Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:24 am

I'm not really against religion because it "oppresses science", because that's nothing close to a universal truth. My opposition centers around two things:

- The logic doesn't hold up. Many people feel that there is something larger in the universe, a deeper meaning, a mystical element to life. I don't think they're stupid or ignorant when they believe that, many of them are very smart people. It's just that I don't feel anything like that, and that there's not much else religion has going for it these days. (Well, I do feel it sometimes. But I disregard it because:) The feelings of mystery and greatness and such are better explained, in my opinion, by how the human brain works, not that these feelings have to correspond to something that's real outside our own minds. The brain is a master of tricking itself. But that's my opinion. Plenty of people disagree, and I respect that.

- The focus on revelation and scripture as sources of knowledge. It's just a bad way to gather knowledge about the universe, again IMO. Revelation by it's nature is not something that can be repeated, checked or controlled, you just have to take the word of the person claiming it. See above why I think people that have revelations can be totally honest and still totally wrong. Scripture is the worst kind of appeal to authority. "This is the truth because it is written" leads to stagnation and outright untruths. That's not limited to religious texts, though. Aristoteles had a comparable stature in early medieval science.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:35 am

Apart from doing the courtesy of letting you know I'm stepping out of the discussion for a few days (I'm having some irritability and anoyance, and I don't want that to influence what I say or write), I just want to remind the discusser that we do not have "3 religions" with subbranches. There are several other theistic systems than the judao-christian 3 variations.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:47 am

Paxen wrote:The feelings of mystery and greatness and such are better explained, in my opinion, by how the human brain works, not that these feelings have to correspond to something that's real outside our own minds. The brain is a master of tricking itself.


Personally, I would love to have a good and proper scientific explanation for my moment of divine revelation. The closest I've found is Wilson/Leary's Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness, which would classify it as 'spontaneous positive imprinting of neurosomatic and quantum non-local brain circuits' (which, admittedly, doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "I saw and felt the presence of God throughout the multiverse").
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:06 am

I just find God to be as fallible as Joe Pesci when it comes to answering prayers.

And I'll leave it at that.

No wait... Actually, my family became a clusterfuck once my zeyde died... my grandma became a full blown crazy SBC lady... so did several of my relatives, with my uncle becoming a SBC pastor that preaches that we should blow Iran in the name of Jesus.

But more importantly, my mom and I lived under their thumb for several years. My mom being the youngest of her siblings, and I being the youngest of the cousins... and born to a catholic father... making things worse, my grandma eventually forced my mom into the divorce.

My mom and I took a bunch of abuse from them... all in the name of Jesus...

According to my uncle, the best way for me to make up for the fact that I was born to a catholic dad was to become a pastor myself and i was being groomed to join a seminar since I was a kid...

Luckily, my mom and I pretty much fled the family... after several years of abuse...

So, forgive me if I have something against religion... and I find more comfort in the coldness of science.

It's been almost 20 years since that happened and I still find it hard to talk about it...


The closest thing I've seen to divine intervention in my life was the 2004 Red Sox winning the world series...
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:21 am

Although, in pure honesty, the blame lays more in the human being wielding the religion than the faith itself (I wouldn't even use the word "religion" as the hand of Man is found everywhere on it).

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:42 am

True. But still... It's kinda like Seta Soujiro asking Kenshin where he was when he needed the help...
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:50 am

What´s SBC and zeyde?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:58 am

southern baptist church, zeyde is yiddish for grandpa -- my grandpa was a jewish apostate. he was very progressive for being a jewish, and would not tell anyone what they should believe in, unfortunately, once he died... things became crazy in the religious dept.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:51 am

Sagara wrote:Although, in pure honesty, the blame lays more in the human being wielding the religion than the faith itself (I wouldn't even use the word "religion" as the hand of Man is found everywhere on it).

Exactly! Religion and science are not necessarily mutually exclusive things.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:14 am

They are not exclusive in much the same way that an orgy and a chainsaw are not mutually exclusive; that is, that they have nothing to do with each other and attempts to combine them will probably end up in tragedy, bloodshed, or a trainwreck that is brilliant to watch as long as you aren't a part of it.

That said, many notable religious people have furthered human understanding in myriad ways either by simply trying to understand and question, or to understand their faith. I have yet to see a single person in this threat as it has been hijacked by religion (And I am guilty as anyone in the last 4 or so pages) fail to note that. My major issue, and I imagine that of others as well is when people assume conclusions and attempt to work backwards, such as using the Bible as proof of the Great Flood then looking for Noah's Ark.

One of the reasons I find myself drawn to science personally is because I try to hold myself open to being swayed by evidence that does not support my paradigm, whether it be in matters of the natural world, politics, religion, etc. I realized that indeed along with stupidity/ignorance, extremism as a branch of that stupidity has been a serious issue at hand. I can accept and respect the opinions of a pro-lifer, but not one who bombs abortion clinics. I can appreciate the religious beliefs of a Muslim, but not a jihadist who attacks innocents. The same goes whether it's the Animal Liberation Front, the IRA, Hamas, Jaysh al-Mahdi, or a militia in the US. I'm even getting tired of the extremist rhetoric from both sides in the political discourse today. I'm not saying everyone should be a moderate, but it's definitely past time to moderate the tone of the discussion.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:46 am

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:50 am

Torquemada wrote:They are not exclusive in much the same way that an orgy and a chainsaw are not mutually exclusive; that is, that they have nothing to do with each other and attempts to combine them will probably end up in tragedy, bloodshed, or a trainwreck that is brilliant to watch as long as you aren't a part of it.


They do have some overlap, they're all methods for discovering how the world works.

For me, the last half-millennia or so has shown that the scientific method is vastly superior for this purpose. A lot of people still seek answers outside what science can provide, and I don't really mind that. I find "we don't currently know" to be a perfectly acceptable answer, but many people don't, and so seek their answers in religion (which provides them). I got no problem with that.

I do think that anybody who accepts religious answers over scientific answers where science does have an answer and they're in direct conflict is a moron. (Creationists and such.)

Passonario, it's only a start, but Apophenia, the ability of the human brain to see patterns in random data, can go some ways towards explaining mystical experiences.

I don't write all this to convince people I'm right (well, except for convincing Nooska that people who self-identify as atheists are in fact atheists, even if they're agnostics too!). Just trying to present my views, and my reasons for holding them, so as to maybe give a little insight into atheism. (I really hate it when people try to claim that atheism is fundamentally logically unsound.)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:44 am

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/8-million-a-year-thats-modest-says-rbs-chief-8490841.html

This guy should EABODs and DIAF


Yeah seems some people totally lost touch with reality. 8,3 million including a bonus in a year where he screwed up and he calls it low?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:22 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
Sagara wrote:Although, in pure honesty, the blame lays more in the human being wielding the religion than the faith itself (I wouldn't even use the word "religion" as the hand of Man is found everywhere on it).

Exactly! Religion and science are not necessarily mutually exclusive things.

They sure seem to be when it comes to Texas textbooks. I cringe to think of children growing up thinking creationism and evolution are equally valid, and that the scientific use of the term "theory" equates to the colloquial use synonymous with "hunch".

But when it comes to religion and the "hand of man" showing up in it, well, it seems to me that everything that is unprovable and pristine is what god did, and everything that gets disproven or abused is all man's fault. Goalposts naturally shift as scientific discoveries prove more of the previously unprovable, such that the newly disproved things become man's hand and not god's hand.

I think it's all "man's hand", because I believe man invented the concept of god to explain that which man was unable to explain.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:30 pm

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/8-million-a-year-thats-modest-says-rbs-chief-8490841.html

This guy should EABODs and DIAF


Meh, par for the course. Overpaid executives think they've earned every cent, just because all the rest of the executives are also vastly overpaid.

