Jurisprudence 9 (3):541-565 (2018)

Authors
John Danaher
University College, Galway
Abstract
According to the common view, conscientious objection is grounded in autonomy or in ‘freedom of conscience’ and is tolerated out of respect for the objector's autonomy. Emphasising freedom of conscience or autonomy as a central concept within the issue of conscientious objection implies that the conscientious objector should have an independent choice among alternative beliefs, positions or values. In this paper it is argued that: (a) it is not true that the typical conscientious objector has such a choice when they decide to act upon their conscience and (b) it is not true that the typical conscientious objector exercises autonomy when developing or acquiring their conscience. Therefore, with regard to tolerating conscientious objection, we should apply the concept of autonomy with caution, as tolerating conscientious objection does not reflect respect for the conscientious objector’s right to choose but rather acknowledges their lack of real ability to choose their conscience and to refrain from acting upon their conscience. This has both normative and analytical implications for the treatment of conscientious objectors.
Keywords Conscientious Objection  Freedom  Autonomy  Toleration  Free Will
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DOI 10.1080/20403313.2018.1454031
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.
Do We Have Free Will?Benjamin W. Libet - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):47-57.
Do We Have Free Will?Benjamin W. Libet - 2002 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), Journal of Consciousness Studies. Oxford University Press. pp. 551--564.

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Citations of this work BETA

Contingency Inattention: Against Causal Debunking in Ethics.Regina Rini - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):369-389.

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