Is God real?
Yes
18.6% (60)
18.6% (60)
No
57.5% (185)
57.5% (185)
Maybe
14.6% (47)
14.6% (47)
Maybe not
8.4% (27)
8.4% (27)
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Poll: Is God real?

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Gerishnakov:
I think I got this from Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, which is not 'the atheist bible', it is much more a scientific text addressing the arguments made for god.

Anyway one of the best arguments was the fallacy of invoking a creator for the universe in the first place. Logic dictates that if the universe is so infinitely complicated that it must require a creator, then the creator themselves must be so infinitely complicated that they must require a creator of their own, and so on and so on...

That's not the only cosmological argument out there.

When it comes to philosophical arguments for or against god, you really shouldn't rely on TGD for that. The Dawk's summary is incredibly brief and very incomplete.

Bassik:

TL;DR, if the universe is designed, it's designer did not have us in mind.
I don't believe in a god, but it can be possible. If it is, then god is a mathematician, and not the vengeful, human character we see in Abrahamic religions.

I'm guessing the quote, "God plays dice with the universe" would be appropriate?

Let the whole thing work itself out, seems to be the universe in which we live in.

Final First:
The God most commonly believed in does not physically exist in the universe, He exists outside of it as others have already noted. This is why it's idiotic when some people argue (Note: I don't see many argue this) that God doesn't exist because we have yet to find any trace of Him in the universe.

Due to this, we cannot argue that He doesn't exist either because there is absolutely no way to find physical evidence to argue for or against God unless He manifests Himself in our universe. This is why it is called "gullibility", because there is no physical evidence.

I personally believe in God but due to the lack of evidence I voted "maybe".

Fixed that for you.

No, seriously, if it is impossible for god to leave evidence of his existence, then why should anyone ever believe in god? Faith is a shitty reason to believe anything. In fact, I'll go a step further - faith is a non-reason to believe in something. Saying "I believe because I have faith" is pointless - you can pretty much leave out the "I have faith" and the sentence is just as correct - "I believe because", as in "I believe, just because". No reasoning behind it, simply blind adherence to a belief which you cannot, in any meaningful way, justify.

Faith is fucking synonymous with gullibility. When we stop turning off our reasoning and stop requiring reasons to believe in things, we have essentially opened our minds to the point where our brains fall out. And that's what faith is: "I will believe this despite having no reason to do so." Apply that to anything other than a concept which is utterly vapid and a gigantic waste of time (say, for example, a deistic god which no longer exists), and the negative consequences become immediately clear, from buying a lemon from a shady car dealership to genocide and mass-murder.

renegade7:
For God to have created the Universe before there was time, he would have to exist outside of the Universe. The laws of reality, time, logic, and causality do not apply outside the universe. So if he did create the Universe, he is both real and not real, has always existed and never existed, etc.

That's a great assumption. But we don't know what laws apply outside the universe, simply because we've never been. What is the Universe? I like how you denounce this idea as crazy but seem to be at complete terms with this magical place we call the universe. As if the Universe's existance is logical or explainable in any decent way. Someone had to have farted to start the Big Bang, amirite?

The Universe, or beyond must be infinite. Even if the universe was finite, there must be something beyond that. It can't just end and become nothing. What does nothing look like? Can "nothing" exist? Even if nothing exists, there must be something holding that 'nothing.' The truth is, we'll be lucky to advance that far in science and thought to actually discover the true answers to these questions.

Either way, I'm not sure if it truly matters. Nothing would change if we could objectively find out. We'd never be able to reach this "God"; we'd never be able to make contact. I doubt he'd be some black guy in a white suit hanging out in the basement of some abandoned factory. It would unlikely even be humanoid. That's simply something humans assume. It would most likely be based on science and probably incapable of caring about us, since it's more likely just a force of energy/matter. Scientifically, some form of God probably exists, I'm thinking the universe(and beyond) itself, and humans simply added a social context as they grew intelligence and evolved to such thinking.

Stagnant:

Final First:
The God most commonly believed in does not physically exist in the universe, He exists outside of it as others have already noted. This is why it's idiotic when some people argue (Note: I don't see many argue this) that God doesn't exist because we have yet to find any trace of Him in the universe.

Due to this, we cannot argue that He doesn't exist either because there is absolutely no way to find physical evidence to argue for or against God unless He manifests Himself in our universe. This is why it is called "gullibility", because there is no physical evidence.

I personally believe in God but due to the lack of evidence I voted "maybe".

Fixed that for you.

No, seriously, if it is impossible for god to leave evidence of his existence, then why should anyone ever believe in god? Faith is a shitty reason to believe anything. In fact, I'll go a step further - faith is a non-reason to believe in something. Saying "I believe because I have faith" is pointless - you can pretty much leave out the "I have faith" and the sentence is just as correct - "I believe because", as in "I believe, just because". No reasoning behind it, simply blind adherence to a belief which you cannot, in any meaningful way, justify.

Faith is fucking synonymous with gullibility. When we stop turning off our reasoning and stop requiring reasons to believe in things, we have essentially opened our minds to the point where our brains fall out. And that's what faith is: "I will believe this despite having no reason to do so." Apply that to anything other than a concept which is utterly vapid and a gigantic waste of time (say, for example, a deistic god which no longer exists), and the negative consequences become immediately clear, from buying a lemon from a shady car dealership to genocide and mass-murder.

I disagree. Faith is an important part of what makes us human. All you've done was decide that religion is bad, then unjustly blame faith, as if human psychology isn't a complex subject. Faith and belief are synonymous, as is belief and knowledge. Belief is simply unknown knowledge.

Where do you come to the conclusion that faith and stupidity are synonymous? The more reasonable answer would simply be, "humans are flawed." In fact, as I've already stated, faith is one of the two kinds of knowledge humans use. Nothing aligns it with stupidity. It's simply unknown knowledge. It becomes true knowledge when reason and evidence backs it up. The complexity of the Universe is plenty enough evidence to make it 'true knowledge', or at the very least our lack of understanding of the creation of such.

We act as though the idea of God is unbelievable, when in reality, science is far more unbelievable then the simplicity of an alternative theory. Religion was designed to simplify things. If anything, believing in God is the smart thing to do, instead we should be questioning science. Perhaps that is the point of religion. To question science.

