Bunny

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So the definition of Atheism goes something like this:
Quote from Wikipedia
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[3][4][5] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[4][5][6][7] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[8][9] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[9][10]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

And the definition of religion goes something like this:
Quote
Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.[note 1] Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.[1]

The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system; however, in the words of Émile Durkheim, religion differs from private belief in that it is "something eminently social".[3] A global 2012 poll reports that 59% of the world's population is religious, 23% are not religious, and 13% are atheists.[4]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

So Atheism is the belief that there are no gods. So I would say that it could potentially fit into the definition of religion since it's a belief system that relates to humanity, spirituality, and moral values and since it is dictating a lifestyle choice.


Also before you jump on me for considering it...Atheists sure act like they're in a religion. They're proud to be Atheists, they meet up in groups, they wear stuff that says they're Atheist and promote it...all stuff religions do. If you act like a religion you could be confused as one...yes?

And how can you be proud to NOT believe in something? I just don't get that. That's like being proud you don't have an opinion on something (I know Atheism is not an opinion but I couldnt come up with anything else). It just doesn't make sense ha ha.

Discus! :D

 

 

SifuPhil

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You must know some weird atheists ...  ;)

It is characterized, according to your citation of Wiki, as an absence of belief - therefore, it cannot be a belief system in quite the same way as religion is. It also does not dictate a lifestyle - certainly not in the way that religion does. There are no rules or regulations to follow, no one telling you what is right and wrong, no holidays or observances, no threatening of eternal torment or eternal reward.

They're proud, they meet up in groups, they wear T-shirts - so sports fans, groupies and adult swinger clubs are all religions? Granted, some of those can be quite Heavenly, but still ...

Don't mistake the trappings for the meat.  ;)

How can someone be proud to NOT believe in something? Well, I'm proud that I don't believe in molesting children, beating up old people or poisoning bunny rabbits ... 


Javelin!  :D

 

Bunny

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Very good point!!

BUT it is a world view...and they do believe that NOT believing in god is better...I guess if nothing else you could say it's a world view? lol

 

SifuPhil

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A "world view"? Hmmm... like, a way of viewing the world? I guess so. I've just never looked at it like that before. Most of the atheists that I know, online and off-, don't really make a big deal of it unless they're brought into a conversation about it.

It just IS, as we Taoists like to say.  (A)

Granted, some of them are very Fundamentalist-like in their rantings and ravings, but like the Fundies I think that's more a function of the person rather than the belief (or non-belief). You have Muslims who condone the killing of Americans because of a video, and you have Muslims that are aghast at such actions. You have Westboro Baptists and Mom-and-Pop Baptists, each taking a radically different approach to their faith.

But we always remember the big mouths and the troublemakers, so they're the ones we base our opinions of belief systems on.

 

Sandra Piddock

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Maybe it's a non-belief belief system? Or a school of thought? I must say I don't think of atheists as either religious or non-religious, because it doesn't seem appropriate to the description, but a couple of faith forums I visit do list atheism as a religion, so there are obviously a lot of confused people out there - apart from the atheists, who know exactly what they don't believe in.  (6)

Any atheists care to come in and help us understand here?

 

SifuPhil

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... Any atheists care to come in and help us understand here?

Oh, sure, open up the floodgates and let all those nasty unwashed heathens into th ...

... um, I meant, welcome, Brothers and Sisters, welcome!  :)

 

Ryder13

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Nice topic. I could go on with this one for a bit but I will try to be somewhat concise.
And I may be a heathen but I must declare I am a washed heathen. . . Regardless, yes I suppose I am an atheist. I believe there is science and chemistry. But I don't honestly think I am arrogant about it, nor do I flaunt it. I do not consider myself immoral, I do not consider myself ruthless.
I do not wear a t-shirt with Atheism Rocks either.
When I die, do I expect heaven, or for that matter, hell? No, I expect to no longer exist. Period.
But, as to why some individuals may come across as arrogant over their atheism, well my simple answer would be they hold a belief that they have adopted a mode of thinking that they view as more logical, and based on reason rather than myth therefore they are superior. (No I do not say I am a superior being. Don't hit me over the head with that please. That is not what I am saying).
I am explaining a possible answer to how some adopt a superior attitude because they believe in not believing in something. Hmm.
I will say that seeing the record of immorality and cruelty that has been done in the name of religion, well a humanist with a conscience would have to shake his head at the horror of it all.
Ryder13 (aka unwashed heathen)

 

Triss

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To be honest, I don't believe in people who don't believe in anything ;) It would be simply impossible for me. I guess people who call themselves atheists just belive in other things such as material world, money etc. In my opinion such thing as atheist doesn't exist.

