What are the main differences between civilizations that adopt polytheistic or monotheistic creeds? Be specific and provide examples.

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Monotheistic societies believe and worship in one god, while polytheistic societies believe and worship in many gods. Citizens in polytheistic societies will often prioritize one of their gods over the others, meaning that different individuals will value different ideals which manifest as different gods. For example, in Taoist societies, there are different temples which worship different gods. In Ancient Greece, someone who worshipped Aphrodite would worship the ideals of beauty and love while a worshipper of Apollo would worship music, arts, and knowledge.

Examples of monotheistic societies include Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Examples of polytheistic societies include Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, and many tribal religions of Africa and North and South America.

Hinduism is an interesting case study, because while there appear to be multiple gods, these gods are different iterations of a single god, so it’s actually a monotheistic religion but often confused as a polytheistic religion.

Monotheistic civilizations often display a more cohesive cultural fabric because values are prioritized in a specific way, but this can also lead to conflict when different monotheistic civilizations clash, as they believe their religion is the sole truth, as seen in the Crusades. This idea has decreased recently in Western civilizations with the separation of church and state and increasingly diverse civilizations. However, Islamic civilizations often base their legal systems around the religion.

Polytheistic civilizations are typically more open to the idea of multiple truths both within and outside of their specific religion.

Monotheistic civilizations generally believe that the Earth was created by god for humans, while polytheistic civilizations generally believe that Earth was created for the enjoyment of the gods and humans are visitors, which leads to the worship of the Earth itself.

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