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The God Debate (Part 2)


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#1 m1hawkgsm

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:06 AM

PREVIOUS THREAD HERE

Ah, one of my favorite threads by far.



The idea of a higher being, a higher existence, one that governs, creates, or designs the universe, has pervaded every culture throughout time (well, at least a majority of them).



What are the motivations, do you all think, behind such an existence (whether it be living in the biological sense, or in some more abstract sense)? Besides the usual cliches about lack of self esteem and fear of death, I'd like to hear more ideas.



Is there an possibility of a higher entity? If so, describe your idea and how it would stand in the face of non-believers.



And, of course, everyone else shoot away at the ideas and proofs (lack thereof, hah!)~



Cheers~

Also, please refrain from attacking another person's religion or beliefs.

Previous few posts:


No, I think I was very clear that I thought one can dismiss the supernatural aspects of it, even if all the non-supernatural aspects had very good evidence behind them.

Edit: What Nmaan said basically.


Well, yes, I wasn't quoting verbatim. :P

I'm of the opinion that the stories had to come from somewhere. Accounts like Josephus's, however, don't really prove anything here, even if I think there's a grain of truth in the stories about Jesus.The book in which that passage is found is dated to 93 AD, which doesn't really tell us much since stories about Jesus had been circulating for a long time and there's no evidence that Josephus actually read the Gospels. Furthermore, there's debate about to what degree Josephus's original text was edited by Christian scribes. (He wasn't a Christian, so calling Jesus the Messiah and laying the blame of his death on the Jews seems uncharacteristic of him. Also, his treatment of other names can go up to hundreds of words, yet the passage about Jesus is rather short. Some scholars theorize it's a forgery, others say it was a footnote. There's also debate about the word "Christians" included in the text, which seems to be anachronistic given that it appeared at the end of the second century.)

I don't know enough about these things to pick a side, so it might be unfair to say there's some truth to those claims. :shrug: Ultimately, I may change my mind. Lots more to read.

Edit: I should probably take that back. The arguments for it being either a partial or a complete interpolation are pretty convincing.


I'll keep this short because I got to jet in a bit. But I'll just be making a few comments about Josephus text. First of all, Josephus wrote things in detail for the most part and has been given as an accurate source for historians to turn to. Saying that he wrote it 93 AD is an argumentum e silentio and very rarely has any validity to it.

About whether or not the paragraph that talks about Jesus Christ is was edited, then yes it is a common consensus that it has been edited. There are three options on how to view that paragraph (it has a name but I can't remember it for some reason, it's very latinish) 1) it is completely authentic, and that is how he wrote it 2) it's been partially edited and 3) it's completely edited. 1) and 3) are in the minority with very few historians with those views. Number 2) is the most common perception and widly acknowledged as fact (even though you get some pretty loud people from the other two views). The question is how much has been edited. Many believe that the insertions are few and the original text is pretty much as we see it today. The most renowned professor on Josefus texts is a man named Feldman who believes the text to be authentic but with chance of slight moderation. Such as the example you provided about Jesus being the Messias (many would say that originally it was written "he was believed to be the Messias").

And besides that, Josephus writes in his text about the beheading of John the Baptist by Herodes and also the death of Jesus brother Jakob in details that go hand-in-hand with the account we read in the Bible.

All in all, it is seen as an authentic source of Jesus's existence.

I'm a slow writer and time flew by!


I don't know what an argumentum e silentio is, but all I'm saying that he's not an eyewitness account either and that these stories were circulating for the period of his life, appearing also in the gospels. He may have been influenced by these, that is if he actually wrote that paragraph, and thus what we have would be based on hearsay.


The second view has only become popular in the 20th century. For a very long time, it was considered to be a complete forgery, even by Christians.

Origen, writing about a century later:
For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless--being, although against his will, not far from the truth--that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ)--the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.

So yes, Josephus wrote about the Baptist, but Origen said he didn't believe in Jesus, which already makes view 1) false.

In any case, these are the arguments advanced in favor of its fraudulence.

1) There was no mention of this paragraph (even by people who quoted Josephus extensively) until the fourth century. This includes Origen, Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria, who quoted or referred to ancient writers extensively in their defense of Christianity.
2) The paragraph was remarkably short compared to other treatments. He'd only used "wise man" for two people in the text (Joseph and Solomon, I think) yet did not write in detail about this. He also wrote in detail about several persons called Jesus, but not the one in the New Testament, even though he would have merited such attention. He wrote dozens of pages in kings, devoted whole pages to petty robbers and only a dozen lines to Jesus?
3) The passage interrupts the narrative. (I've also seen claims to the contrary, so I'm not sure here.)
4) It is not quoted in the fourth century nor in the ninth century, by people who refer and write about Josephus.
5) This is the only reference to "Christians" as a people in the book.
6) A table of contents doesn't refer to the passage. Feldman says he finds it "hard to believe that such a remarkable passage would be omitted by anyone, let alone by a Christian summarizing the work."
7) The style of the paragraph resembles that of Eusebius (who quoted it first in the fourth century), not Josephus's. Josephus never used the word tribe to refer to religions (nor did the fathers until the fourth century.) Eusebius is the one known to do it first.
8) I pointed out the anachronism of the word "Christians" before. (The words is found in its plural form in Acts, and in its singular form in Acts and Peter). Acts is dated to end of the first century by the mainstream, though the earliest evidence for its existence is second century. Same with Peter.

