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Nuclear Wessel

What is your reason for belief/non-belief?

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Sherapy

davros

Oh hell, do we really have to do the fence thing again?

LG

"Default" is a tricky concept. If you just mean "usual thing," then I think lacking evidence, people usually try to judge credibility based on their estimate of a priori plausibility - or sometimes they make a privileged knowledge claim (revelation by God, for example).

A priori includes heuristics, like "god of the gaps" (the more you know about what God does, the less God seems to have done), or Kirk's Complaint (why does God need a space ship? - or a Mohammed, a Moses, ...), or Sagan's summary of Hume (extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence).

So, your "Do not believe in things that have no evidence for them" is one heuristic among many possibilities, and heuristics are one kind of prioristic analysis among many. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and the question in this thread is the basis of your personal belief.

In other news, I am not going to tilt with Leo over the importance of definitions, but accepting a definition is always a matter of usefulness, not truth. The only admissible truth-objection to a definition is contradiction, a situation which is simultaneously false and useless.

So, when you say that "god" is well-enough defined to make a judgment, then that's it. There may be more useful and less useful definitions, but there is no "true" definition, to the effect that any other self-consistent definition is "false." A definition is satisfactory or agreed upon or standard - all aspects of utility, not of "truth."

I also agree with you that "god" is well-enough defined to begin deliberations. Whatever conclusion is going to be provisional anyway. Otherwise, I wouldn't be an agnostic as I use the term. Atheists, theists and agnostics, in my view, share the attribute of understanding, to their own satisfaction, what the Question of God is asking.

If not, I cannot imagine that it's at all useful to learn that they don't say yes and they don't say no. That they don't understand the question is a satisfactory reply. Even if it is unresponsive, it is satisfactory. The alternative would seem to be admitting infants, dogs and Ming vases into the fold of agnostics. None of them understand the question, either.

Well said!

And, I am with you let us get this God party started; all personal views are accepted. :)

:)

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Sherapy

I do not know enough about the universe to rule out a Poptart Kitten with Rainbow thrust flying about the galaxies.

It's safe to say that I do not believe nor disbelieve in such an entity.

giphy.gif

Agnosticism: It's super duper smarts cool.

Well Darv, I am sure someone will argue for the pop tart kitten deity, ( 3 guesses who it will be and the first 2 don't count). :)

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Leonardo

Wrong, Leo, it doesn't matter if we all have the same definition of God. What matters is that we can conceive of the notion "infinite perfection," which is beyond what we are capable of conceiving on our own, since we are not infinitely perfect.

LG set up the "the concept of deity is irrelevant" with respect the argument I made as to why agnosticism is non-belief but theism and atheism are both beliefs. I am not talking of a hypothetical situation of universal belief, but about what exists with respect theism, atheism and agnosticism.

If you and LG are bent on making this a thread devoted to mental maxturbation about possibilities regarding concepts of deific belief that don't exist in our real world, then fine - but that doesn't impact the argument I am making and it also has nothing to do with the thread topic.

The "concept of deity" is critical/central to my argument as I pointed out.

Edited by Leonardo

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Mr Walker

I beg to differ, LG.

Regarding the concept of "deity" - define it. Because you can only decide what constitutes evidence for something's existence when that thing is defined (such as unicorns are, elephants are, or bigfoot is), and there are so many, and so many contradictory, definitions of "deity" (or "god", or whatever you want to call it) floating around that it is impossible to determine what would constitute evidence.

So, the concept of deity is critical, central, to my position. I put it to you that no-one actually knows what "deity" is, and so no-one can claim any evidence for the existence of deity does, or does not, exist.

You've given that construct before and its been discussed. it simply does not hold water.

You are apparently trying to say that any god is so indefinable that no specific entity can be classified as a god. That is not true. Its not how we define and classify things and a difficulty in classification doesn't mean it cant be done.

