Archive for the ‘pluralism’ Category

September 5, 2011

Multiculturalism rests on the supposition—or better, the dishonest pretense—that all cultures are equal and that no fundamental conflict can arise between the customs, mores, and philosophical outlooks of two different cultures. The multiculturalist preaches that, in an age of mass migration, society can (and should) be a kind of salad bowl, a receptacle for wonderful exotic ingredients from around the world, the more the better, each bringing its special flavor to the cultural mix. For the salad to be delicious, no ingredient should predominate and impose its flavor on the others.

Even as a culinary metaphor, this view is wrong: every cook knows that not every ingredient blends with every other. But the spread and influence of an idea is by no means necessarily proportional to its intrinsic worth, including (perhaps especially) among those who gain their living by playing with ideas, the intelligentsia.

Theodore Dalrymple

This attitude is borne of relativism.

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I thing God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home

December 18, 2010

I thing God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home.

Sinead O’Connor

I can respect the men who argue that religion is true and therefore ought to be believed, but I can feel only reprobation for those who say that religion ought to be believed because it is useful, and that to ask whether it is true is a waste of time

November 14, 2009

I can respect the men who argue that religion is true and therefore ought to be believed, but I can feel only reprobation for those who say that religion ought to be believed because it is useful, and that to ask whether it is true is a waste of time.

Bertrand Russell, Why I am no0t a Christian, London, 1957,. p.172

Anyone who says, ‘I believe in God,’ is formally correct in his statement, but the question is what does he mean by the word God?

October 7, 2009

Anyone who says, ‘I believe in God,’ is formally correct in his statement, but the question is what does he mean by the word God? The traditional view assumes that the natural man has a certain measure of correct thought content when he uses the word God. In reality the natural man’s “God” is always a finite God. It is his most effective tool for suppressing the sense of the true God that he cannot fully efface from the fibers of his heart.

Cornelius Van Til Defense Of the Faith 2o3

I want Brooklyn christened but I don’t know into what religion yet

October 6, 2009

I have a sense of spirituality. I want Brooklyn christened but I don’t know into what religion yet.

David Beckham

Would you be willing to approve the reintroduction of human sacrifice if the Aztec religion is revived?

September 26, 2009

If you believe that ‘truth’ is true only within a given society and that each society makes its own laws and has its own system of ethics that cannot be judged to be wrong by an outsider, let me ask this:

Would you be willing to approve the reintroduction of human sacrifice if the Aztec religion is revived? Would you be stand idly by if a Hindu lady jumped onto the fire consuming her husband’s body? Would you have offered no help to an elderly Eskimo left to starve since it was their ‘tradition’ that the old be no drain on scarce resources? What of female circumcision, polygamy,slavery or the chopping off of hands for theft? These all find their ‘validity’ within the context of some culture’s worldview.

If some of these practices are no longer practiced, why would it be immoral to reintroduce them? If they are currently practiced, why is it immoral to call for their abolition?

The relativist has no reason to disapprove of any ‘cultural’ practice, however barbaric.

If the god of pluralism is unknowable why should we live morally?

September 24, 2009

…if the Real (John Hick’s unknown pluralistic god)  has no positive properties of which we have a conception, then we have no reason at all to think that it is in religion that human beings get in experiential contact with this being, rather than in any other human activity: war or oppression, for example. This being has none of the properties ascribed by the practitioners of most of the great religions to the beings they worship: it is not good, or loving, or concerned with human beings, or wise, or powerful; it has not created the universe, does not uphold it, and does not pay attention to the universe or the creatures it contains. It is an unknown and unknowable X. But then why associate this unknowable X with religion, as opposed to warfare, violence, bigotry, and the horrifying things human beings often do to each other?

Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief, pp.57-58

The Trouble with John Hick’s Pluralism

September 19, 2009

John Hick wants us to more from a ‘Ptolemaic’ view of religions (with Christianity at the centre) to a ‘Copernican’ model (‘God’ at the centre) with all the religions revolving around ‘God’. But there are a number of criticisms that can be made of his, and other pluralists’, models.

First, Christian exclusivists don’t want ‘God to revolve around Christianity’ to use Hick’s metaphor. God judges Christians and Christianity. Christianity is not at the centre, and most certainly neither should Christians be – though Christ is. Second, the scientific metaphor is problematic: science is inductive and, therefore, very much open to revision and improvement. Christianity is based on revelation for an understanding of God, Christ and other religions. Since this revelation in the Scripture is from an omniscient source, Hick’s proposal is not as humble as it at first appears. To tell the Creator God that you know better than him can be described with several words, but humble is not one of them.

There was once an ancient ring

September 17, 2009

There was once an ancient ring which had the power to bestow upon its owner the gift of being loved by God and man. This was passed on down many generations until it came into the possession of a father who had three sons equally dear to him. To resolve the dilemma, he had two replicas made and gave a ring to each son. After his death all three claimed to possess the true ring. But as with religion, the original cannot be traced. Historical investigation is of no avail. But a wise judge counsels each son to behave as if he had the true ring and prove it by deeds of love. Thus in the end it will not matter who had the original. The three sons represent Judaism, Chrisianity and Islam. One day they will transcend themselves and become united in a uinversal religion of love.

in Colin Brown, Philosophy and the Christian Faith, p.89, from Lessing’s Theological Writings (trans. H. Chadwick, p.55) – parable from Nathan the Wise, Act 3, Scene 7

But Lessing makes the assumption that religions are all about the same thing (deeds of love) and that they all equally possess the power to reconcile man to God (or if not that doesn’t matter). Brown also points out that this parable avoids all historical questions as if they are of no importance. see Brown, ibid., p.90. Lessing ignores the real peril that all men face if they are wrong at about the person of Jesus:

“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins,” Jesus, ( John 8.24)

Religious Pluralism defined

September 17, 2009

…the stance that any notion that a particular ideological or religious claim is intrinsically superior to another is necessarily wrong. The only absolute creed is the creed of pluralism. No religion has the right to pronounce itself right or true, and the others false, or even (in the majority view) relatively inferior.

D.A. Carson, Gagging of God, IVP, p.19

And as Carson hints here – it is a creed (busily hiding all evidence of its own existence) that denies all creeds, but its own, to ultimate allegiance.