 

Ryder13

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So, atheists do not exist because they do not believe what  someone else believes in.
There is something strangely almost existential about that.
Or instead of 'I think therefore I am', then it is 'I believe therefore you aren't!'
Wow.
Ryder13

 

Bunny

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No no I completely get what Triss is saying! :D

She's saying that she does not believe that Athiests exist. Well that was helpful lol. She means she feels that everyone has to believe in something (and you can't believe in ''nothing''), therefore she's saying the definition is completely wrong lol.

Which is a perfect debate topic! Totally changing the title to ''+ do athiests exist?'' LOL

 

SifuPhil

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... She means she feels that everyone has to believe in something (and you can't believe in ''nothing''), therefore she's saying the definition is completely wrong lol....

Actually you CAN believe in nothing.

When I have an ounce of Haze on the coffee table and my so-called "friends" smoke it all, I believe in nothing because that is what I have.

In the vast reaches of space, if I were to look for a 1974 Dodge Dart I would find nothing, and I could believe in that nothingness.

Buddhist and Taoist monks often spend their lives in pursuit of Nothingness.

"Belief" has nothing to do with "reality", nor does it directly relate to "faith" - you're talking three very different meanings here.

 

Ryder13

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No no I completely get what Triss is saying! :D

She's saying that she does not believe that Athiests exist. Well that was helpful lol. She means she feels that everyone has to believe in something (and you can't believe in ''nothing''), therefore she's saying the definition is completely wrong lol.

Which is a perfect debate topic! Totally changing the title to ''+ do athiests exist?'' LOL


Wow Bunny Do I really exist? Only if I think I do? Or is it only if You think I do?
How existential.
More seriously, Triss I think is saying that everyone believes in something.
True. But for atheists and for that matter Anton LaVey Satanists, the belief is not in so called God, be it Jehovah or Odin or Satan? The question of believing in something  . .  I believe in showing people respect. I believe in respect for life. I believe in democracy . . . most of the time (LOL).  I do not believe in Santa I do not believe in the tooth fairy.
Maybe I should reinvent myself as this site's first Odinist.
Anyway the way it was worded, atheists do not exist. And they do. And this unwashed heathen is not the only one. And the collective 'we' may very well believe in something. I suppose if I actually identified myself as a humanist, it might clear this up abit.
Regardless I am going to have to review existentialism asap.
Cheers Bunny
Ryder13
 

 

Bunny

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Wow Bunny Do I really exist? Only if I think I do? Or is it only if You think I do?
How existential.

I am so lost ha ha

More seriously, Triss I think is saying that everyone believes in something.
True. But for atheists and for that matter Anton LaVey Satanists, the belief is not in so called God, be it Jehovah or Odin or Satan? The question of believing in something  . .  I believe in showing people respect. I believe in respect for life. I believe in democracy . . . most of the time (LOL).  I do not believe in Santa I do not believe in the tooth fairy.
Maybe I should reinvent myself as this site's first Odinist.
Anyway the way it was worded, atheists do not exist. And they do. And this unwashed heathen is not the only one. And the collective 'we' may very well believe in something. I suppose if I actually identified myself as a humanist, it might clear this up abit.
Regardless I am going to have to review existentialism asap.
Cheers Bunny
Ryder13
 

That's what I thought, she was saying that she thinks people believe in something even if that's believeing in nothing.



Sifu Phil! Darkness is but the absence of light, therefore is darkness still something....or is it nothing?

 

SifuPhil

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Sifu Phil! Darkness is but the absence of light, therefore is darkness still something....or is it nothing?

Bunny! Light is but the absence of darkness, and I KNOW light is a thing. Therefore, in the Great Yin-Yang of Life, light and darkness are both things.


Great Yin-Yang of Life ...

 

Sandra Piddock

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Yes, Phil, the yings and yangs there are a sight to behold.

And welcome, Unwashed Heathen - even if you do wash. That means you must believe in cleanliness, so you do believe in something, although obviously not in the concept that cleanliness is next to Godliness. That raises another point, I expect, but I can't think what it is right now. I need more tea to wake my thought processes up.

 

SifuPhil

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Yes, Phil, the yings and yangs there are a sight to behold.

Especially when you consider that one merges into the other ...

Quote
And welcome, Unwashed Heathen - even if you do wash. That means you must believe in cleanliness, so you do believe in something, although obviously not in the concept that cleanliness is next to Godliness. That raises another point, I expect, but I can't think what it is right now. I need more tea to wake my thought processes up.

Ryder really likes that label - I should have charged royalties on it!  8-)

I spent many years sucking down tea, but now that I'm retired I've gone on to the hard stuff - coffee IVs. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "drip coffee" ...

 

Victor Leigh

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Is atheism a religion?

First we have to expand the concept of religion to include beliefs that do not include God. Atheists, theoretically, are people who do not believe that God exists. And the few atheists that I have met in the forums are rather strong in their belief that there is no God.I mean strong in the sense that they are not prepared to consider the possibility that they might be wrong.

So, in that sense, for those people, atheism is a religion.

 

Ryder13

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Sifu Phil! Darkness is but the absence of light, therefore is darkness still something....or is it nothing?

Bunny! Light is but the absence of darkness, and I KNOW light is a thing. Therefore, in the Great Yin-Yang of Life, light and darkness are both things.


Great Yin-Yang of Life ...



Sifu Phil
Unwashed Heathen here. Just want to say 'great image for yin/yang.' Yin/yang is also a brilliant concept, black white, life death, male female,
Cheers
Ryder13

 

Bunny

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Light is not the absense of darkness, it's space filled with light. Don't try to trick me with words ha ha.

Nothing is the absense of everything/anything, therefore nothing doesn't exist :P

 

SifuPhil

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Light is not the absense of darkness, it's space filled with light. Don't try to trick me with words ha ha.

Not trying to trick you with words, my dear cuniculus. When we do not have darkness there is light; when we have no light, darkness. We cannot have one without the other.

We could as well say that darkness is not the absence of light - that it is merely space filled with darkness. That still wouldn't take away from the fact that they are complementaries, not opposites.

Quote
Nothing is the absense of everything/anything, therefore nothing doesn't exist :P

We can have nothingness yet still be surrounded by everything, just as we can possess everything yet have nothing.

 

Victor Leigh

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I think all of us here would be able to have great careers as hijackers. This thread is about atheism and yet we managed to take it all the way to discussing the philosophy of light and darkness. Is that because we don't have any champions of atheism here?

Any way, back on topic.

I doubt if atheists are truly non-believers. To deny the existence of God must first begin with the cognizance of the existence of God. You cannot really deny the existence of something that you never knew existed in the first place.

Let's say we go and talk to an aboriginal in the depths of the New Guinea jungle. Someone who has never ever been out of that place. Never learned to read or write. In short, someone who never knew that there is any other world other than what he sees around him.

Then we ask him about, say, the US. Would he be able to say that the US doesn't exist when he doesn't even know that there is such a thing as the US?

 

SifuPhil

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I think all of us here would be able to have great careers as hijackers. This thread is about atheism and yet we managed to take it all the way to discussing the philosophy of light and darkness. Is that because we don't have any champions of atheism here?

Champions?

Atheists ain't got no champions.

They ain't got to show you no stinkin' champions! 

Quote
Any way, back on topic.

I doubt if atheists are truly non-believers. To deny the existence of God must first begin with the cognizance of the existence of God. You cannot really deny the existence of something that you never knew existed in the first place.

Oh, fluff and flutter. They don't have to know He existed, just that the believers SAY He did/does. They're responding to the assertion, not to the fact.

If I do not know of the existence of the three-headed hummingbird hovering just behind my left shoulder, then for all intents and purposes he does NOT exist and I am within my rights to claim as much. Only when he comes around in front of my face will i have to re-work my philosophy.

