A denominational doctrine
does not merely involve the recognition
of a system of norms and values:
it tries to satisfy the need
to meaningfully relate things,
events and actions, attitudes and ideas,
to one another and to the supreme being
to supreme being.

A denominational doctrine
does not merely involve the recognition
of a system of norms and values:
it is a product of exclusivism
and authoritarianism,
degenerating into
the apotheosis of the human race,
the 'Holy Land', the male sex
and the powerful elite,
when teaching that the supreme being
is an exclusively human, male god
specially related to one city or people,
and with the attributes of a member
of an upper-class;
that 'He' is an almighty Overlord
who rules, punishes and forgives.

A denominational doctrine
does not merely involve the recognition
of a system of norms and values:
it is a product of inclusivism
and neutralism,
culminating in
a post-theodemonistic neutrality
towards all lands, races, sexes
and still-existing classes,
when teaching that the supreme being
is the all-neutral being,
that supreme being is all-neutral being.


The DNI is a postreligious normist doctrine in its interpretation of truth, a post-theodemonist normist doctrine in its interpretation of relevance or inclusivity, and a catenical normist doctrine in its interpretation of neutrality.

In general also normist doctrines can be either religious or nonreligious, theodemonistic or non-theodemonistic, and catenical or noncatenical. As a matter of fact, traditional or ancient forms of normism are religious rather than nonreligious (and antonymical or otherwise precatenical instead of catenical). Altho starting from the primacy of the normative, a world-view might center round a number of supernaturalist representations and myths. That is why people in the past were not always sure whether to classify such a world-view as "a religion" or as "a philosophical system", because they thought that only theocentric denominational doctrines deserved the name religion, while realizing at the same time that all supernaturalist comprehensive ideologies must be called "religions".

We should distinguish the DNI as a postreligious doctrine from traditional 'antireligious' doctrines. Antireligious doctrines exist by the grace of religion at the same time as religion. A postreligious doctrine, on the other hand, does not depend on religion for its existence; it succeeds both religious and antireligious ideologies in time; and in some way it transcends the old antithesis between religion and irreligion. This may sound like a dialectical mystery if religion is supposed to stand for (denominational) supernaturalism and irreligion for non-supernaturalism, yet in the old antithesis irreligion does not just denote non-supernaturalism; it also denotes the rejection of the concept of a supreme being and the possibility of the existence of such a being, and/or the rejection of all denominational nonpropositional symbolism, and/or the rejection of the psychological and sociological meaning of denominationalism, and/or the rejection of the belief in anything else than facts which can be empirically verified or falsified. The solution to the 'mystery' is therefore that while the DNI is not supernaturalistic or religious, it does recognize that several of the features of traditional or ancient religions are worthwhile as features of any comprehensive ideology. They are qualities which are not supernaturalistic, nor theocentric, in themselves, and which need not per se be repudiated for other normative reasons either. In other words, in disposing of religion as a bastion of supernaturalism and theodemonism, we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

This should explain too why the DNI is a post-theodemonist doctrine, and not just an anti-theodemonist one, like traditional atheism. The traditional atheist passionately denies the existence of 'God', of any god, or of any god or demon. In thus denying the existence of such theodemonical beings 'e takes the theocentric position that their actual existence would be relevant. But the question whether one or more gods or demons (or beings which are called "a god", "God", "a demon" or "(the) Devil") do actually exist or not, is not relevant from a normist standpoint. The question whether a certain god (or demon) exists may only be interesting from the perspective of truth and its veridicalist interpretation, when its existence is actually asserted by some people. Nonetheless, this truth-aspect of the belief in gods and demons we have labeled "religion"; it is the relevancy-aspect of this belief which we have labeled "theodemonism". What is, then, normatively of paramount importance is that one shall never recognize one of the exclusivistically conceived principal beings of theodemonical ideologies as a supreme or superior being, nor as an inferior being. Anti-theodemonists will deny the true existence of such a being --and probably rightly so--, for us as post-theodemonists this is not to the point.

As a catenical doctrine the DNI defines normative supremacy in catenical terms. On the principle of catenated neutrality a being is supreme in a certain respect, if it is neutral in that respect, unless its unneutrality corresponds to, or would serve, neutrality in a more basic respect. Hence, a being is supreme in all respects if it is neutral in all respects (for which neutrality is ananormatively superior). Theoretically a supreme being would thus be an all-neutral being, and an all-neutral being the or a supreme being. The actual existence of such a being is of no fundamental significance. Since it is the normative principle of neutrality which would have to make it significant, it is this principle itself which is fundamental. Therefore, the adherent of the DNI may be agnostic with regard to the (possible) existence of the or a supreme being. If 'e chooses to do as if (the) all-neutral being does exist, 'e does so for symbolic reasons. (This symbolic significance of the all-neutral supreme being will be discussed in the third chapter of the Book of Symbols.)

The distinctions we have drawn between theocentrism, religion, theodemonism, exclusivism and unneutralism, or between normism, veridicalist denominationalism, non-theodemonism, inclusivism and neutralism, are sometimes very plain, sometimes very subtle. In practise several of these distinctions will often play a role together. This is also the case in the following short dialog between a theocentrist of the monotheist or atheist persuasion and a normist of the neutral-inclusivist persuasion. It is called "a post-theodemonist response to a traditional question". T is the traditional mono- or atheist, N the normist of the neutral-inclusive persuasion.

T: "Do you believe in God?"
N: "God is a proper name. What does it mean 'to believe in Dog'? To accept its or 'er existence as a fact? To have faith in its or 'er behavior or authority, while its or 'er existence is not disputed?"
T: "Do you believe in the existence of the Supreme Being, and name it "God"?"
N: "In your question you presuppose that the existence or nonexistence of a supreme being is of fundamental significance, but what we believe in is the primacy of the normative: it is the Norm that determines which being is supreme, or would be supreme, not the other way around as in religions of lordship and submission. Your presupposition puts the cart before the horse, for it is above all the belief in norms which is relevant, not that in a supreme being. And, then, if the supreme being exists, or when we do assume that it exists, it would be blasphemy to name it "God", because what is the highest of all beings according to the Norm would thus be associated with the exclusivist, often extremist, contents and dismal, if not abominable, record of theodemonism. We may believe in the existence of the supreme being, but it is not a god, for we shall not have any god before us. Of all being only all-neutral being is supreme, and of all beings only the most neutral, or the least unneutral, being is supreme."
T: "Is this the answer to my question?"
N: "Yes and no: yes, insofar as your question is answerable; no, insofar as it is questionable."

©MVVM, 41-67 ASWW

Model of Neutral-Inclusivity
Book of Fundamentals
The Doctrine of Neutral-Inclusivity
Postreligious, Catenical Normism