Moral duty to vote?
#51
(10-15-2012, 03:11 AM)Rosarium Wrote:
(10-15-2012, 01:45 AM)Poche Wrote: If you don't vote and some evil befalls us (Ie abortion - the contraceptive mandate etc...) then you bear some of the responsability for that evil by your abstention. 

That is not true. One can only participate in sin through defined means.

And those who voted are directly lending their support to an individual. The solution it seems to be to vote for the loser, so one can say something is not their fault and that any evil an elected official does is not one's fault. But this is not morally sound.

The personal sins of those in government are their sins, and people can participate in those sins by defending them, supporting them, etc, but one cannot participate by failing to vote for someone else. After all, if failing to vote is seen as potentially contributing to the win of another, then voting for someone surely contributes to the win and it is much more clearly lending support to that person.

Only if the issue is clear, a priority, and nearly certain, would an issue make a candidate possibly a moral obligation to support. However, that is not the case.

One could also argue that if one votes for a "pro-life" candidate, but the candidate also supports another grave evil, one could accuse said voter of being for an evil, regardless... which is what you would HAVE to do with any candidate in this country. 

You're always choosing a lesser evil.  If you'd be sinning by voting for someone because they espouse something, there would be no possibility of avoiding sin in any voting.
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#52
(10-15-2012, 04:06 PM)LoneWolfRadTrad Wrote:
(10-15-2012, 03:11 AM)Rosarium Wrote:
(10-15-2012, 01:45 AM)Poche Wrote: If you don't vote and some evil befalls us (Ie abortion - the contraceptive mandate etc...) then you bear some of the responsability for that evil by your abstention. 

That is not true. One can only participate in sin through defined means.

And those who voted are directly lending their support to an individual. The solution it seems to be to vote for the loser, so one can say something is not their fault and that any evil an elected official does is not one's fault. But this is not morally sound.

The personal sins of those in government are their sins, and people can participate in those sins by defending them, supporting them, etc, but one cannot participate by failing to vote for someone else. After all, if failing to vote is seen as potentially contributing to the win of another, then voting for someone surely contributes to the win and it is much more clearly lending support to that person.

Only if the issue is clear, a priority, and nearly certain, would an issue make a candidate possibly a moral obligation to support. However, that is not the case.

One could also argue that if one votes for a "pro-life" candidate, but the candidate also supports another grave evil, one could accuse said voter of being for an evil, regardless... which is what you would HAVE to do with any candidate in this country. 

You're always choosing a lesser evil.  If you'd be sinning by voting for someone because they espouse something, there would be no possibility of avoiding sin in any voting.

So, the only way to avoid sin is to vote for someone who loses, which is absurd.

Refraining from voting unless the vote is clearly and distinctly for something good is a good position if one is not able to support a person.

So, if they put it to vote whether abortion should be legal or not, one would be compelled to vote if one is able.

If a politician makes this a priority in their campaign, then one may be compelled to vote.

If a politician makes it a side-note which they use to get votes from people who care about the issue, one is not compelled to vote and to vote for this reason could be morally reckless.
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#53
(10-15-2012, 04:01 PM)rbjmartin Wrote:
(10-15-2012, 02:35 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Those vested with authority to govern have the duty to govern (and to do so in such a way that advances the common good, of course). A king would sin by neglecting his duty to govern, I would assume.  When the authority to govern vests in all, then the duty likewise falls on all. The vote is how that authority is exercised and that duty is fulfilled in such political systems.  That's how I look at it, anyway.

The authority to govern isn't necessarily vested in the people, even where rulers are elected. In a republican system, the authority to rule is vested in the elected officials. The people simply render consent via democratic means. After all, according to Aristotle (and backed up by Aquinas and Bellarmine) authority derives from the consent of the governed, and in a democratic system, consent is given by casting ballots. Therefore, one does not have an obligation to render consent to any of the choices set before him on the ballot if he deems none of those named to be worthy of rule.

That's a interesting point.  I think in terms of consent, consent is given generally to the whole system.  The people consent to be governed by whomever is elected (even if one doesn't vote  for the winning candidate).  When I vote, I am not committing to declaring the other candidate void of authority if my choice is not elected.  It seems voting then is a participation in the government that is already consented to.

