Difference between Theism and Deism

Key Difference: Both Theism and Deism are schools of thought dealing primarily with the presence of God and his role in our lives. Theism is the belief that at least one god exists and that he or they created the universe and governs it. Deism is the belief that a higher being, i.e. god exists, but does not tell people what to do.

TheismPhilosophy is difficult for the best of people. It is not easy to ask and ponder over existential questions, such as why are we here, what is our purpose, etc. This is made even more difficult when a theological aspect is added to it. Questions such as, ‘Is there a God?’ ‘What is God’s purpose for us?’, and so on and so forth. These types of questions are bound to keep people up at night. However, eventually these kinds of questions result is different schools of thought, i.e. people who uniformly believe something. Theism and Deism are two such school of though.

Both Theism and Deism are schools of thought dealing primarily with the presence of God and his role in our lives. It should be noted that Theism and Deism are not religions, but rather schools of thought; hence many religions can and do fall under one of these two schools of thought.

Theism is the belief that a God or gods exists. In fact the term itself, comes from the Greek ‘theos’ meaning "god." According to theism, God created the universe and everything in it. Also not only did he create it but he actively takes part in it, such as helping people, guiding their lives and their decisions, etc. In this context, many popular religions fall under theism.

Theism can be categorized as being either monotheistic or polytheistic. Monotheism follows the same context as theism, except that it states there is only one God, hence religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam fall under monotheism. Polytheism, on the other hand, follows all the principles of theism, except that it believes that there is more than one god, which defines the beliefs of religions such as Hinduism.

Deism is something that is both similar and different from theism. Like theism, deism also believes that a God or gods exist, and that he or they created the universe and everything in it. However, unlike theism which believes that God still actively participates in its Creation, deism believes that they God does not play an active part in the universe, and in people’s lives. Some deists go as far to use the statement that God created the universe and then abandoned it.

DeismMost deists use this as a response to why there are bad things in the world. It is because God is not guiding the world and there is no higher purpose for why things happen, which is the argument that theists always tended to use. Deists also tend to reject supernatural events like miracles, instead they claim that God has set up natural laws for this world and does not interfere with them. Basically, that after God created the world, he left it to its own devices and things are now just naturally progressing without his interference.

In contrast to theism and deism is agnosticism and atheism. Atheism is the direct opposite of theism and deism, as it believes that God or gods do not exist.

Comparison between Theism and Deism:

 

Theism

Deism

Description

Theism is the belief that at least one god exists and that he or they created the universe and governs it.

Deism is the belief that a higher being exists, but does not tell people what to do.

God

Believes God or gods is real

Believes God or gods is real

Creation

Believes that God created the universe

Believes that God created the universe

Role of God

Believes that God plays an active role in our everyday lives

Believes that God created us and then abandoned us

Interference

God actively participates in the world he has created

God does not participate in the world instead leaving it to govern itself with natural laws

Logic vs Faith

People should have faith and belief

People should rely on logic and reason

Etymology

“Theism” derives from the Greek theos meaning "god".

"Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus."

Reference: Wikipedia (Theism and Deism),
Simple Wikipedia (Theism and Deism), Though Co, Pediaa
Image Courtesy: christianitytoday.com, rivieraucc.org

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