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Author Topic: New Human Genome Discoveries Argue Against Evolution
Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
I have never been afraid to answer anyone in this or any other forum.

*ahem*
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Samprimary
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quote:
Liberals are not weaker than conservatives for not being appealed to by such imagery.
I'm a big-time gun owner and, if anything, I think people who don't inflate their sense of self worth with something like gun ownership, who are immune to that sort of compensation? Yeah, I'd think they're the stronger ones.

Same thing with sports cars. Mmmm, sports cars.

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TomDavidson
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Blessed are the meek and the peacemakers, for they shall surely target that office-holder and blow him away.
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Samprimary
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a peacemaker sure, but I've never heard of a meek. is it a revolver or a semiauto?
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Rakeesh
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Claiming a lack of fear in answering an online question is silly anyway. If courage is needed, it ain't much. Vanity, on the other hand...
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Ron Lambert
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Sean, Rakeesh, et. al., if I do not answer someone it is usually because I do not think their question is worthy of an answer. You should always take it as a rebuke for either being silly, and/or insulting, for making no sense, or ignoring what I have already said and I don't need to repeat myself. I have too many hostile posters in this forum for me to waste time on people who either do not know how to debate, or are unwilling to debate in a mature and civilized manner.

Case in point: TomDavidson's innane demand that I give him a definition for the word, "objective." This fails the test for meriting my direct response in several ways. First, it is the height of presumption for Tom to imply he knows better than I do what the meaning of such a common word is, when I am and have been a professional writer and editor for decades. I am pretty sure my vocabulary is at least three times more extensive than his, and I am always careful how I use words. Thus in my judgment his demand is silly beyond words. Also, he is obviously hiding behind his bogus demand to duck my perfectly reasonable request that he give me a specific example of an application of Bible prophecy I gave that he said is completely false. I have made this reasonable request four times, and he keeps ducking it. He does not get to claim I was mistaken in an interpretation of Bible prophecy, and not tell me specifically what he is referring to, so I can defend what I said. I don't care what demands he makes. He is in no position to make any demands. But if he is foolish enough to commit himself to not communicating with me at all until his bogus demand is met, then fine. Let him keep to his promise, and not bother me any further. (This is something I said I would never do, make such a "threat," because I do not wish to commit myself to not communicating. Apparently Tom does not even realize what he has done to himself.)

No one should ever conclude that I did not answer because I have no answer, or am afraid to answer, or some such thing. Once in a while I might overlook someone's question in the midst of answering several others. But if you ask again, and I still answer with studied silence, then that is my deliberate, pointed answer.

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MattP
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quote:
Sean, Rakeesh, et. al., if I do not answer someone it is usually because I do not think their question is worthy of an answer. You should always take it as a rebuke for either being silly, and/or insulting, for making no sense, or ignoring what I have already said and I don't need to repeat myself. I have too many hostile posters in this forum for me to waste time on people who either do not know how to debate, or are unwilling to debate in a mature and civilized manner.
But all too often you go silent on a straightforward, respectfully presented question/argument. Sometimes you are kind enough to make a dismissive comment about it being a word game or sophomoric something-or-other but in either case you are using a personal opinion about the nature of the argument in order to avoid addressing it.

As a result, some of the most salient positions that are contrary to your own are completely ignored and the impression it leaves, regardless of your claimed reaction, is that you aren't actually capable of addressing these arguments.

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Samprimary
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I've pointed this out to others before, but 'I'll avoid their questions, that'll show them' is like the most counterproductive way to think you aren't ceding ground when you are.

Secondly:

quote:
Case in point: TomDavidson's innane demand that I give him a definition for the word, "objective." This fails the test for meriting my direct response in several ways. First, it is the height of presumption for Tom to imply he knows better than I do what the meaning of such a common word is, when I am and have been a professional writer and editor for decades. I am pretty sure my vocabulary is at least three times more extensive than his, and I am always careful how I use words. Thus in my judgment his demand is silly beyond words.
Yeah, this makes it even worse! A claim to self-authority that ducks the question, while assuring everyone how easy it would be for you to show that you were more right about the definition of objectivity than he is. When people do this, they never make themselves look good. Especially when you are obviously misunderstanding what Tom said he would or would not do ("if he is foolish enough to commit himself to not communicating with me at all until his bogus demand is met, then fine").

Also, Mr. Professional Writer and Editor for Decades who has a Vocabulary Probably Definitely Three Times as Large as Tom's: just as an example, it's "inane."

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BlackBlade
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Ron:
quote:
Case in point: TomDavidson's innane demand that I give him a definition for the word, "objective." This fails the test for meriting my direct response in several ways.
It is an age old principle when two learned people discuss something like the claim, "The Bible is objectively true" to discuss the definitions of the nouns and adjectives.

"How do you define objective?" "When you say Bible, do you mean as it exists today?" "What do you mean by true?"

Once that is done, hopefully in an efficient manner (though sometimes people end up debating definitions), you can then proceed to discuss the claim. Otherwise you end up arguing because one person says one thing that means something very different to the listener, who then has the same problem when responding.

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TomDavidson
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Ron, leaving everything else in your post aside, I want to clarify that I will not have a conversation about specific elements of Biblical prophecy with you until you can demonstrate to me that you understand what it means to be "objective." I'm sure that you agree that this is actually a very important concept when discussing whether or not a given assertion is objectively true, or whether someone is evaluating a given claim "objectively" as opposed to "subjectively."

Regardless of your own level of literacy, I am unconvinced that you really understand what it means to be "objective." This isn't to say that I think you are incapable of looking up the definition, or using the word correctly -- for a given value of "correctly" -- in a sentence; rather, I think you lack certain critical thinking skills that are necessary to distinguish between objective and subjective forms.

The reason for this requirement -- which I understand may seem unfair -- is that I have noticed that you have a tendency to hyperbolically declare that something is "obvious to anyone" or "objectively true" or the like when in reality it is nothing of the kind, and I worry that any attempt to have this discussion with you would rapidly devolve into "is not/is too" exchanges unless you agreed that, yes, there is actually a mechanism by which things that are objective can be distinguished from things that are subjective, and that both of us agreed on what that mechanism looked like.

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Jake
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Let him keep to his promise, and not bother me any further. (This is something I said I would never do, make such a "threat," because I do not wish to commit myself to not communicating.

The above quote seems to me to be add odds with this one, Ron:

quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
I will not reply to anyone who calls me a liar, or suggests that there is anyting factual that I do not admit to.

Now, you could argue that the second quote means specifically that you won't respond to the particular post in which the accusation occurs, rather than to the person who makes the accusation. That argument would be supported by your saying, slightly later in the same paragraph that the second quote comes from, " Anyone who continues insisting on building a strawman and calling it me, can talk to his strawman," since it implies that you would be open to dialogue with people who have formerly engaged in behavior you object to, as long as they cease to do so.

I don't think that the argument holds water, though, given that you, who are always so precise with your language (not sarcasm, here; I do appreciate your ability to convey precisely what you mean, even though I often disagree with what you are saying), specify that it is the people in question that you will not be responding to, rather than particular posts of theirs.

You, of course, are ultimately the best person to check with on this. Does that argument hold water, or are the two quotes in conflict with each other? Or is there a third possibility that simply hasn't occurred to me?

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Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Sean, Rakeesh, et. al., if I do not answer someone it is usually because I do not think their question is worthy of an answer. You should always take it as a rebuke for either being silly, and/or insulting, for making no sense, or ignoring what I have already said and I don't need to repeat myself. I have too many hostile posters in this forum for me to waste time on people who either do not know how to debate, or are unwilling to debate in a mature and civilized manner.

Don't know how you got any of that from my posts. Let me summarize:

- On page two, you said that assuming that all of scripture was inspired by the One Divine Mind, then it logically follows that the Bible can define and interpret its own terms and symbols.

- I said, in essence, "whoa, whoa, back up there to that first part. Why should we make that assumption in the first place?"

- Your next post was an explanation of the Bible's consistency in its own interpretation of terms and symbols.

- I responded to try to explain that I'm not interested in the second part of your statement, I'm interested in the first part; the assumption of the One Divine Mind, not the interpretation of symbols.

- You responded again about the interpretation of symbols.

- I pointed out that you are now saying that the Bible's consistency with respect to its own interpretation of terms and symbols is reason to accept that it was all inspired by the One Divine Mind. You have switched the A and B parts of your statement. That is circular reasoning. (And that, in the same thread where you elsewhere complained about being accused of circular reasoning.)

- You went silent.

If you think what I was asking was silly, I think it's kind of sad for a self-professed christian to think its silly when someone asks about the existence of God.

If you think what I posted makes no sense, maybe the above summary will help.

If you think I'm ignoring what you have already said, it's because it had nothing to do with what I asked.

If you think what I posted was insulting, I think you have a problem with private interpretation when it comes to the posts of others.

(ETA: And that last was not an insult itself; I think it likely the truth.)

[ January 24, 2011, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: Sean Monahan ]

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Ron Lambert
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Pointed deliberate silence.
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lem
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Can you respond to Sean? I don't understand the pointed deliberate silence. He provided clear points and clarified his position.
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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Pointed deliberate silence.

This is an extraordinarily and transparently weak response to take against positions that you have difficulty addressing.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Pointed deliberate silence.

Unsurprisingly, he's not guilty of any of the things that you use as stated criteria for not responding to someone!

Sean is

A. knowledgeable and capable of debate,
B. is willing to and is debating in a mature manner, and
C. is doing so in a civilized manner.

Now, unless there's something not present for public viewing in this exchange, like he's sending you private messages which are uncivilized and immature, it's clearly visible that he's not doing any of the things that you use to invalidate someone, which would mean ..

well, you can guess.

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Ron Lambert
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None of you have any valid excuse for not answering my reasonable request that anyone who claims the examples I gave of fulfilled Bible prophecy have been "proven wrong" give me a specific example. Since none of you seem willing to discuss this intelligently and honestly and fairly, there is no reason why I should respond to any of you any further. You do not get to set the terms of the debate. This is the kind of control-freak effort you characters always indulge in when you cannot face up to my arguments and evidences and examples. I will not jump through your hoops. Never have, and never will. So wise up and grow up. You are not--any of you--showing maturity, honesty, and civility. What you claim in the way you characterize my response or non-response to your posts, is entirely false. I reject your characterizations of my posts utterly. You are not being honest. You are not being fair-minded. You are not being mature. You are not being civilized.
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Rakeesh
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You say, "You don't get to set the terms but then yourself go and do EXACTLY that, demanding that we judge a document's prophetic accuracy only by its own standards. And even then, when we use "its" own standards we must use what YOU say are its standards, or you'll talk of nothing else.

Not even topics that came up prior to this. Not even a previous question like Sean's. Instead you respond, consistently, with insults thinly veiled or otherwise and then lecture on civility.

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just_me
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
None of you have any valid excuse for not answering my reasonable request that anyone who claims the examples I gave of fulfilled Bible prophecy have been "proven wrong" give me a specific example. Since none of you seem willing to discuss this intelligently and honestly and fairly, there is no reason why I should respond to any of you any further. You do not get to set the terms of the debate. This is the kind of control-freak effort you characters always indulge in when you cannot face up to my arguments and evidences and examples. I will not jump through your hoops. Never have, and never will. So wise up and grow up. You are not--any of you--showing maturity, honesty, and civility. What you claim in the way you characterize my response or non-response to your posts, is entirely false. I reject your characterizations of my posts utterly. You are not being honest. You are not being fair-minded. You are not being mature. You are not being civilized.

Pot, meet kettle.

Seriously Ron... If you are unwilling to debate the in the commonly accepted style here maybe you should just do us all a favor and leave. And don't give us that "I'm defending the huddled masses" crap - we've already shown that no one is going to step forward and say "yeah, Ron is speaking for me".

You might not like the game the way we play it here, but you came here and joined the game. If you don't like the rules you don't have to play - you're welcome to take your marbles and go home. BUT once you declare "I want to play" this constant insistence on changing the rules such that only you can win is ridiculous.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Since none of you seem willing to discuss this intelligently and honestly and fairly, there is no reason why I should respond to any of you any further.

Multiple people are willing, and are certainly discussing this very intelligently, honestly, and fairly. You have no reason to dismiss them, but have imagined their disagreement with you to count for reasons why they're beneath you. Which is nothing but a prideful narrative and character flaw on your part.

quote:
You do not get to set the terms of the debate.
Follow your own advice, one of these days. [Smile]


quote:
So wise up and grow up. You are not--any of you--showing maturity, honesty, and civility. What you claim in the way you characterize my response or non-response to your posts, is entirely false. I reject your characterizations of my posts utterly. You are not being honest. You are not being fair-minded. You are not being mature. You are not being civilized.
You always default to this. It's your defensive curl-into-a-ball rationalization for pretty much any debate or issue where you get contradicted soundly. So much so to the extent that earlier I mentioned that it was getting ruefully tiresome that you always jump to saying things like 'the reason you disagree with me is because you can't open your mind and see things fairly and objectively, like me' this sort of thing has poisoned both your mind and your credibility. You argue from statements that require a certain degree of ethos and logos and you have ceded and squandered both to a remarkable extent.
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TomDavidson
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Which is, I'm just saying, why I want you to demonstrate to me that you understand what an "objective fact" is before I start talking about what things are or are not objective facts. Because I don't want to waste my time insisting over your objections that something is or is not an objective fact.
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Mikemarx
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I hope no one minds if a lurker inserts himself in to the debate.

The foundation of Ron's argument is that Bible can be proven to be objectively true by the accuracy of it's prophecies. On page two Tom argued that this is not necessarily for a number of reasons, such as the possibility of prophecies being written or cherry-picked after the fact. I find these arguments to be compelling, but to a none-biblical scholar such as myself they are only possibilities. Maybe the prophecies were cherry-picked, or maybe they were written after the fact. Can anyone give an example where this definitely happened (or at least where there's a very strong consensus)?

Ron asked for an examples of biblical prophecy which turned out to be not correct. Aris Katsaris provided an example from Matthew, and Ron argued why it wasn't untrue. Ron, I don't find your response to be entirely convincing, but I admit it's a possible interpretation of the text, so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt here. Let's call that one a wash. So, can someone provide a few more examples of biblical prophecy they believe to be false?

Ron also argues that the Bible should be allowed to define it's own symbols. This seems fair to me, as I think he means to caution against bringing outside assumptions into the text. Ron, am I correct here, or am I missing something?

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Ron Lambert
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Mikemarx. You have it correct.

I guess at this point the debate has reached the point of impass, though, so this will be my last post to this thread.

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TomDavidson
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It's a shame that a request to define terms constitutes an impasse, IMO.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Mikemarx:
So, can someone provide a few more examples of biblical prophecy they believe to be false?

Shur.

quote:
13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

13:21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.

13:22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Babylon status: Still occupied by humans.

Babylonian dragon and satyr count: 0

quote:
Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
Damascus status: still a city, not a ruinous heap.

quote:
Isaiah 19:4-5 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts. And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.
Nile status: still a bountiful natural resource.

quote:
Isaiah 19:18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.
Egypt status: still ain't speaking cannanite.

quote:
Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Jerusalem status: still accepting uncircumcised people to dwell within.

quote:
Ezekiel 29:10-11 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.
Egyptian 40 year uninhabited period status: didn't happen.

quote:
"Thou [Tyrus] shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD."
Tyre status: understroyed by Nebuchandrezzar. Even visited by Jesus and Paul later.

quote:
28:25 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.
28:26 And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.

Israel status: not dwelling safely within, still warring over land and security, etc.

and so on, so forth. It's pretty easy to find massive lists full of these things. Individual passages that are really failed prophecy will be reinterpreted significantly enough to say 'no, see, it's not quite failed, it's different' but once you start seeing this selective re-interpretation done ten, twenty, fifty times? Pattern recognition implies a habit.

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Rakeesh
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And here is where Ron's 'Biblical prophecy is literally, provably accurate', argument fails, Mikemarx.

Invariably a host of objections to these criticisms will swarm up: these are 'outside interpretations'. The passages aren't actually speaking to the people it appears they're speaking to. That particular passage is clearly a metaphor, not meant to be taken literally.

It would be as if you put a witness up on the witness stand and began cross-examining him, which is a pretty reasonable standard to go about proving or disproving a document's prophetic accuracy, but at any given time when questioned on a specific prophecy he could say, "I didn't mean that prophecy, or not in that way, or I wasn't addressing that prophecy to those people in that place at that time."

No one would accept that kind of shenanigans from anyone, anywhere, anytime, but we're supposed to accept it from the Bible, why exactly? Because it's the Bible, and the Bible is supposedly of proven prophetic accuracy, the only document which is claimed (depending on when you ask Ron) to have been inspired by God, and the only document which has a perfect prophetic track record. And yet the only way you can establish that track record is by taking it as a given.

You need, I kid you not, drawing tools to create such perfectly circular reasoning, yet Ron refuses to address this initial assumption when challenged: why must we accept the Bible's perfect prophetic accuracy as a given, when the only way you can arrive at such a conclusion is by believing it?

That works brilliantly for the faithful, but very poorly indeed for those with questions.

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Ron Lambert
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Now I have to add another post. Samprimary, the ruins of Babylon exist today in Iraq. Not as a city, but as ruins. To my knowledge, it is still uninhabited. Scorpions and snakes and other wild creatures (and maybe a few archaeologists) are found there.

As for "dragons" and "satyrs," it is always a good idea to check different translations, especially when something pecular turns up in the five-centuries old King James Version. The word "dragons" appears in the KJV in Isaiah 13:22. In virtually every other translation (the modern ones) the translation gives "jackals."

Likewise in verse 21, where the word "satyrs" appears in the KJV, virtually every other translation renders it "wild goats" or "shaggy goats."

Isaiah 17:1 does not say Damascus would remain a ruinous heap forever. You are reading into the text something that is not there.

Isaiah 19:4-5 does not say the conditions described would be forever. Again, you are reading into the text something that is not there.

Isaiah 19:18 does not say that the conditions described would last forever. It says that for a time Judah would dominate Egypt, then later the Assyrians (led by Sargon) would dominate Egypt. Wars and imperial dominations went back and forth for hundreds of years in the Middle East. There is no clear failing of the prophecy here.

Isaiah 52:1 is part of a prophecy that describes the final deliverance of Israel. Many of these prophecies were conditional upon the faithfulness of the people of Israel (conditional like in the the prophecy against Ninevah in the book of Jonah, the predicted destruction was turned aside when the people of Ninevah repented).

Faithful Bible believers observe that while many prophecies are conditional, God's purpose in promising triumph and blessing is never thwarted, at most only delayed. Many prophecies, including Isaiah 52:1, are expected to be fulfilled in the New Earth, after the Second Coming of Christ.

Here is what God, who inspired these prophecies, said about whether they would be fulfilled or not:

"If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it." (Jeremiah 18:7-10)

Also remember, one of the principles of sound, objective Bible interpretation I mentioned was to allow the context to indicate to us WHEN in history the prophecy was to be applied.

The 40 years inwhich Egypt would be uninhabited (Ezekiel 29:10-11) cannot be verified one way or the other, because the knowledge historians have of this period is sparse. Existing records do exist that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did conquer Egypt, and it was his policy to deport peoples from conquered lands--as he did with Judah when he conquered it. There was a 33-year gap between Nebuchadnezzar's attack against Egypt, and Cyrus of Medo-Persia's conquest of Babylon. Allowing either for rounded numbers or time to return to Egypt, we have a possible span which could be seen as 40 years.

For lack of evidence, this cannot definitively be claimed as a failed prophecy.

You mentioned the city of Tyre. Perhaps you have not studied the actual history. The original Tyre used to exist a couple of miles out to sea from the present site of the new city called Tyre. The original site was utterly destroyed, and has never been rebuilt.

Samprimary and Rakeesh, nothing tricky or evasive is required to answer these claimed failures of Bible prophecy. All that is needed is sound scholarship.

But you are going through the entire Bible, perhaps going by some list from some anti-Bible prophecy website, and trying to come up with some instances--"cherry-picked" to use your own terminology--where questions might be raised. I have shown you that none of these are definitive, once sound scholarship is employed.

You still have not done what you originally claimed, which was that you could show where prophecies I have presented when I gave examples from Daniel that correctly foretell future history, were proven wrong. The prophecies I presented are clear and definitive, once interpreted by sound, objective means--allowing the Bible to define all its own symbols, and applying them when context clearly states they are to be applied. Link: http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=013271;p=0&r=nfx

[ January 25, 2011, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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TomDavidson
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You keep using the word "objective." Please, please, stop using the word "objective" until you are able to explain what you mean by it.
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just_me
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quote:
Originally posted by Mikemarx:

Ron also argues that the Bible should be allowed to define it's own symbols. This seems fair to me, as I think he means to caution against bringing outside assumptions into the text. Ron, am I correct here, or am I missing something?

Others have addressed the rest of your post, but I don't see anyone talking about this, so here's my take.

The caution about bringing in outside assumption is a valid one, but it cuts both ways. You have to look at what the bible says by asking "what is this saying, what words are used and what did these words mean when this was written" as well as "have these words been altered by centuries of recopying and if so how much". This s how you avoid bringing in "outside assumptions"

The alternative is to do what Ron is doing and approach it from the perspective of "I know the bible is true so everything it says is true to to understand the prophecies I just have to interpret them in such a way that they make sense". This is brining in the outside assumption that the bible is always true.

Also, I think saying you have to let the bible define its own symbols is a bit of misdirection. You of course have to assign meaning to the symbols that make sense within the context of their use - when and where they were recorded - but this isn't the same thing as saying you have to let the bible define its own symbols. The only way to let the text itself define the symbols is by working backwards from the answer. You can determine the meaning of the symbols properly, however, by examining what the contemporary meaning was when the text was written.

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Ron Lambert
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That is not always true, just_me. It is one thing to determine the cultural context of certain words and terms. It is quite another to define the meaning of apocalyptic symbolism.

An example of the former, where culture context can inform us, is in determining what the term "antipas" means in Rev. 2:13. Literally in Greek, the word can be translated as "in place of the father." Some people take it as meaning "against the father." This can be misleading (just as the term "antiChrist" can be misleading to those who thinks it means one person who is against Christ, rather that a religious system that claims to take the place of Christ). In the culture of the time of John, the expression "antipas" was something positive, not negative. It signified a son following in his father's footsteps. Note that in Rev. 2:13, Antipas is called "My faithful martyr."

In the second case, where there is apocalyptic symbolism used, we have to go by the Bible's definitions. Here is one of the classic examples, because it is so clearly a definition of a symbol: "Then he said to me, 'The waters which you saw [in verse one], where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.'" (NKJV) Here culture has no relevance. Guessing at meanings of symbols based on subjective imagination, is forbidden by the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:20: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."

As for your claims about "circular reasoning," it is not circular reasoning to take the Bible as it reads and defines itself in a consistent manner, and then judge whether the interpretations produced that way work. Any responsible scholar will base his judgment of a text on the way the text itself says it is to be interpreted. Anything else would be unfair.

If I might draw an analogy to the scientific method, what is proper methodology is to propose a theory and then test it. This is what I propose should be done with Bible prophecy. First you have to put together a "theory." It has to be based upon a consistent and objective (as opposed to subjective) determination of the meanings of symbols. Then you can test it to see if it works. It does. In fact, with the Bible, there is an additional check. You can run the same test where the same symbol occurs in other apocalyptic prophecies of the Bible, and see if the same interpretation "plugged in" there also works in a consistent manner. As far as I have found, it always does.

