Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Leiter Side Of Religion

Philosopher, legal scholar, and blogger, Professor Brian Leiter, recently published a book on the law and philosophy of religion and conscience, entitled Why Tolerate Religion?  Here is a video of his November 19, 2013, lecture, "Why Tolerate Religion?," at the University of Chicago:
Here is a description of his book by its publisher, Princeton University Press:
In Why Tolerate Religion?, Brian Leiter argues that the reasons have nothing to do with religion, and that Western democracies are wrong to single out religious liberty for special legal protections. He offers new insights into what makes a claim of conscience distinctively "religious," and draws on a wealth of examples from America, Europe, and elsewhere to highlight the important issues at stake. With philosophical acuity, legal insight, and wry humor, Leiter shows why our reasons for tolerating religion are not specific to religion but apply to all claims of conscience, and why a government committed to liberty of conscience is not required by the principle of toleration to grant exemptions to laws that promote the general welfare.
As modern societies become ever more diverse along the axes of religion and conscience, the need for incisive analysis of how the law should treat - and should or should not privilege - religious belief grows ever more urgent.  Leiter is an important voice in this debate.