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Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:01 PM

There is a lot of talk in this forum about god

Whether he/she exists, number of gods, etc.

To know whether a god exists I would think that one first has to define what a god is.
I have never seen that spelled out here.

How can one have a discussion about god if you do not know the definition??

So let's get a definite definition

84 replies, 9590 views

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Reply There is a lot of talk in this forum about god (Original post)
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 OP
cbayer Feb 2012 #1
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #5
cbayer Feb 2012 #9
1ProudAtheist Feb 2012 #17
cbayer Feb 2012 #18
virgogal Feb 2012 #2
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #6
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #37
rug Feb 2012 #3
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #7
rug Feb 2012 #20
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #21
rug Feb 2012 #22
Silent3 Feb 2012 #4
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #8
Silent3 Feb 2012 #16
cbayer Feb 2012 #10
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #12
cbayer Feb 2012 #13
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #15
saras Feb 2012 #11
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #14
bongbong Feb 2012 #19
edhopper Feb 2012 #23
cbayer Feb 2012 #26
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #28
edhopper Feb 2012 #29
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #30
onager Feb 2012 #31
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #32
tama Feb 2012 #61
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #76
tama Feb 2012 #77
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #84
onager Feb 2012 #78
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #81
tama Feb 2012 #82
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #40
edhopper Feb 2012 #42
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #52
tama Feb 2012 #59
edhopper Feb 2012 #69
tama Feb 2012 #73
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #79
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #80
edhopper Feb 2012 #83
Thats my opinion Feb 2012 #36
tama Feb 2012 #62
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #24
tama Feb 2012 #27
Tyrs WolfDaemon Feb 2012 #25
onager Feb 2012 #33
Thats my opinion Feb 2012 #34
cleanhippie Feb 2012 #35
tama Feb 2012 #49
GliderGuider Feb 2012 #38
skepticscott Feb 2012 #39
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #41
cbayer Feb 2012 #43
skepticscott Feb 2012 #46
cbayer Feb 2012 #53
skepticscott Feb 2012 #56
tama Feb 2012 #60
skepticscott Feb 2012 #66
tama Feb 2012 #68
cleanhippie Feb 2012 #44
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #47
tama Feb 2012 #50
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #51
tama Feb 2012 #58
skepticscott Feb 2012 #45
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #48
skepticscott Feb 2012 #55
napoleon_in_rags Feb 2012 #57
Post removed Feb 2012 #65
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2012 #63
tama Feb 2012 #64
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2012 #67
tama Feb 2012 #71
handmade34 Feb 2012 #54
RKP5637 Feb 2012 #72
RKP5637 Feb 2012 #70
tama Feb 2012 #74
RKP5637 Feb 2012 #75

Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:05 PM

1. Lol - you first.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:25 PM

5. I can not believe in the god of the Bible

Would a loving human father treat his children in that way??
I will start there

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:36 PM

9. Fair enough. We can just say what we don't think god is.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 03:44 PM

17. A Manifestation Of Man

 

in his own image as a means to deny science and reason.

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Response to 1ProudAtheist (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 04:01 PM

18. If that is what works for you, go with it.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:05 PM

2. A question with many answers. It's personal and it is all about faith. I'm

on the fence about this topic.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:27 PM

6. Those are the answers I am looking for

It is personal

My question would be how can one have faith in something that you do not know what it is??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 02:51 PM

37. If it's personal you get to decide for yourself what it is.

 

It's when God is presented as an objective concept or fact that the problems begin, it seems to me.

If the idea stays personal and subjective it shouldn't cause any ripples for anyone else, unless they are devoted to enforcing their view of the matter on others.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:06 PM

3. By defintion, God cannot be defined.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:28 PM

7. I wonder how you can say that without providing a definition??

'By definition' ........ I see no definition

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 07:06 PM

20. The only definition that's accurate is limitlessness.

 

Anything less places it squarely and solely in the physical sphere.

The root of define is to describe a thing's limits.

For me, a more fruitful task is to attempt an understanding of the concept of God rather than to attempt a definition of God.

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Response to rug (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 07:20 PM

21. Okay

What is your concept of god??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 09:18 PM

22. Conscious, limitless existence.

 

At least that's what I get from יהוה , "I am who is", or Yahweh, represented by the Tetragrammaton.

In contrast to that is nonexistence, or unconsciousness.

From this flows all, creation and all the confusion that reigns among humans trying to understand it.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:12 PM

4. Something other than the kind of thing you can prove doesn't exist

And really important too, so you'd better believe!

