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Principality of Sealand – Uncyclopedia – Wikia

Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:58 pm

The Principality of Sealand (not to be confused with SeaWorld, who ignores our annexation requests) is a glorious country off the coast of England that is loved by many, and feared by all; at least it would be if not for the fact that no other nation recognizes its true sovereignty, probably out of envy. This land of hope and glory conveniently occupies the space of an abandoned sea fort, standing above the English Channel, and is ruled by the honorable Bates family. Prince Roy and Prince Regent Michael Bates shield the young nation from dangers foreign and internal alike. Though the Principality of Sealand has experienced innumerable hardships and trials, it has since emerged as a powerful and respected governmental entity, despite what everyone else says. They’re just jealous, the overbearing twits.

Not pictured is the massive, sprawling underwater city home to thousands of royal servants and citizens.

It isn’t proven that the Principality of Sealand didn’t originate from the very nethers of Venus herself, so we have to presume that this is so. History says that Sealand was originally an old WWII sea fort that was occupied by a less than sane Pirate Radio broadcaster in the late 1960’s, but we all know that history is a confusing, unclear subject, and any dissenter could fabricate fallacies to discredit others. It is in fact well known that Sealand was the true homeland of its now prince Paddy Roy Bates [1].

For several years, the nascent nation prospered, bringing in an era of peace and prosperity within all 0.55km2 of its land. Other than a few ramblers foolish enough to trespass its borders to spy under the guise of “fishing” or “buoy repairs”, Sealand was peaceful, thanks to the rule of the Bates family, and the hard work of its citizens (all two of them). Sadly, this peace was to be short lived; it was only a matter of time before someone tried to invade the country. While the Bates family was in a diplomatic trip in London, a group of German and Dutch mercenaries, led by the generally unpleasant Alexander Achenbach, self proclaimed Prime Minister of Sealand, temporarily occupied the fort, and took Roy Bates’ son Michael hostage[2]. Through what we can only assume as a daring rescue mission involving spectacular heroics, Roy Bates retook his land and saved his son. To this day, the vile invaders still wait patiently for the day when Roy Bates dies, running their government-in-exile in their mother’s basement.

After the Achenbach Debacle of ’78, Sealand was again at peace. Benefiting from the lack of dirty foreigners poisoning the mother land with their “hopes” and “aspirations for the future”, the Principality expanded, eventually reaching the dark underbelly of Cyberspace! HavenCo, which was co-owned by Prince Regent Michael Bates and Ryan Lackey, was a titular haven of unregulated data and other technobabble terms, free from the chains of rules and petty morality. Where the great would not be constrained by the small. And with the sweat of your brow, HavenCo could’ve became your Data Haven as well if not for its sudden closure in 2008.

A large number of counterfeit Sealand passports were in circulation, used by criminals to aide in their crimes and, worst of all, not serve the motherland. Because of this, the Royal Bates family had to revoke all Sealand passports, including ones officially issued by them over the past twenty two years.

On July of 2006, a fire which was allegedly caused by an electrical failure, almost threatened the existence of the young nation. The situation got so bad that a helicopter was needed to ferry citizens to safety. Luckily, the fire was stopped, and the fort was completely repaired by November of that year. Some fishermen were found within a mile of the fort right before the fire, and were executed following a thorough, one-hour investigation.

Unbeknownst to most, the Magna Carta was actually based on Sealand’s constitution, despite the mild time differences.

The Principality of Sealand is ruled by the Royal Bates family under a constitutional monarchy. All of the power is vested on the Royal Family and their associates. Anyone who says otherwise will be thrown off. Though this system of government may be somewhat similar to another certain island nation to the north, Sealand actually invented the concept of monarchy, and anyone using it owes Sealand large amounts of money. Claims that the Principality of Sealand is a fascist state are unsubstantiated and will be met with severe punishment from the police force. Currently, Michael Bates is Prince Regent, the head of state and the de facto ruler of the Principality, although Roy Bates still holds the title of Prince. The fact that Roy Bates would name himself “Prince” instead of “King” shows that he still considers humility a principal virtue, as do all of subjects that bask in his glory.

The Sealand Royal Family is to be addressed with utmost respect, and any signs of disrespect, such as not calling Roy Bates’s wife, Princess (she likes that, you know) will be met with deportation via defenestration.

No government has recognized Sealand’s state as a country. In fact, they believe that the Principality is merely a micronation run by a deranged pirate broadcaster that managed to evade the law by living in international waters, despite the fact that these claims are extremely silly and not-at-all true.

Since the only thing that Sealand has an abundance of is patriotism and sea watertwo things most people already have too much ofthe Principality of Sealand currently has nothing to export; the only things Sealand imports is porta-potties and food, and both items are only to be used by the royal family (royal servants are fed barnacles and sea water). Despite the setbacks in the economy (or lack thereof), the Principality of Sealand still issues currency for use in buying and selling goods within the country’s borders.

To help with the monetary costs of the maintenance needed to support the Principality, Sealand has recently begun selling T-shirts, mugs, pens, and other trinkets to online buyers. While supplies last, see store for details. The country has also started selling the titles of Lord, Lady, Baron, and Baroness to people, to fill the high demand of internet users wanting to be part of royalty. Tourists are occasionally welcomed into the motherland, mostly for sightseeing and good PR. Other times, we allow certain allies into the fort, but due to the Achenbach debacle, Sealand has much more strict immigration laws than other countries. Sealand has been attacked by terrorists before, and if the rest of the world had followed Sealand’s example, the Earth would’ve been completely free of suspicious foreigners.

Sealand has had amicable relations with its allies all around the world: all two of them!

Sealand has had a long and complicated history with the motherland, ranging from mild annoyance to unsympathetic apathy. Like all other nations, it does not recognize Sealand as a true country, but it does make sure not to trifle with Sealand’s business: the country lies in international waters, and it is much easier to ignore someone than to be completely hostile with them if they don’t directly antagonize you. The Royal Bates family originally hailed from England, and still has citizenship there, but during diplomatic visits to their previous homeland, they don’t seem to be treated with the same dignity and respect as other diplomats. Yes, it’s true that being a diplomat allows you free food at any restaurant franchise for life, regardless of what the manager says.

Sealand has had a somewhat complicated history with Germany: Alexander Achenbach came from Deutschland, and so did a lot of his cronies. On the other hand, Germany did send a diplomat to Sealand to petition for Achenbachs’ release, so according to rules set by Sealand, this was a diplomatic mission, and counts as a recognition of Sealand’s nationhood, right?

Russia scares us. No further comments.

The future is one thing that most Sealanders are quite wary of (not Prince Roy though, he can smell time), but uncertainty has never stopped the Principality of Sealand from reaching its lofty goals. Sealand already has a film in the works, and the space program is already burgeoning, despite minor setbacks involving catapult malfunctions. Though some might cower at the face of tomorrow, we spit in tomorrow’s face, tell it to cry to its mother while making an effigy of tomorrow, and then lighting it on fire with the decomposing stomach gases of tomorrow’s close relatives.

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Principality of Sealand – Uncyclopedia – Wikia

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Free immortality Essays and Papers – 123helpme

