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LuftWaffle

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  1. Objective morality

    Hi Bonky The thing is, Bonky, discussion and weighing of ideas only really makes sense if there are right and wrong ideas to discuss. So, one can have a debate about the shape of the earth or the boiling temperature of water because there is a correct answer to these questions. In other words discussions about the correctness of something the thing being discussed to be objective. Let me clarify what I mean: It seems to me that all that's needed to make a case for an act to be good (in the secular humanist world) is to tell a just-so story about how the act promotes human flourishing. No secular humanist that I've heard or spoken to on this topic actually sits and meticulously works out whether or not their actions really promote human flourishing. Instead they take what they consider good and they invent a post-hoc reason for what they consider to be good, also happens to promote human flourishing. For instance there are lots of studies showing that women who are sexually promiscuous end having less fulfilled relationships, a greater risk of STDs, suffer more depression and so on. Secular humanists who happen to like promiscuous woman ignore this data and simply make up just-so stories about how the freedom to express your sexuality makes society a better place and therefore it should be permitted Likewise one can show study after study showing that pornography is detrimental, but those who disagree need only claim that people should be left alone to do as they please, and that this makes society better. So it seems to me that human flourishing is only good as long as it doesn't impinge on whatever personal morals a person has. As such I don't think that "human flourishing" as a driving factor for one's personal ethic really has any weight. Would you really do something that is hard to do, because human flourishing demands it of you? I don't see how, and statistics bears this out because religious people tends to be more generous than unbelievers. It is a red herring in a discussion about moral ontology. A deist can make the same arguments against secular morality that I am making. Lets talk about slavery though since this is clearly something that's bugging you and instead of just assuming that you're trying to play rhetorical tactics, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt about it: Firstly do you have a moral problem with Israelites working off debts so that their land can remain in the family? Indentured-servitude, in other words. This is after-all what the primary purpose of so-called slavery was in Israel and that isn't the same as the inhumane treatment that slaves in the US or ancient Rome, or pretty much any non-Christian nation today gets. The Christians who tell you that slavery in the Bible was different is 100% correct. Most atheists aren't very interested in how biblical slavery might differ from what we commonly understand about slavery because, I think, they're relying on the rhetorical effect of the word "slavery", to do the heavy lifting for them. I think being able to work of family debt so that future generations don't need to suffer the mistakes of forefathers' bad decision is actually a very good thing and preferable to welfare. So, do you have a problem with indentured-servitude? If yes, please let me know what the issue is. What about enslaving enemy forces, you may say? Since we're assuming the for the sake of argument that the claims of scripture are true, what would you have done if you were Gideon or Joshua and you've just defeated a violent and brutal nation. Keeping in mind that you are acting as an instrument of God's judgement on nations that have become totally evil. Child-sacrifice, bestiality etc. etc. You know this already, we've talked about it before, but you can kind of imagine the people in Mel Gibson's movie Apocalypto, or the baddies in The 13th Warrior. So, you've defeated their army, and there are some enemy soldiers left. Do you a) Just let them go so that they can regroup, ally themselves to other enemies and return to attack you killing your children and raping your women, and so on? b) Kill them all on the spot and be done with them? c) Grant them full citizenship and treat them as brethren trusting that they'll assimilate quickly and become productive savages dreamers? d) Limit their autonomy and strip them of their freedom and put them to work? After all war is taxing on the horses Or make up your own solution, and lets discuss it. It is possible for a person who is utterly evil to be completely unaccountable provided they have enough power. Think Kim Yong Un, Robert Mugabe etc. Robert Mugabe destroyed Zimbabwe, turning it from the bread-basket of Africa to an place of corruption, death, violence and poverty. He will probably die peacefully in his sleep one day, because he has all the power. My worldview says that he will one day be held accountable, not in this life, but in the hereafter. If he held my worldview, I don't think he would have been as evil as he is. Now I agree this isn't as much of an argument for my view. But the problem with your view is that provides no sense of peace and justice to the victims of crime, and it doesn't provide any restraint to the wicked. The problem is that determinism doesn't have a way to assign responsibility. You can't look at the wind blowing a tumbleweed and say the tumbleweed is tumbling wickedly. Tumbleweeds aren't responsible for the way they are tumbled, because they can not do otherwise. If you wish to have a deterministic view of free will, you will need to deal with the responsibility problem. If we do not have agency but instead our ideas, thoughts and actions are mere effects, then moral responsibility is meaningless. You need to think about this. Pitting Christianity against Islam, doesn't let you off the hook, with dealing with the problems of your view. But I'm happy to answer because I happen to think that if human flourishing is what impresses you then is it a coincidence that humans flourish more in historically Christian nations than pretty much any Islamic nation in the world? I don't think that answer will satisfy you though because it almost seems to me that you're looking for some empirical answer to why Christian morality is better, but that assumes morality is the kind of thing that's empirically measurable. I believe morals are objective and since morals are immaterial, as such I cannot give you an empirical reason for why Christianity is better, because it is your worldview that requires all things to be empirical, not mine. I do however believe and I think history bears this out, that human beings are happier when they emulate Jesus in their dealing with their fellow man.
  2. Pelagianism

    No, I'm am stating your own view back to you to highlight an inconsistency. "God decrees a sinful nature, which causes desires to sin, God is off the hook, because man desires the sin. God decrees regeneration, which causes desire to repent, God gets the glory this time, in spite of man desiring the repentance." The above is what you believe, and the smiley face seems to show that you agree. Those are not my beliefs, because I've been denying compatibilism, which should be obvious. It's also obvious that you're playing games now. My time is limited and you seem to not really be open to a reasonable discussion of own view to so after having 100% of my questions ignored, I'm moving on. I suppose the title of the thread should have clued me in that you're not very serious. God bless
  3. Pelagianism

    I was stating your own beliefs back to you to highlight an inconsistency. Here it is again: God decrees a sinful nature, which causes desires to sin, God is off the hook, because man desires the sin. God decrees regeneration, which causes desire to repent, God gets the glory this time, in spite of man desiring the repentance. See the problem? And for the third time, who is responsible for us believing free will. Our own will which we ought not follow, or the sovereign decree of God?
  4. Pelagianism

    So you say, I disagree. Who is responsible for us believing free will, did God decree is or do we believe it though we ought not to? I have another question for you: Man has a sinful nature which influences him to irresistably sin even though the sinful nature and the man was ordained by God, but because man desires to commit the sin, God is off the hook. God regenerates man which influences him to irresistably repent, and this desire for repentance was ordained by God, and for this God does get the glory. Notice the inconsistency?
  5. Pelagianism

    The first sentence is wrong because it's self serving. It is not the absence of coercion that makes a decision free, but the absence of determinism. When a car crashes into another where the driver cannot do otherwise we call it an accident, and there is no culpability. Compatiblism is a fully deterministic view of the will which simply tries to redefine the meaning of freedom in deterministic terms. If our actions are determined then they cannot be free in any meaningful sense of the word "free". This is also rubbish. Libertarian free will does not deny restrictions but claims that the restrictions are not determinitive of the outcome. This is unfortunately why Matt Slick is taken seriously by his own fan-base and little else. Of course we are influenced by our sinful nature but the responsibility still lies with us.
  6. Pelagianism

    Are we embracing free will by our own volition which we ought not do and are capable of not doing, or did God sovereignly decree that we embrace free will? If the former then welcome to club free will, if the latter, then I'm afraid your issue is with God not us. If we are not capable of doing otherwise, then how is it our fault?
  7. Objective morality

    Hi Bonky, It's been a while, hasn't it? I've sort of loosely followed the discussion between you and Shiloh, and I have a question: why human flourishing? I find it fascinating that on one hand atheists will claim that atheism is much more humble than Christianity because atheism doesn't attribute anything special to human beings whereas theism has a God focuses on a certain species of primate on an obscure ball of magma, water and dust called earth. At least that's more or less what atheists say. Yet here you are saying that "good" is what promotes human flourishing (whatever that means) and bad is whatever doesn't promote human flourishing. So essentially there are all the things in 'ye olde' universe and you've arbitrarily drawn a circle around the set of things called homo-sapien and you've suggested that their flourishing (whatever that means) must be the good. That's cool and everything, but your average PETA activist might disagree with your arbitrarily drawn circle, saying human are a blight on the planet (except themselves of course). That the circle must be drawn around all sentient life. Your typical KKK member might want to draw a different circle saying that human flourishing is important but that some people aren't as human as others. Planned parenthood's circle is different still because their circle excludes the group of living human beings that they arbitrarily dubbed "potential humans". Then your average Jihadi has a different circle saying that the house of Islam's flourishing is what matters and the "house of war" must be brought into submission. Then you have the weirdo's who put up the Georgia Guide Stones whose "manifesto" reckons that the world population should be less than 500k. Their circle is rather smaller than yours. Then you've got Antifa who thinks that the circle should exclude fascists, which they define as basically anybody who disagrees with them. So it's great that you think human flourishing is cool, depending of course on how you define flourishing and how you define human, but at the end you've not really grounded anything. It seems that human flourishing is whatever you or anybody else needs it to be. The theist on the other hand, (while you may harp on the slavery red herring and think that your view is superior) not only has a set of beliefs that grounds an objective morality, but accountability, a day of judgement, a day of justice, which you do not. Futhermore, last time we spoke I asked you whether you believed in libertarian free will, and you responded that you're a compatibilist, which of course is still a deterministic view. So the problems you have are rather numerous: a) No grounding for morality other than arbitrarily making rules for yourself to follow (or break) as you please. b) No ultimate accountability for failing your arbitrarily erected edifice of morality c) No free will to connect responsibility to the human acting. The killing bullet is caused by an explosion, which is caused by a trigger, which is caused by a finger, which is caused by a nerve, which is caused by a desire, which is caused by an anger, which is caused by a hormone, which is caused by a drug, which is caused by abuse, which is caused by a stepfather which is caused by a tumor, which is caused by a disease which is caused by a mutation which is caused by an enzyme which is caused by DNA which is caused by a chemical, which is caused by a reaction, which is caused by a particles and forces...big bang...singularity...multiverse...chance We have the slavery issue, which I'm fine with because I think enslaving those violent cruel marauding, child sacrificing, incestuous, murderers and wiping out their cities.... promoted human flourishing
  8. This is a question about Conditionalist Beliefs

    It seems you're assuming hell is a place of eternal torment and thus you're wondering why have such a place if nobody will be tormented eternally. Conditionalists argue that hell isn't a place of eternal torment but a place of slaughter. I the thread "conditionalism vs traditionalism" I have argued that every proof text for eternal conscious torment, when understood in it's proper biblical context actually serves as evidence for the conditionalist view. Being judged by the living God, losing out on eternal life in glory with Him, and being destroyed and put to death isn't "simply" ceasing to exist. Indeed, the traditionalist view must interpret all the texts where it speaks of eternal life vs perish, destroy or death as figurative, because it believes that everybody lives forever, both the saved and the unsaved, and it believes that the unsaved never really die and are never really destroyed. The proof-texts for eternal conscious torment are mostly based on hyper-literal reading of the images in Revelation or literal readings of figures of speech such as "eternal fire", "smoke rising forever" etc, which whenever they're used elsewhere in Scripture do not support eternal conscious torment, but always describe corpses. The traditional view reads literal texts figuratively and figurative texts literally. The Conditionalist view take literal texts literally and figurative texts figuratively.
  9. This is a question about Conditionalist Beliefs

    Yes, conditionalists believe that the unsaved will lost their lives and that this state of affairs is eternal. It's an eternal punishment. Not all conditionalists believe this. Some conditionalists believe that the soul is meant to be embodied and exists in a lesser form in the intermediate state. By intermediate state I mean the state after death, but before the general resurrection and judgement. Other conditionalists believe that the soul is seperate from the body and needn't be embodied and that the intermediate state is conscious, just like traditionalists believe. No, as mentioned previously some conditionalists are substance dualists, who believe that the soul and the body are seperate, others are physicalists who believe that the soul and the body are one entity. Those who are substance dualists fall into two categories too, namely those who believe that the soul is meant to be embodied and isn't conscious when not embodied and those who believe that souls can remain in a disembodied state just fine. Yes, this is the key belief of conditionalists Actually both traditionalists and conditionalists reject that we go to heaven/hell immediately when we die. Both groups believe there's an intermediate state where the dead will await judgement. Yes, except for the last point. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Joh 10:25-28) Looking at the immediate context Jesus is taking a protective stance over his disciples and he says that He will not allow them to be led astray by the challenges they are going to face as Jesus' disciples especially during the crucifixion. Think about Peter's fear that drove him to deny Jesus 3 times. Then the severe persecution that would follow after that. But Jesus says He will not allow them to lose their faith and in the end, they will partake in eternal life. If they were to lose their faith their lot would have been with the unsaved who, after judgement will be destroyed and perish. I don't think Jesus is using eternal life, and perish in reference to the first death, but He is talking about the final outcome of the saved. As such it seems to me that whatever category of conditionalist one falls into, the verse doesn't really challenge the view, in fact the idea that the saved will get everlasting life and the unsaved will perish is precisely what conditionalism states.
  10. So, only extra-biblical sources? Do you really need a dictionary to tell you what death means? By the way, why is it that traditionalists aren't consistent with how they use the word "death". After all if they truly believed that death must be seen as "separation" then why, in the lists I've offered on page 15 where traditionalists say that the unsaved cannot die, they're clearly not using the *special* definition? In fact the only time I ever see death defined in that way is when traditionalists are defending eternal conscious torment against, well, the plain meaning of the word "death". The rest of the time, when they let their guards down, they seem to use the word the same way us conditionalists use it. Here is that list again: What the bible has to say about the death of the damned: Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:13: For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. John 6:50: This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. John 11:25–26: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” What traditionalists say: Saint Anselm: O worms, O worms, why do you gnaw me so cruelly? Pity me, pity me; pity poor me, that suffer so many and such awful other torments! Ah, poor me, poor me! And I want to die; but, dying and dying, still I cannot die. Robert Murray M'Cheyne: Wicked men shall be cast away by themselves.—It is said, they shall wish to die, and shall not be able. They shall seek death, and death shall flee from them. Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East: Some say, “Suppose me go to Hell, me soon die there—big fire soon kill me; then me no feel.” But God says you no die in Hell. Suppose you put stone in the fire, he can't be burnt ! No—fire can't burn him—he always live there! God says the wicked have hearts of stone, and fire will no melt them. John Wesley: Neither the righteous nor the wicked were to die any more: their souls and bodies were no more to be separated. Hyman Appelman: You can take poison; you can blow your brains out; you can hang yourself and believe you have left your difficulties behind. But there is no poison in Hell. There are no guns in Hell. There is no death in Hell. John MacDuff: [If we could] look into the lake of fire, and have a sight of the wretched beings who are there writhing in deathless agonies--we would then thank God for the most miserable condition on earth, if it were only sweetened with the hope of escaping that place of torment! John Willison: Pray earnestly, that all your sins may die before you die; for if they die not before you, but outlive the dying body, they will live eternally to sting and torment the never-dying soul. John Gill: …the soul in torment shall never die, or lose any of its powers and faculties; and particularly, not its gnawing, torturing conscience. Jerry Vines: To go to into hell knowing you will never return is the tragedy of all tragedies. “Let some air in.” No air is in hell. “I need a drink of water.” No water is in hell. “Turn on some light.” No light is in hell. “Let me die.” No So, Yowm and Jeff2 When all the above theologians claim that the damned in hell cannot die, do they mean their souls cannot be separated from God? I thought according to the traditionalist view hell was exactly that? Or do they mean their life (and thus suffering) cannot end? Do these theologians not read their Greek lexicons?
