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The End of Faith, for readers late to the party 
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Interbane wrote:
Stahrwe:
Quote:
1) The reference in the Talmud to 4 distinct changes which took place in the Temple at the time of the crucufixtion and continued until the destruction of the Temple.
2) The fact that hematidrosis is mentioned in the Bible long before it was a known medical event.
3) The prophecy regarding the restoration of the nation of Israel accurate to the day and made over 907,000 in advance.


1) There is no doubt the authors of the Talmud had access to the Bible. You can connect the dots I'm sure.


You don't mean that the Jews who wrote the Talmud; The Jews who included vile rumors of the parentage of Jesus in the Talmud to discredit Jesus; would incorporate something which would tend to prove that Jesus was who He claimed to be? Did your argument just crash and burn?

interbane wrote:
2) This only supports the claim that someone had that disease. It supports nothing else within the bible.


It does support that the Bible accurately included a description of a rare medical condition.

interbane wrote:
3) This is non-sequitur. If you want to see precisely how, form a logical argument the correct way, with premises and a conclusion, with how this prophecy supports the bible.


As Mr. Spock once said to Dr. McCoy, "You should be taught the difference between empiricism and stubborness." (I used to be able to tell you the episode title, initial air date, season, director, etc. for nearly all the original ST episodes. Alas, the blush is off the rose as the snow gathers on the roof.)

Quote:
One of the clever little games that atheists have relied on is to demand evidence, but place restrictions on what evidence is acceptable and reject anything which is proferred.


interbane wrote:
The fault is yours for not abiding by the standards scholars have developed. You cannot blame atheists for using those standards. These standards are the building blocks of epistemology across the world. They have lead us into the information age, and are instrumental in eliminating false reasoning such as your attempts to support the Bible.
Ibid.


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“You cannot evade the issue of God, whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him. Now if Christianity be. . . a fragment of metaphysical nonsense invented by a few people, then, of course, defending it will simply mean talking that metaphysical nonsense over and over. But if Christianity should happen to be true – then defending it may mean talking about anything or everything. Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true.”
- G.K. Chesterton


Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:28 pm
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Quote:
The "Magical Thinking" criticism continues to both befuddle and amuse me. It befuddles me because it won't go away. It amuses me because of its incongruity with facts. There is a Bible story which directly confronts 'magical thinking'. In fact it pits Christianity against it:


I don't see how anyone could seriously say something like this. You're incredibly deluded. Your religion epitomizes magical thinking, in almost every single way.

Quote:
You don't mean that the Jews who wrote the Talmud; The Jews who included vile rumors of the parentage of Jesus in the Talmud to discredit Jesus; would incorporate something which would tend to prove that Jesus was who He claimed to be? Did your argument just crash and burn?


No, I'm speaking of the Jews who plagiarized the concept, for whatever reason their motive eludes you. I understand your rationalization as to why they wouldn't have plagiarized the concept(event), but your rationalization is just that. All it would take is a single Jewish author who didn't have such prejudices, or who was writing what he thought actually happened(but which was a story passed mouth to mouth which originated from a Christian source.) There are a million other reasons such cross-story residue would originate, and no amount of rationalization suffices to quell that probability. Your rationalizations cannot account for the complexities of reality. A strange parallel appears between the two books claiming an extraordinary event happened. The answer is clear.

Quote:
It does support that the Bible accurately included a description of a rare medical condition.


I'm sure it does. :|

Quote:
As Mr. Spock once said to Dr. McCoy, "You should be taught the difference between empiricism and stubborness."


I thought as much. I'm done with this subject, as I was a long time ago. None of these things are evidence, and you're aware of the reasons even if you pretend they don't apply. At least appeal to true evidence, which you've given examples of once.



Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:39 pm
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
The "Magical Thinking" criticism continues to both befuddle and amuse me. It befuddles me because it won't go away. It amuses me because of its incongruity with facts. There is a Bible story which directly confronts 'magical thinking'. In fact it pits Christianity against it:


I don't see how anyone could seriously say something like this. You're incredibly deluded. Your religion epitomizes magical thinking, in almost every single way.

