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Author Topic: Why do Atheists Hate Religion?  (Read 900322 times)
Astargath
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May 03, 2018, 12:21:07 AM
 #7841

https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-is-difference-between-science-and.html?m=1


Again, only religious people feel the need to categorise atheism as a religion when the only thing that makes someone an atheist is their non-belief of a supreme entity.

There are no defined set of rules that atheists have to live by, nor specific places, people or entities they have to worship, nor things they have to believe for whatever reason, so there are none of the defining elements to make atheism a religion.

If I, an atheist, were to wake up tomorrow and decided that I now believe in the presence of a supreme entity, would that mean I now instantly have to follow a particular set of rules that I have to live my life by? If so, which religion have I instantly become to know what rules I should be following? And if my religion is suddenly dictated by which entity I believe in, what would happen if I believe in more than a single supreme entity?

My point is that you can both believe or not believe in a supreme entity and still not have a religion. It's only narrow mindedness that creates the need to categorise everyone into a religion for reasons that I purely feel are self serving.


Ok fair enough. According to your definition of religion Atheism is not a religion.

However, according to your definition of religion I am also not religious. I believe in God but am not a member of any formal religion I find both Christianity and Judaism very interesting and give deep consideration to their views but am not a member of either.

Yet in the Health and Religion thread I have been accused of being religious even a fundamentalist several times. So you are saying it is only the narrow mindedness of the Atheists in that thread that causes them to categorize me in this way? They do so for reasons that are purely self serving?

I think your definition of religion is too narrow in that it is not very useful or practical. I use a definition that is much broader and more functional.


I define religion as anything an individual structures their life around either consciously or unconsciously. Thus I consider things like Communism, Nazism (Fascist Darwinian Nationalism), and Nihilism religions if they are honestly embraced by the individual as overarching truth. I agree with BADecker that a very broad classification religion is more representative of reality.

Most people believe what they do because they were taught that way not because of an introspective search for the truth. This is true of a huge swath of humanity whether their religion is centered on God or centered on something else. It is one of our many major flaws a fundamental and deep lack of reflection.

The rise of nihilism in modern times is largely due to the fact that we are reaching the point in our development where this lack of reflection is becoming less and less of an option. Unlike in simpler times we can no longer ignore the question and blindly embrace the beliefs of our colleges and parents. We are increasingly forced to confront challenges to our views and thus actively define who we are.


Religion is still garbage, though. If religion taught morals then people wouldn't complain about slavery or rape that you can read on the bible, if those were the supreme morals then we would still have slaves and allow rape, wouldn't we?

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May 03, 2018, 01:29:36 AM
 #7842

https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-is-difference-between-science-and.html?m=1

Ok fair enough. According to your definition of religion Atheism is not a religion.

However, according to your definition of religion I am also not religious. I believe in God but am not a member of any formal religion I find both Christianity and Judaism very interesting and give deep consideration to their views but am not a member of either.

Yet in the Health and Religion thread I have been accused of being religious even a fundamentalist several times. So you are saying it is only the narrow mindedness of the Atheists in that thread that causes them to categorize me in this way? They do so for reasons that are purely self serving?

I think your definition of religion is too narrow in that it is not very useful or practical. I use a definition that is much broader and more functional.


I define religion as anything an individual structures their life around either consciously or unconsciously. Thus I consider things like Communism, Nazism (Fascist Darwinian Nationalism), and Nihilism religions if they are honestly embraced by the individual as overarching truth. I agree with BADecker that a very broad classification religion is more representative of reality.

Most people believe what they do because they were taught that way not because of an introspective search for the truth. This is true of a huge swath of humanity whether their religion is centered on God or centered on something else. It is one of our many major flaws a fundamental and deep lack of reflection.

The rise of nihilism in modern times is largely due to the fact that we are reaching the point in our development where this lack of reflection is becoming less and less of an option. Unlike in simpler times we can no longer ignore the question and blindly embrace the beliefs of our colleges and parents. We are increasingly forced to confront challenges to our views and thus actively define who we are.


While you find my definition of religion too narrow, I find your definition too broad.

Your definition encompasses each and every single factor an individual will live their life by, whether by choice or not, thus you're effectively defining the act of being alive as being involved in a religion.

My definition of religion requires the individual to worship an entity, be it supreme or human, and to live their lives governed by the rules that this entity defines or dictates.

Your point about your believing in God but not being a member of a formal religion aligns with my definition of not being religious. If any individual accused you of being religious without cause it would be self serving, regardless of how they identify with their own beliefs. By categorising you it allows them to stereo type and debate you based on that stereo type.

The issue you have though is that by your own definition you are religious, so any accusations are justified. The problem now is that because you don't identify with any particular religion the discussion is doomed to fall into disarray as there is no common ground of understanding around which to debate. The question now becomes, if you really are religious, which religion do you follow? If you can't answer that, then you're not religious.
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May 03, 2018, 02:23:45 AM
 #7843


Only religious people say atheism is a religion, it's not. It's simply a non-belief in supreme entities. That is the single thing all atheists share.


Actually, it is quite a bit more then that. It is a challenge to the a prior claim of a competing belief system.

Atheism is always accompanied by an often unstated supplementary set of assumptions or faith. The characterization of it as a religion is defensible on logical grounds.  


Again, only religious people feel the need to categorise atheism as a religion when the only thing that makes someone an atheist is their non-belief of a supreme entity.

There are no defined set of rules that atheists have to live by, nor specific places, people or entities they have to worship, nor things they have to believe for whatever reason, so there are none of the defining elements to make atheism a religion.

If I, an atheist, were to wake up tomorrow and decided that I now believe in the presence of a supreme entity, would that mean I now instantly have to follow a particular set of rules that I have to live my life by? If so, which religion have I instantly become to know what rules I should be following? And if my religion is suddenly dictated by which entity I believe in, what would happen if I believe in more than a single supreme entity?

My point is that you can both believe or not believe in a supreme entity and still not have a religion. It's only narrow mindedness that creates the need to categorise everyone into a religion for reasons that I purely feel are self serving.


