Recently Jehovah's Witnesses came to our door. My adult daughter saw who it was and called for me saying, "The Jehovah's are here, can you take care of them?"
When I stepped outside there was a woman and her daughter and the woman said, "Yes, we are from the Jehovah's Witnesses." It seemed like she thought I'd be embarrassed that she heard what my daughter had said, which I wasn't because it was the truth.
She then held out a leaflet while asking me if I am comfortable with death or if death scares me. I didn't take the leaflet but told her we're Deists and we don't believe the Bible, or the Quran, or any man-made book is the Word of God, that the only possible Word of God is the Universe and Creation itself and that, no, I'm not afraid of death because as a Deist I look at God as my Creator and Friend and the Designer of the Universe and that death is just one of the designs. She then asked if I ever had someone close to me die and I told her I did and that my innate God-given reason and Deism got me through just fine. I should have mentioned to her that when the Christians murdered the Deist Cayetano Ripoll, who is one of the heroes the web-zine Bruno & Ripoll's Bulletin of the World Union of Deists is named after and dedicated to, for being a Deist and for teaching other people about Deism, he had no fear and said, "I die reconciled to God and to man."
Another example of a Deist facing imminent death is found in Thomas Paine. In The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition he wrote that while he was a prisoner in the Luxembourg prison in France during the French Revolution it looked like he was going to die from a severe illness (not to mention the constant threat of the Guillotine). He then reflected on having written the first part to The Age of Reason. This realization filled him "with renewed satisfaction" and he writes that he congratulated himself "most sincerely on having written the former part of The Age of Reason. I had then but little expectation of surviving, and those about me had less. I know, therefore, by experience, the conscientious trial of my own principles."
The Jehovah's Witness then changed tactics and said, "Well, if you don't believe the Bible is the Word of God, doesn't that make you feel like you lack direction and guidance in your life?" I told her no, that God gave us reason and not religion and told her to read the bumper sticker on our car which states the same thing. I told her that Deists believe God gave us reason for us to USE every day of our lives so we can protect ourselves plus make a much better world.
She then said she's heard of and knows how to respond to Atheists and Agnostics but she needs to study and learn more about Deism and walked away. As she was walking away I told her a good place to start is deism.com. Hopefully she reads this article by a former Jehovah's Witness who evolved into a Deist.
The fact that the Jehovah's Witnesses and all of the "revealed"/hearsay religions use the fear of death to gain control of people makes it clear Deists need to be prepared to counter their arguments. We have a great learning tool to help Deists deal with this tactic of the "revealed"/hearsay religions, our Deism eBooklet Deism Destroys Fear of Death. You can order it here (it's about half way down the page) or if you can't afford it (it's $5.00) just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to send you one free of charge. I would include it in this Bruno & Ripoll's Bulletin but we send our web-zines out through Constant Contact and can't add attachments. We also have an excellent and thought provoking free Deism leaflet which covers the topic of death, Where Are YOU Going to Spend Eternity? which you can print and distribute. Our Deism leaflets page is here.
God gave us reason, not religion; The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition; Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You; An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity; DEISM quarterly journal; Listen to Deism Podcasts
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