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L45: Religious Pluralism
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Vani Ravija
Voice Actor | Ranked globally in top 10% on Fiverr in English Diction

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  1. Issues on which both agree: 1- One objective reality to which religious truth-claims correspond. 2- One religion is truer than others. 3- Different religions contain incompatible truth-claims Disagree on: 1- Other religions also contain fundamental truths 2- Adherents of other religions can obtain salvation There are no religiously neutral/ objective criteria to determine if one religion is true and others false, or if one is truer than others. So, to claim that- one religion is true or gives the only way to salvation, is inappropriate. Response- it doesn't matter if there are no criteria for such assessment, since religious beliefs are not subject to rational assessment; doing so reflects lack of faith (fideism) 2. Exclusivists are committed to an unjust position. There are billions of people completely unaware of religions beyond their own. For exclusivist, they are morally responsible for affirming religious truths of which they are not even aware, esp. monotheistic religions Eg. How could the God of Christianity deny salvation to the countless people who never even heard about Christianity? It is unjust that God would condemn people bcz of lack of knowledge. There are good & devoted people in all major religions. So, this is not a problem for inclusivists, since they don't agree that there is no salvation for those who don't follow the one true religion. lis John Hick: there is plurality of paths to salvation, and all religions offer such a path. He denies that religion is only a human projection. As per Kant's distinctions of noumena (things as they really are in themselves) & phenomena (things as they are experienced by us), Hick argues that one's experiences depend on concepts through which one sees, structures & understands them. So, while some experience Ultimate Reality as personal & theistic (Allah), others experience as impersonal, pantheistic (Nirguna Brahman). Yet others experience it as


  2. completely non-personal (Nirvana) Parable of the blind men and the elephant: God is like a large elephant surrounded by several blind men. Tail- rope | Trunk- snake | Leg- tree | Side- wall All are experiencing the same elephant; but in different ways. Same goes for God and various religions. Religious doctrines & dogmas are important for Hick, but what is fundamental in religion is the personal transformation happening within the religion. Further, Ultimate Reality is ineffable (indescribable) Example Duck-rabbit picture- used by Wittgenstein in his work "Philosophical Investigations". A culture with plenty of ducks but no familiarity with rabbits would see this as duck. They won't even be aware of the ambiguity. Similar for a culture with plenty of rabbits. John Hick- the ineffable Real is capable of being experienced. Hence, inauthentically experienced as Allah, Vishnu, sunyata.