A god is ANY entity which humans either construct or encounter and whom WE chose to name and classify as a god. God is just a name/label we attach to a certain CLASS of beings. There have been thousands of them (different types of gods) in human history.

Gods have certain characteristics, which we have covered before, which are attributed to them by humans and I wont go over again.

Some gods might be omnipotent or omniscient, others might simply be races or individuals more powerful than our own and beyond our present scientific capabilities.

But what you are saying is akin to saying that because there are so many alien races in the universe we cannot identify any one of them as alien. Just as an alien being is one from off earth, a god is a powerful being from off earth (real or constructed) which takes an interest in humans and, importantly, which humans IDENTIFY as a god.. (That is a human god anyway, other races might have other gods which specialise in them and are only gods to them.)

It really seems you simply want to construct a concept of god which is impossible, so that you can say that it is impossible to show that gods exist. The fact that there are so many forms of gods really makes it easier to find evidences for them, than trying to find evidence for one specific form of god.

It is easier to find evidence that birds live on an island, for example, than to find evidence that one particular species of birds lives there.

If it helps you at all, try thinking of gods as a species or a genus, rather than getting stuck on one specific entity within a species or genus.

Out of interest, do you apply the same reasoning to ghosts, or alien beings?

Edited by Mr Walker

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Noteverythingisaconspiracy

I'm just not religious, plain and simple. :)

This. :tu:

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freetoroam

I can understand your thinking here but I can't reconcile creation being a random, non-ordered event. The fact that we do not understand everything about the Creator does not prove he doesn't exist. There are MANY things I don't understand and that does not mean they aren't real.

Could you give me an example of something you do not understand which could possibly be real (excluding anything religious in your example).

I am finding this "random" word as quite odd to be using. Our life is not random, it is possible because of the conditions we live in and we evolve and adapt to suit, nothing random about that.

I beg to differ on the proof about the alleged creator, first there is no need for me to find the proof he does not exist as I am not making a claim of the existence of a god (I mention that because I have been asked and it a question asked ).

To ask someone to prove there is no evidence to show he does not exist is EXACTLY the same a asking someone to provide proof that unicorns or fairies do not exist....when a claim is made that something exists, it should be provided with the evidence to proof it.

I can understand why men invented gods, but now we understand a lot more about our planet and how things work. We also know that the forming of different religions and the meeting of men has not created a better world.

The divide in the beliefs surely is enough proof that man is the inventor of gods and a god is not the creator of man.

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Stubbly_Dooright

neculearwessel:

If you are a believer, was it some apparently miraculous event that caused you to believe? Is it the idea that this universe appears to be created/designed to you? Is it because you have asked something of god/gods and received what you asked for? Is it because of some philosophical arguments in favour of God (such as Anselm's ontological argument, or Thomas Aquinas' cosmological argument? Pascal's wager, perhaps?) What is it that makes you believe such things? I am just curious--I like to know why people have beliefs and why some don't believe.

It is weird to think how a secular raised person became a believer. But it wasn't like I looked at the universe and thought how magically it is and how it is or was for me. In fact, I saw it more for it being relistically being there. I just looked inside of me, unmaterialistically and spiritualistically, and then with a lot of 'experiences' and then I went from there'

If that makes sense.

Say what?

You do not want to make a Mountain out of a Molehill?

That's not very logical of you.

tumblr_llt585hAyX1qkx0x3o1_500.gif

Because in the end, there was always................. Stonn.

Ahhh, I could worship Stonn. Yes, that is what I will do.

*shifty eyes*

Of course........................... JK! :D But, why not, there are somethings, that are easy to consider, and be at arms reach, because in some sense, one appreciates what is there and and being there for you to be ................ better.

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Liquid Gardens

LG set up the "the concept of deity is irrelevant" with respect the argument I made as to why agnosticism is non-belief but theism and atheism are both beliefs.

The argument I'm really focused on of yours isn't whether atheism is a belief, it's 'the atheist ignores reason to justify their belief'. I'm searching for that 'reason' I'm ignoring, but maybe I'm not getting your point about the definition of 'deity'. Do you agree that there is no reason being ignored in denying the existence of Zeus?

If you and LG are bent on making this a thread devoted to mental maxturbation about possibilities regarding concepts of deific belief that don't exist in our real world, then fine - but that doesn't impact the argument I am making and it also has nothing to do with the thread topic.

I'm specifically talking about beliefs that exist in our real world, those are the ones I had thought I had emphasized are actually the ones I'm rejecting. 'Deity' isn't as undefined for many people as it seems to be for you; what they're describing, and most importantly the 'reasons' they say it is true, provide me with enough to reasonably deny it. I'm interested to hear about the specific definition of 'deity', or better an example of such a deity, that I'm ignoring reason to reject.

I don't believe in any god I've ever had described to me, because there is no evidence. Since there is no evidence, I don't believe they exist. Since I don't believe any gods exist, I refer to myself as an atheist, even though it's ultimately possible gods could exist (and dragons, Santa, etc). At which step am I being unreasonable?

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Liquid Gardens

So, your "Do not believe in things that have no evidence for them" is one heuristic among many possibilities, and heuristics are one kind of prioristic analysis among many. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and the question in this thread is the basis of your personal belief.

My heuristic may be one of many, but if I'm understanding the term 'heuristic' correctly, not all heuristics are equally reasonable. The opposite of my heuristic for example doesn't seem as reasonable.

So, when you say that "god" is well-enough defined to make a judgment, then that's it. There may be more useful and less useful definitions, but there is no "true" definition, to the effect that any other self-consistent definition is "false." A definition is satisfactory or agreed upon or standard - all aspects of utility, not of "truth."

Agreed, and if I am understanding Leo somewhat, I agree with him that it is difficult to tease out a nice, concise, easy-to-apply definition of 'deity' or 'god'. Instead, I rely on what qualities bubble up from all the specific examples defined for me of various gods; Zeus, Thor, Ra, Cthulhu, Yahweh all have some common qualities. I would suspect in order to fully define what are gods and what are not that I would need to create a flowchart to separate all the different qualities and combinations of the same that define inclusion or exclusion for me. But I don't agree that my failure to fully complete that flowchart means that I'm unreasonable in denying that gods exist; I've already amassed an impressive list of specific ones that I can reasonably deny exist.

I've been throwing in occasional side comments here for a while now with you and others concerning what is reasonable to tentatively conclude when there is no evidence for something, not sure if I have an answer in my head yet. Maybe ultimately the logical position is agnosticism, but I don't think I'd answer 'I don't know' to the proposition that aliens live in a cavern somewhere deep beneath my house. And that proposition is far more similar to most god propositions than something like just 'there are Native American ruins under my house'. I don't have any evidence for either of those propositions but in the latter case I have evidence that Native American ruins exist and that those people used to live in Michigan, which is what I think you were partly referring to with 'a priori plausibility' and which I'm probably just mashing together with the word 'evidence (that Native American ruins have been proven to exist is 'evidence' for the idea they exist under my house, at least in my sloppy way of comparing it relatively to 'aliens').

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Leonardo

The argument I'm really focused on of yours isn't whether atheism is a belief, it's 'the atheist ignores reason to justify their belief'. I'm searching for that 'reason' I'm ignoring, but maybe I'm not getting your point about the definition of 'deity'. Do you agree that there is no reason being ignored in denying the existence of Zeus?

I set that out in my first post. I gave my reason why agnosticism is "non-belief" here:

The primary reason for this is the almost limitless multitude of forms of divinity humankind have conceived of, suggesting both: 1) that anything might be considered "evidence" for some deity conceived by someone somewhere (or somewhen), and 2) that nothing should be considered reliable evidence for the existence of a deity because the plethora of forms deity has been mooted to take are often conflicted and contradictory.

Now, ignoring hypothetical situations which do not exist in reality, the 2 conclusions I have induced from my observation that various people claim the existence of multiple definitions of "deity" are reasonable and comprehensive. The concept that deity is actually unknown is based on all these various definitions of deity, many of which are contradictory/mutually exclusive (an example of inductive reasoning.) I then set out my reason as to why atheism is not "non-belief", but is a belief.

Because both the conclusions above may, or may not, be true, and that it is impossible to determine if either are true or false, the assumption that one is true and the other is false is a belief. Theism assumes the first is true and the second is false, atheism reverses this and so is a belief in opposition to theism.

Reason tells us that neither of the conditions are knowable, so both the theist and the atheist ignore reason in attempting to justify their belief.

Edited by Leonardo

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Davros of Skaro

My lack of belief in the ancient Greek Cyclops is a belief.

AMAZING!

giphy.gif

Agnosticism: Because mental gymnastics is good exercise to put you Head and Shoulders above the crowd

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Leonardo

In other news, I am not going to tilt with Leo over the importance of definitions, but accepting a definition is always a matter of usefulness, not truth. The only admissible truth-objection to a definition is contradiction, a situation which is simultaneously false and useless.

My argument does not hinge on "the importance of definitions", eb - and perhaps that is where many have misunderstood what I have said.

I have never said or argued that how deity is defined is important, all I have said is that the multitude of different definitions that exist for deity/divinity is important. There is a serious distinction between those two points that, I suspect, others have not grasped.

Edited by Leonardo

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Liquid Gardens

Now, ignoring hypothetical situations which do not exist in reality, the 2 conclusions I have induced from my observation that various people claim the existence of multiple definitions of "deity" are reasonable and comprehensive. The concept that deity is actually unknown is based on all these various definitions of deity, many of which are contradictory/mutually exclusive (an example of inductive reasoning.) I then set out my reason as to why atheism is not "non-belief", but is a belief.

Definitions of deity or examples of deities? I understand that the Christian god is mutually exclusive from Allah, in that only one of them is the creator and that they have mutually exclusive definitions on who Jesus was, what definitions of deity are people holding that are mutually exclusive?

Because both the conclusions above may, or may not, be true, and that it is impossible to determine if either are true or false, the assumption that one is true and the other is false is a belief. Theism assumes the first is true and the second is false, atheism reverses this and so is a belief in opposition to theism.

Reason tells us that neither of the conditions are knowable, so both the theist and the atheist ignore reason in attempting to justify their belief.

I guess I just see 'impossible to determine' applying to nearly everything that relies on empiricism; it's impossible to determine if dragons used to exist or currently exist. It's impossible for me to survey all conceptions of 'dragon' that everyone in the world holds or has held, I know there are various definitions of them and some mutually exclusive ones somewhere. So I guess 'reason' says that this line of thinking applies to dragons too, reason is being ignored when people day they deny dragons. At least for those like yourself apparently who feel that we must take into account everyone's definition of a concept in order to rationally deny it; when you use the word 'dragon', there are some general qualities that immediately come to mind based on its usual usage and no one would 'reasonably' be blamed for denying the giant flying fire-breathing reptilian kind out of a bunch of other definitions. I don't know why you find 'deity' so significantly more flabbergasting; I'm defining 'deity' as something like, 'the set of transcendent, super/magical, sentient beings, usually unique, often worshipped by people, that various people have proposed exist', that covers a lot of conceptions just like that specific definition of dragon covers lots of its.

You also didn't specify what was unreasonable in my last paragraph, just because something is a belief doesn't mean it's not reasonable. I agree that no one should rationally deny a definition of deity that you won't specify.

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Liquid Gardens

I have never said or argued that how deity is defined is important, all I have said is that the multitude of different definitions that exist for deity/divinity is important. There is a serious distinction between those two points that, I suspect, others have not grasped.

What one wants to designate as 'deity' is arbitrary ultimately. If you're concerned because there are multiple definitions of 'deity', then don't we resolve this by simply subcategorizing them into more succinct and internally consistent groups, Diety1 through Dietyn ? Is it rational to deny any specific definition of 'deity'? Then what's the problem in denying multiple definitions of 'deity', even if some of those definitions are contradictory?

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Leonardo

I guess I just see 'impossible to determine' applying to nearly everything that relies on empiricism; it's impossible to determine if dragons used to exist...

Dragons do not have multiple, mutually exclusive definitions but are almost universally defined with common characteristics. They are not in the same category as "deity" in this regards - and I suspect not much is.

And not all of my argument is either dependent on empiricism. That there are many, and varied, definitions of deity is undeniable, but there is no "empirical reasoning" involved in understanding all those varied definitions cannot all be true - or if any are. That understanding only relies on the fact that so many people disagree as to what deity actually is.

What one wants to designate as 'deity' is arbitrary ultimately. If you're concerned because there are multiple definitions of 'deity', then don't we resolve this by simply subcategorizing them into more succinct and internally consistent groups, Diety1 through Dietyn ? Is it rational to deny any specific definition of 'deity'? Then what's the problem in denying multiple definitions of 'deity', even if some of those definitions are contradictory?

Why is that necessary?

I am not arguing what "deity" is, only whether agnosticism, theism and atheism are forms of belief or non-belief.

You also didn't specify what was unreasonable in my last paragraph, just because something is a belief doesn't mean it's not reasonable. I agree that no one should rationally deny a definition of deity that you won't specify.

I never said that atheistic belief is unreasonable, I said it is arrived at by ignoring reason. The thought process by which atheists arrive at their belief throws out very reasonable possibilities.

Edited by Leonardo

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Sherapy

I set that out in my first post. I gave my reason why agnosticism is "non-belief" here:

Now, ignoring hypothetical situations which do not exist in reality, the 2 conclusions I have induced from my observation that various people claim the existence of multiple definitions of "deity" are reasonable and comprehensive. The concept that deity is actually unknown is based on all these various definitions of deity, many of which are contradictory/mutually exclusive (an example of inductive reasoning.) I then set out my reason as to why atheism is not "non-belief", but is a belief.

Because both the conclusions above may, or may not, be true, and that it is impossible to determine if either are true or false, the assumption that one is true and the other is false is a belief. Theism assumes the first is true and the second is false, atheism reverses this and so is a belief in opposition to theism.

Reason tells us that neither of the conditions are knowable, so both the theist and the atheist ignore reason in attempting to justify their belief.

Leo, how are you understanding reason?

The Athiest uses reason to conclude why God doesn't exist. And the theist uses reason too to support why they think God exists.

Have you read St Augustine, or Descartes, or Aquinas's?

These arguments form premises that then lead to a conclusion, that use reason.

Descartes argued with reason that God can be known a priori, read Mediations III and give us your thoughts.

Thomas Aquinas then uses reason to form his argument in the Five ways. Why not give this a read and tell us your thoughts.

What you have provided is an argument that highlights your own bias, remember when evaluating arguments, the goal is to evaluate whether the premises support the conclusion. Focusing on the conclusion alone is not sufficient for evaluating arguments.

Edited by Sherapy
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Leonardo

Leo, how are you understanding reason?

The Athiest uses reason to conclude why God doesn't exist. And the theist uses reason too.

Have you read St Augustine, or Descartes, or Aquinas's?

These arguments form premises that then lead to a conclusion, they use reason.

Descartes argued that God can be known a priori, read Mediations III and give us your thoughts.

Thomas Aquinas then uses reason to form his argument in the Five ways. Why not give these a read and tell us your thoughts.

What you have provided is an argument that highlights your own bias.

How can a point of view that encompasses any/all possibilities be biased?

Did St Augustine, Descartes or Thomas Aquinas incorporate into their arguments the multitude of definitions that humankind has conceived for deity, or were they working from a very narrow preconception in that regard?

