by Bob Johnson
One thing that is constant in the known Universe is change. Everything is constantly in the process of changing. Change is what makes evolution and progress possible. The Roman Stoic Marcus Aurelius did a great job of pointing this fact out when he wrote in Meditations: “Observe always that everything is the result of a change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and to make new ones like them.”
About the only things that seem to be eternal are The Supreme Intelligence/God and the Universe. Voltaire was in agreement with God/The Supreme Intelligence being eternal when he said, “What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason.”
One of the key teachings in the Abrahamic “revealed”/hearsay religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam violates this quality of Nature of change. And if you look at Nature and the Universe as being the only possible “Word of God” as Deists do, then this religious teaching is a violation of Nature and is a violation of God/The Supreme Intelligence.That teaching is eternity. The eternity of existence of individual people through their eternal spirit or soul is a keystone to the success and power of the “revealed”/hearsay religions. The “revealed” religions convince people that they do in fact have eternal spirits or souls (no one KNOWS if we do or not though many people BELIEVE we do) and then sell them on the belief that the only way to keep their eternal spirit from burning and suffering in hell for eternity is to accept their unreasonable/ungodly religion and its man-made dogmas and doctrines masquerading as divine rules and commands. This robs people of true unconditional love of God/The Supreme Intelligence as it promotes belief and love of God based on the reward of eternal life in heaven/paradise and the avoidance of eternal suffering in hell. Deism teaches that we do not KNOW if there is life after death and that we should not worry about it. Deists look at The Supreme Intelligence/God as their Creator and Friend and realize that whatever there is, either a continuation of consciousness of existence when our body dies or not, it is all part of our Designer’s design and we are very happy and content with that. It is profoundly more important to work on making a much better world in the here and now instead of fantasizing about a potential afterlife.
Another entity belief in eternity can be applied to is the eternity of a nation. This is what is found in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is loaded with God promising the Hebrews/Jews that Israel will last for eternity. For example, the Hebrews/Jews who wrote Genesis 17:8 claim that God told Abraham, “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Of course the Romans proved these alleged divine promises false when they wiped Israel from the map during the Jewish-Roman Wars between 66-135 CE.
Currently this belief in Israel being an eternal nation, a belief which must of necessity ignore the above historical fact of the Romans completely destroying the nation of Israel and there not being a nation called Israel from Roman times until the 20th century, is very popular with the war-mongering and Hebrew Bible/Old Testament based neoconservative movement, with Israel and Israel’s US politicians from both parties who live and work to please the powerful Israel lobby and with Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists.
The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament also teaches that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of eternal Israel. 2 Chronicles 33:4 claims God said, “In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu parrots this ancient nonsense when he says things such as this: “The Western Wall is not occupied territory, and I don’t care what the United Nations says. We are living in the Jewish State. The capital of the Jewish state, for 3,000 years, has been Jerusalem. I want to say it clearly.” This statement of Netanyahu makes it clear he is very ignorant of history and may have never even heard of the Roman Empire.
The Indian Express quotes Netanyahu as recently saying, “Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described Jerusalem as the ‘heart of the nation’ and vowed to preserve the holy city ‘as the undivided capital of Israel’ for eternity, a position that can derail the fragile peace process with the Palestinians.” (The peace process between the Jewish state of Israel and the Palestinians is just for show as Israel is based on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament which has Israel’s borders going from “the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Genesis 15:18) The Christian Zionist and televangelist Pat Robertson gives a more detailed description of Israel’s Bible-based borders in his article The Land of Israel: A Gift From God.
This recent article points out that many Israeli lawmakers believe the Palestinian West Bank has been given to them as Jews and is “a biblical birthright” from God. This religious violence creating superstition based belief permeates not only Israeli politicians, but also US politicians. For example, the South Carolina legislature passed a resolution which openly and seriously states:
Whereas, Israel has been granted her lands under and through the oldest recorded deed as reported in the Old Testament, a tome of scripture held sacred and reverenced by Jew and Christian, alike, as the acts and words of God; and
Whereas, as the Grantor of said lands, God stated to the Jewish people in the Old Testament; in Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 24: “Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey”; and
Whereas, God has never rescinded his grant of said lands.
The next paragraph gives the false impression that Israel treats its Gentile citizens equitably. It reads, “Whereas, along with the grant of said lands to the Jewish people, God provided for the non-Jewish residents of the land in commanding that governance must be in one law for all without drawing distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens, as contained in Leviticus 24:22.”
Gentiles being treated the same as Jews according to the laws of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament would not be very good for Gentiles. If you read what came before the chosen quote and what came after it you see that if you “blaspheme the name of the LORD”/the Jewish god you will be executed by being stoned to death.
The very next chapter has the Hebrew/Jewish god instructing the Jews not to own fellow Jews as slaves but to only own Gentiles and our children as slaves. In Leviticus 25:44-46 God allegedly instructed the Jews as follows:
Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
Add to these horrific and ungodly/unreasonable teachings from the Jewish “holy” book the horrific and ungodly/unreasonable teachings from the offshoots of Judaism and the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Christianity’s New Testament with teachings such as Matthew 10:34 which says that Jesus said (there are no writings directly from Jesus, everything about him is mere hearsay), “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” and Islam’s “holy” book, the Quran, with such teachings as are found at Surah 18:74-81 and served as motivation and justification for the Taliban to shoot the 14-year-old girl Malala Yousfzai in the head and it’s very easy to understand why the Middle East has so much religious violence that is infecting the rest of our world.
Deism can help defuse all of this religious violence if given the chance. This is because everyone has reason within them. Deism connects with their gift from God of innate reason – IF they ever get the opportunity to learn about Deism. The American founder and Deist Thomas Paine wrote in his landmark book on God, Deism and religion, The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition (for Kindle click here) that we need a revolution in religion based on our innate God-given reason and Deism. The religious violence gripping our planet shows us that Thomas Paine was right!