Debate Info

Uphold democracy Uphold liberalism
Debate Score:27
Total Votes:27
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 Uphold democracy (10)
 Uphold liberalism (14)

Debate Creator

VecVeltro(412) pic

Gay rights - Democracy or liberalistic dictatorship?

After observing the chick-fil-a  fiasko, I'm left perplexed. 

While I'm having difficult issues regarding where my views lie in the question of gay rights, I would discuss something else - rather it seems to me that the supporters of gay rights do not respect democracy.

I want people to discuss whether the structure, regulation and managment of a democratic society should be based on the power of the people or on the political ideology of liberalism?

If we accept the latter, then has democracy not lost its core meaning? That it's not about the power and the choice of the people, rather it's about bringing societal managment into a compatible relationship with a single political ideology - liberalism?

Personally I think that a democracy does not necessarily have to be liberalistic, because if this is the case, then the people have no way to actually choose their moral foundations and traditions for their society. It's been chosen for them and as such, democracy has lost its meaning. 

Lets keep this civil.





Uphold democracy

Side Score: 11

Uphold liberalism

Side Score: 16

I don't believe in any liberal crap ;)

Side: Uphold democracy
youngidealis(50) Disputed
1 point

The textbook definition of liberal describes someone who desires fast change within the society at large. You can pride yourself on your own ignorance and pretend that it's all a big game of us vs them, but you would still just be ignorant for it.

Side: Uphold liberalism
Cynical(1946) Disputed
1 point

Oh, seems you don't know Joe, yet. He just despises liberals.

Side: Uphold democracy

Oh..., you don't seem to know me, yet. I just despise liberals. ;)

Side: Uphold liberalism

Gay Rights are democracy and today the U.S. Supreme Court recognized Gay Marriage as a Constitutional Right.

Side: Uphold democracy
2 points

Pure democracy is often called the 'tyranny of the majority', where 51% of any population can do whatever they want. This is hardly an ideal system for any society to be built in. Which is why almost all modern 'democracies' use a constitution, limiting the rights of the majority, and protecting the rights of minorities. For example, this is why, in America (a fitting example, as it's where the inspiration for the debate came from) you allow lobbying, you allow minority groups, you allow donations. Despite the fact that they go against democracy (where every single person gets one vote, one piece of influence, and that's it), they (are supposed to) protect minority rights + benefit society overall.

So, in a society based off of the idea of personal liberty, people should be able to do what they want. These liberties should only be limited where they influence others, and even then, only after careful consideration. Obviously, a society based off of liberty could go in many different directions (especially one which doesn't put liberty as its primary goal, such as the US), which is where democracy should be used, in order to decide what happens then.

By the way, that's far from a 'liberalistic dictatorship'. What you mean is a Republic, with personal liberty given a high priority in a constitution. Such as America.

TL;DR Democracy should not be abused to manipulate or mistreat minorities in society. Where someones actions have but a negligible effect on other people, they should be free to do what they want. Gay rights are just as important and deserved as straight rights.

Side: Uphold liberalism
2 points

I would post an argument on this side, but I am lazy and you hit the nail right on the head, upvote for you!

Who was it that said "democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch"?

Side: Uphold liberalism
VecVeltro(412) Disputed
1 point

Can you elaborate on what you mean by ''influence''? Influence as in a physical sense or in an emotional sense? What is the criteria by which you decide what people can do and what people can't do?

Also, given that you've implied that people should be able to do whatever they want as long as they don't influence others - that raises quite a few ethical questions. By condoning and supporting gays and homosexuality, it would be outright hypocritical to condemn other minorities that can be defended with the same arguments:

Nudists - What reasonable argument could there be to disallow nudists to walk around naked? They're not physically harming anyone and people shouldn't be afraid to be who they are just because others take offense. If people have to tolerate and put up with homosexuality eventhough they consider it to be immoral and offensive, it inescapably follows that nudists should have the same privilege.

Necrophiliacs - suppose Jane has stated in her will that her body will be left in Jake's possession for him to use it for whatever purposes he wants. Should he be allowed to have sexual intercourse with the cadaver and engage in necrophiliac practices? Keep in mind, he's not harming nor influencing anyone, this is his own private matter. So given the principles of liberalism, should he be able to continue his relationship with the corpse and should the state guarantee that?

Drugs users - since this is again a private matter, all drugs should be legalized.

Cannibalism - again, a private matter that affects nobody else other than the parties involved. If someone decides to give his/her body for someone else's consumption after he/she ever dies, what justification do we have to deny this occurence in a liberal society? The fact that people are offended by this is not enough as people are already offended by homosexuals, yet we expect them to put up with it.

To this list, we can add zoophiliacs, alchoholics etc etc.

By supporting gays, we must inescapably support all other minorities which can be defended by the same arguments.

I believe I've taken the implications of tolerating gay marriage to its logical conclusions. Whether this is the kind of society we want is up to the people I suppose.

Side: Uphold democracy
youngidealis(50) Disputed
1 point

I'm not completely arguing from Ben's argument, but I feel I can answer the ethical concerns that you made here.

Nudists - There actually isn't any harm nor anything wrong that's done by nudists. There is however harm done to the society at large for holding on to these irrational taboos against sex, sexuality, and human genitalia. People deny their human nature and refuse to explore their bodies or even sometimes masturbate simply because of this taboo. Did you know that scientists have even revealed third trimester fetus's to masturbate?

Necrophiliacs - Here there is a harm that is done by the necrophiliac. Even if you would say that no harm is done to the deceased owner of the dead body, it can then be looked at as a form of damaging property which belongs to the next of kin or plot holders who agreed to keep the body in the ground for one reason or another. The point is that ethically, even in a utilitarian or consequentialist perspective, it amounts to having sex with someone else's property.

