Sunday, March 6, 2011
Six Thought Provoking Questions
Thought Provoking Questions - Politics
1. When several hundred thousand want a given person or party in power, but can never elect them because only Liberals or Conservatives or NDP will be elected by the other hundred thousand voters, can they believe that this is a representative government? Would a system that allowed them to send their own representatives to the legislature be more fair? Is there a way to devise a system which allows any voters that agree on a candidate to have representation? (There are a many libertarians, for example, who never get represented.)
2. It is considered immoral for me to steal from my neighbor Joe in order to send my kids to school, or to paint a picture, or to subsidize my tobacco crop, so how can it be right for me to do it using the government as my agent? Is it moral just because enough of us vote to take Joe's money for something we want to do? Is this "mob rule" okay for any purpose, or only if it is a "good" purpose? If so, who decides what a "good" purpose is?
3. Hitler was elected to parliament, and the ancient Greek parliament, which was more representative than what we have today, voted to kill Socrates for teaching young men to think. So is Democracy the best we can do? If people vote to violate their own rights or those of others, is it okay, just because the majority wants it that way? (Another question: Why did we start calling our system a democracy just because it votes for it's leaders?)
More Thought Provoking Questions
4. Since a moral rule like, "don't steal," can lead to immorality, as in not stealing to feed your child when that's the only option, is it possible we need a new way to define morality? Can morality be permanently codified in words, or should we use words only to point at what is beyond the definitions, and alter the definitions as often as we come to understand new things about the world and our role in it?
5. If the laws are recognizing more and more that animals shouldn't be treated cruelly, do animals have "rights," as children do? Children are dependent but with basic rights. If animals are the same, are their "owners" obligated to give them them proper food and medical care, and should they be prosecuted if they fail to provide it? Should they be forced to care for pets for life, with no option to have them killed when they become inconvenient?
6. Some believe that holy books instruct us to kill people for working on the wrong day (Exodus 31:15), or saying the wrong words (Leviticus 24:17) or because they're homosexual (Leviticus 20:13), and millions believe these books are the words of God. So is it possible that religions inherently breed violence, or is it just some religions, or do they only do so if people really take their religions seriously? Most people would condemn a person who said these things, so why do they worship gods who say them? Religion gives us some of the most thought provoking questions.