In my last post (here) I began a critical examination of the ideals of tolerance, diversity, and the view of religious truth called pluralism. Put roughly, pluralism is the view that all religions are true, and like any view, it must never be left unexamined. As Douglas Groothuis says, “The un-examined culture is not worth living in, because it becomes your unacknowledged master and you its oblivious slave.” Thus, in the spirit of Socrates (and Jesus), the goal of this post is to critically examine pluralism and show that it is deeply irrational, illogical, unreasonable, and should not be believed.
Notice, first, that I don’t propose to examine tolerance and diversity. I believe in the value of tolerance and diversity, and I would contest that almost all Christians do as well—even the most conservative, Bible-believing, hell-preaching, fundamentalists. Christianity teaches us to love everyone, even those who hate us. It should be obvious, then, that we are to love those who simply disagree with us. And if we are to love them, surely that means that we will tolerate them. We might disagree, but given the supremacy of love in our view of the world, that disagreement should not affect (and usually doesn’t) our ability to tolerate those with whom we disagree. We believe in tolerance.
And diversity? The apostle Paul has taught us that the church is designed to be diverse. We are the body of Christ and no body is all hands or eyes or feet. We are all different and our different talents and passions contribute to the proper functioning of the body of Christ. Yes, we desire that all people should believe in Jesus and be a part of that body. But we don’t believe that people should be compelled to do so by force (we’ve already made that mistake—see the crusades—and are very sorry for it). So we embrace diversity within the Church and have no plans of forcibly disrupting diversity outside of it.
Pluralism, on the other hand, must be disrupted. Consider this scenario. According to pluralism, when Buddhism denies the existence of a personal God, Buddhism is correct. When Christianity, on the other hand, affirms the existence of a personal God, Christianity is also correct. Something has gone terribly wrong! It cannot be the case that God exists and does not exist at the same time and in the same way. And this is just one example of a contradiction entailed by pluralism (think of all the different views in all the different religions–lots of contradictions to be found). The problem is that any philosopher worth his salt will tell you that if your view entails a contradiction, then your view ought to be scrapped. For according to the most fundamental laws of logic, if a view entails a contradiction then it is absolutely impossible that it be true. This bears repeating: it is absolutely impossible for religious pluralism to be true. In other words, it is deeply irrational.
What should we do with views that are deeply irrational? We should stop holding those views. Indeed, it seems that we are obligated to abandon them. Consider this a rebuke and a call to all pluralists everywhere to abandon their belief in a clearly irrational view. It may have sounded nice and oh, so peaceful and tolerant, but wake up! It isn’t true.