Drug users - Depending on the drug and the motivations, drug users can be seen as acting with suicidal behavior and in most cases they are not in their right minds. I would be for helping people commit suicide in a peaceful manner if they were honestly making the decision themselves, but there is also a relative line where a person cannot be seen as being in their right mind enough to not be stopped from self destructive behavior. Such issues can be dealt with in a matter that concerns that line in the same way that such is decided in hospitals for medical decisions.

Cannibalism - There are ethical cases where with or without permission, cannibalism was a person's only chance to survive. In those cases, as well as voluntary cases, the same argument for drug users can be made. Someone should just verify that decisions were made by people who were not losing their minds before allowing such things to take place.

The argument that you are making can easily be used on any and all behavior. That if you can't come up with ethical problems for all behaviors then you can't support (insert questionable behavior of choice). For example, we could say the same about heterosexual behavior.

It's an argument from ignorance. We don't know how to ethically condemn all questionable behaviors, therefore homosexuality must be wrong. Homosexuality only has to answer to the consequences of homosexuality. If you think it's bad, then the burden of proof is on you to explain what makes it bad.

Side: Uphold liberalism

Can you elaborate on what you mean by ''influence''? Influence as in a physical sense or in an emotional sense? What is the criteria by which you decide what people can do and what people can't do?

In all senses, really. However, for a working society, a line does need to be drawn. Any 'negative' (quotation marks as I'm intentionally being somewhat ambiguous) physical influence should not be inflicted on others without due reason. And with emotional, I think it depends on the extent, and the rationability (lets pretend that's a word) of the emotion. For example, if someone says in the street 'I want to fuck you all in the bums & then rape your mothers', that's causing no physical harm, yet it could legitimately cause emotional harm. However, if someone shouted 'I like pasta!!!!', then anyone who gets angry is irrational.

Before you ask, yes that's a somewhat vague guide, but I just don't have specific answers. Maybe as time goes by, I'll develop a better understanding, who knows.


As I've implied, if people have legitimate reason to be unhappy with people being nude in the street, then I would put the right of non-nudists first (only in regard to public nudity). I'd personally for it & would encourage a change in attitudes to try and allow it, but were there large scale protest, I may take a more utilitarian approach. I would note that this is a significantly different example, as everyone has the right to be nude, but being nude in front of other people is different. It would be like telling gays (& straight people also) that they couldn't kiss, fondle, finger, wank each other off, or whatever, in front of other people. All about where you draw a line, and most people would agree that a line must be drawn.


If it takes place in private with two consenting parties (pre-death, that is), then that's fine by me. Perhaps the glorification of such acts may be banned, for similar reasons as I explained above, but the act itself should remain legal.

Drugs users

Legalized + regulated, I would say. I would probably implement a system like Germany uses for alcohol, so you have to be 16 for weed + 18 for harder drugs, for example. This is because children are immature, and often incapable of making what we consider to be a 'rational' decision.


Same as necrophilia.

I believe I've taken the implications of tolerating gay marriage to its logical conclusions. Whether this is the kind of society we want is up to the people I suppose.

Although you're more looking at the slippery slope argument. I feel I could somewhat comfortably + mostly reasonably refute each of those behaviours without intellectual dishonesty, I don't feel that's what a) I believe b) what I was previously arguing, so I won't. Although I would definitely disagree that you cannot have support for minorities, as I previously argued + for the reasons I previously argued, without supporting the extremes that you put forth.

Side: Uphold democracy

I would lean on something more humanist or progressivist as being more important than majority rule, but not so much liberalism, though in this society, I think liberalism is more needed than what people assume to be the majority.

That said, I'm observing that either a majority is liberal or that liberal views are taking over the majority. It's not just with politics but with all issues. Political vote rigging through voter ID laws and misinformation in the cable media has led to it seeming like the liberal perspective is small or declining, but it's not.

I trust that in a true democracy, humanist views would take hold and lead everything. The ability to communicate is key, and a lot of conservative positions remain in favor of taboo and censorship on the main points that we need to talk about. Like a real sex education for adolescents. It would do a load of good to teach the philosophy of physics vs metaphysics as well IMHO.

Side: Uphold liberalism
1 point

When I say uphold Liberalism, I do not mean the perverse version which is Neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism, while a noble cause, is the idea that government's role is to ENFORCE a specific set of moral standards onto the rest of the public. It's like neo-Conservatism in many ways, but based more on tolerance and empathy.

I support the merits of Classical Liberalism which is a collection of ideology influenced by our Founding Fathers, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Adam Smith. The notion is that government shall enforce no rule of morality except rationally based, such as respect for individual liberty. This is where our Constitution comes from, and this is why gay rights shouldn't be an issue. In a classically liberal country, government would have no power to discriminate against gays or any minority groups. All individuals would be equally protected by the law. Even though slavery was still legal under the Constitution, recognition of blacks as individuals instead of property would give them civil protection under the Fifth and 14th Amendments. The same goes with gays. Instead of the modern liberal and conservative conquest to make government large enough to support their personal views, the goal should instead be that government should override no one's personal views and instead serve to protect us instead of brainwash us.

Democracy is not ideal and this is why the Constitution was written. Democracy killed Socrates and banished Plato.

Side: Uphold liberalism
1 point

gay rights wouldn't infringe upon the right of 3rd party individuals or any other individuals for that matter. what 2 people decide to do together is their business and their business alone, people should force or tell them what to do. why illegalize something that doesn't affect anybody else but the person involved. there is a good rule of thumb to follow, one mans rights end where another mans rights begin, same with women. if nobody is being hindered or hurt, why make laws against it? it makes no logical sense...

Side: Uphold liberalism