gorcee wrote:At that point, it becomes less about principle, and more about pragmatics.
gorcee wrote:And at that moment, the grand theories about government spending and what is right and wrong in the minds of lofty idealists … become irrelevant
In the name of pragmatics and rejecting moral idealism, you're saying that I should vote when it's extremely unlikely to have any effect so that I can make a statement that I'm genuinely concerned with my future? I don't follow your logic.
And, at any rate, my argument has never been one of grand ideals. It is simply that voting is obscenely unlikely to accomplish, for any given actor, what it's supposed to (or what I would suppose it to do in my own case, given that I don't care about warm feelings and lending my voice and so on). Now, I'm quite willing to accept pragmatic or idealistic arguments if they're sound. But "Well you'll understand when you're older *head pat*" is not such an argument.
gorcee wrote:You affirm your ability to exhibit some control in a world that is by and large out of your control.
Then I'd assert falsehood, insofar as I wouldn't have that ability by voting.
Now, I can control my world in many other ways — by educating myself, finding jobs, joining organizations that I know can actually achieve their goals. And I do those things, in large part because I don't accept your premise that the world is by and large out of my control (or, at least, that I don't usually have the opportunity to make a difference). But then it's hard to talk down to 19-year-olds about how we'll realize the importance of volunteerism when we're older, since we're the ones who are stereotyped as holding that ideal.
Cloud Walker wrote:To withhold your vote makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy: it won't actually make a difference simply because you think it won't make a difference.
Only in the case where the election is tied or won by one vote. Otherwise, my vote would have failed to make a difference whether or not I had voted.
gorcee wrote:But willingly not spending 10 whole minutes out of your day, once a year, to do something that matters to someone else, that's just kind of pitiful.
What makes you think I wouldn't do such a thing?
Yakk wrote:Does someone who considers that (A) everyone not voting would be horrible and (B) my voting isn't worth my time also litter, leave gum under seats, and generally act like a "baby" sociopath?
No, of course not. Those things actually have harmful effects; whether or not they're horrible, someone is quite likely to suffer on a small scale due to my individual action.
I would, as I think would most, very much dislike living in a world where nobody had ever bothered to clean up previous litter. Do people who perceive a duty to vote also perceive a duty to adopt a highway?
(I do think there's something in the sort of Kantian gesture that you make here, and I hope to reconsider it when I'm back from lunch and class. I do note that this is quite different from the arguments that have gone before.)
Yakk wrote:(admittedly anti-social)
Who's admitting this, now?
Zamfir wrote:Instead of a lottery, it's more like one-in-a-million odds to return a million wallets at one go, or taking one step on along road towards returning a million wallets.
On the first point, I'd be surprised to find odds that good on the election lottery. On the second, it makes little difference whether you take that step if somebody else was going to go well past the destination anyway.
gorcee wrote:It's like being in a large choir. Why sing?
Funny you should pick on an analogy where I actually have some experience. I sing because it's fun. If I only viewed singing as a sort of public service for my audience, I doubt it's the kind of service that would interest me.
gorcee wrote:And, for what it's all worth, most elections aren't settled by millions of votes, or even tens of thousands. Local elections are often settled by a gross total of a few hundred to a few thousand votes.
Yes, and I'd be quite happy to participate in a small local election. In some sense, I already do, since I've taken leadership roles in student organizations that have actually achieved changes in university policy. I'm happy to dedicate my time, and much more than ten minutes of it, to helping people when I can actually do that. In a national election, however (the subject of this thread, recall), I can't.