Pluralism is the affirmation and acceptance of diversity. The term is used, often in different ways, in the contexts of a wide range of issues of culture, religion and philosophy. In politics, the affirmation of diversity in the interests and beliefs of the citizenry, and the rights of minorities, is one of the most important features of modern democracy. In science, it involves acceptance that many methods, theories or points of view are legitimate or plausible.
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- Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other peoples' cultures, social structures, values and faiths are now essential to the very survival of an interdependent world.
- Aga Khan IV, in a speech at the Ceremony to Inaugurate the Restored Humayun's Tomb Gardens - New Delhi, India (15 April 2003)
- Pluralism is no longer simply an asset or a prerequisite for progress and development, it is vital to our existence.
- Aga Khan IV, in a speech at the Ceremony to Inaugurate the Restored Humayun's Tomb Gardens, New Delhi, India (15 April 2003)
- A secure pluralistic society requires communities that are educated and confident both in the identity and depth of their own traditions and in those of their neighbours.
- Aga Khan IV, in an address at the Leadership and Diversity Conference Gatineau, Quebec, Canada (19 May 2004)
- Pluralist societies are not accidents of history. They are a product of enlightened education and continuous investment by governments and all of civil society in recognizing and celebrating the diversity of the world’s peoples.
- Aga Khan IV, in a speech on Democratic Development, Pluralism and Civil Society delivered at the Nobel Institute, Oslo, Norway (7 April 2005)
- We cannot make the world safe for democracy unless we also make the world safe for diversity.
- Aga Khan IV, in an address by His Highness the Aga Khan to the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University,(15 May 2006)
- The spirit of the Knowledge Society is the spirit of Pluralism—a readiness to accept the Other, indeed to learn from him, to see difference as an opportunity rather than a threat.
- Aga Khan IV, in an address to the 2006 Convocation of the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan (2 December 2006)]
- All earlier pluralist societies destroyed themselves because no one took care of the common good. They abounded in communities but could not sustain community, let alone create it.
- Peter Drucker, in The New Pluralism Leader to Leader, No. 14 (Fall 1999)
- Cultural pluralism is the only thing we all have in common.
- Tom Heehler, in The Well-Spoken Thesaurus ( 2011)
- Things are set up as contraries that are not even in the same category. Listen to me: the opposite of radical is superficial, the opposite of liberal is stingy; the opposite of conservative is destructive. Thus I will describe myself as a radical conservative liberal; but certain of the tainted red fish will swear that there can be no such fish as that. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade.
- R. A. Lafferty, in The Flame is Green (1971), Ch. 5
- At few periods in modern history, has the mission of building pluralistic societies been more important than at present. Celebrating the diversity of perspectives and opinions, faiths and cultures, languages and traditions is a prerequisite to building harmonious and successful societies.
- Firoz Rasul President of Aga Khan University, in an address to the 2006 Convocation of the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, (2 December 2006)
- The real intent of my writing is not to say, you must think in this way. The real intent is: here are some of the many important facets of this extraordinary Kosmos; have you thought about including them in your own worldview? My work is an attempt to make room in the Kosmos for all of the dimensions, levels, domains, waves, memes, modes, individuals, cultures, and so on ad infinitum. I have one major rule: everybody is right. More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace. To Freudians I say, Have you looked at Buddhism? To Buddhists I say, Have you studied Freud? To liberals I say, Have you thought about how important some conservative ideas are? To conservatives I say, Can you perhaps include a more liberal perspective? And so on, and so on, and so on... At no point I have ever said: Freud is wrong, Buddha is wrong, liberals are wrong, conservatives are wrong. I have only suggested that they are true but partial. My critical writings have never attacked the central beliefs of any discipline, only the claims that the particular discipline has the only truth — and on those grounds I have often been harsh. But every approach, I honestly believe, is essentially true but partial, true but partial, true but partial.
And on my own tombstone, I dearly hope that someday they will write: He was true but partial...