News Can democracy coexist with theocracy?

3,074
3
Want it or not, religion and majority rule are conflicting more than ever, even in such bastions of freedom and equality as the United States. What will be the outcome of this seeming anomaly - a new form of government, continued war or peaceful, but separate, coexistence? Can we learn lessons from the demise of monarchy and communism as to the future evolution of democracy with theocracy?
 
Well, democracy and theocracy rhyme, so at least thats a good start.
 
3,074
3
Let's consider a democratic theocracy, or a theocratic democracy.
 
464
1
Wouldn't that be great if in a few hundred years, Democracy was considered as silly as Communism because of the fact that the majority is religious and they just vote it into a theocracy.

"What's so bad about people voting on issues and making their own decisions?"
"Are you kidding me? People are nuts, and the majority of them base their lives around books written thousands of years ago, they don't know their asses from their elbows, let alone how to govern themselves; they just devolve into theocracy and throw away their hard earned rights. No, my friend, the way we do it now is clearly the most just way there's ever been."
 
310
2
wasteofo2 said:
No, my friend, the way we do it now is clearly the most just way there's ever been."
Heh, thats what people are saying about democracy now. Funny that.
 
wasteofo2 said:
Wouldn't that be great if in a few hundred years, Democracy was considered as silly as Communism because of the fact that the majority is religious and they just vote it into a theocracy.

"What's so bad about people voting on issues and making their own decisions?"
"Are you kidding me? People are nuts... No, my friend, the way we do it now is clearly the most just way there's ever been."
Damn good point. So what is the Follyism of the future? My vote goes to the wolrd's first dancing robot, or if that hasn't been invented yet the League of Genetically Enhanced Talking Chipmunks. Granted, this is no garauntee of a fair system, but what the heck, you guys voted in Arnie, and George W - twice. :bugeye:
 
3,074
3
The system, not a plurality, voted in George W. Bush the first time. The second time, our nation (not being as familiar with horrific terrorism at home as you Brits) was still in shock from 9/11 and deceived by continuing fear from the war in Iraq.

After all of the fighting, will Iraq become a Shiite theocracy?
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,405
4,653
wasteofo2 said:
Wouldn't that be great if in a few hundred years, Democracy was considered as silly as Communism because of the fact that the majority is religious and they just vote it into a theocracy.
No way! As the United States' example has shown, you can set up a democratic government in such a way as to make that impossible.

I can't believe you would say such a thing! :surprised
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,405
4,653
Loren Booda said:
The system, not a plurality, voted in George W. Bush the first time.
That's spin: it is also factually true that Bush was voted in by a plurality (and a majority!).
 
61
0
russ_watters said:
That's spin: it is also factually true that Bush was voted in by a plurality (and a majority!).
Talk about SPIN! :yuck: What a bunch of BS!
 
464
1
russ_watters said:
No way! As the United States' example has shown, you can set up a democratic government in such a way as to make that impossible.

I can't believe you would say such a thing! :surprised
The United States isn't static, things change. It's done pretty well so far, but then again, lots of governments did pretty well for a long time then collapsed.

If you watch the Fox News Channel, you'd get the impression America was infact founded solely on the bible and the Founding Fathers all intended us to live by the bible's rules, nothing more, nothing less. And guess what, Fox News channel gets some damned high ratings.

russ_watters said:
That's spin: it is also factually true that Bush was voted in by a plurality (and a majority!).
Are you serious? http://uselectionatlas.org/USPRESIDENT/national.php?year=2000

This is what I'm talking about, how am I to know ya'll won't set up "re-education" programs for those who were "mistakenly" informed that Al Gore got a majority of the vote in 2000? America's worked all right up until now, we don't know what will happen in the future.
 
Last edited:
148
0
wasteofo2 said:
If you watch the Fox News Channel, you'd get the impression America was infact founded solely on the bible and the Founding Fathers all intended us to live by the bible's rules, nothing more, nothing less. And guess what, Fox News channel gets some damned high ratings.
I know you're joking, but I think you may actually be close to the truth. I don't think the founding fathers ever imagined there would come a time when a large percentage of Americans either didn't believe in God or believed in something other than the Judeo-Christian God. If they had, I think they either wouldn't have put 'Under God', 'In God We Trust', etc. all over everything, or (more likely) they would have been more specific in the wording of the Constitution. If someone had moved in down the road from Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin and started practicing Voodoo, I think they would have been tarred and feathered and thrown on the first galley leaving for another country. I don't agree with that particular sentiment, but I do think that was their mindset.
 