  11. I am happy to if asked. You must understand that I've been spending a lot of time responding to everybody here. If I take shortcuts then it's not some sinister agenda, I promise. Would a video help? Now, before you cherry pick the less direct lines of evidence from the above video, I want to restate why we're talking about this in the first place: Your assertion was that Conditionalism is relatively new and it was to that assertion that I responded with the list of church fathers. Even traditionalists grant that Arnobius was a Conditionalist so even if only that one goes through, your statement that Conditionalism is relatively new, is misinformed. Unless you're prepared to consider the 3rd Century as relatively new. In terms of your attempt at poisoning the well against Irenaeus by claiming that he has lots of unorthodox views: only the issue of conditionalism is relevant, because the matter on the table is whether your claim that Conditionalism is relatively new is true or not.
  12. I have not seen any scriptural reason for changing the word death in scripture to "separation". Lexical definitions are theologians' opinions on the range of meanings that a word can have and since most theologians are traditionalists, who need to explain why dead people can live forever, they use the Platonist definition of death which means separation. Show me the verse(s) in the Bible that say we need to redefine death as "separation". Where you will find it is in the writings of ancient Greek philosophers, and the church fathers who were versed in Greek philosophy. This is also where the idea that the soul is immortal comes from. "And they are right, Simmias, in saying this, with the exception of the words “They have found them out”; for they have not found out what is the nature of this death which the true philosopher desires, or how he deserves or desires death. But let us leave them and have a word with ourselves: Do we believe that there is such a thing as death? To be sure, replied Simmias. And is this anything but the separation of soul and body? And being dead is the attainment of this separation when the soul exists in herself, and is parted from the body and the body is parted from the soul—that is death?" - Plato's Phaeo 61-64 (http://www.bartleby.com/2/1/31.html) So, while I'm being accused of ignoring scripture and peddling philosophical arguments, the Bible does not once define death as "separation" and clearly contradicts the traditionalist belief that all souls are immortal in passages such as For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1Co 15:53-55) So, instead of the sarcasm and vague accusations, perhaps we can get down to brass tacks: 1. What scriptural justification do you offer for seeing death as separation, in opposition to how scripture defines death using descriptions like perish, destroy, ashes to ashes, corpses being devoured, the grave and so on? 2. What scriptural justification do you offer to extend the Greek philosophy of separation of body and soul to the second death and defining it as separation of man and God? Now I'm happy to confirm that death would entail separation from God, but your claim isn't merely that death entails separation but that it must be interpreted as living forever separate from God. 3. What scriptural justification do you offer for the immortality of all souls, especially given clear texts such as the one cited above?
  13. Your response was that they would have understood the images, not according to how they're used in the Old Testament meaning but according to your assumed progressive revelation that hell is eternal conscious torment. My response is that you're begging the question if the proof-texts must be interpreted according to some assumed progressive revelation that supports your view. What is your justification for the "progressive revelation" that hell is eternal conscious torment? The proof-texts! What's your justification that the original meaning of the images as used elsewhere in scripture must be overridden? Progressive revelation! This is text-book circular reasoning.
  14. My contention has been that the idea that death means separation (as well as the immortality of the soul) isn't found in Scripture, but has made it's way into church doctrine through the importing of Greek philosophy, and your counter to this is offering a Greek lexicon? Notwithstanding the irony, you're committing a Hermeneutic fallacy called: "Unwarranted expansion of an expanded semantic range". Basically the fallacy states, that you can't redefine the meaning of words by hunting for a dictionary definition that supports what you want the word to mean. The reason for this is that lexicons can't tell you what a word should mean in its current context (that's the job of the translator). Lexicons tell you what range of meaning theologians assign to a word. Obviously separation will feature since theologians have described death in that way. If some theologians mistakenly defined death as meaning "icecream", then some lexicons will have "icecream" included in the semantic range of that word. All you're proven is that some theologians define death as a separation, which goes without saying. The bible over and over describes the fate of the wicked in terms of death, destruction and to perish, and it illustrates this with words like ashes to ashes, dust to dust, corpses decaying and being devoured and burned up. Chaff being burned up. The traditionalist point of view is the opposite, the dead live forever, they do not perish and they aren't ever destroyed.
  15. I'd say that the exact opposite is true if you actually follow the discussions so far. Firstly the notion that all human beings are immortal is not found in scripture, scripture states that everlasting life is granted only to the saved. The notion however is found in the writings of Plato and church fathers like Tertullian quote plato when speaking of the immortality of all souls: "Some things are known even by nature: the immortality of the soul, for instance, is held by many; the knowledge of God is possessed by all. I will use, therefore, the opinion of a Plato when asserting Every soul is immortal." - Tertullian in his treatise "On the resurrection of the flesh" Secondly the idea that death is a separation isn't found in scripture but is also found in the writings of Plato. Thirdly when looking at the way the proof texts for eternal conscious torment are offered, they generally follow the following style. 1. Where there is smoke there is fire 2. Where there is fire there is fuel 3. Rev 14 talks about smoke rising forever 4. Therefore there must be fuel forever 5. the fuel of the fire are the wicked people 6. Therefore the wicked burns forever The same can be said for "the worms that don't die", "eternal fire" and most of the other proof texts. In the absence of a single verse stating that the wicked will live forever in torment, the traditional view relies on philosophical syllogisms that are meant to show that the worms have eternal food, that smoke has eternal fuel and so on. My approach at rebutting these was purely exegetical. By simply showing how these terms are used elsewhere in scripture and where they are used elsewhere they describe death and destruction instead of the conclusions of the traditional views attempted philosophical syllogisms. Now of I have been using reason, it's impossible to have a discourse without it, and reason isn't a bad thing, usually. I don't believe I have "explained away" any passages. I have addressed the poor reasoning behind many proof-texts for the traditional view and have shown how, when they are properly exegeted, offer better support for my view. In addition I have pointed out how the traditional view ignores the literary genre of Revelation when sourcing most of it's proof-texts from apocalyptic imagery, while ignoring clear teachings of Jesus and Paul. In fact I have demonstrated on page 15 using 3 extensive list just how the traditional view contradicts the clear teaching of scripture when they let their guards down while teaching on hell: Those lists cover 3 categories, namely: 1. that the bible teaches the death of the damned, while traditionalists teach that the damned never die. 2. that the bible teaches that only saved live forever, while traditionalists teach that the damned live forever. 3. that the bible teaches that the damned are destroyed, whereas traditionalists teach that the damned are never destroyed. I agree, which is why I think the lists on page 15 should offer some cause for concern. Sophistry is a strong word, and I should expect such a claim to be backed up with some examples of I or any other supporter of conditionalism have relied on sophistry. Empty accusations do not serve anything but to stir up strife. I find it interesting that truth doesn't feature at all in your above reflection. If conditionalism is true, then the gain is that one is closer to ultimate truth which is God's reality. Isn't it better to know true things than false things? I want to know what is true, don't you? How do we determine what is true if we don't discuss scripture and we don't have reasonable discourse? But ever since I became a conditionalist the gospel story took on a much more profound significance. The curse in the garden of Eden was seperation from the tree of life, and death entered the world. The problem with the world isn't paradise lost but that mankind has been cut off from Christ which is the source of life. The traditionalist view focuses on where you go, heaven or hell, and completely misses that the bible is about life. Christ is the way, the truth and the life. His resurrection unto life is the ultimate and direct proof that Christ meant what He said and that He had paid the wages of sin with his life, that death has been conquered. Instead of asking "Teacher how do we get to heaven", we should ask the way those who listened to Jesus' teachings asked, "Teacher how do I obtain everlasting life". The conditionalist view makes the conquest of sin and death so much more profound because evil isn't merely quarantined in some dark section of the universe where sinner keep of sinning, but sin and death are utterly vanquished. You are welcome to wonder all you like, thus far I've had my motives questioned by more than just you, so you're certainly not unique in resorting a ad hominems. This is false. Throughout Christian history there have been conditionalists: First Clement (late 1st century) Ignatius of Antioch (late 1st century) Epistle of Barnabas (late 1st or early 2nd century) Irenaeus (2nd century) Arnobius (early 4th century) Athanasius (4th century) Isaac Barrow (17the century) Joseph Nichol Scot (16th century) Henry Constable (19th century) So the idea that Conditionalism is relatively late is misinformed. Ah, one cannot have this debate without the old guilt-by-association trope.
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