EDIT: An interesting read, if you are willing to open your mind.

http://www.lightomega.org/Ind/Pure/Belief_Faith_and_Knowing.html

Helmholtz Watson:
I border between theistic and deistic.

As for the divine, there is a reason why I use the word divine as apposed to God, I don't want to limit the idea of what is God. I guess I can't know for certain, but its absurd to dismiss it all the same.

inb4 militant atheist come after me.

Fair enough, but I hope my counter-arguments demonstrate why existence itself is not reason enough. Especially since it basically boils down to special pleading and an argument from ignorance.

Faith and belief are synonymous

No. No they are not. I believe many things based on evidence and reason but not faith.

I guess I'm not human then. Thanks!

F4LL3N:
I disagree. Faith is an important part of what makes us human.

I reject this assertion.

All you've done was decide that religion is bad, then unjustly blame faith, as if human psychology isn't a complex subject.

...What? No, that's not what I did. I determined that faith (in the sense of faith = belief without evidence, the most reasonably used definition) is a negative influence on society. Religion has, in a purely logical sense, very little to do with it.

Faith and belief are synonymous, as is belief and knowledge. Belief is simply unknown knowledge.

I really reject this assertion. "Unknown knowledge" doesn't even make any sense on its own, but it gets worse when you consider that there's no way of knowing what unknown knowledge is accurate and what isn't. Faith and belief are in one context synonymous, but taking a word like "belief" which has multiple meanings and saying because one meaning is synonymous with one thing and another meaning is synonymous with another thing, those two things are equally synonymous is simply wrong. Even then, I reject the notion that belief is equivalent to knowledge in any reasonable context. Belief is facts held in the absence of knowledge. If I believe something, it means I do not know; at best, I have a solid hunch.

Where do you come to the conclusion that faith and stupidity are synonymous?

Because using faith in almost any other context gets you wrecked. Seriously. Think about this for a moment. What realms of your life, other than god, do you go on faith alone? Earned trust, maybe. But blind faith?

The more reasonable answer would simply be, "humans are flawed." In fact, as I've already stated, faith is one of the two kinds of knowledge humans use. Nothing aligns it with stupidity. It's simply unknown knowledge. It becomes true knowledge when reason and evidence backs it up. The complexity of the Universe is plenty enough evidence to make it 'true knowledge', or at the very least our lack of understanding of the creation of such.

Yeah, as said above, I reject this idea. It seems flawed in an extremely basic manner, and works off of assumptions that make no sense at all.

We act as though the idea of God is unbelievable, when in reality, science is far more unbelievable then the simplicity of an alternative theory. Religion was designed to simplify things. If anything, believing in God is the smart thing to do, instead we should be questioning science. Perhaps that is the point of religion. To question science.

...What.

(I'm going to assume that by "science" you mean the results of the scientific method, rather than the method itself.)

Lemme get this straight. You think that science is far more unbelievable than the simplicity of the alternative theory... Despite the fact that science has all the evidence on its side? Despite the fact that most scientific theories have gone through decades of rigorous scrutiny and testing? Despite the fact that such "unbelievable" scientific theories are the basis for our 21st-century life on this planet?

There are certain things that you just don't say. Certain things that just REALLY piss me off. This is one of them. This scientific stuff you disparaged is backed up by mountains of hard, physical evidence, analyzed by the smartest minds on the planet, refuted by nothing ever found, and you have the gall to claim that it's more unbelievable than something for which nobody has ever found evidence? The sheer bloody-minded arrogance that goes into this kind of thinking is ASTOUNDING.

But what makes this even worse is the fact that this argument is so intellectually vapid and meaningless! Even if we assume that the science is less unbelievable to the uninformed observer, that means absolutely jack shit. The more intuitive or obvious answer is not only not always right, it's rarely ever right when we come to topics which are complex and deep.

"Perhaps believing in god is the smart thing to do because science is so complicated".

Smh. For shame.

Take that bullshit somewhere else, I'm not having it.

EDIT: missed this.

EDIT: An interesting read, if you are willing to open your mind.

http://www.lightomega.org/Ind/Pure/Belief_Faith_and_Knowing.html

...Open my mind? To more new-age bullshit? I stopped reading around the point where she defined faith as "something we just know, without evidence, whether we believe in it or not". To quote the famous Tim Minchin: "If you open your mind too far, your brain will fall out". My mind is open - I just have a bullshit filter that stops me from accepting ideas which make not the slightest bit of sense on any rational level!

When we have faith, we believe in the invisible. In doing this, our mind faces a clear choice between doubt and trust. Faith makes the choice to trust based on the joining of mind and heart. It makes the choice to suspend doubt and cynicism and to say "yes" to the thinking of the heart rather than to rational thinking. In place of rational thinking faith says: "I can believe in what I do not see, for it is not physical sight that gives reality to things but heart and intuition that gives reality to things."

Yeah, uh, see how well suspending rational thought treats you in the real world, you dumb bitch.

Walter Byers:

Faith and belief are synonymous

No. No they are not. I believe many things based on evidence and reason but not faith.

I guess I'm not human then. Thanks!

What I meant was faith is an important function of the mind, or at least a core function. Faith and belief aren't exactly the same, but the premise is similar. Concerning this particular topic, they are used in very much the same context.

F4LL3N:
What I meant was faith is an important function of the mind, or at least a core function. Faith and belief aren't exactly the same, but the premise is similar. Concerning this particular topic, they are used in very much the same context.

And I'm disagreeing that faith is important to the mind at all. The only reason you think its important is because your beliefs cannot be justified by any other means.

It's completely unnecessary when you have evidence and reason to justify your beliefs.

Can you define "god?" I always hear people ask this question, but they fail to actually tell us what it is. Where does it live? What's it made of? How can we test it's existence? If you can't lay down some sort of picture about what it actually is then no one can really answer this correctly due to how vague it is. Sure, we all have some sort of assumption about what "god" is, but it's still a very vague idea most of the time and hardly one you can accurately confirm or deny the existence of.

Stagnant:

Final First:
The God most commonly believed in does not physically exist in the universe, He exists outside of it as others have already noted. This is why it's idiotic when some people argue (Note: I don't see many argue this) that God doesn't exist because we have yet to find any trace of Him in the universe.

Due to this, we cannot argue that He doesn't exist either because there is absolutely no way to find physical evidence to argue for or against God unless He manifests Himself in our universe. This is why it is called "gullibility", because there is no physical evidence.

