Dr. Jude Chua Soo Meng – Richard Dawkins, Public Reasons and Atheism

Dr. Jude Chua Soo Meng is Asst. Prof. of Policy & Leadership Studies in the National Inst. of Education, Nanyang Technological University; Also a Visiting Research Fellow, TMI
Seminar on Wednesday 5 March 2008                                                  

Introduction

For Richard Dawkins the truth needs to be told: ‘If this book [The God Delusion] works as I intend, religious people who open it will be atheists when they put it down’ (2006, p.5) So, Dawkins clearly believes that the truth needs to be communicated. Truthful knowledge ought to be sought and promoted. This is a basic normative or moral principle that Dawkins is explicitly committed to. But what drives such a norm?  Dawkins is very clear what does not drive it.  It is not belief in God. (Dawkins, 2006: 222-226)  It is not religion. Morality does not depend on God.  It does not derive from a belief in God. At least for him this needs to be the case. Wherever it comes from, it is not derived from religious premises.  It is especially not from God’s commands. God, after all, does not exist.  

Dawkins is a naturalist, in two senses. Rather obviously, he is an ontological or metaphysical naturalist: for him no supernatural being exists. But more importantly he is also a naturalist insofar as his (moral) epistemology is concerned. For him the knowledge of morality is not dependent on a prior knowledge of God or anything supernatural. This is one aspect of his epistemic naturalism.

As a matter of fact, Dawkins has a very strong distaste for people who derive their moral norms from religion.  And that refers specifically to people who are ready to act on what their God tells them, whatever it is. And Dawkins is ready to label people who act based on faith (as he defines it) as people who act blindly, unthinkingly and unintelligently (Ibid., 286). Dawkins is of course troubled by the fact that people who act on the instructions of religion sometimes do very bad things. Even if they do not now do very bad things, Dawkins is worried that their religious education prepares them to do very bad things in the future. Dawkins would go so far as to suggest that religion not be taken seriously in itself, but be turned into an object of study under literature. Religion as religion, I take him to mean, ought to be done away with. But if Dawkins is taken to mean that religion produces violence, and hence should be done away with, then this argument is straightforwardly a very poor one. Not all religions promote violence. And if there is one which does, then we should perhaps do away with that, and not all the rest of the religions. Since he is an atheist, and atheists are very intelligent, he cannot be presumed to be making such a poor argument.  So there must be more than meets the eye here.

Dawkins, it appears to me, is troubled not merely by these possible consequences of a religious education. Indeed he is not, I think, principally troubled by the kinds of physical horrors that religion may open us to, as much as he is troubled by the kind of epistemic stance which religious adherence requires—at least according to him. For a fact, my guess is that even if religion were shown to never produce violence, Dawkins would still object to that religious epistemic stance. Indeed, if there were to be a religion that preaches non-violence, Dawkins would still be unhappy with it. At the heart of the matter is the idea that one needs to suspend one’s reasons, the suspension of which he believes defines the religious stance. For him, what is troubling is the willingness to set reason aside, and to succumb to some other non-reasonable (and not merely unreasonable) motivating principle or norm. (Ibid., 307-308) This is a very important result. And it is important because it highlights what alone for Dawkins should have normative authority.  Reasons have normative authority, and nothing else does. So if we are talking about what has moral authority, then moral reasons have that authority.  This is fully borne out by his suggestion that whatever morality comes from, it should be defensible by reasons. (Ibid., 232) This means that for him reasons are the final arbiter of what is admissible and what is not. 

This appears to me a second aspect of his epistemic naturalism, and a very important one. Besides the negative thesis that authoritative norms do not derive from religion or a belief in a supernatural God, there is the positive thesis that authoritative norms must derive from moral reasons. 

Now Dawkins, I explained earlier, believes that truth ought to be communicated. In the light of his epistemic naturalism, we need to ask what that entails. If Dawkins believes that the normative principle ‘that truth ought to be communicated’ is, as he would have it, robustly normative, then what does this imply for his epistemic functions? This is the task of the next section.

 

Robust Norms and Proper Function

This section explores Dawkins’ commitment to the promotion of truth and his belief in the fully robust normativity that drives such a commitment. Truth ought to be communicated or promoted. We need to consider what that implies.

