Re: mapping religious thought space

Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 00:55:58 MST

In a message dated 1/23/00 10:34:06 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

>Second, perhaps we need to discuss what I'm trying to
>diagrammatically represent. Think of it as similar to a
>square of opposition representing not logical relationships
>but relationships among belief-systems, dominant and
>recessive personality traits, and ideological group dynamics.
>Quite a bit for one diagram -- maybe TOO much.

Yes, that's a lot for one diagram. More specific
diagrams would certainly be easier to discuss
and analyze.

> [3] Thus "atheism" and "nihilism" are related as points on a
> continuum -- a very different relationship. The diagram
> shows how an ideological tendency can pass through a
> series of stages, contiguous elements representing a
> modification of each other but not a negation. If, for
> example, Atheism is a denial of the supernatural, then
> Nihilism takes this much farther to a denial of the
> supernatural AND the natural (or secular). But nihilism
> is not a conversion of atheism, but rather an significant
> amplification or magnification of a common tendency.

Since my philosophy is rusty,
I checked my dictionary for defs of "nihilism" and
found 3 very different definitions (i.e., there's
more than one philosophy under that particular
umbrella). The one that seems closest to your
definition is "which denies any objective basis
for truth, esp. moral truths".

You can say that they are related because they both
deny something. I would measure relationships between
different belief systems more on shared denials and
shared tenets. Just about any system denies something
and holds something else. Even if you say that
"belief in God" is a subset of "objective basic in
truth" that is a awfully small subset.

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