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betsy

The Evolutionists' Fundamentalist Preacher

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Well having raised a few of them myself I can tell you that at no time did I actually start to believe in Santa again, at least not literally. More to the point I see belief as a means to an end, not as an end in itself. It does not matter if its actually true, as long as it gets you there.

For many people, this is the point of religion- Belief provides the framework for having the courage to go on despite, great difficulty or even despite inevitable failure. Many great athletes have a system of belief to help them draw on their strength when the situation is desperate. The same goes for suicide bombers. Belief is a tool, in some cases even a weapon.

Belief overcomes fear and self doubt.

I think that some of our beliefs can only seem to vanish if we live them through others. For instance, some of men's belief about women (say, being sluts) can only be entertained if they see their own mothers as the opposite.

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And just take a look at this:

Really. It's so cheesy. His focus is on religion! Why would it bother him what religous people think.

If you don't believe, you don't believe! If you're an atheist, then you're an atheist!

And there wouldn't be a problem if Christians, Muslims and a few other religions kept religion as a private matter, rather than trying to force everyone else to conform to their "religious values."

Besides, in this current climate why does he think people will care if he's atheist or gay or transexual.

Those are just too common now.

Oh sure it doesn't bother you and your church friends! You wouldn't have mentioned the Out Campaign if it didn't bother you. If the religious can run around waving their crosses and babbling about Jesus, then why are you all bent out of shape that Richard Dawkins started a campaign to encourage atheists to identify themselves publicly?

Dawkins is making it like atheists are being persecuted. Yet he rabidly attacks all people with religious beliefs...with insults and ridicule! This is all for show. He loves publicity. Publicity generates more money!

My only complaint is that Richard Dawkins believes everyone can be a rationalist; I share his views that organized religion promotes conflicts and promotes belief without evidence. No matter how organized or dressed up in sophisticated language,religion is still a vestigial holdover from our primitive past, when we did not understand the world around us and felt the need to mythologize the world to provide meaning. Religion is essential for some people, but not for me!

As for money, are you serious? Do you have any idea how much money even 2nd rate Christian apologists make writing books and doing the church lecture circuit? Richard Dawkins is at the top of his field of biology, and if anything, I'm sure he has spent more to promote atheism, than make money from it. He appears at gatherings of atheist and humanist groups, who often only raise enough money to cover his travel expenses. The real money is made at the mega-churches, so if he was in it for the money, he would become one of those Christian scientists, like Francis Collins and Ken Miller.

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My only complaint is that Richard Dawkins believes everyone can be a rationalist; I share his views that organized religion promotes conflicts and promotes belief without evidence. No matter how organized or dressed up in sophisticated language,religion is still a vestigial holdover from our primitive past, when we did not understand the world around us and felt the need to mythologize the world to provide meaning. Religion is essential for some people, but not for me!

Religions come from the consciousness that humans, unlike any other living specie, have the power (through science, nowadays) to easily kill everything.

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I think that some of our beliefs can only seem to vanish if we live them through others. For instance, some of men's belief about women (say, being sluts) can only be entertained if they see their own mothers as the opposite.

Another strange seemingly irrelevant post. What knd of glue are you sniffing, please, so I can make sure to avoid it.

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Basically, the impression that humans have invented God to deal with their weaknesses has to be reversed. It makes more sense to feel that it takes a God to think that inventing such powerful specie like humans are was a good idea.

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Basically, the impression that humans have invented God to deal with their weaknesses has to be reversed. It makes more sense to feel that it takes a God to think that inventing such powerful specie like humans are was a good idea.

I did not imply that humans invented God. I said that whether God is real or not is irrelevant to the millions of suffereing people who ned to have something greater to believe in. What needs to be reversed, or rather eliminated is the question "Is God real?" because that distracts from the deeper meaning of God.

Much like Santa... the spirit of Santa is far more important than fretting over whether he's real.

Ho Ho Ho

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Religions come from the consciousness that humans, unlike any other living specie, have the power (through science, nowadays) to easily kill everything.

Dawkins and the people like philosopher Daniel Dennett, from whom he draws most of his theory about religion and religious belief, fully recognize that religious belief have provided comforting messages of assurance and organized religion helped to solidify bonds between unrelated peoples in the first city-states; the question now is whether religion and religious belief has outlived its purpose. The forces that drive religion are still very powerful, and men who have spent their lives learning rituals and working their way to the top of religious orders, are going to do everything in their power to keep adherents from leaving their organizations. And that is the primary source of the condemnation of people like Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens. The religious leaders are always on alert for anything they can take offense to and use as ammo to convince their people that they are being persecuted.

