List of deists
This is a partial list of people who have been categorized as deists, the belief in a deity based on natural religion only, or belief in religious truths discovered by people through a process of reasoning, independent of any revelation through scripture or prophets. They have been selected for their influence on Deism, or for their fame in other areas.
- Alfred M. Mayer (1836–1897), American physicist.
- Al-Maʿarri (973–1058), was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer, and a controversial rationalist.
- Anaxagoras (c. 500–428 BC), Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher.
- Andrei Sakharov (1921–1989), Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident, and human rights activist.
- Antony Flew (1923–2010), British philosopher and prominent former atheist
- Alexander Pope (1688–1744), English poet during the eighteenth century
- Adam Smith (1723–90), Scottish Philosopher and economist; considered the father of modern economics
- Ahmad Kasravi (1890–1946), Iranian linguist, historian and reformer.
- Benjamin Franklin (1706–90), American polymath; one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
- Brett Gurewitz (1962–), guitarist and songwriter for the American punk rock band Bad Religion
- Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855), German mathematician and physical scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.
- Charles Lyell (1797–1875), British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism.
- Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), American philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist, sometimes known as "the father of pragmatism". He was educated as a chemist and employed as a scientist for 30 years. Today he is appreciated largely for his contributions to logic, mathematics, philosophy, scientific methodology, and semiotics, and for his founding of pragmatism.
- Colin Maclaurin (1698–1746), Scottish mathematician who made important contributions to geometry and algebra. The Maclaurin series, a special case of the Taylor series, are named after him.
- Dmitri Mendeleev (1834–1907), Russian chemist and inventor. He is credited as being the creator of the first version of the periodic table of elements.
- Ethan Allen (1738–89), early American revolutionary and guerrilla leader
- Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury (1583–1648), British soldier, diplomat, historian, poet and religious philosopher
- Elihu Palmer (1764–1806), American author and advocate of deism
- Émilie du Châtelet (1706–49), French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment. Her crowning achievement is considered to be her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton's work Principia Mathematica.
- Ernest Rutherford (1871–1937), New Zealand chemist and "father" of nuclear physics, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances".
- Frederick the Great (1712–86), Prussian King from the Hohenzollern dynasty
- Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright.
- Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716), German mathematician and philosopher. He is best known for developing infinitesimal calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and his mathematical notation has been widely used ever since it was published.
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781), German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist, and art critic
- George Washington (1732–1799), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the 1st President of the United States
- Harish-Chandra (1923–83), Indian mathematician, who did fundamental work in representation theory, especially Harmonic analysis on semisimple Lie groups.
- Harmony Korine (1973–), American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author.
- Henrik Wergeland (1808–45), Norwegian poet and theologist (by self-definition).
- Hermann Weyl (1885–1955), German mathematician and theoretical physicist.
- Humphry Davy (1778–1829), British chemist and inventor.
- James Heckman (1944–), American economist who shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000 for his pioneering work in econometrics and microeconomics.
- James Hutton (1726–1797), Scottish physician, geologist, naturalist, chemical manufacturer and experimental agriculturalist. His work helped to establish the basis of modern geology. His theories of geology and geologic time, also called deep time, came to be included in theories which were called plutonism and uniformitarianism.
- James Madison (1751–1836), "Father of the United States Constitution", one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and the 4th President of the United States
- James Watt (1736–1819), Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.
- Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829), French naturalist. He was a soldier, biologist, academic, and an early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws.
- Jean le Rond d'Alembert (1717–83), French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist. He was also co-editor with Denis Diderot of the Encyclopédie.
- John Muir (1838–1914), Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.
- John Toland (1670–1722), Irish philosopher, coined the term "pantheism"
- John Locke (1632–1704), influential English philosopher in the field of empiricism
- José Rizal (1861–96), a Filipino patriot, philosopher, medical doctor, poet, journalist, novelist, political scientist, painter and polyglot. Considered to be one of the Philippines' most important heroes and martyrs whose writings and execution contributed to the igniting of the Philippine Revolution. He is also considered as Asia's first modern non-violent proponent of freedom.
- Jules Verne (1828–1905), French author who pioneered the science fiction genre in Europe. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in Eighty Days.
- Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.
