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Thread: On the ethics of voting.

  1. #1 On the ethics of voting. 
    Forum Bachelors Degree Shaderwolf's Avatar
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    I will start by posing a question:

    Do you think that a man with absolutely no knowledge of a subject (no matter how smart he was) should have the right to decide how that specific matter should be taken care of?

    example: You ask a brain surgeon with no baking experience to produce laws without studying the subject describing how to bake a propper and tastey quische?

    - I propose that that brain surgeon does not yet have the right to produce or make decisions on what those laws should be until he takes the time and effort .

    - Every man and woman has the right to vote. This right cannot be taken away. You cannot stop a person from voting or that detracts from the democracy of the organization.

    The answer to the first question, and my statement seem to contradict eachother, but they are both rules that I believe are integral to the survival of a healthy culture. I can only see one answer to create a remedy for this conundrom... can anyone guess what it is???


    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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  3. #2  
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    What would you say about a company CEO who is in charge of a company with engineers, a marketing department, an accounting department, and an IT department, but studied business in college? Is he/she qualified to be in charge of all of those people?


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    I can only see one answer to create a remedy for this conundrom... can anyone guess what it is???
    Perhaps the solutions by the American founding fathers.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." --Thomas Jefferson

    "No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness... Preach a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against the evils [of misgovernment]." --Thomas Jefferson

    In other words avoid the situation by educating the public in general knowledge as well as their civil obligation to become informed about a subject casting their vote.
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    That's EXACTLY what I was thinking. The only way to fix this very serious problem that plagues our coutry is to develop a population that is educated and informed. It wont happen right now though. What's holding us back are a huge variety of cultural weaknesses that lead the general population to undervalue knowledge and reasoning, while letting people who do think parade around and manipulate them in so many ways it's hard to count.

    I think the first step towards a country like the one you desribed with Thomas Jefferson's own words is a culture shift.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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  6. #5  
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    LF; Remember in Jefferson's day, colonial times, to even vote required being invested in some manner in the community, property owner. Incidentally gender and race was not material in most those Colonies.

    Shaderwolf; Would you expect in today's world, that any person trying to inform another of politics could do so, without being bias? While few people understand the purpose a the US Federal Government, they are generally tuned into local and maybe even State Government. With this in mind, the founders had many checks in place to avoid an ignorant electorate, most of which have long been ignored or outlawed.
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    It's impossible to present any type of information without some kind of bias. It is the person who is being told the information's responsibility to do the research for themselves. If he or she is going to vote, they should learn about whatever they are making decisions about. Refer to the example I used of the surgeon with the quische. If he decides he is going to participate in the decision making for how to create a proper quische it is his responsibility to learn about them first, or else he is making blind decisions based on faulty judgements. My point is that we need to experience a culture shift away from the "vote because voting is what makes us special and you can have an effect on the world!" aspect and towards the "responsible voting and decision making makes the world a better place" aspect. That's the only way that an actual change can be made: have a change in the way people think, talk about, and react to the subject.

    I've been thinking about trying to create an informational website where each subject is briefly covered seperately with varying levels of relevant information depending on the person's willingness to read on the subject providing information as facts and nothing more. To make it as unbiast as possible representatives from each major party would review both sides and would have to both be satisfied with the way that both their and their opponent's views were represented.

    Also I want to do a survey, that askes the person to first vote on each subject, than take a test to hopefully show what they know about it, and what misinformation they have. That way hopefully trends might show up and we can learn more about what to do to fix the problem.