Since you seem to be agree with the consensus that it is partially true, you might have seen counter-arguments. If you have, tell me. I've seen other theories, including ones that say he based that paragraph on a Christian document in order to describe the Christians, but I haven't found arguments for that yet. (Edit: Now I have, and I think they're pretty good.)


lol, knowledge is a fickle thing at best, for when you ask for true knowledge on a matter it goes far further then what we can currently know. While I do not deny that there is probably a degree of change to religious text, quite a large degree if you ask me actually. but what I am saying is if he did indeed flood the world, destroy cities, and part seas while the writing is dubious the evidence itself would not quite be so. you mistake my argument in this way. I do not defend the bible itself, as I am of a firm belief that there has been quite a large degree of change to the written text over time. A god need not continuously provide evidence for humanities sake. nor would I really want them to should any of that which is written within biblical text be true.
if the mansheep/dragon claim held truth to it then I would say beware of a possibility of fluffy mansheep that can fight dragons. validation through other text =/= truth. That said we could argue what is true till we all turn blue in the face and never come anywhere near an answer. Now evidence itself is different from truth. evidence is merely something that has is left behind, an imperfection if you will. one can interpret evidence one way or another depending on how they are looking at it. some can argue that a writing is falsified due to it being different from a normal writing style a person uses, others can claim that it is not due to the writer having the possibility as a human to become bored and write it differently.


I find these discussions to be very interesting. When someone who has been mentioned more often and by more sources than any other historical figure before the dark ages is debated to whether have lived or not, I realize how weak the foundation of historical knowledge really can appear.

http://en.wikipedia....ricity_of_Jesus Brings a very good basis to have. It even talks about Josephus texts.[/size]

But first off I want to say that I’m impressed! You seem to have been able to read up on this in an incredibly short amount of time. That’s a very useful talent to have.


Note that writings of the same century are usually considered to be contemporary sources. Especially when written by scribes like Josephus who is very consistent in all his writings. His account, for example, of James death differs slightly from that of the new testament. Which wouldn’t make sense if he picked up these circulating stories from christians. Tacitus is likewise considered a reliable, non-christian, contemporary source.



Yes and no. What I do know is that for a very long time it was considered to be an incredibly controversial text (and I guess it still is to some degree). But if what you're saying is true and that the second view relatively recently became popular than I'd guess that the earlier controversy was due to overzealous christians. Which makes sense, if it was true then some legitimacy would be given to christians. But from what I understand, most of the controversy surrounding that text has been settled. Which is why I quoted it. As a side-note though, Jesus (from the new testament) is mentioned at other times in Josephus’s texts.


History has always been something that I’ve loved. As a child I dreamed of becoming a modern Indiana Jones! With that said, it is more of a hobby of mine, I’ve only dug deep into a few historical events but touched the surface on many. I mentioned Josephus texts more out of the simple thought that came to my mind while reading your post than me having dug deep into it with the intention of elaborating (my bad). So I have a fleeting knowledge about Josephus and his texts, but it isn’t something that I have done a lot of research on. Therefore I’m probably going to dissappoint you, but I am only able to counter a minority of your points, At first glance, yes, several things that you bring up seem like things that would miscredit testimunium flavorium. But since I haven’t taken a dive into Josephus’s texts, I, like most people, rely on what the most (not all) prominent/majority of the professors teach (note that many of these professors aren’t Christians and have no ulterior motives other than uncovering the “truth”, like Feldman, Geza Vermes and Alice Whealey). This is going to sound bad, but I’m just following the mainstream belief on his texts. And because of that, I’m sure that there exist counterarguments to your previous mentioned points (I just don’t know all of them). I am a little curious though, to where you got some of your information. Some points seem to be ancient. Like number 4) (which in part includes point number 1)), they found a text in the 70’s dating back to the 9th century paraphrasing the discussed part of Josephus’s text.


Heh, it depends on how good the sources are and people seem to think that there aren't that many outside the Bible.


It's interesting that there are so many sources, though most mythicists I've encountered so far (those that believe that Jesus did not exist at all) seem to think that Josephus's writings are the crucial and only remaining defense of his historicity. Not sure why all the rest are dismissed, though. Possibly it's tackled on the grounds that Josephus's is the only that contains details.


Or a sign of too much time on my hands :)


Yes, but the point is that his distance from the actual events mean he was basing his writings on other accounts, and we don't know how credible those accounts were. I've seen a theory that says Josephus could have based that paragraph on an evangelical Christian source, and then later, Christian scribes omitted words like "They reported" from "They reported that he rose from the dead...". Similarly, the passage which mentions James is regarded to have an interpolation, with the result that it's not clear if Josephus was referring to the Christian James.


Everything I've read so far has it being the only mention of NT Jesus (with various other Jesuses in Josephus's writings). Do you have sources that contradict that, because I can't find any? I'm not really sure the controversy came from overzealous Christians. There were (and are) Christians (even Bishops) who dismissed it completely as evidence, even going as far to call it "stupid". I don't know why, though some of them find the fact that it wasn't referred to by early Christian apologists who referred to the rest of Josephus's work as very problematic. On the other hand Origen said Josephus didn't believe in Jesus (without referring to the passage itself), so it's possible that he read it in a form which hadn't been edited by later copyists, but that still doesn't explain why he wouldn't use it as support for his arguments. The only explanation for that I've seen so far is that they hadn't read that particular volume, which is a possibility, but not very convincing.

Furthermore, the person who allegedly discovered this paragraph in the fourth century is known to have forged/edited/found other articles, including letters purportedly written by Jesus. I think that's a point against the idea that it is only partially edited.


I try not to automatically follow the majority unless I know how they took care of the minority, and I'm trying to find that out now.

I'm aware of that 70s text, but I'm referring to another in 891 in which Photius says Josephus made no mention of Jesus, which could mean he had a different copy. Also, that point that doesn't include one, because it first appeared in the fourth century, appearing again in the ninth shouldn't be that problematic.




I'm not sure how I mistook your argument.
You said, earlier:
I dunno I think that if half of whats written in them books is true then he gave quite a bit of evidence and just gave up trying by now lol

Does that mean: If the books are true to some degree, then they can be considered good evidence?
Or: It the books are true to some degree, then we'd be able to examine the evidence for that truth?