There is only one reason why you are an atheist... only one. Because you say it. That's all. Not because you practice atheism. Not because you believe you are an atheist.

Check out #6 of religion at Dictionary.com - http://www.dictionary.com/browse/religion?s=t. Religion fits everybody.

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May 03, 2018, 03:41:56 AM
Last edit: May 03, 2018, 04:43:55 AM by CoinCube
 #7844


While you find my definition of religion too narrow, I find your definition too broad.

Your definition encompasses each and every single factor an individual will live their life by, whether by choice or not, thus you're effectively defining the act of being alive as being involved in a religion.

My definition of religion requires the individual to worship an entity, be it supreme or human, and to live their lives governed by the rules that this entity defines or dictates.

Your point about your believing in God but not being a member of a formal religion aligns with my definition of not being religious. If any individual accused you of being religious without cause it would be self serving, regardless of how they identify with their own beliefs. By categorising you it allows them to stereo type and debate you based on that stereo type.

The issue you have though is that by your own definition you are religious, so any accusations are justified. The problem now is that because you don't identify with any particular religion the discussion is doomed to fall into disarray as there is no common ground of understanding around which to debate. The question now becomes, if you really are religious, which religion do you follow? If you can't answer that, then you're not religious.

Your arguments are logical. We have determined that our differences essentially amount to a difference in how we define religion. Mine is broader yours more narrow. Now we need to determine which is more useful more or functional if you will. You are of course correct that according to my definition I am essentially defining the acting of being alive as being involved in a religion. That is intentional for it is both accurate and instructive. Action is unavoidable and ultimately their are either subconscious or conscious reasons for these actions.

Lets examine the functionality of your definition. Lets use my case as an instructive example.

You ask me which religion do I follow. That's easy I follow the religion of Ethical Monotheism.
Ethical monotheism is the belief:
A) that there is only one God (monotheism)
and
B) that He is the source of ethics and morality.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_monotheism

Now lets apply your criteria from immediately up-thread.
1) Is there a defined set of rules that I have to live by? Yes I have to believe in God and I have to figure out the ethics and morality that can be logically derived from a belief in God and follow those too.
2) Is there specific place and time I need to worship. Yes everywhere and always through my actions.
3) Is there an specific entity I need to worship? Yes God.

So according to your criteria as stated do I have all of the defining elements of a religion? Am I am religious?

If you answer no then you are essentially taking the position that someone who has embraced a religious construct to such a degree that it utterly transforms ones behavior, beliefs, and ethics is not religious. You can take that position but it exposes the overly narrow boundaries of your definition.

If you answer yes then you are essentially making the case that taking the logical position that consists of two claims A & B above is religious the the converse the logical position of not A not not B is not religious. This dichotomy begs further explanation.

I would argue that a broader definition of religion such as the one I outlined is more functional as it can be used to broadly capture the actual motivations of human action and behavior. It allows for an apples to apples comparison if you will of human belief structure.

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May 04, 2018, 07:48:08 AM
 #7845


Your arguments are logical. We have determined that our differences essentially amount to a difference in how we define religion. Mine is broader yours more narrow. Now we need to determine which is more useful more or functional if you will. You are of course correct that according to my definition I am essentially defining the acting of being alive as being involved in a religion. That is intentional for it is both accurate and instructive. Action is unavoidable and ultimately their are either subconscious or conscious reasons for these actions.

Lets examine the functionality of your definition. Lets use my case as an instructive example.

You ask me which religion do I follow. That's easy I follow the religion of Ethical Monotheism.
Ethical monotheism is the belief:
A) that there is only one God (monotheism)
and
B) that He is the source of ethics and morality.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_monotheism

Now lets apply your criteria from immediately up-thread.
1) Is there a defined set of rules that I have to live by? Yes I have to believe in God and I have to figure out the ethics and morality that can be logically derived from a belief in God and follow those too.
2) Is there specific place and time I need to worship. Yes everywhere and always through my actions.
3) Is there an specific entity I need to worship? Yes God.

So according to your criteria as stated do I have all of the defining elements of a religion? Am I am religious?

If you answer no then you are essentially taking the position that someone who has embraced a religious construct to such a degree that it utterly transforms ones behavior, beliefs, and ethics is not religious. You can take that position but it exposes the overly narrow boundaries of your definition.

If you answer yes then you are essentially making the case that taking the logical position that consists of two claims A & B above is religious the the converse the logical position of not A not not B is not religious. This dichotomy begs further explanation.

I would argue that a broader definition of religion such as the one I outlined is more functional as it can be used to broadly capture the actual motivations of human action and behavior. It allows for an apples to apples comparison if you will of human belief structure.

From your response it's now becoming clear why we have different stances on this subject. You are blurring the line between belief systems and religion to the point where you feel that any belief system is in itself a religion; it is not. Ethics, morals and behaviours can all be shaped by a multitude of beliefs which have no basis in religion. This is why you feel my definition of religion is too narrow, and why I feel yours is too broad.

To highlight this, here's an example:
Is it true that religion is a belief system? Yes.
Is it also true that a political outlook is a belief system? Yes.
Is a political outlook a religion? By your definition, yes. By my definition, no.

Thank you for stating the religion you follow and the application of why you think you're religious against my definition of religion. What is apparent from your first point is that you don't actually follow a defined set of rules from your God, as you have no Holy text or scripture to follow. To constitute being a religion you require some kind of physical embodiment of your God's rules, as without this you are simply following your own path in much the same way as I do.

You can probably guess by now that I would have to answer no to your question on whether I would say you have all the defining elements to be in a religion, or that you're religious. Ethical monotheism in itself is a belief system, not a religion for the reason I outlined in my above paragraph.
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May 04, 2018, 04:48:21 PM
 #7846


From your response it's now becoming clear why we have different stances on this subject. You are blurring the line between belief systems and religion to the point where you feel that any belief system is in itself a religion; it is not. Ethics, morals and behaviours can all be shaped by a multitude of beliefs which have no basis in religion. This is why you feel my definition of religion is too narrow, and why I feel yours is too broad.

