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The Ecology of Democracy, Chapter 6 - Your point of view - 2

Hello Everyone,

Our classroom discussions have centered on a chapter you were assigned from The Ecology of Democracy.

This is a gentle reminder that your posts and responses are due by Monday, November 27th by midnight. Keep in mind, you are to write a well thought-out, meaningful reflection paper about your group project  and respond to two of your classmates papers, for a minimum total of three posts.

Remember, we are interested in your original thoughts and ideas! This assignment is designed to get you to think critically and engage in a civil discussion with your classmates about the democratic process of problem solving as it relates to you in the classroom and in the community.

Please do not wait until the last minute; post early and often. Each post will be graded based on the quality of the content. Your post should cover some aspect of the chapter you are reading including the problem, process, program and projected outcome. Please use this link to enter the website

You will make your posts in the classroom conversations area; under the thread The Ecology of Democracy Your point of View-2. You can also receive up to 20 points extra credit by answering the thread question: How do you understand the role of citizens or the citizenry in a democracy?  If you have not registered, you will need to do so. Feel free to catch me in class or shoot me an email if you have any questions.



mross's picture

I could not agree with you more on your statement. People need to make change; actions are louder than words and when people work together to resolve a solution an impact can be made. Talking about a matter will not get you far at all and will not accomplish anything. Taking action is the key in addressing matters and stepping into the right direction.

Mmurray's picture

You make a very good point. I completely agree this is a serious problem we face in the United States today. Americans are extremely opinionated. In most cases, it is simple to evoke a reaction or to gain a folowing on a certain issue. I find people are quick to voice concern or call for change, but it is rare to see their efforts extend beyond that. I believe people feel their efforts will make little to no difference (apathy), but it's important in changing the mind set and stigma some Amercians have. I challenge everyone (myself inculded) to recongnize problems and to work to make a positive difference.

Mszczepanski's picture

in this post i would like to point out the discussion on page 73 of the text or page 12 of the pdf. the discussion talks about how one person comes home and anticipates going to bed, but other things arise and it causes them to make a dicision based on others well being instead of doing what they wanted to do for themself. this reminded me of an ethics theory that i had went over in a philsophy class last semester. Utilitarianism. this theory states that one should do the most good with the least amount of bad, for all parties involved. and in this case i think that it was more of a personal state of utilitarianism where he had to complete the theory for himself and his family. he took into account all of the feelings of his family members and acted accordingly, putting out the least amount of bad and the most amount of good. putting others before him. he satisified his children, allowing them to go the movied, his wife with the new restraunt and his inlaws by rescheduling. he did the most good for everyone around him but not for him self. 

mreid's picture

Sound Judgement/Hasty Decisions

I feel that turning to society for their opinions should not dictate whether or not the decisions they come up with are wrong or not. Also, I agree with how they explained that no certatin amount of information is enough to inform decisions that citizens make when it comes down to what is really the right thing to do. Therefore, this is why the things that are valuable have to be considered and that's why facts alone aren't enough.

Does Public Deliberation Have Any Impact?

In my opinion, it shouldn't matter how mcuh impact is has on the state in order for them to take action and determine the importance of what citizens do. Either way, if it's not terribly important, it should still be deliberated.

Mbanaja's picture

I also agree with most of you guys but I think sometimes people are afraid to do the first move and talk first indeed some people find it awakrd to start a friendship with their neighbors.however I wish people be like the old days and get more involved with each other :)

mross's picture

Being involved with your community and politics is important so that you are aware of what is going on around you. I agree with you that people should engage more socially in their community so that it makes it easier for people to get together and take part in the efforts towards a better change. Doing so can also allow additional views of different perspectives from others in your community. People should want to work together in their own community and there is no shame in getting to know one another. It should also be a priority to make your community a better place and gaining the support with efforts from others standing with you that is in support of the accomplishment to want to achieve to better your community. Being involved and communicating with individuals in your community can only better you and help in making a change.

mross's picture

It is extremely important for people to be aware of political information. There is many different perpectives that are feed to the public from all differetn forms of news broadcasters, but it is important that you are able to analyze and see where the truth lays yourself. You cannot believe everything you hear in the media but you can be educated and have the knowledge to know what is really going on and what is exaggertaed upon. People get confused hearing all these persectives and get lost and they dont care enough to dig to the real truth and find the real fact hidden in all the garbage th media feeds to the public. Its very important to be knowledgable with this subject, analyze, and critical think because these thing are going on in the world you live in.