.


neither, it is to be said that if there is truth within the bible, that there is truth within the bible. I was not taking a fact of evidence into it there. there are some things which you will be able to find no evidence for in this world or that you can even find misleading evidence either for or against. absolute truth is different from evidential truth :/ but the saying of if half of what is written in there is true then at the time he gave them evidence. the evidence at the time would either be dismissed by those whom were not there. I was speaking more in the manner of if you give people that much evidence and still have doubt during those times that the god may have given up. >_> its not like that is an impossibility.


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#2 Millennium Creed

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:56 PM

I believe in God because if there's a God there's an afterlife and if there's no afterlife I'm gonna be really pissed because there will be no outlet for my miserable soul once I am dead :(


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#3 HSHINJI

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:45 PM

@Tale

 

 

Interesting; there was a time when i saw tons of people thinking like you; the Africans were dumb, yet their faces are are either physically present in multiple civilisations or they taught others like the Greeks. If you are someone who relies solely on written text to believe events; there are people who have been dead for ages and there's hardly any sound written text showing their existence yet logically most people know they not only existed but did certain weird things.

 

Example 1

 

The man behind Entropy i.e randomness who was vilified by people like Newton and his cronies because in their heads all that existed was order; the man not only had to die but he was put in a mental facility prior to his death then 40-70 years later these same clowns who called themselves scientists agreed with him. Here's the thing anyone using their head properly knows; there is order and also chaos but even in the midst of the chaos there is perfect order.

 

If you've read enough books you should know Pythogoras and others before him (but we'll restrict it only to Pythogoras) arrived at calculus way before Newton.

 

 

Example 2

 

How come till this day modern technology cannot replicate the Egyptian pyramids; the Japanese and others have tried and failed miserably to attempt to construct the pyramids?

 

 

Final point; not everyone is predisposed to defend the Bible; i can't really see what your point is since you are not even asking the fundamental questions which should be asked if you genuinely want to find out the foundation of a particular structure.



#4 Tale

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:45 PM

@Tale

 

 

Interesting; there was a time when i saw tons of people thinking like you; the Africans were dumb, yet their faces are are either physically present in multiple civilisations or they taught others like the Greeks. If you are someone who relies solely on written text to believe events; there are people who have been dead for ages and there's hardly any sound written text showing their existence yet logically most people know they not only existed but did certain weird things.

 

What do you mean exactly when you say people thinking like me? 

Are you referring to the historical references of Jesus and that discussion? 

 

 

The man behind Entropy i.e randomness who was vilified by people like Newton and his cronies because in their heads all that existed was order; the man not only had to die but he was put in a mental facility prior to his death then 40-70 years later these same clowns who called themselves scientists agreed with him. Here's the thing anyone using their head properly knows; there is order and also chaos but even in the midst of the chaos there is perfect order.

 

If you've read enough books you should know Pythogoras and others before him (but we'll restrict it only to Pythogoras) arrived at calculus way before Newton.

 

Again I'm not sure what this is referring to. I'm also not sure why you're calling Newton "a clown".

 

I do know that Democritus came very close to discovering calculus and that there were people who developed it further. Newton is credited with developing differential calculus (which Leibniz also discovered independently) and the calculus of variations (which I've read was a challenge prompted by Bournelli.) That's all I can recall off the top of my head. 

 

 

Example 2

 

How come till this day modern technology cannot replicate the Egyptian pyramids; the Japanese and others have tried and failed miserably to attempt to construct the pyramids?

 

I hope you're not implying humans had to have help back then... 

 

 

 

Final point; not everyone is predisposed to defend the Bible; i can't really see what your point is since you are not even asking the fundamental questions which should be asked if you genuinely want to find out the foundation of a particular structure.

 

I didn't say everyone is predisposed to defend the Bible. I said those who defend its supernatural claims are those predisposed to defend it totally.



#5 HSHINJI

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 06:15 PM

What do you mean exactly when you say people thinking like me? 

Are you referring to the historical references of Jesus and that discussion? 

 

 

Again I'm not sure what this is referring to. I'm also not sure why you're calling Newton "a clown".

 

I do know that Democritus came very close to discovering calculus and that there were people who developed it further. Newton is credited with developing differential calculus (which Leibniz also discovered independently) and the calculus of variations (which I've read was a challenge prompted by Bournelli.) That's all I can recall off the top of my head. 

 

 

I hope you're not implying humans had to have help back then... 

 

 

I didn't say everyone is predisposed to defend the Bible. I said those who defend its supernatural claims are those predisposed to defend it totally.

Now my response has signified a couple of things based on your last 2 posts

 

1. The issue about me ''answering'' some questions you raised wasn't to talk about flying saucers and jokes of that nature.

 

2. I called Newton a clown because he was very rigid; someone who claims to be a scientist cannot and should not be rigid unless they themselves    acknowledge it.

 

3. To quote you; those who defend its supernatural claims are predisposed to defend it totally, also another false claim.

 

4.   You still are yet to ask the correct questions specifically w.r.t. the main issue at hand i.e. the thread title.

 

5.   This is the only question i will ask you? Are you here to share your knowledge while keeping an open mind or are you here to insist your stance is correct directly or indirectly. One of the key issues that applies to law is not about what happened but the question of can it be proven.



#6 Tale

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 07:30 PM

Now my response has signified a couple of things based on your last 2 posts

 

1. The issue about me ''answering'' some questions you raised wasn't to talk about flying saucers and jokes of that nature.

 

2. I called Newton a clown because he was very rigid; someone who claims to be a scientist cannot and should not be rigid unless they themselves    acknowledge it.

 

3. To quote you; those who defend its supernatural claims are predisposed to defend it totally, also another false claim.

 

4.   You still are yet to ask the correct questions specifically w.r.t. the main issue at hand i.e. the thread title.

 

5.   This is the only question i will ask you? Are you here to share your knowledge while keeping an open mind or are you here to insist your stance is correct directly or indirectly. One of the key issues that applies to law is not about what happened but the question of can it be proven.