To highlight this, here's an example:
Is it true that religion is a belief system? Yes.
Is it also true that a political outlook is a belief system? Yes.
Is a political outlook a religion? By your definition, yes. By my definition, no.

Thank you for stating the religion you follow and the application of why you think you're religious against my definition of religion. What is apparent from your first point is that you don't actually follow a defined set of rules from your God, as you have no Holy text or scripture to follow. To constitute being a religion you require some kind of physical embodiment of your God's rules, as without this you are simply following your own path in much the same way as I do.

You can probably guess by now that I would have to answer no to your question on whether I would say you have all the defining elements to be in a religion, or that you're religious. Ethical monotheism in itself is a belief system, not a religion for the reason I outlined in my above paragraph.


I have no objections to your term belief system.

Ultimately, however, I take the position that your distinction between religious, political, and philosophical, belief systems is arbitrary.

All of these belief systems are logical systems that can be traced back to at least one and sometimes multiple faith based axioms. The ardent Communist may hold of the Communist Manifesto and say true. The religious man may hold up his holy text and say true. The Nihilist Atheist may yell his belief that the universe is utterly random, he also holds onto his belief and say's true.

All humans follow faith based belief systems. Each individuals system is slightly different and they vary in their degrees of coherence.

Some faith based belief systems are more articulated then others with common principles that are written down and widely shared. Other individuals hold their core principles internally or follow them subconsciously. What is important is not whether the faith is written down that is just a reflection of how commonly shared the belief is. What is important is that individuals are aware of their faith and explore its logical consequences.

As far as I can tell our only real area of disagreement is whether individuals who follow a faith based belief system should be categorized as religious.

As the term religious is itself an arbitrary the various online dictionaries for example have 4-7 different definitions for this term. Exploring that dispute is not likely to be particularly productive.

You might find my recent post in the Health and Religion thread interesting. I was asked why I believed in God. This was my answer.

Why Do I Believe In God?.  

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May 04, 2018, 05:08:22 PM
 #7847

I am a Chinese and I am an atheist.
 I have to say that from the perspective of mysticism,
I can NOT understand some of the points.

Please forgive my disrespect.
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May 04, 2018, 05:48:12 PM
Merited by Foxpup (2)
 #7848

I am a Chinese and I am an atheist.
 I have to say that from the perspective of mysticism,
I can NOT understand some of the points.

Please forgive my disrespect.

Let me break down his points in more readable form.

CoinCube believes that because there are truths and infinities in Mathematics that cannot be proven there must be an external infinite entity that exists but cannot be proven to exist.

He also claims that such truth (about existence of such infinite entity aka God) predicates all our system of logic and is required for that system to work truthfully.

He also claims that this infinite entity interacts with the physical world, is the source of the moral code that we should follow.  

He claims that any other moral code that is not dictated by this external supernatural infinite entity is doomed to fail and leads to atrocities and disintegration of societies.




Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
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May 04, 2018, 07:47:18 PM
 #7849

You might find my recent post in the Health and Religion thread interesting. I was asked why I believed in God. This was my answer.

Why Do I Believe In God?

.  
I am a Chinese and I am an atheist.
 I have to say that from the perspective of mysticism,
I can NOT understand some of the points.

Please forgive my disrespect.

Let me break down his points in more readable form.

CoinCube believes that because there are truths and infinities in Mathematics that cannot be proven there must be an external infinite entity that exists but cannot be proven to exist.

He also claims that such truth (about existence of such infinite entity aka God) predicates all our system of logic and is required for that system to work truthfully.

He also claims that this infinite entity interacts with the physical world, is the source of the moral code that we should follow.  

He claims that any other moral code that is not dictated by predicated on this external supernatural infinite entity is doomed to fail and leads to atrocities and disintegration of societies (or utter tyranny).


More or less.

The underlined statement skips 8 steps from opening permise to final conclusion but anyone who wants to read those steps can follow my link above. I also corrected a few minor areas of your summary.

Also when talking about infinity it is useful to differentiate the potential infinite from the actual infinite. Mathematics as it advances is inching us ever closer to the realization that the actual infinite exists.



Potential Infinity vs. Actual Infinity

http://www.numbersleuth.org/trends/potential-vs-actual-infinity/

Quote from: Ryan
What is infinity and does it even exist? In our everyday experience, we find only finite things. A basket of eggs contains only a fixed number of eggs and no more. Our bodies are composed of particles (molecules, atoms, protons, quarks, etc.). But whatever particles describe our make up, we find only a finite number. It may be billions or trillions or more, but it still doesn’t get close to infinity. Even the known universe is finite – it’s only so many light-years in diameter and contains only so many elementary particles.

How, then, does one even get close to infinity? People have long realized that there’s no biggest number because it’s always possible to add 1 to any number and get still a bigger number. So numbers themselves, taken collectively, are infinite. Any given number is finite, but the mere fact that numbers go on forever – that’s infinite.

But what sort of infinite is this? The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384– 322 BC) proposed that there are two types of infinity, a potential and an actual infinity. In a potential infinity, one can keep adding or subdividing without end, but one never actually reaches infinity. In a sense, a potential infinity is an endless process that at any point along the way is finite. By contrast, in an actual infinity, the infinite is viewed as a completed totality. Aristotle rejected actual infinity, claiming that only potential infinity exists.

So what, you say? For all practical purposes, we get on quite well with quite a bit less than even a potential infinity. Take the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Japan’s K Computer, which runs at 10 petaflops, using 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores. There are absolute limits to what this machine can do in terms of storage, retrieval, and processing. It’s safe to say that 10^100 (i.e., the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, aka “google”) sets an absolute limit on the amount of processing steps this machine will ever do, on the length of the longest number it can compute, and on the amount of bytes available to the machine’s memory.

