Chief Justice's comments scrutinised

The Chief Rabbi of SA agrees with certain aspects of comments made by the Chief Justice.

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein. Picture:EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein says along with the law, there needs to be a shared moral vision for South Africa.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been criticised for his suggestion that infusing religion into law will help create a more moral society.

Speaking at the Annual African Law and Religion conference at the University of Stellenbosch, on Tuesday, Mogoeng said the country's degenerated morality could be effectively turned around if religion were to be factored into law making practices .

He told the conference South Africans can only become better people if religion is allowed to influence the laws that govern daily lives, starting with the Constitution.

Goldstein said he agrees with the Chief Justice on certain aspects.

"Perhaps what the Chief Justice is saying and perhaps on this point we can all agree on one thing, and that is to build a great country, we can't do it through a technical legalistic approach alone. Together with the law, we do need to embrace a shared moral vision for all South Africans."

But independent ethics consultant Martin Prozesky has cautioned that religion and law should always be separate.

He said the chief justice's comments are problematic.

"I think there are some serious problems here. The most fundamental one is to make it completely clear that moral goodness doesn't depend on or require religious belief. We stone adulterers to death for example and religion long tolerated slavery and in some cases may still. So you have to keep the two separate."