Hayek on Monotheism

I have the most profound respect for F. A. Hayek (1899 – 1992). He was one of the greatest economists of the 20th century CE. I am supremely grateful that I have access to his ideas, thanks to my formal training in economics. All the effort of studying economics is worth the reward of being able to read Hayek.

I was delighted to learn what Hayek thought of monotheism, one of the two ideologies — the other being socialism/communism — that I thoroughly detest. Here it is:

Hayek highlights the essential intolerance of monotheistic faiths. He favored Eastern religions over Western religions. However, he mischaracterized Buddhism as polytheistic; Buddhism is atheistic.

Misunderstanding and mischaracterization of Indic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism) as “polytheistic” is sadly too common. Indic religions are neither monotheistic nor polytheistic. The “god” of Abrahamic religion is entirely different from the “god” or “gods” of Dharmic faiths. Most unfortunately, people are ignorant of that basic distinction.

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

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