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Please, o condescending one. Explain to me the error in the post you responded to! I dare you.

How arrogant can you be?

You dare me. Who are you to dare me? What experience do you draw on for your opinions? Very little I'd suppose. You're just a little boy suckling at the town t*t.

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Guest Guest
Nonsense. Art is valuable on its own terms. The Mona Lisa is exactly what it is, no matter how the artist treated his children, or for that matter whether he had any. (Did he?)

Walking the talk means something while the person is alive, but after the artist is dead, it's a dead issue, pardon the expression. The art lives on regardless.

So now art has no meaning beyond its face value. Where it came from, the conditions under which it was created are meaningless? I'd bet some folks who study art for a living would disagree.

I'm not sure what being dead or alive has anything to do with whether or not someone believed in something and lived their life that way. In my opinion Lennon didn't do it. He merely made political and social statements that people bought in to, and went on his merry way counting his money and getting high.

One thing is for sure, it's time for you to walk the talk.

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You dare me.  Who are you to dare me?

Who are YOU to look down your arrogant nose at me and call me naive, acting so haughtily as if I'm some lost child in need of guidance? You get what you give. And I notice you completely ignored it. If you can't do as I said, have some integrity and admit it.

What experience do you draw on for your opinions? Very little I'd suppose.

Yes, I'm sure you would suppose. Not that your suppositions make any F**KING difference. You already came to your foolish conclusion, and nothing else matters to you. Just like any religious fundamentalist. Thanks for making my point.

You're just a little boy suckling at the town t*t.

http://www.maddox.xmission.com/crybaby.gif

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Guest Paul
So now art has no meaning beyond its face value.  Where it came from, the conditions under which it was created are meaningless? I'd bet some folks who study art for a living would disagree.

I'm not sure what being dead or alive has anything to do with whether or not someone believed in something and lived their life that way.  In my opinion Lennon didn't do it.  He merely made political and social statements that people bought in to, and went on his merry way counting his money and getting high. 

One thing is for sure, it's time for you to walk the talk.

The history behind the art makes for interesting study, but it doesn't diminish the quality of the art.

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Guest Radagast
So you committed at least three fallacies in just a few words. Did you really think I would have any trouble pointing it out? Ho-hum.

Are you tired yet Paul? Just checking ...

I used to frequent this board back a number of years ago when local politics was the predominant subject. Later, we were discussing (and I use that term with grave reservation) the war in Iraq and other BushCo projects. I still read posts on KOTW but you reach a point after so many 'KoolAid' comments by the truly disturbed that posting seems pointless. You think out an appropriate response on an issue, you post it and you are met with Patriot or Bushbacker who are out of breath and brain cells after typing five or six words that would earn them a punch in the Fn mouth if they had baseballs enough to say it to my face. Or, you get Bryan who, at least, puts time into his posts but when cornered tends to respond with references that do not apply to the subject and then simply more bitterness.

Perhaps I'm being cynical, however, these BB's tend to dig themselves into the same deep hole of 'Yeah? ... well so's yer old man', territory eventually. Kinda like reverse evolution (sorry, I couldn't resist)

If you're not tired yet, trust me, you will be.

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OK, Bryan, but only one and only because I'm a really nice guy. Frankly, it's just not interesting.

Heh. It's fun to see how much you ignore when you get around to replying.

I wrote this:

Your response was: "So you want to repeal free speech or what?  Jail time for the "significant percentage" you think?  Or do they need shock treatment as mandated by the federal government . . ."

Fallacy # 1: False assumption, the straw man, in at least two particulars: (a) No one is suggesting that citizens can't say any idiotic thing they like on their own time. (B) No one is suggesting jail time or shock treatment for being scientifically illiterate.

They graduated you from law school when you didn't know what a straw man was? Or did you forget subsequently?

I did not present your argument (or that of anybody else) with my questions. Rather, I tried to use the questions to tease more out of you than the rather ambiguous complaint that you found the beliefs of supernaturalists "troubling."

