Sunday, March 3, 2013

Non-Religious Theism

I wouldn't really have a huge issue with the idea of deism being true to be honest with you. It's only the idea of a deity that cares about what foods I eat, what liquids I drink, what clothes I can wear, what I can and cannot do to my own body, and is deeply intrigued with what I do when I'm naked, that I deplore. Likewise, I don't necessarily care about whether or not other people believe in a deity, but it's the kind of deity they believe in and how their beliefs make them behave that concerns me the most.

For example, I've known many people and have had many friends over the years who were theists, but they didn't really act like it. There wasn't a religious element about them at all. I was actually the one talking about god and religion more than they were. These kinds of people I call non-religious theists. They're people who just believe in god or some supernatural deistic force or entity who may have intervened with the world a long time ago but is not anymore, and they're not religious about it. They don't worship, pray, attend church or any kind of social religious services, and they conduct their lives in an almost indistinguishable manner from your average secular atheist. These are the kind of theists that I can get along with, with very little conflict because they're almost like deists.

I suppose one can make an argument that a militant atheist is more "religious" in a sense, than someone who is a non-religious theist. I do find myself talking about religion and god more often than a lot of people who actually believe in god. For me religion is a fascinating topic. I mean, I can talk about a whole lot of things when I'm around people - music, science, culture, history, politics and philosophy of course. But it seems that when I like to get deep, I tend to gravitate towards religion and the metaphysics that religious belief asserts.

I like to say that, I care more about how people behave than merely what they believe. As long as people respect the separation of religion and government, they can believe whatever supernatural nonsense they want. I'd prefer at least that they be educated on science so that their worldview isn't totally absurd, but their ultimate belief in a deity, especially if their politics coincides with mine, I don't have a huge issue with.

So there is a kind of theism that I think is compatible with atheism at least in allowing those two kinds of people to get along without major conflict. But one could say that militant atheism ruins the balance, because it's just as fundamental as some brands of theism. I think this is true, and I like to be reminded that there is a time and a place for militant atheism, but it's not something atheists should wear on our sleeves, all day, everyday.

1 comment:

  1. lol I love this

    "I do find myself talking about religion and god more often than a lot of people who actually believe in god. "

    As an NRT it seems to me that most atheists seem to spend far more time thinking and talking about what they don't believe rather than they do

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