Deism (/ˈdiː.ɪzəm/ or /ˈdeɪ.ɪzəm/), derived from the Latin word “Deus” meaning “God“, is a theological/philosophical position that combines the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge with the conclusion that reason andobservation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe.
Deism gained prominence among intellectuals during the Age of Enlightenment—especially in Britain, France, Germany and the United States—who, raised as Christians, believed in one god but became disenchanted with organized religion and notions such as the Trinity, Biblical inerrancy and the supernatural interpretation of events such as miracles. Included in those influenced by its ideas were leaders of the American and French Revolutions.
Today, deism is considered to exist in two principal forms: classical and modern where the classical view takes what is called a “cold” approach by asserting the non-intervention of deity in the natural behavior of the created universe while the modern deist formulation can be either “warm” (citing an involved deity) or cold, non-interventionist creator. These lead to many subdivisions of modern deism which tends, therefore, to serve as an overall category of belief. Despite this classification of Deism today, classical Deists themselves rarely wrote or accepted that the Creator is a non-interventionist during the flowering of Deism in the 16th and 17th centuries; using straw man arguments, their theological critics attempted to force them into this position.