Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Friday, October 29, 2021

The Right to Religious Freedom: Extension or Erosion?

Interesting chapter by Rafael Domingo.


In this chapter, I argue for religious freedom as a first-class right, and I criticize the views of some distinguished scholars who react against traditional conceptions of religious freedom and deny the right to any special protection of religion by legal systems. I focus primarily on Ronald Dworkin and Brian Leiter’s views and arguments. I conclude that Dworkin’s approach to religion belittles the idea of God. Yet conviction about the existence of God and the holding of profound ethical and moral convictions are not so independent as Dworkin argues. Leiter’s approach belittles the idea of religion, which cannot be reduced to a matter of commands, a lack of evidence, and consolation. I argue why religion is more than a matter of conscience and a personal decision about ultimate concerns and questions. Religion cannot be reduced to moral conscience, let alone ethical independence in foundational matters. An increasingly globalized and pluralistic society demands a more comprehensive approach that fully protects all religions and creeds.



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