THE ETHICS OF VOTING

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The Ethics Of Voting

Author : Jason Brennan
ISBN : 9780691154442
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 64.1 MB
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Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote. Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes. In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't. In a new afterword, "How to Vote Well," Brennan provides a practical guidebook for making well-informed, well-reasoned choices at the polls.
Category: Philosophy

The Ethics Of Voting

Author : Jason Brennan
ISBN : 9781400842094
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 65.2 MB
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Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote. Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes. In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't. In a new afterword, "How to Vote Well," Brennan provides a practical guidebook for making well-informed, well-reasoned choices at the polls.
Category: Political Science

The Ethics Of Voting

Author : Jason Brennan
ISBN : 9781400838738
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 37.53 MB
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Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote. Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes. In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't.
Category: Philosophy

Against Democracy

Author : Jason Brennan
ISBN : 9781400888399
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 57.45 MB
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Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us—it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse—more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government—epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable—may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.
Category: Philosophy

In Our Name

Author : Eric Beerbohm
ISBN : 9781400842384
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 62.96 MB
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When a government in a democracy acts in our name, are we, as citizens, responsible for those acts? What if the government commits a moral crime? The protestor's slogan--"Not in our name!"--testifies to the need to separate ourselves from the wrongs of our leaders. Yet the idea that individual citizens might bear a special responsibility for political wrongdoing is deeply puzzling for ordinary morality and leading theories of democracy. In Our Name explains how citizens may be morally exposed to the failures of their representatives and state institutions, and how complicity is the professional hazard of democratic citizenship. Confronting the ethical challenges that citizens are faced with in a self-governing democracy, Eric Beerbohm proposes institutional remedies for dealing with them. Beerbohm questions prevailing theories of democracy for failing to account for our dual position as both citizens and subjects. Showing that the obligation to participate in the democratic process is even greater when we risk serving as accomplices to wrongdoing, Beerbohm argues for a distinctive division of labor between citizens and their representatives that charges lawmakers with the responsibility of incorporating their constituents' moral principles into their reasoning about policy. Grappling with the practical issues of democratic decision making, In Our Name engages with political science, law, and psychology to envision mechanisms for citizens seeking to avoid democratic complicity.
Category: Philosophy

Democracy And Political Ignorance

Author : Ilya Somin
ISBN : 9780804799355
Genre : Law
File Size : 37.78 MB
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One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don't see the point in learning much about politics. This creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know. The second edition of Democracy and Political Ignorance fully updates its analysis to include new and vital discussions on the implications of the "Big Sort" for politics, the link between political ignorance and the disproportionate political influence of the wealthy, assessment of proposed new strategies for increasing political knowledge, and up-to-date survey data on political ignorance during recent elections. Ilya Somin mines the depths of the current state of ignorance in America and reveals it as a major problem for democracy. He weighs various options for solving this problem, provocatively arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. People make better decisions when they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information—and to use it wisely.
Category: Law

Democracy And Disenfranchisement

Author : Claudio López-Guerra
ISBN : 9780198705789
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 30.53 MB
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The denial of voting rights to certain types of persons continues to be a moral problem of practical significance. The disenfranchisement of persons with mental impairments, minors, noncitizen residents, nonresident citizens, and criminal offenders is a matter of controversy in many countries. How should we think morally about electoral exclusions? What should we conclude about these particular cases? This book proposes a set of principles, called the Critical Suffrage Doctrine, that defies conventional beliefs on the legitimate denial of the franchise. According to the Critical Suffrage Doctrine, in some realistic circumstances it is morally acceptable to adopt an alternative to universal suffrage that would exclude the vast majority of sane adults for being largely uninformed. Thus, contrary to what most people believe, current controversies on the franchise are not about exploring the limits of a basic moral right. Regarding such controversies, the Critical Suffrage Doctrine establishes that, in polities with universal suffrage, the blanket disenfranchisement of minors and the mentally impaired cannot be justified; that noncitizen residents should be allowed to vote; that excluding nonresident citizens is permissible; and that criminal offenders should not be disenfranchised-although facilitating voting from prison is not required in all contexts. Political theorists have rarely submitted the franchise to serious scrutiny. Hence this study makes a contribution to a largely neglected and important subject.
Category: Political Science

Electing Not To Vote

Author : Ted Lewis
ISBN : 9781498270359
Genre : Religion
File Size : 58.69 MB
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Ethical discourse about the institution of voting rarely includes the option of abstaining for principled reasons. This collection of nine articles widens the discussion in that direction by giving readers a new question: At what point and on what grounds might one choose not to vote as an act of conscience? Contributors offer both ethical and faith-based reasons for not voting. For some, it is a matter of candidates not measuring up to high standards; for others it is a matter of reserving political identity and allegiance for the church rather than the nation-state. These writers--representing a wide range of Christian traditions--cite texts from diverse sources: Mennonites, Pentecostals, and pre-Civil Rights African Americans. Some contributors reference the positions of Catholic bishops, Karl Barth, or John Howard Yoder. New Testament texts also figure strongly in these cases for "conscientious abstention" from voting. In addition to cultivating the ethical discussion around abstention from voting, the contributors suggest alternative ways beneficially to engage society. This volume creates a new freedom for readers within any faith tradition to enter into a dialogue that has not yet been welcomed in North America.
Category: Religion

Ethics In Politics

Author : Emily Crookston
ISBN : 9781317391197
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 84.37 MB
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Within the field of political philosophy, the role of states, governments, and institutions has dominated research. This has led to a dearth of literature that examines what individuals—e.g., voters, lobbyists, and politicians—ought (or ought not) to do. Ethics in Politics: The Rights and Obligations of Individual Political Agents meets this need, providing a timely discussion of normative questions concerning political agents and the systems in which they act. The book contains eighteen original chapters by leading scholars which cover a range of topics including irrational voting, bribery, partisanship, and political lying. Ethics in Politics is a unique and accessible resource for students, researchers, and all interested readers, and sheds light on important but underexplored issues in ethics and political philosophy.
Category: Philosophy

Compulsory Voting

Author : Jason Brennan
ISBN : 9781139916738
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 52.49 MB
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In many democracies, voter turnout is low and getting lower. If the people choose not to govern themselves, should they be forced to do so? For Jason Brennan, compulsory voting is unjust and a petty violation of citizens' liberty. The median non-voter is less informed and rational, as well as more biased, than the median voter. According to Lisa Hill, compulsory voting is a reasonable imposition on personal liberty. Hill points to the discernible benefits of compulsory voting and argues that high turnout elections are more democratically legitimate. The authors - both well-known for their work on voting and civic engagement - debate questions such as: • Do citizens have a duty to vote, and is it an enforceable duty? • Does compulsory voting violate citizens' liberty? If so, is this sufficient grounds to oppose it? Or is it a justifiable violation? Might it instead promote liberty on the whole? • Is low turnout a problem or a blessing?
Category: Political Science