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Is There a Logical Proof That There’s Only One G-d?

Is There a Logical Proof That There’s Only One G-d?

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Question:

I accept that some sort of “Higher Being” created the universe. But why couldn’t there be many such beings? Is there any logical reason to say that there is only one god?

Answer:

The definition of G‑d is: “a Being without definition.” G‑d cannot be defined, because if I define Him then I limit Him. And something limited is not G‑d. By defining something, I give it borders. If, for example, I define an apple as a sweet round fruit that is green or red, then when I find a long purple fruit, I know that it can’t be an apple. An apple is limited to being round and red or green. That is its definition. G‑d can’t be defined, because by defining Him you are saying that there’s something He can’t be; but this could not be true, because G‑d is unlimited.

That’s why there can be only one G‑d. Because if you don’t have a definition, then there is nothing outside of you. There can be no “other.”

An example: two neighboring countries can be called two countries only when there is a border between them. But if a country has no borders, if there is no defined place where it ends and another country begins, how can you say that there are two countries?

G‑d has no borders, so how can there be more than one god? Where would one god end and one begin, if there is no dividing line between them?

The act of creation is the act of making borders and drawing definitions: this is an apple and not a banana, this is land and this is sea. Creation has definitions. The Creator doesn’t have a definition. That’s what makes Him G‑d. And that’s why there can be only one.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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Steve NYC January 5, 2017

Evidence? No G-d is just as possible as Yes G-d How is it possible for 2 people to look at the same thing, and one says, "I see G-d", and the other says, "I don't see G-d, I just see a tree". Do you question the person who says he sees something that may not be there? Just the fact that another person does not see the same thing should give us the right to question if it is really there! To some, it is possible G-d does not exist, so it makes sense to listen to their experience of "no God" with the same respect as the one who says "yes, I see G-d". These two propositions, "yes G-d" and "no G-d" are both equally possible, as there are people who experience both. Reply

Batyah Brooklyn January 4, 2017

The Shekhinah is feminine Gd is infinite, unlimited. So Gd is not limited to any one gender. Gd is all genders. In particular, the Shekhinah (the Indwelling One, the aspect of Gd accessible to us in the physical universe) is feminine. She is manifest in Torah, in Shabbat, and in other aspects of the Divine with grammatically feminine endings. This is standard Orthodox and especially Chasidic awareness. Reply

Benzion Waldman Millburn, NJ January 4, 2017

I believe you are correct, but only to the extent that you conclude there is only one G-d. But what if G-d were one couple, as in a husband and wife? Then there would be one unit comprised of two parts? Reply

John Brisbane March 28, 2015

The Nature of God God is not a being, nor a person. Instead he is the presence that unites things together. He is present in everything, in nature, in the plants, in the trees, in animals, in everything including these words. Every character in a word is subservient to the other characters in the words, similarly, every word in a sentence is subservient to the other words in the sentence. And every sentence is subservient to the other sentences in the page. Think about it, that is the only reason why a paragraph makes sense, is because it all combines to form meaning. Thus, God is this force that holds things together. Reply

Anonymous Roeselare March 17, 2015

What if the G-d in your story indeed is unique and without borders, but there is a creature higher then him?
In your comparison with countries: there are no borders, so no neighbour countries, however you could consider a continent being the bigger scale of it. Or even the earth as a planet considering as one and undivided and without borders , but another planet could be considered anyhow as neighbour, or the milkyway as the bigger entity ...
Who says that IF there is a G-d, that it was him sending out messages to us and not something that is not the highest creature in the universe?
Why wouldn't it be possible that all religions are influenced not by the highest, but by one that is still mighty but on a lower level? Reply

Raphi San Diego January 13, 2015

Whatever "definition" you invent for the Gd of Israel is inadequate.

No matter how you try to depict the utmost, Gd is always more than that.

You can only define something or someone if that thing or person has limits.

The gods of the Eskimos have limits. So does Zeus. So do all other gods.

