The Duties of the Heart
Gate One. “The Wholehearted Acceptance of the Oneness of G-d”
Chapter Seven (Part I)
Now that we've proven that the world had to have been created, we move on to
prove that there could only have been one Creator. And we'll do that seven
different ways, some here and some the next time.
The first proof touches on the idea of causes and effects. Unlike in the
past, we won't use Ibn Pakudah's classical illustrations here, for clarity's
It's interesting to note that there are always less causes than effects. And
that the further back you go in your consideration of the matter, the fewer
causes you find there to be. There are many more newspapers printed than
there are printers, for example. And many more printers than producers of
printers. As such, there may be 100 companies producing 100,000 printers,
which then produce 100,000,000 newspapers.
But we can go further back, too. We can posit that there might only be 10
"parent companies" behind the 100 companies producing printers. We could
even presume there to be 5 owners of the 10 parent companies. As such, 5
people would have caused the production of 100,000,000 newspapers. And it's
also logical to posit the possibility of just one cause of all those
papers-- the idea that a single person had to produce millions of newspapers.
Ibn Pakudah's point is that that's the way of the world as well. For out of
the One G-d have come the many, many. Everything is ultimately an effect, a
by-product of G-d's will and wishes.
The second proof is based on the make-up of the universe. The fact that so
many things which are so fundamentally different from each other nonetheless
have so much in common points to there being a profoundly wise Creator behind
it all. And to just a single one at that. For if there were more than one
Creator, there'd be far too many radically different, utterly contradictory
and antagonistic phenomena in creation.
It's also verified by the fact that everything in the universe is enmeshed
and intertwined, like parts of a whole, with each part contributing to the
whole as if orchestrated to do that by one Mind. "You can see it", Ibn
Pakudah points out, "in how the moon and the stars need the light of the sun;
how the earth needs the heavens and the seas; how animals need each other;
how man needs them all and how they all need him; and how countries and
economies, sciences and professions need each other."
The third proof (similar to the second) is based on the following analogous
example. If we were to find a hand-written manuscript that was clearly
consistent in literary style and handwriting we'd reasonably assume it was
written by a single individual. After all, it certainly couldn't have been
written by less than one, and we wouldn't have to consider whether or not
it was written by more than one, seeing how uniform the handwriting and style
We also wouldn't have to see the author with our own eyes to prove he exists.
We could depend on our findings alone. In fact, we could even make a number
of assumptions about him, based on what we've read of his work. And we could
feel safe in assuming that he wrote it on his own, simply because we'd likely
have found inconsistencies and contradictions if the work had been written
along with others.
Ibn Pakuda's point is that the same can be said about G-d's role in
creation. For His "handwriting" and "style" are consistent throughout the
world much the same way.
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