Originally published in the Ottawa Citizen on December 13, 2011.
The Museum of Civilization’s new cultural event of the God(s), A User’s Guide exhibit that recently commenced and ends Sept. 3, 2012 seems like a unique and potentially fruitful idea.
It is my hope that the exhibit builds people’s awareness of the world’s major religions. Whether one is an adherent to a particular religion or not it is important to try to understand other individuals’ beliefs and practices.
It seems as though such an understanding is vital in today’s world because of the opposition and hostility towards religious outlooks in recent years with the writings of particular atheistic authors. Much of which has unfortunately been caricatures of what these faiths entail. A deepening appreciation of different traditions will, on the whole, help the popular understanding of religion.
Another important realization that such an exhibit can bring to its participants is that although many of the world’s great religions share a number of similarities, they also possess a number of great dissimilarities.
Inevitably, all of the faiths make claims about truth that contradict one another. This is not a view of intolerance but one of simple logic.
The implication of this is that either one of these religions is solely correct with respect to its major claims or they are all ultimately wrong.
Awareness of these religions and their differences can hopefully build upon the partakers’ ability for truth seeking. Despite esoteric postmodern claims of the possibility that contradictory views can hold true at the same time and be more conducive to unity, unity can possibly come about by a sincere pursuit of truth.
If one wants to find truth, one need not be afraid of it.