WikiNotes Update:
Deism [dee-iz-uh m] 
1. belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism).
2. belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.
The Universe Next Door: Chapter 3 “Deism”
Part 1 (p. 45-50)
What is the first possible reason for the development of Deism that the author gives? {It was a way to unify the constantly fighting religious sects of the day -Joe Krahn}
Another factor in the shift from theism to deism was the belief that knowledge of the Divine is rooted not in special revelation but in {reason. –Regina Mott}
What did Plato believe about the nature of reality (matter , spirit) and how did Platonic theory of knowledge influence thought and scientific study in the Middle Ages?
Why is this error in study and thought not really a Biblical perspective?
Do you agree or disagree that God “is a rational God”? {Why? I believe that God is rational in the sense that He often/usually acts in ways which make sense (appear “rational”) to us. However, this certainly does not mean that God is incapable of acting “irrationally” from our perspective: He may defy His own laws of physics, do something the purpose of which we as humans cannot fathom, etc. So in that sense, He is not entirely “rational,” because any way you slice it, God’s ways are usually beyond our logic and understanding! -Allison Deckert} {In addition, I believe that the idea of God is irrational- because of the entirety of the faith concept- However, God is rational, because who are we to define what is rational and what isn’t? Even if we think His acts are irrational, we cannot fathom, as humans, the purpose of what He is doing or the reasons behind it (like Allison said above). –Emily Hunt}
Coming out of the Middle Ages, there were those like Isaac Newton who thought that God’s universe was orderly, knowable, rational and worth exploration. What kind of picture of God’s world did scientists like Newton begin to paint?
This time period and pursuit of knowledge about the universe and reality began the modern study of what subject?
Peter Medewar argued that the 17th century’s doctrine of the necessity of reason paved the way for what belief?
How did deists come to the conclusion of God as a “giant clockmaker”?
What would be the main difference about the belief in what/how one can have knowledge of God between theists and deists?
Give a couple examples of how basic deism was not a united school of thought:
How would a deist define God as “Prime Mover”?
(They view God as a “Prime Mover” because they think that he created the world, but stepped back after that to just watch it and let stuff happen.)-Tanner Tripp
(Deists define God as a “Prime Mover” because he set all of creation up. He put everything into place, but is not directly involved in it. As the book states, he is merely a “force of energy”. He just “moved” things, but had no personal influence on them.) -Drew Kleinschmidt
In what ways is the universe “closed” to a deist? {Not only is it outside God’s active interference, but it is also outside our ability as humans to control its laws and events. In one sense, as we talked about, the universe is like a large, intricate clock: fully complete, ticking endlessly on and on, independent of our control and God’s intervention. -Allison Deckert}
How does this eliminate the possibility of miracles? {In this view a miracle cannot happen because God is not able to interfere or else it would appear to be tampering with the universe; therefore it would look like God was making a mistake. –Regina Mott}
How do deists deny the real possibility of free will in humans and what is their reasoning for doing so?
Facts/Notes on Deism Part 2 (p. 51-58)

What do deists believe about the state of the universe? Some deists see design in nature and purpose in the universe and in their lives (Prime Designer). Others see God and the universe in a co-creative process (Prime Motivator). Some deists view God in classical terms and see God as observing humanity but not directly intervening in our lives (Prime Observer), while others see God as a subtle and persuasive spirit who created the world, but then stepped back to observe (Prime Mover).[Kyleigh Hall]
Deists believe that God created the world. However, once God created the world, they believe that he left it alone. (Erik Schultz)
What inconsistencies do deists face about the knowledge of God by eliminating the possibility of “revelation”?
On the topic of “Everything that is, is right” and the dilemma that it creates with ethics. {If whatever exists is right, then wrong/evil do not exist. Only what is right exists. Pain and sin are obvious in our nature, so evil must exist. But if whatever “is” is good, then evil does not exist. You can’t hold to ”whatever is is right” and still have morals in a world full of evil. The two concepts are contradictory. -Molly Matuszak}
How did some deists view Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount? Deists view Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is that it is natural law. They view it as simply rules on ethics rather than moral guidance to glorify God with (Annika van Oosbree).
What might some deists believe about history and how would this differ from a Biblical perspective? ( A deists perspective on history would be that it is generally not important. Deists would believe that every single moment is a part of the clockwork, so they are insignificant. Specific acts from the past are indifferent. As Christians, we can see divine law in action. We can see humans past mistakes and learn from them.) -Drew Kleinschmidt
Deism was most popular in France and England in the 17th Century. (Nick Wilson)
Deism could not survive as a worldview. {People were left with a relativity of knowledge that they found hard to accept. -Emily Hunt}
On the topic of human significance in Deism{If everything is determined and set in stone, then nothing humans say or do has any impact on any other human or situation which eliminates all significance of what we choose to spend our time doing because it is all meaningless. If we have no choice, we have no significance within ourselves. -Molly Matuszak} {A human cannot have significance if the universe cannot be reordered -Emily Hunt}
Deism is seen as a transitional viewpoint, meaning that it was derived from a viewpoint and has somehow evolved into the thing that it is today. In the case of deism, it has evolved or was derived from a form of theism, and in some way it is leading then to naturalism.
Give me some examples of a kind of practical deism found in some scientists:
Einstein was said to be a deist, this is his view on religion, “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” (Alyssa Geertsen)


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