Have diversity and inter-faith programs — whose goals are to increase understanding of the differences (and similarities) between people of different backgrounds, traditions, and perspectives — actually decreased understanding in many unfortunate and damaging ways? Diversity and inter-faith programs, from my experience, haven’t been concerned with the validity of certain perspectives/ideas (or even debating the merits of them), but rather seem to be concerned with convincing people that various perspectives/ideas are all equally valid.
With aims to celebrate differences between people and foster a more tolerant and accepting society, it may be the case that, in the name of diversity, people have committed intellectual suicide concerning the nature of truth assenting to beliefs such as ‘all perspectives are equally valid,’ ‘since we can’t know for sure, everyone is justified in believing what they want to believe,’ ‘certain beliefs are true for persons,’ and ‘if a belief makes someone feel good, a person is justified in believing it.’
In past blog posts, speeches, presentations, podcast episodes, and debates, I have discussed what seems to be an obvious disregard of truth people have in the area of religious belief or even belief in general. It may be difficult — or perhaps impossible — to identify what has contributed to this, but it might be the case that diversity and inter-faith efforts have something to do with this. With aims to ‘respect others,’ ‘celebrate differences,’ and minimize conflict, it might be the case that people have morphed respect for people into ‘respect of beliefs’ and have bought into various indefensible ideas concerning the nature of truth.
What are your thoughts?