History UsefulNotes / Deism

2nd Aug '16 1:14:01 AM JulianLapostat
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Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note]], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors. In the course of the 19th Century, later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as leftist, anarchist and Marxist critique led to the development of an atheism that was accessible and viable to the common man, capable of providing a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview than. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection ended the need for a rational conception of an anthropomorphic creator of mankind. Post-Einsteinian and quantum physics have ironically eroded some of the original science-based ideas of deism, i.e. that the natural laws of the universed are fixed and stable, rather than relative to time and space (as argued by Einstein ''pace Newton''), or that knowledge can be derived from observation of natural phenomenon (where quantum mechanics argue that on the subatomic level, the act of observation affects the quantity of the thing being observed).

to:

Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note]], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors. In the course of the 19th Century, later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as leftist, anarchist and Marxist critique led to the development of an atheism that was accessible and viable to the common man, capable of providing a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview than.man. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection ended the need for a rational conception of an anthropomorphic creator of mankind. Post-Einsteinian and quantum physics have ironically eroded some of the original science-based ideas of deism, i.e. that the natural laws of the universed are fixed and stable, rather than relative to time and space (as argued by Einstein ''pace Newton''), or that knowledge can be derived from observation of natural phenomenon (where quantum mechanics argue that on the subatomic level, the act of observation affects the quantity of the thing being observed).
2nd Aug '16 1:08:56 AM JulianLapostat
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The reason why this skepticism manifested itself in a kind of inverted substitute for Christianity and established religion is a cause for some debate. Deists met in salons for congregation, read Enlightened works by Locke and Rousseau in place of scripture, and later, the likes of Robespierre and Thomas Paine started actual deist festivals and temples, one of the reasons why later atheists and secular liberals and revolutionaries (as well as the more radical of their contemporaries) saw them as hypocritical, silly and wishy-washy fence-sitters. The reasons for this are more cultural than anything. Religion, and Christianity in particular, wasn't just a set of beliefs, it was also part of the culture, it had festivals, it had days on calendars marked with saints, it was part of the language, swear words and slangs, it had carols, it had great art and architecture, as well as the rituals of the Catholic Church which attracted many people towards it. In France, there had never been a successful Protestant Reformation, and the Church was a heavy part of the culture and attitudes. Deism as well as its parallel off-shoots like Freemason lodges offered a space for intellectuals and curious people to be free of Christian culture and influence.

Classical deism is similar to Modern Deism in that they're both based on reason and naturalism, but Classical Deism's evolution from Christianity is more readily apparent. Classical Deism didn't have the benefit of evolution, the big bang theory, or even an idea of how old the earth and universe were. Newton's theory of gravity and Copernicus's heliocentric model of the universe were the best they had to go on, hence why they believed in Intelligent Design. They viewed God as transcendental from its creation and impersonal, preferring neither the Catholic, nor Protestant nor the extremely anti-sexual and anti-liberty models of morality. However, at the time deism was part of a continuum with Christianity. Christian Deism and unitarianism were situated in the middle, but they were for the most part more individualistic or [[ForHappiness utilitarian]].

When conservatives cite the references about a Creator in their defense of the founding fathers being Christian, liberals in response cite the lack of scientific knowledge at the time as the reason why the founding fathers still referenced a Creator, even though it was obvious for them that religious interference in politics would directly contradict the Bill of Rights (First Amendment has "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", and Hell definitely counts under the prohibited Cruel and Unusual Punishment).

The turn of the century saw the Second Great Awakening in America and Christian revival in other areas of the world. In addition, while Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection theoretically only pushed back the date of God's role in the universe, it gave people confidence that alternative explanations for how we got here could exist. Quantum Mechanics later reinforced this notion. This attack from two sides caused Deism to wane in popularity, but TheNineties saw a revival in Deism facilitated by the Internet. This form of Deism is known as Modern Deism. However, Deism is no longer ''the'' liberated and enlightened worldview; Atheism displaced it from this position, and currently Deism fills a middle niche, along with Agnosticism, both of which are attacked by religious and atheists as "fence-sitters".