I personally believe in God but due to the lack of evidence I voted "maybe".

Fixed that for you.

No, seriously, if it is impossible for god to leave evidence of his existence, then why should anyone ever believe in god? Faith is a shitty reason to believe anything. In fact, I'll go a step further - faith is a non-reason to believe in something. Saying "I believe because I have faith" is pointless - you can pretty much leave out the "I have faith" and the sentence is just as correct - "I believe because", as in "I believe, just because". No reasoning behind it, simply blind adherence to a belief which you cannot, in any meaningful way, justify.

Faith is fucking synonymous with gullibility. When we stop turning off our reasoning and stop requiring reasons to believe in things, we have essentially opened our minds to the point where our brains fall out. And that's what faith is: "I will believe this despite having no reason to do so." Apply that to anything other than a concept which is utterly vapid and a gigantic waste of time (say, for example, a deistic god which no longer exists), and the negative consequences become immediately clear, from buying a lemon from a shady car dealership to genocide and mass-murder.

Believing in a God in the same way I do in no way means that one must give up on believing other things often used against the existence of a God. I know you didn't actually say this, but you come off as believing that I or others who believe in God are one of those types that completely deny theories such as evolution.

If you are implying this, then it is understandable due to the large amount of theists who deny such theories. However, I don't see a reason why not to believe them to be true. One can keep God completely out of scientific facts without problems.

So the difference here is that others who believe this don't "turn off their reasoning" and instead accept the fact that science is still truth and in no way contradicts the existence of a God, as I've already implied in my original post.

EDIT: I forgot to mention in response to your first statement that: 1. A significant amount of people who believe in God have had life experiences that may or may not have been an act of God. Sometimes they probably weren't, but others, they are unbelievable.

Now, as I said, one can still agree with science while believing in the common version of God. This is because, as I've heard so many times even I don't like the phrase anymore, science is how and God is why.

2. Why not? Why not believe when there is no consequence; when it does not affect any other logical belief such as in scientific theories, for example? Your argument goes both ways, my friend. Correct me if I'm wrong.

F4LL3N:

renegade7:
For God to have created the Universe before there was time, he would have to exist outside of the Universe. The laws of reality, time, logic, and causality do not apply outside the universe. So if he did create the Universe, he is both real and not real, has always existed and never existed, etc.

That's a great assumption. But we don't know what laws apply outside the universe, simply because we've never been. What is the Universe? I like how you denounce this idea as crazy but seem to be at complete terms with this magical place we call the universe. As if the Universe's existance is logical or explainable in any decent way. Someone had to have farted to start the Big Bang, amirite?

The Universe, or beyond must be infinite. Even if the universe was finite, there must be something beyond that. It can't just end and become nothing. What does nothing look like? Can "nothing" exist? Even if nothing exists, there must be something holding that 'nothing.' The truth is, we'll be lucky to advance that far in science and thought to actually discover the true answers to these questions.

Either way, I'm not sure if it truly matters. Nothing would change if we could objectively find out. We'd never be able to reach this "God"; we'd never be able to make contact. I doubt he'd be some black guy in a white suit hanging out in the basement of some abandoned factory. It would unlikely even be humanoid. That's simply something humans assume. It would most likely be based on science and probably incapable of caring about us, since it's more likely just a force of energy/matter. Scientifically, some form of God probably exists, I'm thinking the universe(and beyond) itself, and humans simply added a social context as they grew intelligence and evolved to such thinking.

Based entirely on the big bang theory (which of course may or may not be true, but I can only comment on what I know) for the universe to have started as an infinitely small point it must have had a volume. Ergo it must also have an edge, and things inside it and things outside of it. But the universe only exists from within, since we perceive it so.

That was the point I was making about God. Even if he is real, it is against all laws of science for any human being to ever perceive him/her/it/them.

Final First:
Why not? Why not believe when there is no consequence; when it does not affect any other logical belief such as in scientific theories, for example? Your argument goes both ways, my friend. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Your beliefs don't exist in a vacuum. They inform your behaviors and decisions. If a belief is without consequence then why believe it? It literally has no affect on your life.

What happens when two beliefs conflict with each other? How do you resolve this?

Do you care what you believe is true?

renegade7:
Based entirely on the big bang theory (which of course may or may not be true, but I can only comment on what I know) for the universe to have started as an infinitely small point it must have had a volume. Ergo it must also have an edge, and things inside it and things outside of it. But the universe only exists from within, since we perceive it so.

The whole idea of time and space was completely undefined so edges and volumes have no real meaning. The big bang theory is largely an extrapolation of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and where it breaks down.

renegade7:
That was the point I was making about God. Even if he is real, it is against all laws of science for any human being to ever perceive him/her/it/them.

God doesn't have to be outside of science. If God has any affect on the material world then he can be tested by science.

Sure doesn't look like it.

Now to retain intellectual honesty, I should perhaps have answered 'maybe', since nothing is 100% absolutely impossible, but I know that if the poll had asked 'are ghosts/leprechauns/unicorns real' I would have answered no as well.

Stagnant:

All you've done was decide that religion is bad, then unjustly blame faith, as if human psychology isn't a complex subject.

...What? No, that's not what I did. I determined that faith (in the sense of faith = belief without evidence, the most reasonably used definition) is a negative influence on society. Religion has, in a purely logical sense, very little to do with it.

Faith and belief are synonymous, as is belief and knowledge. Belief is simply unknown knowledge.

Faith isn't to blame. I'm no expert, but the older I get the more I realize how complex the human mind is. It's simply too complex to blame one little thing when there are probably 100 factors. In the same way addiction generally means psychological problems elsewhere in your life.

Unless my definition is different than yours, faith is more or less luck and hope, too. You believe a number is lucky. You hope that everything will be okay (you have faith that everything will be okay.) A lot of this seems to be on the same scale, just with varying degrees of outside factors influencing what it means. Hope is just faith with an added extra of desire. Luck is just a personal connection with (typically a number, or something of the sort), and then the added element of faith in that piece.

Your arguing that faith has a negative influence on society. Are you saying faith is the core reason for religions downsides? Is that where religion fails? I don't see the evidence behind that claim.

For a start, dogma must have a worse effect than faith, on a persons 'self.' Really, there should be laws that forbid such brainwashing. Although now the internet's around, most kids will see enough of the outside world to make there own decisions. This part of religion is bad. It states, "X" and "Don't question X." All faith does is give people a little hope. It's obvious that you want religion gone complete, or else you wouldn't be attacking such a core component of religion.

"God" wasn't created for shits and giggles. He structures religion, to my understanding. Even if some sort of God did exist, it wouldn't be the same God anyone on earth is worshipping. At least not in the practical sense. Anyway, that's beside the point.

I really reject this assertion. "Unknown knowledge" doesn't even make any sense on its own, but it gets worse when you consider that there's no way of knowing what unknown knowledge is accurate and what isn't. Faith and belief are in one context synonymous, but taking a word like "belief" which has multiple meanings and saying because one meaning is synonymous with one thing and another meaning is synonymous with another thing, those two things are equally synonymous is simply wrong. Even then, I reject the notion that belief is equivalent to knowledge in any reasonable context. Belief is facts held in the absence of knowledge. If I believe something, it means I do not know; at best, I have a solid hunch.

Unknown knowledge, as in knowledge of the mind, not "reality." It's unknown to society, and society is the most important thing in this discussion. Unless you assume God is real, then society is but a small frame of this mystery.

Belief feeds off the mind, it's neither true or false, it simply is. It becomes knowledge when enough reasonable evidence presents itself. It is relative to so called "reality." Beliefs are in a completely different reality stemming from ones mind.

What is bad about faith? Blindly believing in God. It's not the cause, it's the effect. It's because some humans aren't interested in science. They'd prefer their reality to be the way they want it. I think we can live in piece with some reform. I'm not even sure religion could function without faith.

Where do you come to the conclusion that faith and stupidity are synonymous?

Because using faith in almost any other context gets you wrecked. Seriously. Think about this for a moment. What realms of your life, other than god, do you go on faith alone? Earned trust, maybe. But blind faith?

You have faith that everything will be okay (presumably), that you won't get stabbed by a stranger in your sleep, etc. Faith is like an anti-depressant, it calms you down when you see something you don't understand. It's a natural function of nearly everyone's brain (you'd probably be considered psychotic if you didn't have faith.) Having blind faith is caused by arrogance/ignorance and denial of anyone's reality but your own. The best solution would be to continue having faith, simply also listen to reason and really pick what's best for everyone and not what some old fat guy told you.

We act as though the idea of God is unbelievable, when in reality, science is far more unbelievable then the simplicity of an alternative theory. Religion was designed to simplify things. If anything, believing in God is the smart thing to do, instead we should be questioning science. Perhaps that is the point of religion. To question science.

...What.

(I'm going to assume that by "science" you mean the results of the scientific method, rather than the method itself.)

That assumption would be correct.

Lemme get this straight. You think that science is far more unbelievable than the simplicity of the alternative theory... Despite the fact that science has all the evidence on its side? Despite the fact that most scientific theories have gone through decades of rigorous scrutiny and testing? Despite the fact that such "unbelievable" scientific theories are the basis for our 21st-century life on this planet?

See. You miss my point completely. To me, science is complex. Even with the evidence, well, especially with the evidence, the universe doesn't really make sense. I tell myself that if the universe is possible, there's no reason to think God is impossible. This itself doesn't mean much, because I wouldn't worship a god even if one did exist and made contact. It's simply healthy to have an open mind.

There are certain things that you just don't say. Certain things that just REALLY piss me off. This is one of them. This scientific stuff you disparaged is backed up by mountains of hard, physical evidence, analyzed by the smartest minds on the planet, refuted by nothing ever found, and you have the gall to claim that it's more unbelievable than something for which nobody has ever found evidence? The sheer bloody-minded arrogance that goes into this kind of thinking is ASTOUNDING.

Don't get pissed because I questioned science. There's no reason to. How many times do I have to say; science means nothing to me in comparison to everything else that matters to me. There's little difference between a Science Crusader and a religious one.

But what makes this even worse is the fact that this argument is so intellectually vapid and meaningless! Even if we assume that the science is less unbelievable to the uninformed observer, that means absolutely jack shit. The more intuitive or obvious answer is not only not always right, it's rarely ever right when we come to topics which are complex and deep.

What exactly is your definition of 'intellectual'? Intellect isn't something that can be measured in absolutes. Two people can be intellectual even if they come to completely opposite conclusions.

"Perhaps believing in god is the smart thing to do because science is so complicated".

Smh. For shame.

Take that bullshit somewhere else, I'm not having it.

Taken out of context. I was actually complimenting science.

EDIT: missed this.

EDIT: An interesting read, if you are willing to open your mind.

http://www.lightomega.org/Ind/Pure/Belief_Faith_and_Knowing.html

...Open my mind? To more new-age bullshit? I stopped reading around the point where she defined faith as "something we just know, without evidence, whether we believe in it or not". To quote the famous Tim Minchin: "If you open your mind too far, your brain will fall out". My mind is open - I just have a bullshit filter that stops me from accepting ideas which make not the slightest bit of sense on any rational level!

It does make sense. But it depends wholly on which perspective you are looking from. If your somebody who blindly follows science (regardless of evidence), then obviously this idea is completely crazy.

When we have faith, we believe in the invisible. In doing this, our mind faces a clear choice between doubt and trust. Faith makes the choice to trust based on the joining of mind and heart. It makes the choice to suspend doubt and cynicism and to say "yes" to the thinking of the heart rather than to rational thinking. In place of rational thinking faith says: "I can believe in what I do not see, for it is not physical sight that gives reality to things but heart and intuition that gives reality to things."

Yeah, uh, see how well suspending rational thought treats you in the real world, you dumb bitch.[/quote]

Well, if that's your comment, then there's no point in me convincing you otherwise. Obviously you have no idea what she's actually saying. Who ever wrote that is a person of faith. Just like you're presumably a person of science. There's not really a right or wrong answer. It's simply different takes on life. If you can't understand that, well, there's nothing I can do about it.

We never really get anywhere in discussions because we're always on two completely different pages.

Walter Byers:

F4LL3N:
What I meant was faith is an important function of the mind, or at least a core function. Faith and belief aren't exactly the same, but the premise is similar. Concerning this particular topic, they are used in very much the same context.

And I'm disagreeing that faith is important to the mind at all. The only reason you think its important is because your beliefs cannot be justified by any other means.

It's completely unnecessary when you have evidence and reason to justify your beliefs.

