The Right to Religious Freedom: Extension or Erosion?

Tom Angier, Iain Benson, and Marc Retter (eds), Handbook on Natural Law and Human Rights (Cambridge University Press Forthcoming).

20 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2021

See all articles by Rafael Domingo

Rafael Domingo

Emory University School of Law; University of Navarra - School of Law

Date Written: August 27, 2021

Abstract

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.

Keywords: religious freedom, Dworkin, Leiter, accommodation, God, morality, ethical independence

Suggested Citation

Domingo Osle, Rafael, The Right to Religious Freedom: Extension or Erosion? (August 27, 2021). Tom Angier, Iain Benson, and Marc Retter (eds), Handbook on Natural Law and Human Rights (Cambridge University Press Forthcoming). , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3912926 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3912926

Rafael Domingo Osle (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.emory.edu/

University of Navarra - School of Law ( email )

Universidad de Navarra
Campus Universitario
Pamplona, Navarra 31009
Spain

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