Existence of Deity-God

by Thomas Jefferson

I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to atheism by their general dogma, that without a revelation. there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a God.

Now, one-sixth of mankind only are supposed to be Christian; the other five-sixths, then who do not believe in the Jewish and Christian revelation. are without knowledge of the existence of a am this gives completely a gain de cause to the disciples of Ocelllus Spinoza Diderot and D'Holbach.

The argument which they rest on as triumphant and unanswerable is, that every hypothesis of cosmology, you must admit an eternal preexistence of something; and according to the rule of sound philosophy, you are never to employ two principles to solve a difficulty when only will suffice.

They say then that it is more simple to believe at once an the eternal pre-existence of the world. as it is now going on, and may forever go on by the principle of reproduction which we see and witness than to believe in the eternal pre-existence of an ulterior cause, or Creator of the world, a Being whom we see not and know not, of whose form, substance and mode, or place of existence, or of action, no sense informs us, no power of the mind enables us to delineate or comprehend.

On the contrary. I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the universe, in all its parts, general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition.

The movements of the heavenly bodies so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal force, the structure of our earth itself, with its distribution of lands. water and atmosphere; animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles; insects. mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organized as man or mammoth; the mineral substances. their generation and uses; it is impossible I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is in all this design, cause and effect up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regeneration into new and other forms. We see, too evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power to maintain the universe in its course and order.

Stars well known. have disappeared, new ones have come into view ; comets in their incalculable courses. may run foul of suns and planets. and require renovation under other laws; certain races of animals become extinct and were there no restoring power, all existences might extinguish successively, one by one. Until all should be reduced to a shapeless chaos. So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful agent that of the infinite numbers of men who have existed through all time they have believed, in the proportion at least to a unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a Creator rather than in that of a self-existent universe.

Surely this unanimous sentiment renders this more probable than that of the few in the other hypothesis. Some early Christians, indeed have believed in the co-eternal pre-existence of both the Creator and the world, without changing their relation of cause and effect That was to opinion of St. Thomas we are informal by cardinal Toleta.
To JOHN ADAMS vii 281 1823
Jefferson Cyclopedia, Foley 1900