It's not a straw man if you merely recognize a position that isn't yours.

Review:

Description of Straw Man

The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:

1. Person A has position X.

2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).

3. Person B attacks position Y.

4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.

Note also that I launched no attack on the positions that LaClair bemoans as straw men. As I stated above, the questions were simply meant to tease out LaClair's true position since he had stated it rather vaguely.

Fallacy # 2: Equating high school curricula with a citizen's rights outside school.

Obviously I didn't do that.

You appeared to be troubled that people outside the school agreed with the one speaking to high school students (it's hard to see why you'd mention it otherwise).

Review: "when a supernaturalist is telling a group of high school students that dinosaurs were aboard Noah's ark --- and a significant percentage of the American public agrees with him --- that is very troubling."

And note that in my reply I zeroed in specifically on the "significant percentage" phrasing you used.

In school, if students are tested on whether dinosaurs and humans co-existed, they should be expected to know that they did not. The public school curriculum has a content. The educational system does not employ radical and absolute relativism in the quality of ideas. Ordinary citizens are not tested on such matters.

Then why did you mention you were troubled by the "significant percentage" that agreed with the proposition?

I'm impressed by your ineptitude, Paul. :rolleyes:

Fallacy # 3: Shifting the issue. The speech at issue is the teacher's, not that of students or non-student citizens.

Hah! You said you were troubled by the "significant percentage" that agreed with the speaker, or so your words seemed to imply.

Did I insert those words into your post or did you introduce them?

A public school teacher is not free to say anything he pleases. He has a responsibility to teach and stick to the curriculum. Placing reasonable restrictions what teachers say in class is not the same thing as repealing free speech.

Apparently you want to shift the topic away from the fact that you are apparently troubled that a significant percentage of people agree with the proposition that dinosaurs were on the ark.

So you committed at least three fallacies in just a few words. Did you really think I would have any trouble pointing it out? Ho-hum.

Yes, I did think you would have trouble. And I was right. You were oh-for-three.

It goes without saying that the reasoning that led to your false conclusions was fallacious.

You're allowed to try again, of course. :)

And I expect we'll see another round where the person who was wrong (LaClair) declines to admit it.

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Guest Paul
Are you tired yet Paul? Just checking ...

I used to frequent this board back a number of years ago when local politics was the predominant subject. Later, we were discussing (and I use that term with grave reservation) the war in Iraq and other BushCo projects. I still read posts on KOTW but you reach a point after so many 'KoolAid' comments by the truly disturbed that posting seems pointless. You think out an appropriate response on an issue, you post it and you are met with Patriot or Bushbacker who are out of breath and brain cells after typing five or six words that would earn them a punch in the Fn mouth if they had baseballs enough to say it to my face. Or, you get Bryan who, at least, puts time into his posts but when cornered tends to respond with references that do not apply to the subject and then simply more bitterness. 

Perhaps I'm being cynical, however, these BB's tend to dig themselves into the same deep hole of 'Yeah? ... well so's yer old man', territory eventually. Kinda like reverse evolution (sorry, I couldn't resist)

If you're not tired yet, trust me, you will be.

Oh, trust me, I am already, for quite a while now. There are some things our commitments don't allow us to back away from. I do appreciate the humor and the reminder that some people, probably most, see the big picture.

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Guest Paul
You're allowed to try again, of course.  :rolleyes:

"You couldn't put me down, Ray!"

"It's only a flesh wound! OK, then, we'll make it two out of three! . . . "

It's OK, Bryan. Your response speaks for itself if anyone cares to take the time to unravel it. :)

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Guest Guest
I didn't forget that at all, but you're not teaching me (or anyone else anything) by making wild accusations. Address the content of what I wrote, not a distortion of what I wrote.