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:29 PM

8. I know you can do better than that

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 03:19 PM

16. He Who Cannot Be Disproved can do better than that

Me, I'm just His humble servant.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:38 PM

10. Based on your responses so far, I would say this is primarily goading.

I do not believe that you really want honest responses here, just an opportunity to shoot down any answers given by anyone.

As I said above, you go first. Provide a definition.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 03:00 PM

12. I am not goading

Last edited Fri Feb 24, 2012, 07:22 PM - Edit history (1)

The question was brought about with all the discourse the past weeks on how the president is trying to force people to go against their religious views and others saying that god has picked them to run for president. So many picked to run makes one wonder how many gods there are.

I see women and girls in this country being demeaned just because of their sex in the name of god and religion.
I find this very disgraceful.

If I had to choose a position I would lean towards the view that each one of has god inside of us and it is up to each of us to search for that god. God is not outside but inside. We are all part of this universe and we each hold the answers within us. Everything is connected. God could be defined as a force. After that I do nto know. I can prove a force,


edit: changed word choice to choose

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 03:02 PM

13. I like your definition.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 03:03 PM

15. Thank you

Post #11 is pretty good in my opinion

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 02:56 PM

11. There isn't one. You only get to have A definition if you pick A true religion.

 

http://www.harpercollins.com/books/God-Not-One-Stephen-Prothero/?isbn=9780061571275
Brilliant book. I got to talk to the author about it (and write a report).

I'd start there.

Because my definition is Eck Ong Kar. The creator and the creation are one. The only God is EVERYTHING, not any subset of everything. There is nothing outside God, including the next big bang over. And God no more has a human personality than God has a badger personality, or an Apple Siri personality.

Transcendent gods with humanoid personalities just seem ludicrous to me (and people from some religious traditions, but not others, obviously).

So good luck finding a common definition.

The universe is controlled by arbitrary, only partially knowable forces. These forces are female, and their name is Eris.

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Response to saras (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 03:02 PM

14. Would post #12 kinda fit into this??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 04:09 PM

19. God

 

God is the mythical being that prehistoric men came up with to deny the fear of death, and explain natural events they were mystified and/or terrified of.

Currently, God is used as an excuse by right-wingers to do and believe anything they want, with an "official" reason for their insane beliefs. On the left, I'm not quite sure what the use of God is. Probably a lot of death denial, and maybe as an icon to live up to.

See the book "Denial Of Death" by Becker for more details.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 09:27 PM

23. How about this

If you believe in God (I will use He for the sake of brevity)

Is He a single entity?

Is He conscious?

Does He have effect on the physical world?

Did He create the Universe?

Does He intervene in the lives of humans?

Can you talk to Him?


Let's start with those.










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Response to edhopper (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:22 AM

26. If there is, I would answer thusly

No

Yes

No

No

No

No, but perhaps I can hear him

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Response to edhopper (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 05:37 AM

28. Its like asking: Where in this movie IS the producer?

Nowhere.
1) Elohim, the old name of God, both singular and plural: One and many.
2) God is consciousness.
3) Do you have any effect on the physical world? Does not your brain unfold according to deterministic principles of the atomic structure therein? So how you can you say you have free will, when everything your brain does is unfolding in the same cold and physically determined manner as the clouds in a storm?
4) Yes
5) Do your thoughts "intervene" in the deterministic unfolding the physical systems that dictate your brain state and thus all your behavior?
6) Yes, but really you can talk to anything, once you realize communication is a synchronizing between state spaces of two physical systems, often brains.

So much of the these hunts for God are looking for a description of some entity IN reality, rather than the foundations OF reality. Its like looking for the producer of the film in the film, when really you have to back up and look at the contexts of reality.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 10:32 AM

29. Yes I effect the physical world.

You #5 answer is metaphysical nonsense IMHO.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 11:05 AM

30. As soon as one encounters the wave theory of matter, physics and metaphysics blur together.

 

I recommend a heaping helping of David Bohm to clarify this situation.

You could start here: http://www.amazon.ca/Wholeness-Implicate-Order-Routledge-Classics/dp/0415289793

From an Amazon review:

[div class="excerpt" style="border:solid 1px #000000"]The Stochastic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics was developed over a number of years, starting with Louis DeBroglie's 'pilot wave' innovation, then being much further refined by Jean Paul Vigier, and later David Bohm and Brian Hiley of University of London. Much of the theoretical basis for their work rests on the split photon experiments of Alain Aspect and colleagues at the University of Paris. I.e. Aspect et al evidently found 'correlations' between the polarizations of separated photons at significant (~ 12 m) distances.