As for the suggestion someone made that later prophets might have been "borrowing" the prophetic symbols from earlier prophets, that does not work, because in many, perhaps most, cases, the prophets did not themselves understand what the symbols meant. God gave the visions. The prophets did not choose the symbols. Notice what the Apostle Peter said about the prophets NOT necessarily understanding what they were writing: "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into." (1 Peter 1:10-12)

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shadowland
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Ron, has your understanding of scriptural prophecy ever changed in any way since you first started believing that it was correct? Do you think it ever will change?
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Samprimary
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So Ron doesn't understand "circular reasoning" or "objective." Got it.

quote:
You still have not done what you originally claimed, which was that you could show where prophecies I have presented when I gave examples from Daniel that correctly foretell future history, were proven wrong.
Who are you talking to. Now it's only the prophecies you presented which have to be proven wrong before you concede anything?

The goalposts are now making a whooshing sound as you hurl them around the battlefield. I might as well take all the prophecies of nostradamous, pick out the lottery winners, and say 'prove these specific ones are wrong, or nostradamus is God.'

I want to say I like how we see this:

quote:
nothing tricky or evasive is required to answer these claimed failures of Bible prophecy
In the same post as this:

quote:
The 40 years inwhich Egypt would be uninhabited (Ezekiel 29:10-11) cannot be verified one way or the other, because the knowledge historians have of this period is sparse. Existing records do exist that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did conquer Egypt, and it was his policy to deport peoples from conquered lands--as he did with Judah when he conquered it. There was a 33-year gap between Nebuchadnezzar's attack against Egypt, and Cyrus of Medo-Persia's conquest of Babylon. Allowing either for rounded numbers or time to return to Egypt, we have a possible span which could be seen as 40 years.
Aaaaaaaaaand the classic example thus:

quote:
Many of these prophecies were conditional ...
Oh, really!
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Samprimary
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also:

quote:
If I might draw an analogy to the scientific method, what is proper methodology is to propose a theory and then test it.
Hypothesis. You propose a hypothesis and then test it. Theories, such as the theory of evolution, are different.

(hey look! I tied in the original subject of the ronthread!)

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Isaiah 17:1 does not say Damascus would remain a ruinous heap forever. You are reading into the text something that is not there.

Isaiah 19:4-5 does not say the conditions described would be forever. Again, you are reading into the text something that is not there.

Isaiah 19:18 does not say that the conditions described would last forever. It says that for a time Judah would dominate Egypt, then later the Assyrians (led by Sargon) would dominate Egypt. Wars and imperial dominations went back and forth for hundreds of years in the Middle East. There is no clear failing of the prophecy here.
.
.
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The 40 years inwhich Egypt would be uninhabited (Ezekiel 29:10-11) cannot be verified one way or the other, because the knowledge historians have of this period is sparse. Existing records do exist that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did conquer Egypt, and it was his policy to deport peoples from conquered lands--as he did with Judah when he conquered it. There was a 33-year gap between Nebuchadnezzar's attack against Egypt, and Cyrus of Medo-Persia's conquest of Babylon. Allowing either for rounded numbers or time to return to Egypt, we have a possible span which could be seen as 40 years.

For lack of evidence, this cannot definitively be claimed as a failed prophecy.

You mentioned the city of Tyre. Perhaps you have not studied the actual history. The original Tyre used to exist a couple of miles out to sea from the present site of the new city called Tyre. The original site was utterly destroyed, and has never been rebuilt.

I'm willing to bet that this pretty much goes without saying, but none of these things happened. Damascus has been a city continuously since the time of that prophecy. The Nile never dried up in this was. And there was never a Canaanite domination of Egypt.

Nebuchnezzar never conquered Egypt and we do actually know that Egypt was not a desolation for 40 years. Likewise, Nebuchenezzar, despite Ezekiel's prophecy, did not conquer Tyre and the island itself has been populated continuously since then.

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Ron Lambert
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shadowland--yes and yes. No one is born right. Anyone who ever wants to get it right must learn and grow.

Mr. Squicky. You make bald assertions about history that contradict the history I have read about. Who told you that Nebuchadnezzar never conquered Egypt? At one time, he was the acknowledged ruler of the entire Middle East. How could that be true if he did not conquer Egypt? And it was his policy to relocate whole populations, scattering and distributing them elsewhere, I would guess so they could not unify and rise up against him again.

The island that was the original site of Tyre might have some people living there, or at least fishermen fish from there, but it is not Tyre. Tyre was rebuilt inland.

