Project #78908 - Dalai Lama

 

Option 2 – Critical Writing Assignment on Interview with the Dalai Lama

Write a 1200-1500 word paper in which you critically analyze the perspective of the Dalai Lama  from the vantage point of John Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis, which is encountered in the same module. You need not agree with Hick’s position and you may role play if you choose, but your paper must take up and defend a clear thesis and the paper must include

 

 

substantial engagement and specific references to both the Dalai Lama interview and the article by Hick.

 

 

 

ï‚· Defend a thesis and should proceed according to the following format: Thesis, Argument, Objection(s), Response(s), and Conclusion.

 Include citations to the primary required class readings. These and any additional sources must be properly cited using MLA format.

 Fall within the following length requirements: 1200-1500 words.

Use a standard 10-12 pt. font and be double-spaced.

 

 

 

The Pluralist Hypothesis: Hick’s Response to Religious Diversity

 

The fact is that there are lots of different religions in the world and these religions don’t all teach the same thing. According to Christians, for example, God is Trinity; he is made up of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And as such, he is divine. Islam, on the other hand, teaches that, while Jesus was a great prophet of God, he was by no means divine in the sense that Allah is divine. Allah is one; there is no division of parts within him. He is most certainly not a Trinity. Religions also differ when it comes to life after death. According to some Eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, human beings a caught in vast system of birth and rebirth, and the great majority of human beings will be reincarnated into some new form after this present life. Islam and Christianity, on the other hand, teach that human beings will die only once, and after that, face judgment. There is no "second chance" to come back and try again. What this fact of religious diversity entails is that, at most, only one religion can possibly be absolutely true. Perhaps no religion is absolutely and exclusively true, but at most, only one of them is.

 

Religious pluralism responds to the problem of religious diversity by arguing that no one religion is absolutely true. At best, each religion is only partially true. But no one of them has a monopoly on the truth. No one of them gets all of the facts right about the world. Yet, religious pluralism is not religious skepticism. Religious skepticism throws in the towel and concludes that since no one religion contains the absolute truth, all religion is bunk and should be rejected. Religious pluralism, on the other hand, is an earnestly

 

religious response to the problem of conflicting truth-claims. Although no one religion is absolutely true, says pluralism, many religions are nonetheless good, beneficial, and imperfect interpretations of an undeniably real divine reality.

 

Hick’s pluralistic hypothesis is that the various different religions are distinct ways of experiencing the same ultimate divine reality. Hick calls this divine ultimate reality "the Real."

 

Just as people often experience the same thing in different ways without contradicting each other, different religions experience the Real in different ways, without contradiction.

 

To see how Hick’s hypothesis of the Real works, let us consider an analogy. Look at the image on the screen. What do you see? Chances are that you see one of the following: either a duck or a rabbit. If you only see a duck, try looking at the image a little differently. The two long peninsulas that make up the duck’s bill can also be viewed instead as rabbit ears. So that rather than a duck facing toward the left, the image can also be seen as a rabbit looking off toward the right. If you only see the right-facing rabbit, close your eyes a minute and then look again for the bill of the duck facing toward the left. You should now be able to see the image in both ways and alternate your perception between the two. But what is this figure "really"? Is it "really" a duck? Or is it "really" a rabbit. Well, in one sense it is both and in another sense it is neither. Viewed from one perspective it seems right to call it a duck. Whereas from another perspective it is a rabbit. But from a third perspective yet, it is neither really a duck nor a rabbit, but a squiggly line that can be variously interpreted.

 

With analogy of the duck-rabbit in view, we can now better understand how Hick is able to avoid the problem of conflicting truth-claims while at the same time insisting that many religions are more or less equally true. Viewed from the perspective of Christianity, the Real is seen as God the Trinity. Viewed from the perspective of Taoism, the Real is seen as the Tao. Viewed in absolute perspective, however, the Real is neither God the Trinity nor the Tao, but something

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 08/21/2015 12:00 am
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