Dealing Morally with Religious Differences

  • Sorin BaiasuEmail author
Part of the Studies in Global Justice book series (JUST, volume 7)


Our already acquired attitudes, beliefs and virtues considerably inform the way in which we formulate principles of toleration. For they affect our understanding of the needs, views and practices of other groups, and, as a result, they also affect our conception of how those groups should be treated fairly. But, if what we take to be tolerant turns out to be a practice, attitude or virtue which subtly discriminates against other groups, then all we end up with is another form of intolerance. In this paper, I defend an approach to the problem of accommodating religious differences, which makes possible the formulation of such fair principles of toleration. One of the keys elements of this approach is a Kantian, critical account of moral normativity. Such an account can explain how principles can have a normative force which is stronger than that conferred by intersubjectivity, but which need not be committed to the demanding assumptions of moral realism. While the approach I defend here is also appropriate more generally for the problem of dealing fairly with any morally relevant differences, I argue that the focus on religious differences and on a concern for accommodating differences morally make it particularly adequate for the issue of toleration.


Religious Practice Liberal State Moral Realism Religious Diversity Tolerant Attitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Monica Mookherjee for insightful and detailed comments on an earlier draft of this paper, and to the reviewers of the volume for very helpful suggestions. I have also benefited from discussion on issues related to this topic with Glen Newey and John Horton.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keele UniversityStaffordshireUK

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