- Sep 2021
liberty of conscience
"Liberty of conscience" is a phrase Roger Williams uses in a religious context to denote the freedom for one to follow his or her religious or ethical beliefs. It is an idea that refers to conscious-based thought and individualism. Each person has the right to their own conscience. It is rooted in the idea that all people are created equal and that no culture is better than the other.
This idea is strongly tied to: freedom from coercion of conscience (own thoughts and ideas), equality of rights, respect and toleration. It is a fundamental element of what has come to be the "American idea of religious liberty". Williams spoke of liberty of conscience in reference to a religious sense. This concept of individualism and free belief was later extrapolated in a general sense. He believed that government involvement ended when it came to divine beliefs.
Citation: Eberle, Edward J. "Roger Williams on Liberty of Conscience." Roger Williams University Law Review: vol 10:, iss: 2, article 2, pp. 288-311. http://docs.rwu.edu/rwu_LR/vol10/iss2/2. Accessed 8 Sept. 2021.