For a moment, imagine you're lying down surrounded by people, and you've broken one of your legs. Whether you broke it in a skiing accident or sports game..
What would you do?
Will you rush to the nearest hospital to see a doctor? OR will you sit around and have people vote on what you should do. The people could vote to have you taken to the hospital, cut your leg off or some other crazy idea. I hope you'll choose to go to the hospital.
Sitting in Philosophy 101, this idea was presented to me by my professor. I was even more puzzled when he used that scenario to make an analogy with democracy.
If it was me, I would opt to get to the nearest hospital as fast as possible. Facing a serious and extremely painful injury why would you stop to ask individuals who lack knowledge on the topic what you should do. We choose to go to a hospital because we know the doctors there have specialized medical training. Why would someone leave such a choice up to vote?
So, back to my original question, have you ever questioned the concept of democracy? For myself, the answer is no, at least not until now. It seems fair and right to let the people vote on who will be their leaders. But, we also have to admit many of us are not the most educated people on many topics of issue and with all the mixed media reviews and scandals it has become increasingly hard to know the truth about our presidential candidates.
I don't begin to know how to fix our political system, but I do believe in questioning concepts we've just come to accept.
Now, go back to the scenario where you are suffering from a broken leg. With the choice of choosing between taking one doctors opinion or gathering the best of the best doctors and having them vote on what your treatment plan would be, which would you choose? Perhaps this question would be easier if your not suffering with a broken leg, but a disease with multiple courses of treatment to choose from. In this scenario I would choose to have the group of doctors take a vote on my treatment.
Looking at both of these scenarios, the question that pops into my head, is why do we not have the best of the best, most educated people on a particular field choosing our leaders? I don't begin to know the answer, but the topic is intriguing to think about. I'm certainly not suggesting communism as an alternative, rather it is clear there are flaws in the system we call democracy. Many of you may already know this, but I also know may people my age don't stop to question the concepts we've been taught all our lives.
If we wouldn't want people to take a vote in the situation described, why are many important issues left to be voted on by people who don't have much knowledge on the topic. I don't begin to know the answers, but improving our political system begins with asking the right questions.