Why humans need a physical god.

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posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 05:06 PM
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I'm not a religious person, but I think the fundamental problem with the question "What will it take for you to Stop Believing in a diety!?" is that a belief (i.e. faith) is not falsifiable in any situation.

Somewhat strangely being a life-long agnostic (neither theist or atheist, as I don't think belief should factor in to the question, though I sympathize with deism) I was able to rationalize why humans would benefit from a god.

It stems from the Sartrean concept of scarcity. To gain a full understanding of my view of scarcity and how it affects the human condition see here.

(Note: if you don't read the treatise linked above you may fail to accept the primary corollary that makes this logical argument true ...)

Working from the belief that scarcity implies a class system and therefore a mode of moral reasoning I thought to myself, "If the Christian God exists then when he stated that man would fail on his own, he was 100% correct because scarcity is the root of all moral reasoning."

Consider that many millions upon millions of years from now, when humanity has the ability to fundamentally convert matter to energy and energy back to matter perfectly recycling all transitions; and when man has the ability to replicate & create anything whether it be cloning an exact copy of yourself, creating a planet, or summoning in to existence a TV or what-have-you:

Scarcity will still exist.

Why? Because there is no way to replicate the exact instance of the original Earth. Put another way. There is only one original NY. Even if we can recreate Earth exactly as it currently exists and put it in another system, exactly modeled on our current solar system, there would still be only one original Earth.

Thus scarcity still exists as a concept in peoples minds and therefore future people will still need some mechanism to determine resource allocation (likely a stored social value system like money).

Then I realized "if the Christian God exists and if the abstract concept of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of knowledge is accurate," then the only way to do away with scarcity (and therefore class systems & human indignity, since scarcity necessitates a "mode of moral reasoning") is to return to our original state of ignorance.

However in the process of returning to our state of ignorance we also lose something significant, our ability to understand right from wrong. Thus a "god" if such a thing could / does exist, would perform the function of making sure things are "fair" by balancing greed / avarice, pride, envy, wrath / anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth against generosity, humility, love, kindness, self control, temperance, & zeal.

It's either that or:
  1. return to ignorance (either through genetic manipulation or some transcendent modification of our fundamental nature)
  2. continue to accept human nature as it is, for now and all time as far from perfect, inharmonious, and barbarous
  3. Or, as suggested above, have an outside actor, like a god, that we cannot touch, influence, or affect, that keeps the scales always balanced without fundamentally altering our nature; therefore leaving us with our ability to appreciate right from wrong and good from bad.


Thus the concept of a god is functionally useful and I'd go so far as to say necessary because we as humans have proven time and again that any attempts to bring equality / balance has been met by a more aggressive culture exerting its primacy over the more peaceful / passive society.

For example, remember Columbus's quote?


"They lack all manner of commerce, neither buying nor selling, and rely exclusively on their natural environment for maintenance. They are extremely generous with their possessions and by the same token covet the possessions of their friends and expect the same degree of liberality... " (Columbus and Beyond, pg 24)

They "are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it." ... (People's History of the United States, pg 3)

"They would make fine servants…With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” (People's History of the United States, pg 1)


More recently the fight over communism versus capitalism was literally a battle over a "mode of moral reasoning." Thus it was a battle over, yes, scarcity, which equates to balance of power and a means of resource allocation.

What this tells me is a fair society is never ready for a war-like society. Thus a more passive and even-handed alliance will always lose to a more aggressive people. Hence while anyone can harbor greed or a desire to exert power over someone else, humanity will fundamentally continue in its cycles of oppressions over other groups.

Q.E.D. humans need a physical god because "scarcity is the root of all evil" and is unavoidable across time and space.

[edit on 2-8-2009 by Xtraeme]




posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 05:33 PM
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I like your post and its obvious that you have done some thinking. But man took advantage of others belief in a God earlier in our history however, and enslaved people using religion as the tool. Religion doesnt have the best track record. It has created much misery, unfairness and suffering while not really providing anything good in return.

Therefore we dont see the point of religion anymore. It just makes it easier for others to control our minds, and since human nature is to exploit others, we dont want that for ourselfs.

We need to take responsibility for what happens to us and not think there is a purpose to misery. If you have misery in your life, you can work to make it better. You. Not God.


