The Vote of Faith

Scott Calef
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After presenting a simple and obvious argument that voting is essentially a waste of time and demonstrating that many common arguments for voting are flawed, I provide a Pascal's-Wager-inspired defense of voting. Given the typical aims that we have in voting, if casting one's ballot is to be a rational and politically significant act, one must believe that one's vote will either sway the election or produce infinite value if it were to sway the election and that it's chances of swaying the election are not zero. If we assume something affected by the election (for example, human life) is of infinite value, my Wager-inspired argument suggests that it may be rational to vote for e.g. a candidate who is judged less likely to lead the nation into war.

Keywords: Voting, Democracy
Stream: Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Political Science, Politics, Religion, Spirituality
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Vote of Faith, The

Scott Calef

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy, Ohio Wesleyan University

Ref: H05P0825