Posted: July 16, 2016 at 11:05 pm

Title Length Color Rating The Quest For Immortality – I believe that literal and spiritual immortality are impossible but genetic, memorial, and historical are achievable. In my opinion, literal immortality is impossible from a medical view. This could never happen because the bodys organs and muscles would wear out and stop working, for example the heart is a muscle and would eventually stop working over time. Eventually the lubrication in the joints would dry out and moving would be unbearably painful. In addition, the skin would lose elasticity…. [tags: Immortality Essays] 594 words (1.7 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Wordsworth’s Ode: Intimations of Immortality – Wordsworth’s Ode: Intimations of Immortality The fifth stanza of Wordsworths Ode: Intimations of Immortality is especially interesting to me because of the images it presents. It is at this point in the poem that Wordsworth resumes his writing after a two-year hiatus. In the fourth stanza, he poses the question, Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Stanza five is the beginning of his own answers to that question. Contrary to popular enlightenment ideas, Wordsworth suggests that rather than become more knowledgeable with age, man if fact is born with vision splendid and as he ages, that vision dies away and he left empty…. [tags: Wordsworth Ode immortality intimations Essays] 390 words (1.1 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality in Literature – For centuries people have desired to transcend the limits of a temporary life, yearning for the ultimately unattainable goal of immortality. Poets have expressed in certain poems the desire to remain as they are with their beloved despite time and death. Although William Shakespeares Sonnet 55 and Edmund Spensers Sonnet 75 both present immortality through verse, only Spenser combines this wish for immortality with love and companionship, while Shakespeare promises himself immortality as long as the sonnet continues to be read…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] 1229 words (3.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh – The fear of death and the search for eternal life is a cultural universal. The ideology surrounding immortality transcends time and a plethora of cultures. The theme, immortality appears in stories from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was composed by ancient Sumerians roughly around 600 B.C., to present day works of fiction in the twenty first century. Gilgamesh, a figure of celestial stature, allows his mortal side to whittle away his power after the death of Enkidu. Undeniably, defenseless before the validity of his own end, he leaves Uruk and begins a quest for Utnapishtim; the mortal man who withstood the great deluge and was granted immortality by the gods (Freeman 36)…. [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays] :: 9 Works Cited 1509 words (4.3 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Immortality – It is death that gives urgency to life. It drives us to discovery, to cross oceans and reach into the emptiness of space says the Herald Tribune columnist Rich Brooks (Thompson). The thought of being immortal is extremely alluring. To live in an ageless body, have all the time in the world to basically do whatever is something that every person has thought of. Immortality has always been a myth, but with technology continuing to advance everyday with alarming speed, it might soon be possible. Scientist Ray Kurzweil and many others have even predicted that this goal could be reach in the next twenty years…. [tags: Scientific Research ] :: 15 Works Cited 1296 words (3.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Mortality and Immortality in Ode to a Nightingale – When talking about poetry and Romanticism, one of the most common names that come to mind is John Keats. Keats lifestyle was somewhat different from his contemporaries and did not fit the Romantic era framework, this is most likely the reason he stood out from the rest. Keats wrote many poems that are still relevant, amongst them Ode to a Nightingale, which was published for the very first time in July, 1819. The realistic depth and lyrical beauty that resonates in Ode to a Nightingale is astounding…. [tags: romantic poet, romantic era, john keats] :: 8 Works Cited 1445 words (4.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Theme of Immortality in Literature – For centuries people have desired to transcend the limits of a temporary life, yearning for the ultimately unattainable goal of immortality. Poets have also expressed in their works the desire to remain as they are with their beloved despite time and death. Although William Shakespeares Sonnet 55 and Edmund Spensers Sonnet 75 from Amoretti both offer immortality through verse, only Spenser combines this immortality with respect and partnership, while Shakespeare promises himself immortality as long as the sonnet continues to be read…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] 1122 words (3.2 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Evolution, Immortality, and Humanity – Our ancient ancestors in the Neolithic Era only lived for an average of 20 years, an age now considered to be only the beginning of adulthood. As human technology becomes more sophisticated and knowledge of the ourselves and of nature expands, humans develop longer lifespans and the general quality of life improves. In fact, we have more than tripled the lifespan of our ancestors while retaining much of the same biological fitness. Humans have withdrawn from natural selection because technologies (not the evolution of the body) allow humans to adapt to the ever-changing natural world…. [tags: Genomics, Genome] :: 10 Works Cited 2431 words (6.9 pages) Term Papers [preview] Infamy vs. Immortality: Beowulf and Gilgamesh – Immortality, monstrosity, infamy, catastrophe, might, and courage are all aspects of the epic legends of Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Though they subsisted in two utterly different historical eras, these epic heroes have numerous similarities and differences. For example, while they were booth deemed epic heroes, their mortalities were not equal. Beowulf had superhuman qualities such as having the strength of thirty men, but was born a mortal man. On the contrary, Gilgamesh was a demigod as he was born two-thirds god and one-third human by Ninsun, the goddess of dreams and cows…. [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon] 605 words (1.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Homer and Immortality – Homer and Immortality Immortality is one the subject of much mythology and folklore. From the stories of the gods themselves, to Achilles and the Styx, to vampires and present day Christian beliefs in an afterlife, the concept of immortality has been with humanity since the beginning of humanity. The wise and ever edifying Homer leaves myths of the elusive ever-lasting life out of his works; did Homer’s Achilles not wear armor. The Odyssey is a story of mortality. Limitation and suffering are what define humanity, yet they are also what give life merit…. [tags: Papers] 540 words (1.5 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] The Immortality Pill – Originally when I was posed this question my immediate response was to return the Immortality pill (IP). The reason I initially responded this way, and still remain set on my belief had plenty to do with the factors involved. First, if I were to take the Immortality pill I would already know my horrific demise, such as an accident, war victim, or suicide. Secondly, just as suicide effects not only the person committing the act, but more so the family and friends in that individuals life, yet the same concept is present when making the decision to take this pill…. [tags: essays research papers] 598 words (1.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Ozymandias and Immortality – Ozymandias and Immortality Ozymandias expresses to us that possessions do not mean immortality. Percy Shelley uses lots of imagery and irony to get his point across throughout the poem. In drawing these vivid and ironic pictures in our minds, Shelley explains that no one lives forever, and neither do their possessions. Shelley expresses this poems moral through a vivid and ironic picture: On the pedestal of the statue, there are these words, My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!(10-11)…. [tags: Papers] 427 words (1.2 pages) FREE Essays [view] The Allure of Vampires and Immortality – The Allure of Vampires and Immortality Humanity has always been fascinated with the allure of immortality and although in the beginning vampires were not a symbol of this, as time passed and society changed so did the ideas and perceptions surrounding them. The most important thing to ask yourself at this point is ‘What is immortality?’ Unfortunately this isn’t as easily answered as asked. The Merriam Webster Dictionary says immortality is ‘the quality or state of being immortal; esp : unending existence’ while The World Book Encyclopedia states it as ‘the continued and eternal life of a human being after the death of the body.’ A more humorous definition can be found in Th… [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays] 1033 words (3 pages) FREE Essays [view] Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh – Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality has been a major concern for many men and women all throughout history. True love and immortality in life would be a dream come true to many. To spend time with a special someone, the person one feels closest to, and never have to say good-bye would greatly appeal to most people. But when death steps into the picture, even with all the pain and devastation, one starts to re-evaluate themselves. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explores the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend and brother, Enkidu…. [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh] 1379 words (3.9 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality – Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality The stories of the hunt for immortality gathered in the Epic of Gilgamesh depict the conflict felt in ancient Sumer. As urbanization swept Mesopotamia, the social status shifted from a nomadic hunting society to that of a static agricultural gathering society. In the midst of this ancient “renaissance”, man found his relationship with the sacred uncertain and precarious. The Epic portrays the strife created between ontological nostalgia for a simpler time and the dawn of civilization breaking in the Near East…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 1044 words (3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Immortality and Myth in The Age of Innocence – Immortality and Myth in The Age of Innocence Edith Whartons books are considered, by some, merely popular fiction of her time. But we must be careful not to equate popularity with the value of the fiction; i.e., we must not assume that if her books are popular, they are also primitive. Compared to the works of her contemporary and friend, Henry James, whose books may seem complex and sometimes bewildering; Whartons The Age of Innocence appears to be a simplistic, gossipy commentary of New York society during the last decade of the 19th century*…. [tags: essays papers] 3237 words (9.2 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Search for Immortality Depicted in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey – Through the many of mankinds tales of adventure the search for immortality is a very common theme. Many heroes have made it the objective of their travels and adventures. This is no different in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey. The heroes in both are tempted by the offer of immortality, however each of them turns it down for their own reasons. In The Odyssey, Odysseus rejects the offer of immortality from the goddess Calypso long after he discovers the true nature of the afterlife after travelling to Hades…. [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey] :: 1 Works Cited 858 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] Kierkegaard and P.M. Moller on Immortality – Kierkegaard and P.M. Moller on Immortality P.M. Moller and His Relation to S.A. Kierkegaard Although virtually unknown today outside of Danish philosophical circles, Moller (1794-1838) was, during his lifetime, esteemed as one of Denmarks most loved poets, and beginning in 1831 he held the position of professor of philosophy at the University of Denmark. While at the university Moller taught Moral and Greek Philosophy, and his early philosophical position has been regarded as Hegelian. Kierkegaard began his university studies in 1830, and the young professor made a deep impression upon him…. [tags: Essays Papers] 2281 words (6.5 pages) FREE Essays [view] Man at the Brink of Immortality – Man at the Brink of Immortality From the earliest civilizations arose an innate desire to survive in any given environment. Those that chose to fight deaths henchmen, famine and war, developed more advanced agricultural techniques and created complex social structures. The primal instinct to exist drove humanity to proliferate across the world, as many populations boomed, seemingly without bound. Throughout history, this fervent yearning for life was shared by the predominant masses, but the inevitable befell every person on earth…. [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers] :: 5 Works Cited 1868 words (5.3 pages) Term Papers [preview] Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh – The Search for Immortality In The Epic of Gilgamesh the main character, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want is brought about by deep feelings held by Gilgamesh for his dead friend Enkidu. From this, Gilgamesh finds himself being scared of dying. This fear pushes Gilgamesh to search for the power of immortal life, which is believed to be held only by women because of the fact that they can reproduce. This takes him on a long and tiresome journey to a land where no mortal has gone before…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 725 words (2.1 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality and Symbolism in John Keat’s Nightingale Ode – The nightingale and the discussion about it are not simply about a bird or a song but about human experience in general. Nightingale is not an eternal entity. There are many images of death within the poem. The images are particular and sensuous, but not highly visual. Nightingale experiences a sort of death but actually it is not a real death nightingale is mysterious and even disappears at the end of the poem but nightingale itself is symbol of continuity or immortality and is universal and undying in contrast with the morality of human beings…. [tags: Poetry Analysis, Poem Analysis] 541 words (1.5 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent – The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent Joseph Conrads s novel Heart of Darkness portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical continent of Africa as so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness, (Conrad 2180) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were scattered all over the world. This phenomenon and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of Heart of Darkness publication…. [tags: Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Analysis] 1683 words (4.8 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality And Mortality In The Economic Sciences – Sam Vaknin’s Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites Roberto Calvo Macias, a young author and thinker from Spain, once wrote to me that it is impossible to design a coherent philosophy of Economy without accounting for the (sad?) fact that we are mortals. This insight is intriguing. It is not that we refrain from Death in dealing with matters economic. What are estate laws, annuities, life insurance policies – but ways to cope with the Great Harvester…. [tags: essays research papers] 1168 words (3.3 pages) FREE Essays [view] Reaction Paper On Immortality On Ice – Reaction Paper On Immortality On Ice The movie that we watched was about reviving a person from the dead. This is said to be done in the future but they had already started researching how to use ice as a power to revive a clinically dead person. They used ice as a method to preserve a body and now they are planning on how to revive a person through the use of nanotechnology that can repair all the cells that were ruptured n the freezing process…. [tags: Movie Film Reaction] 1539 words (4.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality And Resurrection: The Dichotomy Between Thought and Physicality. – In religion the concept of life after death is discussed in great detail. In monotheistic religions, in particular the Christian theology, death is a place where the soul, the eternal spirit that is part of you, transcends or descends to depending on if you go to heaven or hell. The argument calls for a form of immortality of the soul and a lack of immortality of the bodythe soul lives forever, the body perishes. John Hick in his excerpt from Immortality and Resurrection refutes the ideology that the spirit and body are dichotomous, one being everlasting and the other limited…. [tags: Spirituality] :: 1 Works Cited 1870 words (5.3 pages) Term Papers [preview] A Mortals Sense Of Immortality – A Mortal’s Sense of Immortality To fear death is to fear life itself. An overbearing concern for the end of life not only leads to much apprehension of the final moment but also allows that fear to occupy one’s whole life. The only answer that can possibly provide relief in the shadow of the awaited final absolution lies in another kind of absolution, one that brings a person to terms with their irrevocable mortality and squelches any futile desire for immortality. Myths are often the vehicles of this release, helping humanity to accept and handle their mortal and limited state…. [tags: essays research papers] 1788 words (5.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Courage, Virtue, and the Immortality of the Soul: According to Socrates – In the Laches and the Phaedo, courage and virtue are discussed in depth. Also, arguments for the possibility of the existence of the immorality of the soul are given in the Phaedo. In the Laches, Socrates and two generals, Nicias and Laches, wrestle with how exactly to define courage. After discussing and working their way through two definitions of courage, Nicias proposes a third definition of courage. However, this definition of courage that he proposes is actually the definition of virtue. When the dialogue comes to an end, no definition of courage has been reached…. [tags: Philosophy ] :: 3 Works Cited 1983 words (5.7 pages) Term Papers [preview] Above Tintern Abbey and Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth – The poems, Above Tintern Abbey and Intimations of Immortality written by the poet, William Wordsworth, pertain to a common theme of natural beauty. Relaying his history and inspirations within his works, Wordsworth reflects these events in each poem. The recurring theme of natural beauty is analogous to his experiences and travels. Wordsworth recognizes the connections nature enables humans to construct. The beauty of a wild secluded scene (Wordsworth, 1798, line 6) allows the mind to bypass clouded and obscured thinking accompanied with man made environments…. [tags: poetry, natural beauty] :: 3 Works Cited 982 words (2.8 pages) Better Essays [preview] Themes of Death and Immortality in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry – Throughout Emily Dickinsons poetry there is a reoccurring theme of death and immortality. The theme of death is further separated into two major categories including the curiosity Dickinson held of the process of dying and the feelings accompanied with it and the reaction to the death of a loved one. Two of Dickinsons many poems that contain a theme of death include: Because I Could Not Stop For Death, and After great pain, a formal feeling comes. In Dickinsons poem Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Dickinson portrays what it is like to go through the process of dying…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] :: 4 Works Cited 991 words (2.8 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Egyptian Religion and Immortality – The most noticing aspect of Egyptian religion is its obsession with immortality and the belief of life after death. This sculpture can show you this on how mummification gave upbringing to complex arts in ancient Egypt. The sculpture is the Mummy Case of Paankhenamun. The artwork is currently viewed at The Art Institute of Chicago. The sculpture was from the third period, Dynasty 22, in ancient Egypt. However, the sculpture has many features to it that makes it so unique in ancient Egypt from any other time…. [tags: essays research papers] 1397 words (4 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Desire for Everlasting Life and Gilgamesh – The desire for everlasting life or immortality has been the first and the oldest quest of mankind. At the beginning of time, man was designed to live forever. When God created Adam, he created him to dwell on the earth and to fill it with his offsprings. At no time was he told that this was a temporary arrangement. He was to live forever unless he ate from one certain tree. If he ate from that tree, then he would die. We are then left with several questions, if he had not eaten from that tree, would he still be alive…. [tags: immortality, Epic of Gilgamesh, Foster] 1272 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Ignorance of Gilgamesh – In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgameshs pursuit for immortality is marked by ignorance and selfish desire. Desire and ignorance, as The Buddha-karita of Asvaghosha suggests, pollutes mans judgment resulting in his inability to break the cycle of birth and death. At the core of Gilgameshs desire resides his inability to accept the inevitability of death, making his rationality behind the pursuit of immortality ignorant and selfish. Implicitly, Gilgameshs corrupt desire for immortality conveys that Gilgamesh does not mature as a character…. [tags: Gilgamesh, Desire, Immortality] :: 1 Works Cited 1013 words (2.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Who is this Death you Speak of?: Piers Anthony’s On A Pale Horse – Who is this Death You Speak Of. According to Alan Loy McGinnis, there is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being – to help someone succeed. Piers Anthony, the author of the book On a Pale Horse, seems to agree with that statement when he writes the book series called Incarnations of Immortality, of which On a Pale Horse is the first. This book is a fascinating work of fiction that relates science to magic and expresses that human beings might need a little more help than they expect…. [tags: Incarnations of Immortality, Mythology] :: 2 Works Cited 1327 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Meaning of The Mind and Soul – Death and immortality Since the times of Plato and before, humans have pondered the existence of a soul and the afterlife. I am going to present my argument for the existence of a soul and the potential for surviving one’s physical death. For the purpose of my argument I will define that the meaning of the mind and soul are one and the same. The two main accepted views of the human condition are that of the physicalist and that of the dualist. The physicalist views the human condition in a purely physical state…. [tags: death, immortality, plato] :: 3 Works Cited 860 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] Free Essays – Immortality and the Epic of Gilgamesh – Immortality and the Epic of Gilgamesh Immortality – (a) the quality or state of being immortal. (b) never ending existence. Although that is the Webster definition of immortality, what is never-ending existence. That question has a different answer for everyone. Some people believe that never-ending existence happens by never physically dying, and others believe that immortality can be obtained through your children. I personally feel that your children cannot give you immortality nowadays because of all the influences outside of the home…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 401 words (1.1 pages) FREE Essays [view] Discussion of D.Z. Phillips Conception of Immortality – Discussion of D.Z. Phillips Conception of Immortality In his book ‘Death and Immortality’, D Z Phillips starts by asking the question: does belief in immortality rest on a mistake. The first two chapters are negative in the sense that they examine traditional philosophical, as well as common sense, conceptions of what immortality means. Phillips argues that philosophical analyses centred on the notion of immortality have generally been constructed around certain essential presuppositions: presuppositions that assume some form of continuation of personal identity after death…. [tags: Papers] 1096 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Ode Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth – Ode Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth In Ode: Intimations of Immortality, William Wordsworth explores the moral development of man and the irreconcilable conflicts between innocence and experience, and youthfulness and maturity that develop. As the youth matures he moves farther away from the divinity of God and begins to be corruption by mankind. What Wordsworth wishes for is a return to his childhood innocence but with his new maturity and insight. This would allow him to experience divinity in its fullest sense: he would re-experience the celestial radiance of childhood as well as the reality of his present existence…. [tags: Papers] 832 words (2.4 pages) Better Essays [preview] The Immortality of the Soul – Plato has roused many readers with the work of a great philosopher by the name of Socrates. Through Plato, Socrates lived on generations after his time. A topic of Socrates that many will continue to discuss is the idea of an immortal soul. Although there are various works and dialogues about this topic it is found to be best explained in The Phaedo. 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Social Darwinism – University of Colorado Boulder

Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Social Darwinism

I. Introduction

Social Darwinism, term coined in the late 19th century to describe the idea that humans, like animals and plants, compete in a struggle for existence in which natural selection results in “survival of the fittest.” Social Darwinists base their beliefs on theories of evolution developed by British naturalist Charles Darwin. Some social Darwinists argue that governments should not interfere with human competition by attempting to regulate the economy or cure social ills such as poverty. Instead, they advocate a laissez-faire political and economic system that favors competition and self-interest in social and business affairs. Social Darwinists typically deny that they advocate a “law of the jungle.” But most propose arguments that justify imbalances of power between individuals, races, and nations because they consider some people more fit to survive than others.

The term social Darwinist is applied loosely to anyone who interprets human society primarily in terms of biology, struggle, competition, or natural law (a philosophy based on what are considered the permanent characteristics of human nature). Social Darwinism characterizes a variety of past and present social policies and theories, from attempts to reduce the power of government to theories exploring the biological causes of human behavior. Many people believe that the concept of social Darwinism explains the philosophical rationalization behind racism, imperialism, and capitalism. The term has negative implications for most people because they consider it a rejection of compassion and social responsibility.

II. Origins

Social Darwinism originated in Britain during the second half of the 19th century. Darwin did not address human evolution in his most famous study, On the Origin of Species (1859), which focused on the evolution of plants and animals. He applied his theories of natural selection specifically to people in The Descent of Man (1871), a work that critics interpreted as justifying cruel social policies at home and imperialism abroad. The Englishman most associated with early social Darwinism, however, was sociologist Herbert Spencer. Spencer coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” to describe the outcome of competition between social groups. In Social Statics (1850) and other works, Spencer argued that through competition social evolution would automatically produce prosperity and personal liberty unparalleled in human history.

In the United States, Spencer gained considerable support among intellectuals and some businessmen, including steel manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, who served as Spencer’s host during his visit to the United States in 1883. The most prominent American social Darwinist of the 1880s was William Graham Sumner, who on several occasions told audiences that there was no alternative to the “survival of the fittest” theory. Critics of social Darwinism seized on these comments to argue that Sumner advocated a “dog-eat-dog” philosophy of human behavior that justified oppressive social policies. Some later historians have argued that Sumner’s critics took his statements out of context and misrepresented his views.

III. Hereditarianism

Studies of heredity contributed another variety of social Darwinism in the late 19th century. In Hereditary Genius (1869), Sir Francis Galton, a British scientist and Darwin’s cousin, argued that biological inheritance is far more important than environment in determining character and intelligence. This theory, known as hereditarianism, met considerable resistance, especially in the United States. Sociologists and biologists who criticized hereditarianism believed that changes in the environment could produce physical changes in the individual that would be passed on to future generations, a theory proposed by French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in the early 19th century. After 1890, hereditarianism gained increasing support, due in part to the work of German biologist August Weismann. Weismann reemphasized the role of natural selection by arguing that a person’s characteristics are determined genetically at conception.

IV. The Struggle School

Toward the end of the 19th century, another strain of social Darwinism was developed by supporters of the struggle school of sociology. English journalist Walter Bagehot expressed the fundamental ideas of the struggle school in Physics and Politics (1872), a book that describes the historical evolution of social groups into nations. Bagehot argued that these nations evolved principally by succeeding in conflicts with other groups. For many political scientists, sociologists, and military strategists, this strain of social Darwinism justified overseas expansion by nations (imperialism) during the 1890s. In the United States, historian John Fiske and naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan drew from the principles of social Darwinism to advocate foreign expansion and the creation of a strong military.

V. Reform Darwinism

After 1890, social reformers used Darwinism to advocate a stronger role for government and the introduction of various social policies. This movement became known as reform Darwinism. Reform Darwinists argued that human beings need new ideas and institutions as they adapt to changing conditions. For example, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. reasoned that the Constitution of the United States should be reinterpreted in light of changing circumstances in American society.

Some reformers used the principles of evolution to justify sexist and racist ideas that undercut their professed belief in equality. For example, the most extreme type of reform Darwinism was eugenics, a term coined by Sir Francis Galton in 1883 from the Greek word egenv, meaning well-born. Eugenists claimed that particular racial or social groupsusually wealthy Anglo-Saxonswere “naturally” superior to other groups. They proposed to control human heredity by passing laws that forbid marriage between races or that restrict breeding for various social “misfits” such as criminals or the mentally ill.

VI. Social Darwinism in the 20th Century

Although social Darwinism was highly influential at the beginning of the 20th century, it rapidly lost popularity and support after World War I (1914-1918). During the 1920s and 1930s many political observers blamed it for contributing to German militarism and the rise of Nazism (see National Socialism). During this same period, advances in anthropology also discredited social Darwinism. German American anthropologist Franz Boas and American anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict showed that human culture sets people apart from animals. By shifting the emphasis away from biology and onto culture, these anthropologists undermined social Darwinism’s biological foundations. Eugenics was discredited by a better understanding of genetics and eventually disgraced by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s use of eugenic arguments to create a “master race.” During World War II (1939-1945), the Nazis killed several million Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and members of other groups, believing them inferior to an idealized Aryan race.

Social theories based on biology gained renewed support after 1953, when American biologist James Watson and British biologist Francis Crick successfully described the structure of the DNA molecule, the building block of all life. During the 1960s anthropologists interested in the influence of DNA on human behavior produced studies of the biological basis of aggression, territoriality, mate selection, and other behavior common to people and animals. Books on this theme, such as Desmond Morris’s Naked Ape (1967) and Lionel Tiger’s Men in Groups (1969), became best-sellers. In the early 1970s American psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein revived the social Darwinist argument that intelligence is mostly determined by biology rather than by environmental influences.

During the 1960s, British biologist W. D. Hamilton and American biologist Robert L. Trivers produced separate studies showing that the self-sacrificing behavior of some members of a group serves the genetic well-being of the group as a whole. American biologist Edward O. Wilson drew on these theories in Sociobiology: the New Synthesis (1975), where he argued that genetics exerts a greater influence on human behavior than scientists had previously believed. Wilson claimed that human behavior cannot be understood without taking both biology and culture into account. Wilson’s views became the foundations of a new sciencesociobiologyand were later popularized in such studies as Richard Dawkins’The Selfish Gene (1976). Wilson’s critics have alleged that sociobiology is simply another version of social Darwinism. They claim that it downplays the role of culture in human societies and justifies poverty and warfare in the name of natural selection. Such criticism has led to a decline in the influence of sociobiology and other forms of social Darwinism.

Contributed By:

Robert C. Bannister, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Professor of History, Swarthmore College. Author of Social Darwinism: Science and Myth and On Liberty, Society, and Politics: The Essential Essays of William Graham Sumner.


“Social Darwinism,” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000

http://encarta.msn.com 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

1993-2000 Microsoft Corporation.

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The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery

Posted: July 12, 2016 at 6:19 am

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says State instead of Country (the Framers knew the difference see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginias vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.

In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the slave patrols, and they were regulated by the states.

In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.

As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of CaliforniaLaw Reviewin 1998, The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds.

Its the answer to the question raised by thecharacter played byLeonardo DiCaprio inDjango Unchainedwhen he asks, Why dont they just rise up and kill the whites? If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.