And yet, the infinite is not so readily cast aside for practical reasons. Modern mathematics is done almost entirely in terms of sets (recall the “New Math”). Set theory treats just about anything as a set (the only things that are not sets are things too big to be sets – more on that in another post). Now numbers are sets. For instance, 0 is the empty set (it contains zero items). The number 1 is also a set (it is the set that contains zero, and thus is a set with one item).
But all the numbers taken collectively (0, 1, 2, etc.) also form a set, known to mathematicians as the natural numbers and represented as {0,1,2,3,…}. Ah, but what’s that ellipsis, those three dots (i.e., …), doing there? Doesn’t that tell us that the natural numbers are really just a potential infinity? Mathematicians don’t treat the natural numbers as a potential infinity but as an actual infinity – a completed totality that includes all numbers 0, 1, 2, etc.

But what do mathematicians know anyway? Perhaps treating the natural numbers as an actual infinity is just a convenient way to think about numbers and do calculations. If people’s concerns about infinity were left simply at the level of mathematics and its scientific applications, the debate over potential and actual infinities would be moot. But it turns out that this debate spills over into other areas, notably theology. If God is real, is he an actual infinite or is he just a potential infinite? Most religious believers see God also as unchanging, so if God is real and infinite, he must be an actual infinity.

Now it’s interesting that Georg Cantor, who invented set theory over 100 years ago, did so in part for theological reasons, seeing the infinite sets he came up with as a reflection of the infinity of God. Others, however, not believing that God exists or thinking that the very concept of an actual infinity is incoherent, reject the actual infinity and thus view Cantor’s so-called actual infinities as simply a device for describing much more mundane and finite processes. Yet it is a device that every working mathematician uses. As the great mathematician David Hilbert put it, “No one will drive us from the paradise which Cantor created for us.”

The debate over potential and actual infinities has been ongoing for centuries, and this short post won’t resolve it. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Cantor’s work on set theory has showed that the concept of an infinite set makes mathematical sense and avoids contradiction. Certain paradoxes, such as that infinite sets can be put in one-to-one correspondence with proper subsets (e.g., there are as many even numbers as natural numbers: 0à0, 1à2, 2à4, 3à6, etc.), may fly in the face of common intuitions, but science confronts us with lots of things that are counterintuitive.

In any case, modern mathematics, especially in its wholesale incorporation of set theory, has given the single biggest boost to the view that the actual infinite exists. Not that this proves the actual infinite exists – the nature of existence itself (a field philosophers refer to as “ontology” – the study of being) is itself up for grabs. But the mere fact that treating mathematical entities as actual infinities has yielded incredibly fruitful mathematical insights (Cantor’s paradise) gives the actual infinite breathing room that it never had in the past.
—–
References:

Joseph Dauben, Georg Cantor: His Mathematics and Philosophy of the Infinite (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).
Michael Hallett, Cantorian Set Theory and Limitation of Size (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984).

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May 05, 2018, 01:07:29 AM
 #7850

You might find my recent post in the Health and Religion thread interesting. I was asked why I believed in God. This was my answer.

Why Do I Believe In God?

.  
I am a Chinese and I am an atheist.
 I have to say that from the perspective of mysticism,
I can NOT understand some of the points.

Please forgive my disrespect.

Let me break down his points in more readable form.

CoinCube believes that because there are truths and infinities in Mathematics that cannot be proven there must be an external infinite entity that exists but cannot be proven to exist.

He also claims that such truth (about existence of such infinite entity aka God) predicates all our system of logic and is required for that system to work truthfully.

He also claims that this infinite entity interacts with the physical world, is the source of the moral code that we should follow.  

He claims that any other moral code that is not dictated by predicated on this external supernatural infinite entity is doomed to fail and leads to atrocities and disintegration of societies (or utter tyranny).


More or less.

The underlined statement skips 8 steps from opening permise to final conclusion but anyone who wants to read those steps can follow my link above. I also corrected a few minor areas of your summary.

Also when talking about infinity it is useful to differentiate the potential infinite from the actual infinite. Mathematics as it advances is inching us ever closer to the realization that the actual infinite exists.



Potential Infinity vs. Actual Infinity

http://www.numbersleuth.org/trends/potential-vs-actual-infinity/

Quote from: Ryan
What is infinity and does it even exist? In our everyday experience, we find only finite things. A basket of eggs contains only a fixed number of eggs and no more. Our bodies are composed of particles (molecules, atoms, protons, quarks, etc.). But whatever particles describe our make up, we find only a finite number. It may be billions or trillions or more, but it still doesn’t get close to infinity. Even the known universe is finite – it’s only so many light-years in diameter and contains only so many elementary particles.

How, then, does one even get close to infinity? People have long realized that there’s no biggest number because it’s always possible to add 1 to any number and get still a bigger number. So numbers themselves, taken collectively, are infinite. Any given number is finite, but the mere fact that numbers go on forever – that’s infinite.

But what sort of infinite is this? The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384– 322 BC) proposed that there are two types of infinity, a potential and an actual infinity. In a potential infinity, one can keep adding or subdividing without end, but one never actually reaches infinity. In a sense, a potential infinity is an endless process that at any point along the way is finite. By contrast, in an actual infinity, the infinite is viewed as a completed totality. Aristotle rejected actual infinity, claiming that only potential infinity exists.

So what, you say? For all practical purposes, we get on quite well with quite a bit less than even a potential infinity. Take the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Japan’s K Computer, which runs at 10 petaflops, using 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores. There are absolute limits to what this machine can do in terms of storage, retrieval, and processing. It’s safe to say that 10^100 (i.e., the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, aka “google”) sets an absolute limit on the amount of processing steps this machine will ever do, on the length of the longest number it can compute, and on the amount of bytes available to the machine’s memory.

