Tag Archives: logical fallacies

The Slippery Slope Of “Press This”

While the new Press This Bookmarklet has received mostly good reviews, some people have expressed concerns that it only makes life easier for content thieves.

I confess that when I first learned about this new WordPress feature, I had the same concern, but that was based on faulty information given to me by someone who had used it. I was under the mistaken impression that the feature copied entire posts and/or pages. I now know that it does not do that, although it can certainly be abused in that way.

This seems to be what the majority of complainants are arguing: it’s a bad idea because content thieves can use it to steal other people’s work. But content thieves were stealing other people’s work before and will continue to do so if it is removed.

People who steal content will do so regardless. People who do not steal content are not going to suddenly trash their values and start plagiarizing just because now it can be done with greater efficiency.

To those of you who think WordPress should not have this feature, I submit that you should stop blogging altogether. After all, posting your content on the internet makes it easier for people to steal it. And we should probably stop emailing and using instant messengers because they’re also prone to abuse. Better yet, let’s just shut down our computers and call it quits, because the internet itself is prone to abuse in uncountable ways.

Now that we’re no longer using computers, we can focus on all the other things that are potentially dangerous or harmful. How about cars? We shouldn’t have cars because people can drive them while intoxicated and kill or injure themselves and other people.

We should probably get rid of our phones too, because they’re often used by stalkers to harass people. And while we’re on that slippery slope anyway, let’s go ahead and dump our kitchen knives, since people have been known to use them as weapons. And the kid’s baseball bat needs to go — it could be used to vandalize someone’s property.

Matches can be used to commit arson. Belts can be used to beat children. Pillows can be used to suffocate people. Antifreeze can kill animals. People can drown in swimming pools. Or bathtubs. Ropes can be used to strangle people. Cameras can be used to exploit people. Binocular and telescopes can be used to spy on people. Sleeping pills can be used to commit suicide. Or murder. Gasoline, paint and a variety of other things, when huffed, can result in hypoxia.

The list goes on.

We don’t get rid of any of those potentially dangerous and harmful things because we recognize their usefulness. They make our lives easier and often more enjoyable. Let’s keep Press This for the same reason. There are steps you can take to deal with content thieves, and those steps are exactly the same with or without this new feature.

Now go and press something.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On

My Husband Is Better Than God

Dswerling, author of One Christian’s Journey, wrote a post back in May entitled What Atheists Really Want. When I saw that title, I thought, “Oh great! Another Christian who thinks s/he knows my mind better than I do”. They’re not exactly in short supply.

But this one actually nailed it:

What they want is one thing: good old fashioned proof. […] They want academic, reasoned, logical study with as much empirical proof as possible […]

Bingo! What more can I say?

Of course, Dswerling goes on to admit that we’ll never likely get that kind of proof because, well, Christians simply don’t have it. It’s a matter of faith or trust, if you will, which brings me to the reason I felt the need to write this post:

Faith is a form of trust; trust in God or Jesus or Allah or Zeus or Ra or any other deity you pick, but at its heart all faith is trust that somehow things are going to work out just fine in the end, in one way or another. I think even a lot of Atheists certainly have this trust, they just can’t reconcile it to trust in something greater, a reality above the reality that we observe in the physical world. However, this is a personal issue for everyone. After all, how would you ever find scientific proof that say, your mother or girlfriend or wife or father or boyfriend or husband loved you? How would you ever truly know another person was trustworthy? You simply cannot know, you are left with an act of faith on some level, and no one ever talks of finding scientific reasoning for these trust issues. So if we aren’t trying to scientifically prove why we can trust our mother or father or any other humble human, why would we bother trying to scientifically prove why we can trust the infinite creator of the universe?

[emphasis mine]

What Atheists Really Want

I would like to begin by addressing the last sentence there.
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I Am Atheist, Like It Or Not!

Time and again, I encounter Christians on blogs and discussion forums who attempt to argue that there is no such thing as atheism or that atheists are really just agnostic. More often than not, this argument seems based on the fact than many atheists allow for the possibility of the currently unknown. This is an intelligent position to take which in no way invalidates my personal atheism, and certainly not atheism as a whole.

Let’s begin by clarifying what each of the terms in question actually means:

Agnosticism is a position or statement of knowledge. Atheism is a position or statement of belief. The two are not mutually exclusive; in fact, I am actually both. Allow me to explain:

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