The Case for Insincerity

Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Vol. 29, pp. 143-64, 2003

29 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2004

See all articles by John M. Kang

John M. Kang

St. Thomas University School of Law


Much of the philosophical debate between religionists and secularists has focused on whether to permit people to invoke publicly religious arguments to justify their position on laws and policies. Prominent liberals like Robert Audi, Kent Greenawalt and John Rawls argue that in some instances, people should abstain from both invoking religious arguments in the public square and from consulting religious sources alone in arriving at judgment, while religionists like Michael Perry, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Stephen Carter assert that religionists be permitted greater freedom in both areas.

I argue that sincerity is at best irrelevant and at worse harmful in achieving either good consequences or fairness between religionists and secularists.

Keywords: Religion, public discourse, philosophy, legal ethics, rhetoric

Suggested Citation

Kang, John M., The Case for Insincerity. Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Vol. 29, pp. 143-64, 2003. Available at SSRN:

John M. Kang (Contact Author)

St. Thomas University School of Law ( email )

16401 NW 37th Avenue
Miami Gardens, FL 33054
United States
305.474.2460 (Phone)
305.623.2397 (Fax)


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