• Wallows
    6.2k
    In order to be able to talk about matters of ethics or the 'good' as Plato would say, is there a prerequisite that one be 'mature'?

    I ask because there seems to be a leader in the office of the United States, that has everything that would testify that he is mature; yet, his behavior does not indicate that he is 'mature'.

    Do we need a 'maturity' test to be implemented in positions of power and social governance? Plato thought so, in terms of mandating that only people past a certain age could handle positions of power and control.

    What's your opinion?
  • tim wood
    1.4k
    Trump is a problem but not imo the problem. The problem is that he was elected. If we dug into the division implied by that simple fact, we'd have to dig long to get to any bottom, if there is one. No doubt we'd uncover ugly layers of just about every ugly thing people do or think about. Racism is a given. I think the bedrock of it is ignorance, plain stupid nasty sixth-generation ignorance. At least half the voters in the US have proved their ignorance. The only remedy is (a return to real) education and some sort of basic voter qualification test. In the meantime we have to trust the wisdom of the Constitution's authors. They argued that if a bad person was elected, the next election wasn't too far off.

    One benefit of education and qualification is that elections could be about best solutions to problems and how to make the world a better place, instead of us v. them referendums.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97
    I don't think "maturity" is a particularly important trait in a potential state leader. It is preferable, yes, but a Nation's political system should be divided to limit the power of any one institution and, therefore, minimize the influence of potential corruption. Trump has tried and failed to do a lot of silly things and this is a great example of how the American system should work.

    As for Plato's notion that a age is good indicator of wisdom? Trump is 71, is that old enough?
  • Fool
    65
    I would broaden that from maturity to all-around qualification. I’m not a firm believer in our brand of democracy precisely because having a pulse is the only qualification for voting. Garbage in, garbage out.
  • Kitty
    34
    I agree with the sentiments here. I would add that only (heterosexual) married people with children are allowed to vote. It would fix most problems the USA world has nowadays.
  • T Clark
    3k
    I agree with the sentiments here. I would add that only (heterosexual) married people with children are allowed to vote. It would fix most problems the USA world has nowadays.Kitty

    Yes, well, I certainly don't see it that way, even though I am (heterosexual) and married and have children. I'm surprised the moderators haven't deleted your post yet. They are not generally tolerant of such incendiary statements. I actually enjoy interacting civilly with people whose opinions I find distasteful, but that is not the consensus among moderators on the forum.
  • T Clark
    3k
    I would broaden that from maturity to all-around qualification. I’m not a firm believer in our brand of democracy precisely because having a pulse is the only qualification for voting. Garbage in, garbage out.Fool

    Unfortunately for you and those like you, when Lincoln said "of the People, by the People, and for the People" he included those you consider garbage.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Do we need a 'maturity' test to be implemented in positions of power and social governance? Plato thought so, in terms of mandating that only people past a certain age could handle positions of power and control.Posty McPostface

    Requirements to run for President of the US:

      [1] 35 Years old
      [2] Natural born citizen
      [3] Resident for 14 years

    Those seem reasonable to me. Let the voters, or "garbage" as some call them, decide on qualifications and maturity.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97
    "I would add that only (heterosexual) married people with children are allowed to vote."

    Unless they decide to vote in a way you disapprove of. Most problems are subjective. You should be careful when limiting power to a select few in case their ideals don't align with yours and you find yourself without the power to oppose them.
  • Fool
    65
    @T Clark

    Hey man. Relax with the ad hominem. I’m calling uninformed votes garbage, not people. Sheesh.

    If you think we can have rational social choice on the back of money-manipulated ignorance, then why are we failing utterly to address any of our most serious problems?

    I don’t know what just voter qualification would look like, but I’d be most concerned to ensure it doesn’t reinforce inequalities. Not sure that’s possible, so maybe the current system is indeed the best one. On the other hand, I don’t think an open mind holds anything sacred, whether the founders and eminent statesmen believed it or not.

