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Problem of Evil

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#46    manbearpigg

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 29 January 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

I thought that eternal suffering occurs in hell and eternal joy occurs in heaven.



The question I was going to include with the above statement was, if transitory joy is potentially pointless in God's eternal purpose, then it seems to follow then that whatever purpose the transitory suffering of Jesus served is also potentially pointless.  But you then carve out an exception here, understandable since it's central to your belief system, for transitory suffering.  

Regardless, I have always thought that the word 'necessity' really doesn't work well when discussing God, it implies either that God is not omniscient and couldn't think of another way to accomplish the same thing, or that god is not omnipotent and that he is constrained by some type of rules external to him.  It simply is not necessary that Jesus suffered and died and was resurrected, God could have easily set up many other ways for eternal life to be realized.



But what it does potentially do is put your god belief on the same level epistemologically as thousands of other fantastic claims that have been made by people who also do not have any proof that will convince anyone else but are convinced nonetheless.  I may be wrong, but I would guess that you think a lot of those claims are not actually well supported.  I'm not sure why the fact that the proof that has convinced you has not convinced the majority of human beings who exist, many whose internal proof has led them to contradictory conclusions to your own actually, does not then temper your conviction that your proof is valid in the first place.  



But the Bible was written and sold as a book that contains the truth, and we are warned in a couple spots I thought to not subject some of its 'truths' to reason which may lead you astray from faith.  Regardless, the biblical account of creation was held by a large number (majority?) of Jews and Christians for the vast majority of history to be literally true and factual, and it's not like the major Christian churches responded to the findings of cosmology, geology, and biology that the earth and universe are billions of years old with, 'Oh, thank you for clearing that up for us, you of course are correct and we have been misinterpreting Genesis for millenia obviously'; quite the contrary.  Are you surprised that these scientific findings weren't more immediately embraced by Christianity (with full recognition that I'm using that term very generally)?  There were a lot of 'reasons' given for not accepting these findings that came straight from non-scientific quotes from a book that does not have much science in it.  

To note that the Bible is not a scientific textbook seems to be a little bit of a red herring; I don't think anyone disputes that.  The issue seems to more accurately be that believers are instructed to accept (some of, at least) what the Bible says as being the truth, based on whatever foundation, and I'm not aware of many Abrahamic religions that embrace the attitude of, 'you should believe what the bible says about this until science disputes it'.

I'm sure Richard Dawkins could not have put it better himself.


#47    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:08 PM

View Postmanbearpigg, on 29 January 2013 - 07:47 PM, said:

But what form of God do you believe in? (unless you are an atheist) and where do you get your spiritual information? (holy books, meditations, chants)
I'm very interested in a variety of beliefs.

Earlier in previous posts, I was just pulling your leg  about - If it is written down 2000 years ago on paper then that's proof  and my dragon gods lol

I believe in a higher power that I call god, but I do not fix this being with any religion.. It is a personal faith I keep for myself..My spiritual information came from within myself..Obviously I had heard and was taught there was a god, but even when I had religion rammed down my throat and was raised on it..  I was smart enough to be able to walk my own path and think more for myself than allow others to tell me what I should and should not do.. It's my life, not theirs...... All I did was talk to god in my own way, and took it from there..  I don't follow any rules, nor do I wish to belong to a flock and follow the sheep .. I like to keep it personal ..It is safer that way for me

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#48    GoSC

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 29 January 2013 - 10:01 AM, said:

Like the absent father.

But here's the thing, the Christian God doesn't claim to be the Father of over all. God over all, but not Father over all. Only of His faithful. Otherwise, how can a Father reject His own children?

The Scriptures state there are heathens and there are children of the Devil. The latter hear and obey only one voice and that is the voice of their father. But the children of God hear and obey the voice of God.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#49    Paranoid Android

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:19 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 29 January 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

I thought that eternal suffering occurs in hell and eternal joy occurs in heaven.
A popular misunderstanding of scripture.  After extensive study I have come to the conclusion that the alternative to heaven is most definitely not eternal suffering, and is most likely a "second death" (those are the words used to describe it in Revelation 14).  The second death, much like the first, involves ceasing to exist, forever.  Basically wormfood.


