Excluding Religion Excludes More than Religion

Matters of Life and Death: Religion and Law at the Crossroad, Boston College Law School, 2008

9 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2009  

Richard Stith

Valparaiso University School of Law

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

This Article contends that excluding apparently religious perspectives from public debate may inadvertently exclude non-religious perspectives as well, consequently impoverishing public discussion. This contention is demonstrated through an examination of the current debate over embryonic stem cell research, in which the pro-life position is often declared unacceptably religious. The truth is that those who envision the unborn as under construction in the womb do not find a human being present when gestation has just begun, while those who understand the unborn to be developing see an identity of being from conception. But neither view is based on religion. To disqualify the pro-life view as religious would exclude from public debate an important secular perspective.

Keywords: Religion, Reason, Public Reason, Embryo

JEL Classification: B30, B31, D63, D64, H41, J17, J18, K1, K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Stith, Richard, Excluding Religion Excludes More than Religion (2008). Matters of Life and Death: Religion and Law at the Crossroad, Boston College Law School, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1477003 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1477003

Richard T. Stith (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University School of Law ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States

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