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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE and HUMANITY ENHANCED.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hamilton and Ormerod at the ABC Religion and Ethics Portal - actually, Hamilton's piece is okay for what it is...

Hang on, first go here for the context!

Andrew Hamilton struggles with Catholicism's political role:

This reflection on the way in which Catholics might both claim a privileged access to truth through their faith, and yet engage in open conversation about public policy may seem tortuous and byzantine to those with no commitment to faith. But a similar challenge faces anyone who brings to public conversation conscientiously held beliefs and values. They need to reflect on how they can negotiate the unique and untradeable value of each human life the unique and untradeable value of each human life with others without sacrificing their integrity.
Well, yes. It does seem tortured and byzantine. That's because it is tortured and byzantine. But at least he sees the problem.

However, it's not a problem for just anyone with "conscientiously held beliefs and values". Many people have such "beliefs and values" without thinking that they should all be imposed by state power on those who don't share them. E.g. I believe that the Catholic Church is a pretty dreadful institution, but I don't ask that it be suppressed by the use of state power.

And Neil Ormerod gives a reminder of the problems Catholics have in getting their own house in order. Fine, good for him

I don't, however, see any actual dissent from Vatican doctrine on sexuality, reproductive freedom, or religious morality in general.

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