Quote:
You don't mean that the Jews who wrote the Talmud; The Jews who included vile rumors of the parentage of Jesus in the Talmud to discredit Jesus; would incorporate something which would tend to prove that Jesus was who He claimed to be? Did your argument just crash and burn?


No, I'm speaking of the Jews who plagiarized the concept, for whatever reason their motive eludes you. I understand your rationalization as to why they wouldn't have plagiarized the concept(event), but your rationalization is just that. All it would take is a single Jewish author who didn't have such prejudices, or who was writing what he thought actually happened(but which was a story passed mouth to mouth which originated from a Christian source.) There are a million other reasons such cross-story residue would originate, and no amount of rationalization suffices to quell that probability. Your rationalizations cannot account for the complexities of reality. A strange parallel appears between the two books claiming an extraordinary event happened. The answer is clear.

Quote:
It does support that the Bible accurately included a description of a rare medical condition.


I'm sure it does. :|

Quote:
As Mr. Spock once said to Dr. McCoy, "You should be taught the difference between empiricism and stubborness."


I thought as much. I'm done with this subject, as I was a long time ago. None of these things are evidence, and you're aware of the reasons even if you pretend they don't apply. At least appeal to true evidence, which you've given examples of once.


Ah, the dreaded rationalization accusation rears its long awaited head. As for the 'evidence' trap, perhaps 'E' in CRUDE may fill that duty as well, after repeated requests to identify what 'evidence' you would accept the answer seems to be; 'anything which doesn't seem to support the Bible.'

Well done, I believe Robert Wright would be proud of you.


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- G.K. Chesterton


Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:00 pm
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
This is pretty random, but I came across a simple phrase from the book that struck me as something I didn't realize. It was "the doctrine of faith." I think this is probably right, faith is a doctrine in itself and is separable from religion. We talk about how religion must have arisen because of innate cognitive structuring. But there's no reason that I can think of why faith--believing without evidence for belief--should have been present from the start. Is faith, then, a Christian doctrine that has inaccurately become almost synonymous with religion? I'm looking for feedback on this thought.

Another thought: are believers who spend a great deal of energy trying to show how their beliefs are supported by science and history, showing very weak faith?


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Last edited by DWill on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:18 am, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:58 pm
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
correct.

Faith does not need a religion. faith in ghosts, ESP, Alien Abduction, racism, jingoism etc...

Religion is only a problem because it allows such runaway magical thinking.

Star,

When i used the term "magical thinking" in my last post, i thought it was pretty obviously not in specific reference to what is normally considered "magic". as in a spell or a trick. magical thinking in this regard, as it is mostly used in religions, is where you get from an idea to a conviction without any supporting evidence. as in, god created the universe in 6 days with absolutely no evidence to support that belief other than a fictional story in a book which asserts that claim from authority.

What i mean when i say magical thinking is an assertion of "miraculous" or magical events with no supporting evidence, nor mechanism to achieve these results besides and insistence that they happened... through magic. call it what you will, god's will, whatever... its magic.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?


Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:22 pm
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
DWill wrote:
This is pretty random, but I came across a simple phrase from the book that struck as something I didn't realize. It was "the doctrine of faith." I think this is probably right, faith is a doctrine in itself and is separable from religion. We talk about how religion must have arisen because of innate cognitive structuring. But there's no reason that I can think of why faith--believing without evidence for belief--should have been present from the start. Is faith, then, a Christian doctrine that has inaccurately become almost synonymous with religion? I'm looking for feedack on this thought.

Another thought: are believers who spend a great deal of energy trying to show how their beliefs are supported by science and history, showing very weak faith?


I call this BOGUS. The effort is not associated with our faith, but to provide thought for the secular audience. The arguments I put forth are not in support of faith but to show that faith is different to an observer than fantasy. In an old post I stated that the discovery of Noah's Ark would be irrelevant to faith.


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“You cannot evade the issue of God, whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him. Now if Christianity be. . . a fragment of metaphysical nonsense invented by a few people, then, of course, defending it will simply mean talking that metaphysical nonsense over and over. But if Christianity should happen to be true – then defending it may mean talking about anything or everything. Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true.”
- G.K. Chesterton


Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:08 pm
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
The faith you have in the story within the Talmud is a good example of magical thinking. You believe that story is true, so then attempt to use it as evidence for the bible. What you fail to realize is that the Talmud story itself has zero support. None whatsoever. You believe it because you have faith that it is true. The same applies to your appeals to prophecy. Somehow, people from the past were able to magically divine what would happen in the future? These are excellent examples of magical thinking.