Sally E. Haden, in herbookSlave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, notes that, Although eligibility for the Militia seemed all-encompassing, not every middle-aged white male Virginian or Carolinian became a slave patroller. There were exemptions so men in critical professions like judges, legislators and students could stay at their work. Generally, though, she documents how most southern men between ages 18 and 45 including physicians and ministers had to serve on slave patrol in the militia at one time or another in their lives.

And slave rebellions were keeping the slave patrols busy.

By the time the Constitution was ratified, hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South. Blacks outnumbered whites in large areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings. As Dr. Bogus points out, slavery can only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.

If the anti-slavery folks in the North had figured out a way to disband or even move out of the state those southern militias, the police state of the South would collapse. And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slavery, and the southern economic and social systems, altogether.

These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason (who owned over 300 slaves) and the southern Christian evangelical, Patrick Henry (who opposed slavery on principle, but also opposed freeing slaves).

Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8 of the newly-proposed Constitution, which gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militia, could also allow that federal militia to subsume their state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could even, one day, free the slaves.

This was not an imagined threat. Famously, 12 years earlier, during the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, Lord Dunsmore offered freedom to slaves who could escape and join his forces. Liberty to Slaves was stitched onto their jacket pocket flaps. During the War, British General Henry Clinton extended the practice in 1779. And numerous freed slaves served in General Washingtons army.

Thus, southern legislators and plantation owners lived not just in fear of their own slaves rebelling, but also in fear that their slaves could be emancipated through military service.

At the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, Henry laid it out:

Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .

By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither . . . this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.

George Mason expressed a similar fear:

The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution] . . .

Henry then bluntly laid it out:

If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia.

And why was that such a concern forPatrick Henry?

In this state, he said, there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.

Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various state militias given the federal government in the new Constitution could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias. He knew the majority attitude in the North opposed slavery, and he worried theyd use the Constitution to free the Souths slaves (a process then called Manumission).

The abolitionists would, he was certain, use that power (and, ironically, this is pretty much what Abraham Lincoln ended up doing):

[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission, said Henry. And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?

This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it.

He added: This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and a slaveholder himself, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid.

I was struck with surprise,Madison said, when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. . . . There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not.

But the southern fears wouldnt go away.

Patrick Henry even argued that southerners property (slaves) would be lost under the new Constitution, and the resulting slave uprising would be less than peaceful or tranquil:

In this situation, Henry said to Madison, I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone.

So Madison, who had (at Jeffersons insistence) already begun to prepare proposed amendments to the Constitution, changed his first draft of one that addressed the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias.

His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a freecountry[emphasis mine]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

But Henry, Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government. So Madison changed the word country to the word state, and redrafted the Second Amendment into todays form:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a freeState[emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as persons by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional,would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their right to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.

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Complementary and alternative medicine – Mayo Clinic

Posted: at 5:30 am

Complementary and alternative medicine

What’s considered an alternative therapy is a moving target. Get the facts about what CAM means and its changing role in health care.

Complementary and alternative medicine has never been more popular. Nearly 40 percent of adults report using complementary and alternative medicine, also called CAM for short. Doctors are embracing CAM therapies, too, often combining them with mainstream medical therapies spawning the term “integrative medicine.”

Exactly what’s considered alternative medicine changes constantly as treatments undergo testing and move into the mainstream. To make sense of the many therapies available, it helps to look at how they’re classified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM):

Keep in mind that the distinctions between therapies aren’t always clear-cut, and some systems use techniques from more than one category.

A system isn’t just a single practice or remedy such as massage but many practices that center on a philosophy, such as the power of nature or the presence of energy in your body. Examples of whole medical systems include:

Mind-body techniques strengthen the communication between your mind and your body. CAM practitioners say these two systems must be in harmony for you to stay healthy. Examples of mind-body connection techniques include meditation, prayer, relaxation and art therapies.

Examples include dietary supplements and herbal remedies. These treatments use ingredients found in nature. Examples of herbs include ginseng, ginkgo and echinacea; examples of other dietary supplements include selenium, glucosamine sulfate and SAMe. Herbs and supplements can be taken as teas, oils, syrups, powders, tablets or capsules.


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Quotes About Nihilism (162 quotes)

Posted: July 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Virtue is under certain circumstances merely an honorable form of stupidity: who could be ill-disposed toward it on that account? And this kind of virtue has not been outlived even today. A kind of sturdy peasant simplicity, which, however, is possible in all classes and can be encountered only with respect and a smile, believes even today that everything is in good hands, namely in the “hands of God”; and when it maintains this proportion with the same modest certainty as it would that two and two make four, we others certainly refrain from contradicting. Why disturb THIS pure foolishness? Why darken it with our worries about man, people, goal, future? And even if we wanted to do it, we could not. They project their own honorable stupidity and goodness into the heart of things (the old God, deus myops, still lives among them!); we others we read something else into the heart of things: our own enigmatic nature, our contradictions, our deeper, more painful, more mistrustful wisdom. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

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Atheism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Posted: at 6:30 pm

The term atheist describes a person who does not believe that God or a divine being exists. Worldwide there may be as many as a billion atheists, although social stigma, political pressure, and intolerance make accurate polling difficult.

For the most part, atheists have presumed that the most reasonable conclusions are the ones that have the best evidential support. And they have argued that the evidence in favor of Gods existence is too weak, or the arguments in favor of concluding there is no God are more compelling. Traditionally the arguments for Gods existence have fallen into several families: ontological, teleological, and cosmological arguments, miracles, and prudential justifications. For detailed discussion of those arguments and the major challenges to them that have motivated the atheist conclusion, the reader is encouraged to consult the other relevant sections of the encyclopedia.

Arguments for the non-existence of God are deductive or inductive. Deductive arguments for the non-existence of God are either single or multiple property disproofs that allege that there are logical or conceptual problems with one or several properties that are essential to any being worthy of the title God. Inductive arguments typically present empirical evidence that is employed to argue that Gods existence is improbable or unreasonable. Briefly stated, the main arguments are: Gods non-existence is analogous to the non-existence of Santa Claus. The existence of widespread human and non-human suffering is incompatible with an all powerful, all knowing, all good being. Discoveries about the origins and nature of the universe, and about the evolution of life on Earth make the God hypothesis an unlikely explanation. Widespread non-belief and the lack of compelling evidence show that a God who seeks belief in humans does not exist. Broad considerations from science that support naturalism, or the view that all and only physical entities and causes exist, have also led many to the atheism conclusion.

The presentation below provides an overview of concepts, arguments, and issues that are central to work on atheism.

Atheism is the view that there is no God. Unless otherwise noted, this article will use the term God to describe the divine entity that is a central tenet of the major monotheistic religious traditions–Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. At a minimum, this being is usually understood as having all power, all knowledge, and being infinitely good or morally perfect. See the article Western Concepts of God for more details. When necessary, we will use the term gods to describe all other lesser or different characterizations of divine beings, that is, beings that lack some, one, or all of the omni- traits.

There have been many thinkers in history who have lacked a belief in God. Some ancient Greek philosophers, such as Epicurus, sought natural explanations for natural phenomena. Epicurus was also to first to question the compatibility of God with suffering. Forms of philosophical naturalism that would replace all supernatural explanations with natural ones also extend into ancient history. During the Enlightenment, David Hume and Immanuel Kant give influential critiques of the traditional arguments for the existence of God in the 18th century. After Darwin (1809-1882) makes the case for evolution and some modern advancements in science, a fully articulated philosophical worldview that denies the existence of God gains traction. In the 19th and 20th centuries, influential critiques on God, belief in God, and Christianity by Nietzsche, Feuerbach, Marx, Freud, and Camus set the stage for modern atheism.

It has come to be widely accepted that to be an atheist is to affirm the non-existence of God. Anthony Flew (1984) called this positive atheism, whereas to lack a belief that God or gods exist is to be a negative atheist. Parallels for this use of the term would be terms such as amoral, atypical, or asymmetrical. So negative atheism would includes someone who has never reflected on the question of whether or not God exists and has no opinion about the matter and someone who had thought about the matter a great deal and has concluded either that she has insufficient evidence to decide the question, or that the question cannot be resolved in principle. Agnosticism is traditionally characterized as neither believing that God exists nor believing that God does not exist.

Atheism can be narrow or wide in scope. The narrow atheist does not believe in the existence of God (an omni- being). A wide atheist does not believe that any gods exist, including but not limited to the traditional omni-God. The wide positive atheist denies that God exists, and also denies that Zeus, Gefjun, Thor, Sobek, Bakunawa and others exist. The narrow atheist does not believe that God exists, but need not take a stronger view about the existence or non-existence of other supernatural beings. One could be a narrow atheist about God, but still believe in the existence of some other supernatural entities. (This is one of the reasons that it is a mistake to identify atheism with materialism or naturalism.)

Separating these different senses of the term allows us to better understand the different sorts of justification that can be given for varieties of atheism with different scopes. An argument may serve to justify one form of atheism and not another. For Instance, alleged contradictions within a Christian conception of God by themselves do not serve as evidence for wide atheism, but presumably, reasons that are adequate to show that there is no omni-God would be sufficient to show that there is no Islamic God.

We can divide the justifications for atheism into several categories. For the most part, atheists have taken an evidentialist approach to the question of Gods existence. That is, atheists have taken the view that whether or not a person is justified in having an attitude of belief towards the proposition, God exists, is a function of that persons evidence. Evidence here is understood broadly to include a priori arguments, arguments to the best explanation, inductive and empirical reasons, as well as deductive and conceptual premises. An asymmetry exists between theism and atheism in that atheists have not offered faith as a justification for non-belief. That is, atheists have not presented non-evidentialist defenses for believing that there is no God.

Not all theists appeal only to faith, however. Evidentialists theist and evidentialist atheists may have a number of general epistemological principles concerning evidence, arguments, and implication in common, but then disagree about what the evidence is, how it should be understood, and what it implies. They may disagree, for instance, about whether the values of the physical constants and laws in nature constitute evidence for intentional fine tuning, but agree at least that whether God exists is a matter that can be explored empirically or with reason.

Many non-evidentialist theists may deny that the acceptability of particular religious claim depends upon evidence, reasons, or arguments as they have been classically understood. Faith or prudential based beliefs in God, for example, will fall into this category. The evidentialist atheist and the non-evidentialist theist, therefore, may have a number of more fundamental disagreements about the acceptability of believing, despite inadequate or contrary evidence, the epistemological status of prudential grounds for believing, or the nature of God belief. Their disagreement may not be so much about the evidence, or even about God, but about the
legitimate roles that evidence, reason, and faith should play in human belief structures.

It is not clear that arguments against atheism that appeal to faith have any prescriptive force the way appeals to evidence do. The general evidentialist view is that when a person grasps that an argument is sound that imposes an epistemic obligation on her to accept the conclusion. Insofar as having faith that a claim is true amounts to believing contrary to or despite a lack of evidence, one persons faith that God exists does not have this sort of inter-subjective, epistemological implication. Failing to believe what is clearly supported by the evidence is ordinarily irrational. Failure to have faith that some claim is true is not similarly culpable.

Justifying atheism, then, can entail several different projects. There are the evidential disputes over what information we have available to us, how it should be interpreted, and what it implies. There are also broader meta-epistemological concerns about the roles of argument, reasoning, belief, and religiousness in human life. The atheist can find herself not just arguing that the evidence indicates that there is no God, but defending science, the role of reason, and the necessity of basing beliefs on evidence more generally.

Friendly atheism; William Rowe has introduced an important distinction to modern discussions of atheism. If someone has arrived at what they take to be a reasonable and well-justified conclusion that there is no God, then what attitude should she take about another persons persistence in believing in God, particularly when that other person appears to be thoughtful and at least prima facie reasonable? It seems that the atheist could take one of several views. The theists belief, as the atheist sees it, could be rational or irrational, justified or unjustified. Must the atheist who believes that the evidence indicates that there is no God conclude that the theists believing in God is irrational or unjustified? Rowes answer is no. (Rowe 1979, 2006)

Rowe and most modern epistemologists have said that whether a conclusion C is justified for a person S will be a function of the information (correct or incorrect) that S possesses and the principles of inference that S employs in arriving at C. But whether or not C is justified is not directly tied to its truth, or even to the truth of the evidence concerning C. That is, a person can have a justified, but false belief. She could arrive at a conclusion through an epistemically inculpable process and yet get it wrong. Ptolemy, for example, the greatest astronomer of his day, who had mastered all of the available information and conducted exhaustive research into the question, was justified in concluding that the Sun orbits the Earth. A medieval physician in the 1200s who guesses (correctly) that the bubonic plague was caused by the bacterium yersinia pestis would not have been reasonable or justified given his background information and given that the bacterium would not even be discovered for 600 years.

We can call the view that rational, justified beliefs can be false, as it applies to atheism, friendly or fallibilist atheism. See the article on Fallibilism. The friendly atheist can grant that a theist may be justified or reasonable in believing in God, even though the atheist takes the theists conclusion to be false. What could explain their divergence to the atheist? The believer may not be in possession of all of the relevant information. The believer may be basing her conclusion on a false premise or premises. The believer may be implicitly or explicitly employing inference rules that themselves are not reliable or truth preserving, but the background information she has leads her, reasonably, to trust the inference rule. The same points can be made for the friendly theist and the view that he may take about the reasonableness of the atheists conclusion. It is also possible, of course, for both sides to be unfriendly and conclude that anyone who disagrees with what they take to be justified is being irrational. Given developments in modern epistemology and Rowes argument, however, the unfriendly view is neither correct nor conducive to a constructive and informed analysis of the question of God.

Atheists have offered a wide range of justifications and accounts for non-belief. A notable modern view is Antony Flews Presumption of Atheism (1984). Flew argues that the default position for any rational believer should be neutral with regard to the existence of God and to be neutral is to not have a belief regarding its existence. And not having a belief with regard to God is to be a negative atheist on Flews account. “The onus of proof lies on the man who affirms, not on the man who denies. . . on the proposition, not on the opposition, Flew argues (20). Beyond that, coming to believe that such a thing does or does not exist will require justification, much as a jury presumes innocence concerning the accused and requires evidence in order to conclude that he is guilty. Flews negative atheist will presume nothing at the outset, not even the logical coherence of the notion of God, but her presumption will be defeasible, or revisable in the light of evidence. We shall call this view atheism by default.

The atheism by defaultposition contrasts with a more permissive attitude that is sometimes taken regarding religious belief. The notions of religious tolerance and freedom are sometimes understood to indicate the epistemic permissibility of believing despite a lack of evidence in favor or even despite evidence to the contrary. One is in violation of no epistemic duty by believing, even if one lacks conclusive evidence in favor or even if one has evidence that is on the whole against. In contrast to Flews jury model, we can think of this view as treating religious beliefs as permissible until proven incorrect. Some aspects of fideistic accounts or Plantingas reformed epistemology can be understood in this light. This sort of epistemic policy about God or any other matter has been controversial, and a major point of contention between atheists and theists. Atheists have argued that we typically do not take it to be epistemically inculpable or reasonable for a person to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or some other supernatural being merely because they do not possess evidence to the contrary. Nor would we consider it reasonable for a person to begin believing that they have cancer because they do not have proof to the contrary. The atheist by default argues that it would be appropriate to not believe in such circumstances. The epistemic policy here takes its inspiration from an influential piece by W.K. Clifford (1999) in which he argues that it is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything for which there is insufficient reason.

There are several other approaches to the justification of atheism that we will consider below. There is a family of arguments, sometimes known as exercises in deductive atheology, for the conclusion that the existence of God is impossible. Another large group of important and influential arguments can be gathered under the heading inductive atheology. These probabilistic arguments invoke considerations about the natural world such as widespread suffering, nonbelief, or findings from biology or cosmology. Another approach, atheistic noncognitivism, denies that God talk is even meaningful or has any propositional content that can be evaluated in terms of truth or falsity. Rather, religious speech acts are better viewed as a complicated sort of emoting or expression of spiritual passion. Inductive and deduct
ive approaches are cognitivistic in that they accept that claims about God have meaningful content and can be determined to be true or false.

Many discussions about the nature and existence of God have either implicitly or explicitly accepted that the concept of God is logically coherent. That is, for many believers and non-believers the assumption has been that such a being as God could possibly exist but they have disagreed about whether there actually is one. Atheists within the deductive atheology tradition, however, have not even granted that God, as he is typically described, is possible. The first question we should ask, argues the deductive atheist, is whether the description or the concept is logically consistent. If it is not, then no such being could possibly exist. The deductive atheist argues that some, one, or all of Gods essential properties are logically contradictory. Since logical impossibilities are not and cannot be real, God does not and cannot exist. Consider a putative description of an object as a four-sided triangle, a married bachelor, or prime number with more than 2 factors. We can be certain that no such thing fitting that description exists because what they describe is demonstrably impossible.

If deductive atheological proofs are successful, the results will be epistemically significant. Many people have doubts that the view that there is no God can be rationally justified. But if deductive disproofs show that there can exist no being with a certain property or properties and those properties figure essentially in the characterization of God, then we will have the strongest possible justification for concluding that there is no being fitting any of those characterizations. If God is impossible, then God does not exist.

It may be possible at this point to re-engineer the description of God so that it avoids the difficulties, but now the theist faces several challenges according to the deductive atheologist. First, if the traditional description of God is logically incoherent, then what is the relationship between a theists belief and some revised, more sophisticated account that allegedly does not suffer from those problems? Is that the God that she believed in all along? Before the account of God was improved by consideration of the atheological arguments, what were the reasons that led her to believe in that conception of God? Secondly, if the classical characterizations of God are shown to be logically impossible, then there is a legitimate question as whether any new description that avoids those problems describes a being that is worthy of the label. It will not do, in the eyes of many theists and atheists, to retreat to the view that God is merely a somewhat powerful, partially-knowing, and partly-good being, for example. Thirdly, the atheist will still want to know on the basis of what evidence or arguments should we conclude that a being as described by this modified account exists? Fourthly, there is no question that there exist less than omni-beings in the world. We possess less than infinite power, knowledge and goodness, as do many other creatures and objects in our experience. What is the philosophical importance or metaphysical significance of arguing for the existence of those sorts of beings and advocating belief in them? Fifthly, and most importantly, if it has been argued that Gods essentialproperties are impossible, then any move to another description seems to be a concession that positive atheism about God is justified.

Another possible response that the theist may take in response to deductive atheological arguments is to assert that God is something beyond proper description with any of the concepts or properties that we can or do employ as suggested in Kierkegaard or Tillich. So complications from incompatibilities among properties of God indicate problems for our descriptions, not the impossibility of a divine being worthy of the label. Many atheists have not been satisfied with this response. The theist has now asserted the existence of and attempted to argue in favor of believing in a being that we cannot form a proper idea of, one that does not have properties that we can acknowledge; it is a being that defies comprehension. It is not clear how we could have reasons or justifications for believing in the existence of such a thing. It is not clear how it could be an existing thing in any familiar sense of the term in that it lacks comprehensible properties. Or put another way, as Patrick Grim notes, If a believers notion of God remains so vague as to escape all impossibility arguments, it can be argued, it cannot be clear to even him what he believesor whether what he takes for pious belief has any content at all, (2007, p. 200). It is not clear how it could be reasonable to believe in such a thing, and it is even more doubtful that it is epistemically unjustified or irresponsible to deny that such a thing is exists. It is clear, however, that the deductive atheologist must acknowledge the growth and development of our concepts and descriptions of reality over time, and she must take a reasonable view about the relationship of those attempts and revisions in our ideas about what may turns out to be real.

Deductive disproofs have typically focused on logical inconsistencies to be found either within a single property or between multiple properties. Philosophers have struggled to work out the details of what it would be to be omnipotent, for instance. It has come to be widely accepted that a being cannot be omnipotent where omnipotence simply means to power to do anything including the logically impossible. This definition of the term suffers from the stone paradox. An omnipotent being would either be capable of creating a rock that he cannot lift, or he is incapable. If he is incapable, then there is something he cannot do, and therefore he does not have the power to do anything. If he can create such a rock, then again there is something that he cannot do, namely lift the rock he just created. So paradoxically, having the ability to do anything would appear to entail being unable to do some things. As a result, many theists and atheists have agreed that a being could not have that property. A number of attempts to work out an account of omnipotence have ensued. (Cowan 2003, Flint and Freddoso 1983, Hoffman and Rosenkrantz 1988 and 2006, Mavrodes 1977, Ramsey 1956, Sobel 2004, Savage 1967, and Wierenga 1989 for examples). It has also been argued that omniscience is impossible, and that the most knowledge that can possibly be had is not enough to be fitting of God. One of the central problems has been that God cannot have knowledge of indexical claims such as, I am here now. It has also been argued that God cant know future free choices, or God cannot know future contingent propositions, or that Cantors and Gdel proofs imply that the notion of a set of all truths cannot be made coherent. (Everitt 2004, Grim 1985, 1988, 1984, Pucetti 1963, and Sobel 2004). See the article on Omniscience and Divine Foreknowledge for more details.

The logical coherence of eternality, personhood, moral perfection, causal agency, and many others have been challenged in the deductive atheology literature.

Another form of deductive atheological argument attempts to show the logical incompatibility of two or more properties that God is thought to possess. A long list of properties have been the subject of multiple property disproofs, transcendence and personhood, justice and mercy, immutability and omniscience, immutability and omnibenevolence, omnipresence and agency, perfection and love, eternality and omniscience, eternality and creator of t
he universe, omnipresence and consciousness. (Blumenfeld 2003, Drange 1998b, Flew 1955, Grim 2007, Kretzmann 1966, and McCormick 2000 and 2003)

The combination of omnipotence and omniscience have received a great deal of attention. To possess all knowledge, for instance, would include knowing all of the particular ways in which one will exercise ones power, or all of the decisions that one will make, or all of the decisions that one has made in the past. But knowing any of those entails that the known proposition is true. So does God have the power to act in some fashion that he has not foreseen, or differently than he already has without compromising his omniscience? It has also been argued that God cannot be both unsurpassably good and free. (Rowe 2004).

When attempts to provide evidence or arguments in favor of the existence of something fail, a legitimate and important question is whether anything except the failure of those arguments can be inferred. That is, does positive atheism follow from the failure of arguments for theism? A number of authors have concluded that it does. They taken the view that unless some case for the existence of God succeeds, we should believe that there is no God.

