The Argument Against Voting in National Elections

Let me see if I have this right:

  1. No matter how close the vote – even if it’s less than 1,000 votes – my vote is statistically insignificant in regards to a national election. If I did not vote there would literally be no difference in outcome either way
  2. Though I am supporting candidate X for reasons that I think are important and not intrinsically immoral, other people who vote for candidate X are certainly voting for him because of a certain immoral position he holds – e.g., Grandma Abortion Witch is Grandma Abortion Witch, Trump supports torture, et cetera.
  3. These people, by voting for that person, for that reason, are doing something immoral – that is, sinning. This is true as long as they are voting for candidate X because of the immoral position he holds.
  4. By going out and going to the voting booth, I am a visible symbol in support of voting, meaning, I am tempting other people to vote.
  5. The other people I tempt to vote are quite possibly – perhaps even probably – going to do so for immoral reasons
  6. This means I am tempting them to sin – thus committing the sin of scandal
  7. Since my vote is statistically insignificant anyway (meaning whatever important position I think candidate X holds is literally irrelevant to what I do or don’t do), there is no way aforementioned important position is worth the immediate risk of committing scandal
  8. Thus, one should not vote

Am I missing anything?

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11 Responses to The Argument Against Voting in National Elections

  1. John says:

    About the insignificance of one’s vote:

    Using ancient jewish unity concepts, one could actually find voting a duty one must do if voting is the expression of thought into action.

    As thoughts which weren’t fulfilled into actions were considered useless, one’s support of something would have to find a way to reach into action.

    As such, voting, if you consider the above concept valid, would be a justified or even necessary thing to do.

    A bringing of thought (intellectual support of a candidate) into action (voting).

    That is my view of the issue, at least.

  2. James says:

    Where is any of this coming from?

  3. dpmonahan says:

    1) Your vote is private, no one need know why you are voting. We also assume there are more than just two people on the ballot, you could be voting down ballot, or third party, etc.
    2) If voting is as insignificant as you say, then participation is certainly de minimis and cannot rise to the level of a sin.
    3) The only parallel of causing scandal I can imagine would be something like receiving communion when in an irregular marriage but living “like brother and sister”. It might be sinful to receive communion in a church where you are well known, (it would be a judgement call) but it would not be sinful to receive in a church where you are not, even if there is a moderate risk of someone there knowing you, because it is really none of their damn business.

  4. Chad says:

    Yes, you’re missing something.

    Zippys argument (yo my understanding and he could very well contradict me) rests upon the fact that our government is founded upon heretical principals and has continued to expand those. Liberalism is the main error in his argument, but there are certainly others as well.

    Thus, no matter who the candidates are, a vote is showing an outward action of support for a government which has set itself against Truth as a matter of course. The amount an individual participates in acts showing acceptance of these errors increases the likelihood of the state’s influence upon the individual as well as being a possible cause of scandal through support of erroneous and deadly principles without due cause.

    Zippy argues that there is no proportional due cause in national elections that should dispose an individual to vote at this time in history because the system is as I stated and no candidate proposed a true conversion towards authentic statehood as defined by Catholic doctrine. With no legitimate ability to change the errors, he advocates doing what you can to otherwise better yourself, family, community, and country, without an act of explicit support of error, despite any interior motivation attempting to change the metaphysical reality of the act

    • So let’s restate it:

      1) Our government is founded on lies – heretical principles if you want to call them that, but you could just as easily call it self-contradictory nonsense

      2) By voting we are showing an outward action of support for the government

      3) Since the government is based on principles that are damnable lies, this is tantamount to making an outward action supporting the propagation of error or heresy, and is thus a sin

      4) We have so little influence that no matter how important the issue, there is never a good enough reason to justify that outward action of support. The principle of double effect cannot apply

      5) Therefore we should not vote in national elections but instead do what we can to improve our homes, our communities, and our country without supporting an institution based on a series of serious lies and heresies.

      • Chad says:

        My apologies, the terminology of the original vomment was wrong. Replace “showing an outward action” with “making a visible action”.

        The difference being that it is an act which intrinsically does support the state. No amount of pretzel twisting rationalization can change that. It is similar to driving a woman to an abortion clinic – even if you have the intention of attempting to change her mind, your actions are a material cooperation with evil. No pseudo-intention on top of the intention to aid her in committing murder will change that you intend to drive her to where she will commit murder.

        By voting, you are materially cooperating with the method in which our liberal state perpetuates itself and its errors. As such you are subjecting yourself to it. Because you have no influence to correct the errors, that means the only thing that can be influenced is the individual casting the vote.

        Try talking about politics with people having no grasp of what these errors are and no ability to work towards them. Do you find your own words slipping back into modernism, liberalism, and americanism? I do, and I spend more time than most Catholics both educating myself on it, debating with those who can grasp it, and trying to explain to those who cannot. Why would I imagine an institution would have less effect upon me, my family, and my thinking when I have willingly decided not to defend against it, but make an action in agreement with its founding errors? I may not see the effects immediately, but I have no doubt they would present themselves in some spiritual form sooner or later

  5. That’s one of the arguments. The other is as Chad summarized.

    One problem, an invalidating problem in my opinion, with the scandal prong of the argument, is that there is no obligation to avoid pharisaical scandal. I would certainly argue that an unrepentant supporter of abortion or torture being “tempted” to formally cooperate with the same is a case of pharisaical scandal.

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