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Old 05-28-2008, 05:36 PM   #81 (permalink)
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this discussion of morality does not belong here imo, because you cant convince anyone that God necessarily exists because the only possible source of morality is God,

on the other hand, trying to show that morality can be explained without resorting to a supernatural source does not mean God doesnt exist.

since this thread got hijacked into a discussion of morality here is my two cents:
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Originally Posted by v3d4
morality comes from personal experience-
the most fundamental form of morality concerns promoting the experiential well-being of others and the avoidance and prevention of experiential harm to others. but how can we know what is "well-being" and what is "harm" unless they are directly experienced by the self? people know what it is to be hurt, afraid, sad, as well as healthy, happy, joyful, ect and these feelings and experiences of wanting well-being and not-wanting harm for the self are naturally extended to other people who are not-self, becuz all selves, all people, are essentially the same, all consciousness comes from the same source.

of course there are psychos who do not delevop empathy and cannot make the connection between "self" and "others" so obviously my explainaltion is simple and does not account for these people, or for many qualifications and special cases, but on the whole the conditions of well-being hold up.

becuz well-being and harm are the same for all people everywhere, the same metaphors for morality and immorality come up again and again, spanning cultures and religions and centuries: widespread fear of the dark has created a widespread conception of evil as dark and goodness as light.
every culture seems to have its own purification rituals, and this is becuz of the widespread conception of purity and cleanliness as good.

becuz everybody knows that it is better to be healthy than sick, there is a widespread conception of morality as health, and evil as sickness. i am not making this up. it is obvious that the foundations of morality are far from arbitrary.
so the idea that all moral decisions are totally up to the individual is bunk - there is a commonality among all humans of all cultures of all times. obviously different groups of people have different moral systems and styles, but to sum up these differences by saying they are only preferences that depend on various circumstances is flawed thinking imo.

philosophers of all brands have debated the relationship between morality and religion so much over the years, i dont think its worthwhile to reinvent that wheel, but id like to address the issue of the divine origin of morality:

whether you believe in god or not, or any definition thereof, i think it is logically consistent to say that the origin and source of the universe, things, events, experiences and everything is also the origin and source of morality.
if you want to reject that, then fine, but then dont ask for logical consistency if you wont accept it.

now i wanna ask a question about this:
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Originally Posted by snapshot


Basically, the return argument is that arguing for the existence of God reaches an absurdity, though the argument for the argument for [sic] God still exists because the question (that there is something] exists. (That's what Jonathan Miller puts forth, and I think he's more convincing than Denys Turner.

The fact that teachings have value and meaning to individuals does not mean they put forth any objective knowledge, which is all arguments for and against the existence of God are.
in this thread the subject is arguments against, which do not put forth any objective knowledge regarding the question (that there is something)

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I disagree with Dawkins on basically everything now (even though I still have his quote in my sig) because he doesn't go far enough with his logic and he strays too far in terms of letting people believe what they want to believe. He should realize that any definition of God which defies logic cannot exist,
why is it true that any definition that defies logic cannot exist?
if you are making an objective claim then you ought to provide a proof
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:03 AM   #82 (permalink)
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why is it true that any definition that defies logic cannot exist?
if you are making an objective claim then you ought to provide a proof
Because if no logical definition exists, you're not putting forth a valid claim. How am I supposed to argue against something that defies logic other than pointing out the illogical nature of claim or definition?

If you want to be illogical, that's fine. But there's no reason I have to accept it, where as if you want to be logical then you have to accept logical claims.

And I'm not saying you are or anyone is illogical. I just haven't yet heard a definition of God that didn't necessarily defy logic.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:07 AM   #83 (permalink)
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I know I have the greatest answer for you, JCP. I just need to keep thinking about it and studying harder. Your responses do not make sense to me in a way that I feel requires me to accept your viewpoint. I see contradictions but I fear my responses would not encompass an entire rebuttal of your position while putting forth my own position concisely and clearly. I still see inconsistency between there being no objectively morality, yet it being OK with you that people force their morality on others using the state. I see the fact that there is no objective morality, that everyone's definition of morality is different means that no one can impose their definition on anyone else, especially if they disagree with other people imposing their definition of morality on them using force. I don't see the consistency in your argument without seeing the force as well. But I need to think about it more.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:01 AM   #84 (permalink)
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snapshot, if you agree that there is no objective morality...or at the very least no objective morality any subjective consciousness (a human) can know, then that's the point I was trying to get across.

