A person who believes that a deity created the universe, but is not presently involved in human affairs, and as such does not work miracles or otherwise make itself obvious.

Contrast with "theist".

Many of America's Founding Fathers were deists.

Deist, one who admits the being of a God, but denies the existence or even necessity of a divine revelation, believing that the light of nature and reason are sufficient guides in doctrine and practice; a believer in natural religion only; a freethinker.

A term applied in controversy which arose in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, between those who believed and those who disbelieved in revelation; the latter, however, not occupying the atheistic standpoint, but accepting the existence of a God.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

De"ist (?), n. [L. deus god: cf. F. d'eiste. See Deity.]

One who believes in the existence of a God, but denies revealed religion; a freethinker.

⇒ A deist, as denying a revelation, is opposed to a Christian; as, opposed to the denier of a God, whether atheist or patheist, a deist is generally denominated theist.

Latham.

Syn. -- See Infidel.

 

© Webster 1913.

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