    Poloticians are part of the problem too. They want people to be the way that they are. It makes them more pliable and easier to bend to your will (vote for me) All of the dirty polotics, misinformation, misrepresentation of information, it's all carefully planned to get the general population to vote for whoever and whatever each polotician wants. People will be much harder to control that way when they have been propperly educated, not only in each problem but in how not to be manipulated and in how to make a responsible decision.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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    In the US less than half the population votes for most election. Do you really think the half that bother to vote don't take at least a bit of time to learn about what they are voting on? I honestly can't think of anyone who walks into a voting booth completely empty headed about what they are going to vote about. Do you?
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    Some think they are well informed, some just want to make a difference and have these opinions that are based on mere hearsay from friends/family etc. Some are listening to OVERLY (I put that word in for a reason!!!) biast poloticians. Some have been misinformed or have been presented with grossly misrepresented information either on accident or by someone who is pushing for an agenda. Very few in my experience take the time to do much if any work to see if they even know what they're talking about. Many cast votes because an idea is popular with their friends has taken hold of them for the sole reason that the idea is popular with their friends. I could go on. There are those that vote responsibly, but can you honestly tell me you think that group holds the majority?
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33 View Post


    Shaderwolf; Would you expect in today's world, that any person trying to inform another of politics could do so, without being bias? While few people understand the purpose a the US Federal Government, they are generally tuned into local and maybe even State Government. With this in mind, the founders had many checks in place to avoid an ignorant electorate, most of which have long been ignored or outlawed.
    I know the question is for Shaderwolf, but I want to chime in on this. No, it is not possible, not at all, to be unbiased. In order to express an opinion that reaches more than just a handful of people you need money. The source of that money is your bias.

    The airways are still the avenue of choice. Hardly anyone really believes what they read on the internet, and getting heard is a matter of pure luck (going viral). Since there are a fixed number of stations, air time gets traded the same way as real estate. It's a bidding war. Too often the winner is a contractor looking for a government contract to build something, a contract that will have lots of built in profits, profits that will be directed toward buying the next round of air minutes to secure another contract.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post
    Some think they are well informed, some just want to make a difference and have these opinions that are based on mere hearsay from friends/family etc. Some are listening to OVERLY (I put that word in for a reason!!!) biast poloticians. Some have been misinformed or have been presented with grossly misrepresented information either on accident or by someone who is pushing for an agenda. Very few in my experience take the time to do much if any work to see if they even know what they're talking about. Many cast votes because an idea is popular with their friends has taken hold of them for the sole reason that the idea is popular with their friends. I could go on. There are those that vote responsibly, but can you honestly tell me you think that group holds the majority?
    You don't have the right to dictate what other people think is important in their elected officials. If I want to elect someone because I like their face, so be it. That is democracy and we just have to deal with it, the alternative is a slippery slope of tyrannical thought control.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy View Post
    [You don't have the right to dictate what other people think is important in their elected officials. If I want to elect someone because I like their face, so be it. That is democracy and we just have to deal with it, the alternative is a slippery slope of tyrannical thought control.
    You're right, but if I provide enough facts to help rid them of their ignorance their opinions will change in ways I cannot control. I might disagree with their new opinions even, but I believe alot more people would agree with each other and make better decisions (The fact that they are better decisions isnt decided on whether I like them, it's decided on the fact that they are more educated decisions)

    Also, I was talking less about elected officials and more about the major concepts people argue over. Whether we should do this or this.... whether something should be allowed or not.


    Would you disagree with a shift to a culture where everyone was well informed, and misrepresentation and manipulation were truly detested? One where people automatically say: let me make sure...? That's what I want. People say it's in our nature to be manipulatable and lazy etc etc etc, but allot of the traits they take as a given could be remedied through a massive cultural revolution. THAT would be the only way to literally change the way people's thought processes worked, which would be the only way to fix the problem.
    Last edited by Shaderwolf; July 29th, 2011 at 05:32 AM.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post
    There are those that vote responsibly, but can you honestly tell me you think that group holds the majority?
    Yes I do. Most learn enough as least what's necessary to figure out who they trust and who thinks the most like them--which is really sufficient for a republic. It's also why we AREN't a democracy. Democracy doesn't work well for complex issues that vex most large cities, states and certainly not the nation.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; July 29th, 2011 at 03:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post
    The answer to the first question, and my statement seem to contradict eachother, but they are both rules that I believe are integral to the survival of a healthy culture. I can only see one answer to create a remedy for this conundrom... can anyone guess what it is???
    Exterminate all humans?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post

    - Every man and woman has the right to vote. This right cannot be taken away. You cannot stop a person from voting or that detracts from the democracy of the organization.
    Actually that right gets taken away when the person commits a crime that is categorized as a felony. They also lose their right to own firearms. They can petition to get their rights back after like five years of being released from prison, but its not always guaranteed that they will get them back.