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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
stahrwe wrote:
DWill wrote:
This is pretty random, but I came across a simple phrase from the book that struck as something I didn't realize. It was "the doctrine of faith." I think this is probably right, faith is a doctrine in itself and is separable from religion. We talk about how religion must have arisen because of innate cognitive structuring. But there's no reason that I can think of why faith--believing without evidence for belief--should have been present from the start. Is faith, then, a Christian doctrine that has inaccurately become almost synonymous with religion? I'm looking for feedack on this thought.

Another thought: are believers who spend a great deal of energy trying to show how their beliefs are supported by science and history, showing very weak faith?


I call this BOGUS. The effort is not associated with our faith, but to provide thought for the secular audience. The arguments I put forth are not in support of faith but to show that faith is different to an observer than fantasy. In an old post I stated that the discovery of Noah's Ark would be irrelevant to faith.

It took me a minute to understand which part of the post you were objecting to, or objecting to the most. It seems a little rash to me to call a question bogus. As for your answer, I'm afraid I still don't understand why it's so important to you to prove matters of religious faith are supported empirically.


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Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:17 am
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
DWill wrote:
stahrwe wrote:
DWill wrote:
This is pretty random, but I came across a simple phrase from the book that struck as something I didn't realize. It was "the doctrine of faith." I think this is probably right, faith is a doctrine in itself and is separable from religion. We talk about how religion must have arisen because of innate cognitive structuring. But there's no reason that I can think of why faith--believing without evidence for belief--should have been present from the start. Is faith, then, a Christian doctrine that has inaccurately become almost synonymous with religion? I'm looking for feedack on this thought.

Another thought: are believers who spend a great deal of energy trying to show how their beliefs are supported by science and history, showing very weak faith?


I call this BOGUS. The effort is not associated with our faith, but to provide thought for the secular audience. The arguments I put forth are not in support of faith but to show that faith is different to an observer than fantasy. In an old post I stated that the discovery of Noah's Ark would be irrelevant to faith.

It took me a minute to understand which part of the post you were objecting to, or objecting to the most. It seems a little rash to me to call a question bogus. As for your answer, I'm afraid I still don't understand why it's so important to you to prove matters of religious faith are supported empirically.


I can appreciate that as it appears that you do not require the same empiricism from authors you admire.


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“You cannot evade the issue of God, whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him. Now if Christianity be. . . a fragment of metaphysical nonsense invented by a few people, then, of course, defending it will simply mean talking that metaphysical nonsense over and over. But if Christianity should happen to be true – then defending it may mean talking about anything or everything. Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true.”
- G.K. Chesterton


Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:51 pm
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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Quote:
I can appreciate that as it appears that you do not require the same empiricism from authors you admire.


DWill never said nor implied any such thing. Stop making stuff up.



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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
I can appreciate that as it appears that you do not require the same empiricism from authors you admire.


DWill never said nor implied any such thing. Stop making stuff up.


Let's not go down the road again. It is very boring.
DWill made excuse after excuse for Robert Wright's omissions and errors with respect to the Bible in our TEoG discussion. I call that excusing empiricism. Others excused sloppy footnoting by Murdock etc. If you want me to build a legal case to support my claim I will be happy to do so but the posts speak for themselves. Perhaps you should start paying attention instead of polishing your fallacy cards.


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- G.K. Chesterton


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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
DWill wrote:
This is pretty random, but I came across a simple phrase from the book that struck me as something I didn't realize. It was "the doctrine of faith." I think this is probably right, faith is a doctrine in itself and is separable from religion. We talk about how religion must have arisen because of innate cognitive structuring. But there's no reason that I can think of why faith--believing without evidence for belief--should have been present from the start. Is faith, then, a Christian doctrine that has inaccurately become almost synonymous with religion? I'm looking for feedback on this thought.

