In earlier installments, I've explored some of the problematic presuppositions underlying Dennis Prager's conception of "Ethical Monotheism." This post explores one of monotheism's greatest weaknesses, one which Prager avoids mentioning but which can clearly be seen in his first premise:
But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.
No war ever undertaken by the Frank nation was carried on with such persistence and bitterness, or cost so much labour, because the Saxons, like almost all the tribes of Germany, were a fierce people, given to the worship of devils, and hostile to our religion, and did not consider it dishonourable to transgress and violate all law, human and divine.This is not to say that the polytheistic worldview leads invariably to sunshine, rainbows and moral relativism. The Romans were horrified by the Carthaginian practice of child sacrifice: Buddhists launched genocidal attacks against Mongolian shamans. But there is far more room for commerce and cooperation amongst people who accept a multitude of deities than amongst people who divide the world into the faithful and the infidels.