Category Archives: EN

Marriage According to the Bible

This is why a man leaves his father and mother
and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh
.
(Gen 2, 24)

A translation, with updates, of my article “Małżeństwo według Biblii” published by a leading Catholic news portal in Poland, Jesuits’ deon.pl, and earlier here on this blog.

I am writing this article for my friends and brethren so that they may understand my view on the ethics of marriage. Although I am not a theologian, as a Christian it is my duty to seek God’s will by reading the Word of God – for How blessed is anyone who (…) delights in the law of Yahweh and murmurs his law day and night (Ps 1, 1-2). Unlike 99% of the theologians who have dealt with the ethics of marriage over the centuries, I am not a celibate. Therefore I am writing not as a theoretician of marriage, but as a man who practises it, and I am writing about issues that are part of my personal life – perhaps even its most important part – and not mere legal-theological speculation that concerns many other people but not myself.

Already about 25% of new marriages in Poland end in civil divorce, and in western countries this figure may even exceed 50%. Only the Catholic Church, as well as some other Christian denominations, are trying to counteract the pro-divorce mentality which is spreading more and more in western culture. However, the Church itself is not consistent in its opposition to divorce, permitting a so-called “declaration of nullity of a marriage, which in practice takes the place of a divorce and may be issued by an episcopal court for quite petty reasons, even for marriages that lasted many years and produced children. Each year, the episcopal courts in Poland receive about 5,000 applications to nullify a marriage. Over 80% of them result in a declaration of nullity [1]. Pope Francis himself said in an interview [2] in August 2013 that under canon law, half of all sacramental marriages Continue reading →

The Right to Read is an Opportunity to Mine

This is my comment after the news in Nature popped up saying that a big academic publisher allows now limited text mining of its papers. Originally sent to LibLicense list. Reviewed by a lawyer, expert in copyright law.

As a data mining specialist, I’ve followed the different discussions about mining scholarly publications for some time already, and I’ve noticed that there is a big confusion about the legal nature of text mining and the true origin of restrictions related to it. The discussions far too often touch the issue of copyright law, which unnecessarily fudges the problem. Below is my take on this topic.

1) It’s important to observe that current restrictions on text mining are technical, not legal. Publishers impose technical limits on how much content can be downloaded in a given period of time, and if someone downloads too much, the university may get cut off from publisher’s servers. This is regulated legally, of course, but only in the agreement signed between the university and the publisher, not by general law, the least by copyright. What exact terms are signed is a matter of mutual agreement between parties – they can agree on whatever they want – so blaming copyright for limited bandwidth to publisher’s servers is unreasonable.

2) Restrictions are related to subscription contents alone. There are no ways to impose restrictions on Continue reading →