One of the greatest challenges upon leaving organized religion while remaining deistic in outlook is trying to understand “God” without the pre-determined descriptions provided by religious groups. If you are Catholic or Muslim or Jewish, your religion tells you what God is like via sacred scripture and traditions. You don’t need to really think about it. There are certainly divisions on some specifics about what God wants but who God is mostly is settled. That is handy for the adherents of organized religion but not so much for people who hold to some form of deism.
Deism: Book Review: The Occult Nature of God
Enter Tarl Warwick and his book with the somewhat off-putting title: The Occult Nature of God: Questioning the Nature of Divinity. Tarl is better known as Styxhexenhammer666 of Youtube fame. His little book is useful as a thought-exercise, breaking down the nature of God and man with three basic criteria:
One, does a god or gods exist?
Two, does that god/gods punish rule breaking?
Three, does free will exist?
Using the possible yes/no responses to these three questions, Tarl lays out a broad spectrum of possibilities. Like most things that I would put under the broad category of deism, this leads to more questions than answers. I probably mostly come down on the third possibility that posits that there is a god/gods, people have free will (within the bounds of human nature) and that we are not punished for rule breaking, in this case because we really don’t have specific rules to follow and again, most of what we do that is considered “bad” is the result of the very nature of humanity. This is the antithesis of organized religion as Tarl points out:
This could be summed up as the negation of organized religion itself- that is, that while a deity exists, it hasn’t been adequately explained by any supposedly holy text, and that organized groups espousing a deity similar to this possibility, have come to the right conclusion by using the wrong names and scriptures, for a casual review of most holy books precludes a deity that does not punish its subjects for infractions.
Warwick, Tarl. The Occult Nature of God: Questioning the Nature of Divinity . Tarl Warwick. Kindle Edition.
The basis for the three Western organized religions is that God exists and is the ultimate rule-maker. Thou shall do this, thou shalt not do that. Break the rules, get punished. Whether you have “free will” or not is a contentious issue, at least in Christianity which I would argue based on the Bible man does not. There are all sorts of ethical questions surrounding the issue of God’s justice in punishing people for something they are by nature prone to do because the way God made them but that isn’t in the scope of this brief post.
Tarl’s book is a quick read but it is a useful little tool for getting the thought process started.