In terms of "the state," in order for you and I to be sitting here in apartments talking to one another using computers...in order for society and civilization as we know it to exist...large groups of people have to compromise towards a common goal.

You choose to see "the state" as something that imposes its definition of morality on the parts that make it up. And you are correct. I do not disagree with you that in a given country (and under a given government) your morality might be at odds with the rule of the land, and that if you break the rules you are often punished.

This is why, as I quoted earlier "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried" . Democracy is the best vessel so far for a state to employ to have the most people that make up the state happy. Is it perfect? FUCK NO. But unless you have a better idea to keep coherancy to civilization, it's what we got. And looking around, I don't think humanity is even CLOSE to being able to simply working for the common good without a government. You and I might be, but you're kidding yourself if you think most people are.

So if you want to make the argument that civilization itself is immoral, that's fine. And in a very abstract way, I agree. I just happen to think that working together (and compromising) has its own moral quality that, for me, trumps your argument.

and for the last time (lol) no one is FORCING you to live in the United States. You are actively choosing to use the roads, the facilities, using power and water, using the benefits, and everything else that goes along with living in "the state" of this country.

You have every single right to choose a different one. The only thing you don't have the ability to do is to think you should be able to be part of the compromise, but then not compromise.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:13 AM   #85 (permalink)
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If you want to be illogical, that's fine. But there's no reason I have to accept it, where as if you want to be logical then you have to accept logical claims.
I liked this quote from you snapshot. It helped me understand your frame of mind a lot better for some reason.

Question tho:

In your opinion, can someone be logical, but accept things that cannot be (or have not been) proven by logic?

In other words, can it be logical to be illogical about a given issue?
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:24 AM   #86 (permalink)
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I just haven't yet heard a definition of God that didn't necessarily defy logic.
but thats the nature of God

its easier to say what God is not

not a person
not a nonperson
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:02 AM   #87 (permalink)
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i posted something ..

ohwell

..back to dawkins and why he must be taken serious by christians


..lol...

ps.

it's the science(short-answer)
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:09 AM   #88 (permalink)
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In terms of "the state," in order for you and I to be sitting here in apartments talking to one another using computers...in order for society and civilization as we know it to exist...large groups of people have to compromise towards a common goal.
But under the realm of compromise, so much bad stuff that we don't agree with could take place. I don't want what I feel are immoral compromises.
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I liked this quote from you snapshot. It helped me understand your frame of mind a lot better for some reason.

Question tho:

In your opinion, can someone be logical, but accept things that cannot be (or have not been) proven by logic?

In other words, can it be logical to be illogical about a given issue?
I would say no because I define being logical as obligating yourself to the idea that you must accept when you are being logical or illogical. I would most definitely say that my beliefs corresponding to my actions are illogical a lot.

It feels like what you're asking is, can someone have the comfort of calling themselves logical while at the same time being illogical. That's just what it feels like you're saying, because I feel like I want to respond to the feeling behind the question.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:21 AM   #89 (permalink)
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snapshot, if you agree that there is no objective morality...or at the very least no objective morality any subjective consciousness (a human) can know, then that's the point I was trying to get across.

In terms of "the state," in order for you and I to be sitting here in apartments talking to one another using computers...in order for society and civilization as we know it to exist...large groups of people have to compromise towards a common goal.

You choose to see "the state" as something that imposes its definition of morality on the parts that make it up. And you are correct. I do not disagree with you that in a given country (and under a given government) your morality might be at odds with the rule of the land, and that if you break the rules you are often punished.