[edit on 1-8-2009 by Copernicus]



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 05:40 PM
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Originally posted by Copernicus
I like your post and its obvious that you have done some thinking. But man took advantage of others belief in a God earlier in our history however, and enslaved people using religion as the tool. Religion doesnt have the best track record. It has created much misery, unfairness and suffering while not really providing anything good in return.

Therefore we dont see the point of religion anymore. It just makes it easier for others to control our minds, and since human nature is to exploit others, we dont want that for ourselfs.

We need to take responsibility for what happens to us and not think there is a purpose to misery. If you have misery in your life, you can work to make it better. You. Not God.


You seem to misunderstand my point. I'm not calling for a religion of any sort.

I am not saying that a God or gods exist.

I'm saying humanity would be benefited by a god that actively involved himself or herself in our lives if s/he were the apex of morality, that humans who are theistic seem to assume ( obviously ruling out the gods of the Greek Pantheon
).

[edit on 1-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 05:42 PM
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Sometimes I wonder if in the future we advance within this timeline to the point that we are,in some form or another, God. If said God has the potential to exist in extra dimensions, what's to say he doesn't have control of time to some extent? What if in the far-flung future, the diety we may become is acting in self-preservation by manipulating the lower dimensions to protect itself or combat the alien force (The Devil?).

God is a tricky subject. good topic choice


[edit on 8/1/09 by CSquared288]



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by Copernicus
I like your post and its obvious that you have done some thinking. But man took advantage of others belief in a God earlier in our history however, and enslaved people using religion as the tool. Religion doesnt have the best track record. It has created much misery, unfairness and suffering while not really providing anything good in return.


To further emphasize my point. I find religion as it currently exists abominable. Notice, however, that religion as it currently exists is a man-made and man-run thing.

If there were a deity (who was the apex of morality) visibly and actively at the forefront of such an organization, man would be benefited by such an entity.

[edit on 1-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 05:55 PM
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why do you think the humans of the future will want a specific Earth in time? Especially so much that affects their whole mentality adversely? I guess my question is why would they want an Earth of such specifications as opposed to any earth that functioned in the same manner, if not with the same specific interactions?



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 05:58 PM
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People need to rely on themselves and nothing else to get them through life. Have faith in YOURSELF!

I resent the amount of time that heavily religious people spend sitting around in church, or praying or worrying about whether they will get into heaven or not. How bout you actually DO something with that time to help others, to help the planet and it's animals. To be good to people because you CAN, not because you HAVE to because a book told you too.

I often ask this of my religious friends, "Would you actually go out and do good for the community (in a non-religious way like volunteering etc) and be a caring person to all, all the time if you weren't under the threat of going to hell?" Most cannot answer this - but I do it every day and I am not religious.

Neither of my parents were religious either - but I still have good morals, am a kind person and volunteer my time to many causes because I WANT to. I have no other agenda. It's not a way for me to score 'brownie points' with a deity.

Just believe in yourself and focus on the NOW rather than 'where you hope to be when you die'. If we all did that the world would be SO much better off because people would be less focussed on themselves all the time!!!



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 06:02 PM
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I will preface my post by saying, while I understood what you were saying in general, I have likely missed some of your finer points.




However in the process of returning to our state of ignorance we also lose something significant, our ability to understand right from wrong. Thus a "god" if such a thing could / does exist, would perform the function of making sure things are "fair" by balancing greed / avarice, pride, envy, wrath / anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth against generosity, humility, love, kindness, self control, temperance, & zeal.


Interestingly, my brother, a fundamental christian who has studied theology, often says that if it were not for the bible he would be leading a depraved life style.

While I consider myself a person of integrity, I do not need any god to point that way for me. What happened to the conscious? Do those who need a god to keep them straight not have one? (And that is a whole nother religious debate because the or mystery schools, gnostic secret teaching regarding this).

As a mother of 3 you can see that your children are born with certain traits. I have a son who showed a moral sense and integrity at about 2 or 3. He made observations about the condition of people a little older. This is not something he was taught.

Anyway, interesting and I will follow.



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by CSquared288
why do you think the humans of the future will want a specific Earth in time? Especially so much that affects their whole mentality adversely? I guess my question is why would they want an Earth of such specifications as opposed to any earth that functioned in the same manner, if not with the same specific interactions?


My point is if everything's infinitely copyable the only thing that's scarce is the instance of the copy.

Look at something like Xbox Live. People have gamer points. These "gamer point" do nothing for the person other than provide a way to compete with friends. Amazingly people spend money buying accounts that have high gamer scores.

What's the reason for this? Competitiveness.

