Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Church and State

Sigh. I am so fired up by everything anymore. It is stressful. It's frustrating seeing hate and injustice and religion-pushing and stupidity and hypocrites over and over and not feeling like anything is changing.

And this is just ridiculous. Especially the commenters:
Virginia Pharmacy Caters to Pro-Life Customers

I cannot stand the argument that people who receive their life direction from God get to live by different standards than the rest of the world, most of whom DO NOT SHARE their position. When you live in a world with many other people who are different from you, you have to have separate spheres for public policy and legislation versus religion and home life. This is a John Rawls principle that is the simplest answer I've seen to these kinds of arguments. Rawls argued that a narrow definition of public reason was necessary for the sake of achieving agreement in a pluralistic society.

He also argues that since many people have differing doctrines that are understood to be reasonable, those who insist in the public forum on acting solely on what they believe (and that others don't) are being unreasonable. Therefore, in a public sphere, this concept of the reasonable then displaces that of moral truth. Rawls states, "Once we accept the fact that reasonable pluralism is a permanent condition of public culture under free institutions, the idea of the reasonable is more suitable as part of the basis of public justification" (Source)

This is not so different from our constitutional (though eroding) separation of church and state. It is fine for you to have a faith that makes you live your life a certain way. But when that way is incompatible with all the other freedoms and basic rights of others, then you don't get to push that way of life on others.

I think I'm going to start going back and re-reading my philosophy and political and religious liberalism books from college. I miss this kind of learning, this kind of discussion.

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