[Linux4christians] The Moral Foundation of Free Software
evangelinux at matheteuo.org
Sun Jan 2 22:20:47 EST 2005
---------- Original Message -------------
Subject: Re: [Linux4christians] The Moral Foundation of Free Software
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 00:12:13 -0600
From: "Howard Coles Jr." <dhcolesj at stinger.org>
To: linux4christians at thelinuxlink.net
On Saturday 01 January 2005 11:00 pm, Mike Martin wrote:
> Don Parris wrote:
> > Let me get this straight. It's o.k. for me to make my software
> > proprietary, charge a hefty fee (in spite of the low cost of
> > reproduction), and tell you you cannot help your neighbors so that I
> > can look good when I donate money to them?
> Yes!!!! You have the right to create your product, charge what you want,
> and do what you want (legally) with the profits, regardless how large or
> small. Not only is it moral, it is completely respectable! Thank God for
Well, I have to go with Mike on this one. I do computer work, I get paid, its
how I make a living. I also preach, but that doesn't make me a living. I
would do it for free because that's my love. However, God told the Church
not to muzzle the ox. Paul argued with the Corinthians about providing for
the preachers earthly needs in exchange for the blessings he was working to
meet in the spiritual arena. That's the argument Mike is making. Now, from
what I know of Scripture if I find a brother in need and have the ability to
help him, I show God's love by doing so. God never will, and never has held
me accountable for not being able to give away copies of Windows, unless I
have to ability to pay for the license on his behalf.
As an "ox", I've been muzzled from the word go. No church has ever offered to bring me on staff - it's always, "why don't you serve as a volunteer minister for a while?" Meanwhile, I'm struggling financially. Maybe this gives me a slightly different perspective. My long-held security position has kept me floating while I have failed to find a job in the IT sector, despite having completed an MCSE course (but no exams) and knowing quite a bit about GNU/Linux. My failure to transfer into the IT sector after copmleting my course led me down the GNU/Linux path. It didn't help that the school turned out to be a scam. It shut down in more than a dozen states about three months after I finished. I never even got my certificate of completion. I finally got tired of beating my head against the wall, trying to change careers, and simply started tinkering with and advocating FOSS. I didn't ask for a $100k/year job, just for something to keep my bills caught up and my cars main
I will probably release a print (and updated) edition of "Penguin in the Pew" this year. Hopefully by March or April. I've discovered I can self-publish it pretty easily. I will still likely use a Creative Commons license, or even continue the FDL.
I really enjoy being able to help my brothers and sisters in Christ with free
software. I am very grateful for the developers and documenters who spent
hours putting this stuff together. However, I would hate to think that I
would demand someone work for nothing so I would not have to sacrifice to God
in a way that would cost me nothing. True, where we can, and have the
ability we must help our brother, but we must at times do it at some cost.
There are other times when even God recognizes there should be a reward for
DC Parris GNU Evangelist
evangelinux at matheteuo.org
Free software is like God's love - you can share it with anyone anywhere anytime!
More information about the Linux4christians