In the most general sense, the apparently 'fragmented' universe we behold- made of disparate stars, galaxies, galaxy clusters etc. is the explicate order. The outwardly manfest reality occurring in 4 dimensional space time. However, we cannot be sure that at a higher dimensionality all the fragmented forms are not unified.

This unified order would be described as 'implicate' - and one can ascertain that the explicate order is or can be 'enfolded' into it. In effect, one confronts a universe that has deceived our senses. We are deceived into believing there exists a multiplicity of entities, when in fact there is only one. We just can't apprehend it from our vantage point.

Finally, rather than supernaturalist drivel, I think the book really shows that we need to think of new ways- for example- to describe the phenomenon of human consciousness. I already attempted one such way, using 'Pauli spin operator' gates in the brain, in my book 'The Atheist's Handbook to Modern Materialism' (Chapter 5, 'Consciousness and Modern Materialism'). This also leads to the development of 'quantum' neural networks with the possibility of non-local features governing their operation (cf. p. 157 - my book).

The writer of the review recommends three other books, which he thinks ought to be read before tackling Bohm:

'Space, Time and Beyond' by Fred Alan Wolf and Bob Toben (Bantam New Age, 1982).
'The Non-Local Universe' by Robert Nadeau and Menas Kafatos (Oxford Univ. Press, 1999).
'In Search of Reality' by Bernard d'Espagnat which he feels is the best immediate introduction to Bohm's work.

I've read one book that he disparages in the review ('The Holographic Universe' by Talbot), but it was enough to whet my appetite for the full meal deal.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 12:55 PM

31. Bohm was an interesting and very strange character

David Bohm and Jiddo Krishnamurti

Skeptical Inquirer, July, 2000, by Martin Gardner

Bohm was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1917. When he obtained his doctorate in physics under J. Robert Oppenheimer, at the University of California, Berkeley, Bohm was a dedicated Marxist and a strong admirer of Lenin, Stalin, and the Soviet system. These opinions drew the fire of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Bohm's refusal to name names resulted in his indictment for contempt of Congress. Princeton University, which had hired him, let him go...

Ex-Communists and fellow travelers have a habit of turning from Marxism to another ideology, often Catholicism or some other religion. In Bohm's case it was a bounce toward Buddhism and Hinduism, and the teachings of Krishnamurti...

In his biography of Bohm, David Peat tells how Bohm carried with him a key bent by Uri Geller as if it were a holy relic. When the key later disappeared, Bohm took this to be Geller's psychokinetic powers at work from a distance. When the key was found an hour later, he believed this to be another paranormal event! Bohm's close associate Basil Hiley at once recognized Geller as a charlatan. He often warned Bohm that if he appeared to endorse Geller it would damage their work. Bohm agreed to back away from Geller. As Hiley said to Peat, Bohm often had to be saved from idiots.

Bohm's Eastern metaphysics, even though it helped shape his interpretation of quantum mechanics, should not be held against the potential fruitfulness of his pilot wave theory. In a similar fashion Isaac Newton's Biblical fundamentalism and his alchemical research cast no shadows over his contributions to physics. Nor did Kepler's belief in astrology throw doubts on his great discoveries.


http://thinkg.net/david_bohm/martin_gardner_on_david_bohm_and_krishnamurti.html

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Response to onager (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:11 PM

32. Gardner defends a staunchly positivist viewpoint I no longer share.

 

Bohm was out of the ordinary for sure, but Gardner's routine use of pejoratives for things he disagrees with (or doesn't believe) gives his game away. He is hardly a disinterested commentator.

The fact that he can give Bohm even the slight wiggle room he does in the comparison to Newton and Kepler should be a signal to take the (hu)man Bohm out of the equation, so to speak. The constant problem for positivist interpreters of speculations like Bohm's is that it's so damn hard to tell where the physics stops and the "woo" (to toss out another value-laden pejorative) begins. That's as it should be, IMO. Such ambiguities can be a useful goad to our progress in understanding WTF is going on.

Accepting the possibility of finding value down in that contested region is the measure of a necessary humility in both the physicist and the metaphysicist.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 08:56 AM

61. I became

 

strongly influenced by Bohm and Krishnamurti in my teens, when my cousin was first in the Krishnamurti movement - on my first Interrail trip I went to see my cousin and listen to Jiddu in Switzerland - and later he became a friend and a coworker with David Bohm. He has translated Bohm's books into Finnish, made his doctoral dissertation in the department of Philosophy about the quantum approach to the mind-body problem and is currently a professor of Cognitive Science.

