Created on Monday, 06 June 2011 08:00
DUBLIN DECLARATION ON SECULARISM AND THE PLACE OF RELIGION IN PUBLIC LIFE
On Sunday 5 June 2011, the conferees at the AAI World
Atheist Convention in Dublin
discussed and adopted the following Declaration On Secularism And The Place Of Religion In Public Life.
- Personal Freedoms
Freedom of conscience, religion and belief are private
and unlimited. Freedom to practice religion should be limited only by the need to respect the rights and freedoms of others.
All people should be free to participate equally in the
Freedom of expression should be limited only by the
need to respect the rights and freedoms of others. There should be no
right ‘not to be offended’ in law. All blasphemy laws, whether explicit
or implicit, should be repealed and should not be enacted.
- Secular Democracy
The sovereignty of the State is derived from the people
and not from any god or gods.
The only reference in the constitution to religion
should be an assertion that the State is secular.
The State should be based on democracy, human rights
and the rule of law. Public policy should be formed by applying reason, and not religious faith, to evidence.
Government should be secular. The state should be
strictly neutral in matters of religion and its absence, favouring none and discriminating against none.
Religions should have no special financial consideration
in public life, such as tax-free status for religious activities, or grants to promote religion or run faith schools.
Membership of a religion should not be a basis for appointing
a person to any State position.
The law should neither grant nor refuse any right,
privilege, power or immunity, on the basis of faith or religion or the absence of either.
- Secular Education
State education should be secular. Religious education,
if it happens, should be limited to education about religion and its absence.
Children should be taught about the diversity of
religious and nonreligious philosophical beliefs in an objective manner, with no faith
formation in school hours.
Children should be educated in critical thinking and
the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge. Science should be taught free from religious interference.
- One Law For All
There should be one secular law for all, democratically
decided and evenly enforced, with no jurisdiction for religious courts to settle civil matters or family disputes.
The law should not criminalise private conduct because
the doctrine of any religion deems such conduct to be immoral, if that private conduct respects the rights and freedoms of others.
Employers or social service providers with religious
beliefs should not be allowed to discriminate on any grounds not essential to the job in question.