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I did not imply that humans invented God. I said that whether God is real or not is irrelevant to the millions of suffereing people who ned to have something greater to believe in.

The great irony is that those people who are suffering, believe in God more fervently after disasters such as the Tsunami have left them homeless and without surviving family members. The more God doesn't answer prayers, the more they hope that he will answer their prayer next time. It's almost the same mentality as people who are addicted to buying lottery tickets.

For many people like myself who gave up on religion, it was this problem of why would an all-powerful god allow evil and even build a world that depends on suffering to function.

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I did not imply that humans invented God. I said that whether God is real or not is irrelevant to the millions of suffereing people who ned to have something greater to believe in. What needs to be reversed, or rather eliminated is the question "Is God real?" because that distracts from the deeper meaning of God.

Much like Santa... the spirit of Santa is far more important than fretting over whether he's real.

Ho Ho Ho

So we could really be fooling ourselves into what god is and what it really means to humanity. It is a total sum of the spiritual within all of us.

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The great irony is that those people who are suffering, believe in God more fervently after disasters such as the Tsunami have left them homeless and without surviving family members. The more God doesn't answer prayers, the more they hope that he will answer their prayer next time. It's almost the same mentality as people who are addicted to buying lottery tickets.

For many people like myself who gave up on religion, it was this problem of why would an all-powerful god allow evil and even build a world that depends on suffering to function.

Tsunami and other disasters are mostly science-made events. You have to be dangerously naive to think more science will decreasing sufferings. What is less comforting is to follow Jesus' example to find peace.

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Tsunami and other disasters are mostly science-made events.

And to think, with a clanger like this, there's a person here who thinks you might be intelligent...

Please go on lucidly (I realize that mey be difficult) how science makes an earthquake (which cause tsunamis).

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And to think, with a clanger like this, there's a person here who thinks you might be intelligent...

Please go on lucidly (I realize that mey be difficult) how science makes an earthquake (which cause tsunamis).

What is science-made is the demographic explosion and the general elevation of oceans level.

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The great irony is that those people who are suffering, believe in God more fervently after disasters such as the Tsunami have left them homeless and without surviving family members. The more God doesn't answer prayers, the more they hope that he will answer their prayer next time. It's almost the same mentality as people who are addicted to buying lottery tickets.

Well thats a pretty unkind thing to say, about large groups of people in every corner of the world. Each person seeks answers about the meaning of life based on their own needs. You did use the word HOPE- "they hope he will answer their prayer". And thats what I say is one reason people need to believe in God. When people are suffering, as in times of disaster, they need hope to believe in something, to lift them out of hopelessness and give them the strength to continue on. Suffering is a common human condition. Hope is a very basic human need.

For many people like myself who gave up on religion, it was this problem of why would an all-powerful god allow evil and even build a world that depends on suffering to function.

Thats a big question. I don't have an easy answer that will satisfy you. But my view is, if every event was controlled and pre-ordained, there would be no free will. We would be acting out a scripted role. But the fact is, we do have free will, to do anything we want. We can be good or evil. Yes evil causes pain and suffering, why do we need that? What does it do for us to feel pain, to suffer... We become stronger. Look at spoiled children, look at people who have never suffered or been in need, who have all things provided for them- they often take things for granted, they become arrogant and self centered. They do not understand anything beyond the fulfillment of their own desires. They become morally weak. I see life, suffering as a matter of creating endurance, building character, building intelligence even by the questioning, finding a way to overcome. Each person answers to suffering in their own way. Just like steel must be tempered, to make it harder. And then the master swordsman must test the blade. To soft, it yields too easily. Too hard, it breaks under stress. So as the saying goes... that which does not kill me, makes me stronger.

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The universe is more strange than we are capable of imagining. I would not be surprised that science, if allowed to continue making unbiased explorations will eventually come face to face with a creator.

I think so too. Clues are pointing that way.

Darwin's doubt about his theory....his capitulation about "design." True that that was a century ago, but what about the current scientists who came up with ID? They must've come up with the same questions that Darwin faced plus more...enought o convince them about ID.

Then this legendary hard-core atheist who suddenly changed to deism....and flatly said that ID theory is more convincing!

And then there's the Dawkins interview that got him more-or less accepting "design"...or alluding to God.

All these together....it's quite telling! It's something that can't be pooh-poohed. Between ID and Dawkins' evolution, ID theory is far more likely the way it was/is.

Edited by betsy

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And there wouldn't be a problem if Christians, Muslims and a few other religions kept religion as a private matter, rather than trying to force everyone else to conform to their "religious values."