464
1
Grogs said:
I know you're joking, but I think you may actually be close to the truth.
I actually wasn't joking, I've heard infinite "Fox News Reports" emphasizing exactly how religious the founding fathers were, citing every example of them saying anything like "We're doing God's work with this great American experiment in liberty", etc.

Grogs said:
I don't think the founding fathers ever imagined there would come a time when a large percentage of Americans either didn't believe in God or believed in something other than the Judeo-Christian God. If they had, I think they either wouldn't have put 'Under God', 'In God We Trust', etc. all over everything, or (more likely) they would have been more specific in the wording of the Constitution.
That's an interesting point, as the Founding Fathers undoubtedly were very religious individuals and several thought morality and religion were inseperable. In there world, everyone was Christian, so I guess that's all they ever considered. Who would have thought back in the day that America would be populated with Jews and Asians and Arabs?!?! Though "Under God" was added into the Pledge of Allegience during McCarthyism to seperate us from the "Godless Communists". I also believe the original phrase on money was "Mind your buisness", as specified by Benjamin Franklin (but I could be wrong).

Grogs said:
If someone had moved in down the road from Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin and started practicing Voodoo, I think they would have been tarred and feathered and thrown on the first galley leaving for another country. I don't agree with that particular sentiment, but I do think that was their mindset.
Interesting you should mention the two Founding Fathers who were most unchristian in that example. Both Jefferson and Franklin had serious doubts about mainstream organized religion. Thomas Jefferson once said: "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Though, then again, Jefferson was a huge hypocrite, writing "all men are created equal" and owning slaves, so maybe he would have lynched that voodoo guy anyway...
 
3,074
3
Many of the leading Founding Fathers practiced Unitarianism, the belief in a Unity rather than a Trinity. Unitarians today tend to be of liberal political persuasion. When folks bring up that the founding fathers were Christian, that claim is more indicative of today's religious persuasion among right-tending politicians than our revolutionary establishers. I believe the democratic innovators would have found many of the modern practices of Christianity, such as fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, to be as alien to them as Puritanism.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,405
4,653
wasteofo2 said:
Are you serious?
Of course! The electoral college is selected via a popular election in each state, and so to get those electoral votes, Bush had to win a plurality in eah of those states.

See how easy that was?
 
464
1
russ_watters said:
Of course! The electoral college is selected via a popular election in each state, and so to get those electoral votes, Bush had to win a plurality in eah of those states.

See how easy that was?
He also got less votes than Al Gore, meaning he wasn't elected by a MAJORITY, as your post said.

Does the level of deceptive language you're using to try to make your side seem better bother you at all?

There is a huge difference between saying "George Bush won the election in 2000 with a plurality and a majority" and saying "George Bush won a plurality of the vote in enough states to recieve their electoral college votes." And even saying that isn't true, with all the BS that went on in Florida. Perhaps more appropriate would be "George Bush won a plurality of the vote in enough states to recieve their electoral college votes, except Florida, where he cheated his way to get the electoral votes."


Al Gore was ELECTED President of the United States in 2000. More people voted for him, and thus a plurality of the country chose him to be President.

See how easy that was? According to my statement, Al Gore was infact elected President, and it was EASY. Can we please stay away from this BS deceptive language and outright lies (Bush DIDN'T win a majority)?
 
Last edited:
84
0
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

Edward Abbey
 
464
1
Polly said:
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

Edward Abbey
"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from the government."
- Thomas Paine

Paine trumps Abbey any day.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,405
4,653
wasteofo2 said:
He also got less votes than Al Gore, meaning he wasn't elected by a MAJORITY, as your post said.
He also got a majority of votes in every state he won (iirc).
Does the level of deceptive language you're using to try to make your side seem better bother you at all?
Please reread my initial post on the subject: the entire point of this exercise is to highlight the spin both sides can use to say things that sound mutually exclusive but are both factually true.
Al Gore was ELECTED President of the United States in 2000. More people voted for him, and thus a plurality of the country chose him to be President.
Now that is just plain factually wrong (the first part). Getting a plurality of the national popular vote has never been relevant to getting elected in the US. Bush won a plurality of the electoral college and thus was elected. See, that again is why I posted this: I was responding to an important sounding irrelevancy initially posted in a way that was factually true, and now repeated in a way that is factually false.

