Equal Respect and the Enforcement of Morality

Social Philosophy and Policy 7 (02):180- (1990)
Abstract
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the question of when, if ever, the state may use coercion to enforce majority views about what types of conduct are right or wrong, noble or base, decent or indecent. Such interest has been generated by both political and philosophibal pressures. In recent political history, controversies over such issues as abortion, homosexuality, pornography, textbooks in schools, new reproductive technologies such as surrogate parenting and in vitro fertilization, and faith healing have focused attention on the role of the state in supporting or opposing various moral views. In political philosophy, often a theoretical reflection of the political debates of the time, we have seen renewed attempts to provide a satisfactory foundation for traditional liberal views of the legitimate scope of state power. In particular, there has been an emphasis on the neutrality of the liberal state and the right of individuals to be treated as equals by the state
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