 

1) So why make the example?

 

2) One can level many criticisms at Newton, for example his fascination with alchemy and his insistence that discoveries should be kept secret (don't hold me on the second one since I can't remember where I read it), but there's no question he was a brilliant scientist.

 

3) Why is it a false claim? I've yet to find a historian who supports Josephus's reference (and believes it to be unedited) who isn't a Christian. Likewise, I haven't seen anyone supporting the Resurrection who wasn't a Christian. 

 

4) And what are the correct questions?

 

5) My stance in regards to the title is pretty clear. I'm not sure about my stance in the previous posts, as I'm still unable to understand why the mainstream thinks most of the paragraph is authentic and in what way, and also whether the idea that it's based on an evangelical Christian source has any merit. 


Edited by Tale, 03 July 2013 - 07:31 PM.


#7 retroluffy13

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:43 AM

believers:  atheists are arrogant because they cant see the writing on the wall.  the world is a logical one obviously created by a logical being.

 

atheists:  you believers have no proof that your invisible space elephant exists.  as far as science goes, the belief in god is simply a deformity in the species.

 

me:  your both morons.  you, the believer, for taking gods name in vain.  those who don't believe don't have to believe.  its up to god to come into their life and show them the light. 

 

and you, the atheist, for belittling your brethren based on a belief you don't understand.   which is ironic, because out of anybody, atheists should know what its like to be persecuted for your beliefs.

 

catagories man.  they shape society.  but its time we started asking ourselves:  do we even like the way society is shaped?


Edited by retroluffy13, 05 July 2013 - 09:43 AM.

 this is a music video I made for a friend of mine.  give it a listen.  the visuals are pretty dope

Spoiler


also some ear kandy
Spoiler

when you love something..  and I mean. really love it.  you fight for it for as long as you can until you cant stand any longer.  then when its all said and done, walk away with a smile hoping you did right.


#8 Tale

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 10:37 AM

and you, the atheist, for belittling your brethren based on a belief you don't understand.   which is ironic, because out of anybody, atheists should know what its like to be persecuted for your beliefs.

 

There are lot of atheists who were believers once. Don't generalize and assume they don't understand those beliefs.


Edited by Tale, 05 July 2013 - 10:37 AM.

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#9 HSHINJI

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 04:26 PM

1) So why make the example?

 

2) One can level many criticisms at Newton, for example his fascination with alchemy and his insistence that discoveries should be kept secret (don't hold me on the second one since I can't remember where I read it), but there's no question he was a brilliant scientist.

 

3) Why is it a false claim? I've yet to find a historian who supports Josephus's reference (and believes it to be unedited) who isn't a Christian. Likewise, I haven't seen anyone supporting the Resurrection who wasn't a Christian. 

 

4) And what are the correct questions?

 

5) My stance in regards to the title is pretty clear. I'm not sure about my stance in the previous posts, as I'm still unable to understand why the mainstream thinks most of the paragraph is authentic and in what way, and also whether the idea that it's based on an evangelical Christian source has any merit. 

Where do i start?

 

Like I said you've jumped in to the mid point hence the ''confusion or misconception'' you seem to be exibiting.

 

The first point i made is relevant because history and Science are connected.

 

Classical science- you can google, yahoo or bing that after you've done that if you've still got questions then i'll answer.

 

Now are you in a science course in College or are you still in High school or Secondary School?

 

You ask what are the correct questions; however, based on your critique like I've earlier said you are starting at the mid point or centre.



#10 Tale

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:46 PM

Where do i start?

 

Like I said you've jumped in to the mid point hence the ''confusion or misconception'' you seem to be exibiting.

 

The first point i made is relevant because history and Science are connected.

 

Classical science- you can google, yahoo or bing that after you've done that if you've still got questions then i'll answer.

 

Now are you in a science course in College or are you still in High school or Secondary School?

 

You ask what are the correct questions; however, based on your critique like I've earlier said you are starting at the mid point or centre.

 

Listen.

First, quote the post you started criticizing. Second, details. As I said in my PM to you, I have no clue what you're talking about. Stop being vague. 



#11 disastrousmaster

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 04:03 AM

believers:  atheists are arrogant because they cant see the writing on the wall.  the world is a logical one obviously created by a logical being.

 

atheists:  you believers have no proof that your invisible space elephant exists.  as far as science goes, the belief in god is simply a deformity in the species.

 

me:  your both morons.  you, the believer, for taking gods name in vain.  those who don't believe don't have to believe.  its up to god to come into their life and show them the light. 

 

and you, the atheist, for belittling your brethren based on a belief you don't understand.   which is ironic, because out of anybody, atheists should know what its like to be persecuted for your beliefs.

 

catagories man.  they shape society.  but its time we started asking ourselves:  do we even like the way society is shaped?

you are placing too few categories in here, there are monotheist, polytheist, agnostic monotheist, agnostic polytheist, complete agnostics, agnostic atheist, and full blown atheist. the ones whom seem to be the wisest as of yet are the complete agnostics in my viewpoint.


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                                                    <p align=center><a target=_blank href=http://www.nodiatis....personality.htm><img border=0 src=http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg></a></p>

“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”― Eddard Stark, A game of thrones

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#12 Don Kanonji

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:49 PM

 

Example 2

 

How come till this day modern technology cannot replicate the Egyptian pyramids; the Japanese and others have tried and failed miserably to attempt to construct the pyramids?

 

Why do you think that?
Let´s not talk about if they failed, or if they should try to replicate them. Just about the part why they can´t. Please don´t say things about correct questions. If you want to PM me, i don´t care. I´m just really curious.


Edited by Don Kanonji, 08 July 2013 - 03:51 PM.

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#13 rockleeisawesome

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:05 AM

Of course there's a possiblity of a higher being. One only has to study the universe to actually realize that it's so complex that a higher being is absolutely possible.

 

"The most I studied the universe, the more evidence I found that a divine being exists" That quote is paraphrased from a Scientist.



#14 Shredow

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:11 AM

I don't see how one could logically debate the existence of a God. Sure, you can argue for or against each individual god figure in each religion because they ground the concept into terms our reality can interpret, but in its basest form and interpretation a God would be a being outside of our understanding and unaffected by the rules governing our universe. Therefore an argument for or against a being would be flawed from the start as the hypothetical existence of said being is outside of the means we have to interpret the universe. The only thing we have to go on is our universe itself, which is either "filled with Chaos" or "built upon order" depending on who you talk to.



#15 Sauron

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:40 PM

Atheist towards man-made religions
I've acquired this point of view through education (esp, science and history) and common sense (fundamental for maturity). History has proven gods change with humans who believe in them.
 
History
Every religion incorporates its leader's:

  • Friends (saints, prophets, angels, etc);
  • Enemies (criminals, rivals, imaginary demons, etc);
  • Unwanted behaviours (sins, crimes, phobia, prejudice, misunderstandings, etc):

into their religions. Friends, enemies and behaviours are traceable through the history of a religion. You just have to know where to look. For example, if you want to find the origins of a demon, look up the enemies of the person who wrote the religious book. For example, Pan was a deity in a religion the Christians didn't like, so the Devil's appearance changed to resemble Pan.
 
Science
Every man-made religion is incompatible with science. When I combine science and history, I find that science often disproves what was formerly acknowledged as divine revelation:

  • Scientists working with historians have found that Earth is not at the centre of the Universe;
  • Humans were not the first sentient lifeform on Earth because dinosaurs lived before us: they lived millions of years ago, and even more primitive lifeforms lived hundreds of millions of years ago. This scientific and historic knowledge disproves the idea that the Earth was made a couple a thousand years ago;
  • Recent studies probably prove that near-death experiences are just fantasies of a dying brain: Rats were observed as they died and all 8 rats experienced a massive surge in electrical activity in their brains;
  • Physcists say something can come out of nothing, which might render God obsolete as a creator.

Most religions cling onto hope that their god might exist, only because theirs is a belief in fallacious logic. Thus far, everything we've learned about the stories in religious books was proven false by scientists. I didn't expect primitive humans to get the mysteries revolving around God right before us. I think it's just practical and logical to put your faith in scientists because at least they have proven what they've said, unlike religious book writers. Without rocket scientists, humans are incapable of traveling to the Moon, Mars and beyond. I think those feats are already much greater than anything written in any religious book.
 
Common sense
Man-made religions are born from fallacious logic. Here are some that I have come across.

  • False Authority (single authority) – using an expert of dubious credentials and/or using only one opinion to sell a product or idea. Putting our faith in illiterate men whose brains were malfunctioning is probably not a good idea.
  • Appeal to consequences (argumentum ad consequentiam) – the conclusion is supported by a premise that asserts positive or negative consequences from some course of action in an attempt to distract from the initial discussion. Heaven and hell!!!!!
  • Appeal to emotion – where an argument is made due to the manipulation of emotions, rather than the use of valid reasoning. The emotions fear and anger are particularly sought after by some of these religions.
  • Hedging – using words with ambiguous meanings, then changing the meaning later. How often have we seen hedging occurring in religious books? Too many times for it to be acceptable! We've already had the Old Testament and the New Testament...guess the next one will be called the New New Testament! (Double new wasn't a typo)
  • Shifting the burden of proof – I need not prove my claim, you must prove it is false. This happens a lot with religion. They'll use this in conjunction with hedging and argument from ignorance. End of the day, how can anyone prove Frodo doesn't really exists if Tolkien says he does?
  • Argument from ignorance: It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false. It's just common sense to believe in something only if there is something that justifies that belief. 100% belief with 0% proof is just ridiculous.
  • Moving the goalposts (raising the bar) – argument in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded. We often see this whenever scientists prove something and theists say that proves nothing.
  • Straw man – an argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. Pan probably remembers the strawman they created of him.
  • If all else fails: Moral high ground fallacy - in which a person assumes a "holier-than-thou" attitude in an attempt to make himself look good to win an argument.

 

Agnostic towards unknown deity

My position on an unknown deity is agnostic because I am not stupid enough to claim that I know with certainty the facts on whether or not a deity exists. The universe is simply far too complex for the greatest scientists to understand; we have explored less than 1% of the universe; we don't fully understand 100% of Earth let alone a deity whose evolution and powers are at least 10 billion years more advanced than our primitive minds: if it wants to be unknown, how can we find it?

 

We know about things like dark matter, dark energy and black holes: those are things we can't perceive, but we do make assumptions that they're there by observing their interactions with matter we can observe. Perhaps one of those things = Deity! Why does god have to be a bearded white man with halo made of light hovering over his head? Why can he not be the dark matter that appears to literally hold entire galaxies in place and black holes which appear to destroy matter? ...I remember there was a song we sang in school and one line I recall is: "The whole world in His hands." ........


Edited by Sauron, 15 August 2013 - 04:02 AM.

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#16 HSHINJI

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:45 PM

Well i'll try to be brief; saying science isn't incompatible with a or religous belief(s) when various scientists have clearly demonstrated that this is false is somewhat perplexing; there are some pig headed atheist scientists the same way they are some of the religious kind.

 

It is pretty silly to label everyone and put them in a box, e.g all religious people who study science are dumb or limited likewise applying the same comical standard to atheists.

 

There are scientists like Dawkins who are just as arrogant and myopic as religious zealots which makes it ironic because there are clearly atheists in the scientific community who find him to be of the same stock as the very people he loves to mock and look down on; labelling everyone as ''limited'' due to their religious beliefs or lack thereof shows a severe inability to rationally arrive at conclusions without the cliche arguments.

