quote:Originally posted by ma'am:
If one's religion holds that the truth is that his God is the one true god, so what if that's exclusionary? Who is not? Athiesm itself is exclusionary. The first person is saying that his god(s) is the true God and other god worshippers and nonbelievers. The second is saying that the god-believers are all mistaken and that there is no god(s). Neither is inclusive of the the other's belief of the truth.
Exclusion is often used as a dager in our culture, but "exclusionary" shouldn't automatically be taken as insult or compliment--Especially when it comes to religion.
Each religion believes that it holds the truth, and "truth" itself is exclusionary. It doesn't mean truth is right or truth is wrong. Truth just is.
It's ridiculous to believe that someone else's belief of the must include your own in order to be inclusive. As ridiculous as telling Iris, who is sure that she sees black on the uni-colored blot, that she must say that she sees yellow because that is what Mohammed sees along with the pink that Shmuley sees and the nothing the Alexis sees.
All of them might be wrong, but only one could be right.
While it can argued whether the blot is truely black, yellow, pink, or nonexistant, it is ridiculous to make anyone believe that he or she should pretend to see what everyone else sees for the sake of inclusion.
Truth excludes falsities.
But not all religions are exclusionary, indeed, not all forms of Christianity are strictly exclusivist. Some would even argue that this is a characteristic of so-called ethical monotheisms (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
For henotheistic or polytheistic religions, there is not a problem with a plurality of religious traditions or truth claims. You can have your truth and I can have mine. I believe that it was the Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe who said that no practitioner of indigenous West African traditions would ever think of go up to someone attempting them to change their religion.