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Dualism (from the "Latin word duo meaning "two")[1] denotes the state of two parts. The term dualism was originally coined to denote co-eternal["clarification needed] "binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in "metaphysical and "philosophical "duality discourse but has been more generalized in other usages to indicate a system which contains two essential parts.

Moral dualism is the belief of the great complement of or conflict between the benevolent and the malevolent. It simply implies that there are two moral opposites at work, independent of any interpretation of what might be "moral" and independent of how these may be represented. Moral opposites might, for example, exist in a worldview which has one god, more than one god, or none. By contrast, ditheism or bi-theism implies (at least) two gods. While bi-theism implies harmony, "ditheism implies rivalry and opposition, such as between "good and evil, or "light and dark, or summer and winter. For example, a ditheistic system would be one in which one god is a creator, and the other a destroyer.

Alternatively, in ontological dualism, the world is divided into two overarching categories. The opposition and combination of the universe's two basic principles of "yin and yang is a large part of Chinese philosophy, and is an important feature of "Taoism. It is also discussed in "Confucianism.

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Moral dualism[edit]

Moral dualism is the belief of the great complement or conflict between the benevolent and the malevolent. Like ditheism/bitheism (see below), moral dualism does not imply the absence of "monist or "monotheistic principles. Moral dualism simply implies that there are two moral opposites at work, independent of any interpretation of what might be "moral" and - unlike ditheism/bitheism - independent of how these may be represented.

For example, Mazdaism (Mazdean "Zoroastrianism) is both dualistic and monotheistic (but not monist by definition) since in that philosophy God—the Creator—is purely good, and the "antithesis—which is also uncreated–is an absolute one. "Zurvanism (Zurvanite Zoroastrianism), "Manichaeism, and "Mandaeism are representative of dualistic and "monist philosophies since each has a supreme and transcendental First Principle from which the two equal-but-opposite entities then emanate. This is also true for the lesser-known Christian "gnostic religions, such as "Bogomils, "Catharism, and so on. More complex forms of monist dualism also exist, for instance in "Hermeticism, where "Nous "thought" – that is described to have created man – brings forth both good and evil, dependent on interpretation, whether it receives prompting from the God or from the Demon. Duality with "pluralism is considered a logical fallacy.

History[edit]

Moral dualism began as a theological belief. Dualism was first seen implicitly in Egyptian religious beliefs by the contrast of the gods "Set (disorder, death) and "Osiris (order, life).[2] The first explicit conception of dualism came from the Ancient Persian religion of "Zoroastrianism around the mid-fifth century BC. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion that believes that "Ahura Mazda is the eternal creator of all good things. Any violations of Ahura Mazda's order arise from "druj, which is everything uncreated. From this comes a significant choice for humans to make. Either they fully participate in human life for Ahura Mazda or they do not and give druj power. Personal dualism is even more distinct in the "beliefs of later religions.

The religious dualism of "Christianity between good and evil is not a perfect dualism as God (good) will inevitably destroy "Satan (evil). Early Christian dualism is largely based on Platonic Dualism (See: "Neoplatonism and Christianity). There is also a personal dualism in Christianity with a soul-body distinction based on the idea of an immaterial Christian "soul.[3]

Duotheism, bitheism, ditheism[edit]

In "theology, dualism may refer to duotheism, bitheism, or ditheism. Although ditheism/bitheism imply moral dualism, they are not equivalent: ditheism/bitheism implies (at least) two gods, while moral dualism does not necessarily imply "theism ("theos = god) at all.

Both bitheism and ditheism imply a belief in two equally powerful gods with complementary or antonymous properties; however, while bitheism implies harmony, ditheism implies rivalry and opposition, such as between good and evil, bright and dark, or summer and winter. For example, a ditheistic system would be one in which one god is creative, the other is destructive (cf. "theodicy). In the original conception of "Zoroastrianism, for example, "Ahura Mazda was the spirit of ultimate good, while Ahriman ("Angra Mainyu) was the spirit of ultimate evil.

