Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Got a question? We may have some answers!
Forum rules

1) This is a Christian site, respect our beliefs and we will respect yours.

2) This is a family friendly site, no swearing or posting offensive links, pictures, or signatures.

3) Please be respectful of others.

4) Trolls are not welcome and will be dealt with accordingly.

5) No racial comments, jokes or images

6) If you see a dead thread over 6 months old, let it rest in peace

7) No Duplicate posts
User avatar
ArchAngel
CCGR addict
Posts: 3547
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:00 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:10 pm

Well, it's not so hypothetical. Atheism is on the rise, and there have been countries in modern society that has tried to employ force to either eradicate or control and regulate religion.
Anyhow, hoping that it works out and shrugging your shoulders if it doesn't isn't good enough for me. If I were to contribute to the governance of a nation, to which I do whenever I vote, I'd want to make sure that my input has the best effect for the people has a whole, both present and future, regardless whether I find something palatable to my conscience or not. Voting should be done intelligently, with the best of the nation in mind, and not just a representation on how you should live your own life.

Anyhow, yes, I am trying to get you to either retract your statement or consider that perhaps you were mistaken on your original assessment.
Pew Pew Pew. Science.

RoA: Kratimos/Lycan
UnHuman: Tim

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:48 am

Well, it's not so hypothetical. Atheism is on the rise, and there have been countries in modern society that has tried to employ force to either eradicate or control and regulate religion.
Anyhow, hoping that it works out and shrugging your shoulders if it doesn't isn't good enough for me. If I were to contribute to the governance of a nation, to which I do whenever I vote, I'd want to make sure that my input has the best effect for the people has a whole, both present and future, regardless whether I find something palatable to my conscience or not. Voting should be done intelligently, with the best of the nation in mind, and not just a representation on how you should live your own life.
You do like setting up dichotomies, don't you? :P

Just as I would expect every person to vote their conscience, I fail to see why that has to be me shrugging my shoulders and hoping for the best. I can speak out. I can organize. I can vote too. I can take positive action that needn't be an effort to manipulate others into ignoring their conscience. Why does it have to be one or the other?

Are you saying people shouldn't vote their conscience? Shouldn't an atheist's conscience direct him to vote for freedom rather than use his vote to try and force others to behave his way? Isn't this the reason atheists hold themselves superior to religious people? Shouldn't I be able to trust in the quiet nobility of my non-believing friends? Or are you acknowledging that atheists are just as prone as anybody to try to push their beliefs on others?

And if you are, then you're beginning to see that billboard from my perspective.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
ArchAngel
CCGR addict
Posts: 3547
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:00 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:52 pm

I'm saying voting on your conscience is too broad. There are certain things my conscience will prevent me from doing, but I wouldn't legislate it. Conscience isn't a good enough reason. People should vote based on what they find to be best for the nation.
Now, of course, I will not agree with others on what that is, which is why, particularly, I will debate or discuss it with them. Like here. I think there needs to be more than a simple "oh, that's wrong," and "oh, that's right" when it comes to voting and legislation. It needs to be guided by reason and done for the betterment of the nation as a whole. The precedents it sets needs to be addressed. Founded on that, voting to preserve life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness really strikes me as the best way to conduct one's vote.

And yes, in the end, I will vote according to my conscience, but I'll vote with so much more than just that.
Pew Pew Pew. Science.

RoA: Kratimos/Lycan
UnHuman: Tim

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:24 am

All of which is very idealistic and a fine academic discussion, but in the real world most people don't give a hoot about the good of the country itself. Most people don't use conscience one way or the other and just vote in their own self interest. If we're lucky they spend a modicum of time at least justifying it in the name of benefiting the nation.

So pragmatic reality says that a system of Government needs to take that into consideration somehow. That's what we have (how well it works is subject to debate) That is, the population should just vote what they see is right, and leave the constitutional questions to the courts, or the details of legislation to the elected representatives.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
Truthseeker
Gamer
Gamer
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:00 pm

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby Truthseeker » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:01 pm

Your view of voting your conscience is very narrow, Arch. Your example atheist's conscience is just as likely to impel him to vote for religious freedom on the grounds that freedom is a good thing as it is to impel him to vote against it on the grounds that the badness of religion outweighs the benefits of freedom.

