Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Strategy and Law

As this came up in another discussion, and in case it's not already clear, I think we should reject any attempts to outlaw religion in the general case; it is covered by a broad respect for mental autonomy, and I don't think we can break with that default without a very strong reason. Sone specific faiths, and certainly specific religious organisations and practices might be worth a ban, but in the general case, I expect and hope to see religion legal, and I consider it a serious minus for a state to ban them in general.

This doesn't diminish the acceptability of activism against religion, just that whatever means are used for that activism (and I hope they're honest/fair), they're aimed at persuasion and that were they to hope to "win" (meaning convincing society to be largely atheist/secular), they're aiming to do so in the long term rather than short term, and that they would not be frustrated if some percentage of individuals experiment with religion for awhile in their lives.

For me, religious liberty is not an end-in-itself, it is a necessary component of people struggling to make sense of the world and the mental pluralism that creates. I am committed to religious liberty as understood as such a component even as I am committed to the battlefield of ideas that may doom religions in practice, so long as that battlefield of ideas doesn't use law as its tool.

(None of this should be taken as neutrality on unravelling areas where religions have attained specific legal or institutional privileges, either for their members, practices, or institutions)


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