“O meu reino não é deste mundo” : Ronald Dworkin e o desafio da religião

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RESUMO:O artigo é um diálogo com o livro póstumo de Dworkin, Religion Without God. Em um primeiro momento, busco reconstruir fielmente o argumento de Dworkin neste livro e em outros escritos recentes, para então ver como a ideia dworkiniana de um direito geral à independência ética, em vez de um direito especial à liberdade religiosa, se aplicaria em um caso concreto. Em um segundo momento, eu analiso duas objeções que conservadores religiosos poderiam fazer contra o projeto liberal de Dworkin. A primeira objeção defende que o autor importa indevidamente para a religião uma distinção entre fato e valor que é típica da filosofia, mas não da religiosidade. A segunda objeção alega que a religião é um bem básico de caráter reflexivo, e não algo individualista como Dworkin dá a entender. Minha conclusão será de que a liberdade religiosa é um problema que demanda uma solução política, e que talvez a postura mais respeitosa em relação à religião reconheça que parte dela pode ser sacrificada em nome de outros valores que reputamos importantes.

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According to Ronald Dworkin, the right to freedom of religion is a mere implication of a more general right of ethical independence in foundational matters. For Dworkin, just as a particular religion cannot be treated as special in politics, religion cannot be considered sui generis in the political arena. This article argues that the right of religious freedom should be regarded as sui generis. The epistemological and ethical theories that support a Dworkinian approach to religious freedom are reductive and misconceived. These theories close the door to transcendent meaning and revealed religion, to a conception of religion as a fact and a value. The Dworkinian paradigm does not sufficiently protect the principles of pluralism and self-determination that are at the heart of religious freedom. Finally, this article argues that, when properly understood, the right to religious freedom is based on ethical autonomy and the unity of the person rather than on Dworkin’s theories of ethical independence and the unity of value.
Philosophy & Public Affairs 30.1 (2001) 3-26 My subject is freedom and in particular freedom as a political value. Many discussions of this topic consist of trying to define the idea of freedom, or various ideas of freedom. I do not think that we should be interested in definitions. I leave aside the very general philosophical point that if we mean, seriously, definitions, there are no very interesting definitions of anything. There is a more particular reason. In the case of ethical and political ideas, what puzzles and concerns us is the understanding of those ideas -- in the present case, freedom -- as a value for us in our world. I do not mean that we are interested in it only as it figures in precisely our set of values -- meaning by that, those of a liberal democratic society. Manifestly it is equally part of our world that such ideas are also used by those who do not share our values or only partly share them -- those with whom we are in confrontation, discussion, negotiation, or competition, with whom in general we share the world. Indeed, we will disagree among ourselves about freedom within our own society. We experience conflicts between freedom and other values, and -- a point I shall emphasize -- we understand some desirable measures as involving a cost in freedom. Whatever our various relations may be with others in our world who do or do not share our conception of freedom, we will not understand our own specific relations to that value unless we understand what we want that value to do for us -- what we, now, need it to be in shaping our own institutions and practices, in disagreeing with those who want to shape them differently, and in understanding and trying to co-exist with those who live under other institutions. In all their occurrences, these various conceptions or understandings of freedom, including the ones we immediately need for ourselves, involve a complex historical deposit, and we will not understand them unless we grasp something of that deposit, of what the idea of freedom, in these various connections, has become. This contingent historical deposit, which makes freedom what it now is, cannot be contained in or anticipated by anything that could be called a definition. It is the same here as it is with other values: philosophy, or as we might say a priori anthropology, can construct a core or skeleton or basic structure for the value, but both what it has variously become, and what we now need it to be, must be a function of actual history. In the light of this, we can say that our aim is not to define but to construct a conception of freedom. I shall not attempt a general account of what might count as constructing one or another conception of freedom. One might say that the notion of construction applies at different levels. We need to construct a value of freedom specifically for us; and we need a more generic construction or plan of freedom which helps us to place other conceptions of it in a philosophical and historical space -- which shows us, one might say, how other specific conceptions might be constructed in their own right. Some of the questions raised by these requirements would simply be a matter of terminology, of how we might use the term 'construction.' But there is a more significant consideration which links these two levels. The conception of freedom we need for ourselves is both historically self-conscious and suitable to a modern society -- and those two features are of course related to one another. Because of this, our own specific and active conception of freedom, the one we need for our practical purposes, will contain implicitly the materials for a reflective understanding of the more general possibilities of construction. However, it is just as important that the disputes that have circled around the various definitions and concepts of liberty do not just represent a set of verbal misunderstandings. They have been disagreements about something. There is even a sense in which they have been disagreements about some one thing. There must be a core, or a primitive...
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