This is why, as I quoted earlier "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried" . Democracy is the best vessel so far for a state to employ to have the most people that make up the state happy. Is it perfect? FUCK NO. But unless you have a better idea to keep coherancy to civilization, it's what we got. And looking around, I don't think humanity is even CLOSE to being able to simply working for the common good without a government. You and I might be, but you're kidding yourself if you think most people are.

So if you want to make the argument that civilization itself is immoral, that's fine. And in a very abstract way, I agree. I just happen to think that working together (and compromising) has its own moral quality that, for me, trumps your argument.

and for the last time (lol) no one is FORCING you to live in the United States. You are actively choosing to use the roads, the facilities, using power and water, using the benefits, and everything else that goes along with living in "the state" of this country.

You have every single right to choose a different one. The only thing you don't have the ability to do is to think you should be able to be part of the compromise, but then not compromise.
Here is something that I think you'll agree with: There are no unchosen positive obligations, meaning at the most base level--starting from first principles--no one can tell you what to do. To say that there are unchosen positive obligations is a self-detonating argument, unless there is some reason why anyone would have that right (to tell others what to do) while others wouldn't. No one can tell you what to do... without using violence.

I haven't figured out objective morality quite clearly, but this seems to be another starting point for it. The same rule applies to everyone. Even if "no unchosen positive obligations" wasn't true, it would still be true, because people could just obligate others to not tell them what to do.

This is purely logical. It's not pragmatic in the sense that the state needs to obligate people to... because the state can't exist in the first place if you accept this--that the only way you could ever obligate anyone to do something is to use violence. The only valid positive obligations that exist are the one's that an individual imposes on his or her self..

Telling me that I have every right to move to another country is saying that I have every right to choose where I want to live, but I have no choice about whether or not a person follows me around with a gun to my head. I am completely aware that I could move, but that's not what I'm concerned about. I'm concerned about the gun--the violence--the initiation of violence--that is required--that occurs when you place unchosen positive obligations on others--in order for their to even be a state in the first place.

When you initiate violence to accomplish something, the violence doesn't go away (even if the goal was to get rid of violence). The accomplishment is now predicated on violence.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:35 AM   #90 (permalink)
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I find that to be highly semantic. Argument being the pivotal term. How does one establish that argument necessitates logic? Could there be an illogical argument? A person may disagree with your conclusions, and their argument for why is completely illogical. Would this not be a preference for argumentation but not logic?
I think one would have to define that goals of argumentation in order to not equivocate. Is the point of debate to convince another person, or is convincing another person just sophistry? What's the word that you use when you want to talk to someone in order to come to a truth. Argument? Debate? Let's use debate. It doesn't matter what words you use. What matters is what your goal is. Why would you debate something that the other person didn't have to accept as true? It would be like debating whether chocolate is better than vanilla?

So why debate without using logic unless your goal is not to come to some truth. Why not oblige yourself to accept that which you cannot deny? You don't have to accept logic, but then what's the point in debating? It would be akin to two TVs turned on, facing each other.

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Morality to me is a system based on values. If a person values their own preference, then they can morally justify any action. If a person values let's say equally the preference of others then their actions take on an objective characteristic as now it is dependent on external forces. The semantics are what, imo, got my mind twisted a bit.
If morality is based on certain values, those values can be expressed in language. If those values aren't expressed in language, then one's morality is equivalent to one's actions, making the term "morality" superfluous and meaningless.

If values must be expressed in language, those values can now be placed under logical scrutiny. If someone has contradictory values, that person cannot possibly put forth any valid argument for morality, subjectively or objectively.

Language is generally referring to any sort of symbol that has meaning and is understood by two or more people. I can through my own system of symbols, one not understood by anyone else, analyze my actions and their consequences. These actions could be interaction with other people. I prefer certain results with people so I choose the actions that encourage these results. No language, as the symbols I am using have yet to be understood or used to communicate anything to anyone else.