I don't have an specific beliefs about God, I'm not trying to justify anything to do with my beliefs. If you didn't have faith (in anything) you'd probably be majorly depressed and suicidal. Everyone has faith in some context. Religion is just one avenue for it.

Science isn't the only evidence available. Sociological and psychological factors are important too, in terms of whats best for society. To me, religion has nothing to do with whether or not there is a god. God is a symptom of religion, not a cause.

F4LL3N:

You have faith that everything will be okay (presumably), that you won't get stabbed by a stranger in your sleep, etc. Faith is like an anti-depressant, it calms you down when you see something you don't understand. It's a natural function of nearly everyone's brain (you'd probably be considered psychotic if you didn't have faith.) Having blind faith is caused by arrogance/ignorance and denial of anyone's reality but your own. The best solution would be to continue having faith, simply also listen to reason and really pick what's best for everyone and not what some old fat guy told you.

no i believe i wont get stabbed by a stranger in the my sleep because statistically it is incredibly improbable. if i see something i do not understand the only thing i want to do is understand, faith plays no role.

blind faith = faith, there is no difference.

reonhato:

F4LL3N:

You have faith that everything will be okay (presumably), that you won't get stabbed by a stranger in your sleep, etc. Faith is like an anti-depressant, it calms you down when you see something you don't understand. It's a natural function of nearly everyone's brain (you'd probably be considered psychotic if you didn't have faith.) Having blind faith is caused by arrogance/ignorance and denial of anyone's reality but your own. The best solution would be to continue having faith, simply also listen to reason and really pick what's best for everyone and not what some old fat guy told you.

no i believe i wont get stabbed by a stranger in the my sleep because statistically it is incredibly improbable. if i see something i do not understand the only thing i want to do is understand, faith plays no role.

blind faith = faith, there is no difference.

Are you saying you base such things on luck?

F4LL3N:

reonhato:

F4LL3N:

You have faith that everything will be okay (presumably), that you won't get stabbed by a stranger in your sleep, etc. Faith is like an anti-depressant, it calms you down when you see something you don't understand. It's a natural function of nearly everyone's brain (you'd probably be considered psychotic if you didn't have faith.) Having blind faith is caused by arrogance/ignorance and denial of anyone's reality but your own. The best solution would be to continue having faith, simply also listen to reason and really pick what's best for everyone and not what some old fat guy told you.

no i believe i wont get stabbed by a stranger in the my sleep because statistically it is incredibly improbable. if i see something i do not understand the only thing i want to do is understand, faith plays no role.

blind faith = faith, there is no difference.

Are you saying you base such things on luck?

there is no such thing as luck. weather or not you get stabbed or shot, weather you win the lottery is all based on probability. you can effect the probability of these things happening with your choices in life but when it comes down to everything nothing is based on what we call luck.

im not sure if you have seen or even heard of the TV show alphas on sci-fi ( i refuse to call it syfy) in one of the episodes they come across a guy who has the ability to predict the outcome of events. he did things like escape police custody by flipping a coin and causing a car crash. to those who see it from the outside it would seem like pure luck, but he had already calculated everything that would happen. if you have enough information you can predict anything, nothing that happens is luck.

reonhato:

Are you saying you base such things on luck?

there is no such thing as luck. weather or not you get stabbed or shot, weather you win the lottery is all based on probability. you can effect the probability of these things happening with your choices in life but when it comes down to everything nothing is based on what we call luck.

im not sure if you have seen or even heard of the TV show alphas on sci-fi ( i refuse to call it syfy) in one of the episodes they come across a guy who has the ability to predict the outcome of events. he did things like escape police custody by flipping a coin and causing a car crash. to those who see it from the outside it would seem like pure luck, but he had already calculated everything that would happen. if you have enough information you can predict anything, nothing that happens is luck.

Luck isn't measurable. Luck is only present in ones own mind. Say, 7 is your lucky number. Based on reality, 7 isn't lucky, it can't be. But to ones self, they build a connection to the number 7. It's wholly psychological. I think it's faith. Because it's something you believe; but this knowledge doesn't stem from reality. It probably stems from emotions.

Luck is real. It's just relative to ones own mind. It is fictional in a sense. But being in ones mind, it can't be false.

F4LL3N:

reonhato:

Are you saying you base such things on luck?

there is no such thing as luck. weather or not you get stabbed or shot, weather you win the lottery is all based on probability. you can effect the probability of these things happening with your choices in life but when it comes down to everything nothing is based on what we call luck.

im not sure if you have seen or even heard of the TV show alphas on sci-fi ( i refuse to call it syfy) in one of the episodes they come across a guy who has the ability to predict the outcome of events. he did things like escape police custody by flipping a coin and causing a car crash. to those who see it from the outside it would seem like pure luck, but he had already calculated everything that would happen. if you have enough information you can predict anything, nothing that happens is luck.

Luck isn't measurable. Luck is only present in ones own mind. Say, 7 is your lucky number. Based on reality, 7 isn't lucky, it can't be. But to ones self, they build a connection to the number 7. It's wholly psychological. I think it's faith. Because it's something you believe; but this knowledge doesn't stem from reality. It probably stems from emotions.

Luck is real. It's just relative to ones own mind. It is fictional in a sense. But being in ones mind, it can't be false.

i dont have a lucky number because i know it is nonsense. luck is not real because it is fictional. it can be false and it is. just because it exists in someones mind does not mean it is true

reonhato:
i dont have a lucky number because i know it is nonsense. luck is not real because it is fictional. it can be false and it is. just because it exists in someones mind does not mean it is true

You sub-consciously believe in luck if you base things on probability. You believe you're lucky enough not to be stabbed by a random serial killer. Or if you take any medicine with a rare chance of a bad side-effect, you assume you will not suffer these rare risks. You can word it to not sound like luck, but I think it's ultimately still a luck based belief (or faith based, which I think is the same thing.)

Whether something in someone's mind is real or not is irrelevent. If someone believes in God, it doesn't matter if there is a God. Because beliefs are enough to make it "real" to said person.

F4LL3N:

reonhato:
i dont have a lucky number because i know it is nonsense. luck is not real because it is fictional. it can be false and it is. just because it exists in someones mind does not mean it is true

You sub-consciously believe in luck if you base things on probability. You believe you're lucky enough not to be stabbed by a random serial killer. Or if you take any medicine with a rare chance of a bad side-effect, you assume you will not suffer these rare risks. You can word it to not sound like luck, but I think it's ultimately still a luck based belief (or faith based, which I think is the same thing.)

Whether something in someone's mind is real or not is irrelevent. If someone believes in God, it doesn't matter if there is a God. Because beliefs are enough to make it "real" to said person.

i believe i have a billion dollars.... nope not real. belief does not make something real.

no i do not sub-consciously believe in luck because i know it does not exist. i believe in statistics and probability, even if something goes against probability it does not mean i was unlucky. some people get killed, some people win the lottery, it has to happen to somebody, if it happens to be me then so be it but it has nothing to do with luck.

Walter Byers:

Your beliefs don't exist in a vacuum. They inform your behaviors and decisions. If a belief is without consequence then why believe it? It literally has no affect on your life.

What happens when two beliefs conflict with each other? How do you resolve this?

Do you care what you believe is true?

Please look at reason number 1 on why one would believe in a God.

If one didn't have a reason such as the reason I explained in number 1, I understand how it would seem quite useless to believe such things and I agree with that. But my statement still stands: Why not?

Also, as I said, what I personally believe does not affect anything else in my life for the reasons I already explained. My beliefs cannot and have yet to conflict with each other.

supersaiyen312:
That's just the thing though.
It's only logical that God is above logic, else he would not be God. Therefore human logic does not apply to him. Therefore it is valid to argue:
God exists.

Therefore God exists.

How can you prove the existence of being via human logic if, by your own admission, he is above said human logic?

Final First:

Walter Byers:

Your beliefs don't exist in a vacuum. They inform your behaviors and decisions. If a belief is without consequence then why believe it? It literally has no affect on your life.

What happens when two beliefs conflict with each other? How do you resolve this?

Do you care what you believe is true?

Please look at reason number 1 on why one would believe in a God.

If one didn't have a reason such as the reason I explained in number 1, I understand how it would seem quite useless to believe such things and I agree with that. But my statement still stands: Why not?

Also, as I said, what I personally believe does not affect anything else in my life for the reasons I already explained. My beliefs cannot and have yet to conflict with each other.

Occam's razor. If an event can be explained by a linear combination of established phenomenon, no matter how convoluted, it is always simpler to do so than to invent a new phenomenon. Following the principle of Occam's razor (whereby when faced with multiple explanations for an event, the simplest one is selected), we should reject hypothesis which utilise unnecessary phenomenon, especially when those phenomenon cannot be tested.

Furthermore, belief in a deity also tends to include obligations on myself. If we assume that it is all academic, why should I choose to needlessly obligate myself to do certain things. Thus, from a principle of lazyness, it makes sense to reject God, all other things being equal.

Final First:
Believing in a God in the same way I do in no way means that one must give up on believing other things often used against the existence of a God. I know you didn't actually say this, but you come off as believing that I or others who believe in God are one of those types that completely deny theories such as evolution.

If you are implying this, then it is understandable due to the large amount of theists who deny such theories. However, I don't see a reason why not to believe them to be true. One can keep God completely out of scientific facts without problems.

Entirely beside the point. You're still behaving irrationally by believing in something without any reason to do so. You cannot support your belief with anything - you yourself pointed out that it is impossible to provide evidence of god's existence! So... why do you believe? And don't tell me "I just have faith". "I just have faith" doesn't actually answer the question.

So the difference here is that others who believe this don't "turn off their reasoning" and instead accept the fact that science is still truth and in no way contradicts the existence of a God, as I've already implied in my original post.

And it still doesn't matter.

EDIT: I forgot to mention in response to your first statement that: 1. A significant amount of people who believe in God have had life experiences that may or may not have been an act of God. Sometimes they probably weren't, but others, they are unbelievable.

Unverifiable experiences which are passed down like tall tales, given more embellishment each time. Not to mention that you yourself said, flat-out, that god exists outside of this universe and that therefore proof of his existence is impossible. That leaves the only possible answers for this "they were crazy" or "they were lying".

2. Why not? Why not believe when there is no consequence; when it does not affect any other logical belief such as in scientific theories, for example? Your argument goes both ways, my friend. Correct me if I'm wrong.

You're wrong because of a little thing known as the burden of proof. Beyond that, though, you could apply this logic to any unfalsifiable claim which carries no consequence. The magical intangible space gnomes. Russell's Teapot. An alien named Bob in Alpha Centuri. Saying "there's no reason not to" is not an answer to the question "why do you believe" - it is neither evidence nor logical proof. You've given nobody here a reason to believe in god.

F4LL3N:
Faith isn't to blame. I'm no expert, but the older I get the more I realize how complex the human mind is. It's simply too complex to blame one little thing when there are probably 100 factors. In the same way addiction generally means psychological problems elsewhere in your life.

I'm afraid I've missed the train of thought here... Faith isn't to blame for what? For a lot of really poor decision-making? For belief in things that make no sense?

Unless my definition is different than yours, faith is more or less luck and hope, too.

Your definition misses the entire point of what faith entails. You're trying to use the same trick where you see a word that is synonymous with two different things, and try to use that bridge to say "these things are synonymous", when in fact they aren't, because the shared synonym is only synonymous in a particular definition. You're muddling up what the words mean in context. I reject that hope, luck, belief, and knowledge have the same definition of faith in the vast majority of contexts we use them in.

The "faith" I take umbrage with is the following definition: "belief that is not based on evidence or proof". That's a fairly narrow definition, and in almost every context, it has nothing to do with luck or hope.

You believe a number is lucky. You hope that everything will be okay (you have faith that everything will be okay.) A lot of this seems to be on the same scale, just with varying degrees of outside factors influencing what it means. Hope is just faith with an added extra of desire. Luck is just a personal connection with (typically a number, or something of the sort), and then the added element of faith in that piece.

I don't believe in lucky numbers any more than I believe in curses, good-luck-charms, and demon possession. Simply equating faith with hope like you just did is beyond ridiculous - hope entails a lot more than simply belief without evidence most of the time, and if it doesn't... Well, then it's irrational.

Your arguing that faith has a negative influence on society. Are you saying faith is the core reason for religions downsides? Is that where religion fails? I don't see the evidence behind that claim.

Nope. I'm arguing that the acceptance of a belief without sound rational grounding is far more likely to lead to problems than acceptance of a belief with sound rational grounding.

For a start, dogma must have a worse effect than faith, on a persons 'self.' Really, there should be laws that forbid such brainwashing. Although now the internet's around, most kids will see enough of the outside world to make there own decisions. This part of religion is bad. It states, "X" and "Don't question X."

On this we agree completely. However, a crucial part of dogma is faith.

All faith does is give people a little hope.

I'd argue it does a lot more than that...

It's obvious that you want religion gone complete, or else you wouldn't be attacking such a core component of religion.

Oh, that I want religion gone is no secret, but you've got the cause and effect mixed up - I hate religion because I think faith is wrong and harmful, not the other way around.

Unknown knowledge, as in knowledge of the mind, not "reality." It's unknown to society, and society is the most important thing in this discussion. Unless you assume God is real, then society is but a small frame of this mystery.

Excuse me for having to point this out, but this is pyschobabble. Please try again, without mangling the English language.

Belief feeds off the mind, it's neither true or false, it simply is. It becomes knowledge when enough reasonable evidence presents itself. It is relative to so called "reality." Beliefs are in a completely different reality stemming from ones mind.

Yep, can't really make heads or tails of this either.

What is bad about faith? Blindly believing in God.

No, that is not my problem with faith. The problem with faith (and which is inherent to every single type of faith) is blind belief in anything. You're making assumptions about my reasons for not trusting faith that simply are not accurate.

You have faith that everything will be okay (presumably), that you won't get stabbed by a stranger in your sleep, etc.

Except that that's something completely different from the kind of blind faith I take umbrage with. There are any number of factors that can be pulled up to justify "faith" in that idea, from simple empirical observation (hasn't happened to me yet) to earned trust in the social contract. Granted, it would be an issue if it was an idea taken purely on faith... But it isn't, and equating like that is simply wrong.

Faith is like an anti-depressant, it calms you down when you see something you don't understand. It's a natural function of nearly everyone's brain (you'd probably be considered psychotic if you didn't have faith.) Having blind faith is caused by arrogance/ignorance and denial of anyone's reality but your own. The best solution would be to continue having faith, simply also listen to reason and really pick what's best for everyone and not what some old fat guy told you.

Of course. Faith can be an extremely useful tool when the alternatives are uncomfortable. Much like denial and drugs. It doesn't make it rational or sensible in any manner.

See. You miss my point completely. To me, science is complex. Even with the evidence, well, especially with the evidence, the universe doesn't really make sense. I tell myself that if the universe is possible, there's no reason to think God is impossible. This itself doesn't mean much, because I wouldn't worship a god even if one did exist and made contact. It's simply healthy to have an open mind.

But I have an open mind. In fact, scientists by necessity have minds that are open to new ideas, or old ideas with new evidence. The problem is that I have a filter in place that requires new ideas to meet a basic burden of proof. This, plus a few other things you said, like this:

Don't get pissed because I questioned science. There's no reason to. How many times do I have to say; science means nothing to me in comparison to everything else that matters to me. There's little difference between a Science Crusader and a religious one.

...Leads me to believe that you have some very basic misconceptions about science, and might wanna look into what it actually means before saying things like "Science crusader".

What exactly is your definition of 'intellectual'? Intellect isn't something that can be measured in absolutes. Two people can be intellectual even if they come to completely opposite conclusions.

Intellectually vapid in this context = rationally meaningless. The claim of "it's more intuitive" says NOTHING about the validity of a statement.

It does make sense. But it depends wholly on which perspective you are looking from. If your somebody who blindly follows science (regardless of evidence), then obviously this idea is completely crazy.

What the hell do you mean, "blindly follows science (regardless of evidence)"? If you had any understanding of science and the scientific method, you'd realize that this statement is absolutely meaningless!

Well, if that's your comment, then there's no point in me convincing you otherwise. Obviously you have no idea what she's actually saying.

No, I understand entirely what she's saying, and it's exactly what I've been saying: faith is the suspension of rational thought in order to hold a belief. I'm going a step further and saying "hang on, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard!"

Who ever wrote that is a person of faith. Just like you're presumably a person of science. There's not really a right or wrong answer. It's simply different takes on life. If you can't understand that, well, there's nothing I can do about it.

We never really get anywhere in discussions because we're always on two completely different pages.

Yes, you're right. We're on two completely different pages. I've got my feet planted firmly on the ground, and you're floating up near cloud nine. I still have yet to see any argument for how faith is anything more than gullibility.

Stagnant:
Unverifiable experiences which are passed down like tall tales, given more embellishment each time. Not to mention that you yourself said, flat-out, that god exists outside of this universe and that therefore proof of his existence is impossible. That leaves the only possible answers for this "they were crazy" or "they were lying".

When I said "A significant amount of people who believe in God have had life experiences that may or may not have been an act of God" I wasn't talking about people from many years ago. I was referring to people who are still alive today. People who've had experiences which turned them either to a particular faith or strengthened their already existing one. This doesn't necessarily mean that those people who try to use their "Godly experience" or what-have-you to convert people. I just mean regular people who probably don't even talk about it much.

EDIT: That was extremely idiotic of me, I accidentally clicked the post button before I was finished...

Anyway...

You're wrong because of a little thing known as the burden of proof. Beyond that, though, you could apply this logic to any unfalsifiable claim which carries no consequence. The magical intangible space gnomes. Russell's Teapot. An alien named Bob in Alpha Centuri. Saying "there's no reason not to" is not an answer to the question "why do you believe" - it is neither evidence nor logical proof. You've given nobody here a reason to believe in god.

I see no problem in believing in the "magical intangible space gnomes" if it meant it didn't alter one's opinions on anything else. It's called the ideology of "Anything is possible even when there is no physical evidence for or against it". You're just making it sound crazy with your examples, ignoring the fact that believing such things, or at least that they may be possible, evokes curiosity. This curiosity thus causes one to search for answers and truth. Isn't that an important part of science?

ClockworkPenguin:
Furthermore, belief in a deity also tends to include obligations on myself. If we assume that it is all academic, why should I choose to needlessly obligate myself to do certain things. Thus, from a principle of lazyness, it makes sense to reject God, all other things being equal.

