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L46: Religious Pluralism
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Vani Ravija
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  1. John Hick- the ineffable Real is capable of being experienced. Hence, inauthentically experienced as Allah, Vishnu, sunyata OBIECTIONS: 1- Pluralism is LOGICALLY CONTRADICTORY: It makes an exclusive (non-pluralistic!) claim that the Real is experienced equally validly & each offers the path to the soteriological goal. But this is self-contradictory. In saying that no religious position wrt the Real & soteriological goal is superior to/truer than another, Hick asserted his own view to be truer than/ superior to others. 2- Pluralism leads to SKEPTICISM ABOUT THE REAL: Saying that religious truth claims are entirely contextual & only about the phenomena (not noumena) causes knowledge block (epistemic opacity) leading to skepticism/ agnosticism about the Real. If it is impossible to think/ speak about the Real, and if attributes like being good, loving, powerful don't actually apply to the Real since it is beyond our


  2. human conceptual field, how then can we be sure that the Real isn't just a human psychological projection s response: due to historically rich religious experiences, he put forward an objective Real to account for those rich experiences. However, "the Real of Hick" is-beyond attributes & is neither personal nor non-personal. ASPECTUAL PLURALISM: To avoid some of the philosophical & other pitfalls of pluralistic hypothesis There is an objective Ultimate Reality which is knowable. Thus, unlike pluralistic hypothesis, we can give valid descriptions of the noumena & "get at" the Real. Every religion reflects some aspects of the Real. Just as natural gold has an unobservable essence as well as observable properties - yellow, lustrous, hard- similarly, the Real has an essence with different experienced manifestations. It manifests different aspects of itself in different religions giving them their own unique religious structures & practices. OBIECTIONS: 1- Aspectual pluralism leads to SYNCRETISM: Since each religion is capturing only 1 aspect of the Real, one can better know "the Real" by creating a new syncretistic religion to capture more aspects of the Real. 2- Aspectual pluralism leads to SKEPTICISM: Since adherents only see the Real through properties within their own religion, descriptions of the Real cannot be adequate to claim about the Real, leading to religious skepticismm.