When will religion be overteken by logic?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by James Evans, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Jefferson wrote the declaration - and the others signed it. Nor was Jefferson the only one that wanted separation of church and state. Nor does one have to be atheist to want separation of Church and state.

    The founders and a whole lot of other people - were sick and tired of the merger of Church and State. The following was not an isolated perspective - it was the dominant perspective - not just in the US but in places like France at the time - you know ... statue of liberty and all that.

    Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any Manner contrary to their conscience.-- James Madison, explaining to Congress during the House Debate what the First Amendment means to him, 1 Annals of Congress 730 (August 15, 1789), That his conception of "establishment" was quite broad is revealed in his veto as President in 1811 of a bill which in granting land reserved a parcel for a Baptist Church in Salem, Mississippi (directly above this entry)

    The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
    -- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.
    -- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

    Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.
    -- John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88 ) , from Adrienne Koch, ed, The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society (1965) p. 258

    As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?-- John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

    When philosophic reason is clear and certain by intuition or necessary induction, no subsequent revelation supported by prophecies or miracles can supersede it.-- John Adams, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

    The whole point of classical liberalism - (not to be confused with the modern term liberal) - developed by the enlightenment thinkers was to come up with a system where the authority of the King, President/ Gov't in General did not come from God. They wanted to do away with the concept of divine right. So they set about theorizing - and classical liberalism is what they came up with. I can go through the main tenets if you like as I have written papers on the subject but, bottom line is that the whole purpose was to get away from the authority for Gov't coming from God.

    The only reason to invoke the creator (and this term was deliberately chosen not to invoke the Christian God) was to put individual liberty above the legitimate authority of Gov't. The creator was not invoked to justify authority - it was invoked to limit authority. The idea that we would then go give Gov't authority to make law messing with individual liberty on the basis of religious belief on this basis is preposterous nonsense.

    The DOI states - in no uncertain terms - that the authority of Gov't comes from "Consent of the Governed". Do you not understand that this was a new concept with respect to Gov't at the time (not new historically but new for the time). Previous systems prior to this were all based on divine right - that authority of Gov't came from God.

    Your claim that law on the basis of religious belief is not theocracy is wrong. Come up with a different word of you like but the definition of secularism is law not on the basis of religious belief.

    If you are making law on the basis of religious belief - the first question is "what religion" - what ever the answer to that question is - that is the state religion.

    Regardless - we can quibble over semantics if you like but this will not change the fact that the founders did not want religious belief involved in making law messing with individual liberty.

    We can say things like - the founding principles are based in the Golden Rule - and the Golden Rule is the rock on which Jesus based his teachings .. OK - there is some connection there but, this rule was around - and part of legal systems long before Jesus adopted it.

    The thing about this rule however - do unto others as you would have done to you/ treat others as you would be treated - is that this rule forbids law being made on the basis of religious belief.

    If you don't want others forcing their religious beliefs on you through physical violence (Law) - then don't do the same to others.

    The whole point of a Republic - is that the majority are not to force their personal beliefs on the minority - BY DEFINITION. 50+1 or simple majority mandate ( some politician getting elected and claiming to have authority to mess with liberty on this basis) is called "Tyranny of the Majority" in both Classical Liberalism and Republicanism.

    If you can get an overwhelming majority to agree .. at least 2/3rd's ... Fine .. what ever law they agree on is legitimate .. be it slavery or women not having the vote, incest, beastiality and so on. If you can't - the law is illegitimate.

    The Gov't is to have no power "of its own volition" - ZERO -NONE - NADA - to make law messing with individual liberty - never mind on the basis of religious belief. This can only be done by a change to the social contract = by the authority of the people = overwhelming majority.

    That is how our system is supposed to work. As you might have noticed - we have fallen so far down the slippery slope we can no longer even see the mountain top - and every sitting member of SCOTUS should be dismissed for dereliction of duty - failure to interpret law and the constitution on the basis of the founding principles.
     