People should also be more involved with politics so that can be a voice in the public. If something is wrong dont leave it up to others to speak up for you. Instead make a change and speak up, be heard, and communitcate with the people in your community. You should always know what going on in your community and you should standup for your home. For example this Flint Water Crisis is a serious matter and went on far too long until some people started to ask the right questions and addressing it to the right people. 

mczarniak's picture

I believe you should know whats going on in this world because it keeps you connected with the world around you. I believe this question connects back to the knowing you're neighbor question. If people don't make an effort to get to know their neighbor, or find out what's going on in the world, they isolate themsleves from the truth. They may believe everything is find and dandy, when in reality the sick are getting sicker, the poor are getting poorer, and injustices are still running rampant. To me there is a sense of pride and selfishness for not getting involoved. Some people just don't care about what going on in the world until their life gets caught up in the matter. If people keep acting like this, then no progress will be made in soceity. Everything will stay as it is or get worse. The power of getting involved is huge. Look at what happened when Martin Luther King Jr. took action. This man lead a nation wide revolution. It all started with his education and devotion to making this world a better place. 

m1harris's picture

I definitely agree with you that we as American should know what's going on in the world around you. I love this quote by Pericles "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." Politics requires you to be cynical without losing your idealism, skeptical without giving up on problem solving, and it demands that you compromise with people who disagree with you on almost every issue. It has also become so complicated that the politicians don’t even bother to read the bills anymore. So, imagine being a young inexperienced kid who’s trying to figure out what’s going on in a world full of lying politicians, partisan hacks and slanted media. There are well-meaning politicians who put the country first, but they’re about as common as professional athletes who eat dinner at McDonald’s every day. Politicians generally aren’t brave, they aren’t virtuous, they can be bought off, they often won’t do the right thing unless they’re being watched and they are not looking out for people like you. You wouldn’t leave your dog with people who think like that, but we’re trusting the fate of our nation to them.

mczarniak's picture

People don't get to know their neighbors because they want to stay secluded. They are only interested in their little world. They don't care about what's happening with their neighrbor, as long as they are living a nice comfortable life there's no need to reach out to their neighbors and say hi. There is also the thought of fear. Some people may not reach out because they feel they may not be accepted because of their differing believes. The thought of rejection is so strong they pruposely isolate themselves from others who think differently then them. I believe this small depiction of neighborly involvement foretells how invloved someone will be. If a person can't muster up the compassion and courage to get to know their neighbor, then how likely are they going to get involved anywhere else. It shows a lack of interest toward the outside world. 

mbeneid's picture

youre right my friend  everybody now adays does not care about other people because they dont want to be rejected but people should reach out for each other make sure that they are doing just fine insted of not talking to them and just mainding your own bussines .

Mmceachin's picture

I liked how the author talked about values. They do always change from person to person. I think for a lot of people including me, they value their family. My values could be different from those who are reading this. Chapter 6 made me think about my values and the values of the presidential candidate. I have done some research on the candidates but not as much as I should be doing on them like voting histories. I liked how in the beginning the author talked about the possible psychology that was passed on from our ancestors. Some aspects of psychology interest me. One time, I was told that some people’s fear of heights is contribute because of our ancestors. They learned that being high up can kill them if they fall. It astonishes me how something that long ago can affect us now.

Malanzi's picture

It is true that people’s values are different. However, the bottom line is that every individual is hugely inspired by held apprehensions regarding the future and what it holds for each one of them. Therefore, even if the candidate’s values may not be in line with a common citizen, it is important to ensure that the elected person will give citizens avenues for advancing their welfare, will protect them, and will enable every citizen to be treated equally.


mdeleon's picture

I think people should be involved in the world around them. People always want things to change for the better but are never apart of the process to make things better. For example the presidential race going on at the moment. People need to get involved and learn about each of the potential candidates and what they stand for. Only then can you make a wise and informed decision. You can't just base your vote off of a popularity contest. It's important to be involved and to inform yourself and try to help make things better, you can't expect someone else to do it for you.

Another main point I touched on was deliberation. I while it's great to be informed and involved, I believe the most important part is deliberation. There really isn't a reason to be involved if your not going to make wise and thought decisions. Making decisions without giving them any thoughts could actually be unhelpful in the end.

mreid's picture

TRUE! People need to dig deeper and discover the things that aren't seen. Some only scratch the surface and miss out on what they can get from it. I agree that it is very important to make sure your voice get out there. As little as one voice can make a huge impact on anything!

mbeneid's picture

I think people are so close-minded nowadays that it has come to a ridiculous point. People are more secluded than ever and never get to know their surroundings, unless it is familiar ground. We tend to isolate ourselves from others and the world because we are afraid of the potential. Just by helping others and the environment will lift a great weight off of our shoulders and make us feel better about how we live and where we live. It is very inportnant to be more involved with the environment and people around you because how else are we going to learn about new things and what is happening. There are some great people out there that live tho their fullest and include everyone and everything possible in their lives. More humans should be like them so that our earth becomes a more inviting and friendly plave to be.

mcontreras's picture

I agree with your statement. I like how you tell it how it is and you make sense of what people do on a daily bases. I hope people read your post because it's really good. I appreciate your post.

mkraft's picture

True! I think a lot of people are stuck in their ways and don't want to open up to the world we really have. It really pays to be open minded because there's a lot out there to find and experience. There are also some things that could be changed, but people are either too afraid or too lazy to make a difference. Nice post!

malkhamis2's picture

Exactly people are either afraid or lazy and imagine if we all get lazy and do nothing who would make a difference in the society? People shouldn’t be afraid of sharing their ideas or opinions because we all lived different life and have different point of view so the more people share the more options we have.      

