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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Including one (probably short-lived) link that appears to be a now-deleted blog entry, and then this [modemac.com].

    (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scientology_references_in_popular_culture [wikipedia.org])

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • Whoa. I actually knew about the investigators, but I didn't say anything because I wasn't aware it was public knowledge and I was afraid a friend of mine would get in trouble for sharing that. The story I heard is that basically they were having PIs follow him and his parents and the constant harrassment scared the heck out of them. From that blog entry, though, it sounds like a bit more may have happened. Of course, this is all conjecture and rumor, so let that disclaimer be out there.

      And not just co

      • That's organized religion

        Not necessarily. Those are hallmarks of a "cult" but not necessarily a religion.

        • How do you define 'cult' and 'religion'? Someone (Heinlein, I think?) differentiated a cult as a religion where the majority of members have joined it and a religion as being something where the majority of people are born into it. By this criteria, perhaps Scientology only has to wait?

          • Several years back there was some kind of study about religion and those personality tests you see all the time (no, not the Scientology personality test :) ). For the record, I think much of those "personality tests" may be hooey, so take this with a grain of salt: :)

            Anyway, they tested folks twice, asking them to describe themselves as they were now the first time, then asking them to describe themselves as they WANTED to be, in the future.

            Now in any given group of people you usually have a wide dist

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
            • That jibes with the criterion I heard and use: that in general, cults revolve around the person and personality of the founder himself.

              Scientologists worship Hubbard.

              Admittedly, this isn’t very well defined; trying to apply it to the major religions gets mired in a swamp of murky questions. F.ex., there’s little biblical evidence for Trinity, upon which depends whether Christianity is a cult by the letter of this criterion or not. Islam and (to some extent) Buddhism suffer similar confusions

              • The "word" Trinity is never used in the Bible. There is ample evidence "of" a trinity in the Bible.

                • I was not picking on words. There is ample evidence of Father and Son being separate entities.

                  • There is ample evidence of the Holy Spirit being one as well. Although I would not use separate, I would say distinct.

                    • You should read Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". He has a very funny section on the linguistic knots that christians get themselves tied up in when trying to prove that they can believe in the trinity and still claim their religion is monotheistic :-)

                      Polytheism to monotheism to atheism. You know it makes sense.
                    • Dawkins was on Colbert tonight. Yawn. He hasn't a single good argument. His arguments are basically of the form "we can't fit God into our human logic so therefore God doesn't exist" (though he concedes he cannot disprove God, of course, but he goes right up to that precipice and looks over it) and Douglas Adams skewered that philosophy pretty well in the opening to HHGTTG (though, himself an atheist, I am not sure if he realizes it, or if he thought he was actually making a good point against God's existence).

                      That we cannot fit God into our human logic is not evidence against God's existence; on the contrary, if God did fit into our human logic, that would be evidence against God's existence.

                      Dawkin's arrogance on the issue is pretty off-putting too, especially since his argument is far too weak to actually be arrogant about (not that many Christian apologists do not have off-putting arrogance as well). Like his comeback to Colbert, "who 'just did' God then?" That's not an argument, since God is often defined by theists as "the uncaused cause."

                      Colbert (himself a theist) responds, "God is outside of time" (not the best response, but it'll do) and Dawkins comes back, "that's facile; you can get away with that, and you can explain anything." That's no argument either, and it's also what all generally accepted scientific theories about the origin of the universe do *anyway*, since there's no scientific explanation for what caused the Big Bang. Explain the universe as having "just happened," get away with that, and you can explain anything! Talk about question-begging.

                      (Of course, Hawking is trying to explain that away, devoting much of his life to the problem, but he is not meeting any real success.)
                    • I haven't seen the Colbert interview yet, but I've been keeping up with most of Dawkins' recent press appearances via his web site [richarddawkins.net].

                      But you're an intelligent man Pudge and I'm sure that you'll realise that it's impossible to summarise a serious and intellectual book in a few minutes on an entertainment programme. For more serious discussion of Dawkins' views try the NY Academy of Science podcast [richarddawkins.net]. There's also a selection of readings [richarddawkins.net] from the book that was recorded at Cambridge University. Or, of course, yo

                    • I could demonstrate that as well. It doesn't mean he or I am right about it. It does mean that what he supposes is what fits some peoples way of thinking. Isn't that how it all works? I can site many scientist that will demonstrate that there is support for "some" kind of intelligent design as well. So?

                    • Of course, Dawkins admits that it's impossible to categorically disprove the existance of god, but but that doesn't mean that god must exist.

                      I never implied that, of course.

                      What Dawkins does do is to a) demonstrate that god is unnecessary to explain anything that we currently see in the universe

                      Well, anything that is currently possible to explain. He can't, of course, explain the origin of the universe without God, or even scientifically theorize it, without succumbing to logical fallacy (everything we kno
                    • I can never understand atheists. I can never understand theists either.

                      I’m staunchly agnostic. I am convinced that nothing we see inside the universe requires invoking a supernatural being to explain it; and that we do not and cannot know what caused the universe to come into existence – whether it was randomness, a supernatural being, or something else we might not even be able to fathom, it not being of this reality.

                      No arguments I’ve ever encountered that were put forth to prove or d