As I wrote in an earlier post on deism, theism and atheism, genuine deists are rarely to be found these days. Deism requires people to not affiliate themselves with any particular manifestation of religion. While sophisticated religious apologists these days will often use deistic arguments because they are the most intellectually defensible, these people are also usually affiliated with this or that particular religion and thus have to somehow make the transition from deism to theism.
This chain of ‘reasoning’ used by them will consist of small incremental steps that can be glided over because they are often be implicit. They should be familiar to anyone who has ever discussed the existence of god with a religious believer, but here I want to make the reasoning explicit.
- Start by identifying something (say the origin of the universe) for which we do not currently have a good scientific explanation.
- Assert that we cannot prove that god was not the cause of that specific thing.
- Assert that therefore it is possible that god could have been the cause.
- Assert that therefore it is reasonable to believe that god can exist.
- Assert that since god can exist and I feel that god exists, therefore god does exist.
- Assert that since god exists, he can do anything at all so any and all miracles are possible.
- Grant miracle status only to those that I personally or my particular religious sect approve of.
- Hence only my particular religious belief in god is correct and everyone else’s is wrong.
See how easy that is?