That is the goal of spin: to say something factually true but irrelevant in a way that convinces you of something that is factually false.
See how easy that was? According to my statement, Al Gore was infact elected President, and it was EASY.
No, your statement was factually false as I said above.
Can we please stay away from this BS deceptive language and outright lies (Bush DIDN'T win a majority)?
Sure - I will if you (and the others in the thread will) [caveat: I didn't lie, you did - everything I said was factually true]. :biggrin:

edit: Another good example of a factually true irrelvancy is the fact that something like 2/3 of the country voted for Bush. This onen was parroted by republican poiticians and commentators after the election. Can you figure it out...? :tongue:
 
Last edited:
148
0
russ_watters said:
edit: Another good example of a factually true irrelvancy is the fact that something like 2/3 of the country voted for Bush. This onen was parroted by republican poiticians and commentators after the election. Can you figure it out...? :tongue:
I'm guessing it's because he won ~2/3 of the states. I'm also guessing that if there was a Democratic spin doctor on the show with him, he laid into him for that comment. I know I would have. :devil:

If you really want to see a case of geographical spin, look at the 2004 election results county by county. It would appear that Bush won 80-90% of the country on that map.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,405
4,653
Grogs said:
I'm guessing it's because he won ~2/3 of the states.
You got it (land area as well). This is just as [ir]relevant as the "Gore won the popular vote" spin: its the other half of The Great Compromise.
 
3,074
3
And it continues to compromise our democracy. We no more vote for states than corporations deserve human rights.
 

plover

Homework Helper
187
0
wasteofo2 said:
I actually wasn't joking, I've heard infinite "Fox News Reports" emphasizing exactly how religious the founding fathers were, citing every example of them saying anything like "We're doing God's work with this great American experiment in liberty", etc.
From John Adams:
The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

-- John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88)
From Thomas Jefferson:
[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom ... was finally passed, ... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.

-- Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821
From and concerning George Washington:
Government being, among other purposes, instituted to protect the consciences of men from oppression, it certainly is the duty of Rulers, not only to abstain from it themselves, but according to their stations, to prevent it in others.

-- George Washington, letter to the Religious Society called the Quakers, September 28, 1789

I have diligently perused every line that Washington ever gave to the public, and I do not find one expression in which he pledges, himself as a believer in Christianity. I think anyone who will candidly do as I have done, will come to the conclusion that he was a Deist and nothing more.

-- The Reverend Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in an interview with Mr. Robert Dale Owen written on November 13, 1831
From Benjamin Franklin:
I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.

-- Benjamin Franklin [quoted by Victor J. Stenger in Has Science Found God? (2001)]

This Political Description of a Hypocrite, may (for ought I know) be taken for a new Doctrine by some of your Readers; but let them consider, that a little Religion, and a little Honesty, goes a great way in Courts. 'Tis not inconsistent with Charity to distrust a Religious Man in Power, tho' he may be a good Man; he has many Temptations "to propagate publick Destruction for Personal Advantages and Security:" And if his Natural Temper be covetous, and his Actions often contradict his pious Discourse, we may with great Reason conclude, that he has some other Design in his Religion besides barely getting to Heaven.

-- Benjamin Franklin, quoted in The New England Currant (July 23, 1722)
And from Thomas Paine:
As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of all government to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith.

-- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason (1794)
While effectively all of the founding fathers professed some sort of faith in a Creator, and many (most?) also declared an abiding reverence for Jesus, many of them also had a pronounced disgust for sectarianism, clergy, and organized worship, and almost none of those considered to be the chief architects of the American state corresponds to the current common idea of a "Christian" in an unproblematic way.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
18,405
4,653
Loren Booda said:
And it continues to compromise our democracy. We no more vote for states than corporations deserve human rights.
Are you in favor of disbanding the Senate then?
 
3,074
3
Russ,

No. Just to say that the Senate (and thus the electoral college) is not a democratically decided institution when considered on a national scale. State boundaries are relatively arbitrary, even gerrymandered, when compared to the parity between House districts.
 

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top