Term Paper: Compare Dualistic and Monotheistic Concepts

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¶ … Monotheism and Dualism

Among the range of philosophies and beliefs that have dominated human thinking through the years, monotheism has become the most prevalent belief among people. Generally defined as the belief in one God, monotheism has spurred similar principles of oneness in today's prevalent religions (such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). In it, people believe in one God, therefore, they also believe that there is only one path towards salvation and only one belief to guide them through this path. The belief in one God itself necessitates individuals to believe in one truth, which is the primary influence that monotheism have over civilization through the years. Monotheism made it possible to believe in one truth, the truth, and achieve this by displaying faith and belief in one God.

Another philosophy, dualism, has also shown influences in most human societies at present. In fact, dualism is the prevalent and dominant philosophy that thrived during the period of modernism. As a philosophical thought, dualism posits that the universe is composed of two distinct elements or "substances" (Calef, 2005). This means that dualists view the world in two different perspectives, hence, the use of dichotomies, which was abundantly utilized to distinguish the difference between traditionalism and modernism in 20th century society.

This paper provides a comparative analysis of these two philosophies, monotheism and dualism. Similarities and differences between the two are analyzed and discussed, leading to the argument that dualism inevitably sprung from the principles of monotheism. This thesis is proven through the comparative analysis of both theories.

Monotheism as a religious belief is defined by Aiken (2003) as "belief in the one supreme God, the Creator and Lord of the world...the Rewarder of good and the Punisher of evil, the Source of our happiness and perfection." Further into the study of monotheism, Toner (2003) argues that one of the distinctions between monotheism and other forms of theism (such as polytheism and pantheism) is that monotheism's God is "knowable." This means that the existence of God can be proven, and this was proven from the statement that "...He is one singular, altogether simple and incommutable spiritual substance, must be proclaimed to be really and essentially...distinct from the most happy in and by Himself, and ineffably above and beyond all things, actual or possible, besides Himself."

This statement reflects the fact that God's 'knowability' depends on its 'real' and 'spiritual' manifestations. God is knowable and exists because he can exist both physically and spiritually, a distinction similar to the mind-matter dichotomy. God, then, is able to transcend the spiritual and material planes of human life and existence.

Given this characteristic of God's nature, monotheism is not unlike dualism, which subsists to the same distinction in which God was described. Dualism theorizes that there exist two elements, substances, or realities, which form the universe. Similarly, God is an entity that was manifested through spiritual and material means, as well an entity known for 'rewarding the good and punishing the evil.' From God came the idea of evil and good, in the same way that discontentment and happiness stemmed from concepts of evilness and goodness. From these similarities, it is evident that monotheism has characteristics that make it similar with dualism's principles. In fact, the existence of a dichotomy (a manifestation of dualism) in monotheism shows that dualism sprung from the primary nature of monotheism, which is the existence of a God who manifests two opposing characteristics extant in the universe.

God's perfection -- its ability… [END OF PREVIEW]

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