Archive for the ‘impersonal god of pluralism’ Category

I believe with my whole soul that the God of the Koran is also the God of Bhagavad Gita

September 17, 2009

My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonistic cultures and doctrines. To assent to such a doctrine is for me a denial of God, for I believe with my whole soul that the God of the Koran is also the God of Bhagavad Gita.

M.K.Gandhi, in Rediscovering Gandhi, Yogesh Chadha, pp.368-9

…which is irrational since the conceptions of God in those two books are mutually exclusive. If ‘God’ is the God of both books then all the parts of the two traditions that are mutually exclusive must be removed – and who could trust what remains?

The God of the Koran abhors images, but for the Hindu Brahman is worshipped through images and representations and incarnations. But God has no partners and certainly never even once became incarnate as ANY muslim will quickly tell you according to his holy book. Perhaps Gandhi’s god was schizophrenic – poor thing.

Hick’s neo-Kantian paradigm

September 17, 2009

for Kant God is postulated, not experienced. In partial agreement but also partial disagreement with him, I want to say that the Real an sich is postulated by us as a presupposition, not of the moral life [as in Kant], but of religious experience and the religious life, whilst the gods, as also the mystically known Brahman, Sunyara and so on, are phenomenal manifestations of the Real occurring within the realm of religious experience.

all that we are entitled to say about the noumenal source of this information is that it is the reality whose influence produces, in collaboration with the human mind, the phenomenal world of our [religious] experience.

John Hick, (1989) An Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent. New Haven: Yale University Press., 243

Vinoth Ramachandra comments:

But in Kantian thought the phenomenal realm is the same for each of us in as much as our minds use the ame categories to interpret the noumenal input…and how does he know, ‘all we are entitled to say’ and no moer? How does he know there is a connection between the phenomenal religious experience and the noumenal realm?

See, Ramachandra, Recovery of Mission, p.121

My comment: perhaps the guru isn’t in touch with God but had bad fish, or marijuana.

There are many paths to the top of Mount Fuji

September 17, 2009

In Japan, there is a saying, “There are many paths to the top of Mount Fuji.” It means that there are many religions, and they all lead to heaven. One missionary to Japan heard this saying many times, and each time he would reply, “There are many paths to the top of Mount Fuji, but once you get there, there’s only one way to heaven.”


John 14.6

The Seeing Narrator among the blind men and the elephant

September 17, 2009

You’ve probably heard of the story of the blind men and the elephant to explain the diversity of religious viewpoints as merely perspectives. No one religion is ultimately true but are culture-bound. Vinoth Ramachandra comments on this common opinion:

It is the narrator (who) alone has access to the true nature of Reality. From his lofty vantage point he can see that the reports of the blind men are clumsy images that need to be complimented by other reports. So what passes for a posture of intellectual humility before the variety of religious truth claims is, in fact, a posture of intellectual imperialism.

Vinoth Ramachandra, Recovery of Mission, pp.120-121, 125

Religious Pluralism leads to agnosticism

August 24, 2009

Thus it (The ‘Real’ an sich [as it is in itself]) cannot be said to be one or many, person or thing, conscious or unconscious, purposive or non-purposive, substance or process, good or evil, loving or hating. None of the descriptive terms that apply within the realm of human experience can apply literally to the unexperienceable reality that underlies that realm.

John Hick, An Interpretation of Religion, 194.

Religion is different responses to one divine Reality, embodying different perceptions which have been formed in different historical and cultural circumstances.

ibid., 294

If all roads lead to the top of the mountain then no road is correct – nor is any statement about the top of the mountain either. In fact, we cannot even say there is a mountain nor how or even whether to climb it. If religions contradict each other, nothing certain can be said of the god of whom they claim to speak.

The more Hick et. al. try to embrace all traditions they tend towards the impersonal, rather than the personal, the unknown, rather than the known. This is precisely the opposite direction Biblical theism leads.

Note also the implicit claim. Hick claims he knows that the Real an sich is unknowable. How does he know that claims (by others) to know God are using only mythological language? Can his language also be relegated to the realm of the mythological? Can his elativism be relativised? He will, of course, want an exception for his own claims. Such is the inconsistency of the pluralist who can only strenuously (and in irritated tones, once it is pointed out to them) deny the force of this criticism. Their protestations are hollow.