I don't believe anyone relies on what you're calling religion (I read this to mean belief in a supreme being) for their very survival. Some people may think they do, but if they would try another approach, they might find it works just as well or better. That's how I see things. It's revealing that I can't even express my opinion on this subject without your accusing me of "imposing" my views on everyone. I'm only stating my opinion. But it is my opinion, and I'll be happy to give you my reasons for believing it if you'll promise to read with an open mind and heart. You're betraying yourself (and proving my point) by reacting as you do.

You have constantly tried to impose your opinions on everyone who posts here about religion. You make sure every post what your religious views are. I have no regrets. I just get tired of listening to you try to impose your views on what religion should be to everyone who posts here. There is so much of a difference between expression your opinions and repetitively repeating yourself to nausea. You are your own worst enemy in your fight against religion.

As your faithful sidekick, Strifey, keeps saying: "Stop Whining."

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"You couldn't put me down, Ray!"

"It's only a flesh wound! OK, then, we'll make it two out of three! . . . "

Heh. What a surprise. You're right back to the appeal to ridicule (implicit).

It's OK, Bryan. Your response speaks for itself if anyone cares to take the time to unravel it.  :rolleyes:

What's to unravel? You think the straw man fallacy is that complicated? Granted, you appear to misunderstand what it is, but it really isn't complicated at all, and the description stays pretty constant from source to source--and differs from what you claimed were straw man fallacies by me.

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

A straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

The Straw Man is a type of Red Herring because the arguer is attempting to refute his opponent's position, and in the context is required to do so, but instead attacks a position—the "straw man"—not held by his opponent. In a Straw Man argument, the arguer argues to a conclusion that denies the "straw man" he has set up, but misses the target.

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/strawman.html

In a straw man fallacy the opponents argument is distorted, misrepresented or simply made up. This makes the argument easier to defeat, and can also be used to make opponents look like ignorant extremists.

http://info-pollution.com/straw.htm

One of the characteristics of a cogent refutation of an argument is that the argument one is refuting be represented fairly and accurately. To distort or misrepresent an argument one is trying to refute is called the straw man fallacy.

http://skepdic.com/refuge/ctlessons/lesson9.html

It was fallacious thinking on your part, LaClair, to suppose that my response was intended to rebut (or even represent) an argument of yours.

LaClair:

but when a supernaturalist is telling a group of high school students that dinosaurs were aboard Noah's ark --- and a significant percentage of the American public agrees with him --- that is very troubling.

Bryan:

So you want to repeal free speech or what? Jail time for the "significant percentage" you think? Or do they need shock treatment as mandated by the federal government (maybe you can convince the SCOTUS to find that as a government responsibility in light of the elastic clause combined with "promote the general welfare")

LaClair doesn't understand the straw man fallacy, and he has not apologized for his error, as predicted.

"And I expect we'll see another round where the person who was wrong (LaClair) declines to admit it."

http://forums.kearnyontheweb.com/index.php...indpost&p=50775

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"You couldn't put me down, Ray!"

"It's only a flesh wound! OK, then, we'll make it two out of three! . . . "

Heh!

And don't forget these classics:

"Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad. Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected."

"Today I have visited whole Baghdad city, no invaders found. You go and see how we have ousted them from this city. They are cying outside and waiting to receive bullets. They will be killed shortly."

"Today we slaughtered them in the airport. They are out of Saddam International Airport. The force that was in the airport, this force was destroyed."

Bryan and Mr al-Sahaf should meet sometime and compare notes.

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Guest Loki
Oh, trust me, I am already, for quite a while now. There are some things our commitments don't allow us to back away from. I do appreciate the humor and the reminder that some people, probably most, see the big picture.

The big picture as defined by you. Can you not get it through your head not everyone will agree with you. I encourage you to follow your beliefs, embrace them, just don't try to impose your views on others as the "right choice." When you do, you are preaching, much like your current target.

I am now done on this topic, look forward to discussing future topics with you and others, but this has long ago, reached a dead end.

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Heh!

And don't forget these classics:

"Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad. Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected."

