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The United States has a moral obligation to spread Democratic ideals in other nations

  1. Oct 26, 2004 #1
    Anyone have any thoughts on this statement? I personally think that the USA does have an obligation to spread Democratic ideals to other nations, but I can't really think of a single concrete reason we do, besides it's just the right thing to do in general.
     
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  3. Oct 26, 2004 #2
    Because democracy is the most efficient and productive political system out there. Not to say of course, that it is a very good one.

    Christianity teaches to "spread the Good News" because Christians believe their belief is good. Therefore, if we believe, or know, that Democracy is the best political system, is it not natural for us to preach it?
     
  4. Oct 26, 2004 #3
    What is Democracy most efficient and productive in?

    It may be our nature to want to spread the good news, but why are we morally obligated to do so? What moral code would we be violating if we didn't?
     
  5. Oct 26, 2004 #4
    Democracy is efficient in general terms. Although forgive me for being misleading, it is not the most efficient. Most efficient is of course, a society led by a totalitarian government. Either way, democracy, like any other political system, is in its own nature efficient. If it was not efficient, little people would follow it.

    By not spreading the "good news", i believe we are actually going against our own morality. If our morality leads us towards the good (or our conscience, which is founded on moralit), and teaching others what is good and what is bad is itself good ... then obviously by not teaching others what is good, we are in fact doing what is wrong.

    In other words: like you said, spreading the good news is our nature. Going against our nature is not good -- common sense shows us this.

    I expect counter-arguments. :smile:
     
  6. Oct 26, 2004 #5

    Kerrie

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    interesting that you bring this up when America is considred a Republic:
    Republic vs. Democracy

    the major difference this site points out is a democracy is a whole body of citizens that acts as the sovereignty while the republic is all about individuals. i think we need to define exactly what is "democratic".
     
  7. Oct 26, 2004 #6

    russ_watters

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    I agree, but I'm surprised you can't figure out why. You do know about the Moral Imperative, right?

    edit: well, now you have - that's what dekoi's post is about. Put more simply, the Moral Imperative says that if you see an immoral situation and have the power to correct it, your own morality mandates that you do so. Its the good Samaratin morality.

    And not to change the subject, but the Moral Imperative is one of the ways to test your own morality to find out if it can be applied universally - if it fits with the Universal Morality.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2004
  8. Oct 26, 2004 #7
    Well, I made this post because it's the Lincoln-Douglas debate topic for Nov/Dec, and it was pathetic how easily the pro-democracy cases were being crushed by the anti-democracy cases. In the debate format, the person who takes the affirmative stance (we do have a moral obligation) gets to define the terms. The way I've defined democratic ideals are:

    Democratic Ideals - Obviously, the primary “Democratic ideal” is that of voting. With voting, people express their views, wants and needs, so spreading “democratic ideals”, does not mean spreading American ways of life, only spreading the ideal that people should manage their own government, have it represent their own views and decide what is best for themselves. However, intrinsic to all people (besides those who wish to subjugate others) are certain ideals, such as the right to Life, Liberty, Property, Freedom, Security and Stability. This can be proven by the universal inclusion of these rights in the constitutions of truly Democratic nations.
     
  9. Oct 26, 2004 #8

    Bystander

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    Moral obligation to whom? Posterity, perhaps, but not much of anyone else. Spread the principles? Sure --- it's smart, good business, and saves a lot of haggling with the unlike cultures. Call it what it is --- don't drape a lot of handwaving (morality) over it --- it's survival.
     
  10. Oct 27, 2004 #9
    Your answer can be found in our Declaration of Independence:

    America, and all People, have an obligation to help one another. Not to start a flame war, but take Iraq for example. America would be obligated to help them become a democracy when the majority of the people desire to abolish their current government for the reasons above. This does not mean the need to stay a democracy. If a country is ruled by a "dictator", and the people are happy, then thats perfectly fine. The dictator has the "consent of the governed". After Iraq becomes a democracy, they are free to choose a different type of government. America's obligation has been fulfilled. The people's choice has been made. Democracy can be a stepping stone to other governments. All democracy does is give the people the choice. That is the moral obligation of mankind: To ensure Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
     
  11. Oct 27, 2004 #10

    russ_watters

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    To yourself, of course (unless you believe in God...)!

