“Many in elite circles yield to the temptation to believe that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot or a religious fundamentalist. Reason and science, they confidently believe, are on their side. With this book, I aim to expose the emptiness of that belief.” —From the introduction to Conscience and Its Enemies
Assaults on religious liberty and traditional morality are growing fiercer. Here, at last, is the counterattack.
Showcasing the talents that have made him one of America’s most acclaimed and influential thinkers, Robert P. George explodes the myth that the secular elite represents the voice of reason. In fact, George shows, it is on the elite side of the cultural divide where the prevailing views frequently are nothing but articles of faith. Conscience and Its Enemies reveals the bankruptcy of these too often smugly held orthodoxies while presenting powerfully reasoned arguments for classical virtues.
In defending what James Madison called the “sacred rights of conscience”—rights for which government shows frightening contempt—George grapples with today’s most controversial issues: abortion and infanticide, same-sex marriage, genetic manipulation, euthanasia and assisted suicide, religion in politics, judicial activism, and more. His brilliantly argued essays rely not on theological claims or religious authority but on established scientific facts and a philosophical tradition that extends back to Plato and Aristotle.
Conscience and Its Enemies elevates our national debates. It sets forth powerful arguments that secular liberals are unaccustomed to hearing—and that embattled defenders of traditional morality so often fail to marshal. It also lays out the principles and arguments for rebuilding a moral order.
What They're Saying...
“A fascinating mind at work: brilliant, of course, and learned, but, above all, tenacious. Robert George is the bulldog of American intellectuals—grasping hold of a topic and refusing to let it go until he’s gotten to the bone.”
— Weekly Standard
“This country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker.”
— New York Times Magazine
“One of the nation’s most respected legal theorists . . . Even people who profoundly disagree with some of his conclusions [respect] his sheer brilliance, the analytic power of his arguments, the range of his knowledge . . . [and] a deeply principled conviction, a profound and enduring integrity.”
— Elena Kagan, Supreme Court justice
“One of the most incisive legal and moral thinkers working today.”
— First Things
“One of contemporary conservatism’s intellectual pinups.”
— George F. Will
“George has done a great service in demonstrating that traditional morality still has an authoritative role to play in modern life, and in showing how a person of faith can enter the public square fearlessly, unashamedly, intelligently, and, above all, reasonably.”
— National Review
“An indispensable man.”
“Professor George has helped strengthen our nation’s system of ordered liberty by exploring enduring questions of American constitutional law and Western political theory.”
— President George W. Bush, in awarding the Presidential Citizens Medal