My favourite book is the 'Science, Order and Creativity' by Bohm and Peat. The orders and interactions of various orders (deterministic-chaotic, generative, implicate, etc. orders) is very sound philosophy.

Late in his life Bohm tried, AFAIK (hearsay from my cousin) to find the math to unite quantum mind and quantum matter, but didn't get very far and had serious doubt about his own interpretation. Via Bohm and interest in the quantum mind hypothesis I found among many others Jack Sarfatti, who appeared to have some good ideas, and then found some discussions between Sarfatti and Matti Pitkänen, with whom I started correspondance with and also visited couple times, getting drunk together as we Finns do . Though much of the physics jargon goes over my head and geometric imagination, and he's not interested in writing for the general public, I'm putting my bets on Matti's theory.

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Response to tama (Reply #61)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:44 AM

76. More pointers!

 

Thanks, tama! I'd vaguely heard about Sarfatti, but I hadn't know enough to dig him out. He sounds like he'd be a phenomenal guy to drop acid with (and I mean that as a sincere compliment). I've just started to dig into his theories in an article published this year in the Journal of Cosmology.

And just now I found a discussion by Matti Pitkänen about Seth (my favourite channeled cosmologist of all time). I feel like I'm peering in through a window at a theoretical physics playgroup. So this is what those guys do for fun. May no one be injured in the collapse of your wave function.

In other words, "With this many pointing fingers there has to be a moon up there somewhere..."

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #76)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:30 PM

77. Ah, those oldies goodies!

 

It's been a long time since I've been reading the discussionf from the Arizona.edu-list put up by Hameroff. Participants from many various fields, nice to see some of those have leaked to other sites. Or to quote:

"Events are not things that happen to you. They are materialized experiences formed by you according to your expectations and beliefs."

What does that mean to the scientific method? Einstein's theory was first accepted because of it's mathematical beauty, and then slow by slow (Nature is stickly and glooey from many points of view) responded with more and more solid empirical verifications.

PS: it was originally David Bohm that introduced the term and idea of 'decoherence', which does not imply collapse of wave function or quantum state. But materialized experiences unfolding. From implicate and generative orders.

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Response to tama (Reply #61)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 02:47 PM

84. Anyone who wants me to dismiss Sarfatti and Bohm's holographic theories out of hand

 

can begin by translating the following abstract into English:

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0602022

[div class="excerpt" style="border:solid 1px #000000"]A surprisingly simple holographic explanation for the low dark energy density is suggested. I derive the Einstein-Cartan disclination curvature tetrads and the physically independent dislocation torsion gap spin connections from an "M-Matrix" of non-closed Cartan 1-forms made from 8 Goldstone phase 0-forms of the vacuum ODLRO condensate inflation field in which the non-compact 10-parameter Poincare symmetry group is locally gauged for all invariant matter field actions. Quantum gravity zero point vacuum fluctuations should be renormalizable at the spin 1 tetrad level where there is a natural scale-dependent holographic dimensionless coupling (hG/\zpf/c^3)^1/3 ~ (Bekenstein BITS)^-1/3. The spacetime tetrad rotation coefficients play the same role as do the Lie algebra structure constants in internal symmetry spin 1 Yang-Mills local gauge theories. This suggests an intuitively pleasing natural "organizing idea" now missing in superstring theory. It is then clear why supersymmetry must break in order for our pocket universe to come into being with a small w = -1 negative pressure zero point exotic vacuum dark energy density. Just as the Michelson-Morley experiment gave a null result, this model predicts that the Large Hadron Collider will never find any viable on-mass-shell dark matter exotic particles able to explain Omega(DM) ~ 0.23 as a matter of fundamental principle, neither will any other conceivable dark matter detector because dark matter forming galactic halos et-al is entirely virtual exotic vacuum w = - 1 with positive irreducibly random quantum zero point pressure that mimics w = 0 CDM in its gravity lensing and all effects that we can observe from afar.

...and then proving that it's wrong...

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 03:06 AM

78. Well, Uri Geller is definitely woo.

And if Bohm was really fooled by Geller, that's reason enough to wonder about him.

Just as Krishnamurti, whatever his other talents, was an outrageous con man and fraud.

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Response to onager (Reply #78)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:26 AM

81. Shall we drop Bohm into the same scientific trash bin as Newton and Kepler then?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton's_religious_views
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Kepler

It's always a good idea to give people - even scientists and especially mathematicians and theoretical physicists - a bit of room to be human.