    Your whole question is reminiscent of the question of whether we should allow student people to propagate. Its just not practical or ethical.
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    You're right. You can do something to lose those rights. Your own actions can take them away from you. That's about it though. No one can say "i dont think you should vote because you're to stupid" or "to old" or "not educated enough" or "because you disagree with me" or because of birth conditions ect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Your whole question is reminiscent of the question of whether we should allow student people to propagate. Its just not practical or ethical.
    I dont see how.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post
    You're right. You can do something to lose those rights. Your own actions can take them away from you. That's about it though. No one can say "i dont think you should vote because you're to stupid" or "to old" or "not educated enough" or "because you disagree with me" or because of birth conditions ect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Your whole question is reminiscent of the question of whether we should allow student people to propagate. Its just not practical or ethical.
    I dont see how.
    Sorry I meant stupid people. Damn typos. Anyways , attempting to remove people's ability to make decisions based on random, sometimes stupid reasons is a violation of their rights. I agree that people vote and make decisions based on retarded things. Like with voting, some people will choose someone just because they are a dog person, a cat person, or have a mustache.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf
    You're right, but if I provide enough facts to help rid them of their ignorance their opinions will change in ways I cannot control. I might disagree with their new opinions even, but I believe alot more people would agree with each other and make better decisions (The fact that they are better decisions isnt decided on whether I like them, it's decided on the fact that they are more educated decisions)
    What makes you qualified or any one person for that matter? And this is what most types of media think they are doing already, or at least keeping a appearance of trying to do. However, even if you were able to give them the facts and help rid them of their ignorance, there are still large numbers of people that will make decisions based on dreams, the flip of a coin, etc. Which is not an educated decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf
    Would you disagree with a shift to a culture where everyone was well informed, and misrepresentation and manipulation were truly detested? One where people automatically say: let me make sure...? That's what I want.
    I think this would be great. But the route in which you wish to pursue this isn't practical, and not entirely ethical sounding. Not everyone is comfortable admitting the truth, and they choose their ignorance. How would you deal with those people?
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    The only real solution is a benevolent dictatorship.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Any attempting to remove people's ability to make decisions based on random, sometimes stupid reasons is a violation of their rights.
    That was the first point I made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    What makes you qualified or any one person for that matter? And this is what most types of media think they are doing already, or at least keeping a appearance of trying to do. However, even if you were able to give them the facts and help rid them of their ignorance, there are still large numbers of people that will make decisions based on dreams, the flip of a coin, etc. Which is not an educated decision.
    I was saying what needed to be done. It doesnt have to be me, and it shouldnt be just one person. It should be people from both parties working with eachother to assure that their party's views are being propperly and fully represented. I am trying to get with a few people and start a website soon. I'll refer you to it so that you can see what I'm talking about. Educational videos, surveys, and information set up in a way that lazy people will get something out of it, and people who want more can get to it.

