Rationalism


A 17th - 18th c. intellectual movement which held that we can arrive at the truth by using our reason rather than relying on any other authority or special revelation (the past, the church, sacred texts, the king).

Key Elements

* Trust in the reality of the world as revealed by our senses

* Trust that reason can correctly interpret the information from our senses

* Distrust of the mystical, mysterious, or intuitive

* Confidence in progress through education and humanitarianism

* Trust that reason will provide solutions to all human problems - given enough time


Deism - A Rationalistic Theology

* God (the first cause) created everything (nature) according to unchanging natural laws.

* Those natural laws can be known through human reason.

* The universe is orderly and good.

* God set everything in motion and then went away. God assumes no control over life, exerts no influence over nature, gives no supernatural revelation to humans.

"God is a clockmaker: he made the universe, wound it up, and walked away."
(Sir Isaac Newton, very roughly)

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