In the Udāna, a work of Buddist scripture included in the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism we find the parable of the Blind Men and an Elephant. The parable has many variations but the oldest dates back to ancient India around 500 BC during the lifetime of the Buddha.
The text of the parable found in the Udāna is long so I am opting for a rendition by the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. The parable is as follows:
Four blind men went to see an elephant.
One who touched its leg said, "The elephant is like a pillar."
The second who touched the trunk said, "The elephant is like a thick club."
The third touched the belly, and thought it to be like a big jar.
The fourth who felt the ears, concluded that the elephant was like a winnowing fan.
They then began to dispute amongst themselves as to the nature of the animal they had touched.
A passer-by hearing them quarrel, said, "What is it this you are disputing about?"
Then they stated the question and asked him to arbitrate. He said, "Not one of you knows the real elephant. As a whole, it is neither like a pillar, nor a jar, nor a winnowing fan, nor a club. But its legs are like pillars, its belly like a big jar, its ears like a winnowing fan, and its trunk like a thick club. The elephant itself is a combination of all these."
In exactly the same manner do men quarrel among themselves about religion, each having seen some different aspect of the Deity.
We as humans often proclaim truth based on our limited, subjected experiences. Our version of truth is limited by our potential experiences. To quote Rumi:
The palm has not the means of covering the whole of the beast.
What can we do to gain a more accurate picture of the nature of the beast, or topics if our own experiences are so limited?
In Rumi's rendition, the men are not blind but in the dark, he purposes the following;
If each had a candle and they went in together the differences would disappear.
I'd venture to say this is a strong case for diversity. We must view reality through the combined lenses of a diversity of cultures, races, genders and religions. Only by bringing the light of our collective truths, can we see the whole elephant.
I'd like to end by quoting the Buddha.
O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim For preacher and monk the honored name! For, quarreling, each to his view they cling. Such folk see only one side of a thing.