View PostLiquid Gardens, on 29 January 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

The question I was going to include with the above statement was, if transitory joy is potentially pointless in God's eternal purpose, then it seems to follow then that whatever purpose the transitory suffering of Jesus served is also potentially pointless.  But you then carve out an exception here, understandable since it's central to your belief system, for transitory suffering.  

Regardless, I have always thought that the word 'necessity' really doesn't work well when discussing God, it implies either that God is not omniscient and couldn't think of another way to accomplish the same thing, or that god is not omnipotent and that he is constrained by some type of rules external to him.  It simply is not necessary that Jesus suffered and died and was resurrected, God could have easily set up many other ways for eternal life to be realized.
It's not that transitory joy or suffering is "pointless" completely, only in the context of eternity.

And yes, God could have done things another way.  But he didn't.  What he gave us is what we have, and suffering plays a role here.  I'm accepting of that, and I've been through some pretty tough times in my life.


View PostLiquid Gardens, on 29 January 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

But what it does potentially do is put your god belief on the same level epistemologically as thousands of other fantastic claims that have been made by people who also do not have any proof that will convince anyone else but are convinced nonetheless.  I may be wrong, but I would guess that you think a lot of those claims are not actually well supported.  I'm not sure why the fact that the proof that has convinced you has not convinced the majority of human beings who exist, many whose internal proof has led them to contradictory conclusions to your own actually, does not then temper your conviction that your proof is valid in the first place.  
You are actually wrong!  Whatever I may personally believe about God, it doesn't change the fact that someone else who believes differently doesn't also have strong reasons for their alternative outlook.  For me, God is not a belief, it is a fact (not a scientific fact, a personal fact - it would be unwise to confuse that).  My accepting of the version of God outlined in the Bible, that is where my faith comes in.  Other people who have had reason to have the same knowledge of God as I do (belief, if you will) may find faith in another version.  They have very strong reasons for putting faith in a different walk.  I've studied enough of alternative world views to see why they would see why they find it beautiful.  I may think them wrong, but I do not think them unsupported.


View PostLiquid Gardens, on 29 January 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

But the Bible was written and sold as a book that contains the truth, and we are warned in a couple spots I thought to not subject some of its 'truths' to reason which may lead you astray from faith.  Regardless, the biblical account of creation was held by a large number (majority?) of Jews and Christians for the vast majority of history to be literally true and factual, and it's not like the major Christian churches responded to the findings of cosmology, geology, and biology that the earth and universe are billions of years old with, 'Oh, thank you for clearing that up for us, you of course are correct and we have been misinterpreting Genesis for millenia obviously'; quite the contrary.  Are you surprised that these scientific findings weren't more immediately embraced by Christianity (with full recognition that I'm using that term very generally)?  There were a lot of 'reasons' given for not accepting these findings that came straight from non-scientific quotes from a book that does not have much science in it.  

To note that the Bible is not a scientific textbook seems to be a little bit of a red herring; I don't think anyone disputes that.  The issue seems to more accurately be that believers are instructed to accept (some of, at least) what the Bible says as being the truth, based on whatever foundation, and I'm not aware of many Abrahamic religions that embrace the attitude of, 'you should believe what the bible says about this until science disputes it'.
The original Hebrews wrote the story (more accurately, they first told the story via oral tradition) as a direct opposition to the creation stories of the nations surrounding them.  Like a backhanded slap to the Babylonians.  Over time, the origin of that oral tradition was lost and yes, I agree that people believed it to be what happened.  And sure, when science first began to discover the true origins there was naturally opposition.  Opposition always comes if it supplants an old view (study Galileo's relationship with other scientists of his time, for example - forget the controversy he had with the Catholic Church, I believe the truly interesting part of that story comes decades earlier, when Galileo first floated the idea to fellow scientists).

