Prophylactic Neutrality, Oppression, and the Reverse Pascal's Wager

Ethical Perspectives 19 (3):527-535 (2012)
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In Beyond Neutrality, George Sher criticises the idea that state neutrality between competing conceptions of the good helps protect society from oppression. While he is correct that some governments are non-neutral without being oppressive, I argue that those governments may be neutral at the core of their foundations. The possibility of non-neutrality leading to oppression is further explored; some conceptions of the good would favour oppression while others would not. While it is possible that a non-neutral state may avoid oppression, it is argued that the risks are so great that it is better to bet on government being neutral, thereby minimizing the possibility of oppression.
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