What does the Bible say about range voting?

The Bible never mentions the word "vote" or "voting." (For other online bibles see 1, 2, 3...) So is democracy pretty much a post-Biblical concept – an invention of humans trying to rule themselves, one might say, rather than directly an invention of God? Well, here is one quote from the Bible which seems to say that God recommends representative democracy!

Deuteronomy 1:6-13: The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying... Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.

For a different biblical example of something that sounds like an election, see Acts 6:3-5.

But the fact that God did not say exactly how to "choose," and never mentions the word "vote," can make it a little hard to get direct guidance from the Bible. However, despite the Bible not directly ever mentioning voting, the whole idea of humans trying to rule themselves in a just manner is of course a big theme of the Bible. I think obviously God wants us to choose in the fairest and best manner we can.

While I am hardly a Biblical scholar, let me tell you a few interesting things. (I am sure many of you can add more insights better than I ever could. Please do.)

Genesis 1:4-20: And God saw [that] the light was good... And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and God saw that it was good... And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good... And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good... And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good... And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

The above passage resembles "Approval Voting." Approval voting is a predecessor of Range Voting. In approval voting you vote 1 ("approve") or 0 ("disapprove") for every candidate. You do not just vote just for a single candidate, and then shut up, saying nothing about the others (which is the much worse current USA system, called "plurality voting"). Here God is saying he approves of the light, land, seas, trees, fruit, whales, animals, etc. He is not saying "Hey, I approve of just one of these things and the rest can go jump off a cliff." And He is mentioning the light and the earth more than once which is something like range voting, in which you can express different levels of approval, not just a bare "yes" or "no." (If He only wanted to say a bare yes or no, why didn't He just use each word once? Presumably there was a reason, and the most obvious guess at that reason was He wanted to express more intensity for the repeated things.) As someone might put it today, God here seems to want to say he is a particular fan of solar power and the environment!

2 Samuel 14:17: Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good from bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee. (My italics.)

Again in this passage, we have the Bible telling humans trying to rule themselves (in this case the king) to "discern good from bad." In plurality voting, you can't discern good from bad very effectively! ♨ For example, if you vote for Bush, then your vote says absolutely nothing about whether you consider Nader, or Gore, or Peroutka, to be good or bad, and how much. Range voting seems exactly what the Bible requested: a highly effective way to discern good from bad. Each voter gives each candidate a score anywhere from 0 (bad) to 99 (good). And voters who feel ignorant about a candidate (or do not want to express an opinion about him) are free to leave that candidate's entry blank, thus not polluting the discernment about him with either a mere guess or a downward-bias to 0.

Genesis 2:15, one of the earliest verses in the Bible, calls on mankind "to watch over and care for" and/or "to guard" (depending on the translation/version) the bounty of the earth and its creatures. (Again, God the environmentalist?) But how is mankind to accomplish its sacred caretaker duty without a good way to make decisions? Think about it. Mankind collectively knows what is going on with the Earth. Although any particular human (such as you) is not intimately familiar with almost all of the Earth, almost every part of the Earth is familiar to some person. Collectively, then, we have what it takes to make good decisions. But without a good way to translate that collective knowledge into a decision, we are stymied. Plurality voting, with its ridiculous pathologies which can easily cause us to make the worst decision, is not it. Range voting is the missing piece of the puzzle.

Job 34:1-4: Then Elihu continued and said... Let us choose for ourselves what is right; Let us know among ourselves what is good.

2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

One more thing

It was recently realized that honeybees have been conducting "elections" to make hive-relocation decisions since long before the first human ever thought of the concept of "voting" – and the method they use is (essentially) range voting! Honeybees are amazingly clever insects. If this is not a Sign from God that range voting is an excellent voting method, I don't know what is.

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