"Today I have visited whole Baghdad city, no invaders found. You go and see how we have ousted them from this city. They are cying outside and waiting to receive bullets. They will be killed shortly."

"Today we slaughtered them in the airport. They are out of Saddam International Airport. The force that was in the airport, this force was destroyed."

Bryan and Mr al-Sahaf should meet sometime and compare notes.

It seems that WilliamK either thinks that a straw man fallacy does not require an implicit, at minimum suggestion attack on an altered version of the opposing argument.

Either that or he is miraculously able to identify an attempt by me to alter Paul's argument in the examples proffered by Mr. LaClair.

Though perhaps he's just joining in on the fallacious appeal to ridicule (implicit). I suppose I shouldn't rule out that possibility.

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So you want to repeal free speech or what? Jail time for the "significant percentage" you think? Or do they need shock treatment as mandated by the federal government (maybe you can convince the SCOTUS to find that as a government responsibility in light of the elastic clause combined with "promote the general welfare")

Bryan, you are really an idiot.

This is not a question of free speech. Pasckewicz has all the free speech he wants outside the school building. He can stand on street corners and hold signs that say "Dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark" and the world can ignore him if they want to.

But inside a classroom, where he is the authority figure, he has no right to free speech, especially when it concerns his religious views.

We're back to same original argument - if it was a Muslim teacher preaching that all Christians are infidels and will go to hell, I'm sure you would be upset and demand something be done.

Or if the teacher was a German and told his students that the Holocaust was all a Jewish fiction, people would be up in arms.

Or if the teacher was Black, and told his classroom that the Aids epidemic in Africa was a white man conspiracy to destroy the black population, he'd be fired as soon as you walk through the door.

The bottom two scenarios are true. Both teachers were fired for their comments.

Why isn't Paskewicz fired? Because the Christian Evangelical Taliban are in power, not the Nazis, the Africans, or the Muslims.

The only argument here, despite all your feeble attempts to dissect every written word, is that Paskewicz was preaching his religious views in the classroom and should have been fired.

That he wasn't shows what a laughing stock the town of Kearny is.

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You have constantly tried to impose your opinions on everyone who posts here about religion. You make sure every post what your religious views are.

Gotta ask at this point: what is Paul's religion? If what you said is true, surely that would be a very easy question to answer, right? :excl:

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It seems that WilliamK either thinks that a straw man fallacy does not require an implicit, at minimum suggestion attack on an altered version of the opposing argument.

I'm well aware of what a straw man fallacy is. And I suspect that if you had actually thought that I didn't (and Paul as well, about whom you floated the same lie, but more explicitly), you would not have offered your "helpful" explanation in such an insulting and "playing to the crowd" way. It's rather transparent goading. But I have to admit that it has been somewhat successful. You've pissed me off enough to descend to name calling just as you wanted, you arrogant and obnoxious jerk.

Either that or he is miraculously able to identify an attempt by me to alter Paul's argument in the examples proffered by Mr. LaClair.

Not "miraculously", Bryan. I am correctly able to identify exactly that, as did Paul. Your comment countered points that were no part of his argument, and in doing so, implied that they were. It's classic straw man. And since I'm certain that you do understand what a straw man is, and since I do not wish to descend to your tactic of insinuating otherwise, I'll leave it to you to re-read it and figure out why. The only question is whether you can muster enough self-honesty to identify and acknowledge one of your own fallacies as readily as you identify and point out those of others.

Though perhaps he's just joining in on the fallacious appeal to ridicule (implicit). I suppose I shouldn't rule out that possibility.

No, Bryan, you certainly shouldn't rule that out. It wasn't subtle. I was indeed ridiculing you. And why not? You've provided something that is very worthy of ridicule, and oh so much provocation to do so. You have on multiple occasions been called out on a fallacy, sometimes correctly, sometimes not. And your response, even when the accusation was accurate, has pretty consistently been to 1) deny having made the fallacy, and 2) accuse the accuser (typically in a rather demeaning way) of not understanding what that fallacy is.