Values depending on where you live on this planet. If you live in a place where the values were derived from their religion, of course the values will reflect that religion. If you live with a tribe in a jungle, of course the values of that tribe will reflect whatever it was that influenced them.

You speak about "force to conform to religious values," - do you mean murder, stealing, rape, brutalizing, etc... should not be considered criminal acts and shouldn't be punishable in our society since having laws that deal with these acts mean Christian values are being enforced on everyone?

Oh sure it doesn't bother you and your church friends! You wouldn't have mentioned the Out Campaign if it didn't bother you.

It didn't bother me. I was just pointing out the cheesy way Dawkins is using and riding on the tails of the successful gay rights movement. Just the use of the word "out" - why, can't he come up with another word?

Comparing gays to that of atheists is simply minimizing the plight of gays. Gays got physically bashed and some were killed simply for being gay. Do we hear anyone assaulting or killing atheists simply because they're atheists?

So yes, Dawkins is exploiting and riding on the back of the gay rights movement!

For publicity! For sensationalism! What next? Geraldo Show? :lol:

If the religious can run around waving their crosses and babbling about Jesus, then why are you all bent out of shape that Richard Dawkins started a campaign to encourage atheists to identify themselves publicly?

Hey, did you see me criticising the bus campaign?

It's a free country. Freedom of speech! I think even some churches came out to say that.

But of course I can't help but be amused about this. It's too.....juvenile (for lack of a better word).

Funny, because of Dawkins. His supposed exalted stature in SCIENCE!

Look what he's doing....indulging in a silly tit-for-tat!

My only complaint is that Richard Dawkins believes everyone can be a rationalist; I share his views that organized religion promotes conflicts

Well look who's promoting conflict! :lol:

As for money, are you serious? Do you have any idea how much money even 2nd rate Christian apologists make writing books and doing the church lecture circuit?

Ha-ha-ha :lol: Just judging from this board alone....most atheists here seem to have read Dawkins!

They know the "pie-in-the-sky" and other goobly-gooky soundbytes of Dawkins!

I didn't even know what apologists were or who those apologists I quoted in the other thread "Rejoice..." until I did a google and accidentally struck gold!

People who turned their backs on their religion...are the most likely to gobble up his books. They need constant reassurance. And he knows it! :lol:

Firm believers of Christian faith do not need any other books other than the Bible. Just like firm atheists do not need proof that religion is wrong and that there is no God.

Richard Dawkins is at the top of his field of biology, and if anything, I'm sure he has spent more to promote atheism, than make money from it.

Yeah...then why the need to ask for donations?

I'm sure he's rich...very rich. Most rich people want to get more rich!

The real money is made at the mega-churches, so if he was in it for the money, he would become one of those Christian scientists, like Francis Collins and Ken Miller.

Don't count him out! Just because he hasn't formally established his church of atheism, yet.....doesn't meant he's not going that way.

Who knows. Maybe he'll be inspired again (just like he was inspired by the Gay Rights Movement ), maybe this time the inspiration will come from those bible-tent in the USA...and he'll do the travelling Ministry of Dawkins on the Atheist Love Bus. :lol:

Edited by betsy

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Basically, the impression that humans have invented God to deal with their weaknesses has to be reversed.

Humans have invented their weaknesses to deal with God.

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Excerpts from...

THE UNCANNY FAITH OF RICHARD DAWKINS

-Reader Kyle Lickiss

As one is probably aware from contemporary events, “faith” has come under serious scrutiny. Within western society, there is an increasingly outspoken group trying to dichotomize faith and reason. This is best seen in the arena of the debate between God and evolution. This segment of society is openly hostile to 'faith,' and especially as it relates to religion. One of this movement's most influential individuals is a British Biologist, and self acclaimed atheist, Richard Dawkins.6

Is faith really blind? Is faith the great cop-out as Mr. Dawkins so astutely would have us to believe? Are faith and religion synonymous with ignoramuses, fools and the unintelligent masses of our society? Could it be possible that faith, as defined by statement B can also be found at the same level within the defenders of atheism, those bastions of pure science and evolution? For the present this discussion will be limited to the written works of Dr. Richard Dawkins.10

In the proceeding paragraphs, the position will be postulated that Mr. Dawkins has faith. The very thing that Dawkins castigates can, by closer investigation, be identified within Dawkins’ works. Mr. Dawkins has as much faith as many religious people. Richard Dawkins' faith is found in science, in himself, and faithfully within other people. This faith that he holds can also be categorized as a religion.11

Let us first begin our case by investigating the possible faith that Dawkins places upon the works of others. Laying down the introduction for his rebuttal against the "Proof of God by the Argument from Scripture," Dawkins had this to say:

The fact something is written down is persuasive to people not used to asking questions like:

