Tuesday, October 1, 2013

If I were to become a theist

Recently in a discussion with a Muslim on Google+ I was linked to a very interesting video that claimed to prove the existence of God. The video is entitled The Signs of God's Existence, for those of you interested in checking it out you may do so here. It is a little lengthy almost two hours long in total but it is your standard argument for ID (intelligent design) by utilizing the theists favorite ploy the god of the gaps theory. Basically, for those of you who are not familiar with the god of the gaps theory it is entirely comprised of attacks on science based on all those areas where science is lacking in knowledge. Common points of attack are the origins of the universe, the origins of life, the apparent fine tuning of the universe, and the apparent design evident in nature. If you are not well versed in scientific principles and discoveries it would not be hard to be led astray by this religious propaganda and dishonest ploy.

Every theist's mantra aka the god of the gaps theory

As a former theist evangelist and now as an atheist, I personally do not have any problem with the idea of a god or his/her/or its existence. I am trying to be as true to myself as far as what can be known and am humble enough to say I don't know something when I feel that I lack the knowledge or expertise to answer a question with certainty. I prefer science over theism because of this same humility. But the difference is that science does not state things as absolute facts and scientists are the first to acknowledge that our knowledge on all matters are subject to change based on  the discovery of a better theory strongly supported by better evidence in its favor. 

This is where I have my biggest problem with theism and organized religion in general. Theist's claim to know everything and make extraordinary claims of certainty based entirely on faith in the truth of their so called holy texts of choice. The one thing they can't agree on is on the name of their god and which religious text, sect, or organization is the truth. But each proponent of his or her chosen religion claims to have the truth while at the same time discrediting all other religious institutions as false dupes of Satan. When it comes to religion I stand with Thomas Paine and many of my beliefs are along the same line of thought as his. I view all of the worlds religions, gods, and other deities as man made inventions. 

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. Thomas Paine/ The Age of Reason

Thomas Paine was a deist (1737-1809) who wrote the book The Age of Reason which was an attack on organized religions that accused them of corruption and political ambition. Anyone who is interested in reading this book online or downloading it can find a very good and informative link to this work here. Thomas Paine saw religions as human inventions all created with some ulterior motives that its founders hid within their so called holy texts. Before I go any further I would like to take this moment to define the word deism and what it refers to.

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.

My problem with organized religions goes beyond the fact that I believe that they are all nothing more than the inventions of men. The three major religions of the book as they are called Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all make use of a very common habit of man. Their idea of god is based entirely on the model of man. This is what is known as anthropomorphism and what it means is that they basically attribute to their gods the attributes of men.

Anthropomorphism: an interpretation of what is not human or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics

This is not unique to just Judaism, Christianity, and Islam but is also quite evident in many of the polytheistic (worship many gods) ancient religions that predate them. The only change these three modern religions bring to the table is that they claim to only worship one god (monotheism). The  god of these three main religions is described in their holy texts very much in the same way that you would describe your next door neighbor. He walks, talks, grieves, gets angry, jealous, throws tantrums etc. He is also for the most part racist in that he always chooses a particular race to represent him on earth and spread his message to the rest of us. He loves attention and demands our love, devotion, worship, complete obedience, and fear. he is very particular on how he wants to be worshiped and how he expects us to live so that we may always walk in a way that is pleasing to his sight. Lastly he is not averse to making threats for refusing to believe in him.

These anthropomorphic deities are very interested in your personal life down to its most minute detail. He wants to control your thoughts, who you love, how you love, your finances, how you treat others who reject his message, etc. Not only does he want to control you in life he also likes to persuade the unbeliever with threats of what awaits you after you die. He is very controlling and dictatorial in nature. He has rituals he wants you to perform, and days he wants you to dedicate to his worship and service.

If I were ever to accept the existence of a god as fact, the only religious philosophy I would embrace would be deism. Because this deity is only responsible for creation and nothing more. He, she, or it does not care what you do or how you live. I think if there is some sort of unknown and probably unknowable creative force out there that it is not even a personal deity. It simply got the ball rolling for creation and stepped out of the picture and left us to our own devices. This is the only type of deity that would do away with the problem of evil and other common  arguments used against the 
standard models of theism.

I think that life is what we make of it. I don't need a god to teach me right from wrong nor do I think it is built into our psyche. I think that morals are like religion the products of men, societies, and culture. We are taught right and wrong first from our parents and then learn the rest from relatives, friends, and the society we live in. Never again will I stand with arms raised to the heavens or prostrated on my knees on the ground in worship and adoration of an imaginary invention of man. Never again will I allow my religious biases to dictate how I live or treat my fellow man. I will not judge others based on so called statutes and laws derived from other cultures claiming to be universal and divine. 