 

Newton believed in a ''higher power'' i guess that makes him irrational except where were the atheists who came up with his laws of motion oops they weren't any who could. Human beings reason differently this has been the case for thousands of years attempting to force everyone to think only way is not only irrational but it is pointless and history has clearly taught us that.

 

Multiple reasons like source of funding/Lobbyists, preference of male or female professionals, standing of institution, racial bias, inability to accept facts due to hubris, etc are some of the main issues which influence scientific conclusions; the sooner people start thinking outside of the box and stop accepting everything just because xy scientists says so as facts when they can be easily influenced by various external factors then people will not be sheep. Its pretty ironic how the ''current human race'' is supposedly so advanced that they can't still figure out how some ''primitives'' are more knowledgeable than us in various sectors of science.

 

One could be extreme and say Einstein's gift to the world of 2 nuked cities courtesy of science was not exactly the epitome of enlightenment (he was an atheist but he saw things other scientists couldn't see like Newton) that doesn't make science bad; when individuals don't properly handle responsibility and abuse their power which is what Einstein did because he never bothered to think of the consequences of his research the same applies to religion, placing everyone in a pigeon hole is the same as forcing everyone into some imaginary timeloop where no productive solutions or even hints are obtained but instead more pointless questions which can't be answered.

 

Someone holding firm to everything scientists say regardless of ones beliefs is ridiculous, all the talk of string theory and my personal favourite everything came out of nothing; yet the same people championing this cause so aggressively cannot still logically explain why several constants in the universe have clearly been finetuned to the point that if it weren't so the universe would not exist, how does randomness alone account for that unless there is order. That is a basic principle of science even randomness has various factors which affect the rate of a chemical reaction; these factors can be varied (or controlled which means order) i.e temperature, pressure, proportion of reactants which combine e.t.c. To live in a bubble and say for a fact that everything came out of nothing just because some scientists say so is the same as holding religiously to everything Darwin said when there are respected scientists that have shown comprehensively that there were a lot of flaws to his conclusions.


Edited by HSHINJI, 16 August 2013 - 01:49 AM.


#17 Sauron

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 03:43 AM

Well i'll try to be brief; saying science isn't incompatible with a or religous belief(s) when various scientists have clearly demonstrated that this is false is somewhat perplexing; there are some pig headed atheist scientists the same way they are some of the religious kind.


I SAID SCIENCE IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH RELIGIONS. This means religion usually hinders scientific research and therefore human progress.

What's scientific research and methodology got to do with the 'arrogance' of individual scientists?

Most scientists don't believe at all: they write theories, which aren't absolute irrefutable facts.
 

It is pretty silly to label everyone and put them in a box, e.g all religious people who study science are dumb or limited likewise applying the same comical standard to atheists.


I personally never said this.
 

There are scientists like Dawkins who are just as arrogant and myopic as religious zealots which makes it ironic because there are clearly atheists in the scientific community who find him to be of the same stock as the very people he loves to mock and look down on; labelling everyone as ''limited'' due to their religious beliefs or lack thereof shows a severe inability to rationally arrive at conclusions without the cliche arguments.


Dawkins might appear to be a very aggressive scientist, but why blame him and not the facts he's just trying to present? I think he's more frustrated that people cling to beliefs. He might say quite offensive stuff about religions, although let's agree that merely the act of disagreeing with a religious person or investigating the facts behind the stories is very offensive to them.

Calling Dawkins myopic is what I'd call silly. And to be fair, he is right about self-imposed limitations by people who reject science. For instance, if someone sees bones that are unusually massive: about the size of planes, the rational thing would be to examine it, rather than to reject all research about creatures much larger and far more dangerous than humans, only because an old guy from the distant past says so...

Most discoveries in science are things ordinary people believe in, as we haven't actually conducted the tests ourselves nor seen the results of those tests; however, scientists aren't afraid to show the results and their methodology; their experiments are designed so that others can replicate their findings over and over again. In contrast, there are no religious research, no religious experiments, nor even thinking about the possibilities because to scrutinise with your own brain is deemed a challenge to the leaders of religions. A challenge or debate about the facts is offensive.
 

Newton believed in a ''higher power'' i guess that makes him irrational


Names and fame don't impress me; I thought you weren't impressed either... ironically I see you're just like the sheep. If Newton believed in a higher power without there being any evidence to support his belief, then yeah, he was being irrational.
 

except where were the atheists who came up with his laws of motion oops they weren't any who could. Human beings reason differently this has been the case for thousands of years attempting to force everyone to think only way is not only irrational but it is pointless and history has clearly taught us that.


Nobody is banning imagination. Scientists like Dawkins are just asking people to USE BRAINS! He's not even asking people to believe him; he's asking people to read his works and challenge him with valid arguments. I believe, therefore it exists, is simply not valid. Show something tangible. I mean, I can pretend to be a religious leader too. I believe God is a giant 10,000 foot turkey, therefore it exists.
 

Multiple reasons like source of funding/Lobbyists, preference of male or female professionals, standing of institution, racial bias, inability to accept facts due to hubris, etc are some of the main issues which influence scientific conclusions; the sooner people start thinking outside of the box and stop accepting everything just because xy scientists says so as facts when they can be easily influenced by various external factors then people will not be sheep. Its pretty ironic how the ''current human race'' is supposedly so advanced that they can't still figure out how some ''primitives'' are more knowledgeable than us in various sectors of science.


If scientists can be influenced by powerful lobbyists (which of course is possible) what's stopping them just writing fictitious explanations about how primitive civilisations figured out various sectors of science? The amount of humans who lived is just ridiculously high and even broken clocks are right twice a day.
 

