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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It's so easy to knock down straw men. Kinda fun sometimes, too.

    If only I had known that that liberals are driven by "wishful thinking" and and "the notion that we can make life on Earth perfect" and "[maybe] we can all have a Star Trek like existence". Gosh, even though I've never met a single liberal who espouses such a view, clearly you, Pudge, the Champion of Truth and Light, have revealed to me the Way. Never again shall I be so shallow as to believe that differences in core values might lead peopl

    • It's so easy to knock down straw men. Kinda fun sometimes, too.

      Sorry, try again. Actually, YOU are the one with the straw man here.

      If only I had known that that liberals are driven by "wishful thinking" and and "the notion that we can make life on Earth perfect" and "[maybe] we can all have a Star Trek like existence".

      I didn't say that. Listen again. I said it is a core part of the motive of MANY liberals. Not liberals in general.

      Gosh, even though I've never met a single liberal who espouses such a view
      • Agreed that you didn't say "all liberals". My apologies. However, you presented the viewpoint of what describe as "many liberals" and you quite failed to make it clear that this is a minority viewpoint. Instead, you presented a viewpoint that is clearly your own, you mocked it ("Star Trek like existence"?), and used a minority opinion -- one I don't hear -- as a contrast to conservative opinion. You might think it's fair to contrast a minority opinion with what you clearly view as the rational conservat

        • Perhaps a better wording would have been "a significant number of liberals" instead of "many liberals."

          Instead, you presented a viewpoint that is clearly your own, you mocked it ("Star Trek like existence"?)

          Have you listened to Ask Pudge episode 1? Because one of the questions was this [slashdot.org]. So in the full context of Ask Pudge, the whole "Star Trek post economy, everyone's needs could be filled if we'd just abandon capitalism/conservatism/greed" has been referenced before and is being referenced again.

          --
          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • Well, I certainly wouldn't say that many conservatives are motivated by fear. In fact, I don't think the neo-cons who've hijacked (in my opinion) the conservative party are motivated by fear. (Like many, I feel they find fear is a great tool for public manipulation). So no, I don't think the comparison is unfair for this reason.

            And for the record, my general opinion of what I view as "true" conservatives tends to be people who think that smaller government works better and the government should be stay

            • To clarify previous post, you and I are in complete definition over that definition of conservatism. I don't think we're in complete agreement in both accepting that as our own personal viewpoint, because I don't think (but could be wrong) that it's your viewpoint.

              Yet. ;)

              --
              J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
              • The problem I have with some conservatives is the same problem I have with some Christians. Basically, what they preach and what they practice aren't the same thing. This is hypocricy. Frankly, I don't mind a little hypocricy now and then so long as the practitioner is willing to admit the error of their ways and tries to be better. However, when they refuse to admit they are wrong, I have strong issues with this. Unfortunately, while these might be minority positions, they seem to have had a dispropor

                • Everything you just said sounds like it could've come straight out of my mouth. My wife and I talk about this all the time. We believe God specifically prohibits Christians from governing others. (And the maximum penalty church government can impose is putting people out of the church.) I use the phrase "right to sin" a lot, with the same logic you do: God gives us the right to sin. God believes in the right to sin.

                  Frankly, I don't mind a little hypocricy now and then so long as the practitioner is willing to admit the error of their ways and tries to be better.

                  You're welcome to point out any consistencies I ever express here. I try to be very consistent. Doing so, I take some pretty radical views sometimes. But I strive for consistency, perhaps above all else.

                  (Much of the following is just from memory, so my apologies if I get little bits of it wrong.)

                  As near as I can tell, everything you said accurately agrees with my understanding of Christianity.

                  However, Jesus neatly side-stepped this with his famous "Render unto Caeasar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's" (that might be off slightly, but it's basically the same thing). What Jesus did, with that one statement, is make it clear that separation of Church and state is something which Christians's do not have to reject.

                  Hmmm. Never thought about it as separation of church and state. I think of it as, "Don't you go using God as an excuse to not pay your taxes, you scoundrel!" Here and everywhere else in the New Testament, submission to human government is commanded for Jesus's people. It's well-worth noting that the government in question (Rome) was morally depraved: these taxes went to fund homosexual orgies, idolatrous worship, and immoral conquests. And the tax collectors themselves got away with intentionally overcharging the people. And in this context, Jesus says, "Pay up." Wow.

                  Of course, I do not accept that Jesus ever grants His people the right to tax others. In fact, the teaching for Jesus's people is "Do not steal." I submit to taxation and law and specifically disclaim any right to tax or rule others. Any official doing so and claiming to represent me is lying; I don't claim to have that authority, and haven't delegated it.

