On Counting Gods

Dale Tuggy


Our standard scheme for describing and classifying different sorts of religious belief, the trichotomy monotheism-polytheism-atheism, is confused and confusing. In this paper I display some of the confusions and work out a better conceptual scheme, analyzing the concepts deity, god, and ultimate. I then suggest a conservatively revised terminology, discuss historical precedents for this, and show how my suggestions clarify various problems of classification.


monotheism; atheism; polytheism; theism; deities; religions

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