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Old September 7th, 2017, 06:51 AM   #1
Hellenist
 
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Are humans capable of democracy?


I am taking a break from a science forum now that I have a better understanding of the members of that forum believing it is a privilege to be a member of the forum. I suppose all forums run on the idea that it is a privilege to be a member? Heaven knows I have run into that opinion many times over the many years I have engaged with internet forums. Except myspace and facebook have gone the other extreme of lacking controls invasion into the individual's space, exploiting people is not good for freedom, but reduces us all to corporate slavery.

I chose the persona of Athena because she is the goddess of Liberty, Justice, and those who Defend those who stand for liberty and justice. You might guess my sense of purpose runs counter to the notion that we live by privilege rather than by rights. I want to clarify our rights need to be protected by rules, so am not in favor of anarchy. But neither am I comfortable with thinking we live by privilege rather than by protected rights.

I have now concluded it is not our human nature to be democratic and it completely goes against our grain to be democratic and to live with respect for others and to protect the dignity of others. It is our nature to be as animals, organizing ourselves in hierarchies and competing against each other as animals do. We enjoy thinking we are among the privileged and we are superior in some way that justifies walking all over the rights of others.
What do you think?
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Old September 7th, 2017, 06:56 AM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena View Post
I am taking a break from a science forum now that I have a better understanding of the members of that forum believing it is a privilege to be a member of the forum. I suppose all forums run on the idea that it is a privilege to be a member? Heaven knows I have run into that opinion many times over the many years I have engaged with internet forums. Except myspace and facebook have gone the other extreme of lacking controls invasion into the individual's space, exploiting people is not good for freedom, but reduces us all to corporate slavery.

I chose the persona of Athena because she is the goddess of Liberty, Justice, and those who Defend those who stand for liberty and justice. You might guess my sense of purpose runs counter to the notion that we live by privilege rather than by rights. I want to clarify our rights need to be protected by rules, so am not in favor of anarchy. But neither am I comfortable with thinking we live by privilege rather than by protected rights.

I have now concluded it is not our human nature to be democratic and it completely goes against our grain to be democratic and to live with respect for others and to protect the dignity of others. It is our nature to be as animals, organizing ourselves in hierarchies and competing against each other as animals do. We enjoy thinking we are among the privileged and we are superior in some way that justifies walking all over the rights of others.
What do you think?
Being Democratic is all about self control; I think most of our problems as a species arise from a lack of self-control, and putting off gratification, which is also about self control. But, hey! You live in Eugene, where I grew up and will return one day pretty soon --the best place you could be, with lots of cool folks. So rejoice!
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Old September 7th, 2017, 08:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Todd Feinman View Post
Being Democratic is all about self control; I think most of our problems as a species arise from a lack of self-control, and putting off gratification, which is also about self control. But, hey! You live in Eugene, where I grew up and will return one day pretty soon --the best place you could be, with lots of cool folks. So rejoice!
I am so glad you know that! Like Florence did at the beginning of the renascence we had education for virtues and citizenship. We replaced that education with education for technology in 1958 and the social, economic and political ramifications of the change in education seem to be destroying our democratic republic. I am seeking ways to explain this and I was surprised and delighted with your post.

When we focused on education for technology, we left moral training to the church and now extremely few people know what reason has to do with morality and what morality has to do with democracy. Christians seem to think they are the only people with morals and both Christians and non-Christians object to education for morality because we now have moral tied to religion instead of to reason, and reason is tied to immorality because some reason the bible is mythology and not a god's truth, and not everything said in the bible is all good. A god having favorite people does not go well with democratic principles. A non-scientific understanding of humans seems to a legal, social, and political problem to me.

We are no longer united as educated people were when we had education for democracy.
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Old September 7th, 2017, 08:57 AM   #4

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Yeah... Imagine a species that thinks it is special, unique, god's creation, and the most intelligent thing in the universe! Then it goes about polluting and destroying the one planet it occupies with other animals, destroying their habitat without remorse. They invent gods and goddesses, divide the land into territories, and develop more and more lethal weapons to fight with --until they are capable of destroying most of the life in one fell swoop.

That would be a stupid species, IMHO. I would surveille them from a distance.

Last edited by Todd Feinman; September 7th, 2017 at 09:02 AM.
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Old September 7th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #5

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You can't have any rights unless you're an actual individual. Animals don't have rights, because they have no free will. That's where western philosophy play such a big role on this topic. Because western civilization is built by two pillars of history, the Greek philosophers and Christianity. The Greeks asked the question wheter there is an individual and if he has any rights, while Christianity (or, Jesus himself) gave the answer.

