Dualism. This title may be given to the recognition of two
counter-elements as the constituents of any given effect. It is oftenest
used, however, to denote either the leading principle of Persian
religion, that the universe is governed by two contrasted beings, Ormuzd
and Ahrimanes, the one the god of light and of goodness, the other that
of darkness and evil; or else that of much ancient philosophy, which
assigned two independent elements to the production of the universe,
mind and matter.
The former is considered by some to be referred to and protested against
in Isaiah XIV. 7: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make
and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." Dualism, however,
seems so plausible an explanation of the perplexities around us, that it
long held its ground, appeared less or more in the leading forms of
Gnosticism, and finally became the leading characteristic of Manicheism.
Philosophical dualism is equally opposed to a right faith in God with
religions, for it recognises existence independent of Him, without which
the universe could not have come into being.