This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Deism And Thomas Jefferson Essay

2540 words - 10 pages

Deism and Thomas Jefferson Deism, which reached its peak in the American colonies around the middle of the eighteenth century, is defined as a belief in the existence of a God or Supreme Being but denial of open religion, centering belief on the light of nature and reason. Deists opposed the Calvinistic doctrines of original sin, divinity of Jesus, limited atonement, and predestination (Lindell). The religious principles of deism were set forth by Lord Herbert of Cherbury who is generally regarded as the founder of the movement (American Lit.). However, deism was not an organized religious movement; it existed in the writings of individuals who expressed their personal religious beliefs. The enlightenment as such was confined to a limited number of highly educated, articulate people whose careful reasoning was followed only by others of like turn of mind (American Lit.). Among the enlightened with similar opinions in relation to deism were Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and Elihu Palmer. In the course of comparing the writings of these individuals and in a letter written to Dr. Benjamin Rush, one can conclude that deism was present in the personal beliefs of Thomas Jefferson.Thomas Jefferson was a fervent believer in the equality of man and theoretically held that God had ordained it. His words, written in the Declaration of Independence ""¦hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with CERTAIN [inherent and] inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" (Lauter, 919). Jefferson believed that our rights came from God, not from the British crown, so it was up to us what kind of government we wanted to recognize. If you could sum up Jefferson's political views in one sentence, you would say: He believed that God and reason allow people to rule themselves.The question of Jefferson's religious beliefs was something he did not take without due consideration and took the time to fully analyze and explain his fundamental perspective. In hopes that he would not be criticized, he took great care in writing down his interpretations of moral doctrines and in his letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, he exclaims "the Christian religion was sometimes our topic; and"¦I would give you my views of it. They are the result of a life of inquiry & reflection" (Jefferson).Further, Jefferson defends his views of Christianity. He is disappointed with the way people have interpreted the teachings of Jesus. "My views are"¦very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others" (Jefferson). Jefferson professes to be a Christian and a believer in Jesus, but not in the way that...

Find Another Essay On Deism And Thomas Jefferson

James Madison And Thomas Jefferson Essay

1428 words - 6 pages . Thomas Jefferson made his inaugural address on March 4, 1801. This speech outlined all of his beliefs, which differed from any prior President. He talked about his thoughts on the power of state government, the freedom of religion and the press, majority rule but the protection of minorities, low government budgets, and the want to reduce federal debt. He also said that he wanted to be trade partners with France and to have amity with them

Consenting Fathers: Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson

1098 words - 4 pages distinctive and similar viewpoints that the respected authors had towards religion and education.Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson shared similar viewpoints in respect to religion. While neither of the men were radical atheists in the vein of Thomas Paine, both of these men were pronounced Deists. Benjamin Franklin, in his Autobiography, writes frequently about his beliefs. At the age of 15, Franklin happened upon books against Deism which he read

Thomas Jefferson and John Adam’s Friendship

902 words - 4 pages Biographical Information for John Adams and Thomas Jefferson John Adams John Adams was born in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1735. He was a Harvard graduate who believed in independence for all. As a politician, he served two terms as the Vice President under George Washington. Being Vice President was not a good fit for Adams for he was too intelligent for the job. He told his wife, Abagail Adams, that "My country has in its wisdom contrived

Thomas Jefferson and The Declaration of Independence

1480 words - 6 pages Thomas Jefferson and The Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson was the author of The Declaration of Independence, and according to Bellis, Jefferson was also a jurist, a diplomat, a writer, an inventor, a philosopher, an architect, a gardener, a negotiator of Louisiana Purchase, but he only requested three of his many accomplishments to be noted on his tomb. (2005). Thomas Jefferson was a very smart politician and he knew what to say

John Trumbull, Thomas Jefferson, and Horace Mann

2581 words - 11 pages Introduction The 1800s to 1820s, America was still in its growing phase; it had gained independence only 25 years prior and was already becoming a great nation filled with proud, hard working men. Arts, architecture, business, and books were all a large part of society. Eighty percent of the population was farmers and the import of slaves to America was banned. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had each been elected as President, in a

