What is the philosophy of Monism?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Monism is a theory or doctrine that denies the existence of a distinction or duality in some sphere. For example, it rejects the division between matter and mind, or God and the world. It is the belief that all is one – a form of pantheism. In this philosophy, there are no fundamental divisions, but a unified set of laws that underlie all of nature. This belief sets itself in contrast to Dualism. The latter belief holds that there are two kinds of substance or realities: material (physical) and immaterial (spiritual).


Plotinus (AD 204–270), the father of neo-Platonism, taught that the ultimate being resides in the universe or nature. In the 17th century, the mind-body problem was addressed by René Descartes resulting in the Cartesian dualism. And also it was addressed by pre-Aristotelian philosophers, who promoted the Avicennian philosophy.

And in the 18th century, the term “monism” was given by Christian von Wolff in his work Logic (1728), to label types of philosophical thought. He attempted to remove the contrast between the body and mind and explain all phenomena by one single substance.

In the 20th century, according to Jonathan Schaffer, monism lost its popularity due to the emergence of Analytic philosophy. This school of thought spoke against the neo-Hegelians. Carnap and Ayer, who were proponents of positivism, “ridiculed the whole question as incoherent mysticism.”

Atheists Promote Monism

In Monism, all reality is limited to the material world and that which can be perceived by the five senses. And since everything is matter governed by physical laws, then such things as God, spirit, soul, love, morality, justice…etc., don’t exist. Atheists hold to this belief which explains their rejection of Creator/creature distinction.

Jude-Christians Reject Monism

Jewish beliefs consider God as separate from all physical created things. For He exists outside of time and matter (eternal). And Christian teachings also strongly affirm the Creator-creature distinction. And they maintain that God created the universe not from His own substance. Thus, the Creator is not to be confused with His creation, but rather He transcends it (metaphysical dualism-Genesis 1). And while God is omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience, He chose to become incarnate to save humanity from eternal death (John 3:16).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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