In 2003, the short-film Most made its way onto the big screen. The film shows the story of a single father who takes his son to work with him at the bridge which he tends. He was responsible for raising and lowering the bridge at the appropriate times to allow ships and trains to pass. One day as the bridge remained raised, a train approached an hour before schedule. After failing to get his father’s attention and warn him to lower the bridge for the quickly approaching train, the boy attempted to manually lower it on his own and accidentally fell into the gear-works that enabled to bridge to operate. Upon seeing this, the father was left with the soul-shredding decision: crush his boy under the gears to save the train filled with hundreds of passengers, or save his son at the cost of the hundreds on the train. With only moments to think, he reluctantly pulled the lever and lowered the bridge. He saved hundreds on the train, but at the biggest price to himself. He killed his son.
Now picture the same scenario, but with a twist this time. Suppose the boy had fallen into the gear-works and the train was rushing towards the raised bridge, but this time, the father had two levers: one to lower the bridge and kill his son (like in the original scenario) and one to divert the train onto an alternate track that took it over a second, parallel bridge. It would be madness for the father to choose the first lever and kill his son with the second lever being right within reach! Why on earth would he kill his son when he knows fully well that the second lever is capable of saving both the lives of all the train passengers and the life of his son? Such a decision would be utterly appalling. Only a monster would choose the first lever.
And yet this is exactly what religious pluralists make God out to be.
“All religions are true.” ”All religions lead to God.” ”All roads lead to the same destination.”
If all religions are true then God is cruel. And not just cruel–God is an incompetent, cosmic child-abuser. If religious pluralism is true, then God is the father in the second scenario. He saw the train coming and he decided to pull the first lever and kill his son, rather than pull the second lever. If Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and all the other world religions are true paths to God, then why did God kill his Son, Jesus, in order to make a way for men to come to Him? The very notion is absurd and insulting to God. And if this is really the case, then God is really, really cruel. He sent Jesus into the world to live a miserable life filled with scorn, rejection, betrayal, humiliation, sorrow, and ultimately, torture and death, in order to create a path whereby men can come to know Him, all the while knowing that following the Five Pillars of Islam or the Noble Eight-fold Path could accomplish the very same thing! What a waste! Jesus’ life–God’s plan of salvation is completely in vain for the same result could be achieved through persons simply adhering to the tenets of any world religion. God is not only cruel, but incompetent for putting into effect the worst salvation plan possible.
But God is not cruel. He is not incompetent. He would not kill his Son needlessly. He would not put into effect a ridiculous or superfluous salvation plan for mankind. Hence, religious pluralism cannot be true. This does not show Christianity to be true, but it does show that not all religions can be true, for if they were, then God would not be a God of love–He would be a cosmic sadist or an incompetent guardian of the universe, or both. The issue of religious pluralism is important as it has a considerable foothold in Western society. Rather than blindly labeling everything as ‘truth’ in the name of tolerance, we should actively seek to sift truth from error. And rather than measuring truth by our beliefs, we should measure our beliefs by truth–following the evidence to whatever conclusion.