MMoorer's picture

I see your point. I strongly feel that people have grown accustomed to a reward-based system. Their actions are not as genuine because there is no physical reward in doing so such as volunteering, or just helping out a friend study for an exam. Many individuals have become closed minded to the possibilities that lie within themselves. You cannot get anywhere in life if you never take the chance to live it.

mcleary's picture

This chapter is a lot about decisions and judgement, but also how they’re connected. We may be judged off of our decisions, but at the same time, we make decisions from judgments. Like the chapter states, we drive slowly on a wet highway because it makes us safer, even though we may be late for a meeting. We value things like being safe, freedom, opinions, so we have to balance. We also have to take time to get to know the world and people around us and get involved. We need to get involved and come together, not become secluded.

mreid's picture

I agree completely. It's more than taking steps to create a change. Forming bonds or just getting to know people can make the involvement better and coming hand and hand can create something stronger.

mhowell's picture

This Is Great !! I also agree with you too ! We all seem to vaule being safe and our opinions but sometime when it comes to our opinions we try to keep those safe also. sometimes we try to keep things that we are supposed to say safe because we feel we are not going to be accepted if we do not agree with everyone else!

Mmcghee's picture

The First point I liked was how the author stressed how  Fremany people can have different values and priorities. My values as a Secular Liberal is different than a deeply religious conservative. I also liked how the autho said while people who have muiltply Priorities, that one is not the most important, there are all important but at different times in different ways. An example is like for me I really value the seperation of church and state, but I also value Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Just because I campaign for one heavily right now, does not mean I care any less about the other.


MMoorer's picture

Where to begin? Deliberation, I originially thought only occured in the settings of the courts. I had no idea there was so much more to the picture than the mere settings. There is the everyday deliberation, which is where I feel "true" deliberation happens, going through the thought process that will further help you in those more professional settings. The fact that individuals can realize the importance of working together, to inform themselves, whether they agree or disagree is what makes this term deliberation so powerful. By understanding the roles of citizens we as a whole can become so much more powerful. The power does not lie within one being, but a collective. Decisions are made constantly, unconsciously even, we make them every second, but the important ones we, more times than not, choose to "bounce ideas" or talk to someone we can trust. So, I ask how does trust play a factor in deliberation to you all?

mbriggs's picture

I feel like everyone should be informed and up-to-date on current issues. We are called upon to make "opinion" polls and voting for political figures, yet if we don't know who they are, or what they stand for, or what they plan on doing in office, we are doing the greater society more harm than good. I even feel that I, myself, am not as informed as I would like to be. We need to have better and more portable, as well as more widespread, access to such important information. For example, I am a full-time college student who works two jobs outside of school. I rarely have access to, or time to, watch television, and when I am not at school, I am at one of my two jobs working. The important information, or debates, panels, etc, are all either broadcast on channels I will never see, or in newspapers that I don't receive. What are my other options??? Or perhaps someone is too poor to own a TV, or cannot afford a channel package to stream the political information. What will they do then? Use the car they don't have to "drive" to some place where they can? This system is not up-to-par to distribute important information in order to inform citizens properly. I am not saying that I know all the answers about how to do it "right", but the figures in power, and/or those running for positions of power, need to be equally informed about the state of its citizens as well and how best to reach them in ORDER to inform them. It's a two-way street.

Mmcghee's picture

I agree. The United States Government needs to provide information for people in order to make informed choices. However we need to make sure the information they receive is not propaganda in order to mainpulate people. 

mcontreras's picture

I totally agree and understand completely where you are coming from. Many of us don't get involved and so we misunderstand situations and don't have the complete knowledge we need for the given situation. 

MMoorer's picture

In addition to that many people do not take the time to research the topics, a few minutes just to get acquainted with the material being presented out there to better prepare themselves to make a difference. Personally, politics are a snorefest but I do try to keep updated with the perspectives of individuals just to stay abreast of the information.

mkraft's picture

I also agree. I have a hard time following politics because my schedule is packed to the max. I'd like to be an educated voter, but I just do not have time to feed through the bs in order to get reputable facts and form an honest opinion of a candidate. If there was an easier way to get accurate and unbiased information, I would be more up to date with politics!