Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Studying American history - what little there is of it, of course - one finds many people who claimed to be deists, including many of the so-called "founding fathers" of the United States.
"Accepting the existence of a creator on the basis of reason" - I assume this means they felt the universe around them was too complicated to have occurred without some sort of rational plan. This, of course was before the enlightened theories of Darwin and like-thinkers. Atheists, of course, do not believe in the theory of the universe coming into existence with some sort of intelligent design.
Darwinism, I should make sure I add, does not preclude the existence of a Prime Mover; he was more interested in making connections between the various species. I don't know how much he was concerned with following them back to the point of actual origin (the point where a "life force" existed where there was none a second before.) I don't see anything wrong with his reasoning as far as Natural Selection goes.
If there is life in the universe besides our own, and it would seem almost ludicrous to think there is not, given the astonishing number of possibilities, then one might assume there are also other ways those life forms could have arisen, other than by applying Mr. Darwin's assumptions to them.
Anyway, that is off the track. I only meant to define what a deist was because I was reading about Thomas Jefferson, supposedly a deist, saying all men were created equal, and pondering what he meant by that. Men are obviously NOT created equal, nor is equality (to a person who thinks like I do) any proper goal of humankind.
I am starting to like that word, "humankind."
•Do you think Thomas Jefferson was a deist by his actions and writings?
•What do you think he meant by "All men are created equal?"
•What do you think the definition of "life" is? (i.e., something is "alive".)
I find it odd that the reverse side of the "Great Seal of the United States", pictured above, shows the "eye of knowledge" or "eye of Divine Providence" or "God watching over mankind" if most of these intellectual folks did not believe in the sort of God who intervened. Or even cared, one assumes.