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jdavidb (1361)

jdavidb
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http://voiceofjohn.blogspot.com/

J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.
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    • Why does that matter? No offense, but I've always viewed that as a pedantic point that merely detracts from the argument at hand.

      • I'm coming from where you're at. The way I see it, government began with the tyranny of conquest and monarchy, neither of which were justifiable. Democracy was invented as a hedge against the possible tyranny of unlimited government. As such, it was a great idea. But it is not an absolute defence against government tyranny, and I am one of a minority of people who wants to point out that "democracy != freedom," and that there may be better ways to do things.

        I tend to see representative Republics in th

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Why does that matter?

        As Madison wrote in Federalist 10, "The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended."

        Basically, he was saying the difference is representation. Of course, today, we mean "representative democracy" when we say "democracy." But are those the o
        • Yeah, as I posted in a follow-up, I was far too hasty in asking that question and I'm rightfully taking my lumps for it. What gets my goat is how often I hear conversation along the following lines:

          Person1: we shouldn't have to put up with XXX in a democracy!
          Person2: we're a republic, not a democracy.

          All too often the latter statement is a knee-jerk comment and sidesteps the actual issue rather than a attempt a legitimate discussion. Ironically, my response was a knee-jerk comment in turn.

          • But I am never one to avoid discussion of Republics when given the chance, so I don't care if you DID post a disclaimer, you opened the door and I stepped in! :-)
          • Yeah, as I posted in a follow-up, I was far too hasty in asking that question and I'm rightfully taking my lumps for it.

            I don't think you should take any lumps for it. That question befuddled me for years. As I noted, I finally understand the distinction people were trying to make, though I'm still not satisfied that Republics are the be-all and end-all answer to the preservation of liberty.

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • And in reading the Web site, I see that they raise this piont, too. In fact, it's the entire point of the site, so your comment is particularly ill-placed. They do attempt to address my question and raise some interesting points, but much of the site is a collection of lies and half-truths. Much of it's pretty offensive.

      And to be clear: I do think the distinction between democracy and republic is important, but most of the time people issue that correction, it seems irrelevant to the topic at hand. T

      • Much of it's pretty offensive.

        Huh? I can understand disagreeing with the content, but being offended by it? What, exactly, offended you? Sounds to me like you get offended too easily.

        I'm regularly subjected to content I disagree with, and I believe I benefit from the exposure. You generally have to try hard to offend me.

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
        • I found the writing offensive because I find lies that promote bigotry and intolerance to be offensive. For example, their argument against multiculturalism is that if the concept was valid "there wouldn’t be such a tremendous number of people worldwide wanting to take up residency in the United States..." This "rebuttal" to multiculturalism is typical of people who pervert the argument, whether knowingly or not. Many of the people trying to get over to the United States are doing so for money or t

          • I found the writing offensive because I find lies that promote bigotry and intolerance to be offensive.

            Amazing. I still think I'm not bigotted or intolerant, despite having read the site. It can't be promoting bigotry or intolerance that well, then.

            I think perhaps you read more into the site than it actually said.

            their argument against multiculturalism

            I didn't see an argument against multiculturalism. I saw an argument against compulsory multiculturalism.

            Real multiculturalism is when you si

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
            • I guess I could get "offended" that you've assumed you can associate me with racism simply because I believe people should have freedom, but I'm going to be bigger than that.

              I apologize. What I wrote apparently came out differently from what I intended. Having been born and mostly raised in Texas, I was horrified by the amount of racial and religious bigotry that I encountered there. That's not to say that everyone there is a bigot and I didn't mean to imply that, but I see how it can be read that way.

          • I didn't read the article, but when parts of the Bible put on a bumper sticker *are* prosecuted as hate speech in Canada, then it *is* scary.

            Granted, one could note that with the incident in question, the offender was, in the view of many, making a de facto threat against homosexuals (I don't recall the specific slogan, but it basically said something about gays being killed, and had a biblical reference to support it).

            However, just as many people cannot understand the distinction I just offfered, many ot
            • Well, atheism is certainly not a religion. Atheism rejects the idea that a civilisation, a century, or the whole humanity can be the center of the universe, because there is no such center. The very whole purpose of religion is to propose and build such a center, by a process which is psychotic in nature.
              • Well, atheism is certainly not a religion.