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Response to onager (Reply #78)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 07:56 AM

82. U.G. Krishnamurti

 

Had much worse to say about Jiddu.
And he had his transformative experience in the Swiss village where and while Jiddu was giving talks. The art of killing Buddha on the road.

And as for human behaviour, there is allways room also for character assassinations to protect ones own opinions and believes.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 07:19 PM

40. My answer to #5 is perfectly rational.

Look at it this way: Once the billiard balls are moving on the table, what determines their final position?
1) The laws of physics, unfolding rationally.
2) A mind of billiard balls.

Now, once a storm is blowing, what determines the final state or path of the storm?
1) The laws of physics, playing out on each raindrop, air and water atom and cloud
2) The mind of the storm

Now, inside your brain, the states of which determine your physical actions, what determines what it will do?
1) The laws of physics, as playing out on each atom that makes up each neuron, following the same rules as the storm and everything else
2) The mind of you.

If you believe that the laws of physics unfold rationally for each atom, acting out a course defined by physics, than there is no room whatsoever for your own mind to have any effect on anything. You are as inanimate as the pool table or storm. Because if you had choice, that would violate the laws of physics, making some atom act in a way it would not otherwise act.

However, if you can see a way that unfolding laws of nature parallel this very real entity called your own mind, than you can imagine how the unfolding laws of nature outside your head parallel the will of another very real, but larger sort of mind.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 08:12 PM

42. Sorry,

I just find that utter Sheldrakian crap.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #42)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 09:47 PM

52. Well now there's an interesting read. Sheldrake. Never heard of him, thanks.

But what does that have to do with my assertion, that your actions are the product of each atom in your mind unfolding in strict accordance with the laws of physics, with no intervention by your so called "mind"?

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #52)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 08:21 AM

59. It's related

 

in the way that Sheldrake's empirical evidence (among others) shatters the strictly materialistic and deterministic belief system, and must by thus ignored and denied in order to keep on believing.

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Response to tama (Reply #59)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:20 AM

69. Sheldrake's empirical evidence?



Sheldrake makes claims that are unprovable and fly in the face of all empirical evidence.
He is no different than the "You can't disprove God" crowd.

I'll leave it to some of the greatest minds in science to decimate his theories, as I have seen done over and over again.

You can go on believing in any strange and unsupported things you like, continuing to fool yourself that there is some sort of evidence for your beliefs.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #69)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:42 AM

73. Nope nt

 

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Response to tama (Reply #73)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 04:35 AM

79. Thanks Tama.

I hear you talking on these threads, and it makes me happy. Good people are out there.

PEace

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Response to edhopper (Reply #69)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 04:39 AM

80. Get off Sheldrake and answer my quandary.

Its very simple - Your brain: the unfolding of atoms in accordance with physical laws. What basis do you have for the absurd notion that your so called "mind" interacts or interferes in anyway with the unfolding of your brain? How dare you make claims like "I choose to.." or "I decide" when clearly everything you do is dictated by the unfolding of cold physical laws playing out determinstically in the atoms that compose your brain?

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #80)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 10:13 AM

83. Reductivist nonesense.

Not playing.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:59 PM

36. He? That's a pretdty bad start nt

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:03 AM

62. Yup

 

"It" would be slight improvement, but still externalized object. It's much much more difficult to express the participatory nature in English than in my native language, which has structures and meanings that are untranslatable. Closest to the translation I'm searching for is 'let's be'.

David Bohm, who came up in this thread, also suggested a less fragmented and more verb-like mode of English language, which he called 'rheomode'.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 09:46 PM

24. Most objective god-concepts are cultural constructs, which means they vary as much as cultures do.

 

However, at last count there were over 7 billion subjective god-constructs in the world.

I don't do objective gods, but my subjective god-like concept revolves around consciousness, limitlessness, and the enfolding of everything that we take to be separate. Sort of the Conscious Cosmic Hologram. I am god, as are you, because we are the same thing: we are both simply an unfolded element of the hologram of what-is. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, may be to realize that and then figure out WTF to do with the knowledge.

Or something like that.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 04:51 AM

27. Consensus forming?

 

Reading the answers to this thread, kinda vague, but still views that are not contradictory, about God as participatory holographic consciousness. Or sumfink like that.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 10:02 PM

25. The Valfather

Is an entity so vast that he/she can't be known to any being. He is the dreamer and all of the universe/universes/dimensions/branes are his dream. The Big Bang, the spreading of space in those few fractions of a second, the formation of the first particles on to our current condition is all part of his dream, but one he does not directly control. The intiial thought/ideas/conditions may have been from his understanding of what could be and might be the underlying 'rules' (mathmatically etc.), but his dream is something he is watching in his 'sleep' state. We are thus a part of him, part of the whole. We can't understand him anymore than quark in an atom in a molecule in a cell on our little toe can understand us.

