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回應《社會為甚麼要容忍宗教?》

原刊於First Things

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Brian Leiter’s Why Tolerate Religion? is a crucial book in the area of law and religion—published in 2013, it defends the view that there is no compelling moral or legal reason to provide special protection to religion as such.

Professor Leiter’s main conclusions are:

One, singling out religion is unnecessary. If matters of religious conscience deserve toleration, it is because they involve matters of conscience, not religion per se.

Two, exemptions from neutral laws of general applicability should be available to all conscientious objectors, as long as they do not involve shifting burdens onto others.

Three, religious establishment is compatible with principled toleration.

I agree with the third conclusion, but there are good reasons, good legal reasons, for denying the first two (singling out religion and granting religious exceptions).

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