The Instigator
Tiresias
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
badger
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Democracy is an immoral political system

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Tiresias
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,057 times Debate No: 12730
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Tiresias

Pro

This first round will be a providing of definitions and a haggling between my partner and I if necessary.

Democracy: the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group [A]

Immoral: not adhering to ethical or moral principles [B]

It is my contention that the practice of Democracy as a political system both allows for and perpetuates immoral acts. Therefore, it is an immoral political system.

Thanks to whichever Comrade accepts this debate.

[A] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

[B] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
badger

Con

Your definitions are fine by me.
Debate Round No. 1
Tiresias

Pro

Contention: Democracy is an immoral political system.

Using the definitions from round 1, I will prove that democracy - or majority rule - allows for the passage of immoral - or ethically inconsistent - legislation and in turn often perpetuates these same immoral acts through democratic means.

Justification 1:

Since its inception as a nation, America has more or less been a representative democracy. It is also important to note for this example that slavery was deemed a legal and "natural" practice by the majority of Americans from the beginning of our independence. Indeed throughout America's history democracy has reaffirmed the right of a man to own slaves - most notably through the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 [A] which was passed by Congress on the national level. In addition, local democracies also often intensified the federal stance by passing local ordinances known as 'Slave Codes' [B] which denied Constitutional rights to African natives and their legacies. Indeed the Virginia Slave Code voted into law by the State General Assembly in 1705 affirmed: "If any slave resists his master...correcting such a slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction...the master shall be free of all punishment...as if such accident never happened". I think we can agree that murder in this case, and slavery in general, are both "immoral" and were not only directly allowable due to democracy - but indeed protected by it – proving that democracy itself just as immoral, if not more so, than the acts achieved through it.

Not to beat a dead horse here, another piece of legislation draws this distinction even more explicitly. The Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 allowed every territory to decide democratically whether it would allow slavery - which constitutes again a direct democratic allowance of and propagation of an immoral act (i.e. slavery), reaffirming the resolution [C]. One could also argue here that this example not only makes democracy immoral, but reveals that it also is all too often inconsistent as it also violated the Declaration of Independence, which reaffirmed that every "man" - read = regardless of race - was entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I rather think that slaves were denied all three - something that Founding Father must have realized but ignored for the sake of compromise and democracy.
My opponent may also argue that democracy inevitably prevailed in correcting its moral failings by passing the 13th Amendment; however, he should note that the 13th Amendment was passed only due the presence of over 350,000 Union soldiers stationed in the South who would remove any Southern political officials who impeded its passage. One can argue that had those soldiers not been there, the South using its democratic right to vote would have refused again the passage of the 13th Amendment, enabling the continuation of slavery on legal grounds. One can deduce then that it was the suppression of democracy that allowed for the more moral progression of society, as democracy still clearly and unabashedly desired to embrace slavery. By showing that the suppression of of democracy can further morality, one must also accept that the exercise of democracy can limit morality or encourage / require immorality.

Justification 2: This justification will be more philosophical in nature, as I believe I have already shown the practical immorality of the democratic system.

Imagine that you just flew into Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend a conference on morality (rather convenient, I know). You walk into the room and see one hundred people milling about. You randomly talk to one jet-lagged attendee and the topic turns to morality. After the general queries, a rather strange idea juts forth. This man seems to believe he has the right to rape children. As it is a rather odd topic to bring up, you simply walk away and chalk it up to one immoral man in a group of one hundred. However, your next 10 conversations all turn out the same way: everyone seems to believe that raping children is A-okay. Indeed, upon talking to your 51st person, you realize that the majority of people in this room are proponents of avidly raping children. Should they take a vote on whether or not to rape children next weekend in between watching football and cooking dinner, it would undoubtedly pass.

Now as you edge towards the door, you begin examining the fact that their vote on rape did not in actuality change the fact that rape is especially immoral as an action. Because more than half of a group of people in room want to rape people does not mean it is okay to rape people. This thinking is especially primitive, not to mention logically unsound. And indeed one might even go so far as to say that this exercise of democracy was far more immoral than any one rape itself because it lent its authority to the full commission of 51 future rapes. Upon realizing this, you decide to high-tail it out of there – lest they vote that raping adults is as legal as raping children.

My point with this story was to convey the idea that the opinion of the majority is not moral simply because it is the opinion of the majority. Morality is independent of political opinion – someone can vote that child rape should be legal, but it is still immoral. And the system that grants its authority to this immoral act is in consequence vastly more immoral due to its permissiveness – a system that declares child rape legal is ethically responsible for every rape occurring thereafter.

Furthermore, and a bit of a tangent later, the opinion of the majority should in no way be binding upon the minority. There can be no philosophical justification for this point. If 51 of these 100 men believe that everyone at the conference must rape a child or be executed, that should not force the 49 other perfectly moral members of the conference to rape children or face the consequences. Yet democracy would enforce this ideal and ensure that not just 51 rapes were carried out, but that full 100 were - a particularly more immoral outcome.

Democracy is not intrinsically moral simply because we all get a say in what occurs: morality rather depends on what we say, and not how many are saying it.

[A] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[B] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[C] http://en.wikipedia.org...
badger

Con

badger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Tiresias

Pro

Tiresias forfeited this round.
badger

Con

badger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Tiresias

Pro

Tiresias forfeited this round.
badger

Con

badger forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by badger 6 years ago
badger
sorry about that. i'm just gonna concede the debate to you so you can do whatever you want in the next round. i'm still gonna argue though.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
TiresiasbadgerTied
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Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
TiresiasbadgerTied
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