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Where's The Beef?, Stanley Fish Dec 2014

Where's The Beef?, Stanley Fish

San Diego Law Review

A key concern of the papers written for this conference is the relationship between religious beliefs and secular beliefs of the kind that carry with them deep ethical obligations. Are these systems of belief essentially the same or are they different in important respects? The question is typically posed abstractly, and I thought it might be useful to have before us an example of religious belief and the demands that attend it. The example is taken from the beginning of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. Christian, Bunyan’s protagonist, has suddenly become aware that his salvation is imperiled, and he is …


Religion And Insularity: Brian Leiter On Accommodating Religion, Christopher J. Eberle Dec 2014

Religion And Insularity: Brian Leiter On Accommodating Religion, Christopher J. Eberle

San Diego Law Review

Crucial to Leiter’s overall case is the claim that there is no credible reason to accommodate religious objectors but not secular objectors: “[N]o one has been able to articulate a credible principled argument . . . that would explain why . . . we ought to accord special legal and moral treatment to religious practices.” He reaches this skeptical conclusion, in significant part, because he takes religion to be afflicted with a troubling defect, that is, religion involves commitment to categorical demands that are insulated from scientific and commonsensical scrutiny. But, I will argue, there is no good reason to …


Why Distinguish Religion, Legally Speaking?, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan Dec 2014

Why Distinguish Religion, Legally Speaking?, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan

San Diego Law Review

Law professors commonly answer this critique by scholars of religion, as Andrew Koppelman does, with the comment that, after all, any ambiguity in definition only arises in a few cases. Most of the time the reference is obvious, he says. Moreover, he insists, it has worked fine for all those for whom it should work. But that is the problem—its very obviousness. The problems of exclusion are largely invisible. The reference is so obvious to many and so obviously inclusive of those who are deserving that there is no way to have a conversation about it without the conversation devolving …


How Much Autonomy Do You Want?, Maimon Schwarzschild Dec 2014

How Much Autonomy Do You Want?, Maimon Schwarzschild

San Diego Law Review

At root, the questions of special accommodation and religious adjudicatory independence arise most urgently when a government grows in its reach and ambition. After all, if most areas of life, including those that touch on religious life, are left to people’s private arrangement, then not much special accommodation will be necessary. But when government takes control over more and more areas of life, regulating who shall do what and under what rules and conditions, then clashes with one or another religious way of life are almost inevitable. The dispute over government mandates to provide abortive drugs and contraception, in the …


Religion, Conscience, And The Case For Accommodation, William A. Galston Dec 2014

Religion, Conscience, And The Case For Accommodation, William A. Galston

San Diego Law Review

I do not believe that religion is an obsolete constitutional category. But I do believe that the holdings in United States v. Seeger and Welsh v. United States, the Vietnam-era draft cases that extended conscientious objector status to individuals invoking nonreligious claims, were correct. Can I consistently embrace both propositions? I think I can. My argument, in brief, is that religion is indeed special. But when we understand what it is about religion that warrants both distinctive privileges and distinctive burdens, we will see that some other systems of belief track these features of religion closely enough to warrant comparable …


Prediction Theories Of Law And The Internal Point Of View, Michael S. Green Dec 2014

Prediction Theories Of Law And The Internal Point Of View, Michael S. Green

San Diego Law Review

In my remarks here, I will try to defend Claus’s iconoclastic tone by identifying the important difference between prediction theories of law and Hart’s. I start with a number of distinctions. By a prediction theory of law I mean a theory under which a statement about the law, such as “The Securities Exchange Act is valid law,” is a prediction of the behavior and attitudes of people in a community. In addition to offering this theory, Claus tacks on what I will call a prediction theory of lawmaking, under which the words uttered or written by lawmakers are themselves essentially …


“Religion” As A Bundle Of Legal Proxies: Reply To Micah Schwartzman, Andrew Koppelman Dec 2014

“Religion” As A Bundle Of Legal Proxies: Reply To Micah Schwartzman, Andrew Koppelman

San Diego Law Review

The debate among legal scholars about whether religion is special is chronically confused by the scholars’ failure to grasp a point familiar in the academic study of religion: “religion” is a label for something that has no ontological reality. Religion has no essence. If it has a determinate meaning, it is simply because there is a settled and familiar practice of applying the label of religion in predictable ways. The question of religious accommodation arises in cases where a law can allow some exceptions. Many laws, such as military conscription, taxes, environmental regulations, and antidiscrimination laws, will accomplish their ends …


Religion As A Legal Proxy, Micah Schwartzman Dec 2014

Religion As A Legal Proxy, Micah Schwartzman

San Diego Law Review

In what follows, after briefly summarizing Koppelman’s position, I argue that his view is vulnerable to the charge that using religion as a legal proxy is unfair to those with comparable, but otherwise secular, ethical and moral convictions. Koppelman has, of course, anticipated this objection, but his responses are either ambivalent or insufficient to overcome it. The case for adopting religion as a proxy turns partly on arguments against other potential candidates. In particular, Koppelman rejects the freedom of conscience as a possible substitute. But even if he is right that its coverage is not fully extensive with the category …


