Thursday, June 26, 2008

Deism and the Afterlife

In general, Deism as a religious philosophy trys to answer the same questions that we all want answered. In many cases we Deists give an answer even if it is quite basic (and in most cases it is). However, there is one area that Deists don't give an answer on and this may be one of the reasons Deism never has been able to grow larger than it is.

The area is the afterlife.

The Deist view of the afterlife is best stated by Thomas Paine:

"I believe in only one God; and I have hope for happiness in an afterlife."

The most important word in that sentence is "hope." We Deists hope for an afterlife and believe that one may exist. However, we can never really know no matter what anyone says on the subject.

As such, we do not accept the beliefs of other religions that tell us there is an heaven/hell or reincarnation. We simply ask what evidence exists for such places and concepts and have found none.

However, there is a bigger reason for why we Deists hope rather than believe in an afterlife. This has to do with the concept of an afterlife. Far too many religions have focused on what happens when we die and in turn this has caused many to forsake this life in favor of the next perfect life that is to come along.

Deists know that this life is what we have now and we know that it is all we have at the moment. Deists know that there is no proof in an afterlife so the best plan is to hope for one and then focus on this life. Deists believe that we must live this life to the fullest as it may be the only one that we have.


Johannes Frederick said...

Greetings PD:

Well said, sir.

If Christians are honest, they only have the very same hope of Thomas Paine, and all believers in God, the Creator, the hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27).

Dean said...

I wouldn't categorize all Deists into "Hope for happiness in the after life". I personally do, but there are Deists like Flew. Flew stated that he did not want an afterlife. Being more then 80 years old, I can't blame him. If I got that old I'm sure I would just want a nice rest.

greg27241 said...

I have come to believe in something akin to reincarnation. I don't know how else to describe how some people have inexplicable wisdom and knowledge, while others do not. (Often we are talking about a young person so wise beyond their years). I don't think it is just genetics or IQ, but has something to do with the old soul/young soul possibilities. It is also based on an idea that the universe "recycles" as existence seeks to become more complex.

erites said...

i'm with you Greg...something akin to reincarnation makes sense. here is my logic, i make no claims to its validity. benjamin franklin (i think?) complained that churches weren't making it plain that we were eternal souls. jesus (i guess i'm a christian deist) said that he and God were one. i'm thinking that's because of the obvious-everything that partakes of the eternal is one in the Eternal. that's just always been obvious to me, that interconnectedness-which is why my brother tells me others get high to think like i do all the time.
so. if the soul is eternal, it isn't just going to never end, but it also never began. the i that is me has always been. and i am choosing, on advice of the Ultimate Counsel perhaps, but probably not in any direct sense, to experience this life in this form...and i've probably (almost certainly) done it before. because i wanted to, in order to accomplish something i cannot imagine while i am in this life and form.
it sounds fantastical, but it really doesn't feel that way. and actually it gets more complex than that...but that will do.

george said...

the afterlife, all the evidence is being revealed between near death experiences/ paranormal events/ personal accounts of seeing and talking to the dead/ and the latest scientific research of string theory and more. Man is getting closer to the greatest truth of all, this life is not all there is! We all are eternal beings no religion needed it only gets inthe way of truth. the truth is found inside each of us and we don't any one to get there only

Brother Of Yeshua said...

The word "hope" from a mature Deist perspective is not exactly true. The positions that Deists embraced on the Laws and other important truths, was the result of core Deists proving the Truth within themselves. They were against organized religion, because organized religion always corrupts the spiritual essence of core religious teachings, in order to serve the needs of pseudo-authorities. If you truly desire to consider the core principles and teachings of Deism that is not at all understood today, then read the three chapters on Deism beginning at Deism And The First Amendment. To understand the core Deist principles, is to understand the enigmas and mysteries of life itself.

Brother Of Yeshua/Jesus

adixion said...

I'm a deist as well but i also believe in a form of reincarnation. I believe that when we die our soul will reincarnate not necessarily here but we will reincarnate. I'm 18 years old and i'm still looking for answers about life, Some of the deism ideas go with what i believe and some don't. Interesting articles by the way.

Brother Of Yeshua said...

Again, Greg, you are 100% with your assertion that most of the American Deists not only believed in the reincarnation of the soul, but the core Deists knew their past lives -- and formed the tenets of our Constitutional form of government to accommodate and bring about the spiritual evolution of the individual. Once again, the esoteric knowledge of the Deists is all presented at , which is authored by a Deist that all modern-day Deists quote. If modern Deists desire to reclaim their rightful place of intellectual prominence, then it is important that they understand the (esoteric) knowledge of the Laws that are presented at this link.

Brother Of Yeshua/Jesus

Anonymous said...

It's all wishful thinking, now we are aware ,we don't want our experiences wasted ,therefore we project a future.

Brother Of Yeshua said...

Deism is not faith-based. If you possess a working functional knowledge of the Natural Laws, you will also be able to overcome man's inherent physical limitations, and prove the Truth of all things within yourself. And with respect to the higher knowledge of the Natural Laws, while it is true that Deism is the answer, it is also true that few people who portray themselves as Deists actually understand the Core Deists Principles, and possess an essential functional knowledge of the Natural Laws and how to overcome man's organic limitations. And while it is true that the earliest followers and disciples of the MAN Jesus possessed this essential knowledge, the apostate Church of Rome threw it all away.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't say he hopes for an afterlife. He says he hopes for HAPPINESS in an afterlife. It's not the same.