- Ludwig Boltzmann (1844–1906), Austrian physicist famous for his founding contributions in the fields of statistical mechanics and statistical thermodynamics.
- Luis Walter Alvarez (1911–1988), American experimental physicist and inventor, who spent nearly all of his long professional career on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968, and took out over 40 patents, some of which led to commercial products.
- Lysander Spooner (1808–87), American anarchist, philosopher and abolitionist
- Mark Twain (1835–1910), American author and humorist
- Martin Gardner (1914–2010), American popular mathematics and science writer specializing in recreational mathematics, but with interests encompassing micromagic, stage magic, literature (especially the writings of Lewis Carroll and G. K. Chesterton), philosophy, scientific skepticism, and religion.
- Matthew Tindal (1657–1733), controversial English author whose works were influential on Enlightenment thinking
- Max Born (1882–1970), German-British physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 30s. Born won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics (shared with Walther Bothe).
- Max Planck (1858–1947), German physicist, regarded as the founder of quantum theory.
- Maximilien Robespierre (1758–94), French revolutionary and lawyer
- Mikhail Lomonosov (1711–65), Russian polymath, scientist and writer, who made important contributions to literature, education, and science. Among his discoveries was the atmosphere of Venus. His spheres of science were natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art, philology, optical devices and others. Lomonosov was also a poet and influenced the formation of the modern Russian literary language.
- Moses Mendelssohn (1729–96), German philosopher influential in the Jewish Haskalah
- Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), French military and political leader
- Neil Armstrong (1930–2012), American NASA astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon.
- Nick Cave (1957–), Australian musician, songwriter, poet, author and actor.
- Paul Davies (1946–), British physicist and science writer and broadcaster
- Robert Hooke (1635–1703), English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.
- Simon Newcomb (1835–1909), Canadian-American astronomer and mathematician.
- Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931), American inventor and businessman.
- Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), author of the Jefferson Bible, an American Founding Father, the principal author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States.
- Thomas Paine (1737–1809), English pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, inventor, and intellectual, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
- Victor Hugo (1802–85), French writer, artist, activist and statesman
- Voltaire (1694–1778), French Enlightenment writer and philosopher
- Walter Kohn (1923–), Austrian-born American theoretical physicist. He was awarded, with John Pople, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998.
- Wernher von Braun (1912–77), German-American rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology.
- William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879), American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United States.
- William Hogarth (1697–1764), English painter, visual artist and pioneering cartoonist
- Wolfgang Pauli (1900–58), Austrian theoretical physicist. In 1945, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics. He is best known for his work on Pauli principle and spin theory.
- Albert E. Moyer (1983). American Physics in Transition: A History of Conceptual Change in the Late Nineteenth Century. Springer. p. 40. ISBN 9780938228066.
This deistic leaning persisted in Mayer's thought.
- Freethought Traditions in the Islamic World by Fred Whitehead; also quoted in Cyril Glasse, (2001), The New Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 278. Rowman Altamira.
- John Ferguson (ed.). Plato: Republic Book X. Taylor & Francis. p. 15.
Anaxagoras was a typical Deist.
- Sakharov believed that a non-scientific "guiding principle" governed the universe and human life. Drell, Sidney D., and Sergei P. Kapitsa (eds.), Sakharov Remembered, pp. 3, 92. New York: Springer, 1991.
- Atheist Becomes Theist – Biola News and communications
- The Times obituary of Adam Smith
- V. Minorsky. Mongol Place-Names in Mukri Kurdistan (Mongolica, 4), Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 58–81 (1957), p. 66. JSTOR
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin from earlyamerica.com
- "Greg Graffin: Punk-Rock Ph.D.". Paste Magazine. 1 August 2007. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007.
I’d call myself a provisional deist...I don't believe in a God who does much. But I do believe in God, for some reason that I can’t explain.
- Walter Kaufmann Bühler (1981). "14". Gauss: a biographical study. Springer-Verlag. p. 152. ISBN 9780387106625.
Despite his strong roots in the Enlightenment, Gauss was not an atheist, rather a deist with very unorthodox convictions,...
- Walter Kaufmann Bühler (1981). Gauss: A Biographical Study. Springer-Verlag. p. 153. ISBN 9780387106625.
