Christian theism and the enlightened deism are some of the approaches that have been used by Christians and scientists to explain human morals and ethics. They both believe that the laws of the nature were formulated by God; theism believes that God influences the development of these laws while deism believe that the development of these laws depend on a person’s own experiences and reasoning. This paper thematically compares two world views, i.e. Christian theism and enlightened deism. It strives to identify and explain the strengths and the weaknesses of these worldviews.
The idea of deism falls under two core features, which are critical and constructive elements. The elements of constructive deistic thoughts are that, God exists, created, oversee the humankind and gave them reason. Elements of the critical aspect in contrast, state the refutation of forms of religion base on books that allege to have the revealed word of God, denial of information on prophecies and miracle mysteries and also refutation of religious demagogy and dogma (McGrath,1997).
Deists vary due to their individual ideas. There are deists who assert that during one’s life on earth any rewards or punishment, which they deserve, they will receive, while some deists uphold that God will punish or reward human according to their behavior on earth. Others denied miracles and prophecies but identified themselves as Christians, they believed in the Christianity that existed before being corrupted by adding things like the doctrine of Trinity, prophecies and miracles (McGrath,1997). While other deists, rejected the idea of Jesus in divinity but considered him as a high moral teacher. Some even went to the extent of rejection and expression of resentment to Christianity, which they saw as mere superstition.
Deists came to be when they identified religions of their time as manipulations of the original, pure rational and simple religion. They saw that priests had corrupted the original religions for their personal profiting and interests of the class of priesthood. Priests had managed to introduce, irrational theological doctrines through encrusting the original rational religion by adding superstations and weird ideas into this very religion. Priests told laymen that only they (priests) had the knowledge of salvation and laymen should accept faith on the authority of the priest (Livingston & Fiorenza, 2000). Through this the laymen became baffled by mysteries, puzzled, and relied on the information about salvation from priests. The priest stove to enjoy a heightened position of power above the nonprofessionals, which they were determined to retain and increase. According to deists, “priest craft” was the word they used to refer to the priest’s manipulation (Livingston & Fiorenza, 2000).