                  A state must necessarily accept that the people in its borders often have a variety of differing views.

                  As an anarcho-capitalist (and as a Christian), I accept the right of any size group of people to willingly form a state of whatever type they wish, as long as noone is compelled to participate against their will, although in a situation such as we have on earth right now, where each region is limited to only one existing state, I believe such a government is morally restricted to only protecting the rights of its citizens.

                  The role of the state, in this case, is to ensure that the expression of those views does not demonstrably harm the people over whom the state has jurisdiction. While this clearly has grey areas, the state is perfectly within its rights to prohibit murder, theft, rape, and so on. At no point in reading the Bible do I remember Jesus saying that a state had to enforce religious beliefs.

                  Here [google.com]'s what I believe is the foundation of morality in terms of what a state can and cannot do. (Nonreligious.) I believe a state is an extension of self-defense: you possess the right to defend yourself, so you can form an organization with a group to defend that group. Thus any compulsion a state exercises over anyone must be limited to defending rights. Of course, voluntarily people may do much more with a state.

                  At no point in reading the Bible do I remember Jesus saying that a state had to enforce religious beliefs.

                  You are correct, sir. In fact, Christians are prohibited from exercising judgment over those outside the church: see I Corinthians 5:12, and then read the entire chapter for context. I see here a judicial authority given solely to a local church, with the maximum permitted penalty being to tell a person, "Bye, we can't accept your sin in our church anymore."

                  Some Christians in the US want their personal views encoded into law. However, they ignore some pretty salient points of the Bible.

                  Yep. Like I Corinthians 5:12.

                  Remember when Christ protected the adultress from being stoned? Why did he do that? I think many fail to consider this.

                  I've been expressing this point from I Corinthians 5:12 for a long time, now, but I have to confess this implication of the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8) only hit me last week. :) The OT law was an earthly theocracy (and like all governments, I consider it to be a private relationship between the Governing and the governed). It's necessary for all human governments to have penalties and consequences for violation of the law. But the heavenly nation Christ sets up in the New Testament works completely differently. And so in the transition period between Old and New, the time when Jesus was living on earth (because the New couldn't start until He had accomplished His death), He begins imposing these additional restrictions. And one of them is that such a penalty can't be imposed without a sinless person to initiate it. Christians thus can't engage in the kind of penalties that occurred in the OT any more.

                  However, it goes back even further. If God did not want people to have the ability to choose, he wouldn't have put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. By putting it there, he was making it clear that Adam and Eve had the right to choose whether or not to sin. If one is to be a Christian, what hubris compels them to deny a right which God granted?

                  Nothing to say, other than I agree.

                  More immediately, let's say that you just lock up everyone who sins. Does physically preventing someone from physically doing something you consider sinful make them a better person? No! It merely prevents them from doing something you consider sinful. As a result, laws designed to prevent sinful behavior, while they might protect society, don't do a damned thing in the eyes of God (in my opinion, of course).

                  Again I agree, and have said basically exactly the same thing, often. I have a picture from Kiev, Ukraine, of the ruler Vladimir, who learned from his Bible that everybody needed to be baptized, and so he commanded the entire nation (village? I'm not sure how many people this was.) to be baptized, on pain of death. Same story with Charlemagne. Such accomplishes nothing; baptism must be united with belief (Mark 16:16). So, while you qualified that this is just your opinion -- it can be backed up with Scripture.

                  Instead, people should be allowed to choose their path so long as the only people affected are consenting adults. If they go to hell, that's their choice, as given by the God of the Bible. I can tell you not to steal from me, but I have no right to tell you it's illegal to participate in consensual group sex.

                  100% agreement. And as for your last sentence, I believe that is exactly what government is entitled to do, period, without any reference to religion. To assert that government can exert force for any cause other than to defend rights is to assert that people have rights over each other, and have delegated them to the government. As I believe in self-ownership, as an inviolable principle that cuts across all lines of belief, I can't accept a right for government to do any more than this.

                  Today, there are conservatives who espouse "conservative" ideals but who ignore those ideals as thoroughly as Falwell Christians ignore Christianity. If the Republican party truly followed ideals of smaller government and state's rights, it would be a wonderful thing. I wouldn't always agree with their approach, but I'd be one hell of a lot more likely to vote for them.

                  I will never vote for a politician again. All politicians assert their right to govern over people regardless of consent. As a Christian I can't support this, and even if I were not a Christian it would violate self-ownership.

