Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Impossibility of Polytheism !


In this post I will be presenting one of the key arguments against Shirk (polytheism), based on Sheikulislam Fakhr Al-Deen Al-Razi's tafsir of Quran 21:22 (Vol 22, Pg 127 of Al-Shamela's version of Al-Razi's Al-Tafsir Al-Kabir).

The verse from the Quran:

لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا آلِهَةٌ إِلَّا اللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا ۚ فَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

Had there been in the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.


Before we begin, let us first expand on what we mean when we say "God". This in reference to a being that possess all the Divine attributes of perfection. The most relevant attribute for our argument will be God's non-contingency. In other words, God is not contingent upon on any other being. And any being which depends on another, is ultimately not God.

The monotheist's claim is that there is only One being which possesses those Divine attributes of perfection (including non-contingency). And that those who claim that there is more than One, are upon clear falsehood.

I hope to be able to demonstrate at least one aspect of this falsehood now.

The Argument

The argument begins with a simple boolean, a question with only two possible answers. We ask the Polytheist: "Are your gods able to disagree with one another?"

If the polytheist answers: "No, my gods are unable to disagree with one another."

Then all of the polytheist's gods are false. This is because each god is dependent on every other gods' approval- they are all forced to agree with one another. None of the polytheist's gods are truly independent, and thus they fail the test for divinity.

If the polytheist answers: "Yes, my gods are able to disagree with one another."

Then this is proof for monotheism. Reality is one, and if the different gods disagree, only one god's will can manifest into reality. Thus, all of the polytheist's gods are false, except for one. Hence monotheism.

Let us use an example to make this second scenario clearer:

Suppose there were two gods that are able to disagree with one another, as per the polytheist's answer to our original question.

The first god wants karkooshy to be born in the month of January. The second god wants karkooshy to be born in February. Obviously karkooshy cannot be born in both January and February. He can only be born in one of the two.

Now suppose karkooshy was born in January. This means the will of the first god manifested into reality, and overcame the will of the second god. Thus the second god is a false god (he is imperfect, weaker than the first), and only the first god is true- I.e. there is only One God.


The original question is a valid question (doesn't assume anything, doesn't contain contradictions... Etc.). The only two possible answers to this Boolean were highlighted above, and in both cases it was shown that polytheism is logically impossible. Hence, polytheism is logically impossible.