  2. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    Nothing you quoted or stated goes against the idea of the laws of the United States being based on Christian principles. Even the idea of freedom of religion is in itself a Christian concept, one not shared by any other religion. The concept of the brotherhood of man is a Christian concept, one not shared by any other religion. Slavery was first ended in Christian countries, first in the UK, then followed by the rest of the Christian world. It wasn't ended in the rest of the world until enforced by European standards, and is still practiced in parts of India, the Middle East, and Africa. I tell you that you can have no laws based on secular standards because once you revert to secular standards, you're trying to build a castle on quicksand. Try to choose just one law that everyone can agree to that is based on a secular standard, and I will show you a thousand people who will object to it. No law is "legitimate" just because 2/3rds of a people agree on it. The law sentencing apostates to death is illegitimate even if 100% of Saudi Arabians vote in favor of it. No law is "illegitimate" just because 2/3rds of a people disagree with it. A law forbidding cannibalism would be a legitimate law, even if 2/3rds of Papua New Guineans opposed it. No system of secular or positive law would be able to define exactly why those two things are true. Only a system based on religious belief, specifically Christian religious belief, can say why those two things are true. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights", written overwhelmingly by people with a firm conviction in the separation of church and state, is so dripping with Christian beliefs that no Muslim government has ever adopted it. (The Muslim countries that signed it in 1948 had secular governments at the time.)

    "In 1982, the Iranian representative to the United Nations, Said Rajaie-Khorassani, said that the Declaration was "a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without conflict with Sharia.[53]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

    Your understanding of our principle documents comes from a deeply entrenched Western bias, so you can look at them and see secularism, but someone not entrenched in that Western bias sees Christianity everywhere he looks. Not theocracy, but Christianity.
     
  3. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Sorry dude but "overwhelming majority" is the bar for legitimacy in a Republic and as per the founding principles.

    If not that - then what ? 1) where does the legitimate authority of Gov't come from - if not "we the people" 2) and what is that legitimate authority ? - and what is not ? This is the whole question of the DOI.

    So question - I take it you agree that Gov't should have limited power - rather than favor totalitarianism.

    OK - Great - you are half way there - What then should that authority be limited to ?

    You tell me. .
     
  4. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    I'll turn it around on you... at what point is slavery legitimate? Is it when 66 2/3rds% of the population agree? How about 75%? 90%? 99%? What if one million people vote to enslave one billionaire? Is slavery legitimate then?
     
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  5. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You are confusing moral with legitimate. Legitimate law is what ever meets the legitimacy bar.

    All I am doing is telling you where and what that bar is. I did not create that bar - although I agree with this bar.

    If you can come up with something better - or prefer something else - "Do Tell".

    I already asked you this question - What should the limits to Gov't power be - and on what basis ?

    I get that this question may have flew over your head - 12 years of school and we manage not to teach the principles on which this nation was founded.

    There are two things in play with respect to slavery - the first is in the answer to the question "what is the legitimate authority of Gov't".

    The legitimate authority of Gov't is protection from harm - direct harm - one person on another - Murder, rape, theft, slavery.
    These things are not individual liberty - individual liberty ends where the nose of another begins. This is also where Gov't authority begins and ends.

    The question of slavery is whether this protection applies to non citizens. Slaves at the time were not considered citizens. This was the whole point of Dred Scott
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-citizenship-crisis-but-it-created-a-new-one/

    Slavery was then deemed not within the legitimate purview of Gov't. It was not that there was a law legalizing slavery - it was that there was no law banning it.

    There is another way for Gov't to ban some activity (such as slavery) - this is for the Gov't to appeal for a change to the social contract - the construct by which authority is given to the Gov't via we the people.

    Such a change requires "overwhelming majority" as discussed previously. Therefore - in order for a law banning slavery to be legitimate under this path - 67% of citizens (and 75% of States if put into the Constitution) would have to agree with such a law.

    Again - feel free to come up with your own formula - but, this is how a Constitutional republic is supposed to work.
     
  6. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    You don't even realize that you contradicted yourself. First you said, "Legitimate law is what ever meets the legitimacy bar." Then you said, "The legitimate authority of Gov't is protection from harm[.]" The question for you is, what defines legitimacy? What makes that the "legitimate" authority of government rather than, say, providing everyone with free health care and strawberry ice cream?

    Except that the law banning slavery was passed with far less than 67% of the citizens and 75% of the states, it was passed while 11 of the states were in a state of rebellion. They were not allowed to rejoin the union until they agreed with the 13th
    Amendment, and rejoining the union was the only way to get out from under Reconstruction.