We have already established that for Dawkins only reasons are robustly normative. This means that if Dawkins is committed to the normative principle that one ought to promote the truth, then either the principle that ‘truth ought to be promoted’ is already self-evidently a reason in the focal sense of something robustly normative, or else it can be defended by other self-evidently normative principles that are reasons in that same focal sense, and so too becomes fully normative on their account. Either way, that ‘truth ought to be sought’ is something that is fully normative, and hence is a reason.

Now, if the prescriptive claim that truth ought to be promoted is a reason that is fully normative, then that seems to be incompatible with a few things. Amongst these is the belief that one’s mental processes which endorse this reason can be working in a manner other than they way they are now working when they endorse this reason. By ‘can be working’ I do not mean ‘can possibly or logically be working’. Rather, I mean ‘can normatively be working’. I mean to say that is it incompatible to think it permissible for the mental processes to be working in any other way, so to deliver quite some different results. Of course logically, it can be the case that the mind might work quite differently and deliver quite different normative principles; insofar as it is logically possible, such a scenario is just one world amongst all the possible worlds. Yet this does not settle the question because even if that possible scenario may be true, should we not think that what has happened is in some sense objectionable?  Should we not think that it should not be the case, even though it is indeed the case? I think we should. I think we need to say that if the mind were working in some other way, it would not be working the way it should, and hence would not be working properly.   

To see this I suggest we consider a thought experiment.  Suppose we ask what Dawkins would have for breakfast and he decides based on the roll of a die. If he rolls evens, he will have toast, whereas if he rolls odds he will have wafers. While we may think this way of deciding what to want to eat somewhat unusual, I think we will respect his choice. And when he rolls evens, we would not think it in any sense wrong that he wants have toast, or that he wants to eat wafers. But suppose we ask Dawkins whether he thinks, from a moral point of view, what he ought to eat. And he replies that the way he decides is exactly the same. If he rolls evens, then for him he ought to eat toast, whereas if he rolls odds, then for him eating wafers would be the right thing to do, and not doing so wrong.  If this were his reply, I believe we would be very amused, but not very impressed.  Or again, suppose we asked him how he decides on other moral norms, if there are such.  We ask him whether for him the truth ought to be communicated, and just as well, he rolls his die, and seeing that it rolls evens, he answers that it should indeed. And having said that, he explains that had it rolled odds, he would have answered otherwise and committed himself to the prescription that truth ought not be communicated. Now, in this case, I think we may find his way of deciding on a moral norm to be both odd and also very unrespectable. We will, I think, quickly question his methods and the seriousness of his commitment to the moral norm. He may be very serious—he is ready to die for it.  But we would consider him a fool if he did; for us such a commitment cannot be serious.  It should not. This is because there is a basic incompatibility between the normative weight of a norm and its having a random origin. 

Now I think this would hold true even if supposing on every throw of the die evens prevail. Meaning to say, Dawkins consistently throws evens and decides that truth ought to be communicated. Suppose there is something in the nature of even numbers, in combination with the way Dawkins swings his arm and wrist, to surface on the topmost plane of a die. Compared to the scenario where odd numbers sometimes stood a chance, this scenario certainly appears somewhat less random.  In fact some might even say that it is not random, that there is a kind of internal mechanism that surfaces evens.  Indeed, it does seem that here, evens are always ‘selected’, and survive the game of dice. Yet, this scenario is still significantly random in this more important sense: that in another possible world where there is a different hand throwing it—i.e., in a different environment—it could be otherwise. And given the possibility that evens need not necessarily surface in all possible worlds, this consistent surfacing of evens in this world remains a random event. And if this result is random in this sense, we would be troubled if a moral decision was based on this. For it remains true that in another possible world, it could be otherwise, even though in this world it is always thus and not otherwise.

Now let us shift the thought experiment to a different level.

Suppose Dawkins wakes up one day and sees the world somewhat differently from the way he previously did.  Instead of looking forward to his usual toast with butter, he finds that he has now developed a taste for wafers with honey in the morning. This appears in all manners fine, of course. When one has a change of heart concerning taste there appears no tragic inconsistency. There is in principle nothing wrong with changing one’s taste.  A taste is a factual event: I like it, or I do not. If we are familiar with Dawkins’ eating habits we may think this rather unusual. But we would not consider Dawkins insincere or dishonest about his previous liking for toast. We can recall the times past when Dawkins enjoyed his toast, and at the same time accept the suggestion that now, unlike in the past, Dawkins thinks that the wafer is more desirable. We say, for example, that Dawkins is fully entitled to change his tastes. We would not criticise him, or his tastes.