But Gd with a capital G has no limits and is beyond all description. We can mention Gd, but our words cannot encompass Gd as gods can be encompassed. Reply

Marc Chicago January 12, 2015

"The being that killed the firstborn in the land of Egypt" or "the being that gave the gentiles the seven Noahide laws" or "the being that gave jews the Torah" could be anybody.

Surely Zeus, for example, could have done any or all of these things, had he so desired.

There may be entities from another planet with highly advanced technology who could have done any or all of those things.

There may be an entity from another universe capable of any or all of these acts.

One of those acts, or all of them together, fails to define the GD of Israel.

Certainly the idea of a "Being"--even a "Supreme Being"--would fail even to apply to the GD of Israel, since the GD of Israel is not a "Being". A "Being" is an entity within the universe. A "Being" is a limited, non-infinite, entity.

And any one act, or a very long list of acts, fails to define GD. GD surely did infinitely many other acts with other nations or other planets WHILE interacting with Israel or with gentiles. Reply

steve NYC January 12, 2015

the word "define" When we use the word "definition" we are using it in the context of, according to Merriam Webster, ": the action or process of stating the meaning of a word or word group, ". We are not using it in the context of "limit". That would be conclusion bias, first having the conclusion, then working backwards to find a justification. There is absolutely no linguistic paradox to the definition of God. It is clear, look the word up in the dictionary. In terms of finite or infinite, that depends on your culture, and on your religion, as there are many different ideas of what God means. How does an eskimo define god, vs how does a Jew define god, vs how does a catholic define god, vs how does a budhist or an aetheist define god? Each one will have a slightly different answer. As Rabbi Freidman always says, it is context, context, context. Reply

Michael Cinncinnati January 12, 2015

Steve, you have named several characteristics of Gd. But none of them defines infinity. Reply

Cathryn Columbus January 12, 2015

Infinite MEANS undefinable. Definable means LIMITED. The word "define" comes from the word "fin" which means "limit".

If you "define" Gd as infinite, then Gd is UNlimited and thus undefined.

That's one of the paradoxes of language.

Another example of linguistic paradox is, "I always lie." Someone who always lies is lying when he says he always lies. Therefore he doesn't always lie. In that case it may be true that he always lies. And round and round we go.

If you "define" Gd as infinite, which means unlimited, you have immediately said that Gd cannot be defined, because to define is to limit.

Of course, if you are speaking of, for example, Greek gods, they are limited. At the very least, they limit one another. But the Gd of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in unlimited and thus undefinable.

It's not only that we can't imagine infinity. It's that anything infinite is (by definition!) undefinable.

Reply

steve abraham staten island January 11, 2015

definition? a weak argument Your first sentence was "The definition of G-d is: "a Being without definition."" How dare you? Every culture has definitions of God. If you look at a dictionary, the meaning of words change over time, as usage changes. What was the definition of God 1000 years before the Torah? What is the definition of God for a remote Eskimo village? You are using bias, using a form of argument where you choose the answer first, and look for the reason after. Here is a simple definition of God..."the being that gave the Jews the Torah". So, your essay is wrong. Jews pray every day to the being that gave them the Torah. Or another definition? The being that gave the Gentiles the 7 Noahide laws". or "the being that killed every first born in Egypt in the exodus". or "the being who looked away while the holocaust and millions of Jews were murdered". Why not use these as yopur definitions! Reply

John November 22, 2014

While I find you logic satisfying on one end. When I analize your comments carefully what you did is avoid an answer! Here is what I think! I think we can't define God because of our limited knowledge. Comparing how we persive the universe for example to how God who created the universe is like trying to teach an ant calculus! So our lack of understanding might not be able to answer this at the moment but If you follow observations of nature, or readings of the Holly Books I don't see anthing thing that would prevent more than one undefined beings. Do not limit your imagination after all imagination has no borders either Reply

Ruth Columbus April 19, 2014

Let's say there can be multiple limited deities. There can be only ONE deity which is UNlimited.

Any power which is limited is LESS THAN Gd.

To define a limited power as a Gd is to set the bar too low.

So there are two possibilities: there is ONE UNLIMITED Gd from whom everything comes. As the kabbalists might say, Gd is the "nothingness" from which comes everything.

The other possibility is that there are a multitude of powerful entities. There is a god for every blade of grass. Or, if you prefer, there is a god of all grasses, a god of all beef, a god of each mountain and each river and every sea, and on and on and on, with none of them being in charge of EVERYTHING. If you want to call those entities "gods" then go ahead. But if they are all there is, and nobody is the ultimate source of everything....well, that possibility doesn't make sense to me.

If you prefer it, fine. But it seems to me that a real GD isn't merely "a" being, or "a" Supreme being either. To be GD it needs to be ALL there IS. Reply

nab texas April 15, 2014

If there was two different Gods, they would have two different plans for humanity. Everything in the Universe is to rhythmic, too perfect for there to be two Gods. Reply

Doug Meredith Canada April 4, 2014

You're basically saying that there can only be one god because I refuse to define gods in such a way that there can be more than one. Reply

Anonymous Chandighar India February 11, 2014

HOW THE GOD IS ONE? GOD is one who sends avatar time to time in different regions so there should not any communication gap.Every avatar leads people to the path of love, way to live true life and points to the GOD and his omnipotence.

They never start any religion.They tell protocols to live life which converted into religion after they left by their followers.

So GOD is one who works every where and tells what wrong and right for human as his duty but its the human itself who divide the god.

Reply

Ruth Philadelphia July 11, 2013

If the earth and its people are badly made, then the One source is responsible.

Pushing it off onto an evil or stupid angel doesn't work. The buck stops with G-d.

There is only One source of all

Ayn od, as someone mentioned earlier: there is nothing else.

And we are sent into this material universe, not in order to cultivate spirituality (we could do that in the "real" world, Gd's world, rather than in this unreal world we have been sent to). We were sent into the material universe to raise it up.

To perfect it. To contribute spirituality to it.

We were sent here with a mission, a job. Our job is not to count how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but to lift up the souls of creatures and objects.

Rather than chop logic about Gd, ask what the Torah says about how to uplift the souls of the animals and plants (dead or alive) and objects that we encounter every day. And how to lift up the holy sparks in the entities around us. Reply

Anonymous Sydney, nsw August 20, 2011

Is there only one G-d? I believe there is only one G--d Reply

john Plotz hayward, california February 25, 2010

John to Jon You're right, of course, that I'm speaking tongue in cheek. But let's go on a bit further:

No, I'm not saying G-d is a liar. I'm saying that the hypothetical half-pint angel who hypothetically created our world is a liar. I think that what you are saying, Jon, is that, given the the truth of Genesis, Genesis is true. But the main article concerns logic, not faith.

Your argument reminds me of the old joke about the man who boasts that his rabbi is so holy that G-d speaks with him. Someone asks the man how he knows this. The man replies: Because my rabbi told me. And how do you know your rabbi isn't a liar? Because, the man replies (with some sort of perverse logic), G-d would not speak with a liar.

I agree that (in monotheism) there can be only one ultimate source. But that does not mean that there are not lesser sources, so to speak, which are wicked, deceitful, or, as I said earlier, just not very bright. Reply

jon hanning Nelsonville, OH February 25, 2010

c'mon John If the earth was made by a stupid angel, then God is a liar (Genesis 1: 1). Of course, I know you're speaking tongue in cheek there a bit (at least I hope you are). Indeed, angels and other spiritual being might rightly be called gods of a lesser nature... we generally abstain from calling them such so as not to confuse folks thinking we support mythology. Elohim is sometimes translated God (god), but it means "a mighty one." But there can only be one source, and all other things come from that one source. Of course, the Israelites wandered off often to serve "other gods" and were always reproved for it.... so it's not surprising to see some of His people today with the same leanings. Reply

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