Religion, Meaning, Truth, Life, Frederick Mark Gedicks Dec 2014

Religion, Meaning, Truth, Life, Frederick Mark Gedicks

San Diego Law Review

I am a believer, yet I will also say that it is simply not correct that only religion can offer deep meaning to life, and I can say this out of my own experience. Ordinary activities can be crucial to the meaning of one’s life, whether or not they are experienced or defined as “religious.” Though not all such activities are as morally serious as religious belief and practice, some are, and they are surely not “nihilistic” or “nothing” because they lack the character of transcendent religious truth.


Galston On Religion, Conscience, And The Case For Accommodation, Larry Alexander Dec 2014

Galston On Religion, Conscience, And The Case For Accommodation, Larry Alexander

San Diego Law Review

So these are some reasons why political theory might dictate that religious dissenters be accommodated even though, by enacting the laws to which the dissenters object, government indicates that it believes the dissenters err. If political theory justifies religious accommodations, however, then when government acts on the basis of political theory, is it establishing a religion? Bill argues, in support of Seeger, that claims of conscience derived from moral theory can qualify for accommodations under the Free Exercise Clause. But the two religion clauses in the Constitution use the noun “religion” only once. So if claims of conscience derived from …


Galston On Religion, Conscience, And The Case For Accommodation, Larry Alexander Oct 2014

Galston On Religion, Conscience, And The Case For Accommodation, Larry Alexander

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


To Seek And Save The Lost: Human Trafficking And Salvation Schemas Among American Evangelicals, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick Sep 2014

To Seek And Save The Lost: Human Trafficking And Salvation Schemas Among American Evangelicals, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

School of Peace Studies: Faculty Scholarship

American evangelicals have a history of engagement in social issues in general and anti-slavery activism in particular. The last 10 years have seen an increase in both scholarly attention to evangelicalism and evangelical focus on contemporary forms of slavery. Extant literature on this engagement often lacks the voices of evangelicals themselves. This study begins to fill this gap through a qualitative exploration of how evangelical and mainline churchgoers conceptualize both the issue of human trafficking and possible solutions. I extend Michael Young's recent work on the confessional schema motivating evangelical abolitionists in the 1830s. Through analysis of open-ended responses to …


Justice Douglas, Justice O'Connor, And George Orwell: Does The Constitution Compel Us To Disown Our Past, Steven D. Smith Jun 2005

Justice Douglas, Justice O'Connor, And George Orwell: Does The Constitution Compel Us To Disown Our Past, Steven D. Smith

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

Justice William O. Douglas's majority opinion in Zorach v. Clauson famously asserted that "[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." What did Douglas mean, and was he right? More recently, in cases involving the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance and other public expressions and symbols, the Supreme Court has said that the Constitution prohibits government from endorsing religion. Can Douglas's "Supreme Being" assertion be reconciled with the "no endorsement" prohibition? And does the more modern doctrine demand that we forget, falsify, or forswear our pervasively religious political heritage? This essay, presented as the William O. …


The Iceberg Of Religious Freedom: Subsurface Levels Of Nonestablishment Discourse, Steven Douglas Smith Nov 2004

The Iceberg Of Religious Freedom: Subsurface Levels Of Nonestablishment Discourse, Steven Douglas Smith

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This article discusses three levels of disagreement in establishment clause discourse– or what may be called the “lawyerly,” the “constitutive” (or “culture wars”), and the “philosophical” (or perhaps the “theological”) levels. Disagreement at the first of these levels is everywhere apparent in the way lawyers and justices and scholars write and argue; disagreement at the second level is somewhat less obtrusive but still easily discernible; disagreement at the third level is almost wholly beneath the surface. The manifest indeterminacy of lawyerly arguments suggests that in this area, premises are more likely to be derived from favored conclusions, not the other …


Nonestablishment Under God? The Nonsectarian Principle, Steven Douglas Smith Mar 2004

Nonestablishment Under God? The Nonsectarian Principle, Steven Douglas Smith

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

Using as a point of reference the Ninth Circuit's assertion in Newdow v. United States Congress that "[a] profession that we are a nation "under God" is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation "under Jesus," a nation "under Vishnu," a nation "under Zeus," or a nation "under no god," this essay attempts to disentangle three themes that the modern discourse of religious freedom often conflates, with baneful effect. We can call these the "public secularism" principle, the "neutrality" principle, and the "nonsectarian principle." The essay argues that the first two of these principles …


The Pluralist Predicament: Contemporary Theorizing In The Law Of Religious Freedom, Steven Douglas Smith Mar 2004

