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The Double Standard of Tolerance and the Fallacy of Religious Pluralism (both of which shoot themselves in the foot)

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Tolerance is the belief that everyone should accept other’s beliefs. For instance, let’s take a current issue and apply this method of tolerance to it. Jim is pro-life. The majority of people are pro-choice. Jim is intolerant for accepting a pro-life position. He’s intolerant in a few ways according to the preacher of tolerance (let’s call this belief T). Firstly, he does not want women to have rights. Secondly, he is going against the majority view. It is impossible for Jim to hold a pro-life position and accept that a pro-choice position is viable. Thus he is intolerant.

Now there are many problems here. If Jim believes X, how is it possible for him to accept not-X? It is not possible unless he gives up X and embraces not-X (which ultimately is what T wants him to do). He cannot believe both at the same time. Also, there’s a double standard here with T. T espouses that the intolerant must become tolerant. Not only that, but if they don’t become tolerant then they’re obviously prejudice, racist, or whatever name T calls them. But isn’t T being intolerant of intolerance? Let me restate that: T’s spreading of tolerance is actually intolerant of other views which do not embrace T’s views. Tolerance under the current modern thinking is unacceptable and self-defeating. Tolerance as defined as love for one another (loving the person regardless of their beliefs) should be embraced (we will call this T*). T* says that love should be the central theme of tolerance, not the acceptance of opposite views. Love and disagreement can coexist, and should more often.

Another common mistake in modern thinking is religious pluralism. Religious pluralism states that there are multiple (or all) religions that lead one to the same God. Or another definition could be that two or more religions hold same truth claims. A Moslem, a Christian, and a Jew will all be able to go to heaven. These different religions are just different paths. We will call religious pluralism P. Religious pluralists accept P generally on the basis of T but not necessarily.

Anyway, the problem with P (and T) is that it violates the law of non-contradiction. The law of non-contradiction states: Two contradictory statements (A and not-A) cannot both be true at the same time. Christianity (C) cannot have the same truth as Islam (I) because it says Islam is wrong. Vice versa, Islam cannot have the same truth as Christianity because it says Christianity is wrong.

1.C is not-I
2. I is not-C
3. Therefore, C and I cannot have the same truth values/cannot be the same.
4. But P says that C and I are the same/lead to the same truths.
5. Therefore P is wrong and should not be accepted.

This seems to be the current T view when it comes to religion. No one wants to say that other religions are wrong. Also, no one wants to say that their religion is true or known to be true. But why is it wrong to say that religions that you don’t hold are wrong? Christianity at least espouses religious exclusivism. Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

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1 Comment

  1. Jordan Hartley says:

    Great Article Brother!!!

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