The Folly Of Religious Pluralism
Religious pluralism is the belief that all religions lead to God. This belief system seems to be very popular in American culture. Why is it so popular? I don't know the answer to that question. It seems that pluralism is used as a means to avoid coming to a conclusion.
Religious pluralism is logically incoherent. It violates a major law of logic known as the Law of Non-Contradiction. Pluralism violates its own standard of tolerance. The beliefs of the pluralists are also highly subjective. This post will address each of these three issues, starting with the first.
Violation Of Logic
Religious pluralism violates the Law of Non-Contradiction. This law states that no two contradictory points can both be right in the same place, at the same time, and in the same way. The Law of Non-Contradiction helps form the backbone of logical inquiry. It is the backbone of philosophy. Without it, we would be unable to understand anything in the world, much less anything beyond the world!
Religious pluralism affirms that contradictory doctrines are all correct. Therefore, religious pluralism itself cannot be correct. If all religions lead to Heaven, there should be no Law of Non-Contradiction. Since there is such a law, we can know that only one religion can be true. We can also know that religious pluralism cannot be true.
Religious pluralists usually affirm tolerance as a high value. Tolerance can be defined as respecting another person's right to his or her beliefs, whether they be true or not. Pluralists usually take this one step further by defining tolerance as accepting another's beliefs as true.
Religious pluralists violate their own standard of tolerance. Pluralists are intolerant of the belief that there is only one Way to Heaven. If they were to follow their own definition, they would have to accept this belief as true. This makes them hypocrites. Why? Because religious pluralists practice one thing, but teach another.
The beliefs of the religious pluralist are highly subjective. They are based largely on emotions. Perhaps this is why it is so popular in American culture. Despite this popularity, religious pluralists do not have the authority to decide truth.
The subjective position of the religious pluralist leaves little room for objective truth. If truth were subjective, we would all be in trouble. The truth is the truth, regardless of what people think about it. Subjective ideas will never be good enough.
Religious pluralism is the belief that all roads lead to Heaven. This belief is plagued with three problems. The first is a violation of the Law of Non-Contradiction. The second, a violation of their own standard of tolerance. Third, the non-objectivitity of their belief.
First, religious pluralists violate the Law of Non-Contradiction. This Law helps form the foundation for all logical inquiry. To deny this principle is essentially the same as denying logic.
Second, religious pluralists violate their own standard of tolerance. This happens because of an attempt to redefine what tolerance is. Tolerance does not include accepting another's view as true. It involves accepting another person's right to his or her belief.
Finally, the beliefs of the religious pluralist are highly subjective. They are based more on emotion than on truth. Subjective truths are not truths at all. These three problems rule out religious pluralism as an intellectually viable position.
Questions For Reflection
1.) Why do you believe that religious pluralism is so popular?
2.) What do you believe is the best way to point out the folly of religious pluralism?
3.) Can you think of any other problems with religious pluralism? What are they?