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Author Topic: Federal judge shows fearless good sense
Orincoro
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That is indeed a difference of opinion. In my opinion your unwillingness to explain yourself is an admission of weakness. In my opinion your ad hom whining about my preconceptions is further admission of weakness. Finally, in my opinion refusing to go engage in a discussion frankly and expecting that one should *still be taken seriously*, is downright laughable.

Ultimately you leave no choice but for anyone reading what you have to say to dismiss you, and I think that's exactly what you want. I think that's how your religion works- anybody who isn't so witless as to fall for your obfuscations is a bully for saying so. Well, I don't cry alligator tears for you- but I welcome you to continue playing and losing the defensive game till the end of time.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... In fact, prior to my conversion I would roughly estimate I spent as much time being agnostic as I ever did theist

What kind of theist?

quote:
Even on Thanksgiving, when I think back I can recall...maybe two?...out of, say, the twenty-five thanksgivings I can remember that included prayer ...
What kind of prayer?
(Two more than me [Wink] )

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Orincoro
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Who cares about the trappings anyway? I have an aunt and uncle who are both ministers- so we have prayers at every event. Doesn't make me religious in the slightest. Makes me someone who has to sit through prayers- I think the converse can be just as true.
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King of Men
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Actually, that makes you someone who cares more about peace in the family than truth.
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Orincoro
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Or who doesn't care enough about his family to bother himself with them more than is necessary. My enlightenment only goes so far- there's a reason I haven't seen any of them in two years.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Who cares about the trappings anyway?

If you're asking me, I'm trying to determine how likely it is, given a person that has converted in the United States, how likely it is that they converted to Christianity.
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Orincoro
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To Christianity from something else, or just generally became Christian?

I'd guess more than to any other religion, but I'd bet agnosticism/atheism wold give that a run for its money. I think most religious numbers get distorted because you can be a member of a church and also be an atheist, but you get counted as a member under most conditions- I haven't seen the surveys used by the national polls, but I'd bet they slant so that only those clearly and emphatically identifying as atheist are counted that way, while name-only Christians get counted as Christian.

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Rakeesh
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Orincoro,

quote:
That is indeed a difference of opinion. In my opinion your unwillingness to explain yourself is an admission of weakness. In my opinion your ad hom whining about my preconceptions is further admission of weakness. Finally, in my opinion refusing to go engage in a discussion frankly and expecting that one should *still be taken seriously*, is downright laughable.
*shrug* Good for you. You're quite entitled to have that opinion, and if I were you there's a strong chance I would feel the same way. But it would be a result purely of my own opinion, not something indicated in and of itself, as you suggest, by the other party not sharing. As for whining, where was the ad hominem attack that wasn't entirely supported by things you had actually said? Feel free to reference those, if you would; otherwise, well, you're just full of crap.

As for being taken seriously...well, I don't take being taken seriously nearly as seriously as you do. For all your snide remarks to Kwea about desperately needing to be right, it seems to me you very much need to be seen being right and sure about it too. Put another way, it would be difficult for me to be less concerned whether you take me seriously: on these topics, you've long been approaching malanthrop-esque levels of hackery, perhaps due to whatever issues you have with the brainwashing your parents attempted to inflict on you. I wasn't even having this discussion with you, in fact, and I would be more than happy to go back to not having it with you. KoM thinks I'm a nut-bar, and I'm perfectly happy to discuss it with him, even incompletely, in an effort to make myself better understood and to understand better.

That's not why you're here, if your posts are any indicator.

quote:

Ultimately you leave no choice but for anyone reading what you have to say to dismiss you, and I think that's exactly what you want. I think that's how your religion works- anybody who isn't so witless as to fall for your obfuscations is a bully for saying so. Well, I don't cry alligator tears for you- but I welcome you to continue playing and losing the defensive game till the end of time.

Finally! Some honesty. Next time, get that out there in front of the conversation instead of the end of it, and we could just skip the whole mess where you insinuate your reasons aren't grounded on your contempt and disdain towards religious people. I don't know why it was so difficult for you to just say that straight out, because it's been quite clear to I imagine just about everyone you thought that way. Now the reason for the presumptions you make is clear: they're a product of something you thought before being told, "I'm not going to discuss everything." Not after.

-----

Mucus,

quote:
What kind of theist?
The really, really hazy kind. There was a God somewhere, or perhaps some sort of unifying force like in Hinduism. Christianity in all its stripes was basically a superstition to me, and to my family.

quote:
What kind of prayer?
Hmmm...non-denominational Christian prayer, I think. Or rather what was thought to be non-denominational. I don't remember clearly enough.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
As for whining, where was the ad hominem attack that wasn't entirely supported by things you had actually said? Feel free to reference those, if you would; otherwise, well, you're just full of crap.

Right. Anything you say is opinion, and beyond reproach for that reason, but I have to prove my opinions? I have to provide a reference to an ad hom that *wasn't entirely* supported by what I said? And why exactly do I have to do that? Dude, ad hom whining is not *not* whining as long as "it is entirely supported by what I actually said," whatever that is supposed to mean. I don't know how anything I say provides support for such an attack. There is no supporting or not supporting an appeal to emotion... it just *is*. So forgive me, I think you've lost the thread.


quote:
you've long been approaching malanthrop-esque levels of hackery, perhaps due to whatever issues you have with the brainwashing your parents attempted to inflict on you.
My turn to call bullshit. Show me where I do this, exactly. And keep in mind, *you* have drawn the comparison, and it is up to you to back it up. Show me where I'm even approaching, even skirting a line close to that kind of crap. Do I start threads on the topic? Do I even frequent most religious threads? Not really to the former- and I never start threads on it.

Oh but wait... this is going to be one of your opinion things right? Where you don't have to prove it? Prove it, mind you, a correlation in the broadest of terms would be pretty weak, not to mention insulting as hell.

quote:
reasons aren't grounded on your contempt and disdain towards religious people.
Wow, you are such a weasel. My contempt is for your beliefs, first. That is the grounding. My contempt for you, and by that I mean religious people generally, is for their weakness, following from adherence to said belief. You have insinuated otherwise, and you are wrong. It comes with many exceptions and is not an absolute by any means.

Eta: Just so you know- this has little to do with my parents, who are not particularly religious, nor my religious family members, who are all members of very liberal sects who do no proselytizing and do not even openly discuss faith or even religion- that even goes for the two of them who are ordained ministers. No, my experience specifically, as I have discussed in the past, though not often, is with the contemptible members of the Catholic church who ran my high school, and for whom I was never inspired to have a shred of respect, excepting two religion teachers specifically who were decent and honest human beings, and were paradoxically put in the position of teaching religion at a school where they were by far the most religiously unorthodox. Of course at the time religion was not my beef- oppressive reactionary social conservatism and closed-mindedness were more my beef. And even then, in the vocabulary of a 17 year old, being a stogy annoying bunch of old coots was more along the lines of my problems with the clergy. My rather deep contempt for organized religion per se didn't really foment until I was in college, and then it was born mostly out of the love of literature and criticism, and not out of my misgivings for any specific church. Until that point, I had never really said a word to anybody on the subject, nor cared to. My voice came out of knowing more about the world, not hating what I already knew. And it came, again, mostly from a will to communicate with other people, and a sense that religion stopped that happening. A sense that with the religious people I knew, a sort of linguistic barrier had been constructed before I got there, to stop a flow of ideas from getting through between us. As much as you woud love to frame my beliefs as entirely reactionary, because that fits your image of me, I'm afraid it just isn't so.

[ May 03, 2010, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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King of Men
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The victory that must be proclaimed by the winner does not have the true win-nature.
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Orincoro
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It's not about you KoM, it's about me... *I* think you're wrong. It's *my* opinion.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I demand you inform me in explicit detail about the last disagreement you had with your wife, or the last time you were angry with your child.
Would you really like to know? I have no problem with sharing this information, actually. As you may have noted, I'm not particularly worried about my privacy. Those things I don't share are usually confidences shared; while I wouldn't mind someone knowing, I know the other party or parties involved would, so I refrain out of respect for them. I'm certainly willing to accept the possibility that your God is an introvert.

quote:
Good for you. Shall I do as you do, and insist that you didn't really ask the question? How do I know you've asked the question, just because you say so? Or are claims like this only to be viewed with automatic skepticism when they come from religious people?
Well, if the thread's still around from 2002, you might be able to find my lengthy discussion of that very process. If not, though, it's worth noting that I'm not claiming that you're lying about having had an experience that you believe was divine in nature; I'm claiming that you've misinterpreted that experience. A closer analogy is to assert that I must have somehow asked the question in the wrong way.
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dkw
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Thanks, Orincoro, for that last paragraph.

I was going to disagree with you, or at least present counter-examples, to the idea that religion presents a linguistic barrier, but then I realized that my selection bias is probably much higher than yours right now. Iím spending a lot of my time hanging out with theologians who are active in the communicative ethics movement, reviving the Ciceronian rhetorical tradition and exploring the role of the public religious voice in a pluralistic democratic society. So the issue of overcoming barriers to communication is huge around here. I should probably get out of my ivory tower more.

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Rakeesh
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Orincoro,

quote:
Right. Anything you say is opinion, and beyond reproach for that reason, but I have to prove my opinions? I have to provide a reference to an ad hom that *wasn't entirely* supported by what I said?
OK, it's become crystal clear you're just not listening. 'Beyond reproach' is not something I have insisted upon. Where have I demanded that my opinion be held above reproach? Nowhere. If you're going to say I have done so, you ought to be able to show me where.

quote:
I don't know how anything I say provides support for such an attack. There is no supporting or not supporting an appeal to emotion... it just *is*. So forgive me, I think you've lost the thread.
I haven't attacked you any more than you've attacked me...just assumed, absent a detailed explanation, whatever I presume to assume. I'm using your approach, it's just that because it's me doing it, I reach different conclusions, so it's suddenly objectionable. That's a problem with your approach, the assumption absent evidence approach.

quote:
My turn to call bullshit. Show me where I do this, exactly. And keep in mind, *you* have drawn the comparison, and it is up to you to back it up. Show me where I'm even approaching, even skirting a line close to that kind of crap. Do I start threads on the topic? Do I even frequent most religious threads? Not really to the former- and I never start threads on it.
Well, first, you've been 'calling bullshit' from the get-go. Second, what, now it's unreasonable to presume before knowing what one's motives are? Wow!

quote:
Wow, you are such a weasel. My contempt is for your beliefs, first. That is the grounding. My contempt for you, and by that I mean religious people generally, is for their weakness, following from adherence to said belief. You have insinuated otherwise, and you are wrong. It comes with many exceptions and is not an absolute by any means.
I have not seen those exceptions. Therefore, having not seen them, I will presume that you're lying and that they don't exist. Incidentally, liking someone in spite of their religion doesn't actually count.

quote:
As much as you woud love to frame my beliefs as entirely reactionary, because that fits your image of me, I'm afraid it just isn't so.
And, again, you're not listening. I'm beginning to think that I was right initially: you are incapable of listening on this subject. I don't think your beliefs are entirely reactionary. When I said 'perhaps due to the way your parents brainwashed you', I was parodying your approach to the thinking of others.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
The more important thing is that it doesn't make you right, either. If you understood that, perhaps you'd be less so.

Hah. I have no interest in being right in the way that you clearly desperately need to be.
Bullshit. You are so desperate to be right, not just on this topic but on most that you post here, that your posts reek of it. I don't need to be right, or to have other people tell me I am. I actually prefer when people don't agree with me a lot of the time, because it helps me see the other side of issues I might not have seen on my own.

What I value is honest discourse, with respect for others. Oddly enough, that is something usually lacking when you chime in, regardless of topic.

You don't make statements, you make bombastic declarations, then get self righteous when people disagree. You complain when other people are dismissive of you, as you are so often are of other people. When you fail to convince people of your points, which happens more often that not, you then claim that courtesy and respect are not for those people who disagree with you, because they OBVIOUSLY don't deserve it.
[Smile]

Good to see you are still following form.


It might just Be the forum....internet forums are devoid of tone, at least compared to IRL conversations. I don't think you are a bad person, nor do I particularly want to convert you. [Big Grin]


But most "discussions" with you usually aren't even worth following. You really do come off as a dismissive elitist, and not one who is open to opposing opinions. That wasn't always the case, which makes me sad. I use to actually like your posts, sometimes.

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MightyCow
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Glad to see he's not the only one following form. ;P
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Orincoro
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"Well, first, you've been 'calling bullshit' from the get-go. Second, what, now it's unreasonable to presume before knowing what one's motives are? Wow!"

Seriously? You didn't make a presumption that I was being a hack, you were making a judgment and a comparison with Mal. How is that a presumption? That's a comparison, right? That's saying: "you're acting like this," not "you're doing this for x reason," you didn't say that... or rather you did but that was not what I was calling bullshit on. Regardless, you don't have to provide proofs for your opinions of me, just proofs of such very bold comparisons as that. I mean, Mal? Come on, that's practically Godwin.

"I have not seen those exceptions. Therefore, having not seen them, I will presume that you're lying and that they don't exist. Incidentally, liking someone in spite of their religion doesn't actually count."

Sure it does. I like you despite your being a prick. I still like you, so I don't see how that doesn't count. It's not like I don't actually like you. I do. That's a feeling, and so I don't have to prove it. You don't have to believe it, because I can't prove it, but it's still the case. Same goes for my personal exceptions to the feeling of religious people being weak. I don't think they all are. I think most of them are. But that's a feeling, again, and not something I'm compelled to prove.


Kwea:
"That wasn't always the case, which makes me sad. I use to actually like your posts, sometimes. "

I hear what you're saying but I think you're at least partially conflating me with a general feeling here. As you said, it might just *be* the forum. I used to post more, and I used to post in more topics. Have you considered that the forum has changed enough to discourage people from being more multi-faceted. Rhetorical question, I know you have thought of that and I think you probably think that's what has happened here. But I also suggest that your view of me has been shaded with your view of things generally, certainly my participation has changed because of that.

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Rakeesh
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Orincoro,

quote:
Regardless, you don't have to provide proofs for your opinions of me, just proofs of such very bold comparisons as that. I mean, Mal? Come on, that's practically Godwin.
I have, many times, by quoting you directly. Either you ignore them, or you wait until like fifteen posts later to acknowledge what was already pretty clear in the first place (that is, the contempt/disdain for religious people in proportion to how important religion is in their lives). Yes, you'll claim you don't actually think that, but as you have indicated, we don't have to take each other at our words, do we? We get to make presumptions about others absent any evidence from that person.

quote:

Sure it does. I like you despite your being a prick. I still like you, so I don't see how that doesn't count. It's not like I don't actually like you. I do. That's a feeling, and so I don't have to prove it. You don't have to believe it, because I can't prove it, but it's still the case. Same goes for my personal exceptions to the feeling of religious people being weak. I don't think they all are. I think most of them are. But that's a feeling, again, and not something I'm compelled to prove.

Well, that's rich. Your feelings aren't something that you're compelled to prove. Only religious feelings. But, here, if it does count: how do you react when a religious person says, "Love the sinner, hate the sin!"
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Tresopax
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quote:
The scientific method directs us towards attempting to disprove postulates, not to prove them. Logic also directs us towards attempting to nullify arguments, not to enhance them. The advancement of reason is found in the act of oppositional thinking, not in "open-mindedness." True open mindedness is the ability to accept when one's own beliefs are shown to be inadequately reasoned or stated.

A sensible approach to such claims as religious people make is skepticism, not credulity.

I am skeptical of your claim that skepticism is a more sensible approach than credulity. Do you have any non-anecdotal evidence that a skeptical approach to others produces more truthful beliefs than credulity? I believe that using a moderate degree of trust as a default leads one to have both more accurate beliefs and a happier life.
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Mucous
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
I am skeptical of your claim that skepticism is a more sensible approach than credulity.

Maybe it would be more sensible and happier for you to be more credulous about the claim [Wink]
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Kwea
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Ori, perhaps that is true, or at least partially. I know that I occasionally get jumped on pretty hard by people I don't really know, and who don't know me. But that has been happening since my first day here, when I posted my first post. I posted a complete argument on a topic, in complete sentences, and was accused of being an alt for a well known troll, because "No one just jumps in like that".

I known I still like posting here, but I hesitate posting some info about me these days. Part of it is because of the world we live in, but most of it is how acrimonious some posters like to be. The payoff just isn't worth the risk some of the times.

I just don't care for discussions where everyone who doesn't agree with you (general you, not you specifically) is an idiot, or insane, or a prick, or a commie.....you get the picture.


It seems a lot of people there days, not just here at Hatrack, are all about the extremes. It's their way or you are a moron, even when their arguments are weak. I don't necessarily like belittling people who disagree with me because that address things other than their arguments. It's no different than Bush/Cheney claiming anyone who disagreed or objected to the war in Iraq was un-American....it simply wasn't true.

In my experience, very few things are black and white, wrong/right choices. Particularly with topics like religion. I went though a period of atheism when I was younger, but it never rang true to me. Just because I can't touch something doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and some of my personal experiences led me to change my views.

And I don't want to discuss those events, because they are personal and private, and involve other people as well. I didn't hear a voice, or see a vision. I am not losing my sanity, and I am not delusional. Despite what KoM might say. [Big Grin]

Nothing that happened to me couldn't be explained away by someone who didn't experience them first hand. I know what observer bias is as well, so please don't lecture me on it. [Big Grin] But I now am more of an agnostic these days. I made a practical choice to switch to an Episcopal faith rather than remain RC because I like the rituals I grew up with, and believe that the form of worship doesn't particularly matter. But I believe, and my personal experiences bear this faith out, that there is a God, even if we don't know his exact form.

I also believe that while we hear about a lot of bad things people do in the name of religion, there is an untold wealth of positive stories every day we don't hear of normally. If a church inspires people to help other people and make our world a better place, far be it for me to discourage them.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I am skeptical of your claim that skepticism is a more sensible approach than credulity.
I couldn't disagree more with this. To me, skepticism - strange as it might sound to y'all religious people are shades of crazy folks;) - is definitely one of the single most helpful personality traits a human being can have, as far as getting along well in the world.
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dkw
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Speaking of skepticism, is "Mucous" Mucus with a new account, or somebody trying to sneak into the conversation pretending to be Mucus? Or just a coincidentally similar name?
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dkw
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On topic, I think it's helpful to distinguish skepticism (also hermenuetics of suspicion, positivism and empiricism) as method and as world view. They're great as the first, not so great as the second.
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Rakeesh
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Speaking for myself, I mean it as a method-be skeptical of things at first, evaluate them, reducing skepticism depending on the evaluation. I'm not really familiar with it as a world view.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:

I also believe that while we hear about a lot of bad things people do in the name of religion, there is an untold wealth of positive stories every day we don't hear of normally. If a church inspires people to help other people and make our world a better place, far be it for me to discourage them.

I agree with this. Some argue that religion has killed more people than all the wars combined. I would be interested in knowing how many lives were saved by religion, or how many people changed their lives and helped others after turning to religion.

Religion has its merits and faults, just like any belief system, whether that be a belief in science, God, aliens, or whatever else people believe in.

Religious people don't force you to believe in God, it would be nice if a little respect could be shown and to try and force them to convert to atheism.

Ori, my questions are: Why do you really care what anyone else believes? What do you get out of it? What do you gain?

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MightyCow
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As others have pointed out, nobody is skeptical that religious people have had strong, emotionally powerful, possibly difficult-to-explain experiences, which they believe are spiritual in nature.

We don't think religious people are all liars, we simply think that they are very likely mistaken about the source they attribute to some events in their life.

