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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Let me give the opinion of a French atheist. That law is pure insanity, and that's not the first insanity that is done by this government. Instead of attacking religious fundamentalism and intolerance by teaching history of religions in schools (*), they attack little symbols. How much easier, isn't it. Consequence : some Muslims and some Jews will feel persecuted, there will be more private schools, (I'm totally against privatization of education BTW), and more Zacharias Moussaouis will grow in the shadow
    • Thanks. You at least help restore my faith in the French people, if not their government. :)

      I'd question the government's role in attacking religious beliefs, though. Again, as long as no rights are violated, people should be allowed to believe whatever they want (and as long as they are willing to fact the consequences of their beliefs). For example, a Muslim may be allowed to hate Christians so long as he does not engage in violence toward them. (And so long as he is willing to accept the fact that

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • We can't obviously mind-control everyone, forcing them not to hate their fellows :) But the main purpose of a democracy is to provide a safe place for citizens, where they can enjoy their freedom without being paralyzed by the fear of seeing their synagogue burnt (taking an example from real life.) Thus I don't think at all that a government should attack any religious belief -- religion is not the government's business. But it should make efforts to prevent, as much as possible, the spreading of fundamenta
        • I don't mind, in principle, the idea of forbidding head coverings, or any other thing a public school wants. The problem is that you have a system that is set up for all the people of a nation (the public school system). That is a problem in a diverse, multiethnic, multireligious, society, as it will always create conflicts like this.

          Who is to say which religious freedoms are necessary to allow for, and which are not? Why should the government be making any such decisions? But if they don't, then who w
          • Who is to say which religious freedoms are necessary to allow for, and which are not?

            There's a simple answer to that. Your rights end at my nose. You can do anything you want so long as it doesn't directly affect me. So you can engage in any religious activity you want as long as you're not doing anything to me, or I consent to whatever you do to me. You can wear headcoverings, but you can't force me to. You can sacrifice your animals, but you cannot sacrifice mine, or a human being. (If someone feels their god demands that they violate someone else's rights, then their god sure better provide something to compensate for the legal penalty society will impose. If he doesn't, tough noogies. They can choose another religion, or keep serving the god who doesn't make it worth their while.) So, since my wearing a headcovering doesn't do anything to anybody else, nobody has the right to prevent me from doing so. Headcoverings are a very straightforward application of rights.

            Rights never create an obligation in other people, other than the obligation to respect those rights. [gmu.edu] I don't have a right to force you to do anything, including a presumed right to education at public expense or a right to a society that looks like I want it to.

            Now, many religious people think that since they are affected when other people don't keep their religion, they therefore have a right to impose their views on others. The difference, of course, is that these actions of others only affect you indirectly, not directly. It's the difference between somebody going into business in competition with yours and devaluing your inventory, and someone breaking into your warehouse and "devaluing" your inventory through sabotage.

            Why should the government be making any such decisions?

            They shouldn't. Their only job is to safeguard the rights and safety of their citizens.

            But if they don't, then who will?

            Each individual citizen should always decide for themselves what they want to do, without interference from government. The only time government should enter into it is when someone violates someone else's rights.

            One of the many reasons I am homeschooling. :-)

            Ever since I've made that decision it's been so wonderful to look at issues like that and say, "Hey, we won't ever have to deal with that!" This is a simple case where if the government hadn't exceeded its purpose, we wouldn't have these difficult decisions.

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
            • There's a simple answer to that. Your rights end at my nose.

              It's not that simple. The obvious examples are classes teaching about sex and abortion and evolution. Should we refuse to teach about them so no one's rights are abrogated? If they are taught, does that constitution such an abrogation at all?

              And what about my right, as a Christian and citizen with free speech, to say that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ is going to hell? Does that harm someone's nose, or does preventing me from sayin
              • Should we refuse to teach about them so no one's rights are abrogated? If they are taught, does that constitution such an abrogation at all?

                The question wouldn't arise if we didn't confiscate wealth to provide a free education. :D But you knew that.

                And what about my right, as a Christian and citizen with free speech, to say that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ is going to hell? Does that harm someone's nose, or does preventing me from saying it harm my nose?

                That one's simple. Saying that

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

                  No, it isn't. You might have your own idea about it, but many people -- including courts and legislators -- will disagree with you. There's no clear direction in our laws on the matter.