The Pluralist Predicament: Contemporary Theorizing In The Law Of Religious Freedom, Steven Douglas Smith

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

Religious pluralism is at once the cause of and a substantial impediment to theorizing about religious freedom. The purpose of theorizing in law is typically to impose order on an unruly collection of phenomena - of seemingly conflicting decisions, or doctrines, or legal arguments - and to do so by articulating and elaborating the foundational truths that govern the subject in question. In a condition of religious pluralism, however, theorists typically suppose that it is impermissible to appeal to contested religious beliefs. But these are the very beliefs that would provide the natural foundations for thinking about the proper relation …


“God Told Me To Kill”: Religion Or Delusion?, Grant M. Morris, Ansar Haroun Jan 2001

“God Told Me To Kill”: Religion Or Delusion?, Grant M. Morris, Ansar Haroun

San Diego Law Review

This Article explores how, in assessing the motivation of those who kill because they believe they were directed by God to do so, society distinguishes religious-based decisions from delusional decisions that result from mental disorder. Part II discusses how religion is defined in our society, and Part III considers the extent to which religious conduct, as opposed to religious belief, is protected from governmental intrusion.


The Place Of Religious Argument In A Free And Democratic Society, Robert Audi Nov 1993

The Place Of Religious Argument In A Free And Democratic Society, Robert Audi

San Diego Law Review

This Article provides an account of the notion of a religious argument, distinguishes several roles of religious arguments in a liberal democracy, and defends a set of principles for their proper use in such a society. The author argues that it is appropriate that citizens apply a kind of separation of church and state in their public use of religious arguments, especially in advocating laws or public policies that restrict liberty. More specifically, the author contends that whatever religious arguments one may have in such cases, one should also be willing to offer, and be to a certain extent motivated …


Liberalism, Religion And The Unity Of Epistemology, Larry Alexander Nov 1993

Liberalism, Religion And The Unity Of Epistemology, Larry Alexander

San Diego Law Review

This Article focuses on the relation between liberalism and religion. Professor Alexander argues that liberalism is itself just a sectarian view on the same level as the religious and other views that it purports to be neutral about and to tolerate. The Article shows that liberalism is a rejection of all illiberal religious tenets. It further contends that liberalism cannot make out its case for excluding religious arguments from shaping public policy. It concludes that to the extent liberalism is defined by or rests on the insulation of public policy from religious views, liberalism is undermined by its failure to …


Religion And Public Debate In A Liberal Society: Always Oil And Water Or Sometimes More Like Rum And Coca-Cola, Maimon Schwarzschild Nov 1993

Religion And Public Debate In A Liberal Society: Always Oil And Water Or Sometimes More Like Rum And Coca-Cola, Maimon Schwarzschild

San Diego Law Review

This Article analyzes the role of religion during the Enlightenment, particularly focusing on the negative views toward Christianity. The author explores the reasons why Christianity was not embraced by Enlightenment thinkers, and attempts to relate this to the modern view of religion. Where religious thinking posed a considerable threat to institutions in the era of Enlightenment, religious thinking arguably does not pose such a threat in modern times. The author concludes with an argument that the presence of religion in modern society strengthens pluralism, and thus strengthens liberal society itself.


Beyond Religion And Enlightenment, Charles Larmore Nov 1993

Beyond Religion And Enlightenment, Charles Larmore

San Diego Law Review

This Article addresses the theory that modern society is beyond religion. The author reasons that secularization is the result of Judeo-Christian monotheism. God's transcendence has led to his withdrawal from the world and thus to the autonomy of the world. The author analyzes such views and addresses the reasons for morality in modern society; whether it stems from belief in God, or a modern view that God is not necessary in order to have morality.


Contexts Of The Political Role Of Religion: Civil Society And Culture, David Hollenbach S.J. Nov 1993

Contexts Of The Political Role Of Religion: Civil Society And Culture, David Hollenbach S.J.

San Diego Law Review

This Article argues that we need to frame the question of the relation of religion to public life in a way that goes beyond discussion of the direct impact of religious convictions on policy choices. The Article considers religion's public influences, such as its influence on the multiple communities and institutions of civil society and on the public self-understanding of a society called culture. In considering these influences, the author offers a new perspective on the role of religious belief in the decisions of those who draft legislation, reach judicial decisions, administer the domestic and foreign affairs of the nation, …


The Pope's Submarine, John H. Garvey Nov 1993

The Pope's Submarine, John H. Garvey

San Diego Law Review

This Article looks at the conflict between religious authority and liberal politics from a point of view within the Catholic Church. It examines the grounds of the teaching authority asserted by the Church, the scope and strength of that authority, and the possibility that obedience to authority will create dilemmas for religiously committed public officials. For purposes of illustration it uses New York Governor Mario Cuomo's religious and political observations on the subject of abortion.