It doesn't help that execs are popular on the boards of other companies, which means they get to set each others salaries.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:26 pm

Koatanga wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:
Sagara wrote:Although, in pure honesty, the blame lays more in the human being wielding the religion than the faith itself (I wouldn't even use the word "religion" as the hand of Man is found everywhere on it).

Exactly! Religion and science are not necessarily mutually exclusive things.

They sure seem to be when it comes to Texas textbooks. I cringe to think of children growing up thinking creationism and evolution are equally valid, and that the scientific use of the term "theory" equates to the colloquial use synonymous with "hunch".


You are misunderstanding our point.  Those folks in Texas putting stuff in textbooks aren't "religion" they are people interpreting a religion.  And frankly, the most prominent authority of their own religion disagrees with them.  I don't think the bible says "evolution is wrong" and I think reading genesis and concluding it is at odds with evolution is an individual interpretation but that's an entirely different topic.

There's no universal set of religious rules, so the notion that "religion says" anything is kind of silly.  That's like saying humanity says 2+2=5 because some member of humanity probably did at some point.  Passionario pointed out some things "science says" that are/were wrong, which provides a proper context.  It's not that science is wrong, it's that the people implementing the science were wrong.  It's no different with religion and I think it's a bit unfair to categorize it differently for the benefit of a perspective. 
 
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:17 pm

Fridmarr wrote:You are misunderstanding our point.  Those folks in Texas putting stuff in textbooks aren't "religion" they are people interpreting a religion.  And frankly, the most prominent authority of their own religion disagrees with them.  I don't think the bible says "evolution is wrong" and I think reading genesis and concluding it is at odds with evolution is an individual interpretation but that's an entirely different topic.

There's no universal set of religious rules, so the notion that "religion says" anything is kind of silly.  That's like saying humanity says 2+2=5 because some member of humanity probably did at some point.  Passionario pointed out some things "science says" that are/were wrong, which provides a proper context.  It's not that science is wrong, it's that the people implementing the science were wrong.  It's no different with religion and I think it's a bit unfair to categorize it differently for the benefit of a perspective. 
 

Actually I don't think you're getting my point. Religions are made of and by people, not god. Belief in a higher power is not religion.

Per Dictionary.com:

Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

The devotional and ritual observances and moral code are constructs of people, not god. Whether you are Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or one of several other protestant Christian sects, you believe in the same god, but the *religion* is different. So it is not the belief that makes people behave a certain way, but the particular expression of that belief guided by whatever religion they belong to.

And I assure you that it is mainstream in some of these religions that god created the world exactly as described in Genesis, and the world is a bit over 6000 years old, and all species were created exactly as they exist to day, and evolution is a load of hooey.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:39 pm

On a humorous note:

I submit the following as proof god doesn't exist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kppx4bzfAaE

If he did exist, he'd kill these people with lightning.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:09 pm

Koatanga wrote:Actually I don't think you're getting my point. Religions are made of and by people, not god. Belief in a higher power is not religion.

Per Dictionary.com:

Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

The devotional and ritual observances and moral code are constructs of people, not god. Whether you are Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or one of several other protestant Christian sects, you believe in the same god, but the *religion* is different. So it is not the belief that makes people behave a certain way, but the particular expression of that belief guided by whatever religion they belong to.

And I assure you that it is mainstream in some of these religions that god created the world exactly as described in Genesis, and the world is a bit over 6000 years old, and all species were created exactly as they exist to day, and evolution is a load of hooey.

Yeah yeah, I saw your comments about man made religion in your previous post, but that's inconsistent with many of your other posts which is where the problem is. In fact even in this post you go right back to it in your last paragraph. Here are some more examples:
Koatanga wrote:Religion told us the earth was flat. Religion told us that the earth was the center of the solar system and that sick people were possessed by demons. Brilliant men were imprisoned and killed because they dared to challenge religious doctrine. In the science-vs-religion debate over the centuries, religion has been wrong every single time. It has slowed the advance of scientific progress, killed scientists, and destroyed research...

