Religious pluralism

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Religious pluralism is a policy stating that all religions and belief systems (theistic, non-theistic, etc.) are in essentials equally valid and there is no reason why they should not co-exist with one another.

Pluralistic traditions[edit]

There are several religious traditions that explicitly affirm a pluralistic worldview, including Unitarian Universalism (originating in Christianity) and the Baha'i faith (originating in Islam).

Also, many pre-Abrahamic pagan traditions, although not explicitly pluralistic, did not maintain that their particular cult was the "one true faith" in exclusion of all others.[note 1]

Criticism of religious pluralism[edit]

Religious pluralism may deny the existence of absolute truth, holding that, in contravention of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's quip, people are entitled to their own facts as well as their own opinions. This can lead to the belief that crank ideas are just as valid as empirical and logical facts.[1]

Specifically, religious pluralism may be used to promote anti-science ideas, since it can convince people that scientific topics (evolution, global warming, gluons) and science as a whole is another point of view or belief system and not absolute fact.[2]

Another issue is that religious pluralism grants equal validity to religious traditions that do not themselves accept religious pluralism. In addition to the obvious potential for paradox-of-tolerance problems, this has led to such phemonena as Islamic fundamentalists and some religious pluralists agreeing on an agenda of banning certain criticisms of Islam,[note 2] under labels such as "defamation of religion".[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. Though given that they tended to be tied to the specific people who practiced them, why would they need to?
  2. We'd like to say that this specifically applies to the… less reasonable criticisms of Islam, but we can't confirm that to be the case (and given the involvement of fundies and what fundamentalist Islam is known to do to apostates and infidels, we have to seriously doubt it).