The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism


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Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Part 4: Happiness and Holiness

Romaine Dr. Joe B. Search for: Search. Back to Blog. On November 1, , Lisbon suffered a massive earthquake.


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Both were Deists. Moreover, how could such an intricate and elaborate universe have come into being without a creator? Beyond that, though Deists had different views. He would no doubt be sickened by how humanity is now literally poisoning the planet and producing genetically altered plants and animals. On November 1, Lisbon Portugal had a massive earthquake. It was as strong as 9. At the same time the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria was in labor — on November 2, she would give birth to her daughter Marie Antoinette, who would later be married off to the future king of France.

French philosopher Voltaire helped define enlightenment values. Voltaire, who already was suffering from personal tragedies, visited Lisbon and was sickened by what he saw.

Definition of Humanism - American Humanist Association

Utter destruction, massive death, and survivors in misery. Horrific suffering thanks to nature. How could this be the handiwork of a loving God? Why would God allow such misery to occur? Rousseau offered an answer. So the problem must be humans. People living on the country side could avoid the massive suffering caused by the earth quake. It was a message: cities are unnatural, if humans create them and natural disaster hits, blame people, not God. Swiss philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau inspires naturalists to this day.

This infuriated Voltaire.

Hume, Swift, and the Collapse of Deism

He had seen the suffering with his eyes and could not believe that Rousseau was blaming innocent victims for their peril. But Voltaire was not sure how to respond. Could God really be a horrific brute that reigned terror on humanity? But if God was loving, how could he allow such suffering? So Voltaire did what most writers do when stymied, he wrote. He wants to out religionists as closet secularists. He makes a similar point in relation to Buddhism. Put simply, deconstruction proceeds on the assumption that literary texts, like people, have an unconscious that often betrays them: they may say one thing, but they act as if they believe another thing entirely.

Martin Hägglund argues that rigorous secularism leads to socialism.

Their own figures of speech are the slightly bent keys to their unlocking. If the religious believer often behaves like an unconscious secularist, then one can assume that some of the great canonical religious texts will do something similar, revealing their actual procedures to a skeptic who is willing to read them against the grain.

Lewis, Augustine, and Kierkegaard with a generous captiousness, fair but firmly forensic.

Eternal beatitude has supplanted human connection. So, instead of being forced into, say, rationalist triumphalism there is no God, and science is His prophet , he can expand the definition of the secular life so that it incorporates many of the elements traditionally thought of as religious.

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Deism for Mortals: Morals, Utilitarianism and Happiness

Feuerbach is particularly interesting on the question of immortality. He says that Heaven is the real God of man: it is Heaven we are really after. Instead, religious practice could be seen as valuable and even cherishable, once it is understood to be a natural human quest for meaning. Everything flows from the double assumption that only finitude makes for ultimate meaning and that most religious values are unconsciously secular.

We are meaning-haunted creatures. That is the theory, at least. In fact, his book is in danger of becoming a victim of its own argumentative victories. He is insistent about the secular importance of enjoying things in themselves and for themselves; treating them as a means to a different end becomes, for him, almost a secondary definition of what is wrong with the religious impulse. Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar. He talks a good Hegelian game about the dignity of religious community, but actually he soars above it. The second half of the book, by way of a long and dense reading of Marx, argues that the revaluation of everything we have formerly valued implies not just urgent spiritual redefinition but also political and economic transformation.

One has to lay out new, better secular values. Otherwise, why would religionists ever want to become secularists? He divided life into what he called the realm of necessity and the realm of freedom. But capitalism is systemically committed to exploiting most of us, and to steadily increasing the amount of labor at the expense of our freedom.

Capitalism treats the means of economic life, labor, as though it were the purpose of life.

But, if we are to cherish this life , we have to treat what we do as an end in itself. Such people, he says, are stating that capitalism is the problem while also stating that capitalism is the solution. The professor of comparative literature is wading into the alien depths of political economy. And what gets sacrificed, at least on the page, is freedom: in these sections, the reader feels less able to move about within his argumentation and test his propositions, and is instead hemmed in by an atmosphere of political certainty and utopian fervor.

Camus knew quite a lot about the last three of those roles. I admire his boldness, perhaps even his recklessness. And his fundamental secular cry seems right: since time is all we have, we must measure its preciousness in units of freedom. Nothing else will do.

The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism
The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism
The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism
The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism
The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism The Joy, Happiness and Purpose of Deism

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