Likewise, God may be standing right next to me, but I don't see Him, I don't smell Him and no, I don't taste Him either, so to me He does not exist. He has never shown me so much as a burning bush to prove His presence, so my working hypothesis is that He does not exist.

I cannot however claim the same for nature and all the seemingly miraculous things that occur within it. Therefore, nature is my "God" becuase I can see it, smell it and yes, taste it.

MMmmmm - hummingbirds is yummy!

Quote
Let's say we go and talk to an aboriginal in the depths of the New Guinea jungle. Someone who has never ever been out of that place. Never learned to read or write. In short, someone who never knew that there is any other world other than what he sees around him.

Then we ask him about, say, the US. Would he be able to say that the US doesn't exist when he doesn't even know that there is such a thing as the US?

Rule #3: DO NOT ANNOY THE ABOS.
(Monty Python)

For HIM, like for me with God, it would be a totally true belief.

 

Ryder13

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"And if God is dead,
Then everything is permitted."
No I did not come up with this.

So since this topic has grabbed the members here, has anyone seen the documentary with Bill Maher entitled Religulous. It takes a pretty solid and heavy swipe at religion and belief. An interesting film.
Ryder13

 

Victor Leigh

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Oh, fluff and flutter. They don't have to know He existed, just that the believers SAY He did/does. They're responding to the assertion, not to the fact.

Responding to the assertion? Does that mean that atheists exists only because there are theists? Now what happens in a society totally devoid of theists? Does that mean there will be no atheists either since, like you said, atheists are responding to the assertion and therefore, if there are no assertions, there is nothing to respond to?

I think I will have to do some thinking before I ask any more questions.

 

SifuPhil

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Responding to the assertion? Does that mean that atheists exists only because there are theists? Now what happens in a society totally devoid of theists? Does that mean there will be no atheists either since, like you said, atheists are responding to the assertion and therefore, if there are no assertions, there is nothing to respond to?

Exactly. They NEED each other for, like darkness and light, they define each other and cannot exist independently.

Quote
I think I will have to do some thinking before I ask any more questions.

*puts in a pair of blind-man contact lenses*

"You already know the answers, Grasshopper - look within, not without. BE the question. Do not worry about -"

*ACME safe falls on him*

 

Haffina

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I'm an Athiest. I have faith, but it is not tied to some intangible extraterrestrial being. How I live and think is that everyone has the right to their own life and everything to pertains to it, so long as they aren't pushing their thoughts and 'beliefs' on to other people.
As to why I write 'beliefs' that way - the word 'belief' implies doubt. If you are going to live your life according to your 'beliefs' you should have no doubt.

 

Victor Leigh

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Oh really? The way I see it, a belief that had never been assailed by doubts is not much more than a house of cards or a paper tiger. It's the questions and doubts that strengthen the belief. He who believes and having believed refused to doubt is a man who has a very flimsy hold on his belief.

 

Bunny

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The bible says the word of the lord is meant to be rebuked and stuff in Timothy I believe, so that would make sense. I think it's not the doubt per sey but overcoming the doubt that makes it stronger.

I think what Haff means is those people who are always flip flopping or choosing one part of a belief to believe in, like this...



The next line after that says one shall not get a tattoo ha ha.

Is that what you meant Haff? :D

 

Haffina

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I have no doubt that God doesn't exist.

People who flip flop and cherry pick the writings of those long dead as justification for their biases and prejudices disgust me, but frankly have little to do with faith.

My grandparents were Christians, and their faith was very important to them. They lived their lives with integrity and in accordance with that. Their faith was their faith, and mine is mine and we both accepted that.

 

Victor Leigh

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And I have no doubt that God exists. Which means that we call live together in harmony. While we are still in this world. Then when the final curtain falls, we go our separate ways. In the meantime, let's live and be merry.

 

Adrian Malacoda

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I had a reply prepared, but I forgot to post it and I lost it. I'll try to reconstitute what I had in mind.

Atheism is not a religion. Atheism is a lack of a belief in a god. Depending on your definition of religion, you can have religions that are atheistic, but "atheism" itself is not a god. There is no holy book of atheism, no church of atheism. Atheism doesn't have any priests or popes or whatever, indeed no spiritual or faith element.

