Religion, Pacifism, and the Doctrine of Restraint

Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (2):203 - 224 (2006)
The doctrine of restraint is the claim that citizens and legislators ought to restrain themselves from making political decisions solely on religious grounds. That doctrine is normally construed as a general constraint on religious arguments: an exclusively religious rationale "as such" is an inappropriate basis for a political decision, particularly a coercive political decision. However, the most common arguments for the doctrine of restraint fail to show that citizens and legislators ought to obey the doctrine of restraint, as we can see by reflecting on those arguments as they bear on the Agapic Pacifist's rationale for denying that even legitimate political authorities may use lethal military force
Keywords public reason  doctrine of restraint  pacifism  liberalism  religion and politics
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John Rawls (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia University Press.

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