And yet, the infinite is not so readily cast aside for practical reasons. Modern mathematics is done almost entirely in terms of sets (recall the “New Math”). Set theory treats just about anything as a set (the only things that are not sets are things too big to be sets – more on that in another post). Now numbers are sets. For instance, 0 is the empty set (it contains zero items). The number 1 is also a set (it is the set that contains zero, and thus is a set with one item).
But all the numbers taken collectively (0, 1, 2, etc.) also form a set, known to mathematicians as the natural numbers and represented as {0,1,2,3,…}. Ah, but what’s that ellipsis, those three dots (i.e., …), doing there? Doesn’t that tell us that the natural numbers are really just a potential infinity? Mathematicians don’t treat the natural numbers as a potential infinity but as an actual infinity – a completed totality that includes all numbers 0, 1, 2, etc.

But what do mathematicians know anyway? Perhaps treating the natural numbers as an actual infinity is just a convenient way to think about numbers and do calculations. If people’s concerns about infinity were left simply at the level of mathematics and its scientific applications, the debate over potential and actual infinities would be moot. But it turns out that this debate spills over into other areas, notably theology. If God is real, is he an actual infinite or is he just a potential infinite? Most religious believers see God also as unchanging, so if God is real and infinite, he must be an actual infinity.

Now it’s interesting that Georg Cantor, who invented set theory over 100 years ago, did so in part for theological reasons, seeing the infinite sets he came up with as a reflection of the infinity of God. Others, however, not believing that God exists or thinking that the very concept of an actual infinity is incoherent, reject the actual infinity and thus view Cantor’s so-called actual infinities as simply a device for describing much more mundane and finite processes. Yet it is a device that every working mathematician uses. As the great mathematician David Hilbert put it, “No one will drive us from the paradise which Cantor created for us.”

The debate over potential and actual infinities has been ongoing for centuries, and this short post won’t resolve it. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Cantor’s work on set theory has showed that the concept of an infinite set makes mathematical sense and avoids contradiction. Certain paradoxes, such as that infinite sets can be put in one-to-one correspondence with proper subsets (e.g., there are as many even numbers as natural numbers: 0à0, 1à2, 2à4, 3à6, etc.), may fly in the face of common intuitions, but science confronts us with lots of things that are counterintuitive.

In any case, modern mathematics, especially in its wholesale incorporation of set theory, has given the single biggest boost to the view that the actual infinite exists. Not that this proves the actual infinite exists – the nature of existence itself (a field philosophers refer to as “ontology” – the study of being) is itself up for grabs. But the mere fact that treating mathematical entities as actual infinities has yielded incredibly fruitful mathematical insights (Cantor’s paradise) gives the actual infinite breathing room that it never had in the past.
—–
References:

Joseph Dauben, Georg Cantor: His Mathematics and Philosophy of the Infinite (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).
Michael Hallett, Cantorian Set Theory and Limitation of Size (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984).


Which is a bunch of bullshit:

1.''There are things in this universe that are True yet even cannot ever be proven True no matter how much knowledge or technology advance.''

There is no way of knowing if some true things cannot be ever proven.

2. ''Criticism
Perhaps the best-known objection to a coherence theory of truth is Bertrand Russell's. He maintained that since both a belief and its negation will, individually, cohere with at least one set of beliefs, this means that contradictory beliefs can be shown to be true according to coherence theory, and therefore that the theory cannot work. However, what most coherence theorists are concerned with is not all possible beliefs, but the set of beliefs that people actually hold. The main problem for a coherence theory of truth, then, is how to specify just this particular set, given that the truth of which beliefs are actually held can only be determined by means of coherence.''

7. ''It is a well-known empirical fact that humans are much less likely to defect if they know their behavior is being observed'' Then we could just install video surveillance everywhere and have laws that punish people for doing bad things, oh wait, we have that, we don't need an imaginary entity.

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/////
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May 05, 2018, 03:45:47 AM
 #7851

You might find my recent post in the Health and Religion thread interesting. I was asked why I believed in God. This was my answer.

Why Do I Believe In God?

.  
I am a Chinese and I am an atheist.
 I have to say that from the perspective of mysticism,
I can NOT understand some of the points.

Please forgive my disrespect.

Let me break down his points in more readable form.

CoinCube believes that because there are truths and infinities in Mathematics that cannot be proven there must be an external infinite entity that exists but cannot be proven to exist.

He also claims that such truth (about existence of such infinite entity aka God) predicates all our system of logic and is required for that system to work truthfully.

He also claims that this infinite entity interacts with the physical world, is the source of the moral code that we should follow.  

He claims that any other moral code that is not dictated by predicated on this external supernatural infinite entity is doomed to fail and leads to atrocities and disintegration of societies (or utter tyranny).


More or less.

The underlined statement skips 8 steps from opening permise to final conclusion but anyone who wants to read those steps can follow my link above. I also corrected a few minor areas of your summary.

Also when talking about infinity it is useful to differentiate the potential infinite from the actual infinite. Mathematics as it advances is inching us ever closer to the realization that the actual infinite exists.



Potential Infinity vs. Actual Infinity

http://www.numbersleuth.org/trends/potential-vs-actual-infinity/

Quote from: Ryan
What is infinity and does it even exist? In our everyday experience, we find only finite things. A basket of eggs contains only a fixed number of eggs and no more. Our bodies are composed of particles (molecules, atoms, protons, quarks, etc.). But whatever particles describe our make up, we find only a finite number. It may be billions or trillions or more, but it still doesn’t get close to infinity. Even the known universe is finite – it’s only so many light-years in diameter and contains only so many elementary particles.

How, then, does one even get close to infinity? People have long realized that there’s no biggest number because it’s always possible to add 1 to any number and get still a bigger number. So numbers themselves, taken collectively, are infinite. Any given number is finite, but the mere fact that numbers go on forever – that’s infinite.

But what sort of infinite is this? The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384– 322 BC) proposed that there are two types of infinity, a potential and an actual infinity. In a potential infinity, one can keep adding or subdividing without end, but one never actually reaches infinity. In a sense, a potential infinity is an endless process that at any point along the way is finite. By contrast, in an actual infinity, the infinite is viewed as a completed totality. Aristotle rejected actual infinity, claiming that only potential infinity exists.

