Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Universe - a wonder to behold

I recently came across a wonderful image made by the Hubble telescope that really shows just how LARGE our universe is.  Hubble Deep Field Image - Galaxies

This image shows hundreds of galaxies out there in space - and that was only in one very small section of space.There are billions of galaxies in all the universe. 

We humans are just one small minute life form in one galaxy, amongst hundreds of millions of other galaxies.

The sooner we understand and accept just how small our species really is, the sooner we can accept that we are just one of many life forms in this universe and that we are NOT special, but we are also not alone.

As Jodie Foster (Ellie) says in the movie Contact (1997)
The question was asked - Are we the only ones?
Ellie's answer -  The Universe is a pretty big place - So if it's just us - It seems like an awful waste of space

I will also say this - the first 2 verses of the Hymn - How Great Thou Art - does represent the awe I feel whenever I look at the image of galaxies I linked to above.

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Friday, February 1, 2013

How Deism got started...

Classical Deism was defined by Lord Herbert of Cherbury (d. 1648) and was one of the earliest proponents of Deism in England.

In his book "De Veritate," (1624), he described the "Five Articles" of English Deists:

1. Belief in the existence of a single supreme God
2. Humanity's duty to revere God
3. Linkage of worship with practical morality
4. God will forgive us if we repent and abandon our sins
5. Good works will be rewarded (and punishment for evil) both in life and after death.

Source - Exploring Deism, its Origins and History

Or in Modern Terms

1 - I believe in a Supreme Creator but NOT in a personal saviour
2 - We should revere the creator, or Natures God
3 - We should strive to be and act morally according to the laws under which we live
4 - Forgiveness shows mercy and love. This has nothing to do with any  god
5 - Karma - you reap what you sow - you brought it on yourself by your actions.

Benjamin Franklin was a Deist. He wrote the following in 1790 CE

Here is my creed. I believe in One God, the Creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we can render Him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion.