When we reduce the scope of democracy by definition we increase other forms of rule. Of course, I think the majority of people believe in a certain amount of individual rights, so it is democratic to have these rights. It is also democratic to side with more collective concerns when the majority would want us to do so. This may have a contradictory ring to it, but it is ultimately consistent: the majority of people want free speech because they know it applies to themselves and don’t mind hearing a few things they don’t like (not that a law against saying mean things would be a perfect solution anyway). Likewise, the majority of us prefer to have public schools even if it means some people (adult immigrants, for one) will pay for it without getting anything out of it, and of course some will wind up paying more into it than they ever got out of it. Ethics is all about wants, more specifically about the wants of other people as well as you. The rules of society should be ethical, therefore ethics should be about people’s wants. Democracy has a problem in that it can become two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. But, people can be sympathetic if they are informed. Sometimes they are not, therefore discrimination and propaganda efforts from billionaires that fool people into voting for unethical and evil people and legislation, but I think the real ethical failings of the consensus of humanity are few and far between. But any non democratic government does not fix that fix that problem, ironically it makes it worse: A democracy can be selfish but so can a dictator, and the dictator’s selfishness kills BOTH your individual rights and society’s rights. A democracy comes closer to actualizing a morally perfect society than any other arrangement.
Article by: Nicholas Covington
I used to blog at Answers in Genesis BUSTED! I took the creationist organization Answers in Genesis to pieces. I am the author of Atheism and Naturalism and Extraordinary Claims, Extraordinary Evidence, and the Resurrection of Jesus. I am an armchair philosopher with interests in Ethics, Epistemology (that's philosophy of knowledge), Philosophy of Religion, and Skepticism in general.