So what, you say? For all practical purposes, we get on quite well with quite a bit less than even a potential infinity. Take the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Japan’s K Computer, which runs at 10 petaflops, using 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores. There are absolute limits to what this machine can do in terms of storage, retrieval, and processing. It’s safe to say that 10^100 (i.e., the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, aka “google”) sets an absolute limit on the amount of processing steps this machine will ever do, on the length of the longest number it can compute, and on the amount of bytes available to the machine’s memory.

And yet, the infinite is not so readily cast aside for practical reasons. Modern mathematics is done almost entirely in terms of sets (recall the “New Math”). Set theory treats just about anything as a set (the only things that are not sets are things too big to be sets – more on that in another post). Now numbers are sets. For instance, 0 is the empty set (it contains zero items). The number 1 is also a set (it is the set that contains zero, and thus is a set with one item).
But all the numbers taken collectively (0, 1, 2, etc.) also form a set, known to mathematicians as the natural numbers and represented as {0,1,2,3,…}. Ah, but what’s that ellipsis, those three dots (i.e., …), doing there? Doesn’t that tell us that the natural numbers are really just a potential infinity? Mathematicians don’t treat the natural numbers as a potential infinity but as an actual infinity – a completed totality that includes all numbers 0, 1, 2, etc.

But what do mathematicians know anyway? Perhaps treating the natural numbers as an actual infinity is just a convenient way to think about numbers and do calculations. If people’s concerns about infinity were left simply at the level of mathematics and its scientific applications, the debate over potential and actual infinities would be moot. But it turns out that this debate spills over into other areas, notably theology. If God is real, is he an actual infinite or is he just a potential infinite? Most religious believers see God also as unchanging, so if God is real and infinite, he must be an actual infinity.

Now it’s interesting that Georg Cantor, who invented set theory over 100 years ago, did so in part for theological reasons, seeing the infinite sets he came up with as a reflection of the infinity of God. Others, however, not believing that God exists or thinking that the very concept of an actual infinity is incoherent, reject the actual infinity and thus view Cantor’s so-called actual infinities as simply a device for describing much more mundane and finite processes. Yet it is a device that every working mathematician uses. As the great mathematician David Hilbert put it, “No one will drive us from the paradise which Cantor created for us.”

The debate over potential and actual infinities has been ongoing for centuries, and this short post won’t resolve it. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Cantor’s work on set theory has showed that the concept of an infinite set makes mathematical sense and avoids contradiction. Certain paradoxes, such as that infinite sets can be put in one-to-one correspondence with proper subsets (e.g., there are as many even numbers as natural numbers: 0à0, 1à2, 2à4, 3à6, etc.), may fly in the face of common intuitions, but science confronts us with lots of things that are counterintuitive.

In any case, modern mathematics, especially in its wholesale incorporation of set theory, has given the single biggest boost to the view that the actual infinite exists. Not that this proves the actual infinite exists – the nature of existence itself (a field philosophers refer to as “ontology” – the study of being) is itself up for grabs. But the mere fact that treating mathematical entities as actual infinities has yielded incredibly fruitful mathematical insights (Cantor’s paradise) gives the actual infinite breathing room that it never had in the past.
—–
References:

Joseph Dauben, Georg Cantor: His Mathematics and Philosophy of the Infinite (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).
Michael Hallett, Cantorian Set Theory and Limitation of Size (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984).


Which is a bunch of bullshit:

1.''There are things in this universe that are True yet even cannot ever be proven True no matter how much knowledge or technology advance.''

There is no way of knowing if some true things cannot be ever proven.

2. ''Criticism
Perhaps the best-known objection to a coherence theory of truth is Bertrand Russell's. He maintained that since both a belief and its negation will, individually, cohere with at least one set of beliefs, this means that contradictory beliefs can be shown to be true according to coherence theory, and therefore that the theory cannot work. However, what most coherence theorists are concerned with is not all possible beliefs, but the set of beliefs that people actually hold. The main problem for a coherence theory of truth, then, is how to specify just this particular set, given that the truth of which beliefs are actually held can only be determined by means of coherence.''

7. ''It is a well-known empirical fact that humans are much less likely to defect if they know their behavior is being observed'' Then we could just install video surveillance everywhere and have laws that punish people for doing bad things, oh wait, we have that, we don't need an imaginary entity.

7. But if you are being surveilled while you are installing the video surveillance, you will be a lot less likely to install it.

Cool

Is the CDC a crooked government agency? >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJUjnY_FGNQ
Don't be afraid to donate Bitcoin >>> 1JDJotyxZLFF8akGCxHeqMkD4YrrTmEAwz !  Thank you.
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May 06, 2018, 01:36:49 AM
 #7852


I have no objections to your term belief system.

Ultimately, however, I take the position that your distinction between religious, political, and philosophical, belief systems is arbitrary.

All of these belief systems are logical systems that can be traced back to at least one and sometimes multiple faith based axioms. The ardent Communist may hold of the Communist Manifesto and say true. The religious man may hold up his holy text and say true. The Nihilist Atheist may yell his belief that the universe is utterly random, he also holds onto his belief and say's true.

All humans follow faith based belief systems. Each individuals system is slightly different and they vary in their degrees of coherence.

Some faith based belief systems are more articulated then others with common principles that are written down and widely shared. Other individuals hold their core principles internally or follow them subconsciously. What is important is not whether the faith is written down that is just a reflection of how commonly shared the belief is. What is important is that individuals are aware of their faith and explore its logical consequences.

As far as I can tell our only real area of disagreement is whether individuals who follow a faith based belief system should be categorized as religious.

As the term religious is itself an arbitrary the various online dictionaries for example have 4-7 different definitions for this term. Exploring that dispute is not likely to be particularly productive.

You might find my recent post in the Health and Religion thread interesting. I was asked why I believed in God. This was my answer.

Why Do I Believe In God?.  

