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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 36, 1998

Philosophy of Religion

Ronald A. Kuipers
Pages 126-133

Toward a Peaceable Mosaic of Worldviews and Religions
Incommensurability, Pluralism, and the Philosophy of Religion

I defend the uniqueness and irreducibility of religious forms of life from rationalistic criticisms. I argue that such a defense of religion affirms the fact of incommensurability between differing forms of life. Put differently, such a defense tacitly affirms ineradicable pluralism as well as cultural diversity. I contend that the defender of religion who argues from the incommensurability of this form of life must also give up all traces of "worldview exclusivism," the dogmatic claim to possess the one truth about the world. Finally, I argue that if we are to move into a future of peace, we must acknowledge that various forms of life are lived on a level playing field. That is, all forms have important contributions to make, and none have revelatory advantages over another. A critical discussion of differing forms of life will be concerned with cultural desirability of these forms.

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