Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Monotheism And Science
Of course, however, people did not accept monotheism on the basis that, "This will lead us to something beneficial called "science'"! What my modern Pagan friends call "hard", i. e., literal polytheism became hard to sustain. Monotheism appealed to philosophers, priests and imperialists. The Jewish tribal confederation's exclusive covenant with its one god became full monotheism under the prophets. Paul freed this monotheism from divisive dietary laws, ritual cleanliness and circumcision. Constantine established Christianity and insisted that it be doctrinally uniform to unite his Empire.
There is a sense of historical inevitability about all this. But monotheism is not necessary for the continuation of science. On the contrary, scientific cosmogony and Darwinism now show what could not have been known before, namely that order need not have been designed. Many people are secularists although some revive hard polytheism while others develop soft versions. Some of us practice Buddhist meditation. It is good to know that Buddhist traditions and philosophical inquiries would have continued even in the polytheist timelines imagined by Anderson.