Re: virus: Science and Religion

KMO prime (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 01:55:21 EDT

On Wed, 25 Sep 1996 17:45:00 -0600 David McFadzean <>
>At 02:23 PM 25/09/96 PDT, Chelstad, Erik wrote:
>>I'm not arguing about the semantics, and I'd hate to see another
>>Webster's definition come across the mail, but I'd love to see
>>another word without as many preconceived notions take the
>>place of "religion" when describing a meme theorist's view of
>>the world.
>>Does anyone have suggestions?
>The Extropians use "eupraxophy" (good practice, active wisdom),
>a philosophy of life.

First let me say that I'm always happy to see someone transcribe a
defintion from their dictionary of choice. We use a lot of words for
which we have rather private definitons. They're close enough to the
private usages employed by our peers that we can talk past each other and
still sound for all the world like we're talking about the same thing. I
think it is extremely valuable to get a public lexical defintion in the
open air and then examine it to see if it meets our needs and the usage
to which we have assigned it.

As far as 'eupraxophy' is concerned, I'm all for bringing it into the
conversation, but if you are looking for a word without a lot of
political or emotional baggage attached to it you might want to consider
'eupraxophy's' origins. To the best of my knowledge, Paul Kurtz coined
the term. He wrote a book called "Eupraxophy," and he is the author of
"The Humanist Manifesto." He is pretty strongly opposed to mystical
thinking and belief systems. Professor Kurtz wrote "Eupraxophy" in an
attempt to counter arguments that religion is the necessary bedrock for
ethical behavior and that a life structured around sound moral principles
is impossible in the absence of religion.

If you are looking for a word which is largely free of preconceived
notions about the proper role of relgion in life, 'eupraxophy' ain't it.
Still, it's a useful concept.

Take care. -KMO