As for how I use reason, read my post above.

Edited by Leonardo

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Sherapy

Dragons do not have multiple, mutually exclusive definitions but are almost universally defined with common characteristics. They are not in the same category as "deity" in this regards - and I suspect not much is.

And not all of my argument is either dependent on empiricism. That there are many, and varied, definitions of deity is undeniable, but there is no "empirical reasoning" involved in understanding all those varied definitions cannot all be true - or if any are. That understanding only relies on the fact that so many people disagree as to what deity actually is.

Why is that necessary?

I am not arguing what "deity" is, only whether agnosticism, theism and atheism are forms of belief or non-belief.

I never said that atheistic belief is unreasonable, I said it is arrived at by ignoring reason. The thought process by which atheists arrive at their belief throws out very reasonable possibilities.

Do you even know what you are arguing, Leo?

" the thought process by which atheists arrive at their beliefs throws out very reasonable possibilities?"

Can you expand on this? What does this mean?

How does the Athiest ignore reason?

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Leonardo

Do you even know what you are arguing, Leo?

" the thought process by which atheists arrive at their beliefs throws out very reasonable possibilities?"

Can you expand on this? What does this mean?

How does the Athiest ignore reason?

I "expanded on this" in previous posts, where I set out my reasoning. I suggest you reread them if you haven't grasped the argument I made.

And the "do you even know what you are arguing" is somewhat rude and condescending of you, Sheri. Have you considered it is not I who am lacking comprehension here?

Edited by Leonardo

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Sherapy

How can a point of view that encompasses any/all possibilities be biased?

Did St Augustine, Descartes or Thomas Aquinas incorporate into their arguments the multitude of definitions that humankind has conceived for deity, or were they working from a very narrow preconception in that regard?

As for how I use reason, read my post above.

This is your argument.

"Reason tells us that neither of the conditions are knowable, so both the theist and the atheist ignore reason in attempting to justify their belief."

How does reason tell us nether conditions are knowable? And how are the atheist and theist ignoring reason attempting to justify their belief.

Your argument is incomplete as it is.

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Sherapy

I "expanded on this" in previous posts, where I set out my reasoning. I suggest you reread them if you haven't grasped the argument I made.

And the "do you even know what you are arguing" is somewhat rude and condescending of you, Sheri. Have you considered it is not I who am lacking comprehension here?

In all fairness to you, I have gone back and re-read your argument, the questions I have put forth are not addressed in your premises.

You seem to be trying to put together an argument as it doesn't seem you have one yet.

Perhaps it is me, for my sake then can you put it in standard argument form to lessen my confusion.

Edited by Sherapy
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Davros of Skaro

If asked wether I believed in the Biblical Leviathan, or Dragons I would say no.

I would have Egg all over my face because I did not reason that the questioner was refering to Crocodiles.

giphy.gif

Agnosticism: It's logic squared

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Leonardo

This is your argument.

"Reason tells us that neither of the conditions are knowable, so both the theist and the atheist ignore reason in attempting to justify their belief."

How does reason tell us nether conditions are knowable? And how are the atheist and theist ignoring reason attempting to justify their belief.

Your argument is incomplete as it is.

No, it is not.

Here is a question, Sheri. It is the first in a sequence of several questions I shall ask, so I hope you'll be patient. Please answer the questions (without extraneous ponderings) and I hope you'll have a better understanding.

Has humanity conceived many and varied definitions of deity?

Edited by Leonardo

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Davros of Skaro

In all fairness to you, I have gone back and re-read your argument, the questions I have put forth are not addressed in your premises.

You seem to be trying to put together an argument as it doesn't seem you have one yet.

Perhaps it is me, for my sake then can you put it in standard argument form to lessen my confusion.

You're just an Atheist. You cannot play in the big leagues.

Einstein_3.gif

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XenoFish

It's a level playing field. Because no one really knows what's going on. It's all guess work.

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