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Deists are atheists. We should start acting like it.

While watching debates, it strikes me as strange that William Lane Craig uses the Kalam Cosmological argument. There's just something supremely ironic about Christian apologists using an argument invented by Muslims in order to defend a Deistic position.

Stranger still, is that Deism is an inherently atheistic position, and yet no one seems to recognize this. Theism is the belief in a personal God, while Deism rejects that premise and is therefore a-theistic. Deists believe in a non-personal or transpersonal God and they reject the idea of divine revelation entirely. If we are going to divide ourselves into categories of theist and atheist, deist is not a third option, it is undeniably atheistic.

Deists may not be seen as what as traditionally thought of as an "atheist", but then again neither are Raelians or Buddhists. That doesn't change what they are, however. So why is it that we Atheists feel the need to argue for an a-deist or a-religionist perspective? Sam Harris has noted many times that atheists are really bad at playing nice with others, and that they frame their arguments in ways that alienate potential allies, while isolating themselves.

I'm not saying we all should make arguments as if we were deists. I'm just saying we should openly acknowledge that deism is an atheistic position, while respectfully disagreeing with it. They're on OUR team and yet we insist on letting the other side conscript them and other spiritual liberals into their cause against us.

It's absurd. Why is it that the religious right can close its massive ranks under the broad label of "Judeo-Christian values", while we are stuck skirmishing over inconsequential trivialities with each other? You don't see Craig highlighting his differences with Catholics during debates. There are 33,000 Christian denominations and a significant number of Jewish divisions, yet you wouldn't know it by the way they act as a unified front against us. I have absolutely no beef with Deists. They believe in faith over reason, and so do we. They believe in free thought over dogma, and so do we. They believe in a prime mover, and that's the only place where we might respectfully disagree. However, their conception of God isn't the reason we can't have stem cell research, teach evolution, the right to choose, gay marriage, and a clear separation between church and state. So why are we so unable to place our differences aside?

The dividing line has to be made clear. It doesn't require we change our arguments one bit. All it requires is that we recognize the fact that when we use the term Atheist, we are speaking for Deists, Buddhists, and the vast majority of Agnostics. When we use the term secularist, that broadens out to even more on the religious left. And when we balk at labels, and claim to speak for all people who are concerned about power hungry sectarian fraud, then I honestly believe we speak for the majority.

Even the religious must agree that we can't let those who claim divine authority to place themselves above the law and common human decency. And that's the position of strength we should argue from. If the religious right can broaden their base under the label of "Judeo-Christian Values", we too can do the same thing when we define ourselves first and foremost as being against sectarian demagoguery and fraud in debates.

Julio > While watching debates, it strikes me as strange that William Lane Craig uses the Kalam Cosmological argument. There's just something supremely ironic about Christian apologists using an argument invented by Muslims in order to defend a Deistic position.

William Lane Craig is using the Kalam Cosmological Argument to defend the theistic view. It is being used as an argument for "first cause." It is a theist apologist's philosophical argument for the existence of God.

Julio >Stranger still, is that Deism is an inherently atheistic position, and yet no one seems to recognize this. Theism is the belief in a personal God, while Deism rejects that premise and is therefore a-theistic. Deists believe in a non-personal or transpersonal God and they reject the idea of divine revelation entirely. If we are going to divide ourselves into categories of theist and atheist, deist is not a third option, it is undeniably atheistic.

Christians say many religious groups are atheists that are not. Deists believe a creator created everything and us. Deists believe it is logical to believe in a (creator) or God. However, they do not believe in reveled religion or a personal God. Deism says it is rationality and reason that leads to God. Deists believe that the creation is evidence for a creator. Although some deists are very opposed to Christianity or any revealed religion they do not embrace atheism. You can say anything you want to but Deists do not identify themselves as atheists and some of them are hostile to atheists. There are some Deists quotes later that proves that.

Julio >Deists may not be seen as what as traditionally thought of as an "atheist", but then again neither are Raelians or Buddhists. That doesn't change what they are, however.

Some Buddhists do not believe in a personal God, but some sects do. The original religion was Hinduism the Buddhists separated from Hinduism. Buddhism is more like pantheism it is not atheism. Just because they don't believe in a personal God does not make them atheists. Buddhists believe in an impersonal force. Buddhists do not consider themselves atheists. Raelians call a superior extraterrestrial creator Elohim, that is creationism or Intelligent Design. Even if Raelian do not consider Elohim God. They believe they are going to become like Elohim. Elohim is not the name of one god it is the name of a pantheon of gods from the Ugaritic texts. Atheist does not apply to just anything that doesn't have a supernatural being, and atheists do not have an ideology or give instructions. Raelians have spiritual teaching and teachers. They believe that Elohim's scientific advancement allowed eternal life to a few individuals like Jesus and Mohammed, and other "deserving" humans that are living on another planet. The Raelians have rituals (by choice only) baptism and marriage. There are Raelian bishops, guides and trainees. I do not think anyone has any actual proof of humanoid clones or alien visitations. This is a belief with teachings and a teacher, with a leader who has a philosophy. They are not atheists. An atheistic religion with a set of beliefs is not the same as atheism.