People do not all think the same way. That's the point.
I agree that people do not all think the same way. But do you believe that what some people think is wrong? I assume yes because you have said that right and wrong exist. And if they vote according to these wrong beliefs, they will bring about wrong policies. But it seems like you would say that they aren't wrong to vote that way because they are voting according to their consciences. So whether or not a person's act of voting is morally right or wrong does not turn on whether their animating beliefs are right or wrong in fact. It does not turn on whether the outcome is right or wrong. It only turns on whether the person believes he is voting in a morally right manner.
Because we live in a country of 300,000,000 people and they're not going to adhere to Truthseeker's lofty standard of philosophical awareness. You're talking about an ideal. I'm talking about the real world that we have to live with. People DON'T think the way you want them to, and they DON'T all value the same things you do, and you have to live with that reality. Governments are run by people who fall short of that ideal, either as elected officials or the people that vote them in. That means Government has to account for that as best it can. The Constitution is as much about protecting people against that very corruption as it is about providing the framework for running things. The Founding Fathers understood this, which is why there's a Bill of Rights and a mechanism for amendments.

At the end of the day yes, I agree that it would be nice if every single voter (or even the majority of voters) were motivated by civic virtue, a genuine understanding of the issues, and a truly objective mind... But that isn't how things really are.
It looks like we are mostly in agreement about the reality of the standard voters hold themselves to in the world we actually live in. It also looks like we mostly agree on what the ideal voter would be like ("motivated by civic virtue, a genuine understanding of the issues, and a truly objective mind"). One point of disagreement seems to be that whereas I believe that every person has an individual moral duty to move themselves closer to the ideal, it sounds like you do not. I get no sense from you that there is an imperative, at least as far as voting is concerned, for a voter to work to actively bring his belief about what is right into conformity with what is actually right. You seem to be saying that a voter is fulfilling their moral obligation so long as they believe they are voting for what's right, regardless of whether that belief is correct.
Look around and you tell me. How many people have we seen who proudly brag that they voted for Obama because he's black? How many people voted for Bush because they were afraid of terrorists and didn't think Kerry could protect them? People are primarily motivated by self-interest and that's how they vote. One look at the current political landscape should tell you that.


Voter A says "I am voting for Obama because he is black and I believe having a black president will benefit me, although my conscience says voting for Romney is the right thing to do."
Voter B says "I am voting for Obama because he is black and my conscience tells me that voting for a black man is the right thing to do."

If I understand you correctly, you would say that Voter B is not doing anything that is morally wrong. I'm not clear on whether you would say Voter A is doing something morally wrong. I don't think you've made it clear whether the act of voting is ever morally wrong, even when a person votes against his conscience. I have assumed you meant that, but on closer analysis saying "X is not wrong" isn't necessarily equivalent to saying "not X is wrong."

