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Old 03-26-2009, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
857 posts, read 1,228,611 times
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This was started in another thread so I thought this needed its proper place. Basically the question started as can we have morality in laws. But it turned to whether or not 51% of a populace has the right to enforce its will on the other 49%.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Texas
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The right? I don't think so in all cases.

But in reality is that the way it will always be? Yes...and that fact is simply unavoidable.

Laws will be enacted by legislators who are elected by the majority. If a court of law interprets a law as unconstitutional and enough people don't like it, they will merely elect legislators who will amend the Constitution so that the court's ruling no longer stands.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Columbus, OH
857 posts, read 1,228,611 times
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I do like the point that was made about us being a representative democracy and not a real democracy. And I think they were right that most of the populace is not suited to make political decisions. but its not 51% over 49% its a higher percentage than that, 2/3rds is majority in most cases I believe. So yes if you can convince 66% of a representative assembly to agree to something then I do not see how it could be deemed immoral.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:57 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 4,939,282 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afoigrokerkok View Post
The right? I don't think so in all cases.

But in reality is that the way it will always be? Yes...and that fact is simply unavoidable.

Laws will be enacted by legislators who are elected by the majority. If a court of law interprets a law as unconstitutional and enough people don't like it, they will merely elect legislators who will amend the Constitution so that the court's ruling no longer stands.
First of all, the Constitution cannot be amended by a simple majority, as I am sure you know. Moreover, the Constitution contains numerous safeguards to curb the majority rule -- and thus to achieve the majority rule, it would have to be amended a great deal, up to and including abolishing the Judicial Branch.

Second, the original comment about the majority rule was a non-sequitur. So what if the majority can enact a law that's irrational, unjust and socially irresponsible? It can force me to submit, but it cannot force me to change my mind. Even if, in theory, the majority can enact laws, it can't exactly order minds to change or determine single-handedly what the truth is. If the majority passes a law tomorrow stating that the Earth is flat, somehow I doubt our planet will oblige and flatten itself.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,969 posts, read 13,763,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
First of all, the Constitution cannot be amended by a simple majority, as I am sure you know. Moreover, the Constitution contains numerous safeguards to curb the majority rule -- and thus to achieve the majority rule, it would have to be amended a great deal, up to and including abolishing the Judicial Branch.

Second, the original comment about the majority rule was a non-sequitur. So what if the majority can enact a law that's irrational, unjust and socially irresponsible? It can force me to submit, but it cannot force me to change my mind. Even if, in theory, the majority can enact laws, it can't exactly order minds to change or determine single-handedly what the truth is. If the majority passes a law tomorrow stating that the Earth is flat, somehow I doubt our planet will oblige and flatten itself.
I don't remember exactly how the U.S. Constitution is amended, but isn't it done by a 2/3 vote of state legislatures after being proposed and voted on by Congress? It may require a supermajority, but it's the same concept.

And of course a law changing scientific facts or attempting to change thoughts will not be effective, but is there ANY law attempting to change behavior that every single person will ever agree on? I think we would all agree that laws are meant to regulate behavior, not indisputable facts or people's thoughts.

Last edited by afoigrokerkok; 03-26-2009 at 03:22 PM..
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,556,197 times
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I am not an advocate of the concept of democracy or majority rule. Few individuals possess the knowledge or wisdom to make a wise choice, most are motivated by selfishness, a few with evil interests can too easily sway them, it takes too long to find out what the majority thinks, the future is too hard to predict, and a tyranny is a tyranny, no matter how many people collectively have power. I could probably think of some more reasons if I thought it was worth my time to do so.

However, I accept the fact that the my country is ruled accordingly, and I defend the principles of our Constitution as I understand them. They are summed up in 33 words in the Preamble. Those words do not dictate morality, but are there to be applied by men whom we can only hope are moral in and of themselves.

Last edited by jtur88; 03-26-2009 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:10 PM
 
9,912 posts, read 12,184,827 times
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It's not really majority rule anymore anyway. Mostly it's who spent the most money and has the most power to effectively lobby for the "free vote" outcome they want.

Yep that's "democracy" at work.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,969 posts, read 13,763,873 times
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Originally Posted by moonshadow View Post
It's not really majority rule anymore anyway. Mostly it's who spent the most money and has the most power to effectively lobby for the "free vote" outcome they want.

Yep that's "democracy" at work.
You have an excellent point here. I think almost everyone would agree that true majority rule would be better than this situation.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:25 PM
 
9,912 posts, read 12,184,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afoigrokerkok View Post
You have an excellent point here. I think almost everyone would agree that true majority rule would be better than this situation.
It won't be changing anytime soon that I can see, well not without a revolution and a redefining of democracy.

Even the current economic crisis seems to have done little to change it.

I think we're stuck with perhaps 100 of the world wealthiest dictating and controlling things exactly as they wish all the while leaving the rest of us to the illusion we're in a free and democratic society.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:40 PM
 
7,695 posts, read 12,845,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshadow View Post
I think we're stuck with perhaps 100 of the world wealthiest dictating and controlling things exactly as they wish all the while leaving the rest of us to the illusion we're in a free and democratic society.
I think the poor majority have voted in Obama hoping he will redistribute the weath. You don't think the wealthy voted to have their money
redistributed do you??
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