Julio >So why is it that we Atheists feel the need to argue for an a-deist or a-religionist perspective? Sam Harris has noted many times that atheists are really bad at playing nice with others, and that they frame their arguments in ways that alienate potential allies, while isolating themselves.

Sam Harris said, "moderate religion is responsible for the extreme and in particular moderate theism as the great enabler of extremism."

Julio >I'm not saying we all should make arguments as if we were deists. I'm just saying we should openly acknowledge that deism is an atheistic position, while respectfully disagreeing with it. They're on OUR team and yet we insist on letting the other side conscript them and other spiritual liberals into their cause against us.

Deists believe in the existence of God (personal or not) on purely rational grounds, without reliance on revealed religion. They think the rational position is belief in God. Atheists think that rational does not lead anyone to God.

Thomas Paine was a Deist. He did hate Christianity but he was not an atheist. In those days scientific knowledge was very limited. Some Deists then would probably be atheists today if they knew about evolution or the Big Bang, but they didn't. The Deist of today probably do know. An example of what Thomas Paine (a Deist) said about atheism in a speech in Paris, France, shortly after the French Revolution. "It is then necessary to go further; and therefore I say - if there exist a circumstance that is not a property of matter, and without which the universe, or to speak in a limited degree, the solar system composed of planets and a sun, could not exist a moment, all the arguments of atheism, drawn from properties of matter, and applied to account for the universe, will be overthrown, and the existence of a superior cause, or that which man calls God, becomes discoverable, as is before said, by natural philosophy."

Julio >It's absurd. Why is it that the religious right can close its massive ranks under the broad label of "Judeo-Christian values", while we are stuck skirmishing over inconsequential trivialities with each other? You don't see Craig highlighting his differences with Catholics during debates. There are 33,000 Christian denominations and a significant number of Jewish divisions, yet you wouldn't know it by the way they act as a unified front against us. I have absolutely no beef with Deists. They believe in faith over reason, and so do we. They believe in free thought over dogma, and so do we. They believe in a prime mover, and that's the only place where we might respectfully disagree. However, their conception of God isn't the reason we can't have stem cell research, teach evolution, the right to choose, gay marriage, and a clear separation between church and state. So why are we so unable to place our differences aside?

Atheists do not believe in faith over reason. Religious people attack each other and atheists. There is no guarantee that any group of people, including atheists, would all have the same stance on the issues you mentioned.

Julio >The dividing line has to be made clear. It doesn't require we change our arguments one bit. All it requires is that we recognize the fact that when we use the term Atheist, we are speaking for Deists, Buddhists, and the vast majority of Agnostics. When we use the term secularist, that broadens out to even more on the religious left. And when we balk at labels, and claim to speak for all people who are concerned about power hungry sectarian fraud, then I honestly believe we speak for the majority.

All atheists don't even speak for all atheists on other issues they just don't believe in God. Agnostics do have a similar stance about God, but the rest of it depends on the individual. They can support or not support any cause. The other people you are speaking about and "labeling" atheists have a belief in God or a religion, and that does not mean that they agree on other issues. They have temples and churches where they meet to practice their religious philosophies.

Julio >Even the religious must agree that we can't let those who claim divine authority to place themselves above the law and common human decency. And that's the position of strength we should argue from. If the religious right can broaden their base under the label of "Judeo-Christian Values", we too can do the same thing when we define ourselves first and foremost as being against sectarian demagoguery and fraud in debates.

Yes, it should worry every American citizen that Christians are trying to take America over because they are the largest group. However, that does not mean that because we should all be fighting the same evil that we are the same, and it doesn't mean that they agree. Many of them think atheism is a worse evil. People of various persuasions do fight for Separation of Church and State. However, few of them would fight for the rights of atheists. It's just not the way things are. The most hated group in America, and the most alienated group, hard to believe, are atheists. That has been proven by every survey. That's why this theme of atheist's intolerance is just a joke. It is pretty obvious that the ugly picture of atheists that has been painted is because most atheists do not usually want to be grouped with those involved in religion, spirituality or beliefs. Most people with religious beliefs, belief in the supernatural or a creator, do not want to be "labeled" atheists.

In a word: honesty.

I watch & read a lot of atheist arguing. I see them making mistakes. I see them getting confused.

But I (almost) never see them lying, or trying to fudge / spin / mislead / misquote, etc. just in order to win an argument.

I think if we ever did try that, the (smart) theists would eat us for breakfast. They're pretty good at it by now, and would spot it a mile off.

Mk

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