Looking at it a different way, in De Laicis, Ch. 6, St. Robert says the choice of those who will weild the authority to govern  is an act of delegation.  The authority is first vested in the people who then give it to another.  Elections therefore would be the act of delegation--the authority to govern would be in the people before they choose the ruler.  As such, the act of election itself seems to be an act of exercising that authority.  As such, there would be a duty to participate in that delegation, as St. Robert says must be done according to the natural law.

St. Robert, De Laicis 6 Wrote:Note, secondly, that this power resides, as in its subject, immediately in the whole state, for this power is by Divine law, but Divine law gives this power to no particular man, therefore Divine law gives this power to the collected body. Furthermore, in the absence of positive law, there is no good reason why, in a multitude of equals, one rather than another should dominate. Therefore, power belongs to the collected body. Finally, human society ought to be a perfect State, therefore, it should have the power to preserve itself, hence, to punish disturbers of the peace, etc.

Note, in the third place, that, by the same natural law, this power is delegated by the multitude to one or several, for the State cannot of itself exercise this power, therefore, it is held to delegate it to some individual, or to several, and this authority of rulers considered thus in general is both by natural law and by Divine law, nor could the entire human race assembled together decree the opposite, that is, that there should be neither rulers nor leaders.

Note, in the fourth place, that individual forms of government in specific instances derive from the law of nations, not from the natural law, for, as is evident, it depends on the consent of the people to decide whether kings, or consuls, or other magistrates are to be established in authority over them; and, if there be legitimate cause, the people can change a kingdom into an aristocracy, or an aristocracy into a democracy, and vice versa, as we read was done in Rome.

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#54
I see your point. However, this obligation to delegate authority does not necessitate participation in an election if there are no choices deemed worthy of election. A little background...

The purpose of the voting process is to allow the citizenry a means of manifesting their consent to be governed, and they do this by selecting their preferred ruler. But this is a bit of an illusion, in itself, because voting does not demonstrate the preference of the "collected body" (as St. Robert terms it); rather, it demonstrates the preference of the majority. So it is a flawed means of manifesting consent, because rarely will there be a unanimous preference for a single candidate in any given election.

The democratic system "buys" legitimacy in this way, because it claims to have gone to the people to obtain legitimacy. For the reason I've stated above, this is misleading. When you are casting your vote, you aren't actually delegating authority to a particular candidate. You are delegating authority to the entire democratic system, including candidates whom you oppose. This takes away any ground you have to stand on to protest the legitimacy of the elected regime. You played the game. You voted in the election, your guy lost, and now you have to accept the results and render obedience to the elected ruler.

To address the particularities of the present, we are caught in a situation where many of us find the only viable options (i.e. those options that are likely to obtain a majority of the vote) morally unacceptable. To us, the democratic system is a losing proposition, in itself. The game is over before it has even started. Do we have an obligation to continue to legitimize a system of government that is so clearly opposed to justice?

I wish to pose a question to you personally, because I'm interested in your thoughts on this: At what point does a government lose legitimacy? Similarly, how does a new government gain legitimacy?
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#55
how is it the crack addicted pimp has a vote that is equal to the devoted catholic political science professor?
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#56
We could go back to the way it used to be and only allow land owners to vote.  That would certainly keep those annoying apartment dwellers in their place.  Just sayin.
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#57
(10-15-2012, 09:44 PM)DrBombay Wrote: We could go back to the way it used to be and only allow land owners to vote.  That would certainly keep those annoying apartment dwellers in their place.  Just sayin.

:(
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#58
Selecting moral, virtuous and competent candidates is what we are attempting to do. If this definition is a Vote, so be it. But if
none of the sought out candidates present themselves, then we don't "vote". Therefore voting is conditional.
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#59
(10-15-2012, 09:44 PM)DrBombay Wrote: We could go back to the way it used to be and only allow land owners to vote.  That would certainly keep those annoying apartment dwellers in their place.  Just sayin.

Don't stop there, let's return to this country's roots and only allow white, landowning men to vote....
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#60
(10-28-2012, 03:08 PM)lumine Wrote:
(10-15-2012, 09:44 PM)DrBombay Wrote: We could go back to the way it used to be and only allow land owners to vote.  That would certainly keep those annoying apartment dwellers in their place.  Just sayin.

Don't stop there, let's return to this country's roots and only allow white, landowning men to vote....
the white only part is the only part I disagree with
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