[SydPhil] Macquarie Philosophy WiP Seminar on Tuesday 10 October 2023 – Dr Louise Richardson-Self (University of Tasmania)

FoA Philosophy Seminars foa.philseminars at mq.edu.au
Wed Oct 4 13:37:08 AEDT 2023

Dear all,

You are invited to attend the next Macquarie Philosophy Work-in-Progress Seminar on Tuesday 10 October 2023 from 1:00 to 2:00pm.

Attend in-person at 25B Wally's Walk, Room B603.
Attend online: https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/d7WYCyojxQT7OB15KCZsuH1?domain=macquarie.zoom.us
Password: seminar

Speaker: Dr Louise Richardson-Self (University of Tasmania)

Title: Questioning Religious Freedom to Discriminate

Abstract: Some religious agents maintain LGBTQ+ people’s behaviour violates God’s law, or the natural order, or else the right/good way to live (or etc.). They maintain God’s imperative is clear and incontrovertible; it is wrong to act upon queer proclivities. Consequently, if such agents are to live piously, it follows that “religious self-defence against a profane world may take the form of separatism”. This separation can be achieved by mechanisms of exclusion and refusal (Rosenblum 2003, p. 33). (Here, I do not ask what the state ought to be able to prevent or force religious agents to do. Following Tunick, “the question is not whether the state can force one group to be sensitive to the needs of another group. Rather, the issue is how each group should conduct itself of its own volition” (2021, p. 298).) Since theirs is a set of meaning-generating beliefs of core moral and spiritual significance, are outsiders obliged to enable or allow special spaces of social seclusion for religious agents, spaces where they may be free to engage only with those other persons who share their spiritual convictions? An obvious retort states that LGBTQ+ people have a right to non-discrimination, and thus concludes that exclusion and refusal are wrong no matter how cherished the belief. However, I argue that ‘discrimination’ is the wrong barometer in this ‘clash of rights’; instead, we should shift our focus to ‘oppression’, and ask whether practices of exclusion or refusal contribute to it.

For any queries about the Macquarie Philosophy Work-in-Progress Seminars, please contact foa.philseminars at mq.edu.au<mailto:foa.philseminars at mq.edu.au>.

Best regards,


Dr Regina Fabry (she/her)
ARC Discovery Early Career Research Awardee
Department of Philosophy
Level 7, 25B Wally’s Walk
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
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