conscientious objection


Definition of conscientious objection

: objection on moral or religious grounds (as to service in the armed forces or to bearing arms)

Examples of conscientious objection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Doctors and health professionals can claim conscientious objection to performing abortions, but cannot invoke the right if a pregnant woman’s life or health is in danger. Almudena Calatrava,, "Argentina’s abortion law enters force under watchful eyes," 24 Jan. 2021 The immunization requirement originally exempted people with medical reasons, people who submitted a conscientious objection to immunization, and members of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "A prime minister said a COVID-19 vaccine might be mandatory. Hours later, he backtracked," 20 Aug. 2020 The courts have also been clear, however, that occasional conscientious objection doesn’t count as a reason to disobey orders. Dwight Stirling, The Conversation, "Why soldiers can’t claim conscientious objection if ordered to suppress protests," 30 June 2020 In 1967, world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali met with a group of the top black athletes in the country, who questioned him about his conscientious objection to serving in the Vietnam War. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's 'Fix it, Black Girl' celebrates the resilience and power of black women," 9 June 2020 Civil disobedience and conscientious objection are core to our national mythology if not consistent in our historic practice. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "What lockdown protests are really about," 22 Apr. 2020 The ability to opt out is a feature of a system where voting is non-compulsory and individuals have the freedom to make conscientious objections to either the field of candidates before them or the existing political order as a whole. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Don’t Fear the Anti-Biden Socialist," 15 Apr. 2020 Finally, access to euthanasia comes to matter more than the ability to assure quality treatment, with the authorities willing to accept a brain drain from the health-care sector rather than allow conscientious objection. Wesley J. Smith, National Review, "Pressuring a Hospice to Kill," 24 Jan. 2020 Though Franz remains far from the frontlines, conscientious objection is its own sort of battle, one between the human spirit and outside forces that seek to subjugate it. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "‘A Hidden Life’ a sublime moral meditation from Terrence Malick," 19 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conscientious objection.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conscientious objection

1775, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for conscientious objection

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The first known use of conscientious objection was in 1775

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Cite this Entry

“Conscientious objection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for conscientious objection

conscientious objection

con·​scien·​tious objection | \ ˌkän-chē-ˈen-chəs- \

Legal Definition of conscientious objection

: objection on moral or religious grounds (as to military service or bearing arms)

Other Words from conscientious objection

conscientious objector noun

Comments on conscientious objection

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