"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Not so much...

Okay... So I have decided that I don't think I'm going to keep up with the blog. I'm just not really in the mood for it anymore.

My whole view on religion is that people are free to worship what they want, when they want, and how they want. I have noticed that almost every Deist I have "encountered" just totally bashes revealed religion. And, while I don't agree with revealed religion, publicly bashing it just seems like a waste of energy. If we sit here and say bad things about other religions and people, what does that make us? Isn't one of Deism's primary goals to maintain the "Golden Rule"? I wouldn't want people saying bad things about what I believe, so what gives me the right to say bad things about other people and their beliefs?

I'm not saying that I'm abandoning Deism, I just think I'm going to take a slightly different approach. Plus, I don't feel the need to talk about it. I feel that religion should be a journey that one discovers on their own, which I have. In other words, I plan on going back to the way things were before I found Deism, but this time, having a new outlook on life and the world around me.

I want to thank the people that took their time to read this blog and I am going to leave it up so if anyone out there someday is looking for Deism, they can find this blog and maybe it will help them with their path...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Little More on Deism...

I wanted to explain a little bit more about Deism for anyone who might be wondering. I will start with some of the fundamental basics of Deism...

This is from The Deist Document:

Although Deists don't have an official set of tenants, there are a few beliefs that most Deists agree on. Here is a list of seven unofficial basic Deist beliefs:

  1. Belief in an intelligent designer of the universe.
  2. Belief that the intelligent designer is "outside" the universe, and not part of the universe (as in pantheism).
  3. Belief that after the Deity created the universe, He stepped away from it to allow it to evolve naturally based on the laws of physics which He created without any need for His further intervention.
  4. Belief that the Deity does not perform "miracles" which defy the laws of physics, or intervene in a supernatural way in the affairs of mankind.
  5. Belief that the Deity does not reveal Himself to mankind through priests or other "enlightened" individuals, but rather through the workings of nature.
  6. Belief that the Deity imposes no pre-ordained, or divinely inspired moral code of behavior on mankind, but rather expects man to develop his own codes of conduct for living in harmony with his fellow man based on his God-given Reason.
  7. Although there is no scientific evidence for an afterlife, most Deists do have a "hope" for an afterlife.

The above list is not intended to be a dogmatic set of rules that Deists MUST believe. In fact, Deists regularly discuss, debate and modify various aspects of the above items all the time. That's a good thing about Deism. It doesn't tell you what you MUST believe. However, if you are a Deist, then you are probably in agreement with most of the items listed above.

The seven statements above are the basis for what I believe... Which was kind of a shock to me when I first read them. I had no idea there were so many people out there who felt or believed what I do. Deists don't need other people or books to tell them what they can and can't believe. We see the presence of God through nature.

Earlier today, I was thinking more about the complexities of nature. I was thinking about DNA, which is basically the blueprint of life. So in one aspect, God is an architect. He drew the blueprints for what he wanted and made it self-building. I find it so amazing how that something so small and fairly simple as DNA can make something so complex as a human being. To me, that is evidence of a Creator/Designer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Intelligence Allowed

I watched an extremely interesting movie last night, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." The movie is about the argument between evolution/Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Schools and institutions all over this country are solely focusing on teaching evolution and anyone who even suggests Intelligent Design is fired or forced to resign.

Click Here for a little bit about the movie... You can go ahead and read it now and finish reading this post when you're done... I won't go anywhere.

Now, I am not saying that we should be teaching creationism in our schools because, scientifically speaking, it's just ridiculous. There is no way that the earth is only a few thousand years old, it is impossible that man and dinosaurs lived together, and there is no way God created the earth in six days.

I am also not saying we should stop teaching evolution. I think we should stop teaching evolution as a fact. It is still just a theory, after all. And there are holes in the theory. But, why can't we teach evolution and Intelligent Design? There are a lot of things taught in schools that can't be proven so, why can't we teach the possibility of a creator? Also, science needs to accept that there are other possibilities besides evolution. That is the whole point of science, to test different ideas, to explore every possible angle. Unfortunately, a lot of scientists are just accepting evolution and leaving it at that, and that is not science.

Basically, this is what I believe... God designed the universe, life, man, etc. but, not how it states in the bible. I honestly don't believe we can even comprehend how or why God created the universe. I think of God almost like a computer programmer. He is an outside force that designed basically how he wanted life and the universe to play out, and then hit enter. The Big Bang was God's program starting. I believe he watches how things pan out and maybe even "fixes" some "bugs" here and there but, nothing too major. Maybe he doesn't know exactly how life would turn out, he just knew how he wanted it to start and wanted a distinct result... Man or maybe something that hasn't happened yet.

This is where Deism kicks in for me. Deists don't need revelations to know that God exists. I see in how perfectly nature works, the laws of physics, the vastness of the universe, that there was and is some sort of Intelligent Design. I just don't believe that something as huge as the universe and something that works as perfectly as nature can be an accident.

Some Deists believe that after God created the universe and put things in motion, he stepped back and let it all unfold. I mostly agree with that, but I do think God from time to time inspires people. I don't believe he comes right out and talks to anyone or just decides to change things, that would negate the gifts he has given us, free will, Reason, etc. but, I truly believe he wants us to live better lives and help other people if and when we can and gives us a little nudge on the occasion. Also, some Deists believe that God doesn't listen to, or answer prayers. I partially agree with that but, not completely. This is what makes me a Spiritual Deist. I do pray from time to time. I'm not sure if God answers my prayers or if it is just me making them happen. Maybe praying gives me the inspiration to make them happen. Maybe that is how God helps me. He gave me the ability to pray to him knowing that it would help me become inspired to make my prayers happen.

Anyway... If you haven't seen "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" yet, go watch it!

Friday, November 7, 2008

First Steps Down the Path...

Until recently, I never really thought too much about religion. In fact, I didn't really like the thought of religion. I don't know what compelled me to but, I decided to take another look. I wanted to see if there were people that felt the same way I do about religion. Deism explains almost perfectly how I feel about religion... More on that later.

I looked for information on almost every religion I could think of. I looked up information on Christianity, which I knew the basis of already considering I grew up Catholic, I looked at Buddhism, Muslim, Hindu, Judaism, Paganism, to name a few. I actually felt Paganism was pretty close to the way I felt, so I decided to research it more, but still didn't feel it was a proper fit. After spending time browsing some Pagan websites, I accidentally came across a (to put it a little more accurately) a religious philosophy called Deism.

This is from The Deism Website:

Deism: Deism is the recognition of a universal creative force greater than that demonstrated by mankind, supported by personal observation of laws and designs in nature and the universe, perpetuated and validated by the innate ability of human reason coupled with the rejection of claims made by individuals and organized religions of having received special divine revelation.

To put it another way, I believe in God. Not through revelations, or The Bible, or other "holy scriptures" but, through science (which may sound odd, but I'll go into this more later), laws of nature, and the ability to Reason (more on this later, too).

There are also different forms of Deism... There are Classic Deists, Modern Deists, Positive, Dynamic, Christian, Spiritual, etc. They believe in relatively the same thing (stated above) but, have a few minor differences. The path that I have chosen is Spiritual Deism, which I will definitely talk more about in time.

So, I hope you enjoy reading my spiritual path to Deism, if anyone ever does.