Q. My wife was reading fictional book and ran across a word, Deism. It was explained in the book as a belief that God is a cosmic clock winder passively watching events unfold on the earth. My question is this: “Is there such a thing as “deism” and is it a form of religious belief?

A. As I understand it, Deism is a belief in God as our Creator that rejects the notion of any ongoing supernatural activity on His part. Deists accept only natural and scientific explanations for mankind’s existence and reject any notion of predictive prophecy, miracles, or inerrant Scriptures. According to Deists, God does not intervene in the affairs of human life or suspend the natural laws of the universe.

Famous Deists include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and other prominent figures of the American Revolution, as well as Voltaire, Mark Twain and Marlon Brando.

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