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Similarly, liberals often argue that fairness precludes devoting tax revenues to religious groups because doing so amounts to forcing non-believers to subsidize religions that they reject.A different approach for liberals is to appeal directly to the right to practice one’s religion, which is derivable from a more general right to freedom of conscience.This article surveys some of the philosophical problems raised by the various ways in which religion and politics may intersect.
This cohesion in turn is dependent on a substantial amount of cultural homogeneity, especially with respect to adherence to certain values.
One way of ensuring this kind of homogeneity is to enact one of the forms of establishment mentioned above, such as displaying religious symbols in political buildings and monuments, or by including references to a particular religion in political ceremonies.
Contemporary philosophical defenses of outright establishment of a church or faith are few, but a famous defense of establishment was given by T. As a result, he argued, such a society would degenerate into tyranny and/or social and cultural fragmentation.
Even today, there are strains of conservatism that argue for establishment by emphasizing the benefits that will accrue to the political system or society at large (Scruton, 1980).
Contemporary liberals typically appeal to the value of fairness.
It is claimed, for example, that the state should remain neutral among religions because it is unfair—especially for a democratic government that is supposed to represent all of the people composing its —to intentionally disadvantage (or unequally favor) any group of citizens in their pursuit of the good as they understand it, religious or otherwise (Rawls, 1971).
Rather than emphasizing the distinctively political benefits of establishment, a different version of this argument could appeal to the ethical benefits that would accrue to citizens themselves as private individuals.
For example, on many understandings of politics, one of the purposes of the is to ensure that citizens have the resources necessary for living a choiceworthy, flourishing life.
These arrangements include the following: Note that these options are not mutually exclusive—a state could adopt some or all of these measures.
What is central to them is they each involve the conferral of some sort of official status.