In a bitheistic system, by contrast, where the two deities are not in conflict or opposition, one could be male and the other female (cf. duotheism["clarification needed]). One well-known example of a bitheistic or duotheistic theology based on gender polarity is found in the "neopagan religion of "Wicca. In Wicca, dualism is represented in the belief of a god and a goddess as a dual partnership in ruling the universe. This is centered on the worship of a "divine couple, the "Moon Goddess and the "Horned God, who are regarded as lovers. However, there is also a ditheistic theme within traditional Wicca, as the Horned God has dual aspects of bright and dark - relating to day/night, summer/winter - expressed as the Oak King and the Holly King, who in Wiccan myth and ritual are said to engage in battle twice a year for the hand of the Goddess, resulting in the changing seasons. (Within Wicca, bright and dark do not correspond to notions of "good" and "evil" but are aspects of the natural world, much like "yin and yang in "Taoism.)

However, bitheistic and ditheistic principles are not always so easily contrastable, for instance in a system where one god is the representative of summer and drought and the other of winter and rain/fertility (cf. the mythology of "Persephone). "Marcionism, an early Christian sect, held that the Old and New Testaments were the work of two opposing gods: both were First Principles, but of different religions.[4]

Theistic dualism[edit]

In theology, dualism can refer to the relationship between God and creation or God and the universe. This form of dualism is a belief shared in certain traditions of Christianity and Hinduism.[5]

In Christianity[edit]

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The Cathars being expelled from "Carcassonne in 1209. The Cathars were denounced as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church for their dualist beliefs.

The dualism between God and Creation has existed as a central belief in multiple historical sects and traditions of Christianity, including "Marcionism, "Catharism, "Paulicianism, and "Gnostic Christianity. Christian dualism refers to the belief that God and creation are distinct, but interrelated through an indivisible bond.[5] In sects like the Cathars and the Paulicians, this is a dualism between the material world, created by an evil god, and a moral god. Historians divide Christian dualism into absolute dualism, which held that the good and evil gods were equally powerful, and mitigated dualism, which held that material evil was subordinate to the spiritual good.[6] The belief, by Christian theologians who adhere to a libertarian or compatibilist view of free will, that "free will separates humankind from God has also been characterized as a form of dualism.[5] The theologian Leroy Stephens Rouner compares the dualism of Christianity with the dualism that exists in Zoroastrianism and the "Samkhya tradition of Hinduism. The theological use of the word dualism dates back to 1700, in a book that describes the dualism between good and evil.[5]

The tolerance of dualism ranges widely among the different Christian traditions. As a monotheistic religion, the conflict between dualism and monism has existed in Christianity since its inception.[7] The 1912 "Catholic Encyclopedia describes that, in the Catholic Church, "the dualistic hypothesis of an eternal world existing side by side with God was of course rejected" by the thirteenth century, but "mind–body dualism was not.[8] The "problem of evil is difficult to reconcile with absolute monism, and has prompted some Christian sects to veer towards dualism. Gnostic forms of Christianity were more dualistic, and some Gnostic traditions posited that the Devil was separate from God as an independent deity.[7] The Christian dualists of the Byzantine Empire, the "Paulicians, were seen as Manichean heretics by Byzantine theologians. This tradition of Christian dualism, founded by "Constantine-Silvanus, argued that the universe was created through evil and separate from a moral God.[9]

The "Cathars, a Christian sect in southern France, believed that there was a dualism between two gods, one representing good and the other representing evil. The Roman Catholic Church denounced the Cathars as heretics, and sought to crush the movement in the 13th century. The "Albigensian Crusade was initiated by "Pope Innocent III in 1208 to remove the Cathars from "Languedoc in France, where they were known as Albigesians. The "Inquisition, which began in 1233 under "Pope Gregory IX, also targeted the Cathars.[10]

In Hinduism[edit]

The "Dvaita Vedanta school of "Indian philosophy espouses a dualism between God and the universe by theorizing the existence of two separate "realities. The first and the more important reality is that of "Shiva or "Shakti or "Vishnu or "Brahman. Shiva or Shakti or Vishnu is the supreme "Self, God, the absolute truth of the universe, the independent reality. The second reality is that of dependent but equally real universe that exists with its own separate essence. Everything that is composed of the second reality, such as individual soul ("Jiva), matter, etc. exist with their own separate reality. The distinguishing factor of this philosophy as opposed to "Advaita Vedanta ("monistic conclusion of Vedas) is that God takes on a personal role and is seen as a real eternal entity that governs and controls the universe.[11] Because the existence of individuals is grounded in the divine, they are depicted as reflections, images or even shadows of the divine, but never in any way identical with the divine. "Salvation therefore is described as the realization that all finite reality is essentially dependent on the Supreme.[12]

Ontological dualism[edit]

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The yin and yang symbolizes the duality in nature and all things in the Taoist religion.