But suppose besides this Dawkins begins to come to think that the truth ought not be promoted. So quickly he rushes about the bookstores in Oxford to acquire copies of his book in order to hamper their sales and circulation. Suppose we meet him in Oxford and ask him what he is doing, and whether he has found new reasons to think that he was in error about the commitment to promote the truth. He responds that he has indeed. But when we ask him to explain his new reasons, he responds that he had woken up this morning with his mind giving him the exact reverse prescriptions. His mind now tells him these new reasons. We are not sure if he is serious but after a while, we are convinced that he is. He really does think now that truth ought not to be sought, and that this is robustly normative or that the (also new) reasons that justify such a prescription are. What are we to make of this? Specifically, what are we to make of the idea that previously Dawkins believed that the truth ought to be sought and promoted? Can we simply accept the fact that his mind is somehow working in a new manner that delivers these new beliefs, whereas previously it had delivered opposing beliefs? We may be able to accept its reality: it has indeed occurred. But can we accept that his mind has altered its deliverances about a moral belief in the same sense that we are able to accept the fact that his mind has altered its deliverances about his tastes? Would we be willing to say that Dawkins is entitled to change his moral beliefs according to the whims of his mental processes, just as he is entitled to change his tastes according to the whims of his mental processes? Would we be equally uncritical of his adherence to those moral beliefs while he has them, as we are of his having those previous tastes?

I think not. I believe we would be troubled by an intuitive sense that there is a significant difference between the case of changing tastes and the case of changing moral beliefs, both due to a change in epistemic or mental processes. While we may not criticise the change of his tastes due to changes in his mental processes, we will not be equally generous with the change in moral beliefs and the related change in mental processes. If anything, we would criticise the trustworthiness and credibility of his moral beliefs. This is something we would not say of his previous and current tastes. Even though his tastes would change whimsically due to such radical changes in his mental faculties, while he has those tastes we would take those tastes seriously: ‘he truly thinks pieces of toast (or wafers) are more desirable, and he is entitled to do so’. But this is not the case in the parallel case of moral beliefs. We grasp that while he may be very serious about the moral beliefs he currently adheres to and is thoroughly committed to them, he really should not be. He is in some sense not entitled to take those moral beliefs seriously. And the reason is not because he changes them ever so frequently; after all he changes his tastes just as frequently. Instead, part of the reason, it seems to me, is that while a taste reports a fact about one’s desires, a moral belief reports a norm, which prescribes what ought or ought not to be. And while a fact as fact may have a totally random origin, the idea of a norm as norm with a thoroughly random origin seems seriously problematic. And rightly so! The nature of the origins of a fact does not alter the nature of a fact; whatever its origins, a fact is a fact. But the origin of norms has significant implications for the normativity of the norm. Specifically, as with the case in the first thought experiment where throwing a die to decide on norms severely undermines the normative weight of the resulting norm, so also when a norm has a random epistemic or mental source, the normativity of the norm cannot stand scrutiny. 

And if we pressed further with the question why the randomness of a norm’s origin is problematic for the norm as norm, it has to be because of the issue of arbitrariness. If we endorse a certain random origin, and we accept it as fine that the origin of a norm is random, we are implicitly saying that the norm has arbitrary origins. But if a norm’s origin is in fact arbitrary then the norm would itself be arbitrary, and hence cannot have any normative weight. This is because it is really no better than the exact opposite of what it prescribes. It has no superior claim in terms of its normative status. And this I think Dawkins will not deny: his whole project to promote adherence and attentiveness to reasons and his rejection of the ‘religious stance’ and religious education is motivated by the commitment to ensure that we adhere to what is truly normative, and that we do not allow ourselves to be bought over by anything whatsoever, i.e., what is arbitrary.

This is a very important result. It implies two things. Firstly, it means that if we are to insist that the norm is truly normative, then we cannot coherently allow that the norm has a random origin. This means that the epistemic source of that norm cannot be judged to be random. After all, if it is random then the norm would be arbitrary, which is not acceptable. But the origin of those norms includes our epistemic functions. The epistemic functions of the mind, which deliver that norm, cannot therefore be random in the deliverance of these norms. (Conversely, if it has a random origin, then we cannot take seriously its normative weight.) But if we mean to say that it cannot—ought not to be—random, then we mean to say that the way it works when it does is indeed the way it should work, and some other way it works will not be the way it should work. Meaning, the way it does now work is to work properly and anything other than this kind of proper function is a case of things gone wrong, things not functioning well or things not functioning properly. 