That said, I see my gods and goddessess as higher order beings within the dream. I can only hope that after I die, Freya will be there to help me understand it all better than I can in my current state.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:14 PM

33. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia...

God has a whole boatload of definitions. I think some contradict each other, but I'm certainly not going to sit down and parse them.

As an atheist, I'm pretty sure I have a finite lifespan. And I don't intend to waste a chunk of it trying to decipher bafflegab like this:

The Divine attributes or perfections which may thus logically be distinguished are very numerous, and it would be a needless task to attempt to enumerate them fully. But among them some are recognized as being of fundamental importance, and to these in particular is the term attributes applied and special notice devoted by theologians — though there is no rigid agreement as to the number or classification of such attributes. As good a classification as any other is that based on the analogy of entitative and operative perfections in creatures — the former qualifying nature or essence as such and abstracting from activity, the latter referring especially to the activity of the nature in question. Another distinction is often made between physical, and moral or ethical, attributes — the former of themselves abstracting from, while the latter directly express, moral perfection. But without labouring with the question of classification, it will suffice to notice separately those attributes of leading importance that have not been already explained. Nothing need be added to what has been said above concerning self-existence, infinity, unity, and simplicity (which belong to the entitative class); but eternity, immensity, and immutability (also of the entitative class), together with the active attributes, whether physical or moral, connected with the Divine intellect and will, call for some explanation here.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06612a.htm

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:52 PM

34. Defining God

While there is considerable interest in such a definition, it poses an impossible task. Definitions, by their nature set borders. They tend to describe what is within the borders and everything else, which is outside. Definitions rely on a knowledge of what is within the borders and what is outside. Definitions, therefore limit.
I believe that asking for a definition of God poses the wrong question. It suggests that God is a noun like any other noun—a thing or a being to be defined.

But perhaps we are closer to reality if we think of God as a verb—as doing, not as being. If you want to see what God does, consider evolution—the ever-energized process which continually moves ahead refining and sustaining all that is. Think of God as the sustaining force in all life, without which there would be nothing. As long as you think of God as a definable thing you will get nowhere and only end up with people saying, “prove it.” Thus you are back to the definition of a thing or a being. What I am suggesting is that we must begin to think outside the box—outside the borders of a thing or a being.

Or think of the highest and best of every value. What is the noblest force in the universe? Is it truth, beauty, harmony, justice, peace? What underlies any of these values? Why are they values at all? Is there something in the heart of the universe and in the human heart which celebrates the good? Then perhaps that underlying force is called God--not the energizer, but the energy!

I will tell you what I believe. I believe that there is some purpose in life and in the universe—in my life and in yours. I believe that there is in the universe a will for the living out of the good. I believe all life has meaning and that this is not just “a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” While I cannot prove that life has meaning, as if it were a thing to be defined and thus proved, I chose to live my life and the life of the world as having some purpose beyond myself. And so I have tried to give my life in the struggle to see this meaning and purpose lived out wherever it can be supported. I work for peace and justice because I believe in these values as having meaning. That dynamic action which gives meaning is what I call God.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 01:56 PM

35. That is a well-thought and insightful post, and I agree.

Your last line begs the question..
That dynamic action which gives meaning is what I call God.


If that is the case, then why does one need a particular religion added on to that?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 09:27 PM

49. That is a good question

 

But organized religions are social facts, as are states and other forms of communities that unite and divide people.

We born into communities that share common world views, and often we grow out of the restrictions set by those world views. Such learning processes can be called also "spiritual" evolution.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 06:25 PM

38. Very nice.

 

Very nice indeed.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 06:38 PM

39. So you've basically dismissed the religious beliefs

 

of billions of people as dead wrong and completely invalid compared to that of you and your little band of New Age theologians and ivory tower academics. And yet you claim to respect all such beliefs. How do you square this with your claimed respect, and your condemnation of those who belittle and disrespect other people's religious beliefs as "bigots".

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 07:44 PM

41. Its like this.

You walk into a room, 12 people are there. You ask what that was just outside the window that went by.

