W h e r e _ h a v e _ a l l _ t h e _ D e i s t s _ g o n e _ ?
___There's a huge hollow echo on the PD forum these days. The only activity seems to be the tedious never-ending Gnomon Blog, and a plethora of illegal-immigrant commercial bots. Most of the freestanding Deist Forums have faded away in recent years. So I suppose any remaining Deism-related traffic has moved to Facebook and Twitter. But I wouldn't know for sure, because I don't do social media. I prefer anti-social venues, where you don't have to hang out with fake-friends, billionaire twits, and trolling cyber-bullies. But now that the few remaining private forums are infested with “fake news” and surreptitious advertising, they may not be much better than the privacy-invading social media. Sigh . . . formerly marginal Deism seems to be going mainstream. Don't mind me though; I'm just a voice crying in the wilderness : “prepare the way of Deus. . . . make straight the road of Reason”.
Sorry, Gnomon - I just don't find I have much to add to our endlessly recycled discussions these days. I still appreciate reading your posts now and again, but I'm sure you already know where I am likely to disagree and everyone else already seemed (some time ago) to have switched off. Maybe deists are just destined to go the same way as the deus and the Cheshire Cat...
siti wrote: Sorry, Gnomon - I just don't find I have much to add to our endlessly recycled discussions these days. I still appreciate reading your posts now and again, but I'm sure you already know where I am likely to disagree and everyone else already seemed (some time ago) to have switched off.
___No problem. I'll continue to explore the ramifications of my eccentric Deist Thesis in the perpetual posts of the God-Construct blog. Meanwhile, we can still argue, on the side, about some virginal topics, such as polarized politics in US, EU & Fiji : "Is God on Trump's side, or is Trump on God's side?" Or topics on the cutting edge of human understanding, such as : "TOE --- String Theory lassoes Loop Quantum Gravity".
Maybe deists are just destined to go the same way as the deus and the Cheshire Cat...
___Just as the classical Deus created the world and then faded from the scene, perhaps modern Deism is simply emulating the dying-messiah myth. I suspect that the sudden ability to communicate with a diaspora of like-minded deism-inclined free-thinkers around the world got hopes up for a new Age of Enlightenment, with WWW serving as the reincarnated power of the printing press. Unfortunately, the classical Enlightenment eventually faded into a distant memory for all but a few academics & theoretical scientists. Now, this second wave of intellectual ferment is meeting stiff resistance from the prevalence of un-enlightened ape-minds that replicate too rapidly for memetic evolution to catch up. So, it seems that we are entering an era of lowered expectations, where once-radical Deism attempts to join the mainstream of popular religions for the Facebook generation. Yet remember that old Deists never die, they just fade away --- like a herd of Cheshire cats --- leaving behind only the ghostly trace of a superior smirk.
You're right of course, what else would we talk about except our "endlessly recycled" ideas? After all, I do have an endlessly recyclable universe to do it in whilst string 'conjecture' continues to do endless triple toe loops with quantum gravity on the slithery rinks of theoretical 'sci-entience' and the faint echoes of the 'first' Big Bang are drowned out by the resounding "last Trump" for both the Divisive States of Trumpland and the Fragmented States of Europe, of which my own beloved Disunited Queendom, once the industrial powerhouse of the nascent 'world economy' (but with bold - and now largely realized - aspirations of mediocrity) was formerly considered part.
You - i.e. someone - might (perhaps) be able to resurrect a herd of smirking felines - but what difference would it really make anyway - apart, perhaps, from briefly cheering up the (decidedly) odd cynically pessimistic misanthropo-deist who might happen upon us with some (even more decidedly) odd ideas about endlessly recycling panexperientially processing emergent deities once in a blue moon?
There - I've got my entire thesis on God and the world down to two paragraphs. What else is there to talk about?
Apparently, the modern Deist revival --- that got underway just before the turn of the 21st century, as a byproduct of the information revolution of the 20th century --- has lost a lot of momentum in the second decade --- just a blip in the history of religion. Some of that energy seems to have been siphoned-off into various forms of Nature worship and New Ageism. So there may be many plausible explanations for the swift rise & fall of enthusiasm for a do-nothing deity *. But my best guess is that abstract theoretical Deism never had the "right stuff" for a popular practical religion. And that's the case because "seekers of truth" are vastly outnumbered by "seekers of comfort". /see Reply below/
Yet I still think Deism, in general, works as a private personal philosophical worldview. It just doesn't have the emotional "juice" and romantic appeal of traditional religions. Which leaves only tepid intellectual interest as the attractive force for building a community of believers. Could an alliance with rational-but-romantically-challenged Humanism provide the social affinities necessary for bonding freethinking cats into some semblance of a herd?
If Deists Are Right Why Aren’t There More of Us? :
<< Honestly it is a fair question for the non Deist to ask. If Deism makes so much sense why are there not more of us? To me it comes down to a few things. First there is no way to use Deism as a system of control, so it doesn’t benefit the State or any “church” it only benefits the individual to encourage Deism. While it would certainly benefit mankind as a whole that is not the type of “benefit” I am speaking of.
We also have a marketing issue, how many people out there say things like, “I believe in God but not religion”, all of those people are Deists they just don’t know that they are. Perhaps our biggest issue though is because we lack lore, we lack stories and stories are the best tool any marketer has. We examine all of this and more today.>>
Reply by Bill McCracken :
<< In my opinion, religion is about a search for comfort, not a search for truth. Unfortunately, the human condition of our frailty and mortality leaves us with existential angst that religion, despite its lack of facts and evidence, helps to alleviate. Most of us would rather accept “answers” that bring us peace and comfort, rather than deeper questions that not only suggest that we don’t know, but that we might never know. This is why, IMO, the God of revealed religion is the Parent-in-the-Sky, fulfilling the role of divine protector and guarantor of everlasting existence. The deity of deism offers neither. We have no other protection from nature or “fate” other than what we create. And though we have taken steps to lengthen our lifespans, we are not yet immortal and indeed have the courage to ask if immortality would be the best thing for us in the long run. There are not many people who would be…comfortable…living with such disturbing questions and the lack of bullet-proof answers. Therefore, the religions thrive on having all of their answers bundled up in a fairly cohesive package as long as one can suspend reason, rational, and, in many cases, morality. Sailing into the unknown is not for everyone. But, to me, it is where we will find what makes us the most human.>>
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and affirms their ability to improve their lives through the use of reason and ingenuity as opposed to submitting blindly to tradition and authority or sinking into cruelty and brutality.
* Sure God may have created the whole universe, or is the universe, but what has he done for me lately?
My issue really boils down to how busy my life is anymore. I don't even have time to do my Reasoned Way blog or Youtube channel. I have this fantasy that I will be all in someday, fully marketing deism, but who knows.