This other person is operating in the same fashion, if my actions are not preferred by them in a sense, then they leave and avoid me. This is a result I do not prefer and as such avoid actions which encourage it, choosing ones that make them stay around for whatever reason. In order for our interaction to continue we both have to choose actions that are preferred by the other. Would this not be what is commonly referred to when we speak of morality? Preference doing it's key part, so on and so forth, and no "language." Unless! Unless we consider our personalized conscious system of association and meaning as language. Then we're getting into just the semantics of language, which is where I got all twisted.[/QUOTE]
The only thing that I would want to do would be to get people to agree with themselves. I don't believe semantics gets in the way of this. We don't need to agree with each other about anything other than "that to be logical is to obligate yourself to accepting that which is logical." If someone doesn't accept this, there's no point debating them in the first place. The person is one-way communication array with all output and no input.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:39 AM   #91 (permalink)
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but thats the nature of God

its easier to say what God is not

not a person
not a nonperson
Hick-a-doo-la!
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:51 AM   #92 (permalink)
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I think one would have to define that goals of argumentation in order to not equivocate. Is the point of debate to convince another person, or is convincing another person just sophistry? What's the word that you use when you want to talk to someone in order to come to a truth. Argument? Debate? Let's use debate. It doesn't matter what words you use. What matters is what your goal is. Why would you debate something that the other person didn't have to accept as true? It would be like debating whether chocolate is better than vanilla?

So why debate without using logic unless your goal is not to come to some truth. Why not oblige yourself to accept that which you cannot deny? You don't have to accept logic, but then what's the point in debating? It would be akin to two TVs turned on, facing each other.
Exactly! You must have an agreed upon goal, a value, an overall meaning. Otherwise, logic doesn't come into the game. I find this is the same with morality, yes? So yes, language is a very important aspect of that as it allows for the establishment of collective goals and values which leads to the introduction of morality, or preferred behavior in reference to those goals.

Morality then can be studied in an objective fashion, but cannot be objective itself.
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The only thing that I would want to do would be to get people to agree with themselves. I don't believe semantics gets in the way of this. We don't need to agree with each other about anything other than "that to be logical is to obligate yourself to accepting that which is logical." If someone doesn't accept this, there's no point debating them in the first place. The person is one-way communication array with all output and no input.
I agree, though semantics can get in the way still I believe. How people associate meaning to words is incredibly varied and can lead to a great deal of misunderstanding or miscommunication. While continued application of logic to the discussion is maintained it would conclude itself eventually but generally we don't have the opportunity to see it out that far.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:02 PM   #93 (permalink)
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morality changes, it's like evolution..random, yes..but also rewards a need inour species in order to survive in spite of our selfish instincts
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:36 PM   #94 (permalink)
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Exactly! You must have an agreed upon goal, a value, an overall meaning. Otherwise, logic doesn't come into the game. I find this is the same with morality, yes? So yes, language is a very important aspect of that as it allows for the establishment of collective goals and values which leads to the introduction of morality, or preferred behavior in reference to those goals.

Morality then can be studied in an objective fashion, but cannot be objective itself.
Yes. Exactly! I wouldn't even know how to define an objective morality any other way. Morality doesn't exist in reality itself, just like the scientific method. But our actions and our arguments can be studied objectively, just like reality can with the scientific method.

I believe that as soon as someone begins to argue or puts forth moral claims, they are already agreeing to abide by logic. To argue without logic is to argue over opinion. The goal, then, cannot be to come to any sort of objective truth because our opinions have no bearing on what is true, as opposed to logic and science.

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I agree, though semantics can get in the way still I believe. How people associate meaning to words is incredibly varied and can lead to a great deal of misunderstanding or miscommunication. While continued application of logic to the discussion is maintained it would conclude itself eventually but generally we don't have the opportunity to see it out that far.
Why don't we usually have that opportunity?
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:42 PM   #95 (permalink)
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morality changes, it's like evolution..random, yes..but also rewards a need inour species in order to survive in spite of our selfish instincts
I would say that morality changes in the same way that science changes. We come to different discoveries about what is scientifically accurate and what is not may change, but the method we use to discover what is scientific will always be the same.

I'm trying to use a method similar to the scientific method in order to judge moral claims. The method tests whether there are claims, what the claims are that are being made, and whether they are consistent with themselves and with the person's own beliefs.