Judging from the correspondence, Gauss did not believe in a personal god. An essential part of his credo was his confidence in the harmony and integrity of the grand design of the creation. Mathematics was the key to man's efforts to obtain at least a faint idea of God's plan. Obviously, Gauss's beliefs had a strong resemblance to Leibniz's system, though they were much less systematic and explicit.
- Gerhard Falk (1995). "The Influence of Scientific Thinking on the Secularization Process". American Judaism in Transition: The Secularization of a Religious Community. University Press of America. p. 121. ISBN 9780761800163.
Gauss told his friend Rudolf Wagner, a professor of biology at Gottingen University, that he did not believe in the Bible but that he had meditated a great deal on the future of the human soul and speculated on the possibility of the soul being reincarnated on another planet. Evidently, Gauss was a Deist with a good deal of skepticism concerning religion but incorporating a great deal of philosophical interests in the Big Questions, that is. the immortality of the soul, the afterlife and the meaning of man's existence.
- "Gauss, Carl Friedrich". Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
In seeming contradiction, his religious and philosophical views leaned toward those of his political opponents. He was an uncompromising believer in the priority of empiricism in science. He did not adhere to the views of Kant, Hegel and other idealist philosophers of the day. He was not a churchman and kept his religious views to himself. Moral rectitude and the advancement of scientific knowledge were his avowed principles.
- Morris Kline (1982). Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty. Oxford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780195030853.
- Keith Stewart Thomson (2009). The Young Charles Darwin. Yale University Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780300136081.
In his religious views, Lyell was essentially a deist, holding the position that God had originally created the world and life on it, and then had allowed nature to operate according to its own (God-given) natural laws, rather than constantly intervening to direct and shape the course of all history.
- Joseph Brent (1998). Charles Sanders Peirce: A Life (2 ed.). Indiana University Press. p. 18. ISBN 9780253211613.
Peirce had strong, though unorthodox, religious convictions. Although he was a communicant in the Episcopal church for most of his life, he expressed contempt for the theologies, metaphysics, and practices of established religions.
- Jack Repcheck (2010). The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of the Earth's Intiquity. ReadHowYouWant.com. p. 58. ISBN 9781458766625.
But Maclaurin had one other major effect on Hutton. Maclaurin was a deist, one who believes in a creator God, a God who designed and built the universe and then set His creation into motion (but does not interfere with the day-to-day workings of the system or the actions of people).
- Michael D. Gordin (2004). A Well-ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev And The Shadow Of The Periodic Table. Basic Books. p. 230. ISBN 9780465027750.
Mendeleev's son Ivan later vehemently denied claims that his father was devoutly Orthodox: "I have also heard the view of my father's 'church religiosity' — and I must reject this categorically. From his earliest years Father practically split from the church — and if he tolerated certain simple everyday rites, then only as an innocent national tradition, similar to Easter cakes, which he didn't consider worth fighting against." ...Mendeleev's opposition to traditional Orthodoxy was not due to either atheism or a scientific materialism. Rather, he held to a form of romanticized deism.
- Ethan Allen (1784). "Reason: The Only Oracle Of Man". Archived from the original on 10 December 2004. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- "Herbert of Cherbury, Edward [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]". Iep.utm.edu. 16 April 2001. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Elihu Palmer – First Presbyterian Church of Newtown
- Lynn M. Osen (1974). Women in mathematics. MIT Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780262650090.
In addition to these achievements, Mme du Chatelet was also interested in critical deism, particularly where this deism touched on the science of her century. She produced a manuscript based on her critical examination of the Old and New Testaments, and although this manuscript was never published, scholars are now examining it, specifically for its significance to the development of Voltaire's thought.
- "Emilie du Châtelet 1706–1749". Literary Criticism (1400–1800). Gale Cengage. 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
While her translation of Mandeville was not read during her lifetime, except among her peers, this work was quite familiar to Voltaire, who was strongly influenced by it in writing his own Traité de métaphysique. In keeping with philosophical trends of the day, she began a work on grammar, the unfinished Grammaire raisonné, and she applied her thoughts on deism and metaphysics to a study of the Bible, resulting in the unpublished Examen de la Genèse (which may be translated as "The Examination of Genesis"). Both studies reflect du Châtelet's Enlightenment commitment to applying science and reason to all aspects of human life, including language and religion.
