Is religious pluralism the only way?
After all, the idea that…
“…just one religion has the only answer to all the problems of human life at all times for all peoples and all cultures is doubtful whatever be the vehemence with which such a notion is propagated” – Stanley Samartha, One Christ-Many Religions, p. 53 (italics original)
And isn’t such an idea even more doubtful the more diverse our neighbors are? But consider: What if religious/ideological pluralism is itself a religion of sorts? Wouldn’t the following capture its central beliefs?
Pluralism’s dogma: no one has the Truth (and that’s the Truth)
Pluralism’s gospel: no one is wrong (yay!!), except those who think they’re right (pluralists excepted)
Pluralism’s greatest commandment: disapprove of others for disapproving of others (or: tell others to stop telling others what to do; even the graphic above is an imperative to everyone else: coexist)
Pluralism’s greatest virtue: tolerance (i.e., let others ruin their lives and oppress others, because we love them enough to leave them alone)
Pluralism’s greatest value: privacy (my actions only affect me, so leave me alone)
Pluralism’s prophets: primarily those in institutions of “higher” learning
Pluralism’s faithful: mostly white, degreed Westerners (the Enlightened ones)
Pluralism’s utopian future: the status quo (because no one is wrong; no one needs to change)
A few questions for the pluralist:
– Why should pluralism be the only way? How does the pluralist know that s/he’s right? (Isn’t that arrogant? Doesn’t that make it a fundamentalism of sorts?)
– Why should the pluralist tell me how to live my life?
– What is the difference between tolerance and apathy or cowardice?
If the pluralist is right to say that none of us can see the truth, would this not apply to the pluralist? If none can see it, then all are blind. Jesus asked, “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?”