Re: mapping religious thought space

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 16:28:19 MST wrote:

> In a message dated 1/23/00 14:35:05, Robert Owen wrote:
> > Atheism is not only a theological,
> > but an ethical negation of Christianity. It belongs close to
> > nihilism for the reasons I stated earlier: it is essentially a
> > anti-monarchical/anti-christian term adopted by Marx,
> > Engels, Lenin and Trosky to characterize the strategy of
> > radical revolution.
> I don't
> know anybody who thinks atheists are even often Communists.

Your conclusion is a non sequitur. I said there is a meaningful
historical association between atheism, nihilism and the back-
ground of the Russian Revolution (and by implication post-
revolutionary Communism). I said that all card-carrying Commu-
nists are de jure and de facto atheists.

What I did NOT say, either explicitly or by implication, is that
"all atheists are communists". I'm at a loss to explain how you
managed to derive this proposition from the quoted passage.
Perhaps you mistakenly took as the referent for the pronoun
"it" in "it is essentially" "Atheism", and there is perhaps some
referential ambiguity here. If so, I apologize and revise:

          "[nihilism] is essentially an anti-monarchical/
          anti-christian term adopted by Marx....."

This sentence is true in fact and not true by definition.

Best wishes,


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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