- Michael Patrick Leahy (2007). Letter to an Atheist. Harpeth River Press. p. 55. ISBN 9780979497407.
- J. L. Heilbron (2003). "1: Cambridge and Ray Physics". Ernest Rutherford. Oxford University Press. p. 13. ISBN 9780195123784.
He emerged a clever teenager, cheerful and strong, with a good earthy sense of humor, no airs, a wide set of manual skills, no obvious genius, an indifference to religion, and, despite having many sisters, a remarkable shyness with girls.
- Peter J. Bowler (2012). Reconciling Science and Religion: The Debate in Early-Twentieth-Century Britain. University of Chicago Press. p. 61. ISBN 9780226068596.
Ernest Rutherford seems to have abandoned his Presbyterian up- bringing completely, apart from its moral code. A colleague wrote of him: "I knew Rutherford rather well and under varied conditions from 1903 onwards, but never heard religion discussed; nor have I found in his papers one line of writing connected with it." ...Given the reports quoted above, it is difficult to believe that either Rutherford or Ford was deeply religious in private.
- Frederick the Great – Hyperhistory.net
- Victoria Frede (2011). Doubt, Atheism, and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Intelligentsia. University of Wisconsin Pres. p. 57. ISBN 9780299284442.
Schiller was no atheist: he preached faith in God and respect for the Bible, but he condemned Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant forms) as a religion of hypocrisy.
- "In a commentary on Shaftesbury published in 1720, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a Rationalist philosopher and mathematician, accepted the Deist conception of God as an intelligent Creator but refused the contention that a god who metes out punishments is evil." Andreas Sofroniou, Moral Philosophy, from Hippocrates to the 21st Aeon, page 197.
- "Consistent with the liberal views of the Enlightenment, Leibniz was an optimist with respect to human reasoning and scientific progress (Popper 1963, p.69). Although he was a great reader and admirer of Spinoza, Leibniz, being a confirmed deist, rejected emphatically Spinoza's pantheism: God and nature, for Leibniz, were not simply two different "labels" for the same "thing". Shelby D. Hunt, Controversy in marketing theory: for reason, realism, truth, and objectivity (2003), page 33.
- "VQR » The Religion of James Monroe". Vqronline.org. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Armand Borel (2000). The Mathematical Legacy of Harish-Chandra: A Celebration of Representation Theory and Harmonic Analysis : An AMS Special Session Honoring the Memory of Harish-Chandra, January 9–10, 1998, Baltimore, Maryland. American Mathematical Soc. pp. 40–41. ISBN 9780821811979.
The sense of purpose Harish gave to his life had some spiritual, even religious underpinning. His religion was not a traditional one with the usual paraphernalia of stories, rituals, prayers and direct intervention of a personal god. Rather it was on an abstract, philosophical level, a yearning for some universal principle, transcending our lives, which would give a sense to the universe. Mathematics was maybe for him a way to approach it this life.
- Domenico Monetti. "HARMONY ENFANT TERRIBLE All Korine's Transgressions". Retrieved 24 June 2012.
"Even though I was born into a Jewish family, I don't belong to any religion. I'm not an atheist, I believe in a higher power. You have to believe in something, otherwise it would be hard getting out of bed in the morning." Harmony Korine and scandals.
- Hermann Weyl, Peter Pesic. Peter Pesic, ed. Mind and Nature: Selected Writings on Philosophy, Mathematics, and Physics. Princeton University Press. p. 12. ISBN 9780691135458.
To use the apt phrase of his son Michael, 'The Open World' (1932) contains "Hermann's dialogues with God" because here the mathematician confronts his ultimate concerns. These do not fall into the traditional religious traditions but are much closer in spirit to Spinoza's rational analysis of what he called "God or nature," so important for Einstein as well. ...In the end, Weyl concludes that this God "cannot and will not be comprehended" by the human mind, even though "mind is freedom within the limitations of existence; it is open toward the infinite." Nevertheless, "neither can God penetrate into man by revelation, nor man penetrate to him by mystical perception."
