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Should churches pay taxes? Show more Show less

Church tax exemption is hotly debated. Although several countries require church members to pay a tax, many consider churches as tax-exempt. In discussions related to this policy, a nation’s perception of religious freedom and the common good is pivotal. Does the tax-exempt status of churches protect or violate these values?

Yes, churches should pay taxes Show more Show less

The tax-exempt status of churches threatens religious freedom and the common good by sowing the seeds of injustices.
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A church tax would reflect the values of modern society

The tradition of church tax-exemption is antiquated and does not belong in the modern age.
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Context

The Argument

The church tax exemption is antiquated. Historically, this tradition finds its roots in more religious time periods. The modern age leaves no room for such a policy because it no longer assumes the religious involvement of all citizens. Since a portion of modern society's population is non-religious, the government ignores shifting attitudes toward religion by maintaining church tax exemption. A church tax has emerged in many European countries such as Italy, Spain, and Germany, to name a few.[1] By implementing the tax, these communities "caught up" with modern times, and have seen no decline in religious involvement.[2]

Counter arguments

The argument assumes that earlier times were more religious than the modern age. There is no evidence to support this.

Framing

Premises

[P1] The lack of taxes for churches is a policy from a time when religion played a much more important role in society. [P2] It is no longer relevant.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] People are not necessarily less religious now.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/09/22/in-some-european-countries-church-membership-means-paying-more-taxes/
  2. https://www.pewforum.org/2019/04/30/in-western-european-countries-with-church-taxes-support-for-the-tradition-remains-strong/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 15:04 UTC