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About Deviant Official Beta Tester Frank TellerMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 3 Months
14 Month Core Membership
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Literature
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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Literature
Bullying
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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Literature
Tolerance
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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Literature
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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Literature
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 :iconagnosticdragon:agnosticdragon 4 1 Lake Alice Alligator #1 :iconagnosticdragon:agnosticdragon 4 4
Literature
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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I am glad the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act went nowhere. The Affordable Care Act has its flaws, but it makes it possible for a lot of people to get health insurance who could not do so otherwise. The Republicans seem to be so focused on choice that they do not care that they would be destroying the individual insurance market so that people would not be forced to buy insurance. Oh, and they wanted to kick a bunch of people off Medicaid because they don't like poor people I guess. Fortunately, the Republicans could not agree on how to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, so it lives on.

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agnosticdragon
Frank Teller
United States
I used to be on this site under the username frankteller I deactivated that account in July 2016 due to privacy concerns. This time I am going to be more careful about what kind of content I post on here, what kind of users I watch, and what goes into my favorites.

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 am a bit of a loner who probably spends too much time on the internet. I have eclectic interests. I am not good at art, though I am better at writing. I am an agnostic atheist, which means that I do not believe in God but I am not certain. I support science, which I consider to be one of the most successful ways of gaining accurate knowledge about the world. I am politically on the liberal left. I try to engage with opposing viewpoints, and I use the block function sparingly.

I do not give thanks for watches or favorites. Feel free to do so, but do not expect a response. Some people are grateful for such comments. Some regard them as spam. I am somewhere in the middle.

How do you post status updates? 

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:iconagnosticdragon:
agnosticdragon Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2017
Sure, and I feel kind of silly now for having hid this comment.
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:iconsamguthriewriter:
SAMGUTHRIEWRITER Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2017   Writer
No worries as we all do it at
one time or another
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:iconcrypticdynamite:
CrypticDynamite Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the favourites and watch :squee: means a lot to me :happybounce: :hug:
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:iconcrimsonvampiress:
CrimsonVampiress Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the watch! 
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:iconryuvhiel:
Ryuvhiel Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for the watch :)
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:iconlightsthroughshadow:
Lightsthroughshadow Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2017  Student Photographer
Thanks for the favs :)
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the watch!
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:iconflyingmatthew:
FlyingMatthew Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch 
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:iconcyclicalcore:
CyclicalCore Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the watch! I hope you continue to enjoy what you see :-)
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:iconmislyd:
mislyd Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017   General Artist
Much thanks for the interest! :excited: Revamp
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:iconbrentcherry:
brentcherry Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks so much for the watch! :D
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:iconzeneinkodama:
ZenEinKodama Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for faving Electoral college is a disaster for a democracy! :wave:
Sorry for the delay.
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:iconkessy-athena:
kessy-athena Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I appreciate the fave, here's a llama as thanks.  ^_^
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:iconmaria-schreuders:
Maria-Schreuders Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for watching, I really appreciate this I love deviantART! 
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:icon8twilightangel8:
8TwilightAngel8 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2017  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the watch! :D
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:iconansticewolf:
AnsticeWolf Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for Watch!
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:iconmightyraptor:
MightyRaptor Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Hollaaaa and Happy Holidays!
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:iconeozspike:
Eozspike Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the watch! :D 
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:iconbimmi1111:
Bimmi1111 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for watching me!!
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:icontvd-photography:
TVD-Photography Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Professional Photographer
Thank you for the watch and faves :hug: ^-^
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:iconaldistar:
Aldistar Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for all of the faves ad the watch!
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:iconguard-of-the-citadel:
Guard-of-the-Citadel Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2016   Photographer
I am so sorry to be late in thanking you for the watch.  It is truly the best compliment that I can get!  It lets me know that I'm doing something right; something that folks appreciate.  These days I'm rather sporadic in my posting, as life is very busy.  However, my gratitude is very heartfelt and I appreciate your interest.  My gallery door is always open! :rose:
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:iconjanhein:
janhein Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2016
Hi Dragon, thanks so much for the watch! I'm glad you like my artwork! :highfive: 2016 NaNoEmo - #21 Thanksgiving Dance :wave:
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