Religious reasoning in politics: a discussion of public reason /

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2017

Thesis Language: English

Student: Sümeyye Sakarya



This thesis has the goal of exploring the proper place of religious reasoning in liberal politics, and the main research question of the thesis is: Should religious reasoning which means reliance on a religious ground in the decision-making process be allowed in politics? In the literature, almost all discussion of religious reasons has been carried out in relation to public reason: are religious reasons public reasons, can a religious justification be accepted as a public justification, what is the scope of public reason, and does this scope include and influence ordinary religious citizens in addition to religious public officials? The main argument in this literature is the Doctrine of Religious Restraint (DRR): citizens should not support any law for which they have only religious reasons. Collaboration of a public secular rationale is required. First argument for the DRR is the argument from respect. It claims that respect requires the restraint of religious reasons. Second argument is the epistemic argument for the DRR. It argues that the epistemic status of religious reasons is not sufficient to be counted as public justification. In the light of these discussions, the thesis argues that the arguments for the DRR have vital drawbacks for justifying the DRR which prevent them from restraining religious reasons in politics.