There is a reason why democracy only works in certain places in the world. Democracy for sure doesn't work in the Islamic world. But it does work in western/Christian countries, or countries that have been heavily influenced by the west such as Japan or South Korea. Democracy is something that works for people who have been taught the right values.

I would recommend you read the r/k selection theory, which will give you some answers to how humans act differently and why.


EDIT: I will add though that democracy is not a perfect system, far from it. I would even argue it's an immoral system. Democracy, just like Benjamin Franklin said, is two wolves and a lamb voting what to have for lunch. And i honestly don't see why human nature and democracy are exclusive of eachother? Aren't humans voting for their self interests? Isn't acting through your self interest at the core of human nature? I feel like you're romanticizing democracy.

Last edited by BaldwinIV; September 7th, 2017 at 06:42 PM. Reason: more thoughts
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Old September 8th, 2017, 05:18 AM   #6

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Athena, have to say I'm still scratching my head over your original post. Membership on an internet board has nothing to do with human rights or the nature of man or inherent democracy. When you sign up on a discussion board, you agree to follow the rules in order to have the *privilege* of participating. There is no democratic voting, from what I've seen. You stick to the rules or the folks in charge yank your privileges. Simple as that. Not sure how that can be turned into some kind of civil rights crusade, or an indication of man's democratic nature or lack thereof.

I'll have to leave the deeper philosophical questions to Todd and others! My opinion varies wildly. Humanity is certainly the pinnacle of creation, and we are capable of pretty much anything we truly want. But some days I just want to nuke 'em all from orbit! Well, not *all*, I guess, probably be a couple dozen of us left. But it wouldn't be a democracy, lemme tell ya...

Matthew
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Old September 8th, 2017, 05:22 AM   #7

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Originally Posted by Matthew Amt View Post
Athena, have to say I'm still scratching my head over your original post. Membership on an internet board has nothing to do with human rights or the nature of man or inherent democracy. When you sign up on a discussion board, you agree to follow the rules in order to have the *privilege* of participating. There is no democratic voting, from what I've seen. You stick to the rules or the folks in charge yank your privileges. Simple as that. Not sure how that can be turned into some kind of civil rights crusade, or an indication of man's democratic nature or lack thereof.

I'll have to leave the deeper philosophical questions to Todd and others! My opinion varies wildly. Humanity is certainly the pinnacle of creation, and we are capable of pretty much anything we truly want. But some days I just want to nuke 'em all from orbit! Well, not *all*, I guess, probably be a couple dozen of us left. But it wouldn't be a democracy, lemme tell ya...

Matthew
Shotgun! We will release the human-specific nanoweapons from there!
Puny humans..
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Old September 8th, 2017, 05:24 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Amt View Post
Athena, have to say I'm still scratching my head over your original post. Membership on an internet board has nothing to do with human rights or the nature of man or inherent democracy. When you sign up on a discussion board, you agree to follow the rules in order to have the *privilege* of participating. There is no democratic voting, from what I've seen. You stick to the rules or the folks in charge yank your privileges. Simple as that. Not sure how that can be turned into some kind of civil rights crusade, or an indication of man's democratic nature or lack thereof.

I'll have to leave the deeper philosophical questions to Todd and others! My opinion varies wildly. Humanity is certainly the pinnacle of creation, and we are capable of pretty much anything we truly want. But some days I just want to nuke 'em all from orbit! Well, not *all*, I guess, probably be a couple dozen of us left. But it wouldn't be a democracy, lemme tell ya...

Matthew
Excellent post Mat.
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Old September 8th, 2017, 05:28 AM   #9

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Well, for a start, Athena is neither goddess of liberty, nor of justice.

The former would be Libertas, or the Greek equivalent Eleutheria, and the latter would be Themis,

So we're not off to a good start there.

As for membership of a forum, well, it's completely democratic. If you don't like the rules of the forum, you have every right to simply leave. And if enough people do it, the forum dies. But while you are a member and continue to post, you abide by the rules that you agreed to. If you can't exercise the self-control to abide by those rules, then you don't deserve the privilege of membership.

If I invite you into my house, and you pee over my floor, am I denying you your rights if I kick you out? Because in my world, you implicitly agree not to pee over my floor when you come into my house (unless your name is Spot or Rover, and even then). Maybe you do it differently in yours?
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Old September 8th, 2017, 05:31 AM   #10

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As Goebbels mentioned , democracy is two wolves and one sheep deciding what's for diner .

people don't decide on what is good for all but what they believe is good as they see it

democracy like free market rely on the assumption of an perfectly informed agent with no internal or external constraint in his/her choices .

we all make our mind on the basis of what we know and ,more to the point ,what we want to know
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