    - if I may politely differ with you, sir.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    "Uninformed votes" - Assertion.
    "Our most serious problems" - What you consider the most serious problems may not be what the rest of society considers the most serious problems.
    "reinforce inequalities." - Clarification needed. Are you talking about equality of outcome or equality of opportunity and how is that relevant to an Electorate Qualification?
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    As for maturity, the truth is that "wisdom does not necessarily grow with age". As a 71 year old, I can cite examples of older and younger people who are definitely not mature or wise, and at the same time cite examples of older and younger people who are decidedly mature and wise.

    The difference is that some people accumulate wisdom and maturity, and some people don't. Trump belongs in the category of people who haven't, so far, accumulated a whole lot of wisdom or maturity.
  • Fool
    65


    “Uniformed votes” should not be controversial. Unless you largely approve of the political climate and direction of the country, it’s hard to see how you believe our electorate is well informed.

    “Serious problems” might just as easily be “problems”, since I’m not convinced we’re getting much of anything right. But if you don’t think fiscal solvency, clean and plentiful water, affordable energy or environmental sustainability are serious issues, I have nothing left to say.

    I’m not foolish enough to pursue equality of outcome. That would require much more severe inequalities. I’m a Rawls man. I’m for equality of opportunity. Trouble with voter qualifications is that they would likely benefit the educated more than the uneducated, and we know the spectrum of education overwhelmingly reflects social inequality.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Hey man. Relax with the ad hominem. I’m calling uninformed votes garbage, not people. Sheesh.Fool

    Well, it was in no way an ad hominem attack. Not even an insult. What it was was an intentionally misleading characterization of your position intended to be provocative. Disrespect Contempt for those who disagree with us is what got us in this place we find ourselves in. I'm very liberal. The fact that so many of my liberal friends have attitudes similar to yours infuriates me.

    I don't know what your politics is. It doesn't matter. I believe in government with the consent of the governed, not by the will of some chosen group.
  • Fool
    65


    Okay. I respect that. I think my political views are essential, though. I don’t think voter restrictions necessarily conflict with popular sovereignty. Anyone can vote, just not before meeting certain standards of literacy and critical thinking. Disadvantaged groups would qualify for robust government support around educational goals.

    I’m sure that still sounds suspicious, but what value is there in a dysfunctional system, fair or otherwise? Even our cherished freedom of speech has been hemmed in by the obvious need for certain restrictions. Same with firearms.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    "“Uniformed votes” should not be controversial. Unless you largely approve of the political climate and direction of the country, it’s hard to see how you believe our electorate is well informed." -
    Assuming voters are misinformed because you're not happy with the current political climate is wrong. They may be perfectly informed, but just do not agree with you.

    "“Serious problems” might just as easily be “problems”, since I’m not convinced we’re getting much of anything right. But if you don’t think fiscal solvency, clean and plentiful water, affordable energy or environmental sustainability are serious issues, I have nothing left to say." -
    The quote i used was "Most serious problems". Sure those things are serious problems. I'm just saying that some people may not think they are the Most serious problems. Different perspectives = different priorities.

    You last point is a good one. We already have a qualifier based on education/"wisdom levels: minimum age of 18. Personally I think that is enough but perhaps it could be raised to 20 or something with the right justification.
  • Fool
    65


    I’ve been reluctant to humor these rather captious objections, but I’ll try again.

    Either the current political climate/direction/regime/whatever is right and justified or it is not. Just like frogs are amphibious or they are not. When I claim ppl who don’t agree frogs are amphibious are ill informed, you don’t say “disagreeing with you doesn’t make them ill informed”, for two reasons: (i) that’s clearly not my justification for calling people ill informed, and (ii) it’s not a controversial issue between us. If you think people are well informed, please state your case, else let’s please move on.

    I can list 20 major issues, and we may disagree about how to rank them; but if we agree they’re all badly managed, then it follows that we agree that the most serious problems are badly managed. Our priorities are irrelevant.

    On a much lighter note, your point about voter age restrictions is excellent. I think the logic is very comparable.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Anyone can vote, just not before meeting certain standards of literacy and critical thinking.Fool

    You are aware, are you not, that this has been implemented in the US in the past to keep black people from voting in the south? Here's a link to a post in a previous discussion that's relevant.