I, therefore, conclude that Dawkins is committed to the belief that his mind is working properly. And it does not matter that his epistemic faculties evolved over the millions of years to be what they are. If they evolved, they cannot have evolved randomly, and they cannot have evolved arbitrarily; they must have evolved in a way they ought to have evolved, so that they are presently working the way they ought to work, and hence the normative deliverances which prescribe what ought to be done can truly be prescribing what ought to be.

In other words, in the end, the penultimate source of that series of (secondary) causes which lead to the norm cannot be random. An intentional designer must be presumed to have been responsible in the first instance. In the context of evolutionary biology, where there is natural selection, that whole scenario where certain things are chanced to have survived has in the final analysis to be judged to be designed.  

Now the big question: but designed by what? By whatever itself cannot be other than what it is; it must be what it is since eternity and in all possible worlds, so that it itself is without origin, and not of random or arbitrary origin. This un-originated origin and designer we call God. (Also see Chua, 2006a.) God cannot have had an origin, since if it were possible for God to have originated, then he might have originated with a different nature, which means that another way of designing our epistemic moral faculties would have been possible. Again, God has to be what it is in all possible worlds, or else there might be another possible world where God is other than what it is in this world, and having a different nature its designs would be different, meaning then that the current design is arbitrary—‘it just so happens that we are in this world, when theoretically another world and another design might be been true for us’. These propositions are needed avoid the possibility that the source of our moral faculties is arbitrary, which would defeat the believed normativity of moral precepts. These conditions are necessary to survive any sensible charge of arbitrariness insofar as our moral faculties are concerned.

As an epistemic naturalist, Dawkins believes that moral reasons are self-evidently normatively robust.  He believes they exist, and that they ground his own moral actions, and should ground all other moral actions. This implies that he needs to be a metaphysical super-naturalist.  He needs to believe, if he is to be coherent, that there exists an eternally existing designer of our epistemic functions.  He needs to believe a supernatural being like God exists. 

 

Education, Indoctrination and Public Reasons

What has gone before is of course a matter of interest from the point of view of speculative truth. But it is also very significant from the point of view of the practical, especially where educational policies are concerned. Our conclusions can help us see how and why Dawkins’ policy prescriptions for religious education are incoherent and fall short.

Dawkins’ discussion of recent science education scandals (2006: 331-337) rightly highlights the importance of a sound understanding of speculative realities for the general raising of consciousness. I think he makes a very good point there. And I think—at least it seems to me—that he makes a good case when he argues that we should not indoctrinate our children, especially where religion is concerned. He therefore makes the case for the comparative study of religions in which incompatibilities of different world-views are exposed, and for letting the student decide for himself or herself which is valid—based doubtlessly on reasons. Such a position is not new. It is, in my opinion, an extension of the same point that the Catholic Church makes when it defends the right to religious freedom. Dignitatis Humanae (The Declaration on Religious Liberty) recognises that, as a matter of empirical fact, from a pedagogical standpoint, forcing someone to believe something would be futile. (Finnis, 2006)  From this it concludes that people are immune to religious coercion, and that people should hence be free from religious coercion. Just as well and by analogy, if indoctrination does not achieve its educational goal, it too should be considered vain and we should acknowledge, in reasonableness, that people are immune to it. So there is an immunity from indoctrination just as there is an immunity from religious coercion. This immunity grounds the freedom from indoctrination.

Yet Dawkins’ educational policies leave much to be desired, when he stops there. For this says nothing about whether or not one should privilege the true religion and defend and promote the true religion in other ways where there is no immunity. Yet finding other means to promote the true religion in ways where there is no immunity is what I think we must also do.

This policy does not mean that people should not be left to decide for themselves. Rather, even if we should encourage this, people should still not be left to themselves. These two strategies are not inconsistent. Thus for instance, I may not be able to swim on someone else’s behalf or to try to physically control his swimming strokes—if I did both of us might drown.  But that does not mean that I should leave such a person be to float to a place where sharks may devour him; I can for instance wave at him frantically and beckon him towards a better part of the sea.

