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POLYTHEISM AND MONOTHEISM

From the January 1915 issue of The Christian Science Journal


If there is only one real cause to which all real effects are to be attributed, there can be only one causative Mind, alias God. Jesus declared God to be Spirit, and spoke of Him as "the only true God;" but if there be many real causes to which many real effects are to be attributed, it follows of necessity that there must likewise be many causative intelligences, that is, many gods. If there is only the one Mind, it follows that all causation, and therefore all effects, are to be attributed exclusively to the intelligence and volition of the Supreme Being; hence, that any and all supposed relations between material causes and their effects in what is called the material universe, are no more than false human beliefs.

If there be more than one real cause of all real effects, the universe which has a real existence must have had its origin, as it must have its energizing maintenance everywhere and always, in more than one creative and supporting intelligence and volition. But the fatal objection to this polytheistic supposition becomes apparent when we consider that this supposition would involve the discord which would arise between the ruling powers, for no two of them could be precisely alike in all respects, because if they were precisely alike the will of one would negative the will of another. If they were precisely alike, the existence of more than one would be futile, and there would in fact be no supreme power at all. If there were several ruling powers, or gods, as polytheistic beliefs have hypothecated, and they were not precisely alike in all respects, the differences between them would fully justify the conflicts between the Jupiters, Junos, and other Olympians which are recorded in Hesiod and Homer. Jesus taught that "no man can serve two masters. . .: Ye cannot serve God and mammon." But there is no need now to argue that polytheism is rebuked by reason at every point. Even the Master said, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

It may be accepted as a truism that (apart from the infinite cause) nothing can possibly exist as a fact or truth without a corresponding and explanatory cause; and likewise that the fact or effect cannot be opposed to the cause. The one infinite Mind causes nothing antipodal. Neither does the infinite Mind cause any two facts which are in the very least respect antipodal to each other. Otherwise, the universe which exists in truth (or as a fact) would be discordant and therefore chaotic and self-destructive. If what is popularly termed the material universe be discordant in the least particular whatsoever, it follows that it is not the effect of the activity of infinite Mind, and therefore that no such universe can exist as a real effect or fact. There can be no causation, for example, of a solar system governed by harmonious rules or laws, unless such causation be of a sufficient intelligence for the purpose; and this of necessity implies infinite Mind. Matter cannot legislate to create matter or to rule matter.

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