    As for the "social contract", who says that's the best working definition of society? A contract has to be agreed on by the parties to the contract; it cannot be agreed to on behalf of one of the parties without that party's consent. And since no one asked you or me if we agree to the rules of this society but just expect us to go along with them, we are not bound by any contract. A better definition of society might be a condition of involuntary servitude. We're handed the rules at age 5 and told to learn them and follow them by age 18 or so or we'll go to jail. You get to vote on your masters, and your masters will have different policies, but your servitude is invariable in either case.


    The question didn't fly over my head. I have six years of college and three years of law school under my belt along with 12 years of primary and secondary education. I am less interested in the whats of government than in the whys of government in this discussion. Your argument is that ours is and should be a secular government and that anything that smacks of religion makes it a theocracy. My argument is that ours is and should be a government based on the principles of Christianity and that does not make it a theocracy. To that end, I am pointing out that secularism cannot offer any moral principles upon which to base a society that are not completely arbitrary. You deny the principle but nothing you have said contradicts the reality. I am pointing out that all laws are based on religion because all laws are based on moral principles, and moral principles come from religion. If you want to see what a secular society looks like, take a look at apes. They cheat, lie, steal, and murder one another with abandon. There are no governing moral principles in secular society, and there cannot be any governing moral principles until someone says, "The gods have said not to do that." Nazi Germany and Communist Russia provide vivid examples of what happens when religion is thrown out the window.

    "Hammurabi mentioned to his subjects that Shamash bestowed upon him the Code of Hammurabi. He stated that disrespecting the code was disrespecting the gods, thus instilling obedience to the gods (and his code)."

    http://45338297.weebly.com/importance-of-religion.html
     
  7. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You are talking nonsense. I did not contradict myself - and you should be embarrassed that I have to explain this to you after taking 3 years of Law .. and that after me explaining it you still don't get it. ... and you still have not answered the question. If you think Gov't power should be limited - what should it be limited to ?

    What contradiction ? What part of "protection from harm" is the legitimate authority of Gov't - do you not understand ? That is one of the legitimacy bars - as per the social contract. This comes out of classical liberalism. Jefferson gives a short summary.

    You may have taken some law but clearly you did not take Poly Sci 100 (was that not a prerequisite ?) This seems to be the first time you have heard of the term "Legitimacy of Authority".

    I have outlined the two criteria that exist in our system (meaning as per the system the founders envisioned) 1) protection from harm - direct harm - one person on another 2) if it is messing with individual liberty (the former is not individual liberty) then the bar is "overwhelming consent".

    The point being (and this is the answer of the founders to the question you have yet to address) The Gov't has ZERO legitimate authority to mess with individual liberty "OF ITS OWN VOLITION".

    Perhaps you prefer totalitarianism - or theocracy - if not - and you do not agree - then do state something. What should the powers of Gov't be limited to? .

    Then obviously the law failed one of the criteria of legitimacy. The other criteria however is whether or not black folks were considered citizens - in which case they were entitled to protection from harm - which is the legitimate authority of Gov't - and no requirement for 67% is needed ... although 67% could be used to overturn such a ruling.

    The legitimate authority of Gov't is protection from direct harm. This is not an individual liberty issue - do not conflate the two.
     
  8. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    So let me get this straight... Jefferson is the ultimate arbiter of legitimacy? You insist on using that word, but you have failed to define where that legitimacy comes from. Who says protection from harm is the legitimate use of government power?

    The criteria that exist in our "system" come from a deeply Christian view of the world. You have failed to prove otherwise.

    I am a constitutional conservative and deeply believe in the limited powers theory of government. However, I am aware that throwing God out of the equation and resorting to positive law instead of natural law leads to unlimited government power and unlimited governmental abuse of power.

    I didn't just take "some law", I took constitutional law and became an attorney for a short time.

    I'm telling you that "overwhelming consent" does not make that which is wrong right. "Overwhelming opposition" does not make that which is right wrong.
     
  9. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Dude - I have asked you this question numerous times and you refuse to answer. If you deeply believe in the limited powers of Gov't - what should those powers be limited to ?

    If you don't like Jefferson and the founders and the principles of Republicanism - that is fine .. but answer the friggen question somehow.