Many have taken an argument J.M. Findlay (1948) to be pivotal. Findlay, like many others, argues that in order to be worthy of the label God, and in order to be worthy of a worshipful attitude of reverence, emulation, and abandoned admiration, the being that is the object of that attitude must be inescapable, necessary, and unsurpassably supreme. (Martin 1990, Sobel 2004). If a being like God were to exist, his existence would be necessary. And his existence would be manifest as an a priori, conceptual truth. That is to say that of all the approaches to Gods existence, the ontological argument is the strategy that we would expect to be successful were there a God, and if they do not succeed, then we can conclude that there is no God, Findlay argues.As most see it these attempts to prove God have not met with success, Findlay says, The general philosophical verdict is that none of these ‘proofs’ is truly compelling.

The view that there is no God or gods has been criticized on the grounds that it is not possible to prove a negative. No matter how exhaustive and careful our analysis, there could always be some proof, some piece of evidence, or some consideration that we have not considered. God could be something that we have not conceived, or God exists in some form or fashion that has escaped our investigation. Positive atheism draws a stronger conclusion than any of the problems with arguments for Gods existence alone could justify. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Findlay and the deductive atheological arguments attempt to address these concerns, but a central question put to atheists has been about the possibility of giving inductive or probabilistic justifications for negative existential claims The response to the, You cannot prove a negative criticism has been that it invokes an artificially high epistemological standard of justification that creates a much broader set of problems not confined to atheism.

The general principle seems to be that one is not epistemically entitled to believe a proposition unless you have exhausted all of the possibilities and proven beyond any doubt that a claim is true. Or put negatively, one is not justified in disbelieving unless you have proven with absolute certainty that the thing in question does not exist. The problem is that we do not have a priori disproof that many things do not exist, yet it is reasonable and justified to believe that they do not: the Dodo bird is extinct, unicorns are not real, there is no teapot orbiting the Earth on the opposite side of the Sun, there is no Santa Claus, ghosts are not real, a defendant is not guilty, a patient does not have a particular disease, so on. There are a wide range of other circumstances under which we take it that believing that X does not exist is reasonable even though no logical impossibility is manifest. None of these achieve the level of deductive, a priori or conceptual proof.

The objection to inductive atheism undermines itself in that it generates a broad, pernicious skepticism against far more than religious or irreligious beliefs. Mackie (1982) says, It will not be sufficient to criticize each argument on its own by saying that it does not prove the intended conclusion, that is, does not put it beyond all doubt. That follows at once from the admission that the argument is non-deductive, and it is absurd to try to confine our knowledge and belief to matters which are conclusively established by sound deductive arguments. The demand for certainty will inevitably be disappointed, leaving skepticism in command of almost every issue. (p. 7) If the atheist is unjustified for lacking deductive proof, then it is argued, it would appear that so are the beliefs that planes fly, fish swim, or that there exists a mind-independent world.

The atheist can also wonder what the point of the objection is. When we lack deductive disproof that X exists, should we be agnostic about it? Is it permissible to believe that it does exist? Clearly, that would not be appropriate. Gravity may be the work of invisible, undetectable elves with sticky shoes. We dont have any certain disproof of the elvesphysicists are still struggling with an explanation of gravity. But surely someone who accepts the sticky-shoed elves view until they have deductive disproof is being unreasonable. It is also clear that if you are a positive atheist about the gravity elves, you would not be unreasonable. You would not be overstepping your epistemic entitlement by believing that no such things exist. On the contrary, believing that they exist or even being agnostic about their existence on the basis of their mere possibility would not be justified. So there appear to be a number of precedents and epistemic principles at work in our belief structures that provide room for inductive atheism. However, these issues in the epistemology of atheism and recent work by Graham Oppy (2006) suggest that more attention must be paid to the principles that describe epistemic permissibility, culpability, reasonableness, and justification with regard to the theist, atheist, and agnostic categories.

Below we will consider several groups of influential inductive atheological arguments .

Martin (1990) offers this general principle to describe the criteria that render the belief, X does not exist justified:

A person is justified in believing that X does not exist if

(1) all the available evidence used to support the view that X exists is shown to be inadequate; and

(2) X is the sort of entity that, if X exists, then there is a presumption that would be evidence adequate to support the view that X exists; and

(3) this presumption has not been defeated although serious efforts have been made to do so; and

(4) the area where evidence would appear, if there were any, has been comprehensively examined; and

(5) there are no acceptable beneficial reasons to believe that X exists. (p. 283)

Many of the major works in philosophical atheism that address the full range of recent arguments for Gods existence (Gale 1991, Mackie 1982, Martin 1990, Sobel 2004, Everitt 2004, and Weisberger 1999) can be seen as providing evidence to satisfy the first, fourth and fifth conditions. A substantial body of articles with narrower scope (see References and Further Reading) can also be understood to play this role in justifying atheism. A large group of discussions of
Pascals Wager and related prudential justifications in the literature can also be seen as relevant to the satisfaction of the fifth condition.

One of the interesting and important questions in the epistemology of philosophy of religion has been whether the second and third conditions are satisfied concerning God. If there were a God, how and in what ways would we expect him to show in the world? Empirically? Conceptually? Would he be hidden? Martin argues, and many others have accepted implicitly or explicitly, that God is the sort of thing that would manifest in some discernible fashion to our inquiries. Martin concludes, therefore, that God satisfied all of the conditions, so, positive narrow atheism is justified.

The existence of widespread human and non-human animal suffering has been seen by many to be compelling evidence that a being with all power, all knowledge, and all goodness does not exist. Many of those arguments have been deductive: See the article on The Logical Problem of Evil. More recently, several inductive arguments from evil for the non-existence of God have received a great deal of attention. See The Evidential Problem of Evil.

Questions about the origins of the universe and cosmology have been the focus for many inductive atheism arguments. We can distinguish four recent views about God and the cosmos:

Naturalism:On naturalistic view, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.7 billion years ago, the Earth formed out of cosmic matter about 4.6 billion years ago, and life forms on Earth, unaided by any supernatural forces about 4 billion years ago. Various physical (non-God) hypotheses are currently being explored about the cause or explanation of the Big Bang such as the Hartle-Hawking no-boundary condition model, brane cosmology models, string theoretic models, ekpyrotic models, cyclic models, chaotic inflation, and so on.

Big Bang Theism:We can call the view that God caused about the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago Big Bang Theism.

Intelligent Design Theism: There are many variations, but most often the view is that God created the universe, perhaps with the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, and then beginning with the appearance of life 4 billion years ago. God supernaturally guided the formation and development of life into the forms we see today.

Creationism:Finally, there is a group of people who for the most part denies the occurrence of the Big Bang and of evolution altogether; God created the universe, the Earth, and all of the life on Earth in its more or less present form 6,000-10,000 years ago.

Taking a broad view, many atheists have concluded that neither Big Bang Theism, Intelligent Design Theism, nor Creationism is the most reasonable description of the history of the universe. Before the theory of evolution and recent developments in modern astronomy, a view wherein God did not play a large role in the creation and unfolding of the cosmos would have been hard to justify. Now, internal problems with those views and the evidence from cosmology and biology indicate that naturalism is the best explanation. Justifications for Big Bang Theism have focused on modern versions of the Cosmological and Kalam arguments. Since everything that comes into being must have a cause, including the universe, then God was the cause of the Big Bang. (Craig 1995)

The objections to these arguments have been numerous and vigorously argued. Critics have challenged the inference to a supernatural cause to fill gaps in the natural account, as well as the inferences that the first cause must be a single, personal, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good being. It is not clear that any of the properties of God as classically conceived in orthodox monotheism can be inferred from what we know about the Big Bang without first accepting a number of theistic assumptions. Infinite power and knowledge do not appear to be required to bring about a Big Bangwhat if our Big Bang was the only act that a being could perform? There appears to be consensus that infinite goodness or moral perfection cannot be inferred as a necessary part of the cause of the Big Bangtheists have focused their efforts in the problem of evil, discussions just attempting to prove that it is possible that God is infinitely good given the state of the world. Big Bang Theism would need to show that no other sort of cause besides a morally perfect one could explain the universe we find ourselves in. Critics have also doubted whether we can know that some supernatural force that caused the Big Bang is still in existence now or is the same entity as identified and worshipped in any particular religious tradition. Even if major concessions are granted in the cosmological argument, all that it would seem to suggest is that there was a first cause or causes, but widely accepted arguments from that first cause or causes to the fully articulated God of Christianity or Islam, for instance, have not been forthcoming.

In some cases, atheists have taken the argument a step further. They have offered cosmological arguments for the nonexistence of God on the basis of considerations from physics, astronomy, and subatomic theory. These arguments are quite technical, so these remarks will be cursory. God, if he exists, knowing all and having all power, would only employ those means to his ends that are rational, effective, efficient, and optimal. If God were the creator, then he was the cause of the Big Bang, but cosmological atheists have argued that the singularity that produced the Big Bang and events that unfold thereafter preclude a rational divine agent from achieving particular ends with the Big Bang as the means. The Big Bang would not have been the route God would have chosen to this world as a result. (Stenger 2007, Smith 1993, Everitt 2004.)

In William Paleys famous analysis, he argues by analogy that the presence of order in the universe, like the features we find in a watch, are indicative of the existence of a designer who is responsible for the artifact. Many authorsDavid Hume (1935), Wesley Salmon (1978), Michael Martin (1990)have argued that a better case can be made for the nonexistence of God from the evidence.

Salmon, giving a modern Bayesian version of an argument that begins with Hume, argues that the likelihood that the ordered universe was created by intelligence is very low. In general, instances of biologically or mechanically caused generation without intelligence are far more common than instances of creation from intelligence. Furthermore, the probability that something that is generated by a biological or mechanical cause will exhibit order is quite high. Among those things that are designed, the probability that they exhibit order may be quite high, but that is not the same as asserting that among the things that exhibit order the probability that they were designed is high. Among dogs, the incidence of fur may be high, but it is not true that among furred things the incidence of dogs is high. Furthermore, intelligent design and careful planning very frequently produces disorderwar, industrial pollution, insecticides, and so on.

So we can conclude that the probability that an unspecified entity (like the universe), which came into being and exhibits order, was produced by intelligent design is very low and that the empirical evidence indicates that there was no designer.

See the article on Design Arguments for the Existence of God for more details about the history of the argument and standard objections that have motivated atheism.

Another recent group of inductive atheistic arguments has focused on w
idespread nonbelief itself as evidence that atheism is justified. The common thread in these arguments is that something as significant in the universe as God could hardly be overlooked. The ultimate creator of the universe and a being with infinite knowledge, power, and love would not escape our attention, particularly since humans have devoted such staggering amounts of energy to the question for so many centuries. Perhaps more importantly, a being such as God, if he chose, could certainly make his existence manifest to us. Creating a state of affairs where his existence would be obvious, justified, or reasonable to us, or at least more obvious to more of us than it is currently, would be a trivial matter for an all-powerful being. So since our efforts have not yielded what we would expect to find if there were a God, then the most plausible explanation is that there is no God.

One might argue that we should not assume that Gods existence would be evident to us. There may be reasons, some of which we can describe, others that we do not understand, that God could have for remaining out of sight. Revealing himself is not something he desires, remaining hidden enables people to freely love, trust and obey him, remaining hidden prevents humans from reacting from improper motives, like fear of punishment, remaining hidden preserves human freewill.

The non-belief atheist has not found these speculations convincing for several reasons. In religious history, Gods revealing himself to Moses, Muhammad, Jesus disciples, and even Satan himself did not compromise their cognitive freedom in any significant way. Furthermore, attempts to explain why a universe where God exists would look just as we would expect a universe with no God have seemed ad hoc. Some of the logical positivists and non-cognitivists concerns surface here. If the believer maintains that a universe inhabited by God will look exactly like one without, then we must wonder what sort of counter-evidence would be allowed, even in principle, against the theists claim. If no state of affairs could be construed as evidence against Gods existence, then what does the claim, God exists, mean and what are its real implications?

Alternately, how can it be unreasonable to not believe in the existence of something that defies all of our attempts to corroborate or discover?

Theodore Drange (2006) has developed an argument that if God were the sort of being that wanted humans to come to believe that he exists, then he could bring it about that far more of them would believe than currently do. God would be able, he would want humans to believe, there is nothing that he would want more, and God would not be irrational. So God would bring it about that people would believe. In general, he could have brought it about that the evidence that people have is far more convincing than what they have. He could have miraculously appeared to everyone in a fashion that was far more compelling than the miracles stories that we have. It is not the case that all, nearly all, or even a majority of people believe, so there must not be a God of that sort.

J.L. Schellenberg (1993) has developed an argument based upon a number of considerations that lead us to think that if there were a loving God, then we would expect to find some manifestations of him in the world. If God is all powerful, then there would be nothing restraining him from making his presence known. And if he is omniscient, then surely he would know how to reveal himself. Perhaps, most importantly, if God is good and if God possesses an unsurpassable love for us, then God would consider each humans requests as important and seek to respond quickly. He would wish to spare those that he loves needless trauma. He would not want to give those that he loves false or misleading thoughts about his relationship to them. He would want as much personal interaction with them as possible, but of course, these conditions are not satisfied. So it is strongly indicated that there is no such God.

Schellenberg gives this telling parable:

Youre still a small child, and an amnesiac, but this time youre in the middle of a vast rain forest, dripping with dangers of various kinds. Youve been stuck there for days, trying to figure out who you are and where you came from. You dont remember having a mother who accompanied you into this jungle, but in your moments of deepest pain and misery you call for her anyway,Mooooommmmmmm! Over and over again. For days and days the last time when a jaguar comes at you out of nowhere but with no response. What should you think in this situation? In your dying moments, what should cross your mind? Would the thought that you have a mother who cares about you and hears your cry and could come to you but chooses not to even make it onto the list? (2006, p. 31)

Like Drange, Schellenberg argues that there are many people who are epistemically inculpable in believing that there is no God. That is, many people have carefully considered the evidence available to them, and have actively sought out more in order to determine what is reasonable concerning God. They have fulfilled all relevant epistemic duties they might have in their inquiry into the question and they have arrived at a justified belief that there is no God. If there were a God, however, evidence sufficient to form a reasonable belief in his existence would be available. So the occurrence of widespread epistemically inculpable nonbelief itself shows that there is no God.

The final family of inductive arguments we will consider involves drawing a positive atheistic conclusion from broad, naturalized grounds. See the article on Naturalism for background about the position and relevant arguments. Comments here will be confined to naturalism as it relates to atheism.

Methodological naturalism can be understood as the view that the best or the only way to acquire knowledge within science is by adopting the assumption that all physical phenomena have physical causes. This presumption by itself does not commit one to the view that only physical entities and causes exist, or that all knowledge must be acquired through scientific methods. Methodological naturalism, therefore, is typically not seen as being in direct conflict with theism or having any particular implications for the existence or non-existence of God.

Ontological naturalism, however, is usually seen as taking a stronger view about the existence of God. Ontological naturalism is the additional view that all and only physical entities and causes exist.

Among its theistic critics, there has been a tendency to portray ontological naturalism as a dogmatic ideological commitment that is more the product of a recent intellectual fashion than science or reasoned argument. But two developments have contributed to a broad argument in favor of ontological naturalism as the correct description of what sorts of things exist and are causally efficacious. First, there is a substantial history of the exploration and rejection of a variety of non-physical causal hypotheses in the history of science. Over the centuries, the possibility that some class of physical events could be caused by a supernatural source, a spiritual source, psychic energy, mental forces, or vital causes have been entertained and found wanting. Second, evidence for the law of the conservation of energy has provided significant support to physical closure, or the view that the natural world is a complete closed system in which physical events have physical causes. At the very least, atheists have argued, the ruins of so many supernatural explanations that have been
found wanting in the history of science has created an enormous burden of proof that must be met before any claim about the existence of another worldly spiritual being can have credence. Ontological naturalism should not be seen as a dogmatic commitment, its defenders have insisted, but rather as a defeasible hypothesis that is supported by centuries of inquiry into the supernatural.

As scientific explanations have expanded to include more details about the workings of natural objects and laws, there has been less and less room or need for invoking God as an explanation. It is not clear that expansion of scientific knowledge disproves the existence of God in any formal sense any more than it has disproven the existence of fairies, the atheistic naturalist argues. However, physical explanations have increasingly rendered God explanations extraneous and anomalous. For example, when Laplace, the famous 18th century French mathematician and astronomer, presented his work on celestial mechanics to Napoleon, the Emperor asked him about the role of a divine creator in his system Laplace is reported to have said, I have no need for that hypothesis.

In many cases, science has shown that particular ancillary theses of traditional religious doctrine are mistaken. Blind, petitionary prayer has been investigated and found to have no effect on the health of its recipients, although praying itself may have some positive effects on the person who prayers (Benson, 2006). Geology, biology, and cosmology have discovered that the Earth formed approximately 3 billion years ago out of cosmic dust, and life evolved gradually over billions of years. The Earth, humans, and other life forms were not created in their present form some 6,000-10,000 years ago and the atheistic naturalist will point to numerous alleged miraculous events have been investigated and debunked.

Wide, positive atheism, the view that there are no gods whatsoever, might appear to be the most difficult atheistic thesis to defend, but ontological naturalists have responded that the case for no gods is parallel to the case for no elves, pixies, dwarves, fairies, goblins, or other creates. A decisive proof against every possible supernatural being is not necessary for the conclusion that none of them are real to be justified. The ontological naturalist atheist believes that once we have devoted sufficient investigation into enough particular cases and the general considerations about natural laws, magic, and supernatural entities, it becomes reasonable to conclude that the whole enterprise is an explanatory dead end for figuring out what sort of things there are in the world.

The disagreement between atheists and theists continues on two fronts. Within the arena of science and the natural world, some believers have persisted in arguing that material explanations are inadequate to explain all of the particular events and phenomena that we observe. Some philosophers and scientists have argued that for phenomena like consciousness, human morality, and some instances of biological complexity, explanations in terms of natural or evolutionary theses have not and will not be able to provide us with a complete picture. Therefore, the inference to some supernatural force is warranted. While some of these attempts have received social and political support, within the scientific community the arguments that causal closure is false and that God as a cause is a superior scientific hypothesis to naturalistic explanations have not received significant support. Science can cite a history of replacing spiritual, supernatural, or divine explanations of phenomena with natural ones from bad weather as the wrath of angry gods to disease as demon possession. The assumption for many is that there are no substantial reasons to doubt that those areas of the natural world that have not been adequately explained scientifically will be given enough time. ( Madden and Hare 1968, Papineau, Manson, Nielsen 2001, and Stenger.) Increasingly, with what they perceive as the failure of attempts to justify theism, atheists have moved towards naturalized accounts of religious belief that give causal and evolutionary explanations of the prevalence of belief. (See Atrans, Boyer, Dennett 2006)

In 20th century moral theory, a view about the nature of moral value claims arose that has an analogue in discussions of atheism. Moral non-cognitivists have denied that moral utterances should be treated as ordinary propositions that are either true or false and subject to evidential analysis. On their view, when someone makes a moral claim like, Cheating is wrong, what they are doing is more akin to saying something like, I have negative feelings about cheating. I want you to share those negative feelings. Cheating. Bad.

A non-cognitivist atheist denies that religious utterances are propositions. They are not the sort of speech act that have a truth value. They are more like emoting, singing, poetry, or cheering. They express personal desires, feelings of subjugation, admiration, humility, and love. As such, they cannot and should not be dealt with by denials or arguments any more than I can argue with you over whether or not a poem moves you. There is an appeal to this approach when we consider common religious utterances such as, Jesus loves you. Jesus died for your sins. God be with you. What these mean, according to the non-cognitivist, is something like, I have sympathy for your plight, we are all in a similar situation and in need of paternalistic comforting, you can have it if you perform certain kinds of behaviors and adopt a certain kind of personal posture with regard to your place in the world. When I do these things I feel joyful, I want you to feel joyful too.

So the non-cognitivist atheist does not claim that the sentence, God exists is false, as such. Rather, when people make these sorts of claims, their behavior is best understood as a complicated publicizing of a particular sort of subjective sensations. Strictly speaking, the claims do not mean anything in terms of assertions about what sorts of entities do or do not exist in the world independent of human cognitive and emotional states. The non-cognitivist characterization of many religious speech acts and behaviors has seemed to some to be the most accurate description. For the most part, atheists appear to be cognitivist atheists. They assume that religious utterances do express propositions that are either true or false. Positive atheists will argue that there are compelling reasons or evidence for concluding that in fact those claims are false. (Drange 2006, Diamond and Lizenbury 1975, Nielsen 1985)

Few would disagree that many religious utterances are non-cognitive such as religious ceremonies, rituals, and liturgies. Non-cognitivists have argued that many believers are confused when their speech acts and behavior slips from being non-cognitive to something resembling cognitive assertions about God. The problem with the non-cognitivist view is that many religious utterances are clearly treated as cognitive by their speakersthey are meant to be treated as true or false claims, they are treated as making a difference, and they clearly have an impact on peoples lives and beliefs beyond the mere expression of a special category of emotions. Insisting that those claims simply have no cognitive content despite the intentions and arguments to the contrary of the speaker is an ineffectual means of addressing them. So non-cognitivism does not appear to completely address belief in God.

20th century developments in epistemology, philosophy of science, logic, and philosophy of language ind
icate that many of the presumptions that supported old fashioned natural theology and atheology are mistaken. It appears that even our most abstract, a priori, and deductively certain methods for determining truth are subject to revision in the light of empirical discoveries and theoretical analyses of the principles that underlie those methods. Certainty, reasoning, and theology, after Bayes work on probability, Wittgensteins fideism, Quines naturalism, and Kripkes work on necessity are not what they used to be. The prospects for a simple, confined argument for atheism (or theism) that achieves widespread support or that settles the question are dim. That is because, in part, the prospects for any argument that decisively settles a philosophical question where a great deal seems to be at stake are dim.

The existence or non-existence of any non-observable entity in the world is not settled by any single argument or consideration. Every premise will be based upon other concepts and principles that themselves must be justified. So ultimately, the adequacy of atheism as an explanatory hypothesis about what is real will depend upon the overall coherence, internal consistency, empirical confirmation, and explanatory success of a whole worldview within which atheism is only one small part. The question of whether or not there is a God sprawls onto related issues and positions about biology, physics, metaphysics, explanation, philosophy of science, ethics, philosophy of language, and epistemology. The reasonableness of atheism depends upon the overall adequacy of a whole conceptual and explanatory description of the world.