'Who wrote it, and when?' 'How did they know what to write?' 'Did they, in their time really mean

what we, in our time, understand them to be saying?' 'Were they unbiased observers, or did they have

an agenda that coloured their writing?'12

Yet within that same topic, he quotes from N. Wilson, who “in his biography of Jesus, casts doubt on the story that Joseph was a carpenter at all. . . .This is one of several constructive mistranslations that bedevil the Bible.”13 Dawkins then quotes from one, Ibn Warraq, about a possible mistranslation of the Koran regarding “virgins.”14 Shortly thereafter, Dawkins introduces a Professor G. A. Wells, “of the University of London,”15 author of the book, Did Jesus Exist, because, “It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all . . . .”16

Dawkins then goes on to another profound quote, less than a page later.

. . . ever since the nineteenth century, scholarly theologians have made an overwhelming case

that the gospels are not reliable accounts of what happened in the history of the real world. All were

written long after the death of Jesus . . .All were then copied and recopied, through many different

‘Chinese Whispers' generations by fallible scribes who in any case had their own religious agendas.17

Remember that Dawkins has subtly alluded to a person’s faith in the Bible because of their inability to grasp reality. It is more convenient to place one's faith in written literature and leave the brain tucked in the home closet. But look at what Dawkins has achieved within his book, and in only two pages! He has placed his faith upon the works of several authors. Is he saying in essence, “They wrote it; therefore it must be true?”18

http://uocc.ca/pdf/reflections/richard-dawkins.pdf

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Humans have invented their weaknesses to deal with God.

For instance, modern people like to think that primitive people invoke the gods when they are on the verge of starving. This perception has to be reversed. When they are on the verge of starving, the primitives see in that situation some divine sign that they have made something reprehensible in the eye of this god: this god is angry at this people and dryness is a punishment.

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Right. And AIDS is God's punishment to the gay community.

A Christian always asks what we have done to deserve that and what can we do to redress that.

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Values depending on where you live on this planet. If you live in a place where the values were derived from their religion, of course the values will reflect that religion. If you live with a tribe in a jungle, of course the values of that tribe will reflect whatever it was that influenced them.

You speak about "force to conform to religious values," - do you mean murder, stealing, rape, brutalizing, etc... should not be considered criminal acts and shouldn't be punishable in our society since having laws that deal with these acts mean Christian values are being enforced on everyone?

Really! YOu think that laws against murder, rape and theft are "Christian." Maybe you could explain why social anthropologists have noted for years that every tribe in every part of the globe has had rules to prohibit these antisocial behaviours.

There is an obvious evolutionary benefit, since a society that didn't establish a social order would be less able to survive. Since you are invoking Christian values here, it needs to be stressed that these values don't protect unchristian people, as some detainees in secret U.S. prisons have been finding out in the last five years. These moral rules only protect those within the group, and if I can flip through the pages of my Old Testament to find examples of where your god ordered his followers to rape, murder and plunder the wealth of enemies of the Israelites.

Right now, we need to establish a clear set of secular moral principles that the majority of people can agree with, regardless of religious beliefs, to deal with issues like abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, polygamy etc.. We should not allow a situation where every church or religious group can create their own laws for their own communities.

It didn't bother me.

Then why do you bring it up?

Hey, did you see me criticising the bus campaign?

It's a free country. Freedom of speech! I think even some churches came out to say that.

Freedom of speech is not a Christian principle, and atheist ads on buses would be one of the first things to go if you and your friends got your dream of a biblically-based society.

Ha-ha-ha :lol: Just judging from this board alone....most atheists here seem to have read Dawkins!

They know the "pie-in-the-sky" and other goobly-gooky soundbytes of Dawkins!

I didn't even know what apologists were or who those apologists I quoted in the other thread "Rejoice..." until I did a google and accidentally struck gold!

People who turned their backs on their religion...are the most likely to gobble up his books. They need constant reassurance. And he knows it! :lol:

You haven't read any of his books! You aren't even aware that he has only written one book specifically about religion. His other books have been about genetics, evolutionary theory and the history of life on Earth (The Ancestor's Tale). I have four of his books, and I wish they had something like this when I was in high school taking biology. If you had read The Blind Watchmaker, you would realize how weak the creationist attacks on evolutionary theory really are! Instead, you choose to stay cocooned in creationist propaganda, and the only thing you know about him is the attacks on him by simpletons who want to believe that we live in a 6000 year old universe.

I'm sure he's rich...very rich. Most rich people want to get more rich!

But your okay with these prosperity gospel hucksters you shill for, getting rich!