I'm sorry, but I don't agree that all humans follow a faith based belief system. This is merely an extension of your belief that to be alive is to be religious. My personal beliefs are based on an evidence based system.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.  Smiley
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May 06, 2018, 01:41:56 AM
 #7853


Again, only religious people feel the need to categorise atheism as a religion when the only thing that makes someone an atheist is their non-belief of a supreme entity.

There are no defined set of rules that atheists have to live by, nor specific places, people or entities they have to worship, nor things they have to believe for whatever reason, so there are none of the defining elements to make atheism a religion.

If I, an atheist, were to wake up tomorrow and decided that I now believe in the presence of a supreme entity, would that mean I now instantly have to follow a particular set of rules that I have to live my life by? If so, which religion have I instantly become to know what rules I should be following? And if my religion is suddenly dictated by which entity I believe in, what would happen if I believe in more than a single supreme entity?

My point is that you can both believe or not believe in a supreme entity and still not have a religion. It's only narrow mindedness that creates the need to categorise everyone into a religion for reasons that I purely feel are self serving.


There is only one reason why you are an atheist... only one. Because you say it. That's all. Not because you practice atheism. Not because you believe you are an atheist.

Check out #6 of religion at Dictionary.com - http://www.dictionary.com/browse/religion?s=t. Religion fits everybody.

Cool

I'm curious BADecker, enlighten me please, how exactly does someone practise atheism?
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May 06, 2018, 02:11:17 AM
 #7854


Again, only religious people feel the need to categorise atheism as a religion when the only thing that makes someone an atheist is their non-belief of a supreme entity.

There are no defined set of rules that atheists have to live by, nor specific places, people or entities they have to worship, nor things they have to believe for whatever reason, so there are none of the defining elements to make atheism a religion.

If I, an atheist, were to wake up tomorrow and decided that I now believe in the presence of a supreme entity, would that mean I now instantly have to follow a particular set of rules that I have to live my life by? If so, which religion have I instantly become to know what rules I should be following? And if my religion is suddenly dictated by which entity I believe in, what would happen if I believe in more than a single supreme entity?

My point is that you can both believe or not believe in a supreme entity and still not have a religion. It's only narrow mindedness that creates the need to categorise everyone into a religion for reasons that I purely feel are self serving.


There is only one reason why you are an atheist... only one. Because you say it. That's all. Not because you practice atheism. Not because you believe you are an atheist.

Check out #6 of religion at Dictionary.com - http://www.dictionary.com/browse/religion?s=t. Religion fits everybody.

Cool

I'm curious BADecker, enlighten me please, how exactly does someone practise atheism?

That's the trick, right? Practicing, right? Since an atheist knows that God might exist, he knows that:
A. He doesn't know that God doesn't exist, and therefore can't believe atheism when he knows the opposite might be true;
B. He doesn't know for sure that God doesn't exist somewhere, he is setting himself up as god over God by proclaiming that God doesn't exist.

All this means is that either the so-called atheist is setting himself up as god, or acknowledging, inwardly, that he isn't an atheist. This makes atheism in the atheist to be non-existent. What the so-called atheist is doing is something else... not atheism. Part of it is lying.

So, how in the world can he be practicing atheism?

Cool

Is the CDC a crooked government agency? >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJUjnY_FGNQ
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May 06, 2018, 03:06:33 AM
 #7855


I'm curious BADecker, enlighten me please, how exactly does someone practise atheism?

That's the trick, right? Practicing, right? Since an atheist knows that God might exist, he knows that:
A. He doesn't know that God doesn't exist, and therefore can't believe atheism when he knows the opposite might be true;
B. He doesn't know for sure that God doesn't exist somewhere, he is setting himself up as god over God by proclaiming that God doesn't exist.

All this means is that either the so-called atheist is setting himself up as god, or acknowledging, inwardly, that he isn't an atheist. This makes atheism in the atheist to be non-existent. What the so-called atheist is doing is something else... not atheism. Part of it is lying.

So, how in the world can he be practicing atheism?

Cool

I didn't ask for a bunch of verbal diarrhea about whether you think atheists exist or not, I asked a simply question about how you believe someone practises atheism, after all, you're the one who made the statement.

I should have known better then to engage you with a direct question, my apologies to all other forum users.
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May 06, 2018, 05:52:41 AM
 #7856


I'm sorry, but I don't agree that all humans follow a faith based belief system. This is merely an extension of your belief that to be alive is to be religious. My personal beliefs are based on an evidence based system.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.  Smiley

All evidence based belief systems require basic fundamental assumptions that these systems rest on.

These assumptions are assumed a priori to be true and cannot be proven.

To assume something is true and derive conclusions from that assumption that you also define as true is to accept that assumption as true without proof. This is the definition of faith.

From your statement I assume that you define things as true only if they can be verified by the scientific method. The scientific method is a wonderful thing but it also rests upon unprovable assumptions.

Its discoveries are not objective truth but conditional truth and dependent on it's a priori assumptions.

I highlighted some of these assumptions in a recent post.


Metaphysical Foundation of Science:
 
✧ The external world is real and knowable.
✧ Nature itself is not divine. It is an object worthy of study, not worship.
✧ The universe is orderly. There is uniformity in nature that allows us to observe past phenomena and to understand and predict future occurrences.
✧ Our minds and senses are capable of accurately observing and understanding the world.

These assumed truths are so deeply ingrained in us now we have difficulty even recognizing them as assumptions but they are necessary for science to exist.

If you don't believe the assumptions science becomes impossible for you. The progress and maintenance of scientific achievement requires that these assumptions be accepted and propagated at least by an educated elite.

The same situation applies to the apriori Truth of God which rests at the foundation of western culture. Undermine the assumption and the whole society starts to wobble.

This is what Nietzsche foresaw when he announced "God is dead" in 1882. Nietzsche predicted drastic consequences as a result. He predicted millions would die in the 20th century in wars of extremist ideologies. Peterson describes these ideologies as parasites that act on a damaged religious substructure.

Nietzsche also predicted that it would not be until the 21st century that we would be forced to acknowledge the crisis of nihilism. These predictions given in 1882 are an intellectual tour de force.