    Taking Constitutional law is fine - but we are not talking about the Constitution - we are talking about the Declaration of Independence - the purpose of which is to 1) outline where the authority of Gov't comes from and 2) state what constitutes "illegitimacy of authority".

    You obviously did not take anything about classical liberalism as "Protection from Harm" is the conclusion.

    The enlightenment thinkers were trying to come up with a secular justification for authority - They postulated "a state of nature" - a time where there was no law and no authority. People naturally band together in groups. They do this for social reasons but also for protection "strength in numbers".

    Obviously it does not good to be protected from harm externally - if there are no such protections within the group. Codes of conduct then develop within the group. It does no good to have codes of conduct - if there is no punishment for violators. Some authority then must be appointed and given the power to punish.

    This power however was to be extremely limited - only for the protection of direct harm - one person on another - murder, rape, theft and so on. The reason this power was to be limited is because "no man wants to be ruled over by another".

    I find it mind boggling that you have actually taken law - but do not know the difference between crimes of one person on another - and so called crimes of "vice" .. where the person is only harming themselves. Do you not understand this big dividing line ?

    Forgive me for thinking that you are feigning disingenuous ignorance - at least to some degree.

    This is a "Real" Republican - the so called "Godfather of Conservatism" - Barry Goldwater.


    • http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/Reasonable/Goldwater.html

      I hope you now understand the "simple tenet" on which the Conservative movement was founded. Once you have understood the basics - we can move on to discussing other things that you have brought up.
     
  10. hudson1955

    hudson1955 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Conservatism and Religion are different. Nothing about the creation of the Universe is logical. If nothing existed then how was the Universe created?
    Do you have an answer. No, because no Scientific explanation exists. Therefore you can believe in a higher being without proof but the promise of eternity, or disbelieve the millions of years of Civilizations that documented a higher being creating us and the Universe.

    I chose to believe the long history documented by previous Civilizations and Bible.
     
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  11. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    Okay. So if you refuse to answer any questions, I can do likewise. Goldwater was wrong, that is all. Good day.
     
  12. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Not sure how the above relates to my post. Why would you assume that nothing existed ? The answer is that your assumption is flawed.

    If nothing existed - then nothing existed - not energy - not matter - not God.

    One can believe in a higher being if one likes or have hope in eternal existence. I claim for example that existence is eternal.

    The proof for this require only one assumption - that time is infinite. You are a configuration of matter and energy. Prior to matter and energy assuming this configuration - there was a finite probability that this event could happen. We know this is true because you exist.

    In an infinite amount of time - all finite probabilities occur - not just once but infinitely. So if time is infinite existence is eternal.

    I also believe that God exists. I also have a quazi proof for the existence of God. The problem is when humans make stuff up and pretend that this is a representation of God .. things like the Bible - or the Quran - or the Greek tales - and then force others to abide by the tenets of these holy books through physical violence (Law). This is not rational - and I believe God gave us a brain so that we would not do irrational things.
     
  13. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I didn't refuse to answer your questions - there is simply no point until we have a common definition.

    It is troubling when someone who is educated (as you claim to be) and yet will go into the most mind bending denial of the obvious because what is obvious conflicts with some cherished belief.

    Throughout this discussion I have never claimed that the Founders - the enlightenment thinkers - or Goldwater was right. The simple fact of the matter is that - right or wrong - the founding principles and Republicanism is based on the premise that the legitimate authority of Gov't is protection from harm.

    If you don't like the the basic tenet of Republicanism - that's fine. What is ridiculous however is that you refuse to present an alternative or say why you think this is a bad principle.

    This is a "thought avoidance" response - something that is common when religious adherents come across information that conflicts with their beliefs. In this case it is not even a religious belief - but it is the same mindless response.
     
  14. hudson1955

    hudson1955 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You raise good
    Good point regarding "who said nothing existed"? Why do I assume this?
    Honestly, I don't know. But it is hard to assume it has always existed and had no beginning. And so far there is only scientific quasi proof of the big bang theory. Which also raises more questions than it answers.

    I have struggled with religion. I am too analytical and have too many questions. Until these questions about creation can be answered scientifically: I choose to believe God created the Universe.
    Whether the Bible is correct that God is and always was; there is no logical answer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  15. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The mind has trouble with "forever". One of the more eerie songs is "Who wants to live forever" by Queen.

