In my previous post about self-named Christians who seek to demythologize Christ, I read a number of interesting comments.
MethoDeist takes issue with my claim that those who do not believe in the divinity of Christ are wrong:
I must disagree with this statement as well, "behavior is, however based upon inaccurate conclusions, internally rational." My conclusions are fair from innaccurate as all theology is based on faith and not on evidence regardless of what people may claim. The Christian religion is not an evidence based religion as its central tenets cannot be proven by empirical evidence just as I cannot prove my beliefs either.
Remember, it is faith that we believe on not evidence. So, my beliefs have just as much validity as yours and vice versa. Can both be correct as you asked? No, but without evidence to support or deny the conclusions we can never truly move beyond this question into which is the one true faith.
As a pluralist, I accept that we all have metaphysical positions that are based on faith and that the spiritual is not limited to out small conceptions of God. Our conceptions are important to us but are just that, conceptions. My conception allows me to experience God in all the ways that we should and I know that my wifes conception allows her to do the same even though we have different beliefs.
And Dave wrote:
I think, John, your list of either one is right, the other is right, or they're both wrong is a little too simplistic. For me, religion can't fit into such tight boxes, nor does it.
All I know is that God is larger than my understanding and because of that, I have no authority to say who is right and who is wrong. I can only say what works best for me. I wouldn't dare say that Christianity is downright wrong and some other conception is absolutely right. If I don't know everything, and I certainly don't, I have no right to judge the veracity of another belief system as a whole one way or the other.
For me, my conception of God leaves open the "both...and..." possibility. I don't think and "either...or..." is our only option. That limits God by saying that the faith of everyone but "true" Christians is rooted in lies because the only way to come to an understanding of God is through this one specific religion.
Okay, consider these propositions:
1. Religion A considers all other religions to be wrong except itself.
2. Religion B considers all other religions to be wrong except itself.
Now, one of three possible conclusions is true:
1. Religion A is right.
2. Religion B is right.
3. Both Religions A and B are wrong.
This isn't a matter of spiritual humility or personal feelings and religious experiences; this is a matter of logical consistency. One cannot conclude that both Religions A and B are both equally true because their content is mutually exclusive. If one says that both Religions A and B are true then one is necessarily talking about something other than Religions A and B. So the pluralist is really taking option 3.
Now we can talk about evidence for various religious claims and it can be prudent to be humble about one's ability to know all matters of the divine, but one can't straddle a logical inconsistency.
In like manner, the Virgin Birth hasn't been (historically) described as an abstract concept, but an actual event in 1st Century Palestine. So either:
1. The Virgin Birth happened.
2. The Virgin Birth did not happen.
But it cannot, logically, have both happened and not happened. One side is wrong, and the other is right. If you want to urge people to be humble about feeling certain one way or another, fine, but logic nonetheless dictates that one side is wrong and the other is right.
So, going back to MethoDeist's comment, if I accept a set of religious propositions as true, then I am necessarily accepting that the inverses of these propositions are false. I may be wrong, but I am at least logically consistent. Pluralism cannot make this claim.