- June Z. Fullmer (2000). Young Humphry Davy: The Making of an Experimental Chemist, Volume 237. American Philosophical Society. p. 158. ISBN 9780871692375.
In prominent alliance with his concept, Davy celebrated a natural-philosophic deism, for which his critics did not attack him, nor, indeed, did they bother to mention it. Davy never appeared perturbed by critical attacks on his "materialism" because he was well aware that his deism and his materialism went hand in hand; moreover, deism appeared to be the abiding faith of all around him.
- James J. Heckman (2009). "James J. Heckman". In William Breit, Barry T. Hirsch. Lives of the Laureates, Fifth Edition: Twenty-three Nobel Economists (5 ed.). MIT Press. pp. 303–304. ISBN 9780262012768.
If I had any religion at that time, it was Deism. I was impressed by God the watchmaker.
- Russell McCormmach (2004). Speculative Truth: Henry Cavendish, Natural Philosophy, and the Rise of Modern Theoretical Science. Oxford University Press. p. 29. ISBN 9780195160048.
James Hutton, a deist, believed that nature was self-sustaining, without need of ongoing help from God, and that the laws of nature were immanent in the world.
- John L. Heilbron, ed. (2003). "Hutton, James". The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. Oxford University Press. p. 387. ISBN 9780199743766.
A deist in religion, he believed that a powerful and benevolent deity governed the universe, and dismissed the Biblical miracles as fables.
- Joseph McCabe (1945). A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Freethinkers. Haldeman-Julius Publications. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- Henry Winram Dickinson, Rhys Jenkins, Committee of the Watt Centenary Commemoration (1927). James Watt and the steam engine: the memorial volume prepared for the Committee of the Watt centenary commemoration at Birmingham 1919. Clarendon press. p. 78.
It is difficult to say anything as to Watt's religious belief, further than that he was a Deist.
- Jean Delumeau, Matthew O'Connell (2000). History of Paradise: The Garden of Eden in Myth and Tradition. University of Illinois Press. p. 223. ISBN 9780252068805.
Like Erasmus Darwin and unlike Cabanis, Lamarck was a deist.
- "The dividing line between Deism and atheism among the Philosophes was often rather blurred, as is evidenced by Le Rêve de d'Alembert (written 1769; "The Dream of d'Alembert"), which describes a discussion between the two "fathers" of the Encyclopédie: the Deist Jean Le Rond d'Alembert and the atheist Diderot." Andreas Sofroniou, Moral Philosophy, from Hippocrates to the 21st Aeon, page 197.
- "John Muir". NNDB.com. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "DEISM:". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "MICHAEL J. THOMPSON – JOHN LOCKE IN JERUSALEM – LOGOS 4.1 WINTER 2005". Logosjournal.com. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "Dr. Jose Rizal: The Foremost Filipino Deist". http://relijournal.com/. 23 September 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Peter Costello (1978). Jules Verne, Inventor of Science Fiction. Scribner. p. 34. ISBN 9780684158242.
Verne was to spend his life trying to escape from both, moving as he grew older towards anarchy and a more generalised deism.
- Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Paul Walter, Paul Walter Frederick (2012). "Jules Verne, Ghostbuster". In Frederick Paul Walter. The Sphinx of the Ice Realm: The First Complete English Translation ; with the Full Text of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe. SUNY Press. p. 406. ISBN 9781438442112.
And despite what some have said, Verne isn't much different. His early biographers laid stress on his Roman Catholicism—his grandson (Jules-Verne, 63) called him "deistic to the core, thanks to his upbringing"—yet his novels rarely have any spiritual content other than a few token appeals to the almighty.
- Arthur B. Evans, ed. (2007). The Kip Brothers. Wesleyan University Press. p. 412. ISBN 9780819567048.
But Verne's oeuvre cannot be characterized as Christian – there is never a mention of Christ, and most of his Voyages extraordinaires seem to be built around a rather deist philosophy of "Aide-toi et le Ciel t'aidera" (God helps those who help themselves). As Jean Chesneaux once remarked: "Despite fairly frequent references to Providence, to the Supreme Being, he [Verne] is fundamentally a rationalist... (The Political and Social Ideas of Jules Verne [London: Thames and Hudson, 1972],82).
