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The Unanimous Decision: Is It Really Possible?

Originally Published February 2018

Can we really declare a winner by unanimous decision when our viewpoints differ so drastically? Is a unanimous decision really so?

Or are most members swayed by the strong opinions of a few?

Are those most concerned about fighting for what they think is right often those that get their way?

“A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its members.”

David Coblitz

Maybe that’s true. Maybe I need to think more about fighting for what I believe in. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I’m not really a fighter.

Or at least I’ve lost my penchant for competition, and the often resulting confrontation, considerably since high school.

But back to this question of making unanimous decisions. Group consensus is a difficult thing to obtain. And the more people one tries to include in a decision, the more difficult obtaining this consensus becomes.

Individuality is rampant, at least in this country. But individuality might also be the path to creative fulfillment.

Humans are undoubtedly social animals. We rely on other members of our group for various survival needs.

Is this path towards extreme individuality, then, a dangerous one?

Or is it simply the most likely progression of a society in which basic needs are comfortably met with regularity?

Imagine a world in which every individual was capable of governing him or herself. This is an idyll, of course, but would this not be an acceptable state of existence?

Would it not be reassuring to know that the person next to you was capable of policing their own actions? Of acting morally, in all situations?

Now, this is all too much to expect, of course. Most will reason that we must have a government, for people are entirely incapable of policing themselves.

And there’s plenty of evidence available to support this position. There is nothing that might suggest 7+ billion people living on this planet would unanimously possess the capability to govern themselves.

But what are the benefits of a society in which government, police, armies, and other regulatory nonsenses are deemed entirely unnecessary?

What, then, would all those people employed in those various sectors possibly have to do?

Why, digressing a bit, is employment so essential to survival?

Life requires work, of course. Growing, trapping, and hunting food requires energy. Sewing clothes, shaping pottery, and milling lumber require effort.

Sanitization of safe drinking water requires fuel. The collection of fuel requires the motivation to stay warm, stay fed, and stay hydrated.

I suppose, at the root of it all, we are failing to come to a unanimous decision as to what is truly necessary, and important, to life on this planet.

Food, water, shelter. Love, family, relationships. A creative pursuit. Some might say security, but I think true security comes from within.

It cannot be guaranteed with the largest fence and the most grotesque armament in all the world. It cannot be obtained by establishing barriers, but by tearing them down.

Can we not agree on the basics of life?

Are we incapable of coming to a unanimous decision on the topic? And if not, as hope suggests, can we begin to shed ourselves of the many distractions that grab our attention and cause us to forget the basics, or worse, to take them for granted?

“The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.”

Pope John Paul II


  1. Hello,

    I read your article, and overall you have some good viewpoints on the mass population not being able to agree on any one thing.  

    I did find though that it seemed like it was a lot of questions that maybe you’re asking yourself internally?  It was a good read, but I was just a little thrown off on where it was going.  

    Was the topic about any one thing in particular, or simply as I read it, that humanity in general will never be able to agree on any one topic or question?


    1. Hi Katrina! 

      My writing style at this time was full of questions! Many of them I was, indeed, asking myself internally. But by putting this article out there, I’m now also asking YOU, the reader! 

      At the end of the article, the final question I pose is the one I’d hoped readers would ponder most: 

      “Can we not agree on the basics of life?” (meaning, what should be prioritized with the time we are given). 

      What do you like to prioritize in your life?

  2. It’s really not easy making an unbiased decision because in decision making it self involves forsaking all other available options from a large number of options…so when others options have to let go the decision it self has become an unbiased decision and it must occur for a decision to happen… that’s my opinion and I hope it counts…
    Thanks for the intending article

    1. Hi Evans! 

      I too believe that decisions are almost always going to be biased in some way. Getting rid of our inherent bias is like wiping the slate clean of all of our past experiences; hard to do! 

  3. Hello there, your post is amazing!

    Unanimous decisions sometimes isn’t the truth. For the fact that everyone agrees on a particular thing doesn’t make it right! It could be that some group of people kept their opinions to themselves. 

    I will always advise that do not follow the crowd, always stand for what is right…you might just be the one to make the difference

    1. Hmm, interesting point here! 

      I’ll do some more thinking on whether or not unanimous decisions are really important to come to…

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