Morality, religion and public education in pluralist democracies: A reply to Kunzman

Journal of Moral Education 32 (3):263-270 (2003)


This article responds to Kunzman's conflation of the functional relationship between morality and religious faith with the conceptual independence of morality and the commands of religious authority. On the basis of this conceptual error and a selective misreading of the empirical research, Kunzman argues for the insertion of religious content into moral education. This article offers a point-by-point refutation of Kunzman's misreading of the research findings. The case is made that Kunzman's position both undermines religious freedom within pluralist societies by not fully recognising the diversity among religious belief systems, and imposes the beliefs of the religious upon those who do not hold religious commitments. In contrast, the research demonstrating the conceptual independence of morality and religious norms provides a basis for moral education that contributes to the moral growth of religious and non-religious alike in a manner that does not privilege or undermine the non-moral beliefs of either group and is therefore the only ethical way to address simultaneously the moral growth of both sets of students

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References found in this work

The Moral Judgement of the Child.Jean Piaget - 1933 - Philosophy 8 (31):373-374.
The Moral Judgment of the Child.Jean Piaget - 1934 - Mind 43 (169):85-99.
Ethics Without God.Kai Nielsen - 1973 - Prometheus Books.
Ethics Without God.Alan Zaitchik - 1975 - Philosophical Review 84 (1):132.

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