I quoted God in explaining His own attitude toward His prophecies. When He foretells destruction, it may be turned aside or modified based on the behavior of the people. Likewise with blessings that He foretells. God has always been very concerned with freedom of choice. The best example we see of this is in the book of Jonah, where Jonah was sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh, and then the ruler and people of Nineveh were deeply impressed and repented, and God relented and did not destroy Nineveh. Jonah was a bit out of sorts about this. But God asked Jonah: "And should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?" (Jonah 4:11; NASB)

It is because God is Good that He behaves this way, and is willing to alter or put on hold the judgments He has foretold. He is not a heartless tyrant, the way some people are quick to claim, people who do not know Him.

And I remind you again of the specific things I explained from the prophecies of Daniel that apply perfectly to history--which was my original contention, if you will recall. That is what some of you challenged, and you still have not shown that any of those examples I gave were not fulfilled in history, even though that is what you claimed.

The apocalyptic prophecies of the Bible--especially Daniel 2, 7, 8-9, and 11; Zechariah 1-6; and most of the book of Revelation--are on a different level than the other prophetic passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. The apocalyptic prophecies provide an outline of world history that is directly and explicitly tied to history. Thus the prophecies are not conditional, like local prophecies made against local situations involving local kingdoms and empires. At least I do not know of any conditional elements in those prophecies, other than perhaps the last part of Daniel 9:27--which some Bible students have suggested has been delayed in final fulfillment because the people of Judah (Judea) did not fulfill the role they were supposed to play, had they received their Messiah and not rejected Him.

But even in those local prophecies, there are some surprising things. Such as in the prophecies of Isaiah that foretold the role that Cyrus would play in overthrowing Babylon, written before Cyrus had even been born, even before Babylon had conquered Judah, and yet calling him by name:
quote:
"It is I who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.' And he declares of Jerusalem, 'She will be built,' And of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid.' Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him, And to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze, and cut through their iron bars. And I will give you the treasures of darkness, And hidden wealth of secret places, In order that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." (Isaiah 44:28-45:3; NASB)
Note the reference to the gates "that will not be shut." As a quick summary, ancient Babylon was impregnable, with walls a hundred feet high that were so thick chariots could drive on the tops of them. Babylon also was assured of a water supply, since the Euphrates river flowed right though the city, through the wall. The passage through the wall was protected by a huge metal gate. But Cyrus and his ally, Darius, diverted the waters of the Euphrates so they could march their armies to the river gates of Babylon. This would not have worked either, but the combined Persian and Median armies found that the gate was unlocked and standing open when they reached it by night. The Babylonian guards were all drunk, while the king and all the other leaders were at Belshazzar's feast.

When Daniel was given his time prophecy in Daniel 8:14, he obviously understood it to refer to a vast span of centuries of time. Because this seemed to contradict God's promise in Jeremiah that the captivity of Judah in Babylon would only last 70 years, he faints away before the angel can finish giving him the prophecy. Then we find in the opening verses of Daniel chapter nine that Daniel is studying the prophecy of Jeremiah, and praying earnestly, acting as an intercessor for his people, confessing the sins of God's people to whom the promise had been given, praying that God would not set aside the promise in Jeremiah that the Jews would be restored to their own homeland after only 70 years. (See Daniel 9:2-20. Especially note verse 2.) So here we have an example of the Bible prophet realizing there could be a change in the prophecy God gave through Jeremiah because of the sins of the people and rulers. It is interesting that in Daniel's intercessory prayer for his people, he says that "We have sinned," even though the Bible does not record any sin in the life of Daniel himself.

[ January 26, 2011, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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shadowland
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I'm not sure how you can make an argument regarding certain explanations being objectively factual or self-evident when you recognize that even what you believe now may not be completely correct.

The problem with trying to prove a prophecy, such as Daniel's, false is that because of the extensive use of symbols, the prophecy can have any number of possible fulfillments. The real question is which fulfillment, if any, is the correct one, and this is going to be a subjective interpretation. Merely repeating subjective interpretations and assertions does not make it an objective fact. And until you acknowledge this, there's not really much else to discuss regarding this topic.

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Samprimary
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quote:
At one time, he was the acknowledged ruler of the entire Middle East.
source please.

quote:
As a quick summary, ancient Babylon was impregnable, with walls a hundred feet high that were so thick chariots could drive on the tops of them. Babylon also was assured of a water supply, since the Euphrates river flowed right though the city, through the wall. The passage through the wall was protected by a huge metal gate. But Cyrus and his ally, Darius, diverted the waters of the Euphrates so they could march their armies to the river gates of Babylon. This would not have worked either, but the combined Persian and Median armies found that the gate was unlocked and standing open when they reached it by night. The Babylonian guards were all drunk, while the king and all the other leaders were at Belshazzar's feast.
source please.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
The island that was the original site of Tyre might have some people living there, or at least fishermen fish from there, but it is not Tyre. Tyre was rebuilt inland.
That's not true. Tyre is spread over both the island and the mainland. There are parts of the island that are not inhabited (although they have ruins on them and are not bare rock as the prophecy says), but much of the original site of the city is still inhabited.

