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A Theory of Religious Accommodation

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This paper examines the moral case for a right to religious accommodation, which requires that religious conduct be free of any serious burdens placed on it by the state. Two different types of normative argument for this right are outlined and rejected. The first appeals to religion as a ‘basic good’, and the second to religion as an ‘intense preference’. In place of these, I suggest that a third type of argument has greater prospects of success. Religious accommodation is justified on the grounds that religious conduct is a ‘derivative good’— that is, it derives its value from its being necessary for something else, namely, the integrity of the religious person.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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