You're clearly right that doubt and uncertainty make the zealots' positions more rigid. But what DO you do with the religious position of "God cannot be known except through miracle, and this text records miracle"?
Or, let me pose a harder hypothetical. Clearly from a rationalistic perspective, obtaining multiple views of truth is likely to increase the total amount of information. However, to the extent religion accesses non-rational (even trans-rational) parts of the self, isn't it possible that by refusing to enter into the conceptual universe of a single tradition -- a universe which includes the view that that single tradition has better access to truth than others -- you are forever going to miss the emotive, spiritual, communal, tribal essence of what religion is about?
Are all truths cosmopolitan?
What do I do with fundamentalists who believe that God can only be known with revelation? Well, honestly, they're not my responsibility. I do think they can join in the conversation, because some of them might believe that God is not continuously revealing the Truth to them. Many Jews I've met believe that there was a revelation at Mount Sinai. But this does not rule out the possibility that we may not have completely grasped the truth as it was revealed. It is still quite possible that the profundity of what was revealed at Sinai will take yet more generations to unpack. And I see the best way of unpacking it being some form of collaboration.
The rabbis did, too, which is why they didn't want people studying Judaism alone. We've got minyans for that. And those who study Talmud are supposed to do it with at least a partner. These are not Rushkoff's Rules! I'm just reading the rules, and trying to make sense of them. Seems to me that the notion of maintaining a conversation, of commenting on Torah, and then commenting on people's comments, was not invented by me. It's not a controversial notion, at all.
As for all truths being cosmopolitan? No. But you are confusing Truth with a single human being's ability to comprehend and express the truth. As far as I'm concerned, no human being is capable of comprehending the Truth. Therefore, all individual human creature understandings of God, reality, etc., are flawed and, yes, provincial. That's why it's called a perspective.
Again, this is nothing new - it's the blind men with the elephant. And it's certainly not worthy of generating controversy and the boycotts I'm getting. It doesn't mean, as Jerusalem Report claims, that I'm an 'atheist.'
I'll go along with your claim that it's the conversation that matters, but I don't believe the conversational ethos _itself_ engenders your particular form of social liberalism.
The Sacred and the Profane
A Conversation with Douglas Rushkoff
Reinventing the Wheel: A Review of Nothing Sacred
They Gonna Crucify Me: A 'Lapsed Jew' Responds to Nothing Sacred
Plus these other attractions:
Meditation and Sensuality
Anything You Want to Be
Josh Graduates High School
Zeek in Print
Spring 03 issue available here