I hold a particular stance, which may or may not be consistent. I would like to know if this stance has a name.

  • I believe religion is not just wrong but harmful.
  • I support freedom of religion.
  • I do not spend time advocating against religion.
  • I would not support a ban on religion.
  • I would not support government spending on religious activity.

I would summarize this as saying that I just because I think something is harmful, I don't believe it is appropriate (or practical) to force others to adopt that view, even if they are harming themselves and others.

Is there a name for this stance? Including if it's fallacious.

  • 1
    I don't think there is a name specially for this. On the question whether non-coercion is more important than harm prevention, I would suggest that it depends on how harmful the harm is and how coercive the coercion is.
    – Ludwig V
    Dec 16, 2022 at 14:31
  • @LudwigV that is helpful, because while writing this I realized I don't hold the same stance on all issues (I support bans in some cases)
    – user63845
    Dec 16, 2022 at 14:57
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    From some aspect you are Tolerant and you are a supporter of Secular state. Dec 16, 2022 at 15:23
  • 1
    @MauroALLEGRANZA thanks, I strongly suspect that tolerant (as defined by your link) with it's apparent contradictions, is exactly what I'm looking for
    – user63845
    Dec 16, 2022 at 16:49
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    Well, @LeeMcGee, you could coin a new phrase for this position/stance. If you'd like a suggestion, how about calling it the Tobacco Stance (tobacco companies are required by law to inform the public of the dangers of tobacco, but people are still free to smoke)? Dec 19, 2022 at 5:56

1 Answer 1


The stance you had described is live and let live or laissez-faire attitude towards religion. Laissez-faire is a French phrase meaning "let do" or "let it be." In the context of religion, a laissez-faire attitude towards religion would involve allowing individuals to freely practice their religion or to not practice any religion at all, without interference or coercion from the state or other authorities. This perspective is characterized by a belief in the importance of individual freedom and the idea that individuals should be free to make their own decisions and choices, even if those choices might be harmful to themselves or others. So it is worth noting here this perspective can sometimes be challenged or criticized on the grounds that it allows harmful beliefs or practices to continue unchecked, and that there may be situations in which it is necessary to take action to prevent harm or to protect the rights of individuals. However, in general, the live and let live or laissez-faire attitude can be seen as a way to promote respect and understanding between people with different beliefs and values. This perspective can also be seen as a form of tolerance or pluralism, in which individuals are willing to accept and respect the beliefs and practices of others, even if they disagree with them. It is important to note, however, that tolerance does not necessarily mean that one agrees with or approves of the beliefs or actions of others, but rather that one is willing to coexist peacefully with those who hold different views.

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