Is Diversity Good?

A few weeks ago, in our company’s break room I saw a newspaper with a story about company boards needing to hire more diverse staff. To some of us, this might sound good, but it becomes an increasing concern of mine. Why hire diverse staff? Now I’m not saying that right off it’s wrong. The question I am wanting to ask is why should the staff be diverse?

Our society is one that has taken several means and considered them as ends in themselves. We look at pleasure, for instance, and see that as the end in itself. Pleasure is instead meant to point us to what is good in itself. We have so many little ends set up that are merely means. They are such things as sex, money, power, etc.

In the realm of society, we see tolerance and diversity as ends in themselves. Why should we have diversity? Because diversity is a good thing. To what end? For a company board, it’s not necessarily the best. If all of the best applicants that can get the job done right are white men, then let it be white men. If they are black women, then let it be black women. For business, it is the best that should have the position. If I go to a doctor, I want to go to one who got hired because he’s good at what he did. Not one who got hired because they needed a minority on staff. If a minority is the best though, then hire a minority.

Diversity is good for discussion as well. Discussion is to be a search for truth where we all bring forward perspectives and ideas. In order to do that, we need all the ideas we can get. This is one area where religious pluralism fails. Religious pluralism assumes that once we have a diversity of religious views in discussion, then we have reached the goal. The goal of having such discussions though should be to find out which view is true and which is false.

In fact, religious tolerance makes no sense in this regard. You do not tolerate what is good and true. If my roommate decides to bring home pizza for us, his treat, I don’t tell him I tolerate that. I accept it and enjoy it. If, instead, he were to damage one of my books, I would tolerate that. You tolerate things that are not favorable to you and not what is good and true.

As a Christian, I take it as an insult to think my worldview is just as good as anyone else’s. (In truth, I see the position as saying all religions are equal. They’re equally wrong.) Try saying the same thing to a Muslim. Tell him Allah is the same God as the Trinity we Christians worship. See exactly how much your tolerance and understanding is appreciated?

If diversity is treated as the end in itself, then something will be sacrificed. In the case of business, that’s often the good. In the case of ideas though, it is much more serious. The truth is sacrificed at the altar of diversity. For people today, it is better to have a lot of ideas than to have true ideas. No one asks any more hardly about ideas “Are they true?” We get questions instead like “Do they work?” or “Do they make people happy?”

Diversity is a good. No doubt about it. It’s good as a means to something else though and not as an end in itself.

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