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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

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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
      • 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 f

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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
            • 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 doesn't harm anyone, so it's okay to say it. Whining that what I said "hurt you" in an emotional sense is not at all a compelling reason for abridging my rights. Prohibiting Christians from exercising their free speech because it "hurts people" is exactly as fair as prohibiting atheists from exercising the same rights.

                It's been pointed out to me recently that free speech is really more about property rights. You have the right to say whatever you want ... on your website, with your printing press, at your expense. (Of course, with the regulations we want to put on websites, that's not entirely true from a legal standpoint at the moment. But I'm speaking of the ideal.)

                The question of where your nose begins is the tough question. The longer your nose gets, the less free I am to swing my fist.

                It can be hairy (ooh, what a horrible pun...), but I think it's simple in most cases. You don't have the right to do something TO ME or my property without my consent. However, you do have the right to do something that affects me only indirectly. Going into business and competing with me may devalue my property, but you still have the right. Painting your house a funny color may devalue my house, but as you didn't do anything TO my house, I'd contend that you have that right (although zoning laws and other legislation may restrict this right; incidentally, those who don't agree to this ideal should live in areas with homeowner's agreements, which are voluntary contracts, rather than coercing others to live the way they want them to). I'll leave the extension of this argument to "intellectual property" as an exercise to the reader, but if you extend it consistently and logically, you'll have my belief, which probably doesn't agree with anyone else's here.

                Public schools exist for the primary purpose of homogenizing society, to strip away individuality, to make us into one great big fuctioning unit of citizenry. That's a fine goal, I suppose, but I want no part of it for my child.

                Well, maybe we homeschool for different reasons. I've no problem with providing a free education to the public, and in fact was thinking about donating to my local public schools before I became engaged to a lady who convinced me to homeschool. Of course, I do have a problem with forcibly taking money away from people who might not agree with this goal. And I do have a problem with the government being the entity to provide the free schooling. But I don't expect those to change during my lifetime, and I respect the quality and value of the public education being provided in my area. (I'd be happy if they just repeal compulsory schooling laws, but I don't suppose that will happen, either.)

                Again, it's so wonderful to see how these problems are solved when you can just say, "Hey! My kid will never have to deal with that!" :D It's a little upsetting that folks want to solve all problems through government even for those who do not agree that government is the best or even an appropriate solution.

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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
                • 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.