The Louisiana Purchase and President Thomas Jefferson

861 words - 4 pages Treaties.” This article proves that Jefferson was able to approve the Louisiana Purchase because it was a treaty of foreign affairs between France and the United States. Thomas Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana territory was a notable achievement in American history. Occasionally, it is more sufficient for someone to go against one’s own belief if it is more beneficial to the people he or she is required to serve. President Jefferson

Comparison Of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton

615 words - 2 pages Soon after the birth of America, many profound leaders and colonial individuals voiced their views concerning national policies; of those men, two shine through the somewhat foggy opinions of others with strong, never dwindling thoughts that would shape a nation. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson served together in George Washington's first cabinet. They were both regarded highly for their intelligence as well as their stern ambition

Thomas Jefferson And The US Economy

1048 words - 4 pages During the early years of the United States of America following the winning of independence Thomas Jefferson was one of the most active and influential men in American politics. Jefferson, who spent his childhood roaming the woods and studying on a remote plantation in the Virginia wilderness, became the first Secretary of State under George Washington and later president of the United States. His genius was in his ability to compromise and in

Thomas Jefferson on Separation of Church and State

2354 words - 9 pages Thomas Jefferson on Separation of Church and State A popular notion among many religious conservatives is the rejection of what is commonly referred to as the separation between church and state. They maintain the United States was founded by leaders who endorsed Christian principles as the cornerstone of American democracy, and that the First Amendment prohibition against government establishment was not intended to remove

The View and Feelings of Thomas Jefferson in The Inner Jefferson by Andrew Burnstein

995 words - 4 pages The View and Feelings of Thomas Jefferson in The Inner Jefferson by Andrew Burnstein According to Maslow self-actualized people exibit the same fifteen characteristics. The book, The Inner Jefferson, by Andew Burnstein, expressed the views and feelings of Thomas Jefferson. Using these as a guideline to his life, it is obvious, that Thomas Jefferson was a self-actualized individual. One of the characteristics portrayed, is the ability

Thomas Jefferson and the Locomotive this essay is about the locomotive and when thomas jefferson was president

530 words - 2 pages Brittany Penniket4/19/04S/SThomas Jefferson and the lcomotiveThomas Jefferson was the 3rd president of the United States, he was president from 1801-1809. He was the first Republican President; he was born on April 13, 1743 and died July 4, 1826. Thomas Jefferson was a natural born leader. He showed signs of a strong leader and a great supporter of liberty from an early age. He has contributed greatly to the independence of our country, and the

Similar Essays

Thomas Paine And Thomas Jefferson Essay

606 words - 2 pages "asylum" for those who sought religious freedom (Paine 324). Paine also believed that we would be allies with the rest of Europe if we broke out ties with England. American trade suffered every time Europe had a war that involved England (Paine 325). Although Thomas Paine had great thoughts and ideas, it wasn't until Thomas Jefferson helped write the Declaration of Independence, that America came to his side of thinking. Even with the

Thomas Jefferson And Monticello Essay

1069 words - 5 pages A person’s house can show you a lot about that person. In my own room you would probably find that I have a big appreciation for books, but don’t you wonder what the inventor and third president’s house showed you what he was like? Thomas Jefferson was a very important man; however, there are many more sides to him than you think. Initially, the Northeast Portico displays Thomas Jefferson’s deep appreciation for Architecture. Jefferson himself

Thomas Jefferson And Slavery Essay

1084 words - 4 pages Thomas Jefferson was a hypocrite and only wrote what the population wanted to see? Did Thomas Jefferson enjoy owning slaves just as his other wealthy peers did? Neither one of those is true. Thomas Jefferson thought slavery was morally wrong and he thought that it should be abolished. We will take a closer look at Thomas Jefferson and his days of slave ownership. We will discuss how Jefferson would come to own slaves, how he tried to help them

Thomas Jefferson And Alexander Hamilton Essay

776 words - 3 pages There were many men involved in the establishment of the government, the laws regulating states and people, and individual rights in the construction of the United States of America. Two men stand out as instrumental to our founding principles: Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson was an educated, articulate and accomplished man from a well-respected family. He had a great understanding of farming and of the