What I am saying is that where religion and science have had disagreements, religion has always been proven wrong.
Where's the people in that? You never mention them, you simply lump it all into "religion" which is the same absurd logic that's always used to justify the most evil of things. You just went on for paragraphs explaining how all (err *usually) religion is a man made thing , but when it comes to your critique, you never criticize the people, just religion.

By the way, this notion religion always loses to science is really pretty ridiculous. It's kind of like saying apples always taste better than oranges.

Even ignoring the ethics involved when science is applied, which is certainly a bit more muddy, how do you categorize all the scientific theories that failed? For instance, there have been many scientific theories to challenge ID that have been proven wrong and we may not yet have one that is entirely correct, that doesn't mean that ID is correct but sometimes it's the science/challenges coming from ID or religious scientists that challenge those ultimately failed theories. How many scientists have said that parting the Red Sea was ridiculous before some research proved it possible? What about where complex life began on earth? I believe Genesis says the ocean as does every science class I ever took, but now some researchers have found evidence that it began on land...What if it turns out to be the ocean? Who wins? No one, because it's simply a logical fallacy.

You are basically putting a religious theory up against an infinite number of scientific theories and don't declare a winner until the one scientific theory is correct, then ignore all the wrong scientific theories, and if the scientific theory matches the religious theory it's a draw otherwise science wins...It's a futile exercise, you might as well flip a two headed coin.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:53 pm

If a belief was true, then the religion based around that belief, i.e. that which is created by the people who follow that belief (aka the "religion" because religion is the people, not the belief), would be getting its information about the universe from the very being that created the universe.

When placed against the trial-and-error methodology of science, I would expect the people with inside information, gleaned from the creator of the universe and all things in it, to be right more often than never.

For instance, if the Bible is the word of the Judeo-Christian god, then you'd think it could get the whole creation/evolution thing right, estimate with some precision the age of the earth, or realise the absurdity of Noah's Ark. Or even something so fundamental as creating light and separating the dark and light into day and night on the first day, but not creating the source of that light - the sun - until the fourth day, one day after he created fruit-bearing vegetation that operates on photosynthesis. Why so many mistakes if the person writing the book created the entire place and everything in it?

So yeah I am putting religion up against all scientific theories, because religion should always be right, because religion claims to get its information from the creator of everything.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:06 am

Koatanga wrote:If a belief was true, then the religion based around that belief, i.e. that which is created by the people who follow that belief (aka the "religion" because religion is the people, not the belief), would be getting its information about the universe from the very being that created the universe.

When placed against the trial-and-error methodology of science, I would expect the people with inside information, gleaned from the creator of the universe and all things in it, to be right more often than never.

For instance, if the Bible is the word of the Judeo-Christian god, then you'd think it could get the whole creation/evolution thing right, estimate with some precision the age of the earth, or realise the absurdity of Noah's Ark. Or even something so fundamental as creating light and separating the dark and light into day and night on the first day, but not creating the source of that light - the sun - until the fourth day, one day after he created fruit-bearing vegetation that operates on photosynthesis. Why so many mistakes if the person writing the book created the entire place and everything in it?

So yeah I am putting religion up against all scientific theories, because religion should always be right, because religion claims to get its information from the creator of everything.


Sounds a bit reductive to a point. I'm very middle-of-the-road, but one thing I've always been wondering is wether the Old Testament, and well, the Bible as a whole was meant to be a definitive history of everything ever, or more like illustrated guidelines.

We know that the New Testament is more of a hodge-podge combinaison of Gospels that were chosen by a process closer to a Congress vote than divine enlightment, but who's to say the Old Testament is any better? There's that old joke about Moses bringing down the Three Tablets of Law and the Twelvoops... *Crack* Hu. Ten Commandments.

To be coldly honest, I don't think many people try and defend the Bible as an history book, and trying to defend it as one says more about the person than the book.
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Beauty is Truth, QED

Postby Passionario » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:49 am

Sagara wrote:To be coldly honest, I don't think many people try and defend the Bible as an history book, and trying to defend it as one says more about the person than the book.


Wouldn't the same line of reasoning apply to those who attack the Bible as a history book?

