What Is Wrong with Divinitia?

In: Secular Studies

Abstract

Theorists of liberalism put forward diverse conditions for what makes a state just and legitimate. In what follows I examine Cécile Laborde’s suggestion that a just and legitimate liberal state may have an established religion. Such a state may take the form of what she calls Divinitia: a state with some symbolic recognition of religion, conservative laws in matters of bioethics including abortion, religious accommodation from general laws, and religious references in public debate. I argue that Laborde’s requirement that public justification of policies by public officials is conducted in terms of accessible reasons either rules out too many or too few policies. I then suggest that not only justice but also the legitimacy of states can be ensured only if concern for justice has a greater role to play in the selection of state policies than Laborde suggests. We have good reasons to doubt that Divinita would qualify as just and legitimate.

  • Fowler Timothy and Stemplowska Zofia. 2015. “The Asymmetry Objection Rides Again: On the Nature and Significance of Justificatory Disagreement” Journal of Applied Philosophy 32(2): 133–146.

  • Laborde Cécile. 2017. Liberalism’s Religion. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press.

  • Pettit Phillip. 2015. “Justice: Social and Political” in Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 1 ed. David Sobel Peter Vallentyne and Steven Wall (Oxford: Oxford University Press) pp. 9–35.

  • Jonathan Quong. 2011. Liberalism Without Perfection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Stemplowska Zofia and Swift Adam. 2018. “Dethroning Democratic Legitimacy” in Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Volume 4 ed. David Sobel Peter Vallentyne and Steven Wall (New York: Oxford University Press) pp. 3–27.

  • Valentini Laura. 2012. “Assessing the Global Order: Justice Legitimacy or Political Justice?” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15(5): 593–612.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 108 108 9
Full Text Views 14 14 0
PDF Downloads 7 7 0