But things did eventually change, and it forced people to re-examine the text.  And when scholars scratched the surface, they found to their shock that the text shows evidence of a poetic structure and style.  Add to that the history of the early Hebrews, how they were trying to make an identity for themselves that was different to the Babylonians (and other surrounding nations), and that the creation account seem to be written as a direct opposition to those nations' stories, then it's obvious what the purpose of the text really was, and that it shouldn't be considered scientific.

I don't see a problem with this line of reasoning.

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#50    Paranoid Android

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:33 AM

View Postmanbearpigg, on 29 January 2013 - 07:07 PM, said:

This might only be my own opinion but I believe an all Powerful God who is not limited by anything (even himself?) can create an alternate reality without the need for transitory suffering. I can't conceptualize it since my perception is limited by my humanness.  Maybe it's just me but I feel that GOD is being redundant in his creation-suffering-eternal bliss when it can easily be creation-eternal bliss.
I agree that God could have created an alternative world.  But he didn't, he chose to do it this way, and in this way the world has suffering in it.  I don't see that as an automatic argument against God's existence (as the "problem of evil" line of reasoning implies).


View Postmanbearpigg, on 29 January 2013 - 07:07 PM, said:

I don't mind hearing what has convinced you to believe. in fact, I'm quite curious. I heard a lot of testimonies from various people but still haven't been convinced yet. between you and me, I actually want to be proven wrong. I just can't believe because my logic tells me otherwise.
Perhaps another time, in a more appropriate thread (edit:  as it happens, your thread you started about "what is your religion" was that appropriate time, some of what I wanted to say I have said over there).  I will say here, however, that I haven't had any divine experience where I've seen visions of God or any such, it's just several little things, innocuous on their own but over the course of my life have led me to Christ (note, I've always believed in God, however I only became a Christian when I was 19/20'ish).


View Postmanbearpigg, on 29 January 2013 - 07:07 PM, said:

oh then i have no argument here. And yes the creation story and the 7 days backdrop is not actually 7 days if you study Judaism. In fact they are more correctly identified as 7 SECTIONS or events. However you must know that you are not in the majority as fundamental Christians here in America believe word for word as well as people back in Korea (my home).
I have no statistics to back up whether it is majority or minority, but my experience in Australia is very different, ideas of Creationism just aren't that big a deal here.  And from speaking to people on the internet, many places in America are like that as well.  True, some parts are rabidly fundamental (eg, the parts I hear described as the South), but others the matter is not quite so clear.


View Postmanbearpigg, on 29 January 2013 - 07:07 PM, said:

Well i would argue that Horus was of a virgin birth since SET had torn Osiris' body and Isis had to conceive Horus/RA? through the spirit of Osiris and remaining bits in a clay pot(or clay dildo idk). I don't think that constitutes a normal procedure of procreation... I think Isis was a virgin before conceiving since that "story" is a depiction of the start of the gods (aka start of the world/reality). I might be in the wrong though, i'll check.
I guess we'll have to disagree, if everything about the sex part was identical except that a penis couldn't be found so they fashioned one out of clay and it worked the same, then I can't view that as a "virgin" birth.  But I'll leave it there, as it really is off topic.


View Postmanbearpigg, on 29 January 2013 - 07:07 PM, said:

I'm very jealous because we are screwed here. BUT don't be naive, control has no national boundaries, no sovereignty. I'm sure if you really look into the Australian politics, you'll find that much is similar in our respective countries. Yours have koalas, Tasmanian devils, and kangaroos so it's a LITTLE better.
The two major parties, the Labor Party and the Liberal Party do not represent left and right wing politics as they seem to in America. That said, Australian politics is far from ideal, my comment was just to point out that funding American politics is a completely irrelevant point to discuss to someone such as I.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 30 January 2013 - 07:19 AM.

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#51    Paranoid Android

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:36 AM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 29 January 2013 - 07:27 PM, said:

And there it is..God would have known the nature of his creations and why they will or will not believe...All this about him allowing you to make a choice  ( calling it freedom of choice ) is pointless in the end if he already knows exactly what choice you will make and why you made it...  It would be completely illogical and very stupid for anyone to try and claim that god has no way of knowing, because the second they do, they have stripped him of what makes him almighty ... The odd one will try and make it out like god is limited to powers but is more like us humans and he cannot know what you will do... It is a weak and not a good argument,  but you might hear one of two that will come out with something that illogical...  This is only because they cannot give a good answer to counter it, so they make it up as they go..
In my understanding of Christianity, not only is it true what you say - God does know the choices we make, but it is also true that no one can make the choice to follow God unless God calls them.

