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About Deviant Official Beta Tester Frank TellerMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 5 Months
12 Month Core Membership
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Arbitrariness In The Law
There is a common perception that arbitrariness in the law is a bad thing. It is not. This essay seeks to explain why, and to clarify when arbitrariness is a problem.

It is nearly impossible to devise laws that are not in some respect arbitrary. Sometimes the general thrust of the law is not arbitrary but the details are. Start with an uncontroversial law: the prohibition on burglary. Everybody agrees that burglary should be illegal and everybody agrees on why burglary should be illegal. Not everybody agrees, however, on exactly what the law should say. English common law defined burglary as breaking and entering into the dwelling house of another, during the nighttime, for the purpose of committing theft or another crime. It was a capital offense. The definition has changed over time. Today, nearly all jurisdictions have done away with the requirement that it happen at night. Most jurisdictions have also created lesser, related offenses for breaking into other structures and even aut
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Bullying is not a new problem. While the internet has allowed bullying to take on some new forms, it has been around probably throughout human history. One environment in which a lot of people are exposed to it is in public schools. While public schools often state that they have zero tolerance for bullying, the fact is that most schools do very little about it. I was on the receiving end of some bullying when I grew up. While I know other people who went through a lot worse than I did, it was not pleasant, and there is absolutely no reason why it should be tolerated. Some myths have long been perpetuated about bullying, and I want to put these myths to rest. I am under no delusion that I will reach everyone. I just hope to reach someone. Unfortunately, people have a lot of attitudes that tend to enable, if not directly promote, bullying.

Bullies target those they perceive as vulnerable. Those who are physically weak or emotionally sensitive are more likely to be targeted. While socie
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It is often said that tolerance is necessary in a free and democratic society, but there is considerable debate about what tolerance is. One standard is that tolerance means putting up with others and respecting their basic rights. Others regard this as insufficient, and consider almost any expression of negative attitudes on the basis of factors such as race or religion to be intolerant. The focus of this essay is religious tolerance. This is the form of tolerance that was most significant to the founders of the United States. It will become clear, however, that religious tolerance is not as special a case as it may at first seem.
Religious tolerance cannot reasonably be rooted in a belief that all religions are equally correct, or that religious beliefs are somehow above criticism. In fact, it is impossible to offer meaningful commentary without suggesting that at least some religions are wrong on at least some things. Clearly, those who advocate for gay rights are not intolerant sim
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Social Constructs
A social construct is a concept that has meaning only because we collectively choose to give it meaning. The choice need not be a conscious or deliberate one. A relatively pure example would be something that has essentially no natural meaning, like language. The socially constructed nature of language should be obvious to anyone who has ever encountered speakers of another language. No word has any inherent meaning, and a language could easily arise that does not share a single word in common with English. However, not everything about language is socially constructed. Our ability to make certain noises, and our innate disposition to learn our native language with relative ease, are the products of our biology and existed prior to human socialization.
Some phenomena, like language, are obviously social constructs. Some phenomena, like the length of a day, are obviously not social constructs. Other cases are more nuanced. Is gender a social construct? Some feminists have argued that th
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morality without God
"Without God, everything is permissible."

It is unknown who originated the quote above, but it is pretty clear that it was not an atheist. Many religious people, from the most intolerant to some of the more tolerant ones, find it easier to relate to those of other religions than those who have no religion at all. Some of this may be because of encounters with the fervently anti-religious, but much of it is simply bigotry. Those who use the above quote are not simply stating that God is the basis of morality; they are implying that atheists cannot be trusted because of this. In the nineteenth century, much of the United States banned atheists from testifying in court or holding public office because of this view that atheists are untrustworthy. It was not until 1961 that the Supreme Court finally declared that it is unconstitutional to ban atheists from holding public office. Several states still have these laws on the books, and there are still some countries in which being an atheist
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Lake Alice Alligator #2 by agnosticdragon Lake Alice Alligator #2 :iconagnosticdragon:agnosticdragon 12 4 Lake Alice Alligator #1 by agnosticdragon Lake Alice Alligator #1 :iconagnosticdragon:agnosticdragon 12 5
Atheism And Death
Atheism is the lack of belief in God. Some people define it more narrowly as a positive disbelief in God. Such disbelief need not be absolute and unequivocal. One may have a firm disbelief in certain conceptions of God, such as the one found in the Old and New Testaments, but be less certain on a more broad and ill-defined conception of God. I find the world's religions, or at least those I know of, to be extremely implausible. Some are more implausible, or more reprehensible, than others. This essay is intended to clarify a certain type of nonbelief.
Strictly speaking, the conception of God and the conception of an afterlife are logically distinct. From what I can tell, most of the people I know believe in both, and most of the remainder (myself included) believe in neither. To the extent that religious people are concerned with how God judges us in the afterlife, the position that there is a God but not an afterlife is not that different from the position that there is neither. Threa
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agnosticdragon's Profile Picture
Frank Teller
United States
I used to be on this site under the username frankteller I joined in November 2010. I deactivated that account in July 2016 due to privacy concerns. For the foreseeable future, I will not be using my real name or disclosing my email address, phone number, etc. If you want to contact me privately, send me a note.