Ironically, during UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, the most anti-clerical and critical views of organized religion and Christianity came from authors of a deist perspective. While atheist authors did exist, for the most part their arguments of ReligionIsWrong did not catch a wide audience or be treated as anything more than a "shock" or "scandal" among the educated elite, they were seen even by non-believers as pranksters rather than someone posing a real challenge to the Church. Deist authors by arguing for a natural religion based on then-scientific knowledge, by being "for" something provided a more coherent argument at the time to live a non-Christian, secular life. During the French Revolution, deists had wide support from liberal aristocrats and middle and lower-middle class people as well as working class agitators, while atheist radicals were quite famous for attacking and destroying Church property and even threatening pro-revolutionary priests such as Henri Gregoire (who wanted a liberal Catholic Church, clamped down on anti-semitism and campaigned for abolitionism) during the dechristianizing campaign. Robespierre, a famous Deist, managed to clamp down on excesses of dechristianization, by stating that "atheism is aristocratic" seeing it as a viewpoint that essentially states [[WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons that common people are idiotic for having religious sentiment]]. He used Deism to erode the role of the Church and clampdown on dechristianizing excess, by wedding it to revolutionary doctrine to create a new nationalist Cult of the Supreme Being which bore fruit in the most popular, elaborate and widely attended Revolutionary Festival of the era. Nationalism during the Revolution often had a quasi-religious fervor where people saw democracy and UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment as new doctrines for a non-denominational Church. Though, the French ultimately erred in using state power to decide religious matters. The American Founders, having more time, distance and a less hostile partisan climate than in France, used Deist ideas of a Distant God guiding human endeavors in Science and Politics to create a comprehensive, precisely written separation of Church and State in the First Amendment that kept the State as non-intervening and non-hostile to religious belief. They were helped by the fact that the Catholic Church wasn't omnipresent as it was in France (it was the largest landowner pre-Revolution) and many of the Protestant sects had a strong liberal dissenting tradition since they were persecuted by the Anglican Church in England.

Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note]], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors, who took the advantages of later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as leftist, anarchist and Marxist critique (who managed to make atheism accessible and viable to the common man by describing it as a means of control that acknowledges discontent but pacifies it to prevent real agitation) to provide a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview than {{Deism}}.

Modern Deism incorporates what science has discovered since the enlightenment and holds the nature of God is unknowable other than that God exists. In fact, Modern Deists are encouraged to use reason to determine God's nature for themselves.

to:

The reason why this skepticism manifested itself in a kind of inverted substitute for Christianity and established religion is a cause for some debate. Deists met in salons for congregation, read Enlightened works by Locke and Rousseau in place of scripture, and later, the likes of Robespierre and Thomas Paine started actual deist festivals and temples, one of the reasons why later atheists and secular liberals and revolutionaries (as well as the more radical of their contemporaries) saw them as hypocritical, silly and wishy-washy fence-sitters. The reasons for this are more cultural than anything. Religion, and Christianity in particular, wasn't just a set of beliefs, it was also part of the culture, it had festivals, it had days on calendars marked with saints, it was part of the language, swear words and slangs, it had carols, it had great art and architecture, as well as the rituals of the Catholic Church which attracted many people towards it. In France, there had never been a successful Protestant Reformation, and the Church was a heavy part of the culture and attitudes. Deism as well as its parallel off-shoots like Freemason lodges offered a space for intellectuals and curious people to be free of Christian culture and influence. Secular nationalism was greatly inspired by Deism's attempt to create a parallel room for a social life that did not revolve around religion.

Classical deism is similar to Modern Deism in that they're both based on reason and naturalism, but Classical Deism's evolution from Christianity is more readily apparent. Classical Deism didn't have the benefit of evolution, the big bang theory, or even an idea of how old the earth and universe were. Newton's theory of gravity and Copernicus's heliocentric model of the universe were the best they had to go on, hence why they believed in Intelligent Design. They viewed God as transcendental from its creation and impersonal, preferring neither the Catholic, nor Protestant nor the extremely anti-sexual and anti-liberty models of morality. However, at the time deism was part of a continuum with Christianity. Christian Deism and unitarianism were situated in the middle, but they were for the most part more individualistic or [[ForHappiness utilitarian]]. \n\n When conservatives cite the references about a Creator in their defense of the founding fathers being Christian, liberals in response cite the lack of scientific knowledge at the time as the reason why the founding fathers still referenced a Creator, even though it was obvious for them that religious interference in politics would directly contradict the Bill of Rights (First Amendment has "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", and Hell definitely counts under the prohibited Cruel and Unusual Punishment).