I don't see how morality could have any meaning whatsoever if people could hold contradictory claims about what people should do.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:45 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Yes. Exactly! I wouldn't even know how to define an objective morality any other way. Morality doesn't exist in reality itself, just like the scientific method. But our actions and our arguments can be studied objectively, just like reality can with the scientific method.
So if you study subjective morality with an objective "fashion" dont the results of this study pertain only to the observer and not stand as some kind of objective concrete measurement of morality? what kind of objective standards or measurements do you use when objectively studying morality and how do you make sure these standards are consistent?
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:45 PM   #97 (permalink)
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Hick-a-doo-la!
No, but seriously. It's a square circle. A logical impossibility. If you believe it to be true, I have no problem with that.

The only thing I would have a problem with would be if you were to tell me that if I disagreed with you, I'd be wrong. Because there doesn't seem to be any way that we could come to a conclusion about the nature of [whatever you're talking about/]God if you're able to put forth illogical claims and still accept them as valid.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:08 PM   #98 (permalink)
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So if you study subjective morality with an objective "fashion" dont the results of this study pertain only to the observer and not stand as some kind of objective concrete measurement of morality?
Yes, they would only pertain to the observer.
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what kind of objective standards or measurements do you use when objectively studying morality and how do you make sure these standards are consistent?
I hope I can get this point across clearly the first time (cause it's hard for me to learn from my mistakes sometimes...ohhhh it's a curse I tell you, a curse):

The term "subjective morality" is as meaningless to me as "subjective science." I really can't see the significance of the usage of the term other than to be a placeholder for that which does not pertain to objective morality. Because if morality is subjective, then it's just an opinion. And that's fine and all, but you can't REALLY argue about it. It would be like arguing over who's a better band (pick your favorite and someone else's favorite) or your favorite food, since there's no objective standard at all by which to judge those claims. (I know people do it, but even if they came to a consensus, there would be no truth behind it because logic and evidence weren't applied, so there's be no way to say that anything about it was true. It would be like two people coming to a consensus that chocolate was better than vanilla. The methodology by which they came to that conclusion has no bearing on whether their conclusion was actually true. True by what standards? you might say.)

To your question: the objective standards that I would use are logical consistency with one's arguments and actions.

There are certain logical starting points that every person must accept if they are to not contradict themselves. One is that all arguments from morality must be universal (applying to all beings). If they are not, then only the maker of the claim could possibly be the decider of that which was moral. But then, how do we decide who can make that claim. Here we fall into subjective arguments and the discussion of morality becomes meaningless because it's once again based on opinion. It has to be universal or it cannot withstand logical scrutiny.

Another one is that you own (as in possess or maintain control over) your body. Self-ownership within one's arguments are expressed every time you act. That you are responsible for your own free (keyword) actions is a product of this principle. To deny self-ownership is to affirm it at the same time. So any argument put forth that is inconsistent with self-ownership (if I have convinced you yet) is invalid.

So a statement like, "I should kill you," denies the principle of self-ownership of the person to be killed and therefore contradicts the implied argument that the person making the claim should not be killed.

The rights to life, liberty, and property can be deduced from these principles (I believe there are more principles than just those of universality and self-ownership), but I'd like to stop and see anyone's response or to see if anyone can point out if I screwed up.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:22 PM   #99 (permalink)
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i don't see why it HAS to be universal..that totally ignores circumstance , history and location, location, location .
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:30 PM   #100 (permalink)
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i don't see why it HAS to be universal..that totally ignores circumstance , history and location, location, location .
"It" isn't morality (or what is moral, if you will). "It," or "they," rather, are just arguments for what is moral and/or what isn't, which could imply circumstance. They just have to be consistent and applying to everyone--that doesn't ignore circumstance, history, or location.

One person in a position where killing isn't immoral means that anyone in that same position would be allayed of the moral responsibility as well. Denying universality would mean that different people in the same position could be moral or immoral depending on opinion.

It does have to be universal in order to avoid the part where we have to decide whose opinion in more valid than anyone else's. Otherwise, it's not morality...it's that which is not a part of objective morality.
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