One could be extreme and say Einstein's gift to the world of 2 nuked cities courtesy of science was not exactly the epitome of enlightenment (he was an atheist but he saw things other scientists couldn't see like Newton) that doesn't make science bad; when individuals don't properly handle responsibility and abuse their power which is what Einstein did because he never bothered to think of the consequences of his research the same applies to religion, placing everyone in a pigeon hole is the same as forcing everyone into some imaginary timeloop where no productive solutions or even hints are obtained but instead more pointless questions which can't be answered.


Without science there would be no medicine, which factually saved (and continues to do so) more lives than nuclear bombs killed. And while I agree that nuclear bombs were devastating, their production probably prevented World War 3 between the US and Russia and countries within their sphere of influence, which prevented the loss of lives. Were you telling me something about being myopic before?

Anyway, my personal argument is not really about the ethics and morality, it's about the truth/facts.
 

Someone holding firm to everything scientists say regardless of ones beliefs is ridiculous, all the talk of string theory and my personal favourite everything came out of nothing; yet the same people championing this cause so aggressively cannot still logically explain why several constants in the universe have clearly been finetuned to the point that if it weren't so the universe would not exist, how does randomness alone account for that unless there is order.


They don't know, therefore we should just write a fictitious story to fill in the gaps in our knowledge. Is that what you're suggesting? Because we already have a lot of those kinds of people. Real scientists will make educated guesses and change their guesses as they discover more. Plus I much rather prefer honesty rather than to believe in know it all's.
 

That is a basic principle of science even randomness has various factors which affect the rate of a chemical reaction; these factors can be varied (or controlled which means order) i.e temperature, pressure, proportion of reactants which combine e.t.c. To live in a bubble and say for a fact that everything came out of nothing just because some scientists say so is the same as holding religiously to everything Darwin said when there are respected scientists that have shown comprehensively that there were a lot of flaws to his conclusions.


Where have they said everything came out of nothing is a fact?

Edited by Sauron, 16 August 2013 - 03:51 AM.


#18 Tale

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:37 AM

Well i'll try to be brief; saying science isn't incompatible with a or religous belief(s) when various scientists have clearly demonstrated that this is false is somewhat perplexing; there are some pig headed atheist scientists the same way they are some of the religious kind.

 

When have scientists demonstrated that religion is compatible or incompatible with religion?

 

It's quite irrelevant that there are scientists who are religious, as these find a balance between the facts and what they believe in. The incompatibility between the two ways of thinking appears when religion has a desire to protect a claim it makes - for example: evolution and creationists. Looking at all the Christians who accept evolution because they disregard what the Bible says on that topic and saying that they're compatible because of that is missing the point.

 

 

 

It is pretty silly to label everyone and put them in a box, e.g all religious people who study science are dumb or limited likewise applying the same comical standard to atheists.

 

Agreed.

 

 

 

There are scientists like Dawkins who are just as arrogant and myopic as religious zealots which makes it ironic because there are clearly atheists in the scientific community who find him to be of the same stock as the very people he loves to mock and look down on; labelling everyone as ''limited'' due to their religious beliefs or lack thereof shows a severe inability to rationally arrive at conclusions without the cliche arguments.

 

A scientist isn't necessarily free of bias or being incorrect, but the advantage inherent in science is that even if a single scientist is stubborn and refuses the facts, the rest of the scientific community won't be acting like him. It's irrelevant that Dawkins is zealous, because he is correct in the field he is responsible for.

 

 

 

Newton believed in a ''higher power'' i guess that makes him irrational except where were the atheists who came up with his laws of motion oops they weren't any who could. Human beings reason differently this has been the case for thousands of years attempting to force everyone to think only way is not only irrational but it is pointless and history has clearly taught us that.

 

Irrationality and rationality aren't the alternative states of some binary existence. A person can be mostly rational (for example, at work, when doing mathematics, in his relationships), but that doesn't mean he'll be as rational in other aspects of his life, (such as politics, religion, sports). 

 

I don't really know what you're trying to achieve by an appeal to authority, but is there any reason we should believe he believed in a higher power because he was a genius and could see things we didn't, rather than because he was a fallible human being like the rest of us? It's worth noting that he also practiced alchemy.

 

 

 

Multiple reasons like source of funding/Lobbyists, preference of male or female professionals, standing of institution, racial bias, inability to accept facts due to hubris, etc are some of the main issues which influence scientific conclusions; the sooner people start thinking outside of the box and stop accepting everything just because xy scientists says so as facts when they can be easily influenced by various external factors then people will not be sheep. Its pretty ironic how the ''current human race'' is supposedly so advanced that they can't still figure out how some ''primitives'' are more knowledgeable than us in various sectors of science.

 

None of the things you've listed in the first sentence give you any credible reason to doubt the scientific method or the knowledge scientists discover. The fact that humans are humans and must work in a human environment doesn't mean people are sheep for believing them. And rather than think outside the box (as if there's a box to think outside of here)*, it would wiser to respect multiple opinions within the scientific community about any one topic and understand the expertise and limitations of the expertise of each opinion.

 

*by thinking outside the box, I assumed you meant use alternative ways of thinking to science

 

This is the second time I've seen you bring up primitive societies in a thread like this. Care to elaborate which ones specifically and which fields of science have people in the past surpassed us in?

 

 

 

Someone holding firm to everything scientists say regardless of ones beliefs is ridiculous, all the talk of string theory and my personal favourite everything came out of nothing; yet the same people championing this cause so aggressively cannot still logically explain why several constants in the universe have clearly been finetuned to the point that if it weren't so the universe would not exist, how does randomness alone account for that unless there is order. That is a basic principle of science even randomness has various factors which affect the rate of a chemical reaction; these factors can be varied (or controlled which means order) i.e temperature, pressure, proportion of reactants which combine e.t.c. To live in a bubble and say for a fact that everything came out of nothing just because some scientists say so is the same as holding religiously to everything Darwin said when there are respected scientists that have shown comprehensively that there were a lot of flaws to his conclusions.

