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Comment Blame unregulated monopolies! (Score 1) 253

Are you kidding? It makes no sense whatsoever for an ISP to terminate a customer's account because he hit their arbitrary bandwidth limit! At worst they should disable his account until the next billing period. A better option would be to charge an overage fee, like any other ISP with half a brain. A better option still would be to throttle the connection until the next billing period. We're talking about computers here. There's absolutely no reason their system can't automatically handle this in a reasonable way.

Imagine if the water department told you that you could only use 500 gallons a month, and if you went over it once, they'd shut off your water supply forever. Imagine if the electric company told you that you had to monitor your own meter, and that if you used over 200 KWh in a month, they'd never sell you electricity again. And of course, imagine that in both cases, the meters had functions that could automatically throttle or disable the pipe if the limit was reached, and reset when the next billing period started. But they refused to use those functions and instead lay in waiting for the opportunity to close your account forever, like guerilla tour guides waiting in the jungle to ambush the paying customers they just led in.

This is like giving the customer a rope, already tied into a noose, placing it over his neck, tying the other end to the ceiling, and then telling him, "Here's the rope you ordered. But don't walk too far away from this spot or you'll hang yourself. And if you do that, we'll shoot you."

What we're seeing here is why ISPs need regulation. Where monopolies or duopolies exist, customers are no longer valuable to companies. These companies would rather throw away customers than invest in their capacity, because that would reduce quarterly profits.

Comment Re:sadly funny (Score 1) 326

Logically, believers do not claim that God's existence can be scientifically proven. Therefore a demand that it must be scientifically proven is a false dilemma. It's practically a religion unto itself: scientism.

Logically, there are questions which science cannot answer, and theories which science cannot prove. Therefore, just because science cannot prove something does not mean it is untrue. Truth is truth, regardless of what method one may use to discover it. Truth existed before science was even conceived of.

Calling someone or something you disagree with "crazy" is an ad hominem, a logical fallacy. Please study logic.

Comment Re:I refute your claims; care to do the same? (Score 1) 326

So, you claim that organized efforts to ensure that religious dogma stays out of science classes, or to find ways to avoid the demonization that atheism receives in many communities and societies around the world, would constitute "ritual and tradition for nothing"?


Atheism can be very much like a religion for some people. The same can be said about science, humanism, etc. Getting together to discuss how to further its views and undermine those of its opponents is just what a lot of religious groups do. It's like atheistic evangelism.

Sure, there are some atheists who are content to just hold their views without trying to convert people to atheism or actively oppose religious groups. But there are also some who do those things.

In a sense, there is no human who is not religious. One either worships (i.e. serves) God or oneself. Atheism is just another god, another idol.

Comment Re:sadly funny (Score 1) 326

Your ignorance (or dishonesty) is showing.

Christianity does not command any of those things. Nor did Jesus, nor any of the other NT writers. And even in the OT, it's quite clear that God favored mercy over sacrifice.

You're guilty here of the same mistake that many Christians make when they want to justify a view they hold strongly: prooftexting. You fail to take into account the whole Bible, or even to attempt an actual exegesis of the texts you are referring to.

You said two things that are true: doing the things you mentioned would indeed be intolerable, and all Christians (indeed, all humans) are hypocrites, in one way or another, at one time or another.

The problem is that you set up a field of strawmen and knocked them over, claiming that you knocked over Christianity with them.

Comment Re:Not So Fast On The Pointers (Score 1) 326

Bah. Software engineering just plain stinks most of the time. PC software is unreliable and slow, and it bloats faster than hardware advances, so computers today don't really let people get things done any faster (excluding, of course, things like media encoding).

There's hardly any feeling of ownership in software made by big companies or groups, so there's little incentive to take pride in one's work, so programmers are lazy, and probably under pressure from bean counters and unreasonable managers and customers.

Our computers ought to be doing so much more for us than they are, but the software just stinks. Even the "amazing" Apple devices stink half the time. iPads and iPhones have apps that crash regularly (usually because of OOM), and apps take way too long to load, and even the stinking camera will sit there for 5-10 seconds before and between taking pictures. Nobody cares except the people who want to throw the device against a wall because it didn't used to be slow but now it is, all because of shoddy software engineering. No matter how fast the hardware or how much memory, the software will always bloat it to the extent that the effective or apparent speed remains the same.

Comment Re:Begin a sentence with a connective (Score 1) 326

The ESV isn't literally a literal translation, and the NWT is doctrinally biased. The ESV is good, but there isn't really such a thing as a "literal translation". Every translation falls somewhere on a range of dynamic vs. literal. There just isn't always a way to render one language "literally" into another--it always involves interpretation.

Having said that, I agree with you. :) Rules like not beginning a sentence with a conjunction are arbitrary, and English would probably be the last language one could say to have an objective standard.