Assuming A is morally wrong and B is morally right, that's an interesting result. The morality of this particular action turns not on the act itself, and not even on the reason for acting, but on the thought process used to arrive at the reason. That's fascinating, if that's what you believe.
Is there a solution? Maybe. I rather like Robert Heinlein's ideas in the Starship Troopers novel (NOT THE MOVE)... Where voting is a privilege that has to be earned by doing some sort of service to the state, because only those individuals have the awareness to use that power responsibly.
I don't think I like that. The right to vote is fundamental. I would rather say everyone gets the right, but everyone has a moral responsibility to wield the right correctly, then say only some people get it.
Of course I believe right and wrong exist, and yes, people screw it up sometimes, even when they think they're doing right. So what? I think if everybody actually behaved according to their conscience, they'd get it wright far more often than they'd get it wrong. That's the faith I have. I think people will do much more good than harm if they simply try to do what's right. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be genuine.
The claim I see here is that "everyone doing what they think is morally right will lead to the most beneficial outcome." I won't dispute this claim. But I'm more curious about your ideas on the moral quality of an individual's actions. If a person does what he thinks is morally right, but he is wrong, has this person acted immorally? I predict that your answer is "yes." If a person votes for what he thinks is morally right, but he is wrong, has this person acted immorally? I predict that your answer is "no" and the reason for the different answer is that the existence of the safeguards of the courts and the constitution makes it so that a person is not individually accountable to be correct in his beliefs about the morality of his act of voting. Correct me if I misunderstand you.
If you're trying to get me to retract my statement you're barking up the wrong tree. In your highly hypothetical scenario I would still want people to vote their conscience because I have faith that the bottom line will always be to the good if everyone does so. If that scenario came to pass and religious freedom were lost, well... Others have had to live under such repressive circumstances and religion still survived. I have faith.
At first, I thought this statement might undermine my predictions because here you are saying people should vote their consciences, regardless of the correctness of their consciences, in a situation where constitutional safeguards would not exist. A supermajority can amend the constitution with no check beyond the requirement to reach certain numbers. However, reading this carefully, you are still only saying that the best outcome would result if, collectively, people voted their consciences. So answer this, if an individual believes that a constitutional amendment is morally right, but in fact it is morally wrong, would his act of voting for that amendment be morally wrong?
So pragmatic reality says that a system of Government needs to take that into consideration somehow. That's what we have (how well it works is subject to debate) That is, the population should just vote what they see is right, and leave the constitutional questions to the courts, or the details of legislation to the elected representatives.
Do you believe it is possible for a law to be immoral, yet constitutionally valid? If so, what if any responsibility does an individual have to avoid voting for such a law?
Brokan Mok

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek . . . to be understood, as to understand.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:47 am

I agree that people do not all think the same way. But do you believe that what some people think is wrong? I assume yes because you have said that right and wrong exist. And if they vote according to these wrong beliefs, they will bring about wrong policies. But it seems like you would say that they aren't wrong to vote that way because they are voting according to their consciences. So whether or not a person's act of voting is morally right or wrong does not turn on whether their animating beliefs are right or wrong in fact. It does not turn on whether the outcome is right or wrong. It only turns on whether the person believes he is voting in a morally right manner.
That's right, and I have faith that it will unfold as it should in the end.
It looks like we are mostly in agreement about the reality of the standard voters hold themselves to in the world we actually live in. It also looks like we mostly agree on what the ideal voter would be like ("motivated by civic virtue, a genuine understanding of the issues, and a truly objective mind"). One point of disagreement seems to be that whereas I believe that every person has an individual moral duty to move themselves closer to the ideal, it sounds like you do not. I get no sense from you that there is an imperative, at least as far as voting is concerned, for a voter to work to actively bring his belief about what is right into conformity with what is actually right. You seem to be saying that a voter is fulfilling their moral obligation so long as they believe they are voting for what's right, regardless of whether that belief is correct.
Oh no we agree... in that I do believe that voters have a moral duty to move themselves closer to the ideal. The problem is that they don't. They aren't even aware of that duty.
Voter A says "I am voting for Obama because he is black and I believe having a black president will benefit me, although my conscience says voting for Romney is the right thing to do."
Voter B says "I am voting for Obama because he is black and my conscience tells me that voting for a black man is the right thing to do."

If I understand you correctly, you would say that Voter B is not doing anything that is morally wrong. I'm not clear on whether you would say Voter A is doing something morally wrong. I don't think you've made it clear whether the act of voting is ever morally wrong, even when a person votes against his conscience. I have assumed you meant that, but on closer analysis saying "X is not wrong" isn't necessarily equivalent to saying "not X is wrong."

Assuming A is morally wrong and B is morally right, that's an interesting result. The morality of this particular action turns not on the act itself, and not even on the reason for acting, but on the thought process used to arrive at the reason. That's fascinating, if that's what you believe.
Neither. People who voted for Obama because he's black didn't do so for morality. The motive is racism. It's either voting for the guy who looks like you, or voting against the guy who looks like you (Romney) because you want to prove you're not racist. In neither case is the person voting their conscience.
I don't think I like that. The right to vote is fundamental. I would rather say everyone gets the right, but everyone has a moral responsibility to wield the right correctly, then say only some people get it.
I used to agree with that ideas but I changed my mind as I began to realize that rights come paired with responsibility. Having one without the other is never good. I have the right to free speech, but a responsibility to use it wisely. I have a right to my religion and a responsibility to respect others' right to theirs. I have a right to own firearms and a responsibility to keep them safe and under my control, and to use them only as necessary to protect my community.

Voting has a responsibility too... The moral duty we talked about before. People who vote along race lines, or who vote for their self interest, or who only vote because somebody rented a tour bus and bought them breakfast are NOT living up to that responsibility. They're NOT voting their conscience. What they're doing is wielding political force thoughtlessly. That is a bad thing.

Anything given has no value. Entitlements aren't treasured. Voting is the only form of political power we average people have. It should be valued and used wisely. That means it needs to be earned.
The claim I see here is that "everyone doing what they think is morally right will lead to the most beneficial outcome." I won't dispute this claim. But I'm more curious about your ideas on the moral quality of an individual's actions. If a person does what he thinks is morally right, but he is wrong, has this person acted immorally? I predict that your answer is "yes." If a person votes for what he thinks is morally right, but he is wrong, has this person acted immorally? I predict that your answer is "no" and the reason for the different answer is that the existence of the safeguards of the courts and the constitution makes it so that a person is not individually accountable to be correct in his beliefs about the morality of his act of voting. Correct me if I misunderstand you.
If a person does something they believe to be morally right but is wrong, then they are directly behaving immorally. On the other hand if a person votes for something immoral but they believe it to be moral, then they're acting morally because they are participating in government and voting their conscience. That is, itself, a moral action.
At first, I thought this statement might undermine my predictions because here you are saying people should vote their consciences, regardless of the correctness of their consciences, in a situation where constitutional safeguards would not exist. A supermajority can amend the constitution with no check beyond the requirement to reach certain numbers. However, reading this carefully, you are still only saying that the best outcome would result if, collectively, people voted their consciences. So answer this, if an individual believes that a constitutional amendment is morally right, but in fact it is morally wrong, would his act of voting for that amendment be morally wrong?
See above.
Do you believe it is possible for a law to be immoral, yet constitutionally valid? If so, what if any responsibility does an individual have to avoid voting for such a law?
Yes. Any individual who believes it to be immoral should vote against it. If the law is already in place, they can make legal efforts to try and have it overturned.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
Truthseeker
Gamer
Gamer
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:00 pm

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby Truthseeker » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:44 pm

Neither. People who voted for Obama because he's black didn't do so for morality. The motive is racism. It's either voting for the guy who looks like you, or voting against the guy who looks like you (Romney) because you want to prove you're not racist. In neither case is the person voting their conscience.
I'm taking this as a slight evasion of the point. I am asking you to assume that Voter B sincerely believes that voting only for black people is the right thing to do. His conscience is actually telling him that this form of racism is good. We may both agree that in this case his conscience is wrong, but I am asking you to assume that this is actually what he believes. Under that assumption, his vote is a moral act according to what you have said, correct?
I used to agree with that ideas but I changed my mind as I began to realize that rights come paired with responsibility. Having one without the other is never good. I have the right to free speech, but a responsibility to use it wisely. I have a right to my religion and a responsibility to respect others' right to theirs. I have a right to own firearms and a responsibility to keep them safe and under my control, and to use them only as necessary to protect my community.

Voting has a responsibility too... The moral duty we talked about before. People who vote along race lines, or who vote for their self interest, or who only vote because somebody rented a tour bus and bought them breakfast are NOT living up to that responsibility. They're NOT voting their conscience. What they're doing is wielding political force thoughtlessly. That is a bad thing.