You know, Bryan, a simple "oops" will get you a lot more slack than a lame and obvious lie such as this one:

It was fallacious thinking on your part, LaClair, to suppose that my response was intended to rebut (or even represent) an argument of yours.

You challenged him to find a fallacy of yours. He scored a bullseye hit. Then you pulled an al-Sahaf and blatantly lied about it. Just as you lied to me about your ridiculous grammar argument not being about grammar, when it so obviously was. And then you defend your fallacies and lies by insinuating that your detractors only think they're fallacies and lies only because they're too stupid to comprehend your superior logic.

You are a dishonest debater, Bryan. A liar. A hypocrite. A belligerent and arrogant jerk. Smart, yes. But you abuse your intelligence to rationalize away your own error, to justify your arrogance and demeaning behavior towards others, to deceive others that you are right, and most of all, to deceive yourself.

Perhaps you should consider taking the high road a bit more often. You know, admit when you've misunderstood what someone said, or when you didn't think something through completely, or when you were a bit pricklier than was called for, or when you just plain goofed up. Maybe concede a point when you've clearly been bested, or just agree to disagree, instead of falling back to denial and derision. You are well spoken and correct often enough that you will not be thought an idiot for your occasional mistakes. But you will be thought a dishonest jerk for weaseling and demeaning those who call you on it. And rightly so.

And one last gripe. Your incessant nit picking and fallacy hunting is getting very tiresome and obnoxious. Calling out a fallacy here and there when the debate gets serious is fine. But it has gone way beyond that, into the ridiculous. This is an informal discussion board. People don't just "debate" here. They express opinions. They "vent" (as I've done some of in this post). Not every nit needs picked.

Oh, and one last bit of counterproductive name calling, just because it makes me feel better. I justify it only by my entirely emotional sense that you deserve it. I fully admit that this is an illogical and very poor reason, and that this is a very wrong thing to do.

Insufferable git.

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LaClair doesn't understand the straw man fallacy, and he has not apologized for his error, as predicted.

He made no error for which to apologize. You did commit a straw man fallacy. The error is in your denial, not in his assessment. Your accusation is false. Your prediction remains unrealized. It is you who owes an apology.

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Guest Paul
The big picture as defined by you.  Can you not get it through your head not everyone will agree with you.  I encourage you to follow your beliefs, embrace them, just don't try to impose your views on others as the "right choice."  When you do, you are preaching, much like your current target.

I am now done on this topic, look forward to discussing future topics with you and others, but this has long ago, reached a dead end.

Can you get it through your head that when you post something like this, I expect you to put some content in it, and if you don't I probably will call you on it. I can't force you to do that, but don't expect me to treat it as though it didn't happen as it happened.

So while you may ignore the importance of the US Constitution, I will post from the presumption that it is important, that it is too often overlooked, often by good people like you who mean well but do not seem to understand why it is a big issue in our national life. That's not forcing you. I just refuse to accept the contrary view that the US Constitution does not matter. The fact that you think I'm forcing you by continuing to state my views in a way that makes certain presumptions (which is inevitable) says something about your tolerance level, not mine.

I have no qualms about preaching the importance of the US Constitution, because it is the document that binds us together as a nation. It has the force of law, and in fact is the supreme law for this nation of 300 million people. At worst, my tone and/or methods are irritating, but you're not a captive audience as are students in a public school. So preaching the importance of the Constitution to people who come to KOTW voluntarily is very different from preaching a theistic religion that does not bind us together as a people, does not have the force of law, and by law may not be preached in the public schools.

If it had reached a dead end, then why did you post? Because I irritate you? Because I can be arrogant? No problem, I can be arrogant, and I can also be irritating, pompous and self-righteous. And I am too damned fat. So what? I don't care about that here. What I care about is standing up for important principles that bind our nation together under a system of laws that truly makes "liberty and justice for all" possible. I'm going to continue to argue the importance of our Constitutional obligations and freedoms as I see fit. You don't have to read it, and you don't have to post in response, but if you do, I may respond as I see fit, according to the light as I see it, not as you see it. So I invite you to get it through your head, because I think it's important, and so that's how it's going to be.