3 say it was a red sedan
2 say it was a red SUV
2 say it was a yellow sedan
1 says it was orange pickup with L. Ron Hubbard's face painted on the side.
2 say it was a orange sedan
2 say there was no vehicle at all

Now using reason, you come real quick to some conclusions:
1) If you side with any of these groups as being totally right and start bashing the others, odds are you will be wrong.
2) You gather that there was was something outside the window, probably sedan or small SUV, and it was warm colored, but you also gather from the confusion that nobody knows the details for sure. To prevent conflict, you respect everybody's perceptions of what they think they saw or didn't see, recognizing first and foremost the limited perception of people toward this thing.
3) You piece together your own concept of what you think happened, knowing it may be wrong, and share it, but don't shove it down people's throats, because the odds of being wrong are high.

With the thing outside the window of course being God, that gives a snapshot of the religious liberals take on. We start by realizing our own imperfections instead of dwelling on others.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 08:30 PM

43. Rashomon

Great post, by the way.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 08:39 PM

46. Your bias really is ridiculous

 

Try answering with my response to him in mind, and see if you still think the same.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #46)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 11:37 PM

53. Oh dear. You are confusing opinion with bias.

That must be very confusing.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #53)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 01:56 AM

56. Your "opinion" is biased, so no...there's no confusion on my part.

 

Tell us why you think that was a great post. Convince us that you considered his analogy carefully, and tell us why it isn't deeply flawed, for the reasons I stated quite clearly.

That you think you fool anyone is, frankly, pretty pathetic. There are certain posters here that you just can't bear to see making the better argument, so you'll wax rhapsodic over posts criticizing or challenging what they say, no matter how poorly argued. That's what we call "bias" here on Planet Earth. Not conduct very becoming of a host, as you well know.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #56)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 08:28 AM

60. Petty politics

 

with ad hominems and all that jazz. And much projecting.

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Response to tama (Reply #60)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:39 AM

66. Yes, post #43 was politics, and rather petty and lame to boot.

 

And as I said, not very becoming of a host.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #66)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:04 AM

68. I liked it too

 

Rashomon-effect is the same as the story about blind men and elephant, which was the point of the post. The lesson seems to be:

You can get hooked up with details and argue all you want about them, but often at the cost of loosing the big picture. And when your petty arguments don't get the attention you wish, you can continue with petty ad hominems.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 08:36 PM

44. That analogy assumes that this "god" is an actual thing outside the window, like an SUV.

Meaning that you already assumed that "god" is a real as an SUV. Your analogy dismisses the probability (and in the case of "god", a HIGH probability) that everyone in the room THOUGHT that they saw something when in fact, it was all their imagination.

It seems to be a convoluted way of expressing the argumentum ad populum fallacy.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #44)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 09:11 PM

47. My analogy doesn't dismiss that possibility at all.

As I said, 2 of the twelve said there was no vehicle outside the window, and they may be right too.

The way we approach reality is through our perceptions, there is no other way. So I don't assume the reality of anything. What I notice is the perceptions of the majority, who believe in this thing God, but disagree on details. When I see people think they have perceived something, there is usually a cause. Did somebody drop acid into the punch bowl? Always a possibility. But what I am unwilling to do is run around telling people that their perceptions are inaccurate, I'd rather know what they are and form my own opinions.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #47)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 09:33 PM

50. Are you familiar

 

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Response to tama (Reply #50)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 09:42 PM

51. Thanks for reminding me of that! Though it takes on a different meaning on DU...

(Add your own GOP elephant joke here...)

Yeah, I heard that story but forgot it. Thanks!

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #51)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 08:15 AM

58. Obviously

 

You haven't forgot the lesson of the story.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 08:38 PM

45. Nice try, but big fail at understanding

 

We're not talking about something that people have seen for a split second and then never again, or about relying solely on sensory input that is known to be highly subject to error under such conditions to reach a final conclusion. We're talking about something that people have had a chance to experience and gather evidence concerning and to think deeply about, to consider and reconsider, for a long, long time. Your analogy crashes and burns.

Like to take another shot, with some thought this time?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 09:25 PM

48. The fail is yours.

You can't handle the simplicity of this truth: Lots of little groups, all claiming to have the complete truth about a mystery, means constant conflict, and has throughout history. That kind of birds eye view is hated by fundamentalists, because it shows them as just another little group fighting for control of how other people think, with nobody able to to put forth an idea so clearly true that everybody can get behind it, like gravity.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #48)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 01:48 AM

55. And now you backpedal completely from your analogy

 

Gee...why in the world would that be?

Sorry..fail..fail...fail. I do understand the simplicity of the truth that all "gods" are either entirely human inventions, with no objective reality outside of the minds of their believers, or things that are only called "gods" because people are too weak not to have something in their lives to call "god".

