Relativism vs. Pluralism

Truth is exclusive by definition

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2. Relativism vs. Pluralism

2.1. relativism- hidden dangers

2.2. by definition, truth is absolute and exclusive

2.3. pluralism- a clear fact

2.4. tests for truth

2.5. why truth is so ‘difficult’


2.2. by definition, truth is absolute and exclusive

Truth is exclusive by definition- as reality, science, and rational thinking all attest it.

Like Augustine said, “all human beings by nature desire to know truth…” And even though being an informed truth-seeker during the post-modernist time is not cool anymore, one should still –and definitely – become such.

How could one attempt to demonstrate that truth is absolute and not relative?

Simply and firstly by using the most fundamental law of logic – and reality –which is the Law of Non-Contradiction, a law applying irrespective of a person’s cultural and religious background.

In logic everybody knows that the law of non-contradiction states: ‘A thing cannot both be “A” and “Non-A” at the same time and in the same relationship.’ Therefore, something cannot be true and not true at the same time.

The law simply states that despite the fact that there are many different religious viewpoints, they cannot all be right, given that they affirm contradictory claims. Either one of them is true and the others are false, or all of them are false and something else is true.

As we well know, for our post-modernist age, this is an essential, though very often denied, law.

The best selling author, Ravi Zacharias, points out that the main argument against this law is that it is a Western way of looking at reality – i.e. the „either/or” logic and that the Eastern -also New Age- way of viewing reality is the „both/and” one.  He added that these days we see many people – secular ones included – trying hard to establish the „both/and” logic as a superior way by which to establish truth. Still one simple question should be addressed to these people -whatever their belief system is -: “Are you saying that when studying your belief system we should either use the both/and logic or nothing else…?”

Which will lead them to understand that the either/or logic does seem to come up. “And as a matter of fact, even in Eastern civilizations like India, people do look both ways before they cross the street as it’s either the bus or them.” (Ravi Zacharias)

(If you need another example from day to day life, go to the Immigration Officer when arriving in the US and when asked where you were born, answer US, and then maybe India… quite an effective way to see how the law of non-contradiction applies to reality.)

The big irony is that these same people who exclude comparison actually use the either/or logic to prove the both/and. As the same author observed, the more one tries to beat down the law of contradiction the more one gets beaten down by it. The law of non-contradiction is implicitly or explicitly implied by both East and West. Also it is ultimately not a test for truth but for falsehood (a statement may be non contradictory but nevertheless false). The moment you try to refute what I’m saying, you’re employing the law of non contradiction, implying that you’re right and I am wrong and even the Eastern mystic cannot escape this over present law.

Finally another example on how this law applies to reality comes from the evidence that we do not just arbitrarily believe everything we hear but consciously or unconsciously test propositions to determine their truth or falsehood.

There is no such thing as an ‘all-inclusive’ truth. Truth, by definition, is always exclusive.

(Sources: Wikipedia; ‘Can man live without God’, Ravi Zacharias)


See continuation at plurarism