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Guest Paul
You have constantly tried to impose your opinions on everyone who posts here about religion. You make sure every post what your religious views are. I have no regrets. I just get tired of listening to you try to impose your views on what religion should be to everyone who posts here. There is so much of a difference between expression your opinions and repetitively repeating yourself to nausea. You are your own worst enemy in your fight against religion.

As your faithful sidekick, Strifey, keeps saying: "Stop Whining."

If you're tired of reading what I write, then stop reading it. I'm not going to stop writing it as long as I see a purpose in continuing.

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Guest Paul
Bryan, you are really an idiot.

This is not a question of free speech.  Pasckewicz has all the free speech he wants outside the school building.  He can stand on street corners and hold signs that say "Dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark" and the world can ignore him if they want to.

But inside a classroom, where he is the authority figure, he has no right to free speech, especially when it concerns his religious views.

We're back to same original argument - if it was a Muslim teacher preaching that all Christians are infidels and will go to hell, I'm sure you would be upset and demand something be done.

Or if the teacher was a German and told his students that the Holocaust was all a Jewish fiction, people would be up in arms.

Or if the teacher was Black, and told his classroom that the Aids epidemic in Africa was a white man conspiracy to destroy the black population, he'd be fired as soon as you walk through the door.

The bottom two scenarios are true.  Both teachers were fired for their comments.

Why isn't Paskewicz fired?  Because the Christian Evangelical Taliban are in power, not the Nazis, the Africans, or the Muslims.

The only argument here, despite all your feeble attempts to dissect every written word, is that Paskewicz was preaching his religious views in the classroom and should have been fired.

That he wasn't shows what a laughing stock the town of Kearny is.

Oh, but you don't understand, GSUFC. Talking about Christians being jailed in the USA for their religious beliefs isn't a straw man at all. Just ask Brayn. He'll explain it for you.

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Bryan, you are really an idiot.

Do tell.

You're the one who was going to show me how the stories of Jesus and Horus were virtually identical using the work of crackpot historians, aren't you?

This is not a question of free speech.

How do you know? LaClair seems to be bothered by the fact that a "significant percentage" seems to have a certain opinion. I'm curious as to what solution he would recommend to assuage his troubled mind, so I asked him what he would propose to do about it.

Good thing he can rely on folks like you to always step in and help him change the subject.

:excl:

We can talk about your new topic if you wish, but don't mistake it for my issue with Paul.

Pasckewicz has all the free speech he wants outside the school building.  He can stand on street corners and hold signs that say "Dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark" and the world can ignore him if they want to.

But inside a classroom, where he is the authority figure, he has no right to free speech, especially when it concerns his religious views.

Actually, federal courts seem to have the opinion that teachers are not stripped of their free-speech rights while on the job.

We think that the Supreme Court should abide by the logic that the Court itself prescribed in the 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines School District case involving students wearing black armbands in symbolic protest of the Vietnam War. "It can hardly be argued," Justice Abe Fortas wrote, "that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2007/03/29/71310

We're back to same original argument - if it was a Muslim teacher preaching that all Christians are infidels and will go to hell, I'm sure you would be upset and demand something be done.

You're wrong again.

I've been on record from early on that speech parallel to that of Paszkiewicz from an adherent to a non-Christian religion would not bother me.

Or if the teacher was a German and told his students that the Holocaust was all a Jewish fiction, people would be up in arms.

The parallel would fit if the teacher announced as his opinion that the Holocaust did not occur.

In Europe, that's a crime in itself. In the U.S., his speech is protected speech but an employer may establish guidelines that would prohibit the teacher from expressing that opinion to his class.

Where such a policy was implemented prior to the offending speech, the protection would not save the teacher from disciplinary action.

