OpinionDemocracy and the freedom to do science go hand-in-hand - countries are extremely unlikely to have/develop one without the other.
      – Lee J Haywood, 2010-02-15 at 22:35:34   (14 comments)

On 2010-02-15 at 22:37:03, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I'm not sure that this is a very good topic for discussion now that I've raised it - it seems almost self-evident. I was reading that science and democracy actually came about at the same time in history, and the theory goes that it's not a coincidence. The need to be able to investigate the world without subscribing to a particular dogma or suffer pain of death is the same freedom that gives rise to democracy.
On 2010-02-16 at 16:24:06, Thelevellers wrote...
I think you may be right - I agree anyway...
On 2010-02-20 at 06:06:06, BorgClown wrote...
Science is ideally a meritocracy. Political systems hinder it, although good democracies have the potential to do it less.
On 2010-02-20 at 08:57:43, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Hmm, well governments do ignore their own scientists and I suppose there are dictatorships which must 'do' science in order to use it - e.g. Iran.
On 2010-02-20 at 10:10:43, Thelevellers wrote...
I think that a dictatorship wouldn't both much with the scientific research - except that the democracies HAVE bothered, so the dictatorships feel threatened if they don't match the other countries. Ideally dictatorships would stay stone age to ensure they don't get too many freethinkers in their midst that could disrupt things...
On 2010-02-20 at 11:04:23, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Hmm, but then how does Iran manage to produce nuclear technology? It's difficult to imagine them finding someone smart to work for their regime and giving them the freedom of information they need without having them want to defect. Of course defecting isn't easy, and I have read an interview with an Iranian nuclear scientist who did think he was helping his country...
On 2010-02-20 at 11:56:46, Thelevellers wrote...
I would imagine that if you get your propaganda machine working right then you could convince them your a benevolent, democratically elected president... That's the thing with Iran is that it's technically a democracy, even en=ven whatever leader is elected is answerable to the 'supreme leader'... :S
On 2010-02-22 at 01:46:52, DigitalBoss wrote...
I don't like the word Democracy. I would reword your opinion to read "Freedom and Science go hand-in-hand". Science is supposed to be a meritocracy, but it is often rife with popular grant/funding exuberance.
On 2010-02-22 at 11:14:41, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The point of the wording is that democracy only works with freedom. Freedom allows democracy to succeed, and democracy promotes freedom - they're related but support each other. The topic is about politics and (the freedom to do) science, not freedom and science.
On 2010-02-22 at 13:25:23, DigitalBoss wrote...
On the other hand, freedom can work without Democracy. The main issue I have with Democracy is that it puts too much in control of the popular vote. I do not want my Constitutional rights as an individual (the smallest minority) put up to whichever way the popular wind is blowing at the time. It is one of the biggest problems that the US is going through now, and the last 50 years. The founding fathers of this country intended that the only positions in the government up for popular vote were the Representatives in the House. Over the years, the progressives have put Senators and virtually the President, up for popular vote. Senators were meant to be representatives of the state governments, not the people of the state. The presidential elections have pretty much turned into a beauty contest. I would rather go back to our intended Constitutional Republic. Our government now operates as though there is no Constitution.
On 2010-02-23 at 09:10:52, Thelevellers wrote...
I'm with Lee here, your points aren't really related to the topic...
On 2010-02-23 at 14:07:28, DigitalBoss wrote...
The opinion has a premise, I am merely addressing a flaw with the premise. I don't believe that Democracy necessarily promotes freedom.
On 2010-02-23 at 16:44:36, Lee J Haywood wrote...
But that's perhaps the point - I think the idea being put forward is that the freedom to do science promotes the freedom required for democracy to work, not necessarily that democracy promotes freedom by itself. In other words, democracy works in countries that do science, and science works in countries that do democracy. Neither promotes freedom by itself, but together they make a winning combination.
On 2010-02-23 at 21:36:27, BorgClown wrote...
Anarchy would be the ultimate freedom, but the lack of a legal system would be awful for science.