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Really! YOu think that laws against murder, rape and theft are "Christian." Maybe you could explain why social anthropologists have noted for years that every tribe in every part of the globe has had rules to prohibit these antisocial behaviours.
Hammurabi.

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Well thats a pretty unkind thing to say, about large groups of people in every corner of the world. Each person seeks answers about the meaning of life based on their own needs.

But, the hard reality is that prayers do not stop disasters or aid recovery efforts. The recovery comes from real people working to rebuild shattered lives. I'm not going to slam people for the time they spend in religious contemplation in a situation like this, unless it reaches the point where prayer, religious observance takes an excessive amount of time and energy( and money)

You did use the word HOPE- "they hope he will answer their prayer". And thats what I say is one reason people need to believe in God. When people are suffering, as in times of disaster, they need hope to believe in something, to lift them out of hopelessness and give them the strength to continue on. Suffering is a common human condition. Hope is a very basic human need.

I can think of many situations where prayer and hope have encouraged passive fatalism rather than taking action to improve their lives. A good example would be slaves who were taught the admonitions of the Apostle Paul to be obedient to their masters and store up their treasures in heaven. In other words, put up with indignities and lack of freedom in the hope that they would have a better life after death.

Thats a big question. I don't have an easy answer that will satisfy you. But my view is, if every event was controlled and pre-ordained, there would be no free will. We would be acting out a scripted role. But the fact is, we do have free will, to do anything we want. We can be good or evil. Yes evil causes pain and suffering, why do we need that? What does it do for us to feel pain, to suffer... We become stronger. Look at spoiled children, look at people who have never suffered or been in need, who have all things provided for them- they often take things for granted, they become arrogant and self centered. They do not understand anything beyond the fulfillment of their own desires. They become morally weak. I see life, suffering as a matter of creating endurance, building character, building intelligence even by the questioning, finding a way to overcome. Each person answers to suffering in their own way. Just like steel must be tempered, to make it harder. And then the master swordsman must test the blade. To soft, it yields too easily. Too hard, it breaks under stress. So as the saying goes... that which does not kill me, makes me stronger.

And the free will argument to explain why benevolent god allows suffering and evil does not explain natural evil, like natural disasters that kill indiscriminately, or the basic predator/prey relationship in nature.

Also, if free will leads to occasions where evil exists, why doesn't this duality exist in heaven? Why do heavenly creatures apparently have free will and yet commit no evil?

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But, the hard reality is that prayers do not stop disasters or aid recovery efforts. The recovery comes from real people working to rebuild shattered lives.

Right, and I never said prayers would prevent disasters... thats absurd. I said, having a belief helps the people who have to deal with recovery, psychologically, so they can get on with it.

"I can think of many situations where prayer and hope have encouraged passive fatalism rather than taking action to improve their lives."

Sure, because anything can be made good or bad, useful or useless. These are just ideas. They can be used in different ways, right or wrong. Even nuclear technology is the same thing, helpful in some ways, harmful in others. That does not mean we dismiss it, only that we learn how to make it useful, for ourselves.

And the free will argument to explain why benevolent god allows suffering and evil does not explain natural evil, like natural disasters that kill indiscriminately, or the basic predator/prey relationship in nature.

Also, if free will leads to occasions where evil exists, why doesn't this duality exist in heaven? Why do heavenly creatures apparently have free will and yet commit no evil?

This sort of discussion becomes absurd whenever we take ideas that are metaphors and interpret them as physically real. That is fundamentalism, and to me it misses the point completely. We all know what fundamentalism does, take a look at the world around you. I don't know anything about heavenly creatures, both my feet are on the ground. But if it helps someone to believe that heavenly creatures exist, and influence this reality, good for them.

As a scientist I say that randomness exists, chaos exists and we see creation and destruction happening all the time in the universe around us, in a cycle. It happens to us too, just as likely as it can happen when a star dies or meteors slams into a planet. Random chance means that bad things can happen, and you "pray" that it just won't happen to you. But if it does, it does. Meanwhile the cycle continues.

For those who are left to survive a catastrophe, the choice is to look into the empty abyss and see that life is cruel and means nothing, so leading to complete despair and even self destruction, or find a way to cope with it. Like when a loved one dies, people need a way to cope. Then they go to the church, even though they would never go at other times. For many people, this is an easier way to deal with tragedy than what the atheist philosophy has to offer. What could Dawkins possibly offer a poor mother who has lost her children? Not much I think. But Jesus has a lot to offer thats easy for her to understand, so she can go on, and make more babies. Tragedy is the birth of religion...

Edited by Sir Bandelot

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What is science-made is the demographic explosion and the general elevation of oceans level.

I think we can both agree you're a fruitcake

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