The deistic god does not care how you live or ask for your undying loyalty, love, and worship. I live life to the best of my ability and try to treat others with respect as I too would like to be treated. I don't discriminate anyone for their sex, sexual orientation, or creed. Like Paine I can declare with confident joy that my mind is my church!

Note: All word definitions are taken from the Merriam Webster dictionary online. All other sources are directly linked to in the text.


  1. I wrote a post asking what kind of Christian I would be if I were to convert. It's not easy, every version of Christianity has major problems and will cause one to have cognitive dissonance. Christians either have to be scientifically ignorant, or they have to presuppose their religion is true and that all the evidence against it is an illusion perpetrated by god or evil demons.


    1. Thanks for your comment I appreciate your imput Thinker. If I ever accepted that there was a god I would never go back to any man made institutionalized religion. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam being the three major world religions all seem like they have been fabricated by man and I personally find the concept of faith insulting. In order to accept any diety by faith you would have to sacrifice reason which is something I am not willing to do.

  2. The whole concept of deism baffles me, as there is no reason to praise this god. I mean it can only be accepted on the proof that a god exists, but it requires nothing and so is a pointless label in my opinion. It seems to me a go to position that some atheists used to use back in the old times, when a complete rejection of a god was frowned upon.

    1. "The whole concept of deism baffles me, as there is no reason to praise this god."

      That's the whole point! A deistic god could be anything such as some sort of impersonal creative force in the universe that got the ball rolling. It does not require worship nor praise nor any changes in my lifestyle. It would be simply acknowledging that just maybe there is some sort of creative force in the universe with intents and purposes and we choose to call it God. He creates everything and leaves us to our own devicces. It is very similar to the agnostic position because it is not based on fact or faith but on a lack of knowledge and certainty. It's a big willingness to accept the possibillity of he/she/or its existence.

    2. Why would you need to praise a god?

      What abominable conceit!

      Just what makes a being who could create a universe would care in the least about you, or anything you have to say? Just who do you think you are?

      I'm going to pretend to be that kind of being. Hey--all powerful FTW! Woo hoo!


      "Huh? What's that annoying sound? Who's bugging me? I'm trying to sleep here. Crap! It's one of those dumb and severely gullible snivelers with their pathetic attempts to butter me up, as if I care what those idiots think.

      "For pity's sake, this sniveling never ends. How annoying--Hey, idiot, I don't need your praise! I'm ALL POWERFUL. What do I need with praise from such a puny and insignificant being? I have zillions of creatures like you, all over the universe, and none of those guys are so dumb as to think sucking up to me will work.

      "Now shut up and go away. No, really, shut up. I mean it.

      "Dumb, gullible christers...."

      :::Zaps the christer into a black hole:::

      "That's for calling me 'he' and 'father' all the time, you moronic chauvinist hog.

      "Maybe next time I'll invent a copy of your deity and make him hate you and send you to hell. It will really be the iron core of the star Eta Carinae, but you won't know the difference, since you waste your mind on useless genocidal fictions. Hm. That murderous deity-Eta Carinae combo might be a good one to use on for those idiot teabaggers. Speaking of them..."

  3. I agree. Most Christians also fall back on deist arguments when defending their belief. I can also see merit to pantheism in a way. But neither deism or pantheism is worth worshiping and neither have a specific dogma attached to it, so creating a religion around it would be worthless. It's the dogma attached to religion that is truly ruinous.

    1. It's my opinion that any religion that requires you to degrade yourself and submit your entire being to the worship of an invisible deity whose cruelty in its so called holy texts exceeds your own is not worthy of worship. In fact, I find the idea of worshiping anything nothing more than an act of self loathing and degradation.

  4. Good write!
    I like your definition of Deist. And I am an admirer or Thomas Paine

    I tried to capture what you wrote here when I claimed that I am agnostic about "Gutted Gods". And further, here in "Dissecting God(s)". Thought you'd enjoy.

    Suggestion: Grundy has links to your blog -- thus my visit. So when I come new here, I wanted to find out something about you without reading tons of posts to try to piece something together. So, why not consider an "About" tab where you share a bit about yourself. So instead of write more, I just put up a post today for you.

    1. Thanks for your comment Sabio Lantz, and welcome to my blog. I have taken a look at your two posts on Wordpress and found them to be interesting. I thought about your suggestion for creating an about link and decided that I will do that and link to my deconversion posts for all those readers interested in getting to know me and my experiences as a former Pentecostal evangelist. Thanks for visiting and I hope that you continue to do so in the future.

  5. LOL, I don't know how you could stand to sit through 2 hours of that shit. Pretty sure I couldn't take 20 minutes of it.

    1. It wasn't easy trust me that shit was torture! I watched it because every once in awhile I like to hear what the other side hsa to say. In the end it was nothing more than your standard ID argument. The only difference was that this video attributed creation to Allah and not Yahweh. LMFAO!