This chapter presents an account of what makes religious claims of conscience distinctive. If there is a special reason to tolerate religion it has to be because there are features of religion that warrant toleration, and these features are either: (1) features that all and only religious beliefs have, either as a matter of (conceptual or other) necessity or as a contingent matter of fact; or (2) features that other beliefs have, or might have, but which in these other cases possession of the features would not warrant principled toleration. The chapter asks: Are there features of religious belief that, either necessarily or simply contingently, distinguish religious beliefs from other kinds of belief that might warrant toleration?
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