The Golden Rule of Hospitality, Agnosticism, and the Pluralistic Wager
The previous chapter explored the logical space in which monotheism, atheism, and polytheism are located. This points toward nonreductive, agnostic social pluralism . The religious space includes varieties of monotheism, versions of atheism, and diverse forms of polytheism; it is not easy or morally appropriate to reduce all of this plurality one thing, nor can we know the truth (or falsity) of every religious claim. This means that we ought to respect the liberty of those who hold these different ideas and welcome diverse believers in a spirit of empathy, care, and hospitality. In this chapter, I explore the Golden Rule of pluralism, which is a basic principle of cosmopolitan hospitality: to love your neighbor as yourself in a pluralistic world is to remain tolerant, welcoming, and hospitable. We need the freedom to listen to one another. As Huston Smith once wrote, “It is impossible to love another without listening to him.” 1 Listening and learning from one another helps us understand the ways that human beings have constructed meaning in response to our shared vulnerability.