Are Religious Values Paramount?

Key documents on human rights tend to give religious values a privileged status, for example the US First Amendment, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. The presentation considers why religious values are held to be particularly important, and discusses a number of case studies which suggest that such values may not always be paramount. Religious values should not be dismissed because they seem absurd, uncomfortable, or inconvenient, but should only receive privileged treatment if they are sincerely held, form part of a system, and govern important aspects of the believer’s life. They may be limited by rights of property, potential human harm, and respect for culture. Religion is essentially a social phenomenon, therefore emphasis should be placed on the role of the community in determining the legitimacy of its religious beliefs and values.

Read presenter biographies.

Posted by IAFOR