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Religion is belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Because in no field of human endeavor has the tool of language proved so inadequate in the communication of ideas as it has in dealing with the fundamental questions of man's predicament in life, in death or in final judgment and retribution, the exact distinction between philosophy and religion is difficult to discern.[1] According to Ludwig von Mises, liberalism "is no religion because it demands neither faith nor devotion, because there is nothing mystical about it, and because it has no dogmas."[2]


The three most popular monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, hold that there is one perfect, omniscient and omnipotent God who frequently, or even continually, intervenes in human affairs.[citation needed] Mises notes that the praxeological implications of this are self-contradictory.[3] Of course, praxeology has only ever claimed to deal with human action, not divine action.

Mises also notes the difficulties of productively arguing with theists:[4]

The essential problem of all varieties of universalistic, collectivistic, and holistic social philosophy is: By what mark do I recognize the true law, the authentic apostle of God's word, and the legitimate authority. For many claim that Providence has sent them, and each of these prophets preaches another gospel. For the faithful believer there cannot be any doubt; he is fully confident that he has espoused the only true doctrine. But it is precisely the firmness of such beliefs that renders the antagonisms irreconcilable. Each party is prepared to make its own tenets prevail. But as logical argumentation cannot decide between various dissenting creeds, there is no means left for the settlement of such disputes other than armed conflict. The nonrationalist, nonutilitarian, and nonliberal social doctrines must beget wars and civil wars until one of the adversaries is annihilated or subdued. The history of the world's great religions is a record of battles and wars, as is the history of the present-day counterfeit religions, socialism, statolatry, and nationalism.


  1. U.S. v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 165 (1965)
  2. Mises, Ludwig von (1929). "The Future of Liberalism". Liberalism. 
  3. Mises, Ludwig von (1949). "The Limitations on Praxeological Concepts". Human Action. "Scholastic philosophers and theologians and likewise Theists and Deists of the Age of Reason conceived an absolute and perfect being, unchangeable, omnipotent, and omniscient, and yet planning and acting, aiming at ends and employing means for the attainment of these ends. But action can only be imputed to a discontented being, and repeated action only to a being who lacks the power to remove his uneasiness once and for all at one stroke. An acting being is discontented and therefore not almighty. If he were contented, he would not act, and if he were almighty, he would have long since radically removed his discontent. For an all-powerful being there is no pressure to choose between various states of uneasiness; he is not under the necessity of acquiescing in the lesser evil. Omnipotence would mean the power to achieve everything and to enjoy full satisfaction without being restrained by any limitations. But this is incompatible with the very concept of action. For an almighty being the categories of ends and means do not exist. He is above all human comprehension, concepts, and understanding. For the almighty being every 'means' renders unlimited services, he can apply every 'means' for the attainment of any ends, he can achieve every end without the employment of any means." 
  4. Mises, Ludwig von (1949). "A Critique of the Holistic and Metaphysical View of Society". Human Action.