Another thought: are believers who spend a great deal of energy trying to show how their beliefs are supported by science and history, showing very weak faith?


Is it 'cheating' to comment here if I haven't yet read Sam's book? I was intrigued by this concept of faith being separable from religion
Quote:
faith is a doctrine in itself and is separable from religion
, not sure how Sam means it but yes, Religion and Faith are two different things and if that were ever sorted out...well we could all see more clearly. Religion is to be blamed for many things, it's true. Faith is another thing. Religion is based on what I can do to please a god etc. It's man-made, based in human effort to be good enough.... And we see the results. True faith is a God-given grace that exists in every child. 'Why should it have been present from the start?' It's a mercy of God, to be blunt. It's why there is a thread, "How did you stop believing". By implication there was faith in the beginning. It's what fills a child with wonder...It's what makes them seem so innocent..They are so ready to believe--anything. Is this a weakness? Only if the object of that faith is found to be bogus. But when offense comes and that child knows he's been duped in one area or another so often all faith is called into question and rejected. A little heart is hardened. A child becomes a cynic. Faith is lost. A child's shattered world becomes a god-less adult's. Woe to the one who brings such offense. Faith is commendable. But its object must be bedrock, not fantasy. True Christianity has this Rock.

Quote:
Is faith, then, a Christian doctrine that has inaccurately become almost synonymous with religion?

Yes, it is.

Quote:
Another thought: are believers who spend a great deal of energy trying to show how their beliefs are supported by science and history, showing very weak faith?


Not at all. But it's a tremendous boost to see what you've believed all along being confirmed visibly, and there's always the hope that someone else might see and believe (as unlikely as that may be as per Luke's story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:31)

"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen... by it we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." True? Absolutely. Do you understand it? Were we there? Nope, but can we still believe like a child? Hope so. These are the ones God commends.

And now I should get ahold of this book and read the context :roll: How much longer will there be discussion here?


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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Dawn:
Quote:
By implication there was faith in the beginning.


I cannot see how faith is independent of an object of faith. A child can have faith in their parents, for example. For there to be faith from the very beginning, the object of faith would have to be known from the very beginning. There is an innate sense of wonder about our world that is not faith; it is wonder. Faith entails believing in something for which there is no evidence. That something must be introduced to them before they are to have faith in it. Your statement that "True faith is a God-given grace that exists in every child" is a conclusion, but you use it as if it's a premise. I see no reason to believe that statement, you must first take it on faith, which is a self-fulfilling belief devoid of critical thinking.

Quote:
But when offense comes and that child knows he's been duped in one area or another so often all faith is called into question and rejected. A little heart is hardened. A child becomes a cynic. Faith is lost. A child's shattered world becomes a god-less adult's.


That's a somewhat condescending line of thought. Loss of faith does not necessarily lead to cynicism. It more appropriately leads to skepticism, which is a virtue. The same is true when a child learns that Santa Claus isn't real. It is an exercise in critical thinking, and is beneficial.

Despite my being contrary, that was a good post. Thanks Dawn.



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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Dawn wrote:
Is it 'cheating' to comment here if I haven't yet read Sam's book? I was intrigued by this concept of faith being separable from religion
Quote:
faith is a doctrine in itself and is separable from religion
, not sure how Sam means it but yes, Religion and Faith are two different things and if that were ever sorted out...well we could all see more clearly. Religion is to be blamed for many things, it's true. Faith is another thing. Religion is based on what I can do to please a god etc. It's man-made, based in human effort to be good enough.... And we see the results. True faith is a God-given grace that exists in every child. 'Why should it have been present from the start?' It's a mercy of God, to be blunt. It's why there is a thread, "How did you stop believing". By implication there was faith in the beginning. It's what fills a child with wonder...It's what makes them seem so innocent..They are so ready to believe--anything. Is this a weakness? Only if the object of that faith is found to be bogus. But when offense comes and that child knows he's been duped in one area or another so often all faith is called into question and rejected. A little heart is hardened. A child becomes a cynic. Faith is lost. A child's shattered world becomes a god-less adult's. Woe to the one who brings such offense. Faith is commendable. But its object must be bedrock, not fantasy. True Christianity has this Rock.

