Airy Nothingness of Pluralism

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 4, 2017 1 comments

by David Odegard

Last week I suggested that perhaps if you don’t like the flavor of a frozen Siberian nightscape of vodka-fueled nihilism, perhaps you would prefer the tropical flavor of nihilism’s watered-down little sister, pluralism. Let’s talk about that. Pluralism is the idea that everything is true. All roads lead to God or heaven or whatever is the greatest good; all religions are basically saying the same things and moving toward the same goal. There are several false stories that pluralists push to convince the naïve.

All paths lead to the top of the mountain. All roads lead to the same place, even if there are fifty different trails some going east some going west, some through brambles and some over stones, some easy, some difficult, but they ultimately all get to the top. Really? Who says they do? This is actually quite an arrogant statement. In saying that Buddha, Christ, and Mohammed were all right, one has to also say that they were all wrong. There is no all-knowing sky gallery from which pluralists can see the whole mountain and be able to judge whether all the roads in fact lead to the top. They certainly cannot.

The same is true of the 5 blind men who are trying to describe the elephant, each one feeling a different part of the elephant. The blind man on the tail describes it as snake-like. The blind man on the trunk agrees, but he says it is a much bigger snake. The blind man on the belly calls them all liars, etc. But this illustration also underscores the arrogance of pluralism. Pluralism maintains that everyone describing the elephant must be blind, and they alone can clearly see the entire elephant. What nonsense.

Even though pluralism is shrouded in humility (“We are all brothers,” etc.), what is really being said is that all religions are equally wrong. But if I stumble into the bathroom at 3:00 a.m. with a splitting headache and swallow what I think is aspirin but it is actually rat-killer, I will die. It will not matter how sincerely I believed that the substance was aspirin. The chemical reaction in my body will still destroy me. In this regard John Locke is correct when he says, “Belief is a persuasion that falls short of knowledge.” Locke mistakenly applies that to all religion, but it is true that belief will not change reality. Knowledge is an acceptance of reality, and that reality includes God Himself. In our little analogy of the pill bottle in the night, a pluralist would conclude that there is nothing potent in the bottle at all and one could take as much as desired, since it doesn’t really matter. That belief is deadly.

Jesus, speaking of Himself, said, “No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God” (John 6:46). He claimed to be the only one who could see the whole elephant, the only one who could see the whole mountain and where all the paths lead. He later said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). All roads do not lead to God; only one does. Do not except the airy nothingness of pluralism. Find THE truth.

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Charlie said...

One thing I would add to this though is that pluralists are correct in one thing: All roads will lead to God...however the place they will meet God is not heaven, but the Judgment Seat. EVERY ONE will face God there no matter what they believe and if their faith and hope is not found in Jesus Christ, they will be judged by their works and will find themselves short.