When I was back at Briercrest College, I took a class called Apologetics. It basically was about how one was to defend their faith when presented with arguments from a different point of view. If Christianity is based on truth, which I believe it is, then I should be able to back it up.
I had to write a paper while I was there, I think it was even in that class, on Principled Pluralism and whether I thought it was right or wrong.
Principled Pluralism is coming from the point of view that in a pluralistic society, where there are many options on what people can believe, it is important to stand up for the right to believe what you want.
Some would use the word tolerance, although that word has taken on a different meaning in the last decade. It used to be that tolerance was allowing someone to have a belief or action and not persecuting them for it. Intolerance was persecuting one for their belief or action.
These days, intolerance also includes those who do not change their beliefs to fit into the current beliefs of society. If I was to believe something that goes against the way society is changing, my view would not be tolerated the same way as others. People may allow me the right to believe it, but I would not be given the right to speak my belief.
If you don’t agree with this, simply wear a “Homosexuality is Wrong” shirt to an NDP convention and let me know how many people tolerated you.
Do I believe in Principled Pluralism?
In a democratic country, the laws and public morality that society is required to live by is set by those who started the country and then changed by “the people” through their representatives that they voted in.
I’m in the country and I have to live by its laws. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Constitution in this country.
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
1. freedom of conscience and religion;
2. freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
3. freedom of peaceful assembly; and
4. freedom of association.
As you can see, principled pluralism is based on point 2, “Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.” As long as this remains in the constitution and the laws reflect it, not only do I have to live by it, but I can take advantage of it.
You see, I am a Christian and part of what I believe is the requirement and desire for Christians to share what they believe with others. Principled pluralism allows me to do that without fear of persecution. Of course, as a Christian I know that eventually, persecution will occur. For now, I’ll stick by principled pluralism, even with its drawbacks, which are a subject of another essay.