Monotheism vs. Polytheism

Topics: God, Religion, Polytheism Pages: 4 (1585 words) Published: October 13, 2008
Monotheism and polytheism are two very different belief systems. Monotheism is the belief in one god and polytheism is the belief in more one than one god. The concept of morality can and does exist within cultures that have only one god, as well as cultures that have multiple gods. Without morality, the world would be a place of extreme chaos and pandemonium. However, the foundation for morality within polytheistic religions is quite contradictory to the foundation for morality with monotheistic religions. Morality within polytheism is somewhat inconsistent and relative; whereas in monotheism, morality becomes more consistent and absolute. Morality exists throughout all cultures and religions of the world in some shape or form. In monotheism, the fact that there is one god that sits in judgment over all of his followers is evidence of morality. For example, in Judaism, God gave his followers ten commandment outlining right and wrong for them. God then places judgment on his followers based upon their obedience to the commandments. Therefore, if there is one god judging the people’s actions, deciding if their actions are right or wrong, then the people have a standard by which they try to live by or achieve. In most polytheistic religions, although not defined, the notion of good and bad conduct is present. This notion of good and bad conduct, or right and wrong conduct, is evidence of morality in polytheism. For example, in Hinduism there is what is known as PAP and PUNYA. PAP means penalty for bad behavior, and PUNYA means credit for deeds. PAP and PUNYA assist in determining a follower’s karma; karma determines one’s life form in the next life. (Fisher SOMETIME). The existence of morality is also evident in that there are certain gods whom have such titles as ‘sustainer,’ ‘judge,’ and ‘protector of morals.’ For instance in Vedic Hinduism, a religion no longer practiced, one of the many gods known as Varuna was described as an “omniscient God...
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