    Really, this is a separate question though: why be moral in the first place? This thread assumes that we should be moral, though doesn't ask why.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2004
  12. Oct 27, 2004 #11

    Kerrie

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    why be moral? so others do not steal from you or kill those you love. morals aren't just a set of standards for yourself, but how your actions affect others.
     
  13. Oct 27, 2004 #12

    russ_watters

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    Again, I don't consider this relevant to the initial question, but now that we're on it...

    How does my being moral prevent someone else from stealing? I make my choices, they make theirs. I choose to be moral - how does that choice make them moral unless I also choose to enforce my morality upon them? This sounds like the Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's fine, but how does my following it in any way cause other people to follow it?

    My reason for asserting that only you can choose to be moral (only you can prevent forest fires... :biggrin: ) is that no one can control what is going on inside your head. Locking a murderer up in jail doesn't force him to be moral, it only restricts his ability to act on his morals.

    edit: I didn't answer the question...

    So why would I choose to be moral? Three reasons (in no particular order):

    1. Its the Right thing to do.
    2. It makes me feel good.
    3. If others choose to follow my lead (and this is the one relevant to this thread...), the world will be a better place.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2004
  14. Oct 27, 2004 #13

    Bystander

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    WO2, sorry 'bout knocking this off on a tangent. I'll bow out with a couple preference statements that may,or may not, be useful to you: 1) I do not believe there is any absolute moral standard, therefore, no absolute moral obligations; 2) internal moral standards (can I face myself in the mirror?) are irrelevant (consider what Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, J. Dahmer, et al can/could tolerate); 3) "what makes sense" in any situation (to me) is to conduct myself in a manner that results in minimum unintended consequences that have to be dealt with subsequently (10 commandments minus religion make a very useful set of rules of thumb). Morality? Nah --- just common sense, good business, "work smarter, not harder" type stuff.
     
  15. Oct 27, 2004 #14

    Integral

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    Actually, the most efficient and arguably the best form of government is a benevolent dictatorship. That is were the SINGLE ruler with all of the power only wields the power for the benefit of the populace. The closest that our civilization has ever seen of this form of government was Prussia under Frederic the Great.

    Unfortunately it is simply impossible guarantee that a dictator will be benevolent.
     
  16. Oct 27, 2004 #15
    I would rephrase Winston Churchill and say Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest.

    I think the United States has an obligation to contribute to the world in a positive amount that outways negative things done by the U.S. as a whole.

    Since logically the future will be better with more Democracy, I think the United States should spread Democracy, but is not obligated. I think the obligation has been created to make up for the lack of contribution to humanity by other countries and the individuals in every country that don't do their part.
     
  17. Nov 1, 2004 #16
    It is self-evidently true that the sun revolves around the earth, and it is self-evidently true that some Americans think the earth revolves around the US. Export democracy? Try getting it right yourselves first, please. Ever heard of PR?
     
  18. Nov 1, 2004 #17

    Kerrie

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    the pledge of alligiance specifically refers to our country as a republic, not a democracy. i think we need to explore and understand the difference in this topic as well.
     
  19. Nov 2, 2004 #18

    russ_watters

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    Since a Republic is a form of democracy, I don't think the distinction is all that important for this thread.
     
  20. Nov 2, 2004 #19
    I thought more about this statement.

    It seems pretty awkward to say that 'we' [America] have "a moral obligation to spread Democratic ideals in other nations", when we ourselves are not part of a democracy.

    If you call the Unites States a democratic government, then my uncle's name is Mickey Mouse.
    1.) Probably half of the voters in America base their decisions relative to this constructed reality that they have been mislead to believe by the media.

    2.) Both of the potential presidents are sophists to the lowest level.
    If only there were any Democractic ideals to begin with...
    3.)
    Let's go down the list shall we?
    A political system: Yes
    Supreme Power in the body of citizens: Do floundering, mislead citizens count?
    People who are elected to represent [leaders]: Do leaders who make contradictions, and are politically correct to the next level, count?

    4.) Didn't my old friend Karl once say that a democratic government is only filled with memebers who are messengers of their corporate owners?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2004
  21. Nov 2, 2004 #20
    What is MORAL in your definition? how can we judge if we have an obligation without defining what is and isn't MORAL?
     
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