From Judaism to Militant Atheism and finally to Deism
by Tyler Black (with assistance from Ellis Farrow)
I want to say thank you to everyone who works for the "World Union of Deists."
I was raised Jewish myself but by my late teens, I couldn't honestly
believe that in the ultimate sense the world religions were true and
since I didn't see any other option, I became, I guess a sort of
die-hard Materialist, Marxist and militant Atheist. I always knew deep
down though, there had to be some sort of intelligence behind it all,
but because of the likes of Richard Dawkins, I was convinced it's either
science or God and so in order to reject religion, I had to reject any
possibility of God, too. And I have to admit I was a huge Dawkinite and
would call people mentally deranged and needing to be put in a
psychiatric home for even believing in any concept of God. However, a
couple of months ago I saw a link to the deism.com website and since I
never heard of Deism before I decided to click on it.
I then checked out loads of your tabs explaining different things and it really started to mess with my head because I agreed with nearly everything which was said. I was now in an internal war in my mind. I felt Deism was the most logical position but I didn't want to give up my die-hard Atheism. I then read the works of Thomas Paine (on the deism.com site) which affected me extremely and then I finally read the book "There is a God" by the former and world's most famous Atheist Antony Flew, which really was the final nail in the coffin for me. I then eventually gave up and three weeks ago decided to renounce my Atheism (like Flew) and accept that Deism is by far the most logical theological position to hold.
I now realise how ridiculous it is to say you have to pick either between The Supreme Intelligence/God or science. It's like if I said you have to chose between Henry Ford and a Ford motor engine. It's ridiculous reasoning and they both need each other. Science tells us how nature operates and its unbreakable physical laws, but it doesn't and can't explain why the natural is so ordered, where it came from and why it's even open to rational discovery which us humans can access with our minds. The legendary man, scientist, humanist and Deist, Albert Einstein, rejected and called it childish to believe in personal god's like the one in the Abrahamic religions but that doesn't then logically follow that he had to be an Atheist. In fact, he disassociated himself from that label and even stated he wasn't an Atheist. The biggest thing which convinced him there was mysterious intelligence behind the mysterious order in nature was the fact the universe could even be understood so well using science and the power of reason. He said these three things;
"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."
"The eternal mystery of the world is it's comprehensibility ... The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle."
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
It was this view that actually got modern science going in the first place because why did people think they could find rationality in nature? Because they believed in a law-giver and a supreme intelligence. Many of them who got it going and kept it going were Deists! Including Leonardo Da Vinci, Robert Hooke, James Watt, Gottfried Leibniz, Max Planck, Ludwig Boltzmann, Ernest Rutherford, E.O. Wilson, Benjamin Franklin, Alfred Wallace, Walter Kohn, Humphry Davy, Charles Sanders Pierce, Mikhail Lomonosov, Max Born, Dmitri Mendeleev, Albert Einstein etc...
Another thing I hear Atheists say is that they are freethinkers but I find this amusing. Ultimately Atheists believe that their minds/intelligence arose from, ultimately and cosmologically, an unguided and random process. So if that's the case why would you trust your own mind? So materialism + reductionism + naturalism (in metaphysics) together destroys all rationality and our ability to trust our cognitive faculties. So Atheistic materialism defeats itself because you can't even trust your own beliefs. For example under the pure Atheistic, naturalistic and materialistic world-view our cognitive faculties are the product of an evolutionary process which is not in any way aimed at the production of true beliefs but rather beliefs which help you to survive. So Atheistic materialism, like I said earlier, defeats itself because you believe that these faculties are not aimed at truth but pure survival and therefore all the beliefs that you hold (including the belief in Atheistic materialism) is only geared at survival and not truth. So if you believe Atheism, materialism, naturalism and reductionism are true, then you also have to believe you believe they are true because your brain has decided this belief is beneficial for survival, and not because it's true. So it's amazing how this view falls into a self defeating circle. And yet Atheistic materialists/naturalists dare to say they are the free-thinkers? Now realise I'm not denying evolution has happened, I'm denying the materialistic interpretation of it. If reason is not grounded in reason, but physical blind processes, the reason itself is lost. Deists thankfully don't run into this problem at all because there is a Supreme Intelligence and thus the world has in its essence reason and consciousness. So it's Deists who are the true free-thinkers! Like the motto of the World Union of Deists says "God Gave us Reason, Not Religion."
Now the world’s religions aren't true free thinkers because even though certain types or aspects of them may be true, many of them are based on superstition, fear and pure nonsense which are contradicted by science and the power of reason. For example the Bible was wrong about creationism, genetics, the flat-earth/geocentric claims, the value of Pi, anatomy of insects, the firmament, how far and how big the stars are, planetary formation and many contradictions in the text themselves. These claims and theological beliefs can be scientifically falsified and shows that there is something wrong with the claims and beliefs of that theology. This is where science and theology can overlap. The Quran suffers from many of the same errors and these religions make The Supreme Intelligence/God out to be a crazy and unintelligent being in so many ways, and so philosophically I couldn't be a Jew, Muslim or Christian. Thus, the most rational and logical position to hold is DEISM! Our science, reason and beliefs are happily united and we can truly find wonder and happiness when we discover this is the most logical theology. Deism is the true theology and all the other religions have tried their best to understand the true theology but have failed ultimately throughout the millennia. Like Thomas Paine said on page 50-51 of his book The Age of Reason;
"As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of Atheism — a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Man-ism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which it calls a Redeemer, as the moon introduces her opaque self between the earth and the sun, and it produces by this means a religious, or an irreligious, eclipse of light. It has put the whole orbit of reason into shade. That which is now called natural philosophy, embracing the whole circle of science, of which astronomy occupies the chief place, is the study of the works of God, and of the power and wisdom of God in his works, and is the true theology."
So again I want to thank the WUD for existing because if you didn't, I would never have found my way to Deism.
I now study a lot more science on my own as well as philosophy since my conversion and am happier than ever.
I just wish Deism was more popular in England and world-wide. Hopefully a new age of Enlightenment and revolution in Deism can happen and help the world strive for a much more peaceful, honourable and phenomenal existence. Deism has changed my life for the better and I hope it does the same for many more people.