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Without Moral Objectivism, Can we form Political Beliefs?

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Vulcan:
Is democracy better than despotism?

How can we say unless one thing is right and the other is wrong? Don't all our political ideas contain a grain of moral thinking? Maybe not!

What do you think?

Mike Cl:
It is important in a discussion like this to define terms.  We (US) do not live, nor ever lived in a democracy.  We live in a sort of Republic with elected representatives making the decisions for us.  Here is one good way to put it:

"Key Takeaways: Republic vs. Democracy
Republics and democracies both provide a political system in which citizens are represented by elected officials who are sworn to protect their interests.
In a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected.
In a republic, laws are made by representatives chosen by the people and must comply with a constitution that specifically protects the rights of the minority from the will of the majority.
The United States, while basically a republic, is best described as a “representative democracy.” 
In a republic, an official set of fundamental laws, like the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, prohibits the government from limiting or taking away certain “inalienable” rights of the people, even if that government was freely chosen by a majority of the people. In a pure democracy, the voting majority has almost limitless power over the minority.


The United States, like most modern nations, is neither a pure republic nor a pure democracy. Instead, it is a hybrid democratic republic.

The main difference between a democracy and a republic is the extent to which the people control the process of making laws under each form of government."

In my view, a govt formed from a well written constitution, is the way to go.  (I know, what is a 'well written constitution'?)

Despotism.  What is that. Here is one definition:

"The English dictionary defines despotism as "the rule of a despot; the exercise of absolute authority." The root despot comes from the Greek word despotes, which means "master" or "one with power." The term has been used to describe many rulers and governments throughout history."  Is that good or bad?  Can't tell without the details.  Some despots (usually called a benevolent ruler) are good for the people.  Most haven't been.  And some were mixed; some elements of rule bad others good. 

Rather than hoping for a benevolent ruler, I'd prefer a constitutional republic--as long as all are forced to follow the established rules and laws.

Shiranu:

--- Quote ---Is democracy better than despotism?
--- End quote ---

We would first need a definition of "better" before we could answer that question. What exactly do you mean by better, or perhaps more accurately by what criteria are we defining better and worse to be?

GSOgymrat:

--- Quote from: Vulcan on March 15, 2021, 09:31:19 PM ---Is democracy better than despotism?

--- End quote ---

A wise, beneficent ruler might result in better consequences for all involved than democracy but the problem is the path to power selects for narcissism and sociopathy. I can imagine a future AI making decisions that resulted in more equitable outcomes than the results of a popular vote. I, for one, welcome our AI overlords.

drunkenshoe:
Yes, we can.



--- Quote from: Vulcan on March 15, 2021, 09:31:19 PM ---Is democracy better than despotism?
--- End quote ---

Yes.


--- Quote ---How can we say unless one thing is right and the other is wrong? Don't all our political ideas contain a grain of moral thinking? Maybe not!

What do you think?
--- End quote ---

Basic human rights - the Law - Social contract. You don't harm, abuse, kill people knowingly, you don't violate their rights, you obey the law. If you break any rules of that triangle, you face different levels of sanctions, social or lawful. 

The point of democracy is a constant push for providing standards for as many people as possible, without any exceptions. However, standards are not only just provided by the state, its organs and its institutions, but also members of a given society.

Other than that, people can have any kind of ideas about 'rights or wrongs'. As long as that system is established and sustained, the individual ideas of 'right and wrong', 'morality' and 'ethics' in any context are only the subject of philosophical discourse. If they want to discuss about right or wrong, they can take a philosophy course, join a group.

Which brings up the question of what are those standards. While it looks like an awfully messy and complicated subject, it is really not. The most important base is the rules and laws, opportunities must work equally for everybody. That's pretty much it. Basic standards.

If people with capital and wealth, with different physical traits, genders, sexual orientation, ethnic background are treated completely different ways than some other in that triangle -which is what has been happening everywhere around the world- then there will be corruption  and conflict, most importantly crime in every scale. I'm not talking about some fairy tale understanding of 'justice'. Justice is again, a standard.

Democracy is NOT freedom; 'I can do, get whatever I want'. Democracy is NOT 'so many fancy civil rights and rights to do whatever you want'. That's monarchy-oligarchy...fascism in the end. Because only a group of people can do or have whatever they want in a society. That's the basic math. Doesn't matter how many people live in what size of a place. Doesn't matter, if there are two people living in somewhere. A man called Daniel Defoe have illustrated that brilliantly, 300 years ago.

Democracy is about self awareness of putting a limit to everything, it is about knowing that 'freedom' is either for all, or for none when it comes to the autonomy and continuity of that system. It's a system for adults. Not for billions of snot crying, tantrum throwing brats like us... "But I waant all thaaat, I haaate all the otheeers".

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