Comment Re:Obama versus Romney? (Score 1) 698

The problem is, how do you define equal pay? What do you compare one person's salary to? And salaries are relatively private information, anyway. I'm all for fairness, but there is a limit to how much fairness can or should be legislated. You can't make people be nice to each other or like each other.

So where do you draw the line? Every embryo has the potential to develop into a breathing, beating, thinking human being. When does a human being become a human being? It's an entirely arbitrary decision. The only safe decision--and the only reasonable one, since there is no objective standard--is at conception.

If I were the father of an unborn child, I'd be offended by anyone telling me that it is ok to kill my child--my own flesh and blood. If I were an unborn child, I'd--oh wait, I'd be dead, so I wouldn't have the chance to be offended.

You just skip over those issues and repeat " own body...offended."

Thanks. I found it while reading about Henry Ford. I had to whittle it down to fit in Slashdot's sig box. I think we'd have a much better economy if we hadn't forgotten his nugget of wisdom. Back then it was a race to the top, but now it's a race to the bottom--the bottom line, I suppose.

Comment Re:Obama versus Romney? (Score 1) 698

Equal pay is not an issue of women's rights. No one has a right to get paid anything. It would be better and more fair if women always got paid the same as men for doing the same job, but hey, not all men get paid the same for doing the same job, either. Should men demand equal pay as other men? What if there are some men who get paid less than some women for doing the same job? I don't hear men complaining about that. It's not about equality anymore, it's about retribution.

No one is suggesting that women be denied access to contraception. That is a strawman. The idea that the government should provide it to everyone free of charge is not an issue of rights. No one has a right to get free stuff. Besides, every single woman has free access to contraception: it's called abstinence.

Finally, if abortion is an issue of women's rights, then it's also an issue of fathers' rights and unborn babies' rights. Why don't you explain to fathers why their children being killed before they have a chance to live shouldn't really be important to them. Why don't you explain to unborn babies why life shouldn't really be important to them--oh, wait, you can't, because they were killed--I mean, "aborted"...

Comment Re:Sad but expected (Score 1) 165

Yeah, I generally agree with you. I suppose, to be fair, I should admit that one could say that I just want them to fix the bugs that are important to me. But some of the ones that are neglected do seem much more important than yet another minor UI change, or WebGL, or another fancy web site/logo redesign. Yeah, yeah, not everyone can do the Firefox coding, but money can be put toward anything.

The problem, I think, is that browsers are now far too complex to be effectively maintained as a community project. Sure, you see little browser projects, like how KDE is trying to push Rekonq as their new default browser, but come on: look at how many people it takes just to make Firefox and Chrome secure, and they're fixing security bugs constantly. How could a few guys make a secure browser in their spare time, a browser that does all the modern JS/CSS/HTML5/plugin stuff? I don't think it can be done. The barrier to entry is too high. It's like, sure, some people can build kit planes, but you can't build a kit airliner--it takes a Boeing or Airbus to do that. So I think we're basically stuck with Firefox and Chrome for the foreseeable future--or Opera if you don't care about FOSS.

I keep Chrome around just in case Firefox goes south for a while, but I have gotten so used to Pentadactyl that I hate having to browse the web without it. It saves so much effort, if for no other reason than its simple hotkeys (like T for a new tab, instead of Ctrl+T).

Comment Re:This is why I suggest BSD (Score 1) 946

You missed the point.

Anyone can download GPL software, make all the changes he wants, and not provide his changes. He's only required to provide his changes if he distributes the result.

In your example, if he distributed the resulting binary but not the source, those who download his binary would lose the freedom to make their own changes.

Comment Re:You want to be treated like a human being? (Score 1) 698

I ignored your argument because it is based on your ignorance. Just because you have not ever encountered a secular argument for valuing human life does not mean that they do not exist. Go read about secular humanism as a starting point.

I can't help but find it ironic that you criticize me for being ignorant, yet this ad hominem is based on your own ignorance of me.

You're presupposing that, since I don't agree with the idea that value for human life can exist outside of religion, that I must have never heard of such an idea--that anyone who understands such an idea must agree with it. That's obviously a fallacy. And rather than arguing, you're simply asserting that you're right and I'm wrong.

And you are lying - that would be bearing false witness. I said that when I called this an example of the Christian version of Sharia law that I was crediting the idea that they are not equivalent. You now insist that I am playing semantic games, despite my clearly explaining the difference. you just choose to ignore it because it is inconvenient for you.

I didn't ignore it--I disagree with it. You have not explained HOW they are different, you simply assert that they are. You have not "clearly explain[ed] the difference" whatsoever. In spite of your claiming that they are different, you're using your assertion of their similarity as support for your argument. From one side of your mouth you say they are, for the sake of argument, the same, but from the other side of your mouth you say they are different. You are being intellectually dishonest. You're saying, "Sharia law is bad, and Christian law is like Sharia law, so it's bad too. But no, they aren't THE SAME." But you're using their similarity to support your argument--that's the entire point. Yet you have neglected to explain HOW they are alike (other than that they are both related to religion), nor have you explained HOW they are different.

