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Comment: Re:The Harsh Light of Day (Score 1) 141

I'm going to start this post by saying I think they're all crap; $cientology, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, any and all brands of Neo-Paganism; the whole lot of them.

But there are some pretty clear cultural differences between, say Hinduism and Christianity on one side, and Scientologists on the other. While the former religions may have started out something like the latter ones (though I suspect it was far more complex than some guy sitting down and writing a religion purely out of his imagination), there are literally thousands of years of cultural and theological development behind them. They have had significant a longstanding influences on the civilizations in which they evolved (or were adopted).

Scientology can be traced no further back than L Ron Hubbard telling some of his far more talented peers he planned to create a religion to prove how easy and profitable it was. Unlike, say, Hinduism, which is a historical evolution of the Proto-Indo-European religion, Scientology has no real antecdent, unless you count the self help movement and Hubbard's fetishistic dislike of psychiatry.

Even the early Christians took the Jewish Bible, plopped a second part on it and mixed in some Hellenic philosophy into it, and thus has antecedents dating back centuries.

Comment: Re:Who watches the watchers (Score 4, Insightful) 200

by MightyMartian (#46800013) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

And you will replace "careerism" with incompetence. Can you imagine having a House of Representatives where no one has more than one term's experience? In the end you would literally hand over all power to bureaucrats, lobbiests and staffers, who would be the only ones with any long term experience. You would, in the end, make things worse, not better.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1583

by MightyMartian (#46771721) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

When you look at the Second Amendment within the context of how the US was formed as an outgrowth of revolution against what was viewed as a tyrannical regime. Many of the underlying concepts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are essentially answers to the reasons for revolt and secession against Great Britain laid out in the Declaration of Independence. The Second Amendment was clearly intended to preserve liberties against future tyrants.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 2, Interesting) 1583

by MightyMartian (#46770533) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

I have absolutely no problem with a sane, sober individual possessing a weapon. I myself am a Canadian, but I remember camping trips with my grandparents out in the backcountry of British Columbia, and he always kept his hunting rifle loaded (that would get him arrested in Canada these days), not because he even really hunted by that point, but because of the risk from bears and other predators with young kids around. I learned to shoot when I was pretty young, and while I have no more adoration for guns than I do for hammers or screwdrivers, I respect their power and believe firmly that whether anyone owns a gun or not, they should know how one works, both for gun safety and in the hopefully unlikely event they actually need to use one.

The fact of the matter is that if someone is out to kill lots of people, guns, while perhaps the most convenient method, are hardly the only one. Some college kid just stabbed five people to death at a house party, apparently with a knife that was in the house where the party was being held. If someone goes nuts and decides it's time to kill lots of people, there's damned little anyone can do about it. Maybe, if we're lucky, we find out about their dastardly plan in advance, but bad luck can take anyone out; whether it be a maniac with a weapon, a car accident, or hell, falling off a ladder.

Comment: Re:Yawn. (Score 5, Funny) 69

What happens to the vast minority of people who always think they are in the vast majority?

They join some Libetarian populist movement and demand all government services with the exception of those they partake of to be slashed or eliminated?

And yes, oh ye mighty moderators, this is trolling.

Center meeting at 4pm in 2C-543.