Oct 26 2008

Evidence That Demands A Verdict

Category: politicsamuzikman @ 11:58 pm

This, the title of a very good book by author Josh McDowell.  First released in 1972, the book deals with the subject of Christian apologetics and it was written to help Christians defend their faith in everything from casual conversation to doctoral dissertations.  I think the book has been updated since it’s first date of publication and is still a very credible source related to the historical evidence of the Christian faith.

If I may I’d like to borrow this book title as a challenge and a plea to voters.  A volume of credible and verifiable evidence now exists relating to both major candidates for president.  Though there have been various attempts to mask and otherwise obfuscate the histories and governance philosophies of both men, there is now no excuse.  It is not a difficult task to investigate the candidates, to learn about their past, their plans, their guiding principles, their hopes and desires, their successes and their failures.  The evidence is plentiful.

All this evidence is meaningless, however, if it is not taken into account when deciding a verdict.  Just as a jury should never convict a defendant without examination of the evidence, I believe a voter should never cast a ballot without a thorough examination of the candidates.  Just as criminal conviction of a defendant based on their race would be a terrible injustice, so would election of an African American to the highest office in the land without examination of that person’s resume’.  Just as a defendant is innocent until proven guilty a political candidate must be given the benefit of the doubt about the veracity of their statements until such time as the reliability of those statements can be verified – and they MUST be verified.

Now the prosecution and defense of both candidates is about to rest.  You, the voter are the jury, and your vote is your finding, your final judgment.  What will be the basis on which you cast your vote? Age? Dress? Speaking ability? Eloquence? Skin color? Warm fuzzy feelings? A simple belief in the candidate? Or will it be based on examination of the evidence?  Evidence that does indeed demand a verdict.

If you cannot be bothered to examine the evidence then you have no business voting any more than you would to serve on a jury.  If you have not and will not examine the evidence then maybe you should sit this one out. Consider yourself recused.  The stakes are too high and the possible wrong verdict could punish ALL of us for a very long time.

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7 Responses to “Evidence That Demands A Verdict”

  1. Teryn it Up says:

    I agree with you completely. A voter should thoroughly examine each candidate in order to make the right decision for him/herself and for the nation. It’s the same with Christianity. I may have those “fuzzy” feelings when I first ask Jesus into my life, but if I don’t continually search out this God that I say I believe in and learn as much as I can, those fuzzy feelings mean nothing when it comes down to it all!

  2. dave says:

    I to agree, but unfortunately we both know that voters on both (all) sides do not educate themselves.

    I know many, many people who vote knowing next to nothing about the candidate that they are voting for.

  3. harmonicminer says:

    Too true. But I’ll make you a bet: there are more people voting for Obama who are ignorant of most of the policies he supports than those voting for McCain are ignorant of his.

    Again, I said “more”. I didn’t say all, of course. I estimate it this way: the lower 20% (information wise) of Obama’s supporters are, on average, WAY less informed than the lower 20% (info-wise) of McCain’s supporters.

    On the other had, I doubt there is any significant difference in knowledge about their candidate in the upper 80% of the voters of for either candidate.

    But that lower 20% will make the difference, I fear.

    Everyone knows this. It’s not even a question. If there was a test for really basic political knowledge as a requirement for voting, the Left would scream, and the Right would applaud, even if the Left was allowed to write the test [as long as study guides were available to learn the lies the Left put in the test, of course ;-) ].

    Generally, ignorance in the voting public helps the Left.

    ACORN is not busy registering rocket scientists.

  4. dave says:

    Generally, ignorance in the voting public helps the Left.

    Hmm… I am not so sure about that. I used to vote on ignorance, and I voted for Republicans.

    ACORN is not busy registering rocket scientists.

    Well… being that they voters that ACORN typically registers are low-income voters, you are probably right. But they don’t register them because they are “ignorant,” as you are implying.

  5. harmonicminer says:

    Dave:

    Your particular ignorance in voting Republican has no bearing on the evidence for a general trend. And somehow, I suspect that when you voted “in ignorance” that you knew things like how many houses of congress there are, that the president does not directly “make laws”, how the judicial branch differed from the legislative and executive, etc. In other words, 6th grade civics/history as it was once taught.

    And I said nothing about why ACORN is registering ignorant voters…. you can form your own conclusions about that. But do you deny that the group of voters they seek is probably the least informed, as a whole, of the entire electorate?

  6. dave says:

    Your particular ignorance in voting Republican has no bearing on the evidence for a general trend.

    I didn’t say it was. I was using it as one example of ignorant voters. To build on that example, I had bought into the myth that any good Christian should vote for Republicans. I had no idea what the GOP stood for (except on abortion); I just knew that I was a Christian, and therefore should vote Republican. There are many, many of those types of voters.

    And somehow, I suspect that when you voted “in ignorance” that you knew things like how many houses of congress there are, that the president does not directly “make laws”, how the judicial branch differed from the legislative and executive, etc.

    Sure… but I do not think that has much to do with what candidate one should and will vote for. Just because you took (or I took) 6th grade civics doesn’t mean that you, or I, have a clue about candidates.

    But do you deny that the group of voters they seek is probably the least informed, as a whole, of the entire electorate?

    I am not sure that there is any evidence to show that low-income people of color are any less informed about elections than anyone else voting. Further, the vast majority of those voters also took 6th grade civics.

  7. harmonicminer says:

    Dave, if you don’t know very basic facts of our constitutional government’s structure, you have no ability to evaluate when candidates are lying to you, or about what, even, so that means that, by definition, you can’t “have a clue about candidates”, and should not be voting. If you are voting, you are, by definition again, simply being used by someone, manipulated into voting a particular way because you’re so easy to deceive.

    And I mentioned 6th grade civics of the past. But the last 20 years or so, at least, 6th grade civics has not produced students who are aware of very basic fundamentals of our system. For that matter, most (that just means 51%, right?) high school grads are pretty shaky on it, unless they bother to inform themselves, or take further classes in college on history/poli sci, or something similar.

    I KNOW, directly, quite a number of young people, from a variety of backgrounds, and talk with them about this stuff, and I’m in pretty good touch with what they don’t know.

    And I’m just sure that ACORN-registered high school dropouts (which are far more prevalent in the strata of culture from which they mine) are exceptional young people who have gone out of their way to remediate what they didn’t learn in school.

    Do you REALLY, TRULY BELIEVE that ACORN-registered voters are equally as well informed as the national average of voters? I didn’t ask if “there is evidence”, I asked what you believed to be the case. I note you didn’t say what you thought….

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