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Honest Argument: The masses are incabable of determing what is right.
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The masses are incabable of determing what is right.

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The masses are incabable of determing what is right.  The masses are incabable of determing what is right.
       They are distracted by the demands of daily life  They are distracted by the demands of daily life
       People have a high motivation barrier to change  People have a high motivation barrier to change
       People are unwilling to make the sacrifice change requires  People are unwilling to make the sacrifice change requires
       Voters tend not to be as informed as they should be  Voters tend not to be as informed as they should be
              Interested parties often seek to confuse  Interested parties often seek to confuse
                     remove the ability  remove the ability
              The education of voters could easily be helped  The education of voters could easily be helped
                     Offering education is not enough  Offering education is not enough
       Voting by the masses counteracts special interests  Voting by the masses counteracts special interests
              View is too restricted  View is too restricted
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Comments:




Voters tend not to be as informed as they should be

You should add another supporting node to the root noting that people often lack the education - formal or otherwise - to understand the decisions they're asked to make. They often make decisions based on what their peers do or say without understanding if their peers are any better informed

This is more in reference to ballot initiatives and propositions, but given that 29% of the populace still approves of Bush's handling of the Iraq war, it obviously applies to candidates as well.

I wouldn't consider this education a "sacrifice" (thus being covered in your third supporting assertion).

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-01 19:13:23



Voting by the masses counteracts special interests

you should also add a con assertion to the root that voting by the masses counteracts special interests.

Lobbyists and thrid party organizations (e.g. NRA and Sierra Club) have far greater access to and influence over elected and appointed officials than citizens do.

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-02 08:21:09



The masses need to have easier access


I disagree with this assertion.
I believe that if we use technology to make debating and voting painless and available, people can be educated quickly and make informed decisions.
Our current form of representative government can and will become less and less necessary.
Although it is a weak example compared to what can happen online, I hold up Oregon's vote-by-mail system as superior to the tradional poll booths. We get pamphlets mailed to us that list the candidates and propositions, and provide arguments for and against each. Then we get a ballot in the mail that can be completed and returned at each individual's convenience.

Comment by: timcgill At: 2006-11-03 00:15:23



I think you mean that you agree, but the situation can be helped

(wethion seem not to be around, so I'm helping out here)

I added the assertions that I noted in comments, and aded one crediting timcgill with asserting that the education problem could be helped by more robust voting options.

I'm not sure what he means by "Our current form of representative government can and will become less and less necessary" though, so I've done nothing with it as yet

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-03 14:57:27



Re: node: The masses are incabable of determing what is right.

The "masses" as opposed to what?

As opposed to elite special interests? Then the alternative needs to be considered at the same time: the elites are incapable of determining what is right. The dubious assumption that elites are capable of determining what is right can't be allowed to stand without scrutiny.

Also, there is a purely practical matter. Given that there may be more than one discrepant elite position on any given issue, who is to mediate the controversy between multiple mutually exclusive elite alternatives? Who is to decide which one, if any, of the elite candidate proposals is THE right one?

And then there's the thorny question: does it matter? Since it is the masses who will pay the price for and suffer the consequences of any decision, shouldn't they be the one's making it, regardless of whether or not it is the right one?

Comment by: MaskedMarauder At: 2006-11-19 14:26:11



Masses vote on self-interest

A pro should be added to state that rational actors vote in their self-interest, not a universal conception of rightness

Comment by: Quincy At: 2006-11-25 14:58:34



Re: node: The masses are incabable of determing what is right.

This is a truism of both good representative govenment and totalitarianism. However, in the former case the masses do have influence. I would rather say that the masses yield power to representative government than that it is taken out of their hands

Comment by: yabenavr At: 2006-12-11 14:47:39



Definitional problem obscures argument

Not sure what is meant by "the masses". I don't think that there is a good definition of that term in circulation. It seems to me that Americans are, in many ways, fragmented into a number of different and overlapping sub-groups with different values and different hierarchies within shared values. Leaving aside what I think (another possible topic, I guess) is the generally miserable level of reporting in the news media in this country with the resulting information problems among the people as a whole and the general shortage of critical thinking skills (another interesting issue), I still can't tell what the proposition means - specifically who is unable, unwilling, or otherwise not functioning to do what?

Comment by: schakwin At: 2006-12-31 10:27:35



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