Against the Religious Neutrality Requirement

Ratio Juris 35 (4):383-400 (2022)
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One element of the liberal ideal of secularity is the principle that the state should treat religions neutrally: This is the religious neutrality requirement. Applied to religious belief systems, the principle stipulates that the state should not take a position on whether or not a certain religion is true. I challenge this ideal and argue that teachers in public schools sometimes need to take a position on religious truth claims in order to avoid the risk of promoting false beliefs. I then argue that not acting to avert these implications is sufficiently costly to justify the abandonment of this requirement.



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Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Justice as fairness: Political not metaphysical.John Rawls - 1985 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (3):223-251.
The Moral Foundations of Liberal Neutrality.Gerald Gaus - 2009 - In Thomas Christiano & John Philip Christman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Political Philosophy. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 79–98.

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