Deism never really became popular among the lower-classes despite attempts to proselytize and popularize it by the likes of Paine and Robespierre. It was seen as too elite and too intellectual and its attempts to create ritual celebrations such as the notorious Festival of the Supreme Being were so controversial that it alienated its original support base among the emerging middle-class. The turn of the century saw the Second Great Awakening in America and Christian revival in other areas of the world. In addition, world, while Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection theoretically only pushed Napoleon on ascending to power brought back the date Catholic Church to its former pride of God's role place in French society. In the universe, it gave people confidence that alternative explanations for how we got here could exist. Quantum Mechanics later reinforced this notion. This attack from two sides caused Deism to wane in popularity, but TheNineties saw a revival in Deism facilitated by the Internet. This form of Deism is known as Modern Deism. However, Deism is no longer ''the'' liberated end, it's biggest impact and enlightened worldview; Atheism displaced it from this position, and currently Deism fills a middle niche, along with Agnosticism, both of which are attacked by religious and atheists as "fence-sitters".

Ironically, during UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, the most
influence was its anti-clerical and critical views of organized religion and Christianity came from authors of a deist perspective.Christianity. While atheist authors did exist, for the most part their arguments of ReligionIsWrong did not catch a wide audience or be treated as anything more than a "shock" or "scandal" among the educated elite, they were seen even by non-believers as pranksters rather than someone posing a real challenge to the Church.

Deist authors by arguing for a natural religion based on then-scientific knowledge, by being "for" something provided a more coherent argument argument, at the time time, to live a non-Christian, non-Christian secular life. During the French Revolution, deists had wide support from liberal aristocrats and middle and lower-middle class people as well as working class agitators, while atheist radicals were quite famous for attacking and destroying Church property and even threatening pro-revolutionary priests such as Henri Gregoire (who wanted a liberal Catholic Church, clamped down on anti-semitism and campaigned for abolitionism) during the dechristianizing campaign. Robespierre, a famous Deist, managed to clamp down on excesses of dechristianization, by stating that "atheism is aristocratic" seeing it as a viewpoint that essentially states [[WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons that common people are idiotic for having religious sentiment]]. He used Deism to erode the role of the Church and clampdown on dechristianizing excess, by wedding it to revolutionary doctrine to create a new nationalist Cult of the Supreme Being which bore fruit in the most popular, elaborate and widely attended Revolutionary Festival of the era. Nationalism during the Revolution often had a quasi-religious fervor where people saw democracy and UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment as new doctrines for a non-denominational Church. Though, the French ultimately erred in using state power to decide religious matters. The American Founders, having more time, distance and a less hostile partisan climate than in France, used Deist ideas of a Distant God guiding human endeavors in Science and Politics to create a comprehensive, comprehensive precisely written separation of Church and State in the First Amendment that kept the State as non-intervening and non-hostile to religious belief. They were helped by the fact that the Catholic Church wasn't omnipresent as it was in France (it was the largest landowner pre-Revolution) and many of the Protestant sects had a strong liberal dissenting tradition since they were persecuted by the Anglican Church in England.

Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note]], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors, who took authors. In the advantages course of the 19th Century, later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as leftist, anarchist and Marxist critique (who managed led to make the development of an atheism that was accessible and viable to the common man by describing it as a means man, capable of control that acknowledges discontent but pacifies it to prevent real agitation) to provide providing a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview than. Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection ended the need for a rational conception of an anthropomorphic creator of mankind. Post-Einsteinian and quantum physics have ironically eroded some of the original science-based ideas of deism, i.e. that the natural laws of the universed are fixed and stable, rather than {{Deism}}.

relative to time and space (as argued by Einstein ''pace Newton''), or that knowledge can be derived from observation of natural phenomenon (where quantum mechanics argue that on the subatomic level, the act of observation affects the quantity of the thing being observed).

TheNineties saw a revival in Deism facilitated by the Internet. This form of Deism is known as Modern Deism and it is no longer ''the'' liberated and enlightened worldview; Atheism displaced it from this position, and currently Deism fills a middle niche, along with Agnosticism, both of which are attacked by religious and atheists as "fence-sitters".
Modern Deism incorporates what science has discovered since the enlightenment and holds the nature of God is unknowable other than that God exists. In fact, Modern Deists are encouraged to use reason to determine God's nature for themselves.



* UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution: Deism and deists also had a huge influence on the French Revoluton. {{Creator/Voltaire}} was a deist, for example.

to:

* DoubleStandard: Some deists despite criticizing religion and Christianity for intolerance and superstition nonetheless kept many of its prejudices. Voltaire was an influential challenger of censorship and the Church's censorship, he was also a rabid anti-semite. Likewise, the Roman nostalgia of this time amounted to a simplistic identification with the pagan aristocracy of Ancient Rome on the part of Edward Gibbon and others, and uncritically accepting Roman and Greek defenses of slavery and class subjugation.
* UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution: Deism and deists also had a huge influence on the French Revoluton. {{Creator/Voltaire}} was a deist, for example.example as was Rousseau, and many others, including Robespierre the most famous and notorious of the Revoltuionaries.