Anything given has no value. Entitlements aren't treasured. Voting is the only form of political power we average people have. It should be valued and used wisely. That means it needs to be earned.
But aren't rights entitlements by definition? They are yours by right. They are inalienable. Once you start qualifying them by putting prerequisites on them, in what sense are they rights?
If a person does something they believe to be morally right but is wrong, then they are directly behaving immorally. On the other hand if a person votes for something immoral but they believe it to be moral, then they're acting morally because they are participating in government and voting their conscience. That is, itself, a moral action.
I guess I'm confused because I don't understand why you are treating voting differently from other types of actions. Voting is exerting one's influence in the hope of achieving a certain outcome, just like every other action. What is it about the fact that a person is using the government as his agent to accomplish an immoral action, as opposed to any other agent or himself, that insulates them from moral culpability?
Brokan Mok

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek . . . to be understood, as to understand.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:14 pm

I'm taking this as a slight evasion of the point. I am asking you to assume that Voter B sincerely believes that voting only for black people is the right thing to do. His conscience is actually telling him that this form of racism is good. We may both agree that in this case his conscience is wrong, but I am asking you to assume that this is actually what he believes. Under that assumption, his vote is a moral act according to what you have said, correct?
Ok sure.
But aren't rights entitlements by definition? They are yours by right. They are inalienable. Once you start qualifying them by putting prerequisites on them, in what sense are they rights?
I don't use the terms "rights" and "entitlements" interchangeably.

And incidentally, rights are only inalienable as far as they're granted by a higher source than your Government. Jefferson said that directly in the Declaration of Independence. It's one of the reasons morality is tied to rights. If "rights" are granted to you by a human, mortal government, then that same government can take them away at will. The whole reason the rights we have are important is because on some level they're held to be granted by a higher power. In other words, the lack of a higher authority renders the word "inalienable" meaningless in this context.

Let me ask you this: How can a right be inalienable if there's no higher power than the Government to grant it?
I guess I'm confused because I don't understand why you are treating voting differently from other types of actions. Voting is exerting one's influence in the hope of achieving a certain outcome, just like every other action. What is it about the fact that a person is using the government as his agent to accomplish an immoral action, as opposed to any other agent or himself, that insulates them from moral culpability?
I don't see what's confusing, as I am *not* treating voting as different from any other action. The act of participating in one's government is always a moral act. It's a duty you have as a citizen. Ours is a secular Government, which means that no one system of morality overrides the rest. Therefore, the only act that can be objectively evaluated for its morality is the act of voting itself. (Although even that is a matter of perspective.)
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
Truthseeker
Gamer
Gamer
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:00 pm

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby Truthseeker » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:27 pm

And incidentally, rights are only inalienable as far as they're granted by a higher source than your Government. Jefferson said that directly in the Declaration of Independence. It's one of the reasons morality is tied to rights. If "rights" are granted to you by a human, mortal government, then that same government can take them away at will. The whole reason the rights we have are important is because on some level they're held to be granted by a higher power. In other words, the lack of a higher authority renders the word "inalienable" meaningless in this context.

Let me ask you this: How can a right be inalienable if there's no higher power than the Government to grant it?
I don't think of it in terms of "higher" or "lower" powers. Our rights aren't given to us by the government; rather, they are something we have kept for ourselves from the government. The basic theory behind liberal political institutions is that we have given up some freedoms in order to enhance our overall liberty. I would characterize a "right" in this context as a liberty that cannot validly be surrendered to the government on the ground that to do so would be repugnant to the very purpose of the government's existence, which is to enhance each individual's overall liberty. If something is my right, then it cannot justly be taken from me, even by a majority, because the taking of it would undermine the very principle that authorizes the majority to act with force against me in the first place.
I don't see what's confusing, as I am *not* treating voting as different from any other action.
I think you are. You are carving out a little space of life--"participating in government"--in which one's belief that one is acting morally makes it so that one is actually acting morally. You've said yourself that in other areas, mere belief in one's morality does not make it so. For some reason that I am not comprehending, voting gets special treatment.
The act of participating in one's government is always a moral act.
Wow, that is a broad statement. Isn't "participating in one's government" a euphemism for "seeking to impose one's will on others using the violent power of the state"? How can that always be a moral act? Doesn't the nature of government force mean that our efforts to wield it should be subject to the most moral scrutiny?
It's a duty you have as a citizen.
I'd say it is a duty to vote, or at least choose to abstain from voting for a reason that isn't just apathy. I'd even go along with the idea that one has a duty to vote according to one's conscience. However, I also believe that every person has a moral duty to develop one's conscience in conformity with what is actually right, and that people of ordinary intelligence are capable of doing this through reason. If a person is voting in accordance with their wrong--but sincere--consciences, they have failed in their moral duty and are worthy of being condemned.
Ours is a secular Government, which means that no one system of morality overrides the rest.
A "secular government" is just a government that does not endorse a favored religion. What does that have to do with the moral imperative on individuals not to wield the force of that government in a way that thwarts the mission of protecting liberty, the very mission that legitimizes that government's force in the first place?
Therefore, the only act that can be objectively evaluated for its morality is the act of voting itself. (Although even that is a matter of perspective.)
Are you saying that our evaluation of a voter's morality in voting is limited only to the harm caused by physically dropping the slip of paper down the slot?
Brokan Mok