Believing blindly without contemplation still works for some but that blanket of protection is gradually being pulled away. Going forward it will increasingly be necessary to fully define oneself down to your core metaphysical truths. Unless you can look into the abyss of nihilism and reject it with certainty the abyss will sooner or later pull you in.





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May 06, 2018, 02:26:26 PM
 #7857

This argument and its variations imply that atheists really believe in a god but hate this god and want to rebel. First, if this were true then they would not atheists. Atheists are not people who believe in a god but are angry at it - those are just angry atheists.
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May 06, 2018, 06:39:02 PM
 #7858


I'm sorry, but I don't agree that all humans follow a faith based belief system. This is merely an extension of your belief that to be alive is to be religious. My personal beliefs are based on an evidence based system.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.  Smiley

All evidence based belief systems require basic fundamental assumptions that these systems rest on.

These assumptions are assumed a priori to be true and cannot be proven.

To assume something is true and derive conclusions from that assumption that you also define as true is to accept that assumption as true without proof. This is the definition of faith.

From your statement I assume that you define things as true only if they can be verified by the scientific method. The scientific method is a wonderful thing but it also rests upon unprovable assumptions.

Its discoveries are not objective truth but conditional truth and dependent on it's a priori assumptions.

I highlighted some of these assumptions in a recent post.


Metaphysical Foundation of Science:
 
✧ The external world is real and knowable.
✧ Nature itself is not divine. It is an object worthy of study, not worship.
✧ The universe is orderly. There is uniformity in nature that allows us to observe past phenomena and to understand and predict future occurrences.
✧ Our minds and senses are capable of accurately observing and understanding the world.

These assumed truths are so deeply ingrained in us now we have difficulty even recognizing them as assumptions but they are necessary for science to exist.

If you don't believe the assumptions science becomes impossible for you. The progress and maintenance of scientific achievement requires that these assumptions be accepted and propagated at least by an educated elite.

The same situation applies to the apriori Truth of God which rests at the foundation of western culture. Undermine the assumption and the whole society starts to wobble.

This is what Nietzsche foresaw when he announced "God is dead" in 1882. Nietzsche predicted drastic consequences as a result. He predicted millions would die in the 20th century in wars of extremist ideologies. Peterson describes these ideologies as parasites that act on a damaged religious substructure.

Nietzsche also predicted that it would not be until the 21st century that we would be forced to acknowledge the crisis of nihilism. These predictions given in 1882 are an intellectual tour de force.

Believing blindly without contemplation still works for some but that blanket of protection is gradually being pulled away. Going forward it will increasingly be necessary to fully define oneself down to your core metaphysical truths. Unless you can look into the abyss of nihilism and reject it with certainty the abyss will sooner or later pull you in.






Still better than believing in non sense. ''Nature itself is not divine. It is an object worthy of study, not worship.'' What does that even mean?

''Our minds and senses are capable of accurately observing and understanding the world'' That one is not impossible to prove, in fact we know that our senses are not capable of accurately observing the world in many instances just like we know our minds do not work correctly sometimes, we call them mentally ill. Science studies these things, these are not just assumptions.

''The external world is real and knowable.'' This one is basically an absolute assumption otherwise what's the point of doing anything?

''The universe is orderly. There is uniformity in nature that allows us to observe past phenomena and to understand and predict future occurrences.'' As long as it works, though.

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May 06, 2018, 08:19:49 PM
 #7859


I'm curious BADecker, enlighten me please, how exactly does someone practise atheism?

That's the trick, right? Practicing, right? Since an atheist knows that God might exist, he knows that:
A. He doesn't know that God doesn't exist, and therefore can't believe atheism when he knows the opposite might be true;
B. He doesn't know for sure that God doesn't exist somewhere, he is setting himself up as god over God by proclaiming that God doesn't exist.

All this means is that either the so-called atheist is setting himself up as god, or acknowledging, inwardly, that he isn't an atheist. This makes atheism in the atheist to be non-existent. What the so-called atheist is doing is something else... not atheism. Part of it is lying.

So, how in the world can he be practicing atheism?

Cool

I didn't ask for a bunch of verbal diarrhea about whether you think atheists exist or not, I asked a simply question about how you believe someone practises atheism, after all, you're the one who made the statement.

I should have known better then to engage you with a direct question, my apologies to all other forum users.

People don't practice atheism. I can't answer your question with a method for doing something that isn't being done.

Cool

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May 06, 2018, 09:39:32 PM
 #7860


I have no objections to your term belief system.

Ultimately, however, I take the position that your distinction between religious, political, and philosophical, belief systems is arbitrary.

All of these belief systems are logical systems that can be traced back to at least one and sometimes multiple faith based axioms. The ardent Communist may hold of the Communist Manifesto and say true. The religious man may hold up his holy text and say true. The Nihilist Atheist may yell his belief that the universe is utterly random, he also holds onto his belief and say's true.

All humans follow faith based belief systems. Each individuals system is slightly different and they vary in their degrees of coherence.

Some faith based belief systems are more articulated then others with common principles that are written down and widely shared. Other individuals hold their core principles internally or follow them subconsciously. What is important is not whether the faith is written down that is just a reflection of how commonly shared the belief is. What is important is that individuals are aware of their faith and explore its logical consequences.

As far as I can tell our only real area of disagreement is whether individuals who follow a faith based belief system should be categorized as religious.

As the term religious is itself an arbitrary the various online dictionaries for example have 4-7 different definitions for this term. Exploring that dispute is not likely to be particularly productive.

You might find my recent post in the Health and Religion thread interesting. I was asked why I believed in God. This was my answer.

Why Do I Believe In God?.  

I'm sorry, but I don't agree that all humans follow a faith based belief system. This is merely an extension of your belief that to be alive is to be religious. My personal beliefs are based on an evidence based system.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.  Smiley

actually jes you can practice atheism, its like

"where the hell am i, what kind of world have i been born into"

its a live constantly searching whats going on around one.

i lived that live for a long time.

regards

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