- Kendrick Oliver (2012). To Touch the Face of God: The Sacred, the Profane, and the American Space Program, 1957–1975. JHU Press. ISBN 9781421408347.
Verne himself is best characterized as a kind of Catholic deist, deeply intrigued by the idea of God but unconvinced that he was at work in the world; and Verne was largely uninterested in the figure of Christ.
- Christopher Hodapp, Alice Von Kannon (2007). The Templar Code For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 256. ISBN 9780470127650.
Da Vinci was definitely an esoteric character and a man of contrasts; a bastard son who rose to prominence; an early Deist who worshipped the perfect machine of nature to such a degree that he wouldn't eat meat, but who made his first big splash designing weapons of war; a renowned painter who didn't much like painting, and often didn't finish them, infuriating his clients; and a born engineer who loved nothing more than hours spent imagining new contraptions of every variety.
- Eugène Müntz (2011). Leonardo Da Vinci. Parkstone International. p. 80. ISBN 9781780422954.
To begin with, even if it could be shown – and this is precisely one of the points most in dispute – that Leonardo had broken with the teachings of the Catholic Church, it would still be nonetheless certain that he was a deist and not an atheist or materialist.
- Ludwig Boltzmann, John T. Blackmore (1995). Ludwig Boltzmann: His Later Life and Philosophy, 1900–1906. The philosopher. Springer. p. 3. ISBN 9780792334644.
Boltzmann's tendency to think that the methods of theoretical physics could be applied to all fields with profit both within and outside of science apparently made it difficult for him to sympathize with most religion. His own religious position as given above seems to emphasize hope rather than belief, as if he hoped that good luck would come to him without specifying whether this would be caused by Divine Intervention, Divine Providence, or by natural or historical forces not yet understood by science or whose occurrence or timing one could not yet predict. But in the same letter to Brentano he maintains: "I pray to my God just as ardently as a priest does to his."
- Ludwig Boltzmann, John T. Blackmore (1995). Ludwig Boltzmann: His Later Life and Philosophy, 1900–1906. The philosopher. Springer. p. 4. ISBN 9780792334644.
Boltzmann in optimistic moods liked to think of himself as an idealist in the sense of having high ideals and a materialist in all three major senses enjoying the material world, opposing spiritualist philosophy, and reducing reality to matter... Boltzmann may not have been an ontological materialist, at least not in a classical sense and not in his methodology of science but rather closer to the phenomenalistic positions normally associated with David Hume and Ernst Mach.
- Luis W. Alvarez, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (1987). Alvarez: adventures of a physicist. Basic Books. p. 279. ISBN 9780465001156.
Physicists feel that the subject of religion is taboo. Almost all consider themselves agnostics. We talk about the big bang that started the present universe and wonder what caused it and what came before. To me the idea of a Supreme Being is attractive, but I'm sure that such a Being isn't the one described in any holy book. Since we learn about people by examining what they have done, I conclude that any Supreme Being must have been a great mathematician. The universe operates with precision according to mathematical laws of enormous complexity. I'm unable to identify its creator with the Jesus to whom my maternal grandparents, missionaries in China, devoted their lives.
- "Deistsreplymain". Lysanderspooner.org. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "Famous Deists". Adherents.com. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Carpenter, Alexander (2008), "Martin Gardner on Philosophical Theism, Adventists and Price" Interview, 17 October 2008, Spectrum.
- "The Human Jesus and Christian Deism". Onr.com. 31 May 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Nancy Thorndike Greenspan (2005). The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born : the Nobel Physicist who Ignited the Quantum Revolution. Basic Books. pp. 58–62. ISBN 9780738206936.
Max later traced his reluctance to his father, who had taught him not to believe in a God who punished, rewarded, or performed miracles. Like his father, he based his morality on his "own conscience and on an understanding of human life within a framework of natural law." Born, in fact, was no longer Jewish. His mother-in-law had worn him down. In March 1914, after a few religion lessons in Berlin, he was baptized a Lutheran by the pastor who had married him to Hedi. As he later explained, "there were...forces pulling in the opposite direction [to my own feelings]. The strongest of these was the necessity of defending my position again and again, and the feeling of futility produced by these discussions [with Hedi and her mother]. In the end I made up my mind that a rational being as I wished to be, ought to regard religious professions and churches as a matter of no importance.... It has not changed me, yet I never regretted it. I did not want to live in a Jewish world, and one cannot live in a Christian world as an outsider. However, I made up my mind never to conceal my Jewish origin."
