Updated: Jun 27, 2022
When Gandhi said, “God is Truth,” he affirmed that religions responded to a “felt want” in human nature, a basic moral and spiritual need. He saw religion as pathways up the same mountain. This is a hopeful idea, but difficult to make work. After all, religions say some very differing things. In some ways they agree, in others they completely negate each other.
The way I have been thinking about Universalism more lately, is not how it describes religion, but how it describes human nature. I think in all places of this Earth, there are sensible people who can understand their cultural belief and make a good argument for the best values in it. Hence, my view of universalism is more this: people everywhere have a capacity for good, and to make themselves better by the belief system of their choice. Not necessarily all choices and belief systems are equivalent, but it is the proper understanding of the best values of those belief systems that is essential. So, universal realism affirms a common value to all human beings, and the hope that we might make good sense of this world as we live life.