-superstitious society. But a rational society is not something you want, is it, Immodium?

Immodium Suppository - 06 January 2009 07:07 AM

Most deistic atheists likely are former religious people who have abandoned religion and embraced atheism.  But they likely have difficulty abandoning their deistic tendencies, for whatever reasons.  They possibly retain them as some type of internal comfort, as I mentioned above.  They have let go of the religion, but still cling to some of the deistic aspects of it.  Many deistic atheists also probably eventually become traditional atheists over time and abandon their deistic tendencies.

The picture becomes clearer. You are either ready to abandon religion and superstition or you’re not. “Embracing atheism” differs from a political attitude against organized religion is fine. You can do everything a typical “non-deistic atheist” (or to use your term, “fundamentalist atheist”) does in the political arena, though your motivation is not clear. But if you want to join an online community of atheists for fun and chat, be prepared to have some people make fun of your absurd beliefs about disembodied consciousness and afterlife. In exchange you can call them names like “fundamentalist atheist”. If you were really clever, you could find something about “fundamentalist atheism” to criticize intellectually. Calling it “dogmatic” is just a reactionary response to having us make fun of what you make out of the chill you get down your spine.

If your main motivation in opposing conventional religion is to gain a franchise for your “disembodied consciousness” ideas, you are really just a feeble-minded superstitious individual masquerading as a “deistic atheist”, and not sincere about the quest to give up superstitious nonsense.

[ Edited: 10 January 2009 08:04 by Eaton Shirdlu]
 
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11 January 2009 08:47
 
Carstonio - 09 January 2009 11:15 AM
Immediate Suppression - 09 January 2009 05:55 AM

Do you agree with me that deistic atheists do exist, according to the polls, and can justifiably be called deistic atheists, when going by the definition on Wikipedia?

Such people may indeed exist, but that term is incorrect. When someone rejects religion but still holds onto god-belief, it is incorrect to call such a person a “deist atheist.” That’s because such a person may subscribe to a personal form of theism, as opposed to an organized one.

You say they may subscribe to a personal form of theim.  But some of these people who call themselves athieists also do not.  And they are deistic atheists, using the word atheist in the way in which Wikipedia defines it: “rejection of theism.”  It probably is a small minority of people who accurately fit into the description of deistic atheists.

Immediate Suppression - 09 January 2009 05:55 AM

And would you also agree that their existence is not negative in any way, especially in comparison to religion, if we are talking about deism as defined by wikipedia?

Carstonio - 09 January 2009 11:15 AM

I would say that their existence is much less negative since their beliefs don’t involve authoritarian absolutism. But deism still goes against the principles of empirical science since it’s not backed up by evidence.

True.

[ Edited: 11 January 2009 08:49 by Immediate Suppression]
 
 
Carstonio
 
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Carstonio
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11 January 2009 12:07
 
Immediate Suppression - 11 January 2009 01:47 PM

You say they may subscribe to a personal form of theim.  But some of these people who call themselves athieists also do not.  And they are deistic atheists, using the word atheist in the way in which Wikipedia defines it: “rejection of theism.”  It probably is a small minority of people who accurately fit into the description of deistic atheists.

Regardless of what Wikipedia says, and regardless of the narrow etymology of the word atheism, in practice the atheism concept includes adeism. Deism itself involves a rejection of theist beliefs, so using the term “deist atheist” is not only misleading but redundant. Similarly, theism involves a rejection of deist beliefs, so it wouldn’t make sense to call someone a “theist adeist.”

[ Edited: 12 January 2009 05:57 by Carstonio]
 
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