Ethical monotheism

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Ethical monotheism is a form of exclusive monotheism in which God is believed to be the only god as well as the source for one's standards of morality, guiding humanity through ethical principles.[1]


Ethical monotheism originated within Judaism.[1][2][3][4] It is evident in many different religions, such as Christianity, Zoroastrianism, the Baháʼí Faith, Sikhism, Islam, and many more. All of these religions include the belief in one sole higher power, who controls everything that occurs in the world.[5] In Christianity, God is worshiped as the Trinity or according to nontrinitarian conceptions of God.

Other gods are variously considered to be false or demonic, and it is believed that any other gods cannot be compared to the one true God.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Jewish Concepts: God". Jewish Virtual Library. American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). 2021 [2014]. Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  2. ^ Weber Bederman, Diane (19 May 2014). "The True Meaning of Ethical Monotheism". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  3. ^ "CORE ETHICAL TEACHINGS OF JUDAISM". Ian Lacey and Josie Lacey. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Modern Jewish Views of God". My Jewish Learning. 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2021. Post-Enlightenment Jewish thinkers presented modified conceptions of God that attempted to reconcile modern philosophical trends with Jewish tradition. These figures tended to stress human liberty and the ethical aspects of God. Solomon Formstecher (1808-1889) conceived of God as the spirit of the world, a concept derived from Hegel. God is completely free, and as freedom is a precondition for moral activity, God is the perfect ethical being. Leo Baeck (1873-1956) presented Judaism as, essentially, ethical monotheism, suggesting that the belief in one God–Judaism's fundamental innovation–is equivalent to the belief in a single source of moral law.
    Hermann Cohen (1842-1918) was also, originally, concerned with the ethical implications of God. In his early rationalistic thought, he presented God as the "idea" that guarantees morality. Cohen's later work, however, was more traditional from a Jewish point of view, and he became more concerned with the reality of God and less concerned with the "idea" of God. Cohen's students, Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1919) and Martin Buber (1878-1965), eschewed Cohen's reliance on reason and rooted their philosophies in the experiential.
  5. ^ Nikiprowetzky, V. (Spring 1975). "Ethical Monotheism". Daedalus. MIT Press for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 104 (2): 69–89. ISSN 1548-6192. JSTOR 20024331. OCLC 1565785.