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Can democracy coexist with theocracy?

  1. Dec 22, 2004 #1
    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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2004 #2
    Well, democracy and theocracy rhyme, so at least thats a good start.
  4. Dec 22, 2004 #3
    Let's consider a democratic theocracy, or a theocratic democracy.
  5. Dec 22, 2004 #4
    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."
  6. Dec 23, 2004 #5
    Heh, thats what people are saying about democracy now. Funny that.
  7. Dec 23, 2004 #6
    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:
  8. Dec 23, 2004 #7
    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?
  9. Dec 23, 2004 #8


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    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
  10. Dec 23, 2004 #9


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    That's spin: it is also factually true that Bush was voted in by a plurality (and a majority!).
  11. Dec 23, 2004 #10
    Talk about SPIN! :yuck: What a bunch of BS!
  12. Dec 23, 2004 #11
    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.

    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: Dec 23, 2004
  13. Dec 25, 2004 #12
    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.
  14. Dec 25, 2004 #13
    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.

    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).

    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...
  15. Dec 25, 2004 #14
    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.
  16. Dec 26, 2004 #15


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    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?
  17. Dec 26, 2004 #16
    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: Dec 26, 2004
  18. Dec 26, 2004 #17
    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

    Edward Abbey
  19. Dec 26, 2004 #18
    "It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from the government."
    - Thomas Paine

    Paine trumps Abbey any day.
  20. Dec 26, 2004 #19


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    He also got a majority of votes in every state he won (iirc).
    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.
    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.
    No, your statement was factually false as I said above.
    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: Dec 26, 2004
  21. Dec 26, 2004 #20
    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.
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