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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I can't tell you how many times I have told people we are not a "democracy" but a "republic". *sigh*
    • 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

          • by pudge (1) on 2005.05.16 17:03 (#40451) Homepage Journal
            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 others cannot tell the difference between quoting the Bible and actually proposing gays be put to death. And that is the part that scares me.

            As to the broader issue of religion: it is nonsense to say "Government should stay out of religion." That is a meaningless aphorism, first and foremost because the Framers never intended it as absolutely as you describe it, and secondly because we can't define "religion" well enough to enact the idea. To me, humanism and atheism are religions, yet I can't recall seeing the ACLU up in arms about Hume being taught in school, or a jury refusing to provide for the death penalty because they believe in no afterlife.

            And then there's taxation of religious groups. If a government cannot cannot fund religious activities, how can religious activities fund the government, and worse, since taxation equals control, it amounts to nothing less than government control of religion.

            I am for a more traditional view of the First Amendment, that predates our current anti-religious hysteria: government should be essentially blind to religion. Don't exclude it (such as excluding them from taxation, or from receiving funds for welfare programs), and don't specially include it.

            In other words, "what part of 'no law' do you not understand?" Restricting religious groups from government funds is explicitly forbidden by the First Amendment. So would be exempting them from taxation (except as one of many types of nonprofit organizations). No law means no law.

            The difficult part is where such government activity might be seen as endorsement or persecution, as neither can be allowed. It's nonsense to say that funding a religious organization's charity work constitutes endorsement, any more than taxing them just like every other group constitutes persecution. You can't have it both ways. The problem today is that the mainstream left's position on religion in government is conflicted in a way that is punitive to religion, as clearly shown by those two examples.

            So what is endorsement? Is allowing a local community to allow prayer before football games endorsement of religion? Is there a difference here between a taxpayer-funded nativity scene on public property, and a privately funded one? Is having a monotheistic slogan on our money acceptable? Prayer before Congress and Court sessions? These are not simple questions to solve, but it doesn't help to take a thoroughly anti-religious (and as such, unconstitutional) position to make the solutions simpler.

            All that said, I do agree with you that the author was over the top in what you quoted. :-)

            As to racism, I've spent quite a bit of time in Houston, Boston, LA, SF, Seattle, and Philly. By far, the greatest racism I experienced was anti-white racism by blacks in LA, and Irish-Italian racism in Boston, followed closely by anti-Hispanic racism by whites in LA (although by now, that may have surpassed both; I've not lived there since '95).

            I didn't grow up in Texas -- and I realize it's a big place -- but I did spend several months in Houston, working in the inner city, and it was one of the least racist places I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing in any significant amount, after Seattle.

            Also, I don't see how limiting immigration can be equated to racism. It's more about the economy than anything else -- over $10b annually in California alone in services paid to support illegal immigrants -- and secondarily about culture, not race. Yes, this culture clash often translates to racism; as I described above, I see a lot of anti-Hispanic racism coming from SoCal. But this racism is misapplication of the emotions stirred up by the negative economic and cultural impact of illegal immigration.

            That is to say, it's a given that illegal immigrants who cost less to support and who more readily integrate into our culture are not nearly as objectionable as those who cost more and integrate less, regardless of their race. And just because someone is against illegal immigration because of the significant negative impact, that says nothing about whether they are racist.

            • 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
                    • Atheism is the religion of no religion. And you are absolutely right in stating that it is a religion.
                    • 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.

                      Atheism is a religion. The existence of God cannot be proven and neither can it be disproven, therefore to believe that no God exists is a faith. Agnosticism, not atheism, elides the issue of faith.

                    • "Atheism is a religion." War is Peace. Slavery is Freedom. Ignorance is Strength.
                  • Your misguided claim that atheism is scientifically unprovable shows that you don’t understand it.

                    Mu.

                    The question of whether God exists is outside the very scope of science.

                    If our understanding of quantum mechanics and relativity is correct, then there are physical limits to how much insight we can gain about the Universe; because they impose limits on how much of the Universe we can subject to the scientific method of theoretic prediction and observational review. This means we will never