[Linux4christians] The Moral Foundation of Free Software
evangelinux at matheteuo.org
Sat Jan 8 11:23:31 EST 2005
On Fri, 2005-01-07 at 10:54 -0800, singingfalls wrote:
> On Friday 07 January 2005 08:07, Mike Martin wrote:
> > Very good post.
> These are my sentiments also.
> But to add some thoughts.
> What truly helps me is the idealism and inspiration of the Linux community. It
> is voluntary versus forced giving. That to me is the difference between
> generosity and socialism.
> I have no objection whatsoever to profit making. I am a business man myself.
> Every business cent that passes through my hands is hard earned by my wife
> and I.
> I reiterate my great offense at strong arm tactics based on shady marketing
> techniques. Just because such efforts are common among corporate America
> doesn't make it right. Tobacco advertising comes to mind.
> With regard to the "backbone" idea. This is the very thing I did. Only I will
> say that I am persuaded beyond any doubt that the Lord led me to Linux
> precisely for the purpose of a clean conscience and liberty. He gave me the
> backbone to start into Red Hat linux 5.3. Do the math. I got my first
> computer in 1997.
> To me "backbone" is often the substance and product of moral strength.
> Something that is in a very low ebb in our culture. But greed and pride are
> also a strength that can produce "backbone", but to do evil. It aggrandizes
> the human nature.
> I am mindful of the verse, "If the foundations be destroyed what can the
> righteous do?" When a culture is morally adrift, in many ways they are
> particularly vulnerable. It is the believers duty to recognize this and to
> support the widow, orphan, weak, blind and lame. I think this is what
> instigated the thread in the first place. But somewhere along the way someone
> equated the moral imperative to socialism. Now that is a big leap ;-)
Thank you for recognizing this. To me, FOSS is an equalizer for those
than cannot afford proprietary software. That may not be its only or
its primary purpose. Yet Stallman did, in fact, react to the notion
that an NDA/EULA prohibited him from sharing with someone in need. I
suspect, without knowing him well, that he would probably expect someone
who can afford to pay for software, support, etc. to do so. However, I
The only way I've been able to have MS Office in the past is by way of
gift from a Microsoft employee. At one time, I had an illegal copy of
some software, but conscience won out. As GNU developed as an OS, along
with the various apps involved, I realized I had a viable alternative.
Ridding myself of proprietary software became a goal - like getting out
of debt. I can legally afford to run the 20 computers donated to our
church last year on a single copy of software. Well, only 9 or 10 work,
I view FOSS as a sort of tithe - an up-front gift to God. It means the
poor can come by my field and have some of what I have produced. It
truly reminds me of the Deuteronomy (I'm sure it was) passage about
leaving something for the poor/needy. I don't have to donate money I
didn't have to earn to begin with. I have already contributed.
Stallman puts it differently, from his own atheistic mindset. I just
wonder if he realizes how much of his humanistic morality finds its
roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
> Neither let us equate the devices of corporate America with the kingdom of
> God. Just because money is hard earned doesn't mean it was earned rightly.
> The scriptures clearly point this out. Babylon was not socialistic and the
> "merchants of the earth" will not mourn the utter demise of socialistic or
> communistic societies in the end. It will be her who made them rich for whom
> they will weep when her destruction comes in one hour.
It probably comes back to the need for balance.
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