Dawn, thanks for your thought. I would go along with Interbanes's response, though, that when we (or at least he and I) speak about faith, it's in relation to a specific teaching that needs to be accepted in the absence of evidence. In my post, I was really extrapolating from Harris' contention that faith is a doctrine or dogma in itself, one that is responsible for a great deal of the unreason loose in our world. I was thinking that, therefore, religion is something larger than faith but not necessarily inclusive of it. So you and I come out on opposite sides, with me agreeing with Harris that the problem is actually with faith, and that religion doesn't have to involve faith at all--at least not in the sense of beliefs that run counter to reason.

It doesn't seem that a child's faith could be perfect in the way expected of an adult Christian. I don't think they're able to grasp what's being presented to them, if they're tutored in the theology. But more than that, they're not able to make up their own minds about it because they believe whatever an adult tells them. So they "believe," but it's a belief based on the trust that their parents and others wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. That seems to be taking advantage of them rather than teaching them something good and useful about the world. All of the theology should go on the back burner until children are old enough to think for themselves.

DWill wrote:
Another thought: are believers who spend a great deal of energy trying to show how their beliefs are supported by science and history, showing very weak faith?

Dawn wrote:
Not at all. But it's a tremendous boost to see what you've believed all along being confirmed visibly, and there's always the hope that someone else might see and believe (as unlikely as that may be as per Luke's story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:31)

I was just trying to wrap my mind around the way that many of the faithful appear to want to demonstrate that one doesn't need faith to believe, because it all makes normal sense, just like any accepted fact.That seems paradoxical to me.
Quote:
And now I should get ahold of this book and read the context :roll: How much longer will there be discussion here?

Well, it's hard to tell how long the discussion will be kind of officially going on. No matter when you wanted to say something about the book, somebody would be glad to get back into a conversation about it with you.


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Last edited by DWill on Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: The End of Faith, for readers late to the party
Interbane wrote:
Dawn:
Quote:
By implication there was faith in the beginning.


Quote:
Interbane:I cannot see how faith is independent of an object of faith. A child can have faith in their parents, for example. For there to be faith from the very beginning, the object of faith would have to be known from the very beginning. There is an innate sense of wonder about our world that is not faith; it is wonder. Faith entails believing in something for which there is no evidence. That something must be introduced to them before they are to have faith in it.


What I'm saying here is precisely that faith does have its object from the beginning. The fact that a child is born with an inherent sense of faith (even though it can be readily misplaced) implies for me that there is an object, that object being the very Creator of that child's heart... "In the beginning God..." Consider the kindness of a God who creates us with the capacity to believe in Him who is our greatest good. This is a wonder. (Had you considered where this wonder comes from that, for instance, every naturalist feels when surveying nature?) I know we don't agree here but it is a perspective I didn't want to be lost from view. Thank-you for you kind appraisal despite disagreement.

Quote:
Interbane:Your statement that "True faith is a God-given grace that exists in every child" is a conclusion, but you use it as if it's a premise. I see no reason to believe that statement, you must first take it on faith, which is a self-fulfilling belief devoid of critical thinking.


Truly faith is not devoid of critical thinking. For the believer in a Creator there are endless worlds of critical thinking to catch up with. God is the ultimate in mental brilliance! and "Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."

Quote:
But when offense comes and that child knows he's been duped in one area or another so often all faith is called into question and rejected. A little heart is hardened. A child becomes a cynic. Faith is lost. A child's shattered world becomes a god-less adult's.


Quote:
Interbane:That's a somewhat condescending line of thought. Loss of faith does not necessarily lead to cynicism. It more appropriately leads to skepticism, which is a virtue. The same is true when a child learns that Santa Claus isn't real. It is an exercise in critical thinking, and is beneficial.


I'm a whole-hearted believer in critical thinking. Must it always lead to skepticism? How do you see faith? Is it on one end of a continuum which contrasts with skepticism and ultimately cynicism? Or how do you see skepticism and cynicism contrasting?

Thanks for your perspective.
p.s.(hope all these quotes are attributed correctly. I'm having a little trouble with these technicalities, any pointers?)


_________________
"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."--Jesus
"For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."--Jesus


Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:25 am
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