Just thought I'd muddy the waters a bit for you :)

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#52    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:04 AM

View Postmanbearpigg, on 29 January 2013 - 07:42 PM, said:

I don't have proof that a GOD does not exist, in fact i believe that logic tells me he has to exist. I follow Newton and Aquinas so I believe the first mover or action is "GOD".
However I have given proof why an Abrahamic God (omni-all) most likely does not exist due to the fallacies i have pointed out.

to answer my counter-argument, an ant possesses the ability to identify us humans as a THING at least. to us, we cannot even touch or interact with God as we know it. An ant is able to touch us or bite us and see us as a threat. We cannot do those things to a GOD. either the difference is much greater in us to GOD or our perception is so limited a GOD does not matter if he existed or not. His actions are unknown to us and quite possibly unable to interact with us.

I do agree that God is most likely quite different than the Abrahamic God expressed in scripture. I don't believe there is any religion that is completely correct. However if God was unable to interact with us I'd say he wouldn't be much of a God. I think it's more a choice not to as opposed to an inability to.

All of these are simply speculations of course. It just makes sense to me personally though.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#53    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:22 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 30 January 2013 - 01:36 AM, said:

In my understanding of Christianity, not only is it true what you say - God does know the choices we make, but it is also true that no one can make the choice to follow God unless God calls them.
Just thought I'd muddy the waters a bit for you

And if he doesn't call you, you are discriminated against? .God already knew that there would be billions born into different religions, and it is not their fault,   He knew it all before it ever took place....If he is supposed to be one who understands all ( that he created )  then he would have already have known it all before any one of us...He knows the in's and outs of every last belief ever held, before it was created...In fact he knows what future beliefs are to be held long after we leave this life...
And IF he calls you and you cant hear it..? ....  If he calls you and you ignore it? .... He already knows what will happen and what you will do .. He knows it all before you ever will, whether you don't get called  ( for some mad reason )  Or you do, and don't respond.....He knows exactly all what you will or will not do, before you make a move...If you wished, you can make a long list of things, in the end, I can say god already knows beforehand what we will do and how it pans out before we can ever know, which is part of him being all knowing...... Doesn't muddy the waters, just strengthens my point...

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 30 January 2013 - 10:32 AM.

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#54    Paranoid Android

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 30 January 2013 - 10:22 AM, said:

And if he doesn't call you, you are discriminated against?
In one sense, yes.  God did "elect" some people and not others.  That may be a form of discrimination.  However, those who are not called were created for the purpose of not being called, so it's not an unfair discrimination.


View PostBeckys_Mom, on 30 January 2013 - 10:22 AM, said:

And IF he calls you and you cant hear it..? ....  If he calls you and you ignore it? .... He already knows what will happen and what you will do .. He knows it all before you ever will, whether you don't get called  ( for some mad reason )  Or you do, and don't respond.....
Theologically this is an impossible statement.  If God calls you, you will answer.  To not do so implies that the will of man can overthrow the will of God.


View PostBeckys_Mom, on 30 January 2013 - 10:22 AM, said:

Doesn't muddy the waters, just strengthens my point...
I think you misunderstood my point.  I wasn't posting to argue against you, just to add information you may not have considered.  It does muddy things a little - the whole free will/predestination debate hinges on it.  I agree with you that God knows what will happen, but that doesn't lessen my belief in him, or in my belief that predestination and free will can coexist (despite being mutually exclusive concepts).

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#55    shadowhive

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 30 January 2013 - 02:52 PM, said:

In one sense, yes.  God did "elect" some people and not others.  That may be a form of discrimination.  However, those who are not called were created for the purpose of not being called, so it's not an unfair discrimination.

