Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. In a more specific sense, theism is commonly a monotheistic doctrine concerning the nature of a deity, and that deity's relationship to the universe. Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. As such theism describes the classical conception of God that is found in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.
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- Our theism is the purification of the human mind. Man can paint, or make, or think nothing but man. He believes that the great material elements had their origin from his thought.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Uses of Great Men, Representative Men (1850).
- What terrible questions we are learning to ask! The former men believed in magic, by which temples, cities, and men were swallowed up, and all trace of them gone. We are coming on the secret of a magic which sweeps out of men’s minds all vestige of theism and beliefs which they and their fathers held and were framed upon.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Illusions, The Conduct of Life (1860).
- Even in ordinary speech we call a person unreasonable whose outlook is narrow, who is conscious of one thing only at a time, and who is consequently the prey of his own caprice, whilst we describe a person as reasonable whose outlook is comprehensive, who is capable of looking at more than one side of a question and of grasping a number of details as parts of a whole.
- G. Dawes Hicks, The Philosophical Bases of Theism, p. 128, New York (1937).
- It must appear impossible, that theism could, from reasoning, have been the primary religion of human race, and have afterwards, by its corruption, given birth to polytheism and to all the various superstitions of the heathen world. Reason, when obvious, prevents these corruptions: When abstruse, it keeps the principles entirely from the knowledge of the vulgar, who are alone liable to corrupt any principle or opinion.
- David Hume, The Natural History of Religion, sect. 1, p. 312 (1898).