So you believe in a God you can have no contact with or experience of and who has no direct involvement with you? Is it really rational to waste your time preaching that?
(Enlightening discussions with interesting people are not necessarily an irrational waste of time.)
Rather than preaching “refusal” or anything else, deists find it more rational and soul-satisfying instead to foster a deep love of their fellow creatures and for the ineffable beauty of nature and the cosmos, through which they indirectly experience the Creator all day, every day. Nature is church. I find this an incredibly liberating notion, much like the notion that God didn’t really program everyone from birth to “sin” against Him, forcing Him to punish us forever in a lake of fire after all.
For example: Just in the past year, I’ve had my wife undergo major surgery to fuse three vertebrae in her neck, my brother nearly die of meningitis, my aunt die, my dad have a heart attack, AND my mom died just three weeks ago. A “personal relationship” with God for me right now would be Him apparently hating me and my family’s guts and wanting some of us to suffer and die miserably while the rest of us watch in anguish, for which I would waste time intensely reviling Him while pleading with him, “Why, God? Why?” Rather pointless.
With six billion people just on this planet alone, the idea of a “personal” relationship with God, involving beseeching Him or imagining He really cares about making someone win the lottery or their next soccer match or not get a traffic ticket or about any of their individual daily concerns, is foreign to a lot of people. Many so appreciate the awesome lush banquet laid before them that they would be embarrassed to insist on also having it spoon-fed.
There is a Hindu tale about such a man. He spent every minute of his life telling himself, “there is no god.” He went to heaven because he had spent his whole life thinking of god.
hyjyljyj: Great quotes by Einstein and Darwin. The Darwin quotes are wonderfully ironic.
I’m a practicing Catholic, and these quotes pretty well sum up my world-view: that our universe looks like the product of intelligent design, and thus it is rational to assume that there is a designer out there somewhere.
And as a Catholic, I beleive that the designer has told us who he is. YMMV, of course.
Aww, don’t be so closed minded. It’s not only deists who “find it more rational and soul-satisfying instead to foster a deep love of their fellow creatures and for the ineffable beauty of nature and the cosmos, through which they indirectly experience the Creator all day, every day”. I’m like this too, only I don’t find a ‘god’ or sentient ‘creator’ (a being, rather than a process) a prerequisite or necessary for this world view. I’m an atheist; a god is simply superfluous. This truly is an incredibly liberating notion.
I’ve seen the text “I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally… an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.” attributed to Darwin, in a letter to a clergyman.
So, by his own words, he was an agnostic. Still not an athiest, but not exactly a deist either.
ufa… for a moment I thought Darwin was religious…
trabi: I’m an atheist, and I don’t believe in anything. Period. I don’t accept that there is any evidence of a deity that would meet my criteria for beyond a reasonable doubt.
I don’t believe in gravity. I don’t believe in photons or in electrons or in neutrons. I don’t believe in the sun or the moon or any of the planets, not even Earth. Why? I don’t need to. I have evidence for the existence of all those things. I don’t have evidence for supernatural beings, so I don’t accept their existence.
So, if I was presented with conclusive (or very strong) evidence for the existence of a deity, would I believe? No more than I believe in gravity right now. I would, however, accept its existence.