- Rit Nosotro (2003). "Max Born". HyperHistory.net. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
In 1912 Max married a descendent of Martin Luther named Hedi. They were married by a Lutheran pastor who two years later would baptize Max into the Christian faith. Far from being a messianic Jew who fell in love with Rabbi Yeshua (Jesus), Max was merely one of the millions of Jews who no considered assimilation of more importance than their Jewish faith. As Max explained, "there were...forces pulling in the opposite direction [to my own feelings]. The strongest of these was the necessity of defending my position again and again, and the feeling of futility produced by these discussions [with Hedi and her mother]. In the end I made up my mind that a rational being as I wished to be, ought to regard religious professions and churches as a matter of no importance.... It has not changed me, yet I never regretted it. I did not want to live in a Jewish world, and one cannot live in a Christian world as an outsider. However, I made up my mind never to conceal my Jewish origin."
- J. L. Heilbron (1986). The Dilemmas of an Upright Man: Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science. Harvard University Press. p. 198. ISBN 9780674004399.
On the other side, Church spokesmen could scarcely become enthusiastic about Planck's deism, which omitted all reference to established religions and had no more doctrinal content than Einstein's Judaism. It seemed useful therefore to paint the lily, to improve the lesson of Planck's life for the use of proselytizers and to associate the deanthropomorphizer of science with a belief in a traditional Godhead.
- "Modern History Sourceboook: Robespierre: the Supreme Being". Fordham.edu. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Tatyana Klevantseva. "Prominent Russians: Mikhail Lomonosov". RT.com. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
A supporter of deism, he materialistically examined natural phenomena.
- "Reform Judaism and the relationship to Deism". Sullivan-county.com. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Ronald Bruce Meyer. "Napoleon Bonaparte (1769)". ronaldbrucemeyer.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2004. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
His studies, says the Catholic Encyclopedia, 'left him attached to a sort of Deism, an admirer of the personality of Christ, a stranger to all religious practices, and breathing defiance against 'sacerdotalism' and 'theocracy'.'
- James R. Hansen (2005). First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. Simon and Schuster. p. 33. ISBN 9780743281713.
It is clear that by the time Armstrong returned from Korea in 1952 he had become a type of deist, a person whose belief in God was founded on reason rather than on revelation, and on an understanding of God's natural laws rather than on the authority of any particular creed or church doctrine. While working as a test pilot in Southern California in the late 1950s, Armstrong applied at a local Methodist church to lead a Boy Scout troop. Where the form asked for his religious affiliation, Neil wrote the word "Deist."
- Talia Soghomonian (3 August 2008). "Nick Cave". musicomh.com.
Asked if he's a believer, he replies evasively, 'I believe in all sorts of things.' I attempt to lift his aura of mysticism and insist. 'Well, I believe in all sorts of things. But do I believe in God, you mean? Yeah. Do you?' he turns the question on me, before continuing, 'If you're involved with imagination and the creative process, it's not such a difficult thing to believe in a god. But I'm not involved in any religions.'
- "Nick Cave on The Death of Bunny Munro". The Guardian. 11 September 2009.
Do I personally believe in a personal God? No.
- "Clash in Cambridge: Scientific American". Sciam.com. 12 September 2005. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Paul Welberry Kent, Allan Chapman (2005). Robert Hooke and the English Renaissance. Gracewing Publishing. pp. 26–27. ISBN 9780852445877.
It seems possible that the mature Hooke may have been something of a Deist: a man who believed in and revered the Great Creator God, but who may have been quietly sceptical on such points as the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Sacraments. But very importantly, he seems to have kept his inner thoughts to himself, and probably steered clear of religious questions even when drinking coffee with friends who were deans and bishops. ...One suspects, however, that the undisclosed privacy of Robert Hooke's personal beliefs on matters of religion was best summed up by Waller when he said: 'If he was particular in some Matters, let us leave him to the searcher of Hearts.'
