CBET Lecture: Should There be Freedom of Dissociation?
Liberal, democratic societies all recognise freedom of association as a fundamental right. Broadly, every person is free to associate with whomever they want as long as such association is not a danger to society, to form whatever organisations they wish. What, however, about the obverse? Why should there not be freedom of dissociation – the right to withdraw one’s association from any organisation or body one wishes, as long as one is not a danger to society? Why should one not have a right to be, as it were, left alone? I examine this question in the context of the increasing pressure on some groups, particularly religious ones, to be involved in behaviour or activities to which they object on religious and/or conscientious grounds, both within and outside health care. Prof Oderberg will examine whether a recognised freedom of dissociation might at least solve some of the paradoxical and even intolerable situations that would arise if freedom of conscience and/or religion were not given the respect it should have in a liberal, pluralistic society.
About the Speaker: David Oderberg is Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading, and author of 60 articles and four books including Moral Theory and Applied Ethics, and editor of Human Lives: New Essays on Non-Consequentialist Bioethics. Prof Oderberg’s feature on conscience was published in the April 2017 issue of Journal of Medical Ethics. He was recently named by a major US website for college applicants as one of the 50 most influential philosophers in the world.
All welcome. Tea and Coffee will be served from 5.30pm.
Subscribe to our news and events mailing list for information about upcoming events at St Mary's.