Questions to ponder on democracy

  1. So how about that election, eh?
  2. For social primates such as human beings, there is always a balance to be struck between individual actions and outward effects, especially with regards to other human beings (i.e., our communities). Similarly, the influence of one’s community manifests in one’s acts. Chickens make eggs make chickens make eggs make… This can lead to cycles of health following the tides of the community. (We are, after all, all wearing a mask.) How can a community improve its health? 
  3. Can a community (legitimately) opt to decrease its own health? 
  4. Can you think of at least one way we could improve democracy in this country?
  5. Can you think of at least one way we could improve democracy in another country?
  6. Can you think of at least one good reason why we should improve democracy in this/another country?
  7. Why/Are we partial to democracy?
  8. Jennings posits that “To give a practice [of medicine] meaning is to locate it in relation to a broader scheme of society, history, and individual experience […] to see how it fits into the various patterns that people use to create order and structure in their lives”. Normalization and familiarization each facilitate integration. Can you think of an example in which a practice of medicine is best understood by the social/historical structures constraining an individual?
  9. Must bioethics strive toward liberalism? Put slightly differently, does “progress” require progressivism?
  10. Solomon and Jennings (2017) contend, “Increasingly, the United States’ cultural narrative has demeaned government as a paternalistic and overbearing “nanny state” or as wasteful and inefficient, and it has construed citizens as mere clients or consumers. This is a phenomenon sometimes described as “civic privatism.” Behind fake news, lack of transparency, and the generation of conflict seemingly for its own sake, there is an increasing cultural denigration of public service and governmental function.” Why/Do you think it is “increasingly” “popular” to disparage the U.S. Government?
  11. On average, do you think families make better medical decisions than individual actors? Conversely, could an individual always determine their course of treatment without reference to their family/community?
  12. Tucker et al. (2019) discuss “the problem of cognitive fixation on prior ideas” as a limiting effect of crowdsourcing. “[P]roviding an example or reference limits the diversity of ideas solicited. This concept is similar to groupthink, which occurs when a group of individuals converges on a single solution.” How can we ensure democratic/community-based solutions mitigate these effects?
  13. Would you be willing to kill/die to defend/spread democracy? Are there circumstances that would compel you? Would you participate in a draft? If called upon by your nation at this moment to serve in the military, would you?
  14. Have the American people elected their next leader of their Executive Branch of government?
  15. Has the internet made democracies around the world better, worse, or left them about the same?
  16. How should we confront profound disagreement?