That is certainly not unreasonable, especially considering that they are often somewhat unsure themselves, and frequently don't have an "answer" until one is provided by a religious tradition.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:

Religious people don't force you to believe in God, it would be nice if a little respect could be shown and to try and force them to convert to atheism.

Of course, we certainly have done and some still do - even by force and violence. It isn't exactly our best trait, though, and one I am sorry to see atheists emulate.
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MightyCow
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Which atheists are "forcing" anyone to change? Let's be realistic, it isn't as though we're holding a witch trial here.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
That is certainly not unreasonable, especially considering that they are often somewhat unsure themselves, and frequently don't have an "answer" until one is provided by a religious tradition.
If this was all that had been happening in this thread, the discussions would have gone quite differently.

----------

quote:
Religious people don't force you to believe in God, it would be nice if a little respect could be shown and to try and force them to convert to atheism.
This is a bit...incomplete. 'Religious people' don't do anything monolithically. It's just too big a group. However, some religious people have and do most certainly try and force non-believers to believe. Very fortunately for us, that sort of effort is generally very much frowned upon, and we have plenty of good laws in place to protect people from that in the United States...but it does still happen.

It happens when parents compel their children to attend church. I'm not just talking about childhood when a parent has an obligation to sometimes compel their child to do things, but on up into adolescence where they start becoming 'people' in terms of how much we ought to respect their choices. It happens in public schools when a teacher or administrator leads a prayer in class. There's whiffs of it in attempts to get 'Intelligent Design' taught as science in science class. There's more than a scent of it in 'National Prayer Day', and I say that as a religious person. There's a heaping helping of it when religious people attempt to ensure religious ideas will be the underpinnings of our secular laws, such as homosexual marriage.

And as for the past, well, it wasn't very long ago at all when religious people compelled belief or statements of belief all the time. Even here in the United States. Don't believe me? Ask a middle-aged Native American who grew up on a reservation.

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Geraine
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I'll admit forcing was too strong of a word.

MC, Religion does not have all of the answers. I don't know of any religion that claims to have all of the answers. I don't think scientists have all of the answers either.

I've experienced certain things in my life that have lead me to believe in the existence of God. I truly believe that one of these experiences saved my life. I don't mind sharing it if people will treat it with respect, but judging from some of the posts I have seen in this thread, I'm frankly unsure if it is a good idea.

I am genuinely interested in what the scientific folk think of my experience however, and if there is a scientific explanation, I would really like to know what you think. I give you my word that I will treat your thoughts on my experience with respect as well.

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Tresopax
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quote:
I couldn't disagree more with this. To me, skepticism - strange as it might sound to y'all religious people are shades of crazy folks;) - is definitely one of the single most helpful personality traits a human being can have, as far as getting along well in the world.
And strange as it might sound, I actually agree with that too but simultaneously think that trustingness (for lack of a better term) is also on that list of most helpful personality traits.

The key is each one has to be used to keep the other in an appropriate check. When you trust someone you can either do so with eyes open or eyes closed. Eyes-closed trust is when someone tells you something and it doesn't quite make sense, but you willingly ignore the part that doesn't quite make sense - this is the easier way. Eyes-open trust is when you accept what someone tells you but keep asking questions. Similarly, there's two ways to be skepitcal. One option is to simply assume things are wrong unless they are proven. The other option is to assume things could be wrong unless they are proven. With both sets, I think the former option is motivated by a sort of fear of uncertainty; in one case never questioning one's beliefs so as to avoid feeling uncertain, and in the other case never believing questionable things so as to avoid feeling uncertain.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
But, here, if it does count: how do you react when a religious person says, "Love the sinner, hate the sin!"

I think too often that attitude carves the humanity out of the person being discussed. Like, love gay people, but hate their essential nature. But often those "sins" are not things I consider to be weaknesses. I abhor weakness, as I suspect most people do, because I can easily recognize it in myself, and am troubled by it. I don't think there are many people, if any, who are so different. At the same time, I think it's fair to distinguish between those weaknesses that are inherent, and those that are not. Inherent weakness is not to be hated- that kind of "sin," is nothing bad to me, it's life. I think Calvinists and puritans and other such absolutists end up shooting themselves in the foot, because any shortcoming in the road to perfection is the fault of the person who has no choice but to be whom they are. But there are forms of moral weakness that go beyond the pale too, that I think do involved choices, and do reflect something about our intentions to the world around us. Those have to be reacted to, or at least I feel an urge to react some of the time.

But to answer your question, no, I don't hate your belief in a religion. You might say I hate your religion, but that is because I consider organized religion (wow I typed "crime" there the first time...) to be a superhuman sociological monster that is beyond the control of individuals, and would take a paradigm changing effect to stop. It may be an amplified effect of our weakness as human beings as we attempt to organize the world logically, over thousands of years, but that does not confer upon it the benefit of the doubt as an endgame- just clarifies where it comes from, and that it doesn't ultimately come from ill-will, which I don't think it does. I certainly don't *like* your belief in religion, but contempt was too strong a word for it, on further reflection. I don't think I see religion as a sort of "sin" in the way you might put it, but in a sort of acceptance of victimhood- allowing oneself to be victimized by history in a truly blatant fashion. Granted that is an aspect of the human condition, just a very extreme manifestation that is quixotically termed a virtue.

