Am I Still a Deist After 7 Years?

In Reasoned Spirituality by Dave Gaddis

I have been actively promoting deism since I realized I was one back in 2008. While I still refer to myself as a deist, I must admit that I am a less enamored with the label. The deistic notion of God has not lost its reasoned allure for me, but there are challenges within the deist community. I use the term community somewhat loosely.

The first challenge is the broad segment of deists that spend the majority of their time bashing other religions. I understand that some new deists find solace in realizing they are not alone in confronting the revealed religions. Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason is the height of religious critique. He died broke and alone. That fact should not be lost on us.

Second, there has to be something more to hold onto once a deist has moved beyond the vitriol. Unfortunately, there is not. Deism is simply a belief in God based on reason and observation of nature. That’s it, quite frankly. There is nothing that helps us make sense of our lives. I am not talking about illusory ideals or dogmatic philosophies. I simply mean that deism does not help us reduce the suffering and enhance the joy in our lives. One of my goals with Reasoned Media is to build a life philosophy that is rooted in reason. It will maintain our understanding of a deistic God as well as our reliance on reason.

Finally, deists have a strong aversion to organization, even if its just organized promotion of deism. How can we build a community without some kind of organizational structure? Responsibility for aspects of a deist organization is not the same as advocating deist authority figures, let alone clergy. Lack of organized promotion of deism is probably the biggest impediment for broad adoption of deism.

The Reasoned Way is rooted in deistic ideas, but it is not just for deists. My goal is to take the very best of philosophy, religion, science, and our collective life experiences to develop a non-dogmatic philosophy that can enrich our lives and support a vibrant community.

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