from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A person who believes in deism.
- adj. Of or relating to deism.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One who believes in the existence of a God, but denies revealed religion; a freethinker.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who believes in the existence of a personal God, but in few or none of the more special doctrines of the Christian religion; one who holds to some of the more general propositions of the Christian faith concerning the Deity, but denies revelation and the authority of the church.
- n. One who holds the opinion that there is a God, but no divine providence governing the affairs of men; one who holds that, God is not only distinct from the world, but also separated from it.
- n. Synonyms Atheist, Skeptic, etc. See infidel.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. of or relating to deism
- n. a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it
The confusion would be understandable given that the two terms 'derivations differ merely in that deist comes from the Latin deus and theist from the Greek theos, and that both mean "god".
The person who believes in a transcendental theology alone, is termed a deist; he who acknowledges the possibility of a natural theology also, a theist.
Have you got a source for him self-identifying as a deist later in life?
Collins would seem to be a deist, which is very different from being a Christian, as he claims to be.
His beliefs started to change and fade during the Beagle voyage, and for many years -- including the years of writing and publishing the Origin -- he was some kind of deist, accepting a God who set things in motion and who did not then interfere.
Now, I would suggest to you that you re-read the dictionary definition of a "deist", and then tell me that you, if you can, as a thinking person, tell me that the description of the incident in Washington's letter even remotely resembles any "indifference" on the part of God.
I guess I'm essentially a kind of deist of some kind as well.
And Lafayette was a kind of deist, he would refer to God, but not very often.
By Rebel Girl's reckoning, that's one atheist, two Jews and two agnostics - plus a self-identified "deist" student.
This is a broader definition of "deist" than the dictionary definition I cited.