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/156647
  • Fool
    65


    Yes, of course. Are you suggesting any policy putting restrictions on voter eligibility is tantamount to Jim Crow?
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    The state of the current political climate and the biology of frogs are not comparable. You can objectively prove frogs are amphibious, but I am afraid you cannot claim that the political climate/direction/regime/whatever is wrong objectively because that claim is based on your personal beliefs, priorities and perspective; i.e your opinion. Furthermore, you cannot take away people's right to vote simply because you don't agree with the way they are voting, whatever the cause. Being ill informed is the weakest excuse for this.

    "I’ve been reluctant to humor these rather captious objections, but I’ll try again." - Loose the condescending tone, its unbecoming of you.
  • Fool
    65


    We can’t have rational political debate without assuming some stance or another is objectively true. I pointed out “true or not” applies to both equally as a logical property they share being subjects of rational debate.

    Again, my argument is not that I don’t like how people are voting. My argument is the current system is a failure. I could be wrong, so I’m happy to debate it, but it is a matter of objective fact that either it’s failing or it’s not failing.

    Not being condescending, I promise. I just honestly don’t see the merit in these questions. No offense, I find them disingenuous.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    One of the arguments against establishing voter qualifications is that "individual votes, whether they be well informed or not" do not matter. It is the 'mass' of voters who range all the way from superbly well informed to completely uninformed that matter.

    Yes, of course, in a close election a few votes may determine the outcome -- but we don't know who those few votes belonged to, or at what time on the day of voting they were cast.

    In legislatures, the votes of the representatives are shown on a board (or computer screen) as they are cast. In that situation where there are only a few voters, maybe less than 100 and where their votes are public, we can see who voted, how, and when -- and if they changed their mind at the last minute. But that doesn't apply to secret ballots.
  • Fool
    65


    I don’t know whether I believe it makes no difference whether the electorate is, overall, better informed; but thanks for the constructive participation.

    To all, I’m aware I’m making very provocative suggestions, but let’s please argue the question dispassionately. I’m a liberty-loving American with a healthy distaste for bigotry just like the rest of you. Maybe I’m dead wrong on this, so just listen to what I’m saying and help me correct the error. I think it’s disingenuous to go on about Trump voters (or whomever) and then pretend the same electorate is a reliable source of policy.
  • T Clark
    3k
    Yes, of course. Are you suggesting any policy putting restrictions on voter eligibility is tantamount to Jim Crow?Fool

    Yes, although I'll word it a bit more carefully - I believe that instigation of qualification restrictions on voting will inevitably be used as a mechanism to institutionalize discrimination on the basis of race, class, and ethnicity. Emphasis on "inevitably."
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    Yes, but your argument is based on the premises I have objected too. Unless you can demonstrate these premises are true, then that invalidates your conclusion of "The System Is A Failure". Considering that you are proposing taking away peoples rights, these points are very important indeed.

    You can hold the opinion that the political system is inadequate, there is nothing wrong with that. But you must acknowledge that this is your opinion and that other people may have a different one. That is to say, just because the system is failing you does not mean it is failing everyone and taking away people's rights based on that is the first step on a slippery slope towards authoritarianism.

    No offence taken then. I am not the most eloquent nor well educated person on the internet and I tend to be quite stubborn. The merit in these questions is simply so I can explore your point of view so I can better understand the perspectives of others.
  • Fool
    65


    That is a fair point. You’re probably right.
  • Fool
    65


    Gotcha. Excuse me for being impatient. But to be clear, I don’t want to take away anyone’s rights. Just like owning firearms and speaking your mind, I’m suggesting sensible boundaries.
  • T Clark
    3k
    I am not the most eloquent nor well educated person on the internetSnowyChainsaw

    Little known fact, @Bitter Crank actually is the most eloquent and well educated person on the internet. He can help you out if you need it.
  • Fool
    65
    So how do we fix the errant course of politics? Failure will be catastrophic.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    Not at all, you are being very patient.
    "I’m suggesting sensible boundaries." - Unfortunately those boundaries will expand to exclude some people in society that would otherwise have those rights whether or not it is what you intend.



    Indeed, I have conversed with @Bitter Crank before. A charming fellow as are you all.
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