Naming the Lenses: Part 2

Posted by Wilcox on 1/6/2014 to Homeschooling

Again, we acknowledge James Sire’s The Universe Next Door as providing this summary of the second major worldview. Please read his work for your own edification and understanding. [Note: As with all film listings, please determine each movie’s suitability for your own family. Please do not interpret a film’s inclusion in a list of examples as Zeezok Publishing’s promotion of or agreement with that film.]

Lens #2—Deism

  • The belief, based solely on reason, in a transcendent God who created the universe and then abandoned it, leaving it to function on its own, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation.
  • While the cosmos was created in a uniform manner with a cause and effect existence. It is a closed system in which no miracles can occur.
  • Human beings originated from God, but thought they are personal, they have no special relationship to God, and some deists even question whether they may have life beyond their physical existence.
  • God is sometimes compared to a watchmaker in deism. God wound up the clock of humanity and then let the clock wind down to its inevitable end, without any further interference or involvement in the workings of the watch.
  • Mankind is rather insignificant in the universe because human action is determined already.
  • Through human reason and scientific methods, man is believed to gain understanding of the universe.
  • It is presumed that the cosmos is not fallen, but is simply in its normal state. Because the universe is normal, it reveals what is right and wrong, so mankind intuitively knows ethics and morality.
  • History is linear, determined at creation, but the meaning of those events remains unknown until human reason is applied to the data obtained by historians.

Movies with a Deist Lens

  • You Can’t Take It with You
  • Hugo

“Deism is the isthmus between two great continents—theism and naturalism” (Sire, The Universe Next Door, 66). We will look at naturalism in our next article.

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