Or if the teacher was Black, and told his classroom that the Aids epidemic in Africa was a white man conspiracy to destroy the black population, he'd be fired as soon as you walk through the door.

I doubt it.

The bottom two scenarios are true.  Both teachers were fired for their comments.

If it's true, then you should be able to link us to a description of each case (from an appropriately reliable source).

Why isn't Paskewicz fired?  Because the Christian Evangelical Taliban are in power, not the Nazis, the Africans, or the Muslims.

More likely you were making up your two "true" examples (or perhaps drew them from other countries).

It's just not ordinarily that easy to fire a teacher where there's a teacher's union.

The only argument here, despite all your feeble attempts to dissect every written word, is that Paskewicz was preaching his religious views in the classroom and should have been fired.

This is funny.

LaClair brings up his distress that some people agree with a given proposition, and I get criticized for talking about the topic he brought up.

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Gotta ask at this point: what is Paul's religion? If what you said is true, surely that would be a very easy question to answer, right? :P

Maybe he's a Secularist? :excl:

http://www.ismbook.com/secularism.html

This gets back to the definition of "religion," which has already been touched upon. Folks on Strife's side don't dare try to define "religion" with any type of rigidity. They'd prefer for it to remain an ill-defined concept something like "having to do with belief in a god or gods." That way they can look the other way when the ideologies they favor get promoted in public schools.

The problem is that there is no way to do education minus some type of worldview indoctrination.

LaClair's side (consciously or not) is playing the game of passing its own religious beliefs off as okay while categorizing certain other beliefs as not okay.

It's probably not deliberate hypocrisy. More likely it's the hypocrisy that goes along with sloppy thinking.

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Maybe

No, no "maybe." The 'argument' was that Paul imposes his religious views CONSTANTLY. So if he does that, there should be no uncertainty. After all, how could he be imposing religious views if you don't even know for sure WHAT religion he follows? If the best one can do is take guesses, then one must concede that argument.

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Guest Paul
(Regarding whether this is a free speech issue): How do you know?  LaClair seems to be bothered by the fact that a "significant percentage" seems to have a certain opinion.  I'm curious as to what solution he would recommend to assuage his troubled mind, so I asked him what he would propose to do about it.

Actually, federal courts seem to have the opinion that teachers are not stripped of their free-speech rights while on the job.

We think that the Supreme Court should abide by the logic that the Court itself prescribed in the 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines School District case involving students wearing black armbands in symbolic protest of the Vietnam War. "It can hardly be argued," Justice Abe Fortas wrote, "that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2007/03/29/71310

As to the first point, the schools are obligated to teach facts and science, not nonsense and superstitution that conflicts with what we know about the world. The remedy for common misperceptions is not jail time, but education: teach students about the First Amendment, then maybe they'll understand it; teach them about the scientific fact that dinosaurs became extinct millions of years ago (65 million years if I remember correctly), and then they'll realize that dinosaurs couldn't have been alive on a comparatively small boat less than 6,000 years ago, as the biblical literalists like Mr. Paszkiewicz would have it. That's the remedy, and we've made it clear over and over.

If Bryan had attended law school, he might understand (if he was actually listening for a change) that a general statement in a judicial opinion is not the same as a holding. It is called dictum, and it has less weight than the holding of the case, which is based on the particular facts of the case; in the Tinker case the party was a student, not a teacher. So while it is true that teachers have first amendment rights within the course of their employment, those rights do not extend so far as to allow them to violate the students' rights to an education free from state-sponsored intrusions on their or their parents' religious beliefs. Teachers do not shed all their free speech rights at the schoolhouse door, but they are subject to restrictions based on competing Constitutional and other rights, and also based on the voluntary nature of their empoyment. Even far-right legal scholars acknowledge that what Mr. Paszkiewicz did in this matter was so far over the line as to be beyond dispute among those who know and understand the law, which Bryan obviously does not.

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