* NeglectfulPrecursors



* SacredScripture : Averted, as Deism rejects entirely the notion that a God has authored or inspired any sort of religious text, instead positing that such texts are always human inventions, and that God's only 'communication' to man is our Universe itself, the operations of which are discoverable through our gifts of reason and science.

to:

* SacredScripture : SacredScripture:
**
Averted, as Deism rejects entirely the notion that a God has authored or inspired any sort of religious text, instead positing that such texts are always human inventions, and that God's only 'communication' to man is our Universe itself, the operations of which are discoverable through our gifts of reason and science.science.
** Some Deists considered the works of the Enlightenment as TheMoralSubstitute for scripture, namely the works of Creator/{{Voltaire}}, Creator/JeanJacquesRousseau as well as several classical texts. This was especially apparent during UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution where they converted the Neoclassical Church of Ste. Geneviève into the Pantheon, a mausoleum for the graves of great thinkers and a posthumous-Hall of Fame, that essentially made them into secular saints for veneration.
* SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil:
** Averted by the Founding Fathers, who were deists but also slaveowners and often invoked "reason" as justification for human bondage, believing that they were enlightened masters and accepting racism on (now discredited) pseudo-scientific grounds, which often made Deism a form of IntellectuallySupportedTyranny.
** The French deists and sympathiques were more consistently abolitionist on the other hand, albeit allying with Christian intellectuals like Abbe Gregoire and Abbe Raynal in calling for the end of slavery and advocating anti-racism, during the French Revolution.
2nd Aug '16 12:37:00 AM JulianLapostat
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'''Deism''' is a theological theory proposing that a god created the Universe but is an AllPowerfulBystander who has since refrained from any activity in it. It was espoused by many European scientific thinkers of the 18th century (the Enlightenment age), some leaders of UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution and some US founding fathers such as Creator/BenjaminFranklin, UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson and Creator/ThomasPaine.

Essentially, you can view it as God created the Universe, set up all the laws of reality and everything, then either totally lost interest or simply stepped aside to let his creation run its course without interruption. He's still "around", but he doesn't do much, if anything, to interfere with mortal lives (And if He did, we [[{{Muggles}} mere mortals]] probably wouldn't be in the loop; after all, God Works In Mysterious Ways...).

to:

'''Deism''' is a theological theory proposing that a god created the Universe but is an AllPowerfulBystander who has since refrained from any activity in it. It was espoused by many European scientific thinkers of the 18th century (the Enlightenment age), some leaders of UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, namely UsefulNotes/MaximilienRobespierre, and some US founding fathers such as Creator/BenjaminFranklin, UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson and Creator/ThomasPaine.

Essentially, you can view it as God God, or the Supreme Being, created the Universe, set up all the laws of reality and everything, then either totally lost interest or simply stepped aside to let his creation run its course without interruption. He's still "around", but he doesn't do much, if anything, to interfere with mortal lives (And if He did, we [[{{Muggles}} mere mortals]] probably wouldn't be in the loop; after all, God Works In Mysterious Ways...InMysteriousWays...). In other cases, God/the Supreme Being was essentially nature or a linguistic substitute for the system of natural laws that governed the world, and it can be described in the manner a computer program or operating system today is described.


Added DiffLines:

The reason why this skepticism manifested itself in a kind of inverted substitute for Christianity and established religion is a cause for some debate. Deists met in salons for congregation, read Enlightened works by Locke and Rousseau in place of scripture, and later, the likes of Robespierre and Thomas Paine started actual deist festivals and temples, one of the reasons why later atheists and secular liberals and revolutionaries (as well as the more radical of their contemporaries) saw them as hypocritical, silly and wishy-washy fence-sitters. The reasons for this are more cultural than anything. Religion, and Christianity in particular, wasn't just a set of beliefs, it was also part of the culture, it had festivals, it had days on calendars marked with saints, it was part of the language, swear words and slangs, it had carols, it had great art and architecture, as well as the rituals of the Catholic Church which attracted many people towards it. In France, there had never been a successful Protestant Reformation, and the Church was a heavy part of the culture and attitudes. Deism as well as its parallel off-shoots like Freemason lodges offered a space for intellectuals and curious people to be free of Christian culture and influence.
28th Jun '16 6:47:12 PM Adept
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* Used by ArthurCClarke as the prevailing religion in the last installment of his ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' novels. Sort of. Everyone in ''3001'' believes "as little as possible", and the big split is between Theists, who believe "in at least one god", and Deists, who believe "in at most one god".

to:

* Used by ArthurCClarke Creator/ArthurCClarke as the prevailing religion in the last installment of his ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' ''Literature/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' novels. Sort of. Everyone in ''3001'' believes "as little as possible", and the big split is between Theists, who believe "in at least one god", and Deists, who believe "in at most one god".