                  --
                  J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                  • I will never vote for a politician again. All politicians assert their right to govern over people regardless of consent. As a Christian I can't support this, and even if I were not a Christian it would violate self-ownership.

                    Then do not complain. You have no right to complain if you are not participating in the process to improve it, to protect your own rights. The cost of having liberty is eternal vigilance to defend that liberty, and if you don't do that, you get what you deserve: slavery.

                    At least, tha
                    • It's not about complaining. It's about persuading people that they don't have the moral authority to rule over one another, even if they vote on it. And I will continue to say so.

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                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • Incidentally, I'm still casting ballots. I'm just not voting for any politicians. I'm voting against referendum measures, and voting "none of the above," "other," or writein against every single candidate running. I'd like for a majority of people to discover they have no right to rule others, either, and join me. Elections are never won by true majorities since that many people rarely vote. I think every registered voter who doesn't show up ought to count as a "no" or "none of the above" vote, to make

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • It's not about complaining. It's about persuading people that they don't have the moral authority to rule over one another, even if they vote on it. And I will continue to say so.

                      But you're not doing anything.
                    • I'd like for a majority of people to discover they have no right to rule others, either, and join me.

                      First you'd have to throw out the Constitution. Good luck with that.

                      Elections are never won by true majorities since that many people rarely vote. I think every registered voter who doesn't show up ought to count as a "no" or "none of the above" vote, to make it obvious.

                      Except that's not logical. Our system has never been based on the notion that a majority of citizens should support something, only that a
                    • Sure I am. I'm teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a far more effective way to combat every problem people want to solve with government. And as I understand that Gospel, abandoning any claims we have of the right to govern each other is essential.

                      From a secular point of view, persuading people to relinquish this claim is also the way to eventual success. You cannot achieve a society that doesn't believe it has a right to vote on each other's affairs by voting. I saw a comment recently from

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • I'd like for a majority of people to discover they have no right to rule others, either, and join me.

                      First you'd have to throw out the Constitution. Good luck with that.

                      Every good conservative agrees that the Constitution doesn't grant rights, right?

                      Our system has never been based on the notion that a majority of citizens should support something, only that a majority of voters should. Again: you'd have to throw out the Constitution.

                      It's amendable, right?

                      You can expect to be a slave if you

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • Every good conservative agrees that the Constitution doesn't grant rights, right?

                      You're missing my point: the Constitution gives explicit authority to the government, through the people, to "rule others."

                      It's amendable, right?

                      Yes. In the way you want? No. It's antithetical to the Constitution, and logically nonsensical, since you'd never possibly get a majority of Americans to actually agree to it. Worse, in order to ever find out whether you had a majority, you would need to know everyone who is and is
                    • I'm doing something: I'm working to persuade people to accept ideas. That's the same kind of work the authors of The Federalist did.

                      Oh come on, it's not remotely the same thing. Even if all they did was write The Federalist, they were writing things, to thousands of people, that were directly influencing the ratification of the Constitution.

                      Of course, they did far more than just write The Federalist. They were all intimately involved in actually shaping the government, as you well know. Madison, the prim
                    • You're not doing anything to actually preserve your liberty.

                      And as I specified from the beginning, I'm required by my faith to accept restrictions on my liberty. The armed revolutions and civil disobedience will have to be practiced by someone else.

                      Were I not a Christian, I guess you'd see me practicing tax evasion like crazy and who knows what all else.

                      What other courses of action to preserve liberty are you recommending, exactly, besides voting? What do you have in mind?

                      --
                      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 go get involved with this [middleburyinstitute.net] or something.

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • What other courses of action to preserve liberty are you recommending, exactly, besides voting? What do you have in mind?

                      Getting involved in the political system to foster change, for one thing. As you know from my Slashdot journal, I get involved and actually have a voice in the party, which affects what issues and candidates are supported by the party, and how and to what degree they are supported. By being involved, I meet people in positions of authority, and when an issue comes up, I can bend their e
                    • By being involved, I meet people in positions of authority, and when an issue comes up, I can bend their ear (not that the average Joe can't do that too, but it's easier for me).

                      But exercising that authority is against my morality, as is influencing someone else who possesses that authority to use it. The only thing I could morally convince them to do is to not use their authority.

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • But exercising that authority is against my morality, as is influencing someone else who possesses that authority to use it.

                      It's against your morality to attempt to convince the Attorney General that he should sue the state teacher's union for stealing non-union teachers' fees to use for political purposes? I don't see how.

                      The only thing I could morally convince them to do is to not use their authority.

                      Even if that were true (which I don't think it is), then ... so what? Do that then. As you may have see