My Objections To Pluralism And Exclusivism

2683 words - 11 pages

In the following, I will focus on and examine John Hicks outlook on religious pluralism. I will make an effort to prove that religious pluralism is not a strong view to advocate. The claim that all the great religions of the world lead to God plays an essential role in this argument. In this paper, I argue against this claim, thereby disagreeing with religious pluralism. First, I explain Hicks’s argument, and the role that religious pluralism plays. Second, I explain Hicks’s defense of this claim. Third, I raise some objections to this defense. I conclude by drawing some broader lessons for the question of what it means to be a pluralist and its relation to religious exclusivism.
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First is the idea that people are inherently religious. Hick’s uses historical context to argue that religion has been practically a worldwide element of human life. Human beings have believed in some form of religion at every stage of civilization. Second Hicks makes the observation that religious belief varies from religion to religion. Divine exposure has taken its individual forms in different cultures and has led to separate great religions. Regional differences in human ways of conceiving divine have continued and remain in faiths around the world today. Third, he recognizes that almost every religious tradition clearly changes the lives of the people who believe in the religion.
Hick believes that all religions are not rivals of each other and that we cannot understand the nature of the divine. Hick argues that all religious traditions think of God as infinite which makes him beyond something comprehended by human thought. God has no limitations and is does not exist alongside other things in the universe as he is not part of the universe. If God did exist alongside other things and was part of the universe he would not be omnipotent. Additionally, John Hick considers religious encounters with God to be true but only partially because of God’s infinite nature. For someone to be say they have seen or are speaking for God is to imply you can see infinitely and know everything which God knows.

Although religious pluralism sounds like an easy solution, it has several flaws. His view that shared moral behavior equals mutual salvation is subjective. Hick associates the idea of moral behavior with salvation when there seems to be no worthy purpose for doing so. Mutual salvation across the religions is not a strong argument. Also, moral equality is not a strong factor regarding the truth of religion. Hick’s believes that no religion is better or worse than another morally but coming to this conclusion is hard to calculate. Anyone can point to good or bad behavior in people of other religions. Hick has to be aware of this point when he wrote the argument because it is clear that the equality of morals is hard to measure and that many people can point out the good and bad behavior by people living according to their respective religions. Hick wants to believe that there is no room for moral superiority to be claimed by any one religion and that all religious people are equally moral. For John Hick to believe that moral behaviors among people of different religions are equal to one another does not make sense. In other words, when looking at the moral behavior of people, the standards established by Hick are the only way to compare the great world religions should not even considered as a valid conclusion because of the difficulty we have to quantify moral behavior.
Furthermore, part of my objection to John Hick’s theory on pluralism is that if the existence of God is true, then he has designed us all with similar behaviors and traits because...

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