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MightyCow
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Geraine: I bet science has a fine explanatin for your experience. I'm not sure that you are going to feel that it is compelling.

When people say that science doesn't have all the answers, they often imply (or outright say) that religion has many of these answers. Sadly, these "answers" are not real answers most of the time, simply place holders that allow us to temporarily ignore the question with a feel-good non-answer.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
Do you have any non-anecdotal evidence that a skeptical approach to others produces more truthful beliefs than credulity? I believe that using a moderate degree of trust as a default leads one to have both more accurate beliefs and a happier life.

Oh God... I'm breathing deep. I'm fighting as serious attack of the giggles here.

In answer to your "question" Tres... yes I do have non-anecdotal evidence that a skeptical approach to others produces more truthful beliefs. I did a study. Take my word for it. You will have truthful results if you believe what I am saying to you, and you will have a happier life.

Thank you, by the way, you are always good for a laugh, now that I know how utterly full of delightful crap you are.
Kwea

"I also believe that while we hear about a lot of bad things people do in the name of religion, there is an untold wealth of positive stories every day we don't hear of normally. If a church inspires people to help other people and make our world a better place, far be it for me to discourage them. "

Honor by association is not real honor. I have heard, but cannot quote offhand, analysis of this assertion from such people as Douglas Adams and Christopher Dawkins, and Carl Sagaan- I found their reasoning to be quite convincing. In real terms, I am not at all convinced that religious institutions do not have a net negative effect on society in terms of economics, the arts, charitable work, and intellectual advancement. Pre-modern history in comparison with modern history, while an incomplete test of the difference between secular and religious domination, indicate to me that I am right to be cynical about the idea, at the very least.

You should at least be more conscious of the association fallacy you have presented. To reduce it to the level of absurdity, I can ask what right I have to be offended that a person steals my wallet, or even kills me, if that person uses the money, or my death, to "do good" unto his fellow man. In less absurd terms, the Catholic church has done much and continues to do some things far worse (in my estimation anyway) than theft and simple murder in the name of good acts. So I think at the very least you are exactly the person that ought to question it.

For all that we have our political and moral debates on this forum, nobody thinks that they have no *right* or place to question the government, and all that it does in the name of its mission. Why would you feel differently about a religion?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Speaking for myself, I mean it as a method-be skeptical of things at first, evaluate them, reducing skepticism depending on the evaluation. I'm not really familiar with it as a world view.

You are, just not in those exact terms. Skepticism, and to some degree negativism is the approach to a worldview which holds basically that the good (you could substitute humanity or consciousness) is an aberration of nature which cannot be relied upon. That's how I see it anyway.

Positivism as a worldview is essentially that the good is a state endowed with existence by those that perceive and judge it, and so evolves in response to the needs of the same. You can extend that much further to state, for example, that the evolution of humanity into a cyborg or cybernet race would be to the good, because the good would evolve to match the needs of humanity. But on the other hand that if we did evolve into cyborgs and encountered other life upon which we inflicted deep harm, our evolution would be to the bad, because we would have acted against the good in relation to all life. Positivism increases its scope as the universe increases in size. Negativism I think holds that basically no matter what we do ultimately, the universe sorts everything into an ultimate score in the negative column, meaning what is to the good is not ultimately possible to achieve.

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Tresopax
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quote:
In answer to your "question" Tres... yes I do have non-anecdotal evidence that a skeptical approach to others produces more truthful beliefs. I did a study. Take my word for it. You will have truthful results if you believe what I am saying to you, and you will have a happier life.
If I trust what you are saying then I must be skeptical and ask: What was the study - what method did you (or would you) go about using to test it? What were the results?

[ May 04, 2010, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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Rakeesh
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Orincoro,

quote:
Honor by association is not real honor.
But dishonor by association is real dishonor, seems to be the theme of a lot of anti-religious thinking I see. *shrug* That's a message that resonates in a lot of your thoughts to religious people, even if you don't come right out and say so. Just saying.

quote:
But often those "sins" are not things I consider to be weaknesses.
That's irrelevant. If a religious person can't hate the sin but love the sinner, particularly in cases where the sin is part of their 'essential nature'...why is it exactly you are capable of abhorring (another common word used in place of this is 'hate', you know) religious people's religion, but not the religious people themselves, particularly when for many of them it is a huge part of their identity?

quote:
I abhor weakness, as I suspect most people do...
I don't. I don't think it's wise to abhor something that is fundamental to being human, that is, having weaknesses. I think one can have a philosophy built around eliminating weaknesses without abhorring them.

quote:
...I think it's fair to distinguish between those weaknesses that are inherent...
Religion not falling into the category of inherent weaknesses in your opinion, I take it? Can't something become inherent? Suppose I agree that religion isn't an inherent trait of many human beings. Couldn't it be an inherent trait of many human beings after being trained in it for decades, as you think they are? And then aren't you left with abhorring an inherent weakness? You are the one who has said that someone can be brainwashed into true belief, after all.
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Geraine
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I think you will agree with me that there are certain things in the universe that cannot exactly be explained by religion or science YET.