- James R. Wible (April 2009). "Economics, Christianity, and Creative Evolution: Peirce, Newcomb, and Ely and the Issues Surrounding the Creation of the American Economic Association in the 1880s" (PDF). p. 43. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
While rejecting all of the organized religions of human history, Newcomb does recognize that religious ideas are basic to the human mind. He articulates his point: “But there is a second truth admitted with nearly equal unanimity .... It is that man has religious instincts – is, in short, a religious animal, and must have some kind of worship.” 51 What Newcomb wants is a new religion compatible with the best science and philosophy of his time. He begins to outline this new religion with doctrines that it must not have: 1. It cannot have a God living and personal.... 2. It cannot insist on a personal immortality of the soul.... 3. There must be no terrors drawn from a day of judgment.... 4. There can be no ghostly sanctions or motives derived from a supernatural power, or a world to come.... 5. Everything beyond what can be seen must be represented as unknown and unknowable.... (Newcomb 1878, p. 51).
- In a correspondence on the matter Edison said: "You have misunderstood the whole article, because you jumped to the conclusion that it denies the existence of God. There is no such denial, what you call God I call Nature, the Supreme intelligence that rules matter. All the article states is that it is doubtful in my opinion if our intelligence or soul or whatever one may call it lives hereafter as an entity or disperses back again from whence it came, scattered amongst the cells of which we are made." New York Times. 2 October 1910, Sunday.
- "Jefferson's Religious Beliefs". monticello.org. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Michael Corbett and Julia Mitchell Corbett, Politics and religion in the United States (1999) p. 68
- Dulles, Avery (January 2005). "The Deist Minimum". First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life (149): 25ff.
- "Modern History Sourcebook: Thomas Paine: Of the Religion of Deism Compared with the Christian Religion". Fordham.edu. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "Victor Hugo". Nndb.com. 21 April 1915. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "World Union of Deists". Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "Top Scientists on God: Who Believes, Who Doesn't". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
I am very much a scientist, and so I naturally have thought about religion also through the eyes of a scientist. When I do that, I see religion not denominationally, but in a more, let us say, deistic sense. I have been influenced in my thinking by the writing of Einstein who has made remarks to the effect that when he contemplated the world he sensed an underlying Force much greater than any human force. I feel very much the same. There is a sense of awe, a sense of reverence, and a sense of great mystery.
- Explorers Club, New York (1981). Ernest Ingersoll, ed. Explorers journal, Volumes 59–61. Explorers Club. p. 105.
Nominally, Wernher von Braun was a Lutheran, but he was actually agnostic with atheistic overtones until the defeat of Germany. He confided to me that he seemed to have experienced a revelation. He had adopted the religious philosophy of Albert Einstein in which he did not believe in a God who punished the bad and rewarded the good. Instead, he believed in a Supreme Being responsible for the Universe and all it embraces.
- Ramesh Chopra (2005). Academic Dictionary of Philosophy. Gyan Books. p. 143. ISBN 9788182052246.
What Garrison did in the anti-slavery campaign is well known. The clergy to it that Americand do not know equally well that he rejected Christianity and was at the most a deist.
- "Alfred Adler Biography from Basic Famous People – Biographies of Celebrities and other Famous People". Basic Famous People. 28 May 1937. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- Charles Paul Enz (2002). No Time to Be Brief: A Scientific Biography of Wolfgang Pauli. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198564799.
At the same time Pauli writes on 11 October 1957 to the science historian Shmuel Sambursky whom he had met on his trip to Israel (see Ref. ,[not specific enough to verify] p. 964): 'In opposition to the monotheist religions – but in unison with the mysticism of all peoples, including the Jewish mysticism – I believe that the ultimate reality is not personal.'
- Werner Heisenberg (2007). Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science. HarperCollins. pp. 214–215. ISBN 9780061209192.
Wolfgang shared my concern. ..."Einstein's conception is closer to mine. His God is somehow involved in the immutable laws of nature. Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things. He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws. We may take it that he felt this simplicity very strongly and directly during his discovery of the theory of relativity. Admittedly, this is a far cry from the contents of religion. I don't believe Einstein is tied to any religious tradition, and I rather think the idea of a personal God is entirely foreign to him."