He derived the ideas, in fragmentary fashion, from Bolingbroke, who was an amateur Deist
and optimist of the shallow eighteenth century type, and so far was Pope from understanding what he was doing that he was greatly disturbed when it was pointed out to him that the theology of the poem was Deistic rather than Christian [Footnote: The name Deist
was applied rather generally in the eighteenth century to all persons who did not belong to some recognized Christian denomination.
First of all, Thomas Jefferson was not an atheist, he was a deist
, which is someone who believes in God based on the evidence of nature and reason.
Then, in Jonathan's redefinition of the Creation account, he suggests that God (this is a deist
's misinterpretation) just snapped His fingers, and voila all of the ingredients for evolution appeared, and God just stood back and watched what would happen.
Education and other scholars from the US consider the myth that Jefferson was more a man of science than morality; criticism that his adoption of Saxon constitutionalism was an adoption of false history, examining the roots of his Saxonism and their effects on his republicanism; the use of his views by the Supreme Court; the myth of his conception of liberty; the myth of his racism; the label of Jefferson as a deist
, showing that he was instead a theist; the influence of his educational views on James Bryant Conant; his views on citizenship education, and connections to John Dewey; his views on guns; his architectural achievements; and the depiction of Jefferson in the mind of the general public.
And Benjamin Franklin, likely the only deist
among the founders, said, "Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."
His version of deism stunningly includes atheism and, operating under a false dichotomy, he assumes that anyone who was not incontrovertably an orthodox Christian was by default an atheist deist
In Jackson-McCabe's second essay, "'Jewish Christianity' and 'Christian Deism' in Thomas Morgan's The Moral Philosopher," he concentrates on the work of Thomas Morgan, a British Deist
roughly a decade younger than Toland.
But one alternative which Roberts does not mention is that the particular Christian belief of many of those 37.3 million people may be deist
rather than theist, which would explain the discrepancy-- which Roberts also refers to--between the number who believe in God and the number who regularly go to church.
It's a foreign country," Jeff Deist
, Ron Paul's former press secretary and chief of staff, told the group.
analyzes the rhetoric of the Christian deist
influence used by the first US presidents and probes the meaning of American disestablishment, is well worth reading.
British names: the philosopher-statesman Lord Bolingbroke, the revolutionary martyr Algernon Sidney, the metaphysical poet Alexander Pope, the deist
Shaftesbury, the Whig polemicists Thomas Gordon and John Trenchard, the freethinkers Anthony Collins and John Toland, and various Scottish philosophers.