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[Merged] THE CIA's heart attack gun...


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#46    Left-Field

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:34 AM

View Postbouncer, on 07 March 2012 - 09:13 AM, said:

Blimey O Reily!

I guess the OP is so buried now with aquatus1 & Silvergun's flirting that there isnt much point my continuing to add anything as its just getting lost in their chatting up of each other. (cant you guys pm each other or something and leave this thread alone.  

Its not much fun for anyone to see two folk argue let alone read about it

Other than this and my post prior to this one I have done nothing but discuss the topic. You have even responded to things I and aquatus1 have been discussing in our posts pertaining to the subject.

I fail to see how you think I haven't been discussing it.

If you want the conversation to be strictly limited to a discussion about how many deaths have been caused by use of the Heart Attack Gun the answer is nobody knows for certain.

There really isn't much else that can be said about it. The thread should pretty much be closed by now if that's all you wanted answered and discussed because there really isn't any way for any of us to how many deaths / assassinations have been the result of this gun.

If you have other things you want to discuss related to this subject perhaps you should try posting them and see what people have to say about it. It's not my or aquatus1's fault that you haven't brought about your own thoughts on this topic.


Edited by Silvergun Superman, 07 March 2012 - 09:39 AM.


#47    bouncer

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:43 AM

View PostSilvergun Superman, on 07 March 2012 - 09:34 AM, said:

Other than this and my post prior to this one I have done nothing but discuss the topic. You have even responded to things I and aquatus1 have been discussing in our posts pertaining to the subject.

I fail to see how you think I haven't been discussing it.

If you want the conversation to be strictly limited to a discussion about how many deaths have been caused by use of the Heart Attack Gun the answer is nobody knows for certain. There really isn't much else that can be said about it. The thread should pretty much be closed by now if that's all you wanted answered and discussed because there really isn't any way for any of us to how many deaths / assassinations have been the result of this gun.



No not at all, but 2 people dissecting each others words and commenting on them and dictionary meanings is tedious reading isn't it? I know you have been discussing the topic and all input is appreciated. I myself have even, on other threads, got so into proving my point against someone elses that the thread has narrowed down to just two of us essentially bickering! So I know how it goes.  You got your opinion as does aquatus1.

As do I. But I dont get drawn into forum bickering anymore!!


#48    Babe Ruth

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:55 PM

Aquatus

Strictly speaking, you are probably right.  If asked, NOBODY here would deny that from time to time government is involved in conspiracies.

Trouble is, that question has not been asked, at least as far as I know, and I'm still a new guy here.

So I guess it is through innuendo or implication that so many posters APPEAR to think that it is very rare indeed that government deceives or that persons within the government conspire.

For the 800 pound Gorilla Conspiracy (I think you know which one) is simply impossible in the minds of many, judging solely by their posts.  Despite all sorts of evidence, it's just impossible.  Borders on Cognitive Dissonance, IMO.


#49    aquatus1

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:33 PM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 07 March 2012 - 01:55 PM, said:

Aquatus
Strictly speaking, you are probably right.  If asked, NOBODY here would deny that from time to time government is involved in conspiracies.
Trouble is, that question has not been asked, at least as far as I know, and I'm still a new guy here.

Why is that a problem?

Is it really so difficult to conceive that most people would be reasonable enough agree with a more general statement such as whether government conspiracies exist?

Maybe the problem is not with the general concept.  Maybe the problem is with the specifics.

Quote

So I guess it is through innuendo or implication that so many posters APPEAR to think that it is very rare indeed that government deceives or that persons within the government conspire.

Well, think carefully about that...

On the one hand, yes, chances are good that the average supporter here, when speaking to others, faces a great deal of opposition to the idea of conspiracies.

On the other hand...most of the people here who advance conspiracies are advancing a very limited set of conspiracies, and the vast majority of these are indeed conspiracies favored by conspiracy theorist.

In other words, if someone is always talking about apples, and people are always objecting to apples, it is bad logic to conclude that these people adamantly oppose fruit.  They may just be sick and tired of apples.

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For the 800 pound Gorilla Conspiracy (I think you know which one) is simply impossible in the minds of many, judging solely by their posts.  Despite all sorts of evidence, it's just impossible.  Borders on Cognitive Dissonance, IMO.

I disagree.  I think it is just as valid to say that the assumption that it is "simply impossible in the minds of many" plays a large role in the general uselessness of these discussions.  In fact, I would be willing to say that it is the assumption of what the other person is thinking that colors much of what is being said, even in the face of what is actually written.

The same thing has happened in this very thread.  Now, I am a Marketing and Negotiation instructor, so I will go into behaviour gleefully, in depth, and ad nauseum, but it has already been pointed out that we are kind of off-topic (to the extent that the original topic...well, not a lot of meat to it), but yeah, assumptions go both ways.  Conspiracy theorists assume one thing about debunkers, debunkers assume certain things about conspiracy theorists, and neither one actually argues the discussion, but rather both argue their points.  Is it any wonder some of the threads in this forum never go anywhere?  There is no resolution because their is literally no discussion between people.

No, in my mind, the difference between conspiracy theorists and debunkers, and skeptics who are either for or against a given conspiracy, is not so much the claims, but rather (to absolutely no one's surprise, at this point) their behaviour.  The behaviour of conspiracy theorists and debunkers is pretty much identical.  Both have made the assumption they understand the opinion of the other, both ignore any claims or arguments of the other, both are more concerned with winning an argument than with discussing the issue.  As opposed to...

Damn, just noticed I started again with the whole lecture thing.  Sorry, nevermind, my bad...:blush:


#50    Left-Field

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:14 AM

View Postaquatus1, on 07 March 2012 - 11:33 PM, said:

On the one hand, yes, chances are good that the average supporter here, when speaking to others, faces a great deal of opposition to the idea of conspiracies.

On the other hand...most of the people here who advance conspiracies are advancing a very limited set of conspiracies, and the vast majority of these are indeed conspiracies favored by conspiracy theorist.

In other words, if someone is always talking about apples, and people are always objecting to apples, it is bad logic to conclude that these people adamantly oppose fruit.  They may just be sick and tired of apples.

That is a fair statement, but it has been my experience here that when a conspiracy with some solid reasoning behind it is presented the debunkers simply don't bother to discuss it.

It's as if they recognize the conspiracy as is a truly believable one and for that very reason they ignore it completely. They won't bother to acknowledge it on any level.


Edited by Silvergun Superman, 08 March 2012 - 05:01 AM.


#51    aquatus1

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:30 AM

View PostSilvergun Superman, on 08 March 2012 - 04:14 AM, said:

That is a fair statement, but it has been my experience here that when a conspiracy with some solid reasoning behind it is presented the debunkers simply don't bother to discuss it.

Debunkers are no more willing to discuss with CT's than CT's are willing to discuss with debunkers.  They are two sides of the same coin, to pull out a tired, but true cliche.  

The major problem is in the actual assessment, and the bias tends to be directly built in.  Think about it:  CT's aren't idiots, no more so than anyone else (they may be a little more obsessive than most, but that has nothing to do with intelligence).  If a CT presents a conspiracy, chances are good that the CT honestly, sincerely, believes he is presenting solid reasoning.  I have yet to see a CT open a thread with something like "Look, I know this is a really stupid idea, but hear me out..."

So, when you think about it, there is really no way (unless the CT actually is an idiot) that someone is going to present what they consider to be a faulty theory.  Whether you are a CT or a skeptic, if you present a conspiracy, you tend to believe there is support for it.

So, if we can't trust our personal assessment of a theory on our side of the fence, who can we trust?  That is where the second pertinent point comes in: The motivation to post.  Consider:  How many conspiracy threads actually stay on topic?  Heck, this one didn't make it past the first page.  But why?  If someone opens a thread with a specific conspiracy in mind, they are doing so for one of two reasons:  Either they are skeptics who wish to test the strength of their theory in the public realm; or, the are CT's who simply wish to argue the argument.

So, what sort of behaviour are we going to expect from the two?  If you are a skeptic, then really, the only response you are going to make is for clarification.  You are not going to actually defend the theory itself; that would defeat the purpose of posting it for review.  The reason a skeptic posts a theory is to find the weak points, the parts that people object to.  The extension of this is that they won't entertain arguments that don't really have anything to do with the theory: What would be the point?  A thread discussing a specific theory is going to stay pretty much on topic.

But what happens if you are just there for the argument?  Well, you have no reason to stick to one point;  In fact, you have a vested interest in moving from topic to topic (even the most obsessive poster needs a change in scenery once in a while).  And you will argue anything.  Heck, that's what you are there for.  You don't care about the weak points in your theory.  Chances are good that you refuse to admit there are weak point; not because you necessarily believe it, but because to do so would be akin to losing ground in the argument.  These threads...man, they last forever, they go in circles, nothing ever gets resolved, and at the end of the day, everyone goes home muddy, wet, happy, and sated, and looking forward to the next snowball fight tomorrow.

Debunkers...different behaviour.  A little more reasonable, in that there is actually a standard, of sorts, but honestly, I suspect they stumbled upon it more by accident than by any deliberate act of reason.

Quote

It's as if they recognize the conspiracy as is a truly believable one and for that very reason they ignore it completely. They won't bother to acknowledge it on any level.

So...do you see the internal bias in that sentence?  The subconscious assumption that, at its foundation, the theory is right, therefore the debunkers must be wrong?

This is probably the hardest thing to do as a skeptic.  As a natural habit, we always look for the "yes" answer.  We always look for ways to support our position.  The problem with that is that "yes" answers are remarkably easy to find.  Indeed, we are particularly good at pulling a "yes" answer out of even the most peripheral and tenuous connections.  Much of skepticism and scientific methodology, possibly the vast majority of it, is dedicated to nothing other than fighting this natural instinct.

So, what is it that skeptics do?  Skeptics look for the "No" answer.  They look to find reasons that would disprove what they claim.  The whole purpose of putting it out there in public is so that people will tell you all the "no"s  they spot (and I think we can all agree that debunkers will assist with enthusiastic and borderline obsessive glee in that department).  If you have a theory that you have pounded out as many "no"s as you can, and you can't find anymore...then you got yourself a particularly powerful theory.

The several difference between CT's/debunkers and skeptics, but the main one is behaviour.  Skeptics look towards the "no".  CT's/debunkers stick to the "Yes".



#52    Left-Field

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:19 AM

I'm not sure I followed all of that (not in one reading anyways), but there were two things that stood out that I wanted to comment on

View Postaquatus1, on 08 March 2012 - 06:30 AM, said:

If you have a theory that you have pounded out as many "no"s as you can, and you can't find anymore...then you got yourself a particularly powerful theory.

This is the type of conspiracy I am referring to.

When a theory like that is presented by a "conspiracy theorist" it has been my experience here that the skeptics (which to me are also the "debunkers" - meaning they debunk the conspiracy theory that is presented. We seem to have some confusion there as you are referring to debunkers as being the conspiracy theorists. When I say debunker I am referring to the skeptics)
simply don't give any recognition to the theory at all. They simply pretend the theory itself doesn't even exist - it seems to be along thought lines of "if we don't acknowledge it, then it will eventually go away."

I started a thread on here about a conspiracy that I believe is very real. The crimes involved in it are so heinous however, that it is a conspiracy I don't want to believe in. That said, I can't help but believe in it because the information I've come across surrounding it appears to be very legit.

In the opening post of the thread I am referring to (click here) I actually invite skeptics to give me reasons not to believe in it because honestly, I wish it wasn't real.

If you read through the thread yourself, however, I think you will find that not one skeptic has bothered to post in it. Why is that?

Skeptics usually love to tear down outlandish theories. Why is it that they don't do that to the one I've linked to above?

Is it because they believe the government is actually guilty of covering it up? Is it because they don't want to confront the issue? Is it some combination of both those questions?

View Postaquatus1, on 08 March 2012 - 06:30 AM, said:

There are several differences between CT's/debunkers and skeptics, but the main one is behaviour. Skeptics look towards the "no". CT's/debunkers stick to the "Yes".

Just to clarify - when I say debunker I am referring to the skeptics. In order to avoid that confusion from now on though I will refer to the two groups seperately as skeptics and conspiracy theorists and leave the debunker term out of it.

With that clarified I would like to point out that I don't believe your statement above is accurate.

If I am looking for the "no" in regards to this theory yet all the information I've come across leads me to believe "yes" it is true, then what does that make me - a skeptic or a conspiracy theorist?

Edited by Silvergun Superman, 08 March 2012 - 08:44 AM.


#53    Little Fish

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:57 AM

View PostSilvergun Superman, on 08 March 2012 - 08:19 AM, said:

Just to clarify - when I say debunker I am referring to the skeptics. In order to avoid that confusion from now on though I will refer to the two groups seperately as skeptics and conspiracy theorists
you need to be careful there, "conpsiracy theorists" tend to be skeptics (of officially annointed absurd stories) and debunkers tend to be dogmatic. renaming dogmatics as skeptics is renaming black as white. its a little mind game that puts "conspiracy theorist" into an box marked "please ignore". skepticism is a valid process that asks questions. being "skeptical" of a question is an absurdity.


#54    Left-Field

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:18 AM

View PostLittle Fish, on 08 March 2012 - 08:57 AM, said:

you need to be careful there, "conpsiracy theorists" tend to be skeptics (of officially annointed absurd stories) and debunkers tend to be dogmatic. renaming dogmatics as skeptics is renaming black as white. its a little mind game that puts "conspiracy theorist" into an box marked "please ignore". skepticism is a valid process that asks questions. being "skeptical" of a question is an absurdity.

You make good points and I actually agree with you.

I suppose that's why at the end of my previous response to aquatus1 I am asking him what he would label me (a conspiracy theorist or a skeptic) if we go by his description of what a skeptic is (one who looks for "no's") and what a conspiracy theorist is (one that looks for "yes'").

If I am simply a person that looks into a presented conspiracy with an unbiased mind and find more yes' than no's - which leads me to then believe in a particular conspiracy - how could you still classify me as a conspiracy theorist when I am in fact looking for the "no's."

I'm glad you made this post. It rings truer to me than the thoughts presented by aquatus1 regarding what a skeptic and a conspiracy theorist are.

I made my comment in the quote of me above simply trying to make sure me and aquatus1 would understand which groups of people we are referring to for the purpose of this conversation.



#55    aquatus1

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

View PostSilvergun Superman, on 08 March 2012 - 08:19 AM, said:

This is the type of conspiracy I am referring to.

Again, be very careful of the differences between what a person claims, and what they actually do.

You personally referring to this type of theory is one thing;  This type of theory being what you present is another.  As I previously mentioned, nobody presents a theory they think is faulty.

Does it mean that your (you, personally) theory is faulty?  Not necessarily, or even at all.  It does mean, however, that you do not believe it to.  The question then is, how do you (as the presenter) behave when opposed?

Quote

(which to me are also the  "debunkers" - meaning they debunk the conspiracy theory that is  presented. We seem to have some confusion there as you are referring to  debunkers as being the conspiracy theorists. When I say debunker I am  referring to the skeptics)

Then maybe you should consider that deliberately equating "asking questions for validation" to "asking questions just to argue" is one of those things that limits your ability to be objective.

Conspiracy Theorists and debunkers are at the opposite end of the spectrum, both behaving the same, but arguing from different camps.  Conspiracy theorists adamantly defend their conspiracies for the sheer pleasure of arguing.  Debunkers adamantly attack these conspiracies for the same sheer pleasure of arguing.  Neither one actually accomplishes anything.  The ones who get things done, the ones who win that Pulitzer, they are neither debunkers, nor conspiracy theorists.
  
They are skeptics.

Quote

I started a thread on here about a conspiracy that I believe is very real. The crimes involved in it are so heinous however that it is a conspiracy I don't want to believe in. That said, I can't help but believe in it because the information surrounding it is very real.
In the opening post of the thread I am referring to (click here) I actually invite skeptics to give me reasons not to believe in it because honestly, I wish it wasn't real.
If you read through the thread yourself, however, I think you will find that not one skeptic has bothered to post in it. Why is that?

For me, personally, and I suspect for other skeptics as well, simply put, the reason I did not post was because of your behaviour (and that of certain others).  In a previous post I mentioned that one indicator of respect is the sort of assumptions one makes when addressing others.  It almost sounded like you expected people to defend the government.  And when I see things like:

"Isn't it odd that no one on this forum has come on this thread and denied or tried to debunk any part of it?"
"I know there are people that frequent  this section of the forum because they love nothing more than to  attempt to debunk every conspiracy that gets posted here"
"yet still no one, no "debunkers" anyway, dare to take on this topic."
"there were a couple of shills, but they scurried away like rats when people challenged them"


Well, it sounds like someone is trying to pick a fight.  A topic like this is very interesting, but it is also a very delicate subject, and opinions are quickly going to get heated.  When you are under the impression that the people putting up the thread are looking for a fight, and you just want to have an honest-to-goodness discussion on it, why would you post?

In other words, the one thread where a decent discussion could have actually gotten started, and it was ruined by the CT-ish behaviour.  That's why skeptics didn't get involved.  As for debunkers, well, like I said, they argue because they like to argue.  What is fun about a topic like this?

Quote

Skeptics usually love to tear down outlandish theories. Why is that don't do that to the one I've linked to above though? Is it because they believe the government is actually guilty of covering it up and they don't want to confront the issue?

Look at your presentation there.  Your base assumption is that the thing that defines skeptics is that they tear down theories.  Your immediate conclusion is that they are afraid.

Can you see how this would be perceived as confrontational, as opposed to objective, by a skeptic?  Before the conversation has even started, you have announced to the skeptics that you are going to treat them as if they were in opposite camps.

Skeptics are skeptics.  Any skeptic that came in would have the exact same position as you.  You were actually (asides from the challenges and double-dog-dares) doing what skeptics do:  Questioning a claim.  

How well you did that, I don't know.  Like I said, I didn't get involved.

Quote

Just to clarify - when I say debunker I am referring to the skeptics. In order to avoid that confusion from now on though I will refer to the two groups seperately as skeptics and conspiracy theorists and leave the debunker term out of it.

No, no, debunkers are the yin to the yang, the black to the white, the militant atheists to the militant fundamentalists.  The problem here isn't caused by CT's alone; debunkers play their role as well, and being how well balanced the arguments are (Geez, really, they never end...), we can only conclude that whatever unreasonable, illogical, close-minded front the CT's are putting up, it must be being met by an equally powerful, equally silly, front from the debunkers.

Quote

With that clarified I would like to point out that I don't believe your statement above is accurate.
If I am looking for the "no" in regards to this theory yet all the information I've come across leads me to believe "yes" it is true, than what does that make me - a skeptic or a conspiracy theorist?

It makes you a skeptic.  There is nothing wrong in having a bias.  It's the human condition.  The only time it is wrong is when it affects your conclusion.  And, biases being biases, they have a tendency to do that when one is least expecting it.  Because of that, skepticism requires one to always guard for bias, even if one does not believe there are any.

And, in your case, I am afraid there were (You were acting like a skeptic, just not a very good one ;)).  The problem, I think, was illustrated here earlier, when you said that you did not distinguish between skeptics and debunkers.  In other words, you said you wanted people to disprove it, and the one time someone touched on it, you did encourage them to continue, but then came the challenges, and the CT-like behaviour...and, I am afraid that the support from people who have a heavy CT reputation on the boards didn't help much either.  Simply put, it was a serious topic, it deserved serious discussion, but with the high probability that it was going to became yet another CT vs debunker thread, no skeptic wanted to join in, and no debunker thought it sounded fun.  Hence, the thread died.

Is it right?  Is it wrong?  Neither.  It is simply how people behave.  And if you want people to believe you, you need to be able to predict and control it.



#56    Left-Field

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:51 AM

I don't know aquatus1 - there are plenty of threads here started by conspiracy theorists in which the presentation from the start makes it clear the person believes in the conspiracy and the people that don't believe in it have no hesitancy to dive right into the topic and tell the person who created the thread they are wrong.

