Volokh on Legislating Morality

| | Comments (1)

Volokh seems to agree with me on the issue of legislating morality (or what people call that, anyway). His fundamental claim:

... religious people are entitled to try to enact their moral views (which stem from their religious views) into law, just as secular people are entitled to try to enact their moral views (which stem from their secular, but generally equally unprovable, moral axioms) into law.

Update: A Physicist's Perspective has more.

In his response to a nut who thinks people want to outlaw being homosexual (which Volokh noticeably avoids commenting on), he argues that even views that we almost all agree on just involve appeal to some moral intuition, and the cases where we disagree stem from genuine moral disagreements on the level of intuitions. It's helpful to see how this is done in specific cases, and he explains how it goes for quite a few issues.

I think there are other ways to argue against the kind of policy opponents of the religious right hate, but you can't do it in terms of not allowing people to legislate based on morality, not unless you're going to redefine 'morality' as not just ethical reasoning in general but religious motivations with no civil value (of course there will be debate over what has civil value, but that's in the realm of ethics).


You make good points about legislating morality. My contention is that it's impossible to avoid because that is precisely the function of government. Every law or legal regulation is rooted in some notion of right and wrong. Even when governments enact laws or enforcement procedures that most people in their society would call wrong, they attempt to portray those laws or procedures as being morally right.

Leave a comment


    The Parablemen are: , , and .



Books I'm Reading

Fiction I've Finished Recently

Non-Fiction I've Finished Recently

Books I've Been Referring To

I've Been Listening To

Games I've Been Playing

Other Stuff


    thinking blogger
    thinking blogger

    Dr. Seuss Pro

    Search or read the Bible

    Example: John 1 or love one another (ESV)

  • Link Policy
Powered by Movable Type 5.04