** Also used in the [[RendezvousWithRama Rama Series]], although again it's not really present until the last installment, ''Rama Revealed'' (and a little bit in ''The Garden of Rama''). The creatures who built Rama did so as part of a project to collect life from all over the universe, to learn about God's plan for it, and are committed Deists.

to:

** Also used in the [[RendezvousWithRama [[Literature/RendezvousWithRama Rama Series]], although again it's not really present until the last installment, ''Rama Revealed'' (and a little bit in ''The Garden of Rama''). The creatures who built Rama did so as part of a project to collect life from all over the universe, to learn about God's plan for it, and are committed Deists.
1st Feb '16 11:25:59 AM FF32
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* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution: Deism would probably be almost completely forgotten today, if not for the fact that many leaders of the American Revolution considered themselves Deists. As philosophically-minded, anti-establishment figures in the 18th century, it's practically certain that at least a few of them would be. While exact numbers are hard to pin down and the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment applies, it's unquestionable that UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson took it upon himself to edit supernatural elements out of Literature/TheBible, and Creator/BenFranklin found Deism so persuasive it led to a good quote for StrawmanHasAPoint.

to:

* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution: Deism would probably be almost completely forgotten today, if not for the fact that many leaders of the American Revolution considered themselves Deists. As philosophically-minded, anti-establishment figures in the 18th century, it's practically certain that at least a few of them would be. While exact numbers are hard to pin down and the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment applies, it's unquestionable that UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson took it upon himself to edit supernatural elements out of Literature/TheBible, and Creator/BenFranklin Creator/BenjaminFranklin found Deism so persuasive it led to a good quote for StrawmanHasAPoint.
14th Jun '15 2:20:19 PM Morgenthaler
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* The god of StarMaker could be this, though that one is so callous to the suffering going on in the Universe as to seem downright malevolent.

to:

* The god of StarMaker ''Literature/StarMaker'' could be this, though that one is so callous to the suffering going on in the Universe as to seem downright malevolent.
28th Dec '14 12:06:29 AM JulianLapostat
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Ironically, during UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, the most anti-clerical and critical views of organized religion and Christianity came from authors of a deist perspective. While atheist authors did exist, for the most part their arguments of ReligionIsWrong did not catch a wide audience or be treated as anything more than a "shock" or "scandal" among the educated elite, they were seen even by non-believers as pranksters rather than someone posing a real challenge to the Church. Deist authors by arguing for a natural religion based on then-scientific knowledge, by being "for" something provided a more coherent argument at the time to live a non-Christian, secular life. During the French Revolution, deists had wide support from liberal aristocrats and middle and lower-middle class people as well as working class agitators, while atheist radicals were quite famous for attacking and destroying Church property and even threatening pro-revolutionary priests such as Henri Gregoire (who wanted a liberal Catholic Church, clamped down on anti-semitism and campaigned for abolitionism) during the dechristianizing campaign. Robespierre, a famous Deist, managed to clamp down on excesses of dechristianization, by stating that "atheism is aristocratic" seeing it as a viewpoint that essentially states [[WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons that common people are idiotic for having religious sentiment]]. He used Deism to erode the role of the Church and clampdown on dechristianizing excess, by wedding it to revolutionary doctrine to create a new nationalist Cult of the Supreme Being which bore fruit in the most popular, elaborate and widely attended Revolutionary Festival of the era. Nationalism during the Revolution often had a quasi-religious fervor where people saw democracy and UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment as new doctrines for a non-denominational Church.

to:

Ironically, during UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, the most anti-clerical and critical views of organized religion and Christianity came from authors of a deist perspective. While atheist authors did exist, for the most part their arguments of ReligionIsWrong did not catch a wide audience or be treated as anything more than a "shock" or "scandal" among the educated elite, they were seen even by non-believers as pranksters rather than someone posing a real challenge to the Church. Deist authors by arguing for a natural religion based on then-scientific knowledge, by being "for" something provided a more coherent argument at the time to live a non-Christian, secular life. During the French Revolution, deists had wide support from liberal aristocrats and middle and lower-middle class people as well as working class agitators, while atheist radicals were quite famous for attacking and destroying Church property and even threatening pro-revolutionary priests such as Henri Gregoire (who wanted a liberal Catholic Church, clamped down on anti-semitism and campaigned for abolitionism) during the dechristianizing campaign. Robespierre, a famous Deist, managed to clamp down on excesses of dechristianization, by stating that "atheism is aristocratic" seeing it as a viewpoint that essentially states [[WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons that common people are idiotic for having religious sentiment]]. He used Deism to erode the role of the Church and clampdown on dechristianizing excess, by wedding it to revolutionary doctrine to create a new nationalist Cult of the Supreme Being which bore fruit in the most popular, elaborate and widely attended Revolutionary Festival of the era. Nationalism during the Revolution often had a quasi-religious fervor where people saw democracy and UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment as new doctrines for a non-denominational Church. Though, the French ultimately erred in using state power to decide religious matters. The American Founders, having more time, distance and a less hostile partisan climate than in France, used Deist ideas of a Distant God guiding human endeavors in Science and Politics to create a comprehensive, precisely written separation of Church and State in the First Amendment that kept the State as non-intervening and non-hostile to religious belief. They were helped by the fact that the Catholic Church wasn't omnipresent as it was in France (it was the largest landowner pre-Revolution) and many of the Protestant sects had a strong liberal dissenting tradition since they were persecuted by the Anglican Church in England.
27th Dec '14 11:48:06 PM JulianLapostat
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Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note]], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors, who took the advantages of later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as Marxist critique to provide a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview.

to:

Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note]], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors, who took the advantages of later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as leftist, anarchist and Marxist critique (who managed to make atheism accessible and viable to the common man by describing it as a means of control that acknowledges discontent but pacifies it to prevent real agitation) to provide a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview.
worldview than {{Deism}}.
27th Dec '14 11:44:32 PM JulianLapostat
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Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors, who took the advantages of later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as Marxist critique to provide a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview.

to:

Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note], him[[/note]], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors, who took the advantages of later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as Marxist critique to provide a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview.
27th Dec '14 11:44:03 PM JulianLapostat
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Ironically, during UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, the most anti-clerical and critical views of organized religion and Christianity came from authors of a deist perspective. While atheist authors did exist, for the most part their arguments of ReligionIsWrong did not catch a wide audience or be treated as anything more than a "shock" or "scandal" among the educated elite, they were seen even by non-believers as pranksters rather than someone posing a real challenge to the Church. Deist authors by arguing for a natural religion based on then-scientific knowledge, by being "for" something provided a more coherent argument at the time to live a non-Christian, secular life. During the French Revolution, deists had wide support from liberal aristocrats and middle and lower-middle class people as well as working class agitators, while atheist radicals were quite famous for attacking and destroying Church property and even threatening pro-revolutionary priests such as Henri Gregoire (who wanted a liberal Catholic Church, clamped down on anti-semitism and campaigned for abolitionism) during the dechristianizing campaign. Robespierre, a famous Deist, managed to clamp down on excesses of dechristianization, by stating that "atheism is aristocratic" seeing it as a viewpoint that essentially states [[WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons that common people are idiotic for having religious sentiment]]. He used Deism to erode the role of the Church and clampdown on dechristianizing excess, by wedding it to revolutionary doctrine to create a new nationalist Cult of the Supreme Being which bore fruit in the most popular, elaborate and widely attended Revolutionary Festival of the era. Nationalism during the Revolution often had a quasi-religious fervor where people saw democracy and UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment as new doctrines for a non-denominational Church.

Some like Creator/{{Voltaire}} was highly critical of Church superstitions and his writings in ''Candide, Zadig, The Ingenu'' enjoyed a wider audience than the author of the atheist pamphlet, "The Three Imposters". Likewise, it was Creator/ThomasPaine who wrote the widely read and popular ''The Age of Reason'', which provided Biblical criticism from a Deist perspective that was widely read by most readers. While Deists such as Voltaire was critical of atheism as well [[note]]it was in response to "The Three Imposters" that Voltaire stated "If God does not exist, it is necessary to invent him[[/note], a lot of his arguments and ideas, as well as that of Paine's inspired later atheist writers and authors, who took the advantages of later scientific developments such as Darwin's evolutionary theory as well as Marxist critique to provide a more comprehensive and thorough secular worldview.
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