My Private Thoughts on a Future State
I have said, in the first part of the “Age
of Reason,” that “I hope for happiness after this life.” This hope
is comfortable to me, and I presume not to go beyond the comfortable
idea of hope, with respect to a future state.
I consider myself in the hands of my Creator, and that
He will dispose of me after this life consistently with His justice and
goodness. I leave all these matters to Him, as my Creator and friend,
and I hold it to be presumption in man to make an article of faith as to
what the Creator will do with us hereafter.
I do not believe because a man and a woman make a
child, that it imposes on the Creator the unavoidable obligation of
keeping the being so made in eternal existence hereafter. It is in His
power to do so, or not to do so, and it is not in our power to decide
which He will do.
The book called the New Testament, which I hold to be
fabulous and have shown to be false, gives an account in Matthew xxv of
what is there called the last day, or the day of judgment.
The whole world, according to that account, is divided
into two parts, the righteous and the unrighteous, figuratively called
the sheep and the goats. They are then to receive their sentence. To the
one, figuratively called the sheep, it says,
“Come ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
To the other, figuratively called the goats, it says, “Depart from me,
ye cursed, into the everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his
Not the case is, the world cannot be thus divided: the
moral world, like the physical world, is composed of numerous degrees of
character, running imperceptibly one into the other, in such a manner
that no fixed point of division can be found in either. That point is
nowhere, or is everywhere.
The whole world might be divided into two parts
numerically, but not as to moral character; and therefore the metaphor
of dividing them, as sheep and goats can be divided, whose difference is
marked by their external figure, is absurd. All sheep are still sheep;
all goats are still goats; it is their physical nature to be so. But one
part of the world are not all good alike, nor the other part all wicked
alike. There are some exceedingly good; others exceedingly wicked.
There is another description of men who cannot be
ranked with either the one or the other – they belong neither to the
sheep nor the goats; and there is still another description of them who
are so very insignificant, both in character and conduct, as not to be
worth the trouble of damning or saving, or of raising from the dead.
My own opinion is, that those whose lives have been
spent in doing good, and endeavoring to make their fellow-mortals happy,
for this is the only way in which we can serve God,
will be happy hereafter; and
that the very wicked will meet with some punishment. But those who are
neither good nor bad, or are too insignificant for notice, will be
This is my opinion. It is consistent with my idea of God’s justice, and with the reason that God has given me, and I gratefully know that He has given me a large share of that divine gift.
The survey shows a giant step forward for Deism in the fact that it actually uses the word "Deist" and for the very significant raw numbers it shows as representing the number of people who are Deists. In reality, the number of Deists is actually higher than the survey shows because the survey uses an outdated definition of Deist. For a more accurate definition please see our Deism Defined page.
Click here to read the actual survey. (It's in PDF)
One of the reasons the freethinker Giordano Bruno was tortured and murdered by being burned alive by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition was that he said the Universe is eternal and infinite which violates the superstitions in the Bible found in Genesis. This new study vindicates Bruno.
Obama supporters forget that when all is said and done, Obama is just another politician. This article shows he's proving that he is nothing but a politician by doing more than any other president to mix religion and government, especially through giving tax-dollars to religious organizations.