It's human nature.

Thus unless human nature changes the people in this theorized future would almost definitely compete for property on the original earth.

[edit on 1-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by CSquared288
Sometimes I wonder if in the future we advance within this timeline to the point that we are, albeit inconceivablly, God. If said God has the potential to exist in extra dimensions, what's to say he doesn't have control of time to some extent?


This is the concept of a concrete or a partially transcendent mythological entity, rather than a wholly transcendent entity. The god I described above would have to be wholly or partially transcendent to be useful in the way I outlined.

Otherwise I'd rather such "a god" not exist because people would simply attempt to conquer / control it.

[edit on 1-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


Sadly, i agree with much of your post. Sad because of the fact that human nature is such that there has to be a duality because what is love without hate?

Sad because the negatively aligned factions will just about always prevail over those aligned with the positive for the exact reasons you put forth--because the "bad" use devious methods to exert power over those who aren't willing to go that far and so they ultimately wind up giving in. Sure, the just can win over the unjust sometimes, but the end result is the bad winning over the good. But that's the end result on the microcosm scale.

I think it's why it seems that things are getting worse and worse. It's because things are also getting much better in other areas and those who want more power have to continually dial it up a notch. And it is this that makes me believe that, from the macrocosm perspective, good ultimately prevails. It doesn't take much effort to do good. A lot of times it just happens. But those who want to prevail over good have to put a lot of time, thinking, and effort to exert more control over those who want good. The good don't want to control anything, they just do what comes naturally so there's no abundance of energies needed. But the bad have to actively find ways to overcome good.

Does that make any sense?

Anyway, I've been thinking about why some people need a physical god a lot lately. I've come to the conclusion that, to put it simply, it's because people don't and can't trust themselves. They need an authority figure to be watching their every move because, left to their own devices, they can't be trusted to do good.

It's like some recovering addicts that say they NEED the rules and structure of their support groups otherwise they will "fall off the wagon". That's why they can't even hang around anyone whose drinking. Because they can't trust themselves to not do it also.

I think it's sad that the reality is that religion is needed to keep people in check. I used to think we should just do away with it. But now, I think it has to be. Think of how many people only do the "right thing" because they think God is watching them. They didn't do it because it just felt right, they did it because, ultimately, they will be rewarded for it in the end.

Think of how many times you've heard someone say, "because that's what God wants/teaches." How about they do it because it's just the right thing to do. Why do they need someone to tell them how it should be done?


[edit on 1-8-2009 by nunya13]



posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by swinggal
People need to rely on themselves and nothing else to get them through life. Have faith in YOURSELF!


Self-reliance is a good thing. People who say otherwise are lacking internal resolve and I think that's half the problem with religion. Not to generalize, but many religious people I've encountered assume less accountability for their actions because it's assumed that whatever happens to them is clearly "what God wants."


I resent the amount of time that heavily religious people spend sitting around in church, or praying or worrying about whether they will get into heaven or not. How bout you actually DO something with that time to help others, to help the planet and it's animals. To be good to people because you CAN, not because you HAVE to because a book told you too.


Lets be careful here. Reading / learning / self-inquiry is a good thing. What I think you resent is that these people are attempting to placate their deity by humbling themselves in front of the deity's altar. When instead, in your mind, it would be much more useful to human society if these people simply helped their fellow man.

I agree with this line of thinking, but who knows maybe such a deity does exist and he does demands this form of penitence to act positively in the lives of these people. Granted I see no evidence of this being the case, but there it is.


I often ask this of my religious friends, "Would you actually go out and do good for the community (in a non-religious way like volunteering etc) and be a caring person to all, all the time if you weren't under the threat of going to hell?" Most cannot answer this - but I do it every day and I am not religious.


Good for you. I'm much the same and I, likewise, have no firm religious beliefs.

Simply put, I don't like seeing my fellow man suffer. If it's in my power to help and it doesn't cost me more than I can shoulder, I'm usually more than happy to do what I can.


Neither of my parents were religious either - but I still have good morals, am a kind person and volunteer my time to many causes because I WANT to. I have no other agenda. It's not a way for me to score 'brownie points' with a deity.


Morality is often tied up with psychological make-up. Part of the function of religion, as far as I can see, is to force people who might be amoral to behave properly.


Just believe in yourself and focus on the NOW rather than 'where you hope to be when you die'. If we all did that the world would be SO much better off because people would be less focussed on themselves all the time!!!