But that's really besides the point. The prophecy was a lot more specific than just "Tyre will be destroyed". It specifically said that Nebuchadnezzar would do it. He didn't. He besieged it for 13 years, but failed to conquer the city. It was centuries later when Tyre was first conquered, by Alexander the Great, and he did not destroy it.

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Ron Lambert
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Samprimary, since you won't believe anything I say about history, do your own homework.

MrSquicky, apparently you disregarded my entire explanations about (1) God being willing to alter or forego fulfillments of calamities or blessings He has foretold, on the basis of the behavior of the people involved; and (2) about the difference between apocalyptic prophecies such as Daniel 2, 7, 8-9, 11-12--and local prophecies regarding local kingdoms and empires which are always conditional; and (3) my repeated reminders that the original issue was the prophetic applications I gave in previously published articles (especially of Daniel) which are perfectly fulfilled in the overall outline of world history, which some of you deniers claimed were not true, and you have persistently refused to give me a specific example.

If you are not willing to be fair about this, or even pay attention, then I can only conclude that you do not want to engage in a scholarly discussion where the mutual goal is to arrive at a clearer understanding of truth, but rather you merely want to argue blindly. As God once said of Ephraim, you appear to be joined to your idols, so I will leave you alone. Sadly, for your sake. There is so much you could have known that would have done you great good.

shadowland, so you were not asking your question in reasonable good faith, you were just trying to get me to say some words you could seize upon and twist unfairly. And I categorically deny that the interpretations I have given of Bible prophecy are in any way subjective. I have gone by the only methods that could possibly provide the one true, objective interpretation, based on the way the Bible defines its own terms, based on the indication of context when a prophecy is to be applied, and based on a reasonable determination (again consulting the text for context and example) of what is to be taken literally, and what is to be taken figuratively. There are no other methods than these that anyone can use to arrive at an interpretation that avoids being subjective or "private," as the Apostle Peter put in in 2 Peter 1:20.

If this is the best that any of you can do, then I will no longer post to this thread.

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Rakeesh
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So there's another condition in which prophecies don't have to be fulfilled in order for Biblical prophecy to be 100% accurate: the extremely subjective behavior of huge groups of people involved. Objectivity is CERTAINLY possible in such conditions, Ron.

Put simply, when it comes to predicting the future, there's only ONE way to be objective: whether it accurately predicts the future. Your way involves so many hoops to jump through you need a paragraph's exposition to tell people why they should believe it's true. Otherwise, they only buy it if they
ALREADY believe. That ain't objective. Objective things stand on their own. Your analysis doesn't, and never has.

Evidence: your repeated demands that folks jump through the subjective hoops you've established before you'll discuss.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
MrSquicky, apparently you disregarded my entire explanations about (1) God being willing to alter or forego fulfillments of calamities or blessings He has foretold, on the basis of the behavior of the people involved; and (2) about the difference between apocalyptic prophecies such as Daniel 2, 7, 8-9, 11-12--and local prophecies regarding local kingdoms and empires which are always conditional; and (3) my repeated reminders that the original issue was the prophetic applications I gave in previously published articles (especially of Daniel) which are perfectly fulfilled in the overall outline of world history, which some of you deniers claimed were not true, and you have persistently refused to give me a specific example.
I'm not sure how that is relevant. I mean, if you wanted to say from the beginning that those prophecies didn't come true, you probably should have said so. Instead, you tried to say that they were true by stating things that are clearly untrue and only retreated to saying that they didn't have to come true after I showed that what you were claimed never happened.

It looks to me like you don't really have the dedication to Biblical truth and the accuracy of the prophecies that you claim if you didn't know, from the start, that these prophecies didn't come true and thought that they needed to be defended by falsehoods.

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J-Put
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The bible is true. We can see that because all the prophesies in it came true. Except the ones that didn't. But that's ok because it says that some of them might not come true in the bible...which is always right. That's obvious from the fact that all the prophecies came true.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Samprimary, since you won't believe anything I say about history, do your own homework.

I can very easily believe something you say about history. I am asking you for what your source is. You didn't have information on the specific widths and impregnabilities of the Babylonian walls imprinted on your mind via magic, you also don't have an impression of how the city was sieged due to inattentive drunkard guards that originated from nowhere. You have a source. Please provide your source.

Responding to a request for a source by saying 'do your own homework' is startlingly immature. The point of asking the questions is not to get research I can find myself. It's to find out where YOU get YOUR facts from. Asking you is the research. Answering the questions is the homework.

Don't run away from this one and then say it's obviously because we 'can't do good enough for you.' Saying that after refusing to respond to the questions in the first place makes your surrender readily apparent.

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