    [QUOTE=Falconer360;277251I think this would be great. But the route in which you wish to pursue this isn't practical, and not entirely ethical sounding. Not everyone is comfortable admitting the truth, and they choose their ignorance. How would you deal with those people?[/QUOTE]

    Culture change. I think that if our culture looked at things differently those types of people would gradually diminish in numbers. I never told you a route wich I wished to pursue the culture change. I have no idea how to start something like that.... well, no fully formed idea. I was saying though that it needed to happen. The problem is that in order to push for a true culture change either I believe something major would have to happen, or I would have to use all of those things in polotics I hate. It is a dilema. if you have any ideas on something both ethical and effective I'm all ears.
    Here's the problem with questions like "what would we see if we traveled faster than the speed of light". Since the rules that govern the universe as we understand them do not allow for such a possibility, to imagine such an event forces us to abandon those rules. But that leaves us no guide by which to answer the question. We have no idea as to what rules to replace them with, and we can't give an answer. - Janus
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post
    You're right. You can do something to lose those rights. Your own actions can take them away from you. That's about it though. No one can say "i dont think you should vote because you're to stupid" or "to old" or "not educated enough" or "because you disagree with me" or because of birth conditions ect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Your whole question is reminiscent of the question of whether we should allow student people to propagate. Its just not practical or ethical.
    I dont see how.
    Sorry I meant stupid people. Damn typos. Anyways , attempting to remove people's ability to make decisions based on random, sometimes stupid reasons is a violation of their rights. I agree that people vote and make decisions based on retarded things. Like with voting, some people will choose someone just because they are a dog person, a cat person, or have a mustache.
    What about smart but unethical people? Any attempt at a perfect meritocracy always runs into the problem of nepotism eventually. Some of those smart people have stupid children and love them anyway, in spite of their stupidity. So, then they start manipulating the criteria for selection to include totally silly things, like being a dog person, a cat person, or having a mustache in order to steer the selection process toward their own idiot sons and/or daughters.

    Certainly it is not ethical for them to do that, nor is it honest of them, but smart people are not always ethical.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf
    Would you disagree with a shift to a culture where everyone was well informed, and misrepresentation and manipulation were truly detested? One where people automatically say: let me make sure...? That's what I want.
    I think this would be great. But the route in which you wish to pursue this isn't practical, and not entirely ethical sounding. Not everyone is comfortable admitting the truth, and they choose their ignorance. How would you deal with those people?
    Some of the people who are "not comfortable admitting the truth, and choose ignorance" are very smart and/or educated in other areas aside from the area they are deceiving themselves about.

    The best example is the same as before: nepotism. Think about how a genius might look at their own idiot son/daughter, unwilling to admit how far the apple has fallen from the tree, and then make decisions based on that self-imposed ignorance. How do you stop them if they are a genius, and therefore finds them self near the top of your "can vote" list?
    Last edited by kojax; August 2nd, 2011 at 06:28 AM.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    What about smart but unethical people? Any attempt at a perfect meritocracy always runs into the problem of nepotism eventually. Some of those smart people have stupid children and love them anyway, in spite of their stupidity. So, then they start manipulating the criteria for selection to include totally silly things, like being a dog person, a cat person, or having a mustache in order to steer the selection process toward their own idiot sons and/or daughters.

    Certainly it is not ethical for them to do that, nor is it honest of them, but smart people are not always ethical.

    Some of the people who are "not comfortable admitting the truth, and choose ignorance" are very smart and/or educated in other areas aside from the area they are deceiving themselves about.

    The best example is the same as before: nepotism. Think about how a genius might look at their own idiot son/daughter, unwilling to admit how far the apple has fallen from the tree, and then make decisions based on that self-imposed ignorance. How do you stop them if they are a genius, and therefore finds them self near the top of your "can vote" list?
    Kojax, I just lumped all your comments together to make it easier to reply. What you point out is entirely valid and that's why I said that it was not practical to try and limit who votes, etc. Not everyone is ethical, whether they are smart, dumb, blind, deaf, etc.
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    Oh yeah. You're right! I guess I was responding arguing against Shaderwolf's comments. I should have used those for the quotes, but I used your quotes of him because your comments were helpful. I just meant to add to them.

    I guess raw democracy is what we're stuck with because there's no objective test we can administer to determine who is more honest than who. (We could try, but dishonest people would simply find ways to beat them.) At best we could prevent convicted felons from voting.

