Högre seminariet i filosofi och vetenskapsteori bjuder in till seminarium med Bouke de Vries, "Four Justifications of Conscientious Exemptions"
Within religiously and ideologically diverse societies, it is common for laws and rules to burden the conscience of citizens whose moral views differ from those of the majority. Whilst many scholars believe that, in some cases, such burdens should be relieved by granting exemptions, they have failed to answer an important objection raised by Richard Arneson. In a nutshell, Arneson’s objection is that when laws and rules are morally justified, denying exemptions to conscientious objectors is permissible because it helps to honour these individuals’ commitments to doing the morally right thing even when they do not realise this and sometimes never will. This article argues that Arneson’s argument only counts against exempting people based on any moral objections that they might have to the content of specific laws and rules. As I show, there four other grounds on which conscientious exemptions from morally justified laws and rules might be due.