The worst part is that you have neglected to address my point, which is that our laws are already based upon religious values; and that if you insist upon having no religious influence upon our laws whatsoever, then an evolutionary ethicist or evolutionary naturalist who believes in "survival of the fittest" should have the right to commit murder--because if you stop him from doing so, you're forcing religious beliefs upon him.

If you disagree with that, then you must explain HOW one can value human life apart from religion; and by "value" I mean assigning equal value to all human life, because without such equal value, one could still justify murder.

I will give you a non-religious example of why you are wrong:

OSX is Apple's version of an operating system. Windows is Microsoft's version of an operating system. They are not equivalent, they are simply two things that serve the same general purpose, but they are not the same and are in fact very different.

Apples and oranges; this proves nothing. You're dodging the real argument.

Christian law and Sharia law are two things that attempt to perform roughly the same purpose (have religious beliefs shape secular law) but they go about them in different ways and enact different laws. Both seek to force others who do not share those beliefs live by them.

Now I'm going to call you out on this: there is no such thing as "Christian law." This is simply a strawman you have made. Sharia law, on the other hand, actually exists. Every time you make this comparison, you're comparing something real with something made up. It doesn't prove anything. Your only option here is to explain in detail what you mean by "Christian law."

On top of that, you're anthropomorphizing ideas. Ideas do not enact laws, nor do laws enact other laws. Laws do not desire anything.

Finally, the Christianity recorded in the Bible does not advocate imposing any beliefs or behaviors upon anyone--on the contrary, it recognizes individual free will and responsibility, and advocates submission to governments and laws. On the other hand, Islam explicitly advocates forced submission and conversion. You must address this point or you have no argument to begin with.

You are not worth arguing with. You do not seem to possess an education sufficient for this to be an argument, as demonstrated by your insistence that only religion can yield a foundation for valuing human life. You do not seem to possess critical thinking skills or the ability to understand nuance, as demonstrated by your inability to understand the difference i pointed out between Christian law and Sharia law. Arguing with you would be pointless because, lacking those things, you don't have the capacity to actually make an argument based on anything but your own ignorance and logical missteps.

Good grief, the irony and hypocrisy are killing me! You know nothing about me save that I disagree with you. You are insisting that if I disagree with you, I must be uneducated. You haven't backed up your assertions, and when I challenge them, you call me ignorant and uneducated. You say I have no critical thinking skills, yet you fail to recognize your own fallacies, assumptions, and presuppositions. You keep saying that you've pointed out the difference between "Christian law" and Sharia law--but you haven't done so, you've merely asserted that they are different. Finally, after all that, you say that I am the one who is unable to argue logically, and that I am the one not worth arguing with.

I know and respect many people who are deeply religious. Most of the professors I liked best in university were men of the cloth - 2 were Jesuits, one was an episcopalian cleric, 2 were rabbis (one reformed, one orthodox) and several more were deacons or the equivalent in their respective churches. They were educated, they were intelligent, and they had principles and conviction. In fact, it was actually one of the Jesuits who first introduced me to many of the non-theistic philosophical arguments for ethical behavior that you insist do not exist.

I haven't said that such arguments don't exist--I'm saying they are wrong. But you say that I'm the one who is unable to understand nuance.

You are nothing like any of those people. I do not want you, for a minute, thinking that the reason I am no longer responding to you at this point is because you have somehow persuaded me or caused me to run out of arguments for my point of view. I am leaving this because you, and people like you, are exactly why many people who prize rationalism look at religion as a refuge for the ignorant and stupid, and I simply will not bother arguing with someone like you when there are a great number of people who don't do the disservice you do to religious thought to argue with instead.

You don't know anything about me. I have, so far, argued much more rationally than you have--you have refused to even defend your assertions. Instead you rely on unsubstantiated ad hominems.

You should be ashamed of yourself, and you should want to be more educated, because your "argument" just makes it so much easier for people to dismiss you and all religious people as uneducated morons.

Again, you have no idea how educated I am. You're just making assumptions and personal attacks. But you claim I'm the ignorant, uneducated, irrational one who can't argue logically. You're killing me here.

Comment Re:Name Your Poison (Score 1) 698

If your point is that there were people in favor of the war who had ulterior motives, I'm sure that's true, even inside the administration. The government is not monolithic, nor is the Cabinet. So what?

My point is simply this: Saddam and his sons were just plain evil. They committed horrific atrocities and would have continued to do so. Now I'm sure the U.S. government has people in it who have less than altruistic motives, and I'm sure there were plenty of them involved in all the activities surrounding and leading up to the invasion. But I still think it's rather absurd to say that the nation of Iraq would ultimately be better off if Saddam's evil regime were still in place. Has the U.S. made mistakes? Of course. Does that mean it's as bad as or worse than Saddam? Of course not. That's just hyperbole, which obscures truth and hampers rational discourse.

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