For some reason - no one seriously attempted to do that with the Franklin Case thread I've referred to.

But, I've been meaning to post more information in that thread for quite some time now, so I do have a question to ask.

You speak of it as if the thread is dead - like it's too old to dive into at this point. With that being the case should I start a new thread about the topic when I begin discussing it again or should I create a new one?

Based on the comments you made I may even prefer starting from the beginning again in order eliminate the reasons you have given for why you feel no one made a serious effort to discredit the conspiracy.

(Please don't delete the original thread regardless of what is decided though as I will use it simply to pull information from there again should I begin a new thread on the topic)


Edited by Silvergun Superman, 08 March 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#57    aquatus1

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

View PostSilvergun Superman, on 08 March 2012 - 09:51 AM, said:

I don't know aquatus1 - there are plenty of threads here started by conspiracy theorists in which the presentation from the start makes it clear the person believes in the conspiracy and the people that don't believe in it have no hesitancy to dive right into the topic and tell the person who created the thread they are wrong.

Yes.  And thus we get the caucus race of CT's and debunkers merrily chasing each other around.

Quote

For some reason - no one seriously attempted to do that with the Franklin Case thread I've referred to.

The reason I gave doesn't seem valid to you?

Quote

But, I've been meaning to post more information in that thread for quite some time now, so I do have a question to ask.
You speak of it as if the thread is dead - like it's too old to dive into at this point. With that being the case should I start a new thread about the topic when I begin discussing it again or should I create a new one?

I recommend making a new one.  

Quote

Based on the comments you made I may even prefer starting from the beginning again in order eliminate the reasons you have given for why you feel no one made a serious effort to discredit the conspiracy.

That's precisely why I recommend starting a new one.  Two things I would recommend to keep in mind:

First, you are a skeptic asking other skeptics for help.  That means you don't challenge others to help, you don't insinuate that they are scared to deal with the subject, you don't assume what their starting position is.  Like all skeptics, they will endeavor to find a neutral and objective ground, just as you do.  And yes, some may simply not want to discuss the topic, and that the topic makes them uncomfortable is as good a reason as any.

Second, police your own.  If you notice that people are not arguing the topic, but instead have begun arguing vague, undefined, arguments, you need to nip that in the bud.  If a CT starts on a rant about how the entire government is evil, that is an opinion piece and does not get you any closer to an answer.  If a debunker starts mocking or dismissing a source, you have to make sure that the credibility of the witness isn't essential to the testimony.

Basically, you have to keep in mind that, as a skeptic even though you may have a bias, your role is to collect information about strengths and weaknesses about your position, as well as make sure that irrelevant and distracting comments are kept to a minimum.

Are skeptics guaranteed to join in on the discussion?  Honestly, that depends on you as the host.  How good the party is depends on the people there, and how well-behaved they are.  If skeptics feel welcome to the party, they will come.  If it doesn't look good, they will stay away.

Quote

(Please don't delete the original thread regardless of what is decided though as I will use it simply to pull information from there again should I begin a new thread on the topic)

We don't normally delete old threads.


#58    lightly

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:32 PM

Is there any other word in English more capable of distracting or confounding  than  ... THE ?
(think about it)

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#59    S I N

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 05:02 PM

View Postlightly, on 08 March 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

Is there any other word in English more capable of distracting or confounding  than  ... THE ?
(think about it)


yes the word is     SEX

I'm the conjurer of demons, I'm the father of your death. I bring forth the ancient evil, I control his every breath. I instigate your misfortune with the birth of killing trolls. I awaken armageddon, feeding on a thousand souls.... Have a nice day

#60    Left-Field

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:05 PM

View Postaquatus1, on 08 March 2012 - 10:57 AM, said:

The reason I gave doesn't seem valid to you?

It may have some validity, but based on other topics I've seen discussed in this forum (some of them multiple times in various fashions) I find it hard to believe that is the primary reason many people had for not even acknowledging the topic I am referring to.

It seems to me there are a lot of discussions that wouldn't exist within this forum if the reason you gave is to be considered a particularly good one.


Edited by Silvergun Superman, 08 March 2012 - 09:08 PM.





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