Whether or not obligations are included depends on what you believe. As I said, one can believe in a God without having all the extra baggage which is often carried with most religions, or at least the top religions. I understand why one would reject the existence of a God when it is acknowledged that one cannot prove the existence of one, or that it wont make a difference anyway. But as I said, some believers have had life experiences that just aren't right. Yes, one can explain them with science. Yes one could probably explain certain experiences with "coincidence", but I believe the "coincidence argument" is far too convenient. I really think of a good way to put it, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

Also as a disclaimer: When I say "life experience" in this context, I don't just mean some things such as "feeling in touch with God" or anything like that (personally I think statements like those are a load of bull but that's just my opinion). I mean actual events that actually happened that just seem odd or out of place. Surely they are possible without a God, but as I said it just seems too odd.

Final First:

ClockworkPenguin:
Furthermore, belief in a deity also tends to include obligations on myself. If we assume that it is all academic, why should I choose to needlessly obligate myself to do certain things. Thus, from a principle of lazyness, it makes sense to reject God, all other things being equal.

Whether or not obligations are included depends on what you believe. As I said, one can believe in a God without having all the extra baggage which is often carried with most religions, or at least the top religions. I understand why one would reject the existence of a God when it is acknowledged that one cannot prove the existence of one, or that it wont make a difference anyway. But as I said, some believers have had life experiences that just aren't right. Yes, one can explain them with science. Yes one could probably explain certain experiences with "coincidence", but I believe the "coincidence argument" is far too convenient. I really think of a good way to put it, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

Also as a disclaimer: When I say "life experience" in this context, I don't just mean some things such as "feeling in touch with God" or anything like that (personally I think statements like those are a load of bull but that's just my opinion). I mean actual events that actually happened that just seem odd or out of place. Surely they are possible without a God, but as I said it just seems too odd.

The part of my post you didn't quote deals nicely with the issue of religious experiences. As you admit, they can be explained scientifically. And if you can explain it through natural phenomenon, it is irrational to attribute it to supernatural phenomenon. Also, the 'coincidence' argument is helped along by the law of large numbers (there are 7 billion people- therefore you would expect weird shit to happen to someone somewhere) and the fact that no-one bothers to mention the times stuff doesn't happen, so the coincidences get more attention than they deserve.

Here is a good analogy. People win the lottery all the time. The odds on this are longer than the odds on most 'miracles'. Does that make the lottery an act of God?

ClockworkPenguin:

Final First:

ClockworkPenguin:
Furthermore, belief in a deity also tends to include obligations on myself. If we assume that it is all academic, why should I choose to needlessly obligate myself to do certain things. Thus, from a principle of lazyness, it makes sense to reject God, all other things being equal.

Whether or not obligations are included depends on what you believe. As I said, one can believe in a God without having all the extra baggage which is often carried with most religions, or at least the top religions. I understand why one would reject the existence of a God when it is acknowledged that one cannot prove the existence of one, or that it wont make a difference anyway. But as I said, some believers have had life experiences that just aren't right. Yes, one can explain them with science. Yes one could probably explain certain experiences with "coincidence", but I believe the "coincidence argument" is far too convenient. I really think of a good way to put it, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

Also as a disclaimer: When I say "life experience" in this context, I don't just mean some things such as "feeling in touch with God" or anything like that (personally I think statements like those are a load of bull but that's just my opinion). I mean actual events that actually happened that just seem odd or out of place. Surely they are possible without a God, but as I said it just seems too odd.

The part of my post you didn't quote deals nicely with the issue of religious experiences. As you admit, they can be explained scientifically. And if you can explain it through natural phenomenon, it is irrational to attribute it to supernatural phenomenon. Also, the 'coincidence' argument is helped along by the law of large numbers (there are 7 billion people- therefore you would expect weird shit to happen to someone somewhere) and the fact that no-one bothers to mention the times stuff doesn't happen, so the coincidences get more attention than they deserve.

Here is a good analogy. People win the lottery all the time. The odds on this are longer than the odds on most 'miracles'. Does that make the lottery an act of God?

I admit you got me there. You're right on the coincidence thing.

However, when I say that these things can be explained scientifically, that doesn't necessarily mean that a God didn't play a part. Now, I don't believe EVERYTHING that happens, including the strange or positive events, are acts of God, but that doesn't mean God didn't cause it to happen. Unlike many religious individuals whom I've met (and I'm pretty sure everyone has met those types of individuals) who believe in supernatural occurrences or "magic" by God, I believe everything, including events one may call "miracles" are just science. But that doesn't mean that God didn't intend that string of events that caused such a miraculous outcome to occur.

Basically, events, even those which one would usually call a miracle if they didn't look into the science of it, are all caused in natural ways which can be explained scientifically. However that doesn't at all mean that God didn't intend it to happen and "set in motion" that string of natural occurrences.

This probably sounds looney but I don't care.

Final First:
Basically, events, even those which one would usually call a miracle if they didn't look into the science of it, are all caused in natural ways which can be explained scientifically. However that doesn't at all mean that God didn't intend it to happen and "set in motion" that string of natural occurrences.

Oh, of course. It does, however, mean that god is entirely unnecessary, and there's the breaking point - once god becomes unnecessary, there's NOTHING to work with.

Final First:
When I said "A significant amount of people who believe in God have had life experiences that may or may not have been an act of God" I wasn't talking about people from many years ago. I was referring to people who are still alive today. People who've had experiences which turned them either to a particular faith or strengthened their already existing one. This doesn't necessarily mean that those people who try to use their "Godly experience" or what-have-you to convert people. I just mean regular people who probably don't even talk about it much.

I'm well aware that people today bring up "acts of god". All of the recent ones have several things that they almost all share:
- Unverifiable
- Useless or Pointless
- Explainable as Hallucinations/Emotional Reactions

Particularly that last one is very interesting.

You're wrong because of a little thing known as the burden of proof. Beyond that, though, you could apply this logic to any unfalsifiable claim which carries no consequence. The magical intangible space gnomes. Russell's Teapot. An alien named Bob in Alpha Centuri. Saying "there's no reason not to" is not an answer to the question "why do you believe" - it is neither evidence nor logical proof. You've given nobody here a reason to believe in god.

I see no problem in believing in the "magical intangible space gnomes" if it meant it didn't alter one's opinions on anything else. It's called the ideology of "Anything is possible even when there is no physical evidence for or against it". You're just making it sound crazy with your examples, ignoring the fact that believing such things, or at least that they may be possible, evokes curiosity. This curiosity thus causes one to search for answers and truth. Isn't that an important part of science?

...Then you're wrong. I'm sorry.


;D

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