Koatanga wrote:For instance, if the Bible is the word of the Judeo-Christian god, then you'd think it could get the whole creation/evolution thing right, estimate with some precision the age of the earth, or realise the absurdity of Noah's Ark. Or even something so fundamental as creating light and separating the dark and light into day and night on the first day, but not creating the source of that light - the sun - until the fourth day, one day after he created fruit-bearing vegetation that operates on photosynthesis. Why so many mistakes if the person writing the book created the entire place and everything in it?


If scientific articles in, for instance, Physical Review Letters, are stellar works of some of the most brilliant human minds ever, then you'd think that they would manage to get the character development right, establish a good balance of humor and mature emotional themes, or get the correct rhyming and rhythm. Or even something so fundamental as to have some interesting plot twists and immersive scene descriptions. These people are supposedly geniuses with thousands of years of theory and experimental practice behind them, and yet their writing is more boring than that of a common hack.
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Re: Beauty is Truth, QED

Postby Sagara » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:39 am

Passionario wrote:
Sagara wrote:To be coldly honest, I don't think many people try and defend the Bible as an history book, and trying to defend it as one says more about the person than the book.


Wouldn't the same line of reasoning apply to those who attack the Bible as a history book?


Obviously.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:51 am

Koatanga wrote:If a belief was true, then the religion based around that belief, i.e. that which is created by the people who follow that belief (aka the "religion" because religion is the people, not the belief), would be getting its information about the universe from the very being that created the universe.

When placed against the trial-and-error methodology of science, I would expect the people with inside information, gleaned from the creator of the universe and all things in it, to be right more often than never.

For instance, if the Bible is the word of the Judeo-Christian god, then you'd think it could get the whole creation/evolution thing right, estimate with some precision the age of the earth, or realise the absurdity of Noah's Ark. Or even something so fundamental as creating light and separating the dark and light into day and night on the first day, but not creating the source of that light - the sun - until the fourth day, one day after he created fruit-bearing vegetation that operates on photosynthesis. Why so many mistakes if the person writing the book created the entire place and everything in it?

So yeah I am putting religion up against all scientific theories, because religion should always be right, because religion claims to get its information from the creator of everything.
Nice try, but that's just a dodge of the logical fallacy, and some rather crazy logic in its own right. Good grief, you wouldn't expect to get a detailed account of evolution from a book on algebra would you? Then why would you try to get a detailed understanding of it from the bible? Do you really think that was anywhere remotely close to its intent? Do you realize how vague genesis is about all of that stuff? It's like a grownup telling a child where babies come from.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:53 am

The problem with Faith and Religion is that its very nature is dogmatic.

Tell me, what were the top 10 religious/theological breakthroughs of 2012?

Science adapts and evolves, its very nature allows it to grow, to learn from its mistakes and reach to newer truths. We've come a long way from the time there were the four humors and the earth being flat.

Yeah, there are pockets in science that refuse or are slow to change, but eventually, they fold once the evidence is there to cause a new paradigm shift.

There are talks about multiverses and string theory, of innumerable dimensions folded so tight that are invisible and out of our reach, about the fabric of reality.

There is no real room for that in dogma/religion/faith.

As for the bible... The vast majority of people don't even know how the bible came to be. To begin with, there's the Council of Nicaea, which dictated which biblical books would be considered in to form the standard bible of the roman empire. Of course, you had some crazy books that were prolly for the best to be taken from the final bible...I mean, you got the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, in which Jesus killed another boy for being a snitch!

And before that was the Septuagint, where according to folklore, 72 elders each translated the hebrew bible (Tanakh) into greek, then compared notes.

Even before that, during the development of the Tanakh there were inconsistencies.... Some books were not considered to be meaningful enough to be part of the Nevi'im (The Prophets portion of the Old Testament), some of the texts that did not make it to the Tanakh, made it to the Septuagint and to the Old Testament used by the Roman Church!

So every time I heard someone saying that the Bible is the immutable and infallible word of God, I just facepalm...
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