Why do that? Why make people only to expressly not 'call' them?

Sounds pretty cruel.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
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#56    Frank Merton

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 30 January 2013 - 03:08 PM, said:

Sounds pretty cruel.
Have you read the book of Job recently if you want to hear about cruelty.  What is God's answer?  Basically he tells Job I am more powerful than you are so you have no right to question me.


#57    shadowhive

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 30 January 2013 - 03:16 PM, said:

Have you read the book of Job recently if you want to hear about cruelty.  What is God's answer?  Basically he tells Job I am more powerful than you are so you have no right to question me.

I've heard that story before and it's one of the (many) things that makes me not want to follow the christian god because of how willing he was to subject an innocent man to horrors just to prove a point.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#58    Paranoid Android

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 30 January 2013 - 03:08 PM, said:

Why do that? Why make people only to expressly not 'call' them?

Sounds pretty cruel.
Why is it cruel?  Take a moment to actually ask why is it cruel....

Take yourself, for example, if God had chosen otherwise, you'd be believing just like a Christian.  But you've admitted to me several times that you hate much of what Christianity stands for.  Surely it would be more cruel to BRAINWASH you into believing something you inherently cannot stand than it is to keep you as you are.

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#59    shadowhive

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 30 January 2013 - 03:58 PM, said:

Why is it cruel?  Take a moment to actually ask why is it cruel....

Take yourself, for example, if God had chosen otherwise, you'd be believing just like a Christian.  But you've admitted to me several times that you hate much of what Christianity stands for.  Surely it would be more cruel to BRAINWASH you into believing something you inherently cannot stand than it is to keep you as you are.

Hmmm now, let me think about why its cruel. Well one group of people (ie Christians) get to spent an eternity in some sort of paradise while another (everyone else) is either a: etrnally tortured or b:permenantly erased. I get you're ok with that because youre on god's side and get a nice happy afterlife but the fact you cant see that it's cruel for the rest of us just gets tossed in the trash is beyond me.

No, I don't want to be brainwashed to serve a psychopathic god. But you're essentially saying that the only alternaive is a form of spiritual genocide and worse, you can accept that with a smile on your face.

When the choice is between being brainwashed and murdered both choices are abhorrent. But yes, I'd rather die on my feet as a free thinking human being than on my knees as a slave to something that's inherently evil and anti-humanity

However, you neatly side stepped the question posed to you.

Edited by shadowhive, 30 January 2013 - 04:16 PM.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#60    redhen

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:33 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 30 January 2013 - 01:33 AM, said:

I agree that God could have created an alternative world.  But he didn't, he chose to do it this way, and in this way the world has suffering in it.  I don't see that as an automatic argument against God's existence (as the "problem of evil" line of reasoning implies).

Apparently Darwin realized the implications of his theory of evolution. Not just the demise of special creation, but more importantly the unnecessary pain, suffering and death of untold number of beings over millions of years. How much of this unnecessary suffering could have been avoided if only God had created the world and everything in it in six days.

This cruelty, which is what it is by definition, is doubly perplexing since God allegedly created a world free of pain, suffering and death, so it was indeed possible to mitigate this natural evil. Also, allegedly, in the end times a new world will be molded, where the lion will lay down with the lamb. Just not now, later. Sucks to be born in between these two utopias.

Leibniz also posited the "best of all possible worlds" explanations, or modern theological terms; nomic regularity. Either way, it's just another way of saying "that's just the way things are", which of course, is no answer at all.

Was there really only one way to get to the stage of modern humans except by hundreds of millions of years of suffering for non-humans?

I wish I still had access to scholarly databases. Here's one good book on the theological implications of needless animal suffering.

Even Christian apologists like C.S. Lewisobserved that  “So far as we know beasts are incapable either of sin or of virtue; therefore they can neither deserve pain nor be improved by it.”
C.S. Lewis, Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, 1940.

Moral evil is easily answered; free will. That's why you will find library stacks filled with books on moral evil. The section allocated for natural evil is almost empty. There is no satisfactory answer to it.






Also tagged with god, religion, evil, problem

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