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The Case For The New Deism

Don’t you think Atheists tend to misrepresent modern Deism? It has evolved since the 18th century. For instance here is a link to a modern argument.

Posted: September 4th 2011

George Locke

“Absolute nothing” is inconceivable? Yawn. No, mass is not “energy in particle form.” “Bending the line representing the 'concept of absolute equilibrium’ in on itself makes It self-referential or self-observing?” Gibberish!

Deepities, bad science, and word salad make a very poor showing for “modern Deism”. Most atheist representations of deism are far more coherent than that gobbledygook.

Deism gets pretty fair treatment from atheists in my experience. If you think differently, please point us to one of the misrepresentations you have in mind with a future question.

Posted: September 6th 2011

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Eric_PK

This is a very, very confused argument.

First off, those who try to use quantum mechanics and advanced physics to prove things like this forget that science is about models that work, not reality. We have observations that show that light sometimes acts as a wave and sometimes as a particle. But “wave” and “particle” are both models, and they are useful only to the extent that they make predictions that work. They do not tell us about what light is, any more than the electron shell theory of atoms tells us that there really are shells filled with electrons.

On the last page, we get the following:

But as I stated earlier none of this “proves” anything. The world does not have to conform to our ideas of how we think it should be. It is what it is. But I am bound by the rules of logic therefore I must
accept what is logical and reject what is not. Materialism offers no answer to the question, “why is
there 'something’ instead of 'nothing’?” and that leads directly to a non-sequitur (0/2=0). That, in turn,
forces it into an infinite regression (that is almost identical to the “who created the creator” problem so
many delight in ridiculing) where it is asserted (with no empirical evidence to even suggest it) that the
universe has always existed (contrary to the empirical evidence of the big bang the universe is finite in
age) or is derived from something else that is basically material and has always existed (even though
there is no empirical evidence of any other such thing). And even though it asserts the cosmos has
always existed it can’t explain why the cosmos has always existed which results in an absurd situation
where the world behaves according to strict rules of logic but has no logical foundation. It just “is”.”

So not being able to explain why the cosmos has always existed is absurd.

Hmm. That sounds like somebody who is expecting the world to conform to his ideas of how the world should be, which the author just stated was something that we couldn’t do.

“We don’t know” is a perfectly reasonable position to take, and without evidence it is in fact the only position to take.

Even if I did accept the overall argument, I just don’t see what it gets you. Saying god created the universe because it had to have a creator has no more impact than me saying a random set of characters (932rhaser#”#1222) created the universe; you can’t do anything with the information.

Posted: September 6th 2011

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Mike the Infidel www

After a couple paragraphs about God, followed by a couple of pages not mentioning God at all, we run into this:

Bending the line representing the “concept of absolute equilibrium” in on itself makes It self-referential or self-observing. That also makes It self-aware because structurally It is identical to the self-referential observation “I am”. And that reveals just what concept It is that is in equilibrium. It is awareness itself and It is a true tabula rasa.

I call this foundational state the Prime Observer because It is literally observing Itself. The circle in this model is perfectly smooth and therefore in absolute equilibrium but contains within It an infinite number of potential worlds which may emerge spontaneously as an epiphenomenon or side effect. In other words It is the simplest possible structure but contains within It all the complexities that can ever be. And not only does It explain Itself as It has just one basic property the model also solves the “who created the creator” problem because logically It can’t be reduced any further than concept.

Not to be rude, but this is absolute gibberish. It’s a word salad. Even the very first sentence makes no sense. What does “absolute equilibrium” have to do with a god? Why would it be represented as a line? How does bending this line into a circle do anything? And so on, and so on… Essentially, what we’ve got here is “God exists because God exists” written in as confusing a bit of language as possible.

If this is what modern Deism has evolved into, I daresay it’s worse off than modern theism.

Posted: September 6th 2011

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Galen Rose www

I admit that I did not read the whole argument closely as my head began to spin after about 4 paragraphs. The rest of the argument I just skimmed. However, I think Blaise nailed it; IF the argument is correct, then it’s turtles all the way down. It think it’s far more likely that some of your assumptions are illegitimate.

Here’s a very simple way of looking at the problem. You argue that a god would be self aware. Every known case of self awareness known to modern science involves a live, functioning brain, and every brain known to science contains neurons, blood vessels, etc; that is, biological matter. Your argument depends on the existence of something without a brain being conscious and self aware, and existing before anything else existed. There is no evidence that something without a brain can be self aware and I think It is outrageously unlikely that the first thing in the universe to exist was biological matter.

Here’s another problem with your theory. If this god created the universe, then where did the idea for a universe come from? Every thought we have depends on the existence of something. Imagine a being born suspended in a closed vat of fluid, with no eyes, ears, nose, and no sense of touch. As it grew, what do you suppose it would think about? In fact, it seems a bit of a reach to suppose such a being could even be self aware because self awareness requires awareness of separation from something that is non-self. The deist god you imagine seems to me to be a lot like that creature in the vat. Now where in the world (when there was no world) would the idea of a universe come from (or even the idea of “creating,” for that matter)? This would be the ultimate in lifting oneself by one’s own bootstraps.

Posted: September 5th 2011

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Blaise www

Well, I took the time to read that “modern argument”, and frankly, I want my ten minutes back. That hodgepodge of basic quantum physics and unfounded assumptions (“the universe is curved energy”) is a poor explanation of what others have expressed much better, the idea that thought defines reality, so if the universe exists, something must have been around first to observe it.

It’s not an impossible argument, but it’s not a particularly good one either. It’s based on a misunderstanding of the word “observe”. A basic tenet of quantum physics is that quantum states don’t collapse into what we know as reality until their state is observed. However, to a physicist, an “observer” is any particle or field that interacts with the state. It is not meant to imply a mind is involved.

So no, I don’t think that Atheists tend to misrepresent 'modern’ deism. I think most see it as an answer that only raises more questions. Even if the “Observer” theory of universal creation were exactly correct, and there was some mind needed to start the universe, it just brings us full circle. If everything needs an observer mind to exist, so the universe had an observer mind, then that mind needed its own observer to exist, and so on, and so on.

It’s just an updated version of the old “first cause” argument, which went: “everything that exists has a cause, so if the universe exists, it too had a cause.” By that logic, then, it’s cause needed a cause, and that cause needed a cause, and around and around we go!

Posted: September 5th 2011

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