Re: Vital Essence

From: Max More (
Date: Sat Jan 22 2000 - 11:10:50 MST

At 10:29 PM 1/21/00 -0800, Robert Wasley wrote:
>Cutting to the chase, the gods and goddesses of old died as living,
>breathing entities because they were no longer used, no longer seen as
>valid or relevant. In my personal view the Christian god or any other
>interpretation of a deity is fundamentally a cultural expression. Deities
>are us looking back at ourselves and our ways of life. I am not an
>atheist, though I was one when I was much younger. My position is to go
>beyond the question or as Wittgenstein would say "shew the fly out of the
>fly bottle" so I consider myself a nontheist.

If you are a nontheist, that means you lack theistic belief. An atheist is
someone who lacks theistic belief. ("a-" means without.) So, I would say
you *are* an atheist.

I can understand why you don't like to describe yourself that way. While
the denotation of the term is correct in your case, you probably dislike
the connotations. "Atheist" has negative connotations in this country. It
suggests someone who angrily goes around attacking people's religious
views. I understand your choice to avoid the term, but suggest that are
nevertheless an atheist. My own preference is to try to reclaim the
connotations of "atheist" by being a kinder, gentler atheist. :-) As noted
in my last message, I generally do not describe myself as "atheist",
probably for the same reasons you use "nontheist". I would rather focus on
my positive views than on what I do not believe.



Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute.
CEO, MoreLogic Solutions. or

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