As far as I'm concerned when I die, I'm dead. That's it. Game over. Though who knows maybe I'm wrong. Doesn't really matter to me.

The real argument you're pushing for here though, is one of "service to self" versus "service to others." It's ashame, but there are many existentialist arguments that say the only true human behavior is "service to self."

I refute this concept because I know, with myself, I do things not necessarily because I want to (due to reward / praise / self-praise of some sort) but because I fundamentally see what I'm working on as useful to society. So therefore I continue with it regardless whether it's my desire to perform the task.

[edit on 2-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 01:30 AM
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Originally posted by nunya13
reply to post by Xtraeme
 


I think it's why it seems that things are getting worse and worse. It's because things are also getting much better in other areas and those who want more power have to continually dial it up a notch. And it is this that makes me believe that, from the macrocosm perspective, good ultimately prevails. It doesn't take much effort to do good. A lot of times it just happens. But those who want to prevail over good have to put a lot of time, thinking, and effort to exert more control over those who want good. The good don't want to control anything, they just do what comes naturally so there's no abundance of energies needed. But the bad have to actively find ways to overcome good.

Does that make any sense?

[edit on 1-8-2009 by nunya13]


That makes PERFECT sense to me. I think exactly the same.

Which is why good may often seems as passive or weak. Now knowing the difference between good and bad is a whole other thing. Yet, we may have a clue we often pretend not to see. The bad is already self-destructive.



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 01:39 AM
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You seem to misunderstand my point. I'm not calling for a religion of any sort.

I am not saying that a God or gods exist.

I'm saying humanity would be benefited by a god that actively involved himself or herself in our lives if s/he were the apex of morality, that humans who are theistic seem to assume ( obviously ruling out the gods of the Greek Pantheon
).

[edit on 1-8-2009 by Xtraeme]


No I understood what you meant. But I dont believe in a God so I started thinking about the role of religion through history and what it has done for people. But yes, if a God existed, Im sure it would benefit humanity if he were the apex of morality. Unfortunately he is not described that way in the bible though. He is more like someone who carries out a experiment with humans and gets pissed when it doesnt turn out as he wanted. Sounds very much like human qualities to me...


I think it seems far more likely that we were created by other life, whatever it may be future humans or alien species. I think the theory of evolution doesnt make sense simply because there are nothing on this planet even close to our own abilities. If you look at all other species, you find every single one of them has entire trees of similar creatures. That makes sense for random creation. But humans doesnt. Perhaps they took ape DNA and mixed it with parts of their own. It seems likely.

So I believe in some kind of purpose with us being here. There are tons of things we have no idea about. There may be 11 dimensions, time travel may be common and our observations of the physical world may give us only limited understanding of whats going on. This whole place almost seems designed, with circular planet orbits which are very unusual in the rest of the universe, where the moon is at a perfect size and distance for our tides to work etc etc. I get a strong feeling of something artificial when comparing with the rest of the universe.



[edit on 2-8-2009 by Copernicus]



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 

Humm another interesting God-related thread.

What is really bothersome in your analogy is this;

However in the process of returning to our state of ignorance we also lose something significant, our ability to understand right from wrong. Thus a "god" if such a thing could / does exist, would perform the function of making sure things are "fair" by balancing greed / avarice, pride, envy, wrath / anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth against generosity, humility, love, kindness, self control, temperance, & zeal. It's either that or: 1. return to ignorance (either through genetic manipulation or some transcendent modification of our fundamental nature)


Why is it that we would be ignorent in our original state? Shouldn't it be the contrary?
Saying that Adam and Eve were ignorant in their original state is an insult to God/gods because God/gods made them in his/their image remember?

When humanity will have the ability to be like God/gods or even close to, it will probably have reached the higher wisdom necessary to know that there's no need to recreate any original earth.

What is more urgent is that humanity reconnects with its higher consciousness that provides the higher potentials, before it’s too late.





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Mod Edit: Changed code tags for quote tags.

[edit on 2-8-2009 by Gemwolf]



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 02:09 AM
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I haven't read your thread but I feel that I need to say that no one needs anything. If there is something that we truly need that is nothing. And nothing is intense.



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by Exv8densez
 


I'm simply quoting Christian doctrine. Adam & Eve ate from the tree of knowledge. Thus it's fair to say that before that they were in a state of ignorance.