In my faith, (I am LDS too)we do not believe that we have the answers to all of the mysteries to the universe, and that there are some things that have not been revealed to us yet. That does not mean that there is not an answer to the question, just that we have not received the information yet.

Which brings me to HOW we receive this information. I think science is part of humanities learning process. I believe God exists but does not just feed information continually to us. If we were given all of the knowledge how would we progress? Science is one of the ways that we can learn more about the universe, and even learn part of the creation process.

MC, I'll share my experience with you.

While I was serving a two year mission in the southern part of Brasil, I lived in a small village named Lisboa.

There was three main neighborhoods in Lisboa, two of them together and one about two miles down a long dirt road. Keep in mind that there were farms and ranch land, so the dirt road was bordered by nothing but cows, horses, chickens, and bison.

One night my companion and I had an appointment with a family in this neighborhood. The neighborhood was considered the favela (ghetto) and was a poor part of the village.

When we started walking down the road, I got this feeling that we should just turn around. The feeling was in my gut, like when you go down a steep hill in your car or ride a rollercoaster. I ignored it but it kept getting worse and worse, and I just felt like we had to turn around; that something bad would happen if we didn't.

I decided to ask my companion how he felt, so I did. He looked at me and said "I have a really strong feeling that we should turn around." I felt a shiver down my spine, but we turned around and went home.

The next day we saw the family and apologized for not coming over. They said that it was good that we hadn't. There was a shooting on the street in front of their house, and a man had been sent to the hospital with a bullet wound.

I don't know what could have happened if we continued on to their house. Maybe nothing would have happened. On the other hand, maybe we would have been shot by a stray bullet.

Its really the only time I've felt that kind of strong feeling, and I truly believe that it was guidance from a higher power.

Again, I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on my experience, and will treat them with respect. It happened ten years ago, but I still remember it vividly.

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kmbboots
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I don't believe that "God" is a sufficient or interesting answer to the how and what questions of the universe. God does not reside in "the gaps". If we find out all there is to know about the universe, it won't make any difference.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Orincoro,
quote:
Honor by association is not real honor.
But dishonor by association is real dishonor, seems to be the theme of a lot of anti-religious thinking I see. *shrug* That's a message that resonates in a lot of your thoughts to religious people, even if you don't come right out and say so. Just saying.

Seriously dude? I was presenting the fallacy in reverse in order to demonstrate that it was flawed, not in order to actually demonstrate the opposite argument. The opposite argument fails for the same reasons. How stupid do you think I actually am?

And stop this whining about my tone, please. I'm talking about a logical argument. Whatever it is you have to say about my tone, save it, I'm not interested. It's also incredibly lame of you to pounce on my rebuttal of a logical fallacy, by presenting the fallacy in reverse in order to illustrate it weaknesses by claiming that makes me a perpetrator of the same fallacy. It doesn't, and you need to get that straight through your head. It's too bad the best you can do at this point is bitch and complain about my intentions, and my tone and my attitude. Screw you, your attitude sucks every bit as much.

quote:
quote: But often those "sins" are not things I consider to be weaknesses.

That's irrelevant.

Heh... Rakeesh it is clearly relevant to me. Please stop confusing my arguments from my answers to your questions. This was an answer to a question about what i have to say about "hate the sin, love the sinner." I can't exactly prove my feelings on it to be true. I am not trying. Notice all the "I consider," and "I feel," and "to my thinkings?" Those are all indicators that I have no framework in place for an argument. Everything I say about myself is relevant, to me. Stop being an ass.

quote:
And then aren't you left with abhorring an inherent weakness?
No.

At the end of that long string of weak assumptions, no. But when did you become such a Calvinist?

A lot of your objections hinge on your attitude towards me, and not what I'm saying. I'm aware that this is what you are saying to me, but be aware that it is something that I think is fair to say of you at this point.

[ May 04, 2010, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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King of Men
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quote:
MC, Religion does not have all of the answers. I don't know of any religion that claims to have all of the answers. I don't think scientists have all of the answers either.

The point being made is that religion has no answer. It is not enough to demonstrate that science can't answer some question or other; this doesn't show the religion can. It's true that religion will often attempt an answer, where scientists have the honesty to say they don't know; but since you have no means of checking correctness, this is no better than guesswork. To say "We have a guess" is not a satisfactory answer; to say "We are certain of this" when in fact you're only guessing is just a lie.
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King of Men
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quote:
I freely admit it's incredibly unlikely. I don't even know how much of that I believe actually happened. In all seriousness, if it weren't for the Mormon allowance for inaccurate translation, I might not have been able to convert. Some of the improbabilities would have been sufficiently high if I were compelled to either believe they happened or not be a Mormon.
Ok, so you're saying that you converted because some of the doctrine might be wrong? And really, if the mistranslations can be so large as to hide away the pre-Columbine civilisations, then come now, how can you trust the rest? A translation that can invent something of that size out of 'mistakes' is no better than plain fantasy.