                No, it certainly is a religion.

                Atheism rejects the idea that a civilisation, a century, or the whole humanity can be the center of the universe, because there is no such center. The very whole purpose of religion is to propose and build such a center, by a process which is psychotic in nature.

                Your definition of religion is flawed. Defining it in terms of psychosis is nonsense, and many religions don't propose a center at all, such as Hinduism. Further, I can
                • Your misguided claim that atheism is scientifically unprovable shows that you don't understand it. But that's normal, since you're a theist. Please just stop to try to characterize something that's beyond you.
                  • Your misguided claim that atheism is scientifically unprovable shows that you don't understand it.

                    You cannot through science prove that God does not exist, which is what atheism claims.

                    Please just stop to try to characterize something that's beyond you.

                    rgs, what crawled up your ass? You completely mischaracterize Christianity, and then bitch to me about mischaracterizing atheism?

                    Of course, I didn't mischaracterize atheism. But even if I had, you have no right to sit on a high horse about it, after
                    • You cannot through science prove that God does not exist -- of course you can : history of religions, ethnology, anthropology, neurobiology, psychology, all give extremely powerful arguments.
                    • You cannot through science prove that God does not exist

                      of course you can : history of religions, ethnology, anthropology, neurobiology, psychology, all give extremely powerful arguments.

                      No, they do not. None of them give any arguments, whatsoever, of any kind, that point to the nonexistence of God. You're making stuff up.

                      I challenge you to present one, just one, argument that even begins to point to the nonexistence of God. As none exists, I expect no reply, but if you do reply, I shall have no
                    • I challenge you to present one, just one, argument that even begins to point to the nonexistence of God

                      I mean, of course, a scientific argument.

                      Hell, I'd like to even see an experiment postulated that could possibly, even if the test is not necessarily feasible, prove that God does not exist. That is to say: I am doubting that you can even come up with a theoretical method by which science could prove God does not exist. I've never seen one.
                    • Isn't there something about not being able to prove a negative?

                      I would say that atheism, in the context of the First Amendment, is a religion. In fact, a few years ago a case was decided against a teacher/school that didn't allow a child to do a book report on what a bible story turned into a children's book.

                      The decision boiled down to the state can't promote non-religion or anti-religion or however you want to look at it.

                      The state should be neutral regarding religion.
                  • Hey, cool it.

                    Regardless of how anyone feels about atheism, the fact in the context of this journal entry and this article is that each person is entitled to whatever beliefs he wants, right or wrong, faith-related or not. Part of pudge's point, which I believe you missed in your haste to apply corrective action, was that we cannot and should not legally distinguish between beliefs as being "religious" or "non-religious." You want to believe something and make choices and have whatever rational or irrati

                    --
                    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • we cannot and should not legally distinguish between beliefs as being "religious" or "non-religious." That's a very sane statement.

                      That said, understand also that's it's offensive for an atheist, who defines him/herself as out of any religious system, to be equated precisely to what he wants to evade. Just tell a GNU advocate that free software is just one special kind of commercial software, and you'll see how he responds. (Reformulated in software terms, it's now obvious that this was a troll. I must apol

                    • That said, understand also that's it's offensive for an atheist, who defines him/herself as out of any religious system, to be equated precisely to what he wants to evade.

                      Okay, but I think some people here keep getting offended too easily. I could get offended by the fact that you implied the cause of all religion is psychosis, but I'm going to be bigger than that. I could further be offended by the fact that you mistakenly identified the purpose of religion as being to propose a particular race or ce

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • understand also that's it's offensive for an atheist, who defines him/herself as out of any religious system, to be equated precisely to what he wants to evade

                      You have a faith, an unprovable and unscientific set of beliefs, that says God does not exist.

                      Either that, or you are not what most people call an "atheist." This is the essential component of atheism as popularly understood, as the term is popularly used, by an overwhelming majority of the people who use the word, and adhere to the system of bel
    • I think I pretty much agree with you. According to Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, government is merely an institution designed to secure rights, i.e., freedom. Freedom is not granted by government; government is just a bunch of armed men organized supposedly with a view toward protecting freedom. Unfortunately that organization, pooling of resources, and arming results in a very powerful force that can be subverted to other ends, resulting in a loss of freedom.

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers