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Re: CLUEBAT: copyrights, infringement, violations, and legality

You guys have been following up to both lists, when both the headers and
body of the original message in this thread explicitly requested to
followups to -legal only.  Please stop ignoring this.

On Sat, Feb 01, 2003 at 02:13:13PM +1100, Paul Hampson wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 31, 2003 at 09:34:13AM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > That's begging the question, though.
> You know, I'm not totally clear on what that phrase means... 

"Begging the question" means "assuming the truth of that which was to be

It's very frequently misused these days, especially by television
newscasters in the U.S., to mean something along the lines of "that
demands that we scrutinize [x]."

E.g., "the fact that U.N. arms inspectors have found no clear evidence
of active WMD programs begs the question, how can Washington expect the
world to rally behind a pre-emptive strike to eliminate weapons that may
not even exist?"

But that's incorrect usage.  Properly used, "begging the question" takes
no object.  It still quite clearly applies to the Bush Administration,
though.  For example, their stated policy is "regime change" in Iraq, so
they beg the question of whether Iraq does or doesn't have WMDs.  They
presume and assert that it does even while the question of whether it
does is being discussed.  The conclusions come before the premise.  It's
a logical fallacy that has long enjoyed much currency in religious and
conservative thinking[1], which is why the U.S. Republican party takes
to it like a duck to water.

[1] because arguments like "it's God's law" and "that's the way we've
always done it" do not afford rational scrutiny, being ungrounded,
inassailable axioms

G. Branden Robinson                |     You could wire up a dead rat to a
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     DIMM socket and the PC BIOS memory
branden@debian.org                 |     test would pass it just fine.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Ethan Benson

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