doing a paper for religion of philosophy class. The topic is religious plularism, which I ascribe to. In reading Allen Stair’s article in the textbook, he writes
Inclusivism is an improvement over exclusivism. Why? Simply think of about a pious member of some religion other than your own. This person knows of your religion, but-not surprisingly given her upbringing- hasn’t been persuaded to abandon her own tradition. Still, by our usual standards she is a good and decent person who tries to do her religious duty and to stay in the right relation with the Ultimate, even though, like everone else, she fails to do this fully. What sort of God would consign her to Hell for eternity? How could that God be worth of our worship?
For me, these are rhetorical questions. I can’t even dimly imagine what it would be like to think that the “sin” of honestly believing the wrong religion should damn someone-even when coupled with the usual run of human failings. Strong exclusivism is more complicated and in the interests of time I’ll leave it aside, except to comment that I think it’s also implausable on religious grounds. It’s too hard to reconcile with the view that God loves us in anything like the way a Father loves his children.
Exactly! I’ve tried to convey this feeling to my family membes who, being good and decent people themselves, are strict exclusivists in a Southern Baptist sense. Yet this point does no good when raised to them, nor does the point that were they have been born in another country they would be devout Muslims or Buddhists. Chance has granted them identity as a Christian.