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #55)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 02:43 AM

57. All I hear is more sectarian shouting about how I should think.

Yes, I remember Christ on the crucifix. I hear you saying that Allah wouldn't have had his forth prophet crucified, but stop beating on me.
Yes, I find wisdom in Kabbalah. Yes, I know Judaism doesn't consider Christ to be the son of God. But stop whipping me for finding truth with Rabbis.
Yes I find beauty and connection with the divine in the writings of the Sufis, but please stop calling me a terrorist.
Yes, I believe Genesis describes the origins of the human soul not the human body, yes I believe the world is millions not thousands of years old. But stop condemning me for finding truth in science.
Yes, my worship has an eastern flavor, believing God to be a transcendental force we can reach through inner peace and meditation, rather than a worldly one. But stop calling me a devil.
Yes, I believe in God, I believe this spiritual force exists. But please stop calling me an idiot.

I'm bashed on all sides by forces who want me to change how I think so I see it in their narrow way, yet I stayed anchored in my beliefs. The way toward truth is in discussing and sharing, not attacking.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #57)


Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #48)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:04 AM

63. "an idea so clearly true that everybody can get behind it"

And that is what is the problem with religions - they have never come up with an idea 'clearly true'. What is clearly true comes from a naturalist point of view - with no supernatural entities, souls, afterlife or reincarnation involved.

And, despite what you claimed in #47, your analogy did dismiss the possibility of there being nothing outside the window - you said:

"2) You gather that there was was something outside the window".

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #63)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:22 AM

64. And yet

 

in the world and nature we live, sharing experiences, there is huge amount of anecdotal evidence of remembering past or other lives, especially by children but not only. Remembering other lives cannot readily be tested and repeated in physics lab, obviously, but there are loads of verifications of the memories also by other sources. How that anecdotal evidence should be interpreted from the point of view of natural sciences, is another matter.

So what is "clearly true" to you is so from a materialist point of view, as there is no reason to assume that nature is limited to materialistic assumptions.

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Response to tama (Reply #64)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:45 AM

67. No, there isn't 'a huge amount' of such evidence

And no, none of it has been 'verified'.

There are, of course, simple numerical problems with claims that humans get reincarnated, with a population that has increased hugely over thousands of years. It requires an idea of a soul that can hang around indefinitely in a non-material world, retaining memories, and which then, at some random point, decides to attach itself to a brain, and then be capable of remembering things from past lives, but not the early life of the human it has attached itself to. It then becomes entirely dependent on the physical working of the brain to create, store and recall memories, until the moment the brain dies, when it suddenly becomes an independent entity again.

Does this soul obey the laws of physics, like gravity and the laws of motion? If not, are the past memories you claim there are huge amounts of evenly distributed around the world, so that there's as much chance of a person born in the modern USA having a memory of a seventh Chinese person as a seventh century European?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #67)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:33 AM

71. Denial of evidence

 

Best know data of case studies is from Ian Stevenson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation_research
Check also the quote from Sagan. Of course the anecdotal evidence is not limited to the 2500 case studies from Stevensen. The "birthmark phenomenon" is especially interesting.

Rest of your post is just presumptions from a materialist belief system (e.g. memories are nothing but neurology), which there is no reason to presuppose as The Truth, and as said, interpretation of the evidence remembering other lives is another matter and does not necessarily involve a personal soul jumping from body to body.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 12:09 AM

54. hmmm

God is "that which cannot be defined"

and I don't mean that is an esoteric sense; it is meant literally.

Humans need to make sense, we need to make meaning. Cultures create a shared story for themselves and most different cultures had some sort of creation story and all were very similar at the time...

Different cultures created a 'savior' and the stories are all very similar...

Our stories are who we are, and what brings us together... and that is as it should be (within a framework of respect and tolerance).

Myths and gods (and God) were created to be that thing (or those things) we could not understand.

We have much knowledge now... but God still exists for those amorphous concepts and acts we still can't comprehend or understand and God still exists for the people that are fearful of losing the security that a God provides.

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #54)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:37 AM

72. This is a pretty good summary IMO. And today, so much is based on fear - that's

for the most part all one hears, fear based politics.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:22 AM

70. IMO God is a myth used by those wanting power to seek, gain and maintain that power. God is

in ones head, a set of cognitions reinforced, often, by peer pressure.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #70)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:50 AM

74. It can be that too

 

and much else. And same can be said about technocratic myth of wanting power to seek, gain and maintain that power.

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Response to tama (Reply #74)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:07 AM

75. Yep!!! n/t

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