I am a licensed attorney. I will be making commentary on related matters from time to time. Please do not ask me for legal advice.

I have eclectic interests. I watch a lot of users. I may get backlogged with submission and journal notifications but I try to keep up with comments and notes.

I am mainly a writer. My focus is on philosophical and other essays, though I may post stories at some point. I will occasionally post photos as well. I use my scraps.

I am an agnostic atheist, which means that I do not believe in God but I am not certain. I have an essentially scientific worldview. I am not opposed to religion as long as it is tolerant. I do not like the more rational than thou attitude often associated with vocal atheism.

I do not give thanks for llamas, watches or favorites.

I favorite original content and watch the original artist if possible. If you find something in my favorites that you believe is stolen, let me know which deviation and where you think it came from.
Several years ago I was aware of a number of users who had folders in their favorites marked according to the rule the submissions violated. They would have a folder titled "stolen," another folder titled "porn," and so on. DeviantArt not surprisingly concluded that these users were engaged in harassment. Basically, if you find content that violates DeviantArt rules, you are supposed to report it, not make a public scene about it. It has been too long for me to remember who, but at least three users were banned over this in 2011. The reason I am bringing this up is because I came across a user who seems to have done the same thing but inadvertently. I am not going to name this user publicly, but this user has a favorites folder titled "screenshots," and the description states that the items are movie, video game, and television screenshots. Here is DeviantArt's copyright policy:…

Some Cautions

  • In most cases it does not matter how much of the material you have used, whether it's a single frame, a few moments of audio, a short clip of video or any other sampling it's still considered to be protected by copyright and you still require the owner's permission for use.
  • It doesn't matter how you obtained the material, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter whether or not you've credited the proper owner, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you are not selling it or making a profit, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you can find other people using things without permission, it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • It doesn't matter if you've edited it a little bit or made a few alterations, if it's recognizable it's still considered copyrighted and you still need permission.
  • Read licenses carefully to understand the type of permission they provide. For example, there are many versions of the Creative Commons - each giving different permissions.
Based on my reading of this, it is my understanding that everything in this folder could be in violation of DeviantArt rules, though it could get tricky because DeviantArt generally does not accept third party complaints, so one would have to track down the original sources. This could be difficult when proper credit is not given. Based on my examination of the user whose favorites folder this is, I do not believe this person is deliberately using his favorites as a callout.

Journal History

Do you watch my scraps? 

2 deviants said No
1 deviant said Yes


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AlexFRD Featured By Owner May 10, 2017
Thanks for the watch!
agnosticdragon Featured By Owner 2 days ago
You're welcome.
pfgun0 Featured By Owner May 10, 2017
Thank you for watching
agnosticdragon Featured By Owner 2 days ago
You're welcome.
fearlarsen Featured By Owner May 10, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for the watch! ^^
TobyFoxArt Featured By Owner May 10, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thanks so much for the watch :icondurrhurrplz:
Brakawolf Featured By Owner May 8, 2017
Thanks for watch and fave
DarthBane48 Featured By Owner May 7, 2017
Thanks for the watch.
annewipf Featured By Owner May 7, 2017
Thank you for the watch :hug:
FicktionPhotography Featured By Owner May 7, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
:happybounce: Thank you so much for the :+fav:s and for the :+devwatch:! :iconspreadmoreloveplz:
Sea Lion Siesta by FicktionPhotography   Dead Chickens Can Still Fly by FicktionPhotography   Llama Depression by FicktionPhotography
mIkeschwaRz Featured By Owner May 7, 2017
Thx 4 the :+fav:
AngedeCristal Featured By Owner May 7, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
+ Thanks for the Watch + by AngedeCristal 

I'm very happy that you like my art, it mean a lot for me Hug
sambeawesome Featured By Owner May 6, 2017
Thank you so much for the watch! I Love You Emote I really appreciate it and I'm glad you like my artwork Huggle! 
If you'd like, feel free to check out my YouTubeTwitchTwitter, or Facebook.big pink heart 
suezn Featured By Owner May 5, 2017
:wave:  Thank you so much for faving and the watch!  :heart:
RReddVar Featured By Owner May 5, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch! :D
Kredri Featured By Owner May 5, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you.
ChillyFish Featured By Owner May 5, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks alot for the watch!
I hope you are having a wonderful day/evening!
And I hope you are doing well also! <3
paradigm-shifting Featured By Owner May 5, 2017  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the +W :)
vanmorrisman Featured By Owner May 5, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for watching!:D (Big Grin) 
SpyxedDemon Featured By Owner May 5, 2017
Hello :wave: thanks for the watch
Starfire-Productions Featured By Owner May 4, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the multiple faves and the watch - it's really appreciated :)
The-Psychid Featured By Owner May 4, 2017   Writer
Thanks for the watch! :la:
MangekkoJones Featured By Owner May 4, 2017  Student General Artist
Thanks for the watch!
Faronoa Featured By Owner May 3, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for the fav!Soul Eater - Excalibur Cane Dance 
paschlewwer Featured By Owner May 3, 2017
Thanks a lot for watching Frank!:happybounce: Hug 
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