Assuming such a thing happened, then in our previous state we didn't know right from wrong because we were programmed to act in a purely moral fashion. Thus inherent in this state was a lack of understanding of the full range of psychological behavior.

To be created in the Christian God's image does not mean we were designed to utterly mimic the Christian God's qualities. I see nothing insulting or defamatory about this, assuming any of it's even true.


[edit on 2-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 09:06 PM
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After more thought I've been able to argue persuasively that scarcity is separate from morality. However scarcity drives all moral decisions (it even drives the concept of the aesthetic and teleogical purposivness). Put another way, for something to be a moral choice their must be some loss, therefore if scarcity is not an issue there is no chance for loss because everything is overly abundant. Thus scarcity encapsulates all of morality. So it would be over-reaching on my part to say they are one in the same thing.

In many ways this is interesting because it means man can fundamentally continue to explore and grow without necessitating greed, excessive competitiveness, and other baser imperatives. However the removal of the component of our psych that motivates us to behave this way may in fact decrease our species survivability and growth.

Thus removing this component of our fundamental being should only be considered when we reach the stage of a type 3 civilization because at that point nothing will be capable of eradicating our species.

[edit on 2-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by Copernicus
No I understood what you meant. But I dont believe in a God so I started thinking about the role of religion through history and what it has done for people. But yes, if a God existed, Im sure it would benefit humanity if he were the apex of morality. Unfortunately he is not described that way in the bible though. He is more like someone who carries out a experiment with humans and gets pissed when it doesnt turn out as he wanted. Sounds very much like human qualities to me...


Consider this scenario. We have three people. One seller (P_0) and two buyers (P_1 & P_2). Now lets assume the seller has an indivisible morsel of food and this community is suffering due to famine. Lets also assume we have two buyers with the same amount of money (P_1 = P_2). Since there's no monetary inequality, the person to receive the food would either be randomly drawn in a lottery, selected due to favoritism, picked based on a majority vote, determined based on maximizing `group survivability logic` (allocate the meal to the person best likely to keep the group alive, the person who hunts / forages, or the person who most needs sustenance) or given the item based on the moral-code of the community (women & children first); to wit, modes of moral reasoning.

Now consider, is anyone of these choices "more moral" than the other? Even if there was a monetary inequality, is it more moral to simply let the stored social value system determine who gets this food rather than applying some form of moral judgment? Morality or the lack of morality (pure unregulated money) is often arbitrary and does not necessarily improve the group outcome.

Thus the mediator that I described in the OP (the need for a "god") does NOT have to be moral by subjective standards rather as a group we must innately defer and accept the decision as moral.

Otherwise there will always be disagreement and therefore barbarism. So really when I said that humanity needs a "physical god that is the apex of morality" what I'm arguing for is something we defer to without question to resolve issues that we are ourselves can never 100% collectively agree upon (because there is no right answer) without fundamentally changing our very nature or devolving in to a game of last man standing.


I think it seems far more likely that we were created by other life, whatever it may be future humans or alien species. I think the theory of evolution doesnt make sense simply because there are nothing on this planet even close to our own abilities. If you look at all other species, you find every single one of them has entire trees of similar creatures. That makes sense for random creation. But humans doesnt. Perhaps they took ape DNA and mixed it with parts of their own. It seems likely.


Chimps have the capability to reach a 2nd / 3rd grade-level of education. I remember reading something similar about dolphins, though it's argued that due to a lack of an opposable thumb they can't easily employ tools to manipulate their environment.

We also have demonstrated that Elephant's appear to be self-aware. Something previously only attributed to humans.


So I believe in some kind of purpose with us being here. There are tons of things we have no idea about. There may be 11 dimensions, time travel may be common and our observations of the physical world may give us only limited understanding of whats going on. This whole place almost seems designed, with circular planet orbits which are very unusual in the rest of the universe, where the moon is at a perfect size and distance for our tides to work etc etc. I get a strong feeling of something artificial when comparing with the rest of the universe.


I wish I could say either way. Maybe, maybe not. Though I think the easiest way to test this theory is to attempt to destroy ourselves. If there is something watching over our evolution surely it would manifest itself to prevent such an action.

Cheers,
-X

[edit on 2-8-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by Geladinhu
I haven't read your thread but I feel that I need to say that no one needs anything. If there is something that we truly need that is nothing. And nothing is intense.


This is only true if you can override biological imperative (food, reproduction, primacy) with some form of psychological imperative. Thus humans do have needs they simply have the capacity to ignore them.





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