Essay about “A Defense of Religious Exclusivism”

724 Words Jan 23rd, 2014 3 Pages
“A Defense of Religious Exclusivism” Alvin Plantinga

Religious exclusivism is an idea that is the complete opposite of religious pluralism. Religious pluralist’s such as John Hick have ideas containing a set of beliefs asserting that multiple religions can not only all co-exist, but they can all also be true within their own beliefs that they hold about the cosmology of the Earth, God, and our existence. And the complete opposite of John Hick’s belief is the idea of Religious Exclusivism. Religious Exclusivism is an idea that is represented by Alvin Plantiga. And what the idea of Religious Exclusivism represents is that whatever religious belief you hold to be true, must be true exclusively, which then deems all other religions to
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The epistemic objection claims that the exclusivist is unjustified or irrational in his or her specific beliefs given that they must believe that one has no proof that would convince other intellectually thoughtful people who disagree. Plantiga says in response, that he has no “knock down” proof in regards to Christian exclusivism, but the exclusivist may have reflected on all the evidence and on the existence of other religions, and it may still seem to him that the specific propositions of their beliefs are true, and that there is no belief or beliefs that has provided “knock down” evidence to backup their claim. Plantiga is justified within his claim, because he himself has exposed himself to other world religions, and as an intellectual chooses to believe his original faith. Could this simply mean that we are inclined to believe what we believe depending on what we are exposed to at birth? Had Plantiga been born in India, and experienced life the same way with the exception that he was raised to believe in Hinduism, would he have changed his faith and concluded to be a Christian exclusivist, or would he remain Hindu?

The moral objection that Plantiga faces is, that the exclusivist believes that those who hold other religious beliefs are just mistaken and that those who fail to hold the particular beliefs of Christian exclusivism is failing to believe something deep and important. Therefore they take themselves to be privileged. This is an
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