    I love your signature, btw.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    What makes you qualified or any one person for that matter? And this is what most types of media think they are doing already, or at least keeping a appearance of trying to do. However, even if you were able to give them the facts and help rid them of their ignorance, there are still large numbers of people that will make decisions based on dreams, the flip of a coin, etc. Which is not an educated decision.
    I was saying what needed to be done. It doesnt have to be me, and it shouldnt be just one person. It should be people from both parties working with eachother to assure that their party's views are being propperly and fully represented. I am trying to get with a few people and start a website soon. I'll refer you to it so that you can see what I'm talking about. Educational videos, surveys, and information set up in a way that lazy people will get something out of it, and people who want more can get to it.
    Shaderwolf, when you said I multiple times earlier, I was interpreting that you wanted to be the person, not that you were speaking hypothetically. Sorry about that. I wish you the best of luck with the website. You definitely have good intentions, but the pessimist in me thinks that it will be futile. So best of luck and hopefully you end up proving me wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Oh yeah. You're right! I guess I was responding arguing against Shaderwolf's comments. I should have used those for the quotes, but I used your quotes of him because your comments were helpful. I just meant to add to them.

    I guess raw democracy is what we're stuck with because there's no objective test we can administer to determine who is more honest than who. (We could try, but dishonest people would simply find ways to beat them.) At best we could prevent convicted felons from voting.

    I love your signature, btw.
    I see. lol That's alright.

    Yeah, there's not a whole hell of a lot we can do about it, dishonest people will still lie to achieve their goals, people will decide using arcane methods. I would say that having more access to things on the internet will help, but as we've already seen, the internet is host to much more bad info than it is good. If we could limit the online rumor mills and blatant slander from the web, then people would be able to make slightly better decisions... Maybe?

    Thanks
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    Let me further the discussion. What is the motive for the voter to vote? Personal interest, the interest of the state, the interests of citizens, the interests of the armed forces, or some other interest? If My vote could, in a democracy, contribute to similar voices so that the majority had the power to over-rule the minority, in the highest fora, or forum in the democracy, then I believe, this is not the true form of democracy. There should be a consensus in electing the leaders of a democracy. The minority must not see themselves coerced, when politicians are elected in a democracy. After all, if the citizen is the real King in a democratic setup, the representatives are not the common choice of all the citizens, since all the citizens have not individually voted for them. How can there exist a common ground, whereby, every person in the democracy feels that he is truly represented in the highest democratic fora? In the United States, who is a true Democrat, and a true Conservative? No one can say, who will hold the keys to significance in the government of the United States, because the same citizens who vote the Democrats to power, later perhaps vote for the Conservatives. It seems to me, people vote like they purchase lottery tickets, believing that their influence as voters will buy them influence in government, somehow, if those whom they vote for come to power. If this is the true meaning of democracy, then no one is responsible in a democracy. If the government is responsible in a democracy, then to whom?
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  26. #25  
    Moderator Moderator
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    What is the motive for the voter to vote?
    Sense of civic responsibility. I usually vote for what I think is for the good of the nation or level of the official. Getting back to the heart of the thread, if I haven't researched the particular issue, or local official, I'll usually either not vote or vote for the party I know most represents my views (usually republican, though that's been far more difficult for me as the party has drifted away from my beliefs.)

    After all, if the citizen is the real King in a democratic setup, the representatives are not the common choice of all the citizens, since all the citizens have not individually voted for them. How can there exist a common ground, whereby, every person in the democracy feels that he is truly represented in the highest democratic fora?
    A good number of representatives recognize they represent their entire population, not just those that voted for them.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
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  27. #26  
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    My dear moderator, if a good number of representatives recognize that they represent their entire population in the USA, then you are lucky that you are not a citizen of India. I am an Indian, and cannot think of migrating, so I hope this state of affairs improves.
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