Alternatively, dualism can mean the tendency of humans to perceive and understand the world as being divided into two overarching "categories. In this sense, it is dualistic when one perceives a tree as a thing separate from everything surrounding it. This form of ontological dualism exists in Taoism and Confucianism, beliefs that divide the universe into the complementary oppositions of "yin and yang.[13] In traditions such as classical Hinduism, "Zen Buddhism or "Islamic "Sufism, a key to enlightenment is "transcending" this sort of dualistic thinking, without merely substituting dualism with "monism or "pluralism.

In Chinese philosophy[edit]

The opposition and combination of the universe's two basic principles of "yin and yang is a large part of "Chinese philosophy, and is an important feature of "Taoism, both as a philosophy and as a religion, although the concept developed much earlier. Some argue that yin and yang were originally an earth and sky god, respectively.[14] As one of the oldest principles in Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are also discussed in "Confucianism, but to a lesser extent.

Some of the common associations with yang and yin, respectively, are: male and female, "light and "dark, active and passive, motion and stillness. Some scholars recognize that the two ideas may have originally referred to two opposite sides of a mountain, facing towards and away from the sun.[14] The yin and yang symbol in actuality has very little to do with Western dualism; instead it represents the philosophy of balance, where two opposites co-exist in harmony and are able to transmute into each other. In the yin-yang symbol there is a dot of yin in yang and a dot of yang in yin. In Taoism, this symbolizes the inter-connectedness of the opposite forces as different aspects of Tao, the First Principle. Contrast is needed to create a distinguishable reality, without which we would experience nothingness. Therefore, the independent principles of yin and yang are actually dependent on one another for each other's distinguishable existence.

The complementary dualistic concept seen in yin and yang represent the reciprocal interaction throughout nature, related to a "feedback loop, where opposing forces do not exchange in opposition but instead exchange reciprocally to promote stabilization similar to "homeostasis. An underlying principle in Taoism states that within every independent entity lies a part of its opposite. Within sickness lies health and vice versa. This is because all opposites are manifestations of the single Tao, and are therefore not independent from one another, but rather a variation of the same unifying force throughout all of nature.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The term dualism is recorded in English since 1785–95 ("Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 2001, "dualism").
  2. ^ "Egypt and Mesopotamia"
  3. ^ "soul"
  4. ^ Enrico Riparelli, Il volto del Cristo dualista. Da Marcione ai catari, Peter Lang, Bern - Berlin - Bruxelles - Frankfurt am Main - New York - Oxford - Wien 2008, 368 pp. "ISBN "978-3-03911-490-0
  5. ^ a b c d Rouner, Leroy (1983). The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 166. "ISBN "978-0-664-22748-7. 
  6. ^ Peters, Edward (2011). Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 106. "ISBN "978-0-8122-0680-7. 
  7. ^ a b Russell, Jeffrey (1998). A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence. Princeton University Press. p. 53. "ISBN "978-0-691-00684-0. 
  8. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church. Robert Appleton Company. 1912. p. 170. 
  9. ^ Hamilton, Janet; Hamilton, Bernard; Stoyanov, Yuri (1998). Christian Dualist Heresies in the Byzantine World, C. 650-c. 1450: Selected Sources. Manchester University Press. pp. 1–2. "ISBN "978-0-7190-4765-7. 
  10. ^ Chidester, David (2001). Christianity: A Global History. HarperCollins. pp. 266–268. "ISBN "978-0-06-251770-8. 
  11. ^ Etter, Christopher. A Study of Qualitative Non-Pluralism. iUniverse Inc. P. 59-60. "ISBN "0-595-39312-8.
  12. ^ Fowler, Jeaneane D. Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. Sussex Academic Press. P. 340-344. "ISBN "1-898723-93-1.
  13. ^ Girardot, N.J. (1988). Myth and Meaning in Early Taoism: The Theme of Chaos (hun-tun). University of California Press. p. 247. "ISBN "978-0-520-06460-7. 
  14. ^ a b Roberts, Jeremy. "Yin and Yang". Ancient and Medieval History. Facts on File. Retrieved 19 March 2017. 

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