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Monism – What is it?

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Monism is the idea that all reality can be summed up or explained in one substance or single reality. Monism stands in contrast with both dualism, the idea that all things can be reduced to two substances (good and evil), and pluralism, the idea that there are multiple substances, realities, or gods.

Monism has generally been discussed within Western Philosophy as an idea that argues all things are derived from a single source. Yet monism has also been applied to religious discussions. Within religious debates, monism has generally been used to argue for pantheism, the belief that God is all. More specifically, pantheism argues there is no distinction between God and the created universe, resulting in the understanding that a rock, tree, animal, or person are all part of the one and have the same level of value.

Yet when used in Western Philosophy, monism has typically been discussed within the context of atheism, the belief that there is no God or ultimate being. Rather than belief in a supernatural Creator of all things, monism is applied within the world of naturalism that accepts only what can be understood through the human senses or proven scientifically. As such, everything in the universe is explained through human terms and scientific laws. Ideas such as love, justice, and beauty are understood as human constructs, as are belief in God and immortality.

All of the above views discussed under the idea of monism are alternatives that the Bible does not teach. In contrast, the Bible begins with the assumption that God exists and has created all things. Genesis 1:1 states, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Scripture reveals a Creator of all things, yet One who also supernaturally intervenes at times through miracles to accomplish His will.

Further, the God of the Bible is Triune—consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is One in being, existing in three Persons. In this Triune Godhead is perfect unity and community, self-existent, perfect, loving, and all-powerful. Humanity is created in His image (Genesis 1:27). God the Son, Jesus Christ, left heaven and came to earth to show His love, revealing the important value and purpose of every person. Ultimately, every human soul will exist for eternity future in either heaven or hell based on their faith in God's Son in this life (John 3:16).

This biblical view embraces monotheism, not monism, resulting in a distinction between God and creation while also communicating a deep love of God for His created beings, especially humanity. Monism is one attempt to explain the universe from a mere human perspective apart from God's revelation in Scripture, yet is ultimately inadequate to explain the universe's creation, the purpose of humanity, and the plan of God.

Related Truth:

Dualism – What is it?

What is atheism?

What is Naturalism?

Christian worldview - What is it?

Can the existence of God be proven?

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