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On Why Pluralism is Dead

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Israfil View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 January 2007 at 11:07pm

Although we encounter various people (some of us encounter a lot of people) I find that we are always in disagreement like a never ending battle. With religion I'm more inclined to believe that we will never agree. When I say "we" I mean the human family. Since religion is embedded in our particular cultures it makes up who we are. although many traditions share rich values that are universally applicable the ultimate principles which shape the religion (in this case monotheism) may not. Before i saw myself as an apologist Muslim trying to re-establish a link between Islam and the Judaic Christian faiths. It occured to me today (and perhaps days ago like an enlightenment) that it is a failure to do such things.

Without even adding the people in the equation the religious truths presented in Islam does not allow religious pluralism much less cultural pluralism. Our teachings involve not doing what others do, in this case the Polytheist. Everything the polytheist did we did not do. Everything they worshipped God strictly forbade. Foods they atewe did not eat and so on and so forth. Similarly with the Abrahamic faiths. It occured to me that while re-reading the Qur'an over and over it does not severe the ties Islam has with its coreligionist, and although the link is there the important principles where it matters most does not establish a pluralistic philosophy. Ultimately the Christian and the Jew is wrong. Ultimately no matter how many times a Christian or Jew gets it right, ultimately they are wrong. As an apologist beforehand I was always the one to say, it does not matter because only God will decide. I still continue to believe this.

Religiously speaking our religions will not allow pluralism...ultimately. If our religions allowed it then that would inherently make our faith false and contradictory. Although we Muslims may say we worship the same God as Christians and Jews, ultimately this would be inherently false. The idea of God as eternal and immaterial is not universally accepted within the Abrahamic faiths. Jews believed God "rested" of course not in the physical sense but "ceased to act" at a specific time whereas Muslims believes that God's actions are continuous. Similarly with Christians in the philosophy of eternal and immaterial. Because our philosophy rules out the logical possibility that God goes from an immaterial to a material state. Since Christians believe in the duality of Christ as both Wholly Man and God we cannot assert that "ultimately our Gods are the same" because ultimately the concepts are different. Of course I'm speaking mainly to the Christians who subscribe to the divinity of Jesus.

The reason I said plurality is dead is because our principles is what makes it cease to exist. When God says "The religion of Allah is Islam" dissolves almost all  avenues for any plural dialogue despite the particulars we share. Because, the ultimate principles are what counts in matters of religious belief. In matters of Judgement and such these are hypotheticals that are best left not analyzed. Although I share some beliefs with my coreligionist I know in the back of my mind they are sincerely and ultimately wrong. The same goes for my Christian friends. If you think about it if Christians, Jews, Buddhist, Sikhs and everyone was right in matters of faith then there would be no need for exclusivity, meaning Islam would cease to be Islam rather a convergence of all beliefs.

 

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DavidC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DavidC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 January 2007 at 3:07am
I remember when you first signed up here, Israfil.  I criticized you a lot for pushing that plurality agenda.  All that "all religions are basically the same" stuff means is that people haven't thought through the details.

There are a lot of areas we can agree on, and of course we can disagree accurately when we do have differences. We have lots in common in that we all try to serve God and are not athiests or hedonites, but we don't want to water down differences.

Our goal should be mutual respect and understanding, not reaching some sort of multilateral agreement.
Christian; Wesleyan M.Div.
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Israfil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Israfil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 January 2007 at 8:32am
Yeah David and that was 2003! it actually took me almost 4 years to realize my ignorance in my apologetic thinking. You are right that our continuance and mutual respect for one another as human beings is what suffices for me. Well, I actually knew that Islam disagreed much on Judaism and Christianity on certain philosophical issues about God, divinity of Jesus and others but I wanted to be the one to fuse those differences and try to establish something but I realize that ultimately I would be sincerely wrong to them and they to me.
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Whisper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whisper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 January 2007 at 11:38am
Our goal should be mutual respect and understanding, not reaching some sort of multilateral agreement.
Absolutely, my friend, plus the lot we share is far greater than what we don't. No?
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