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  Theism (from Greek theos, ‘god’) is the belief in one personal creator-God who is distinct from the world but constantly active in it. Theism is therefore distinct from deism (which does not accept the revelations of a God active in the world) and from pantheism (which holds the position that all is God and God is therefore not distinct from it). Christianity, Islam and Judaism are identified as the three major theistic religions.

While theism, as a philosophical position, can be traced back to Plato, it was the theologians of the major theistic religions who developed the arguments which support the theistic position. The ontological argument for God states that every mind, independent of all environmental influences, has some idea of a highest being, a fact that points to his existence. The cosmological argument states that God can be seen in the order which rules all things while the teleological argument goes further and states that this order can be better understood in view of a goal (God). (Taking the theory of evolution into account, F.R. Tennant in his books Philosophical Theology (1928-30) developed the wider teleological argument by stating ‘if Nature evinces wisdom, the wisdom is Another\'s’.) The moral argument takes moral consciousness into account and states that a person\'s value judgements do not originate in that person and point, therefore, to another, higher being. EMJ

Further reading A.O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being: a Study of The History of an Idea.



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