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek . . . to be understood, as to understand.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:00 pm

I don't think of it in terms of "higher" or "lower" powers. Our rights aren't given to us by the government; rather, they are something we have kept for ourselves from the government. The basic theory behind liberal political institutions is that we have given up some freedoms in order to enhance our overall liberty. I would characterize a "right" in this context as a liberty that cannot validly be surrendered to the government on the ground that to do so would be repugnant to the very purpose of the government's existence, which is to enhance each individual's overall liberty. If something is my right, then it cannot justly be taken from me, even by a majority, because the taking of it would undermine the very principle that authorizes the majority to act with force against me in the first place.
All very nice and theoretical, but not reality. In the absence of a higher authority, your rights are given by Government. You can talk all day long about the principles of liberty but at the end of the day any "right" you have is outlined in a document produced by the Government and enforced by the Government. Know what it is then? Not a right, but a privilege. With no Higher Power to endow us with fundamental rights, the Government becomes the highest authority involved. Disagree? Who guarantees freedom of religion in Egypt? Oh, wait... there is no right to freedom of religion in Egypt, is there? Know why? Because there's no higher authority than the Egyptian Government within the borders of Egypt (unless you hold God to be that higher authority.) Where are those principles of liberty in Cairo?

In fact, if you want those kinds of rights at all in this world, you'd better live in a country with a heavy Judeo-Christian culture or one heavily influenced by such, because otherwise your "rights" are held to be at the pleasure of the ruling body.
I think you are. You are carving out a little space of life--"participating in government"--in which one's belief that one is acting morally makes it so that one is actually acting morally. You've said yourself that in other areas, mere belief in one's morality does not make it so. For some reason that I am not comprehending, voting gets special treatment.
You aren't separating the act of voting from the subject being voted on. I am.
Wow, that is a broad statement. Isn't "participating in one's government" a euphemism for "seeking to impose one's will on others using the violent power of the state"? How can that always be a moral act? Doesn't the nature of government force mean that our efforts to wield it should be subject to the most moral scrutiny?
It's moral because failure to do so is to promote minority rule by default, instead of majority rule, which is the basic point of a democracy/republic.
I'd say it is a duty to vote, or at least choose to abstain from voting for a reason that isn't just apathy. I'd even go along with the idea that one has a duty to vote according to one's conscience. However, I also believe that every person has a moral duty to develop one's conscience in conformity with what is actually right, and that people of ordinary intelligence are capable of doing this through reason. If a person is voting in accordance with their wrong--but sincere--consciences, they have failed in their moral duty and are worthy of being condemned.
I agree, which is why I called that the ideal. It is not, however, reality. In reality all I ask is that people do the best they can. (Although given our political landscape, even that is asking too much, it seems.)
A "secular government" is just a government that does not endorse a favored religion. What does that have to do with the moral imperative on individuals not to wield the force of that government in a way that thwarts the mission of protecting liberty, the very mission that legitimizes that government's force in the first place?
Because morality stems from Religion. (I know you'll fight me on that statement, but yeah, I said it.) Since no one religion is to be favored, then no such universal moral imperative to vote a certain way on a certain issue exists.
Are you saying that our evaluation of a voter's morality in voting is limited only to the harm caused by physically dropping the slip of paper down the slot?
As opposed to what? Shall we do away with secret ballots so that when things go badly they can be punished?
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens


Return to “Spiritual Matters”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron