The Agnosticism Intrinsic to Monotheism

I recently wrote here about the strict monotheism of Muhammad. It occurred to me that the ultimate logical end of monotheism is free thought and tolerance; something of the sort that one might expect from a Unitarian congregation. In this sense, Islam is essentially a modern religion. Existentially, Islam seems quite primitive and barbaric, but its unitarian foundation may give us hope for it.

On the other hand, there’s a spiritual problem that arises from strict monotheism. It begins with this logic:

He [God] does not reveal Himself to anyone in any way. God reveals only His will.

Isma’il Ragi al Faruqi

Strict monotheism requires that no man can rightly claim knowledge of God’s essence, therefore the rightful perspective toward divinity is agnosticism. Christian Unitarianism has taken a path toward agnosticism. Might Islamic unitarianism do the same? Rationally, this may be a good thing, but I find it spiritually threatening, because it creates an impassible divide between man and God.

This is perhaps the principle reason why I cannot be a Muslim. There are, or course, no lack of particular objections that keep me at a distance from Islam, but this agnosticism, this cold isolation from God, is a fundamental philosophical problem.

Monotheism need not be agnostic, but gnosis comes at a high price: idolatry. So long as a man can gain knowledge of God, he can become a partner of God, which is the unforgivable sin of Islam. It is indeed a sin: but it is a sin unique to soft monotheism.