Monotheism Ends Religion

Monotheism inevitably leads to agnosticism, and then atheism, because it cannot adequately explain the origins of evil. As Christians became increasingly better educated and more sophisticated they realized that the concept of an incredibly powerful evil spirit (the Devil) with a domain of his own (Hell) gave their religion a distinctly dualistic air. Since dualism is incompatible with monotheism, the notion of an evil entity opposed to God and responsible for the world’s and humanity’s evils had to be rejected. This left the concept of evil without an explanation.

Portrayal of the Devil

Monotheism weakens religion by removing the Devil as an explanation for evil. (Image: public domain)

The blame for all that was evil in the world then fell upon human beings. However, the idea that all evil comes from humankind while all good comes from God seems unsatisfying to most. The notion that humans alone originate evil leads many to question why an omnipotent God does not cure them of their evil ways, or why such a God tolerates evil in the first place. The idea of God granting free will does not evade these questions. Why allow humanity to do wrong and then judge them for having gone astray? Why not create morally-good people to start with and shield all the tempted sinners from falling into wicked ways? What are we to make of the victims of the evildoers? Why should they suffer for the crimes of others? An incredibly complex web of dubious explanations is required to deal with these issues.

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The Constant Self Is Real

When feelings such as loneliness, loss, and placelessness assail them, people often get into serious emotional trouble. It is interesting to note that, when some people experience such feelings, they do not turn inward for an explanation of their own emotions. They do not even turn to psychology or philosophy, external knowledge bases which would give them some inkling of what is happening to them and are therefore relevant to their condition. Instead, they turn to spiritual belief systems. With Christianity, the West’s traditional religion, now fallen from favour, troubled individuals feel they must look elsewhere for spiritual comfort and understanding. With increasing regularity, they turn to godless belief systems such as Buddhism and Taoism. The absence of any moralizing god and the possibility of solitary spiritual practice are powerful attractions. That is, people prefer a godless belief system with no churches or temples and no organized religious service. We might call this, “do it yourself” spirituality.

Tarot card showing the emperor on his throne

The authentic self is real, constant, and stable. Once found and accepted, it can provide a centre, still point, and anchor in life. (Image: public domain.)

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