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LoyaltyAn Essay on the Morality of Relationships$
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George P. Fletcher

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098327

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195098327.001.0001

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Loyalty as Privacy

Loyalty as Privacy

(p.78) Chapter 5 Loyalty as Privacy

George P. Fletcher

Oxford University Press

Loyalty, like privacy, should be protected from state interference. The laws of testimonial privileges, surrogate motherhood and testate insulate family loyalties from the power of the state. Protected loyalties can be expanded from the family to larger social groups. The state has a compelling reason to protect religious beliefs, as opposed to deeply held personal beliefs. In Western culture, religion is based on individual loyalty to a transcendental authority that precludes wholehearted allegiance to a secular authority. Yet in order for a claim of higher authority to be plausible it must be embedded in community practice and an objective source such as a written text or oral tradition. Loyalty to God then becomes meshed with loyalty to community and tradition. Although there are limits to the extent that society can defer to the values of subcultures, in principle, the state should defer to loyalties of friendship, family and religion.

Keywords:   privacy, testimonial privileges, surrogate motherhood, inheritance, religion, family, community, friendship, multiculturalism, loyalty

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