As for why people are proud of being an atheist... people are proud of all sorts of things. People are proud of their school, or their sports team, or even what country they were born in.

 

Ryder13

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I had a reply prepared, but I forgot to post it and I lost it. I'll try to reconstitute what I had in mind.

Atheism is not a religion. Atheism is a lack of a belief in a god. Depending on your definition of religion, you can have religions that are atheistic, but "atheism" itself is not a god. There is no holy book of atheism, no church of atheism. Atheism doesn't have any priests or popes or whatever, indeed no spiritual or faith element.

As for why people are proud of being an atheist... people are proud of all sorts of things. People are proud of their school, or their sports team, or even what country they were born in.
Oh no it's back. This thread has returned to life. Oh my.
ANyway, for me atheism is not a thing that I take great pride in, it just is a conclusion I have reached.
I suppose some could take pride in atheism in that it could represent a triumph of what might be seen as rational thought over superstition. For me it is just a case of a conclusion I have reached.
Oh as an additional thought, I suppose it can be a religion in the sense that Anton LaVey practiced a religion of atheism. He was the showman behind the Church of Satan but I think that he was clear that he did not believe in god or satan. He did believe in something like Nietsche's Will to Power or something along that line.
Anyway with Christian groups like the Westboro Baptist Church around I am quite happy to be the cynical atheist.
Ryder13
 

 

pandandesign

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Atheism is not part of the religion because people choose to belive themselves or fate rather than a specific religion. It is something that people just don't believe in God. You have some good points right there. People tend to stay away the whole religious community and being an atheist isn't against religion.

 

daedalus

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Atheism is the absolute belief there is no god, so yes, it would be a religion.

 

angelicagapit

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I think of Atheism as a Religion. Being an atheist is having a certain belief, and that belief is believing in no god whatsoever.

That's just my opinion.

 

jackofroses

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I don't think it counts as a religion because there isn't one set of beliefs nor is there a leading figure.

 

mjhunter23

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The word Atheism is defined as the lack of belief in a God. So really I would say that it is not a religion. especially as religion is defined as the belief in a higher power or God.

 

EllyMarks

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I'll go with a Pratchett quote for this one:

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"Atheism is a denial of a god."

"Therefore It Is A Religious Position," said Dorfl. "Indeed, A True Atheist Thinks Of The Gods Constantly, Albeit In Terms of Denial. Therefore, Atheism Is A Form Of Belief. If The Atheist Truly Did Not Believe, He Or She Would Not Bother To Deny.”

When so much of life is determined by religious faith, then in any thorough inter-faith representation would also have secularism represented--because the effects are important enough that it can't only be religious and spiritual people discussing how things are going to work. At that level of importance, religion can't dominate, but it already does--So, for practical purposes I certainly would count Atheism as a religion.

It's like, bald is not a hair color, but if you ask how to identify someone by what color their hair is, "Bald" is still an answer because it allows you to identify someone. Arguing that "bald is not a hair color" only draws attention to the presumptuousness of the question.

Same with, "What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Fresh cream doesn't count!" But if you want to really get to know someone, you'll believe them when they say "Fresh cream is my favorite ice cream flavor" even though it's unflavored. It might be silly if they say, "Sweet is my favorite ice cream flavor" which I guess is the equivalent of "Spiritual, not religious" the latter of which I actually don't consider silly.

 

bsthebenster

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From what I've seen, religions seem be all about providing answers to philosophical questions and questions relating to where we all came from. I don't think atheism necessarily claims to know the answer to any of these questions. I sure some atheists do think they know the answers, but I don't think that is true for every atheist.

 



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Jade Elizabeth (Bunny) is a Poet who has made 6253 posts since joining Creative Burrow on 12:15am Sun, Nov 2, 2008. Bunny was invited by No one (creator of this site).

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Jade Elizabeth is an eccentric young woman who enjoys writing stories and poems with hidden deeper meanings. She is quoted saying “Writing to me is not a hobby. It's a passion. It's something that lets my thoughts expose themselves, and my heart shine through where other art could not.

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