And this need to find alternative methods to promote the truth in ways where there is no immunity is, it seems to me, also what the Church’s doctrine of religious liberty implicitly acknowledges. Dignitatis Humanae never forgoes the traditional idea that error has no rights. (Ibid., 19) Indeed, we have a right to know the truth about religion and hence which is the true religion, because there truly is an obligation to promote the good of truth and religion, for these are prescribed by the principles of natural law.  And therefore there is no (liberty) right to remain in ignorance, and to wade in the pool of falsehood, much less to promote it, precisely because there is indeed an obligation (on the part of others, as well as oneself), on account of the direction of natural law to promote the truth (of religion). It so happens that in seeking to promote this good there are certain real-world hindrances, viz. the various immunities that an audience has against certain methods or pedagogies. 

To liberal ears my suggestion would sound audacious. What is the ‘truth’? How could anyone presume to know the true from the false, or at least presume that he or she knows the truth, let alone to want to privilege it? I will offer something of a resolution of that objection in a later part of the paper.  But before we turn to that, we can already note the following. My critic’s response would merely signal a very important empirical fact that will support my case for the policy. His implicit contention is that it is not easy to know the truth about religions, and certainly it is not easy to arrive accurately at metaphysical truths. But given this, what will he prescribe? Will he say with Dawkins that people be left to themselves what to believe after a general exposure to the incompatible claims of the various religions? I think he should not. If he believes that left to themselves people who are exposed to incompatible religious ideas can easily and with accuracy sort out the best amongst the competition, then my critic must be naïve. Dawkins’ book is a case in point: why write a 400-page book defending a metaphysical world-view called atheism, and not settle it with 5 pages? Perhaps it is because there are complex arguments to be made for and against this world-view. But if things are so complex, then should we not give as much help as we can to guide and lure people to the truth? I think the answer has to be yes. Dawkins’ very professorship is a case in point. Why bother establishing a Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, one of the most prestigious institutions in the world? Why pay someone to promote the public understanding of the truths of science, and not leave all of us to our own devices?  Precisely because these gestures signal the importance of what that professorship teaches and they beckon us toward them. And in these there is arguably no immunity, because these gestures truly court our attention. Just as well, if there is a true religion, I would say that there is good warrant for a policy to publicly gesture its attractiveness, even if we must never coerce belief or indoctrinate for assent. These gestures may include establishing chairs in the teaching of that true religion at the tertiary level (alongside professorships for Comparative Religion), or at the secondary level, to be open (see Chua, 2006c) towards the intelligent study of that religion (outside of science) (see Chua, 2006b:55) in the curriculum, or the practice of that true religion, alongside the comparative study of world religions.

My critic may retort at this point that I have not yet answered his objection: that it is difficult to know the truth, and also perhaps the truth cannot be known by anyone with certainty. This suggests that I beg the question what ‘the true religion’ is. I admit that it will be not possible, within the limits of this paper, to fully defend an account of what the true religion will be. At least I cannot do so for my general critic; I am not sure what self-evident premises my general critic endorses. I will, however, be able to point out to Dawkins specifically and whosever like him will make public defence of truth claims (thinking as it were that such truth ought to be promoted) that such a true religion will have to be for him (and them) one which will be incompatible with atheism. It will be one that, at the very least admits that there is an intelligent, uncreated and eternal source who designed one’s epistemic processes with respect to one’s foundational moral prescriptions. And the reason, as was said above, is that Dawkins’ confidence in the normative weight of the moral motives (which drive his performative public act of the communication of what he believes is true) entails as a corollary such an uncreated designer, which we may call God. Put in another way, his belief in the robust normative weight of his moral motives entails defeat for a belief in atheism.

Just as well, and for the same reason, anyone who presumes to make public normative statements about practical affairs—public reasons—cannot consistently deny the existence of such a God. For whatever one claims to be a normatively weighty prescription cannot have random or arbitrary origins. 

This insight is I think reflected in Finnis’s attack on Hart’s account of the normative source of the rules of law, one of the most significant expressions of public reasons. Hart, as I read him, sought to ground the normativity of primary legal rules through their recognition by a secondary rule. But the secondary rule of recognition itself had normative weight simply because it had been adopted as a rule by the relevant community when it was used to guide its users reflectively. (Hart, 1994:108) Nothing else was said to explain why that rule of recognition was normative. Indeed, Jules Coleman went so far so say that at the end of the day, no philosophical reason could be offered: at best it was the way things occurred. Only a sociological or psychological explanation—really a description rather than an explanation—was possible for the existence of the normativity of the secondary rule of recognition. He writes:

The internal point of view should be understood … as the exercise of the basic and psychological capacity of human beings to adopt a practice or pattern of behavior as a norm. This capacity can be given a philosophical analysis in terms of behavioral and psychological dispositions—among them, the disposition to conform to the norm or rule, to evaluate oneself and others on its basis, and to form certain beliefs and other intentional states associated with such a commitment. However, there may be no further philosophical explanation of the ground or source of this capacity. Its existence is to be explained in some other way—causally, sociologically, biologically, or more broadly, by invoking an evolutionary argument that identifies that adaptive value of such a capacity (for example, its usefulness to individuals in enabling them to undertake projects and to secure the gains of coordinative activity). Understood in this more sophisticated sense … as the exercise of a basic capacity to adopt a pattern of behavior as a norm—the internal point of view is essential to the explanation of the Rule of Recognition’s normativity. (Coleman, 2001: 369) 

But this was really not an answer so much as an implicit admission that there was something seriously inadequate about Hart’s account of the source of the normativity of the rule of recognition. Indeed for Hart it was in principle possible for the rule of recognition to be anything, and to prescribe anything. But then that means the rule of recognition really can have quite arbitrary origins and—if you will grasp the tension here—the normativity of the rule of recognition would hence be severely undermined.  Really there was no way to concede consistently that any legal rule had normative weight except (1) through its having a rational connection to something which we can acknowledge as having self-evident normative weight and, I would argue, (2) by admitting that the ultimate source of the rule is not arbitrary. With respect to (1), Finnis, following Aquinas, explained that positive law was either a direct derivation of natural law, or else an application via determinatio from natural law. (See Finnis, 1998: 266-268) And natural law is self-evidently normative. But natural law itself, while robustly normative, cannot be coherently maintained to be so if its own source were arbitrary.  This then implies (2) that one must admit that an uncreated designer, God, exists.

Insofar as public reasons are often expressed and formalised as laws and public policies, then any law or public policy in its focal sense, i.e., insofar as it is truly authoritative, cannot cohere with an atheistic world-view. This is because that from which public reasons are determined (determinatio) cannot itself be arbitrary. In other words, we have a defeater for atheism as a world view; if we are to take our legal and public prescriptions seriously, as significantly and focally normative, we cannot compatibly endorse the atheistic world-view. In a word, the discourse of public reasons taken seriously demands the rejection of the atheistic world-view. 

 

The Last Laugh

Dawkins’ atheism cannot be coherently maintained. His reasons and policies for bridling religious education are flawed. Though always in good humour, Dawkins will not have the last laugh. One sees on the shelves of book stores the many copies of The God Delusion on sale. Here is a book ardently and seriously defending the truth as it sees it: that God does not exist, and that religious people are deluded. But the fact remains that Dawkins has to be committed to God’s existence, given his reasonable and moral ideal to promote the truth, as we have seen. In the end what we merely have here is, in a moment’s reflection, a kind of performative self-contradiction. The fact that the book was written is an ironical demonstration that a belief in God is unwittingly entailed.  In the end the very writing of the book ultimately contradicts its very own claims. As Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Dawkins forgot to look at a most important piece of evidence for a belief in God’s existence: himself. This unfortunate oversight might have been avoided, if Dawkins were Professor of the Scientific Understanding of Public Reason.


References

Chua, Soo Meng Jude (2006a) ‘The Reason of God: Practical Reasoning and its Anti-Naturalistic Implications’, Periodicum Angelicum, Vol 83, 21-42.

Chua, Soo Meng Jude, (2006b) A Philosophy of Education: Learning and Teaching Meaningfully and Responsibly (Singapore, Prentice Hall). 

Chua, Soo Meng Jude, (2006c) ‘What Is A School?: An Answer Consistent With Human Rights’, Educational Research For Policy and Practice. Nov 2006, Vol. 5 (3), 225-234.  Available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/t06t240623547887/

Coleman, Jules, (2001) ‘The Conventionality Thesis’, in Social, Political and Legal Philosophy (Philosophical Issues Vol. 11). In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva, (ed.), (Oxford, Blackwell), 354-387

Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (London, Bantam Press)

Finnis, John M. (1998) Aquinas: Moral, Political and Legal Theory, (NY, OUP)

Finnis, John M. (2006) ‘Religion and State: Some Main Issues and Sources’, American Journal of Jurisprudence, Vol. 51, Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=943420

HART, H.L.A. (1994), The Concept of Law, 2nd edn., (NY, OUP)

 

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