    Here is an interesting question. Suppose you found out that reincarnation was real and that you would be living the next life on some other planet. Now suppose you had a choice between 2 options. 1) You could remember your past life (lives) or 2) you would not remember your past life.

    What would you choose ? Think carefully and add to the equation the idea that you will be living an infinite number of lives. If you choose 1) things would get rather messy would they not ? how does one remember an infinite number of people ?

    The Big Bang theory does not assume there was "nothing" prior to the big bang. A number of people on in this forum have mistakenly suggested this. One of the laws of the universe/physics is that matter can neither be created or destroyed. It can change form ...as per E=MC2 - but never be destroyed or created. This is a simple way of stating that something can not come from nothing.

    If the above is true then Occam's razor then tells is that matter has always existed. It either is - or it isn't - and if it is - it has always been here.

    I no longer wrestle much with the question "Is there a God". A better question is " how should God be defined". If some being came to earth - one who was far more advanced - one that could change the weather and make objects move through its mind (its will) - would this be a God ? Surely to a more primitive human this would be and certainly these are Godlike powers.

    My definition of a God is a being that - through force of will - can manipulate matter and energy external to itself. If I did not add the "external" part. Humans would fit the definition.

    Look down at your index finger on your right hand .. now make that finger move. Amazing right ? You just manifested a thought into physical reality. Now tell me how you did that ? You can't. You can say "electrical impulses" but - how did a thought - something that is not physical - get the correct electrical impulses to fire.

    It takes some of thinking to understand this gap. How do you push a button with your finger if you have no finger ? A thought does not exist in the physical realm. How then does a thought make something happen in the physical realm. You can look at a chair in the room and envision that chair moving .. but the chair will not respond to your thoughts.

    You have the ability to use your will to make your finger move. You do not have the ability to use your will to make the chair move. My definition of God is an entity that can control matter and energy "externally" through force of will.

    Does such a God exist ? It does. The forces of the universe meet part the above definition. The rules by which the universe work - if looked upon as a collective thought - dictate and control what matter and energy will do.

    The next question is - are these forces aware of their own existence - such that they have a will. I do not have a direct answer to this one.

    What we do have is an indirect answer. The one and only thing you know for sure - is that one day - you opened your eyes and realized that you existed. "I Think therefore I am".

    You know for sure that matter an energy somehow assumed a configuration that became aware of itself. You exist. Is "life but a dream" ? It matters not .. you are aware of something.

    Obviously if it is possible for one configuration of matter and energy to know of its own existence - it is possible that there may be others.

    When you get our into the country where it is really dark at night - and look up into the sky - the stars look like a big neural network.. Is the universe aware of its own existence ? Perhaps. If so this would be a God. The interesting thing however is that this God would not need to be able to manifest itself externally to be a God - it would only need to be able to manipulate matter and energy - through force of will - within itself .. just like you do when you wiggle your index finger.
     
  16. precision

    precision Well-Known Member

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    What is logical about the assumption that there is no Absolute Truth?
    What is logical about the assumption that the Absolute Truth is insentient?
     
  17. Kyklos

    Kyklos Well-Known Member Donor

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    "When will religion be overteken by logic?"
    According it St. John the Logos (Reason) has already taken over religion.
     
  18. ChemEngineer

    ChemEngineer Banned

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    *Scientists* have variously *explained* the universe by saying :
    "All that is necessary to get it going is gravity."
    "The Universe is just one of those things."
    "Nothing made everything."

    This is anti-science, rather like the craziness that boys can become girls and vice versa. Only from the Loony Left, home of Antifa, the Ku Klux Klan, 30,000,000 abortions, *feminists*, bitterness and bile without end. So shut up if you're not with us, you fascist racist.
     
  19. ChemEngineer

    ChemEngineer Banned

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    Taking care of your fellow man is one thing that atheists do NOT do. They simply mouthe words. Their stinginess is documented in the book Who Really Cares: Who Gives and Why It Matters.
    Christians give much more at every level than atheists. Conservatives give much more at every level than Leftists. But facts do not matter to such people.
     
  20. ibshambat

    ibshambat Banned

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