 

There's a big difference between saying "something came out of nothing" and string theory. I'm not sure where you've heard the "something came out of nothing" thing, but the scientific community is pretty adamant about the fact that it does not yet know what happened at the very beginning and "before". Anyone who has stated that something came out of nothing as a fact is probably assuming a few things, and anyone who said that something "may" be able to come from nothing is not necessarily wrong, as we have no idea what happened in the beginning yet.

 

(Also, on the chance that you've read Lawrence Krauss's book or heard of his lectures or speeches, the "nothing" he talks about is not the "nothing" philosophers talk about. He's speaking of an absolute vacuum, in which particle pairs appear out of "nothing" and annihilate each other. Philosophers, on the other hand, talk about an absolute nothingness.)

 

The problem with "fine-tuning" is that there's no evidence the universe is in fact fine-tuned. The fact that we don't know why the universe has the conditions it does today, and whether these arise by choice, necessity or chance, only means we're still ignorant about this, and ignorance has never been evidence for anything.

 

And finally, which scientists have shown that Darwin's conclusions are flawed? What exactly are the flaws in his conclusions? 


Edited by Tale, 16 August 2013 - 10:44 AM.


#19 HSHINJI

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:40 PM

When have scientists demonstrated that religion is compatible or incompatible with religion?

 

It's quite irrelevant that there are scientists who are religious, as these find a balance between the facts and what they believe in. The incompatibility between the two ways of thinking appears when religion has a desire to protect a claim it makes - for example: evolution and creationists. Looking at all the Christians who accept evolution because they disregard what the Bible says on that topic and saying that they're compatible because of that is missing the point.

 

 

Agreed.

 

 

A scientist isn't necessarily free of bias or being incorrect, but the advantage inherent in science is that even if a single scientist is stubborn and refuses the facts, the rest of the scientific community won't be acting like him. It's irrelevant that Dawkins is zealous, because he is correct in the field he is responsible for.

 

 

Irrationality and rationality aren't the alternative states of some binary existence. A person can be mostly rational (for example, at work, when doing mathematics, in his relationships), but that doesn't mean he'll be as rational in other aspects of his life, (such as politics, religion, sports). 

 

I don't really know what you're trying to achieve by an appeal to authority, but is there any reason we should believe he believed in a higher power because he was a genius and could see things we didn't, rather than because he was a fallible human being like the rest of us? It's worth noting that he also practiced alchemy.

 

 

None of the things you've listed in the first sentence give you any credible reason to doubt the scientific method or the knowledge scientists discover. The fact that humans are humans and must work in a human environment doesn't mean people are sheep for believing them. And rather than think outside the box (as if there's a box to think outside of here)*, it would wiser to respect multiple opinions within the scientific community about any one topic and understand the expertise and limitations of the expertise of each opinion.

 

*by thinking outside the box, I assumed you meant use alternative ways of thinking to science

 

This is the second time I've seen you bring up primitive societies in a thread like this. Care to elaborate which ones specifically and which fields of science have people in the past surpassed us in?

 

 

There's a big difference between saying "something came out of nothing" and string theory. I'm not sure where you've heard the "something came out of nothing" thing, but the scientific community is pretty adamant about the fact that it does not yet know what happened at the very beginning and "before". Anyone who has stated that something came out of nothing as a fact is probably assuming a few things, and anyone who said that something "may" be able to come from nothing is not necessarily wrong, as we have no idea what happened in the beginning yet.

 

(Also, on the chance that you've read Lawrence Krauss's book or heard of his lectures or speeches, the "nothing" he talks about is not the "nothing" philosophers talk about. He's speaking of an absolute vacuum, in which particle pairs appear out of "nothing" and annihilate each other. Philosophers, on the other hand, talk about an absolute nothingness.)

 

The problem with "fine-tuning" is that there's no evidence the universe is in fact fine-tuned. The fact that we don't know why the universe has the conditions it does today, and whether these arise by choice, necessity or chance, only means we're still ignorant about this, and ignorance has never been evidence for anything.

 

And finally, which scientists have shown that Darwin's conclusions are flawed? What exactly are the flaws in his conclusions? 

When you read widely, that's when one discovers flaws in various topics, e.g Darwinism as it is primarily taught.

 

String theory like time travel is theoretical physics that's why its always interesting to see people trying to build equipment for time travel when they clearly don't understand what it entails.

 

As far as your comment on ancient civilisations is concerned you might want to start with the science of the Babylonians and Egyptians, NASA and similar agencies in the world are not going to tell people publicly that they are attempting/have already attempted to employ the same techniques ancients used thousands of years ago in their research. Coincidence? The evidence suggests otherwise.

 

Dakwins is a hypocrite who largely looks down on people who don't share his ''brand of atheism'', i thought he was a very interesting individual previously until he became the very ''poison'' he claims to be fighting against.

 

The world is a game with various chess pieces which have already been placed in motion a long time ago; we await the next phase.

 

I have no interest in whether anyone believes in a ''higher power'' hence why i said that human beings have always looked through different lenses; its kind of late here and i am yet to have my dinner. What i have consistenly said is for one to research him/her (self).



#20 theonlygeezy

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:21 PM

Religious and political discussions are always full of so much fail. Hopefully nobody responds to me because this is so boring.

 

Religion and science have never been in conflict. The more you throw intellect at the subject, the worse off you are. Only someone who has an equal spiritual and scientific understanding can grasp the unity between the two. Lack of knowledge(and I mean true knowledge & understanding) of either one, will only lead to confusion.

 

Creationism and Evolution have no incompatibilities. He created science. He created evolution. He created us. All compatible. Even the smartest of us, as human beings, are too ignorant to understand this perfect existence.

 

Logic & Emotion, Physical & Spiritual all exist. Both sides of every argument will lead nowhere unless you find the balance.

 

Is God real? Yes, for me He is. How do I know? Just as logic is conflicted by emotion, you may have to abandon your logic long enough to find that answer...


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