quote:
The probably of 'someone' doing this is something well above zero, of course. The probability that I did this, out of almost nowhere? That I just willed myself to be a Mormon, absent any sort of social or familial conditioning? Absent, in fact, almost any experience of Mormonism at all up to that point? Well, the probability of that taken entirely alone seems to me to be pretty low.
Why would you think so? By your account, the decision wasn't "become a Mormon" but "check out the Mormon church". I don't see this as a particularly low probability, people do that all the time - not just with the Mormons. Rather the question is, having made such a decision, what is the probability that a positive answer will float up out of your subconscious? And I ask that you please try not to treat yourself as special. The correct reference class is "all people who have decided to pray for guidance on a given church". We know that some considerable percentage of them get 'positive' guidance; very many converts tell a story like this. We further know that they can't all be right. So, what is the probability that you'll get a positive answer, even if there is no god to give you one?
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Speaking for myself, I mean it as a method-be skeptical of things at first, evaluate them, reducing skepticism depending on the evaluation. I'm not really familiar with it as a world view.

You are, just not in those exact terms. Skepticism, and to some degree negativism is the approach to a worldview which holds basically that the good (you could substitute humanity or consciousness) is an aberration of nature which cannot be relied upon. That's how I see it anyway.

Positivism as a worldview is essentially that the good is a state endowed with existence by those that perceive and judge it, and so evolves in response to the needs of the same. You can extend that much further to state, for example, that the evolution of humanity into a cyborg or cybernet race would be to the good, because the good would evolve to match the needs of humanity. But on the other hand that if we did evolve into cyborgs and encountered other life upon which we inflicted deep harm, our evolution would be to the bad, because we would have acted against the good in relation to all life. Positivism increases its scope as the universe increases in size. Negativism I think holds that basically no matter what we do ultimately, the universe sorts everything into an ultimate score in the negative column, meaning what is to the good is not ultimately possible to achieve.

Ah, no. I was talking about empistomology, not morality. Positivism holds that the only things which are real are those which can be perceived by the senses and empirically verified. There is no "negativism" as it's counterpart. Alternatives would be things like idealism and realism.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I abhor weakness, as I suspect most people do, because I can easily recognize it in myself, and am troubled by it. I don't think there are many people, if any, who are so different.

I think this is true, if you confine your definition of "most people" to young adult males. Particularly those who have philosophical sympathies leaning toward Friedrich Nietzsche. I don't beleive it holds true for humanity in general.
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Tresopax
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quote:
To say "We have a guess" is not a satisfactory answer; to say "We are certain of this" when in fact you're only guessing is just a lie.
There are options in between those two possible answers, though.
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King of Men
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I must say that a compromise between "unsatisfactory" and "lie" does not strike me as very promising, thanks kindly.
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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
MC, Religion does not have all of the answers. I don't know of any religion that claims to have all of the answers. I don't think scientists have all of the answers either.

The point being made is that religion has no answer. It is not enough to demonstrate that science can't answer some question or other; this doesn't show the religion can. It's true that religion will often attempt an answer, where scientists have the honesty to say they don't know; but since you have no means of checking correctness, this is no better than guesswork. To say "We have a guess" is not a satisfactory answer; to say "We are certain of this" when in fact you're only guessing is just a lie.
KoM, I understand where you are coming from. My point is that until we can map the entire universe and beyond, and come to a perfect understanding of our universe, how do we know that there is not a being out there that is not more advanced than us? That has a greater understanding of physics, biology, and chemistry?

I don't believe that humans are alone in the universe. With the size of the universe, if life here happened by accident there would still be millions of other planets out there with life in them, whether it be in this or other galaxies. We do not know how large our universe is, we only know what we observe. It could go on forever for all we know. If it does go on forever, then it would be possible that life exists elsewhere, and possibly more advanced than we are.

Your argument about guessing is just as valid for science as it is about religion. Can science provide a definitive answer on the actual size of the universe? Can science provide definitive answers on whether there is life on other planets? Can science provide a definitive answer on how advanced these civilizations could be?

Perhaps you could provide me some examples of some things religion have "no answer" to. I'll do my best to answer them as best I can based on my religious beliefs, and if I don't have an answer, I'll simply tell you that I don't.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
I abhor weakness, as I suspect most people do, because I can easily recognize it in myself, and am troubled by it. I don't think there are many people, if any, who are so different.

I think this is true, if you confine your definition of "most people" to young adult males. Particularly those who have philosophical sympathies leaning toward Friedrich Nietzsche. I don't beleive it holds true for humanity in general.
You don't know much about me, or what my philosophical sympathies are. But clearly you show something of your own by tarring me with that particular brush. Hint: just because someone talks about weakness doesn't make them Nietzsche. Now will you dispense with the name calling?

And one point in the context of a much larger conversation is not what anyone would call *a lot*. Perhaps you should reign in your speculations.

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kmbboots
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My point is that even if (when?) we map the entire universe and beyond and come to a perfect understanding of the universe - it doesn't make any difference.
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