The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:58 am

pink_trike wrote:This type of saddhu can even go beyond stupidity into psychosis.

The only thing I take issue with is calling these people with this sort of blind faith 'stupid'. Maybe if they had been born in Burma they would have become blindly faithful to the Buddhist teachings... what then? Are they 'stupid' or naive? 'Stupid' where I come from is a derogatory word... calling someone else 'stupid' sort of implies that we believe we are better than them. That, in my opinion' does NOT encourage the development of karuna or metta or even equinimity.

Also, do you think religion is the cause of this naive blind faith? If it was, why isn't EVERYONE under its spell? Maybe some people are more inclined to believe more freely than others... in which case is religion the cause?
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:41 am

When individuals talk about the womb being a weapon, deliberately bringing children into the world, in order to impose their point of view upon others, as these people clearly claim is their goal, then I have no problem with referring to them as stupid. While they may not be flying airplanes into skyscrapers or strapping bombs unto their bodies in order to influence the behavior of others, they are bringing human beings into the world in order to wage a cultural/religious war upon others. On any number of levels it is wrong and it is stupid. Would you like me spell it out further why increasing the world population in this manner is a problem?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:43 pm

Mawkish

Also, do you think religion is the cause of this naive blind faith? If it was, why isn't EVERYONE under its spell? Maybe some people are more inclined to believe more freely than others... in which case is religion the cause?


Religion isnt the cause, ignorance is




"Vaccha, the position that 'the cosmos is eternal' is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.

"The position that 'the cosmos is not eternal'...

"...'the cosmos is finite'...

"...'the cosmos is infinite'...

"...'the soul & the body are the same'...

"...'the soul is one thing and the body another'...

"...'after death a Tathagata exists'...

"...'after death a Tathagata does not exist'...

"...'after death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'...

"...'after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'... does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding."


"Does Master Gotama have any speculative view at all?"

"A speculative view,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such is perception... such are mental fabrications... such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' Because of this, I say, a Tathagata — with the ending, fading out, cessation, renunciation, & relinquishment of all construings, all excogitations, all I-making & mine-making & obsession with conceit — is, through lack of clinging/sustenance, released."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

And

"Thus, monks, when those ascetics and brahmins who are eternalists proclaim the eternity of the self and the world in four ways, that is merely the feeling of those who do not know and see, the worry and vacillation of those immersed in craving" (the same for annihilationists, nihilism etc) - Digha Nikaya - What the teaching is not (sutta)


Another wanderer said, "The cosmos is finite... The cosmos is infinite... The soul & the body are the same... The soul is one thing and the body another... After death a Tathagata exists... After death a Tathagata does not exist... After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist... After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless. This is the sort of view I have."

When this had been said, Anathapindika the householder said to the wanderers, "As for the venerable one who says, 'The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless. This is the sort of view I have,' his view arises from his own inappropriate attention or in dependence on the words of another. Now this view has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated. Whatever has been brought into being, is fabricated, willed, dependently originated, that is inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is stress. This venerable one thus adheres to that very stress, submits himself to that very stress." (Similarly for the other positions.)


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



All views and opinions and blind faiths arise because of the taints and ignorance which are

Ignorance
64. Saying, "Good friend," the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta's words. Then they asked him a further question: "But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma?" — "There might be, friends.

65. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands ignorance, the origin of ignorance, the cessation of ignorance, and the way leading to the cessation of ignorance, in that way he is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

66. "And what is ignorance, what is the origin of ignorance, what is the cessation of ignorance, what is the way leading to the cessation of ignorance? Not knowing about suffering, not knowing about the origin of suffering, not knowing about the cessation of suffering, not knowing about the way leading to the cessation of suffering — this is called ignorance. With the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance. With the cessation of the taints there is the cessation of ignorance. The way leading to the cessation of ignorance is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.

67. "When a noble disciple has thus understood ignorance, the origin of ignorance, the cessation of ignorance, and the way leading to the cessation of ignorance... he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma."

Taints
68. Saying, "Good, friend," the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta's words. Then they asked him a further question: "But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma?" — "There might be, friends.

69. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

70. "And what are the taints, what is the origin of the taints, what is the cessation of the taints, what is the way leading to the cessation of the taints? There are three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of being and the taint of ignorance. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints. With the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of the taints. The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

71. "When a noble disciple has thus understood the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma."


Another good quote

"Concerning the various views that arise in the world, householder (soul, eternal world, non eternal etc)when self-identity view is present, these views come into being; when self-identity view is absent, they don't come into being.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... html#views

So because of the taints and ignorance people will assume they have self. Because of that the mind will begin to fabricate ideas and views based on that ignorance (so souls, heaven in sky etc) which leads to an arising of a consciousness embeded with such concepts, which then conditions name-form (so their perceptions etc alter to see the world in such a way i.e. seeing Gods hand in saving people etc) and so on through D.O. onto dukkha

When people have these speculative views, born from ignorance and the taints, this is how religions get founded and then other people who share the same or similar speculative views start to pack togerther and so over time you have organised religion, which then re-inforces the taints and ignorance (and of course craving) of those who believe it (and maybe those exposed to it who dont know truth?) and so dukkha which can lead to people acting like the people in this clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcqhPTdI ... -fresh+div

When one understands ignorance, its cause and how to get rid of it there are no views, blind faith or standpoints there is just knowing of the truth of dukkha and how it ends (so in reguards to views, how they came to be and how to end them)


Thats my take anyway

Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:08 pm

clw_uk wrote:Religion isnt the cause, ignorance is

This I can agree with. Amen (as a large family I've heard of would say :) )
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby fig tree » Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:34 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:All good points, but what about 'Religion making people stupid'?

I would focus not on just having lots of kids (plenty of people enjoy that in spite of the practical difficulties) or even on this idea that it will tend to strengthen their hand in the "culture wars" (which it might do, as unhelpful as that might be, although not I think as well as they expect), or on a specific number of kids (like raising 7 on a certain income), but on the idea that if they are on the verge of having more than they can take good care of, God will prevent that from actually happening by "closing the womb". They've reached this implausible conclusion and religion has led them to it. I'm reluctant to use the word "stupid" but there's a certain lack of good sense there. I can appreciate people having trust in someone (like the Buddha) who assures them that a certain kind of moral conduct will result in benefits later, but "have as many children as you can" seems like such an implausible choice.

I don't know these specific people obviously, but I've known people who talked in a similar way. Real-world examples where I would say that this kind of blind faith hasn't worked out for people would be interpreted as the burdened parents' not being sufficiently faithful. Perhaps God wants them to humble themselves by accepting material poverty, or test their faith in Him, or perhaps (if living in a third-world country) they are not as prosperous as we Americans because they're not sufficiently Christian, and so on. To the people I knew, it wasn't a matter of their plan for doing God's bidding seeming to work out well enough; to them, thinking that the soundness of the choice might be best tested by looking at the consequences just wasn't faithful enough.

I really haven't known any non-religious people to make the same mistake. They might engage in wishful thinking that has a similar effect, but not to the extent of thinking that a certain course of action is sure not to create harm, regardless of how far it's taken, because mystery forces will prevent it.

One could argue that arriving at such a conclusion is the result of some independent lack of good sense. Plenty of theists avoid the same mistake. There's a joke that used to be popular. A town is flooded and as flood waters rise one potential victim refuses help from various quarters, saying, "God will provide". So he dies and arrives in heaven. He asks, "Why didn't you help?" St. Peter says, "we sent a car, a boat, and a helicopter...". It seemed to me to be an attempt to satirize the unfortunate conclusions that one might reach by assuming that everything that happens is managed by a deity. One doesn't have to conclude that God's plan is for you to "leave it up to him" in a simple-minded way.

It doesn't seem to me, though, that a prior lack of sense is what decides whether people fall into such views. One reason why I'm reluctant to use terms like "stupid" is that a lot of people like this don't seem to be lacking in what one might call "raw brain power". I think what matters more is whether one has a desire for the sense of security that comes from not having to worry about such "details". Then there's this sort of pseudo-epiphany one has, where one "realizes" that there's no real problem. But as I said, I don't see irreligious people falling into the same trap, nor does it seem that this particular issue leads people to take up religion. So I think this type of religion is partly to blame for selling them on the idea, basically for telling them what they wanted to hear.

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:54 am

Given the increasingly negative ecological impact of unfettered population growth there also is the seriously questionable morality of deliberately increasing the human population whatever the motivation, but when one has one's all-powerful god on one's side as a justification, consequences be damned.

From the Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19:

"The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:57 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby Rui Sousa » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:52 am

tiltbillings wrote:http://www.unwatch.org/site/c.bdKKISNqEmG/b.1289203/apps/s/content.asp?ct=6831061


In deed, never-ending... :(
With Metta
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:18 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby clw_uk » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:56 pm

tiltbillings wrote:A bit frightening:

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/med ... =106117287



There is an error with the vid, what was the general gist of it?


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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:53 pm

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby freki » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:32 am

That's disgusting. The Buddhist propaganda did really good work in presenting Buddhists as "kind and tolerant" people, because I really believed that. But just observing a few posts among you Buddhists cured me from that prejudice.

You know what this whole thread is? It translates as:
My religion is better than yours!


(But then, of course, Buddhism is not a religion, and the teachings of Buddhism are true, whereas the others are not, and ... yeah... sure...)

There are Christians out there who try to be good people. Of course there are also bad examples. With your generalizations you insult them all. Maybe I should collect examples of Buddhists who said stupid things, have a weird understanding of the teachings, raped and killed, perform hollow rituals, and by their example I can then conclude the true nature of Buddhism... Of course not! (if you know about logic: that's "proof by example" - any logic prof would slap you for this.)

If you really want to judge a religion, you have to study the original teachings. Or maybe collect statistical material that proves that really a significant number of their members (and not single examples, not matter how many!) fulfill a certain criteria... if you are really interested in studying and comparing other religions.

[Edit: in this last paragraph only my negativity spoke. please understand it as expression of my emotions, not as reasoning.]
But if you only want to feel better and need to strengthen your own faith by humbling other beliefs, then just go on rambling. I'm afraid that's what will happen, and I can't change it. Buddhism would be way better off without Buddhists. Disgusting.
Last edited by freki on Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby pink_trike » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:40 am

Buddhism was never intended to be a religion (tiltbillings, please feel privileged to delete this or not). Religiosity is a mental obstacle that perverts our engagement with the Dharma. Religiosity is just another mental defilement. I say this as a conservative "buddhist".
Last edited by pink_trike on Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:55 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby Guy » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:42 am

Hi Freki,

In fairness, is this not a hypocritical thing to say?

freki wrote:With your generalizations you insult them all.


freki wrote:Buddhism would be way better off without Buddhists. Disgusting.


With Metta,

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1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:43 am

pink_trike wrote:Buddhism was never intended to be a religion. Religiosity is a mental obstacle to engaging the Dharma. Religiosity is just another mental defilement.


I would not blame religion; rather, it is just people have a tendency to do. Religion can be used as an excuse for bad behaviour, but it can also inspire and motivate good behavior. Things are never black and white.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby pink_trike » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Buddhism was never intended to be a religion. Religiosity is a mental obstacle to engaging the Dharma. Religiosity is just another mental defilement.


I would not blame religion; rather, it is just people have a tendency to do. Religion can be used as an excuse for bad behaviour, but it can also inspire and motivate good behavior. Things are never black and white.

Religion is delusion. Is this ok to say? As a non-religious Buddhist, I'd appreciate clarification.
Last edited by pink_trike on Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:02 am, edited 5 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:47 am

freki wrote:That's disgusting. ... Disgusting.


Okay, but just to let you know, Buddhists are not exempt from being stupid in the name of their religion. Anyway, as Chogyam Trungpa would say, Good luck to you, sir (or ma'am).
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby pink_trike » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:04 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:
pink_trike wrote:
Also, do you think religion is the cause of this naive blind faith? If it was, why isn't EVERYONE under its spell?

Yes.

Everyone _isn't_ under it's spell...why do you think they are?
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:48 pm

Hey

That's disgusting. The Buddhist propaganda did really good work in presenting Buddhists as "kind and tolerant" people, because I really believed that. But just observing a few posts among you Buddhists cured me from that prejudice.


As Buddhists we train to be kind and tolerant but that doesnt mean we cant see and communicate flaws that we see in other religious and philosophical thought. Tolerance is tolerating something not accepting it. This is a Buddhist forum where we can discuss such things in terms of Dhamma as well as personal opinion


There are Christians out there who try to be good people.


Can you show me a post where someone said there wasnt?

Of course there are also bad examples. With your generalizations you insult them all.


Can you show me where someone has said that all xtians are the same?


Maybe I should collect examples of Buddhists who said stupid things, have a weird understanding of the teachings, raped and killed, perform hollow rituals, and by their example I can then conclude the true nature of Buddhism... Of course not! (if you know about logic: that's "proof by example" - any logic prof would slap you for this.)


You would have to compare their actions against the original teachings (if they claim to be doing it in the name of Dhamma)


If you really want to judge a religion, you have to study the original teachings


I cant speak for everyone but for me i have studied the teachings of the Bible and while there is some good there is also some things that are quite bad (old testament)



[Edit: in this last paragraph only my negativity spoke. please understand it as expression of my emotions, not as reasoning.]
But if you only want to feel better and need to strengthen your own faith by humbling other beliefs, then just go on rambling. I'm afraid that's what will happen, and I can't change it. Buddhism would be way better off without Buddhists. Disgusting.


You assume that Buddhists here have been biggots or are trying to justify their beliefs by putting down others, in fact what has happened is there has just been a discussion about religions in which people have voiced what their own opinions are about said religions and, from what i can tell, you havent liked what they have said

metta
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the never ending religious debate

Postby freki » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:02 pm

My apologies for ramblings against Buddhists. I realize that I am disappointed by my own expectations (of Buddhism/-ts), and this disappointment got a while out of control. I say this not to justify my behaviour but to de-emotionalize.

I've been reading various threads here the days before, so my memory might deceive me with the details. This one is just the latest one I found. I'm too lazy to look up what I remember (and it might even be my interpretations), so I stay here on topic:

How can you seriously discuss the topic of "The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid"? Can't you imagine that it may be an offense to anyone who considers himself religious? If the goal of choosing this topic was to provocate, to make people angry: it's a success! (see above :tongue: )

And for the argument: Yes, there are bad examples. But you can enumerate thousands and still proof nothing. That's what I mean with "proof by example" - it's logically illegal. The only thing this shows is that there are "stupid" people, and some of those justify their doing with their believe. Nothing more. Maybe these people just misused the religion to have an excuse, maybe they misunderstood the teachings, maybe they are in an orthodox sect which does not represent any majority... and so on.

Especially this does not prove any causality, not even a connection, between level of intelligence and religion.

So what is it good for to list all those bad examples?
clw_uk wrote:Hey
Maybe I should collect examples of Buddhists who said stupid things, have a weird understanding of the teachings, raped and killed, perform hollow rituals, and by their example I can then conclude the true nature of Buddhism... Of course not! (if you know about logic: that's "proof by example" - any logic prof would slap you for this.)


You would have to compare their actions against the original teachings (if they claim to be doing it in the name of Dhamma)

So if I go and do something "stupid", like having many babies(!), and honestly believe (or just claim) that it was in the name of the Dhamma, what exactly would that prove?


there has just been a discussion about religions in which people have voiced what their own opinions are about said religions and, from what i can tell, you havent liked what they have said

Is it clearer now what it is I didn't like?

cheerio, ("metta")
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