Matt McCormick Email: mccormick@csus.edu California State University, Sacramento U. S. A.

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If youre reading this article, chances are you are either using or considering using Alpha Brain, the popular nootropic stack from US company Onnit. Congratulations youve made a good choice. Clinical trials and thousands of positive reviews cant be wrong! Alpha Brain promises a whole host of cognitive benefits, including sharp focus, improved memory,

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Automation | Article about automation by The Free Dictionary

Posted: at 12:14 pm

automation, automatic operation and control of machinery or processes by devices, such as robots that can make and execute decisions without human intervention. The principal feature of such devices is their use of self-correcting control systemscontrol systems, combinations of components (electrical, mechanical, thermal, or hydraulic) that act together to maintain actual system performance close to a desired set of performance specifications. Open-loop control systems (e.g. ….. Click the link for more information. that employ feedbackfeedback, arrangement for the automatic self-regulation of an electrical, mechanical, or biological system by returning part of its output as input. A simple example of feedback is provided by a governor on an engine; if the speed of the engine exceeds a preset limit, the ….. Click the link for more information. , i.e., they use part of their output to control their input. Once the automated process is set up, human participation in the manufacturing process involves little more than maintenance and repair of the equipment. In a typical automated manufacturing process, the feeding in of materials, the machine operation, the transfers from one machine to another, the final assembly, the removal, and the packing are all done automatically. In some automated manufacturing, a single robot with interchangeable tool heads performs all of the various manufacturing assignments. At various stages in the operation are inspection devices that reject substandard products and adjust the machinery to correct any malfunction. Since electronic computerscomputer, device capable of performing a series of arithmetic or logical operations. A computer is distinguished from a calculating machine, such as an electronic calculator, by being able to store a computer program (so that it can repeat its operations and make logical ….. Click the link for more information. are able to store, select, record, and present data systematically, they are widely used to direct automated systems. Automation is applied in industry to the manufacture of foodstuffs, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and electronic equipment, and is used in steel mills, automobile plants, and coal mines. Another application is its use in the launching, aiming, and guidance of military rockets. Automation has also been applied to information handling, resulting in automatically prepared bills and reports and the solution of many engineering problems. It offers high quality products together with great savings in costs. (see roboticsrobotics, science and technology of general purpose, programmable machine systems. Contrary to the popular fiction image of robots as ambulatory machines of human appearance capable of performing almost any task, most robotic systems are anchored to fixed positions in factories ….. Click the link for more information. ; computer-aided manufacturingcomputer-aided manufacturing (CAM), a form of automation where computers communicate work instructions directly to the manufacturing machinery. The technology evolved from the numerically controlled machines of the 1950s, which were directed by a set of coded instructions ….. Click the link for more information. ) Bibliography

See P. Senker, Toward the Automatic Factory? The Need for Training (1986); D. I. Cleland and Bapaya Bidando, Factory Automation Handbook (1990).

Both popular and sociological debate about automation have been concerned with its consequences for levels of employment: whether it will lead to an overall decline in the requirement for labour, increases in unemployment, the onset of a new age of LEISURE, and so on. What seems clear, however, is that while it may involve a decrease in the demand for unskilled or routine forms of manual labour, the demand for educated labour necessary in the design and maintenance of the new machines and in the management of the new processes -is likely to increase. However, how far these new jobs will themselves tend to become routinized (e.g. involve routine keyboard work) remains an unresolved issue (see DESKILLING). The implications of automation and new technology for overall

a branch of science and technology dealing with the theory and design principles of control systems which operate without direct human participation; in a narrow sense, it is an aggregate of methods and technological facilities that obviate human participation when carrying out operations of a specified process. Automation was recognized as an independent technological field at the Second World Power Conference (Berlin, 1930), where a section was created for automatic and remote control problems. The term automation became common in the USSR in the early 1930s.

Automation arose as a science based on the theory of automatic regulation which was established in the works of J. C. Maxwell (1868), I. A. Vyshnegradskii (187278), A. Stodola (1899), and others; it was formulated into an independent scientific and technical discipline in 1940. The history of automation as a branch of technology is closely associated with the development of automatons, automatic devices, and automated complexes. In the process of its formation, automation drew on theoretical mechanics and the theory of electrical circuits and systems. It solved problems associated with regulating pressure in steam boilers, the piston stroke in steam engines, and the rotation speed in electrical machines, in addition to problems in operational control of automatic machine tools, automatic telephone exchanges, and relay protection devices. Correspondingly, the technical facilities of automation in this period were developed and used in connection with automatic regulating systems. The intensive development of all branches of science and technology in the mid-20th century also induced a rapid growth in the technology of automatic control whose applications are becoming universal.

The second half of the 20th century was marked by further improvement of the technical facilities of automation and a broad but uneven distribution in various areas of the national economy of automatic control arrangements with a transition to more complex automatic control systems, especially in industry; automation of individual units was replaced by integrated automation of shops and factones. An important feature is the use of automation for objects at great distances from one another, such as large industrial and power complexes and control systems for spacecraft. Communication between the individual installations of such systems is achieved through remote control facilities which are combined with control equipment and controlled objects to form remote-controlled automatic systems. Of great significance here are the technical (including remote control) means for collecting and automatically processing information because many problems in complicated automatic control systems can be solved only with the aid of computer technology. Finally, the theory of automatic regulation is giving way to the generalized theory of automatic control, which unifies all the theoretical aspects of automation and forms a basis for a general theory of control.

The use of technology to ease human labor or extend the mental or physical capabilities of humans.

The mechanisms, machines, and systems that save or eliminate labor, or imitate actions typically associated with human beings.

The process of having a machine or machines accomplish tasks hitherto performed wholly or partly by humans. As used here, a machine refers to any inanimate electromechanical device such as a robot or computer. As a technology, automation can be applied to almost any human endeavor, from manufacturing to clerical and administrative tasks. An example of automation is the heating and air-conditioning system in the modern household. After initial programming by the occupant, these systems keep the house at a constant desired temperature regardless of the conditions outside.

The fundamental constituents of any automated process are (1) a power source, (2) a feedback control mechanism, and (3) a programmable command (see illustration) structure. Programmability does not necessarily imply an electronic computer. For example, the Jacquard loom, developed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, used metal plates with holes to control the weaving process. Nonetheless, the advent of World War II and the advances made in electronic computation and feedback have certainly contributed to the growth of automation. While feedback is usually associated with more advanced forms of automation, so-called open-loop automated tasks are possible. Here, the automated process proceeds without any direct and continuous assessment of the effect of the automated activity. For example, an automated car wash typically completes its task with no continuous or final assessment of the cleanliness of the automobile. See Control systems, Digital computer

Because of the growing ubiquity of automation, any categorization of automated tasks and processes is incomplete. Nonetheless, such a categorization can be attempted by recognizing two distinct groups, automated manufacturing and automated information processing and control. Automated manufacturing includes automated machine tools, assembly lines, robotic assembly machines, automated storage-retrieval systems, integrated computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), automatic inspection and testing, and automated agricultural equipment (used, for example, in crop harvesting). Automated information processing and control includes automatic order processing, word processing and text editing, automatic data processing, automatic flight control, automatic automobile cruise control, automatic airline reservation systems, automatic mail sorting machines, automated planet exploration (for example, the rover vehicle, Sojourner, on the Mars Pathfinder mission), automated electric utility distribution systems, and automated bank teller machines. See Computer-aided design and manufacturing, Computer-integrated manufacturing, Flexible manufacturing system, Inspection and testing

A major issue in the design of systems involving both human and automated machines concerns allocating functions between the two. This allocation can be static or dynamic. Static allocation is fixed; that is, the separation of responsibilities between human and machine do not change with time. Dynamic allocation implies that the functions allocated to human and machine are subject to change. Historically, static allocation began with reference to lists of activities which summarized the relative advantages of humans and machines with respect to a variety of activities. For example, at present humans appear to surpass machines in the ability to reason inductively, that is, to proceed from the particular to the general. Machines, however, surpass humans in the ability to handle complex operations and to do many different things at once, that is, to engage in parallel processing. Dynamic function allocation can be envisioned as operating through a formulation which continuously determines which agent (human or machine) is free to attend to a particular task or function. In addition, constraints such as the workload implied by the human attending to the task as opposed to the machine can be considered. See Human-factors engineering

It has long been the goal in the area of automation to create systems which could react to unforeseen events with reasoning and problem-solving abilities akin to those of an experienced human, that is, to exhibit artificial intelligence. Indeed, the study of artificial intelligence is devoted to developing computer programs that can mimic the product of intelligent human problem solving, perception, and thought. For example, such a system could be envisioned to perform much like a human copilot in airline operations, communicating with the pilot via voice input and spoken output, assuming cockpit duties when and where assigned, and relieving the pilot of many duties. Indeed, such an automated system has been studied and named a pilot’s associate. Machines exhibiting artificial intelligence obviously render the sharp demarcation between functions better performed by humans than by machines somewhat moot. While the early promise of artificial intelligence has not been fully realized in practice, certain applications in more restrictive domains have been highly successful. These include the use of expert systems, which mimic the activity of human experts in limited domains, such as diagnosis of infectious diseases or providing guidance for oil exploration and drilling. Expert systems generally operate by (1) replacing human activity entirely, (2) providing advice or decision support, or (3) training a novice human in a particular field. See Expert systems

1.the use of methods for controlling industrial processes automatically, esp by electronically controlled systems, often reducing manpower

2.the extent to which a process is so controlled

See also design automation, office automation, manularity, Manufacturing Automation Protocol, PEARL, QBE.

Robots continue to replace human workers in factories; online learning displaces teachers and computer-based systems of all kinds are slowly but surely eliminating jobs. In time when driverless cars take off for public transportation, millions of jobs are expected to disappear around the globe. In the 21st century, educating and retraining people for high-tech employment is essential. See robot, naming fiascos and automata theory.

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Automation | Article about automation by The Free Dictionary

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The Life Extension Blog

Posted: June 30, 2016 at 3:34 am

There are many reasons why people eat way too many calories that lack nutrition, such as the low cost and convenience of fast food as well as insufficient education about how their diet affects them.

The diabesity epidemic is not helped by the power that many unhealthy foods have over people. Those with strong willpower often fail to lose weight and keep it off because they are literally addicted to things they shouldnt be eating: processed, sugar-laden, starchy, fried foods.

Humans are thought to have a genetic preference for sweetness, which was originally meant to ensure survival. However, a mild desire for sweetness seems to have grown into a powerful need for sweetness that controls many lives.

You could easily become a victim of sugar addiction without realizing it since sugar is added to almost every packaged and prepared food on the market.

Children then graduate to breakfast cereals, which may portray themselves as wholesome but are actually loaded with sugar.

Its no wonder then that children become accustomed to sweet-tasting things and nearly always prefer them over healthier foods (like veggies). Parents who reward their kids with sweet treats dont help matters either.

Between sugar-laden foods (some of which appear healthy), rewards, and desserts, children can consume large amounts of sugar. About 35 years ago, a study pointed out that some children were consuming more than 280 g of sugar per average day!1

Just imagine how much healthier we could be if these numbers were lower.

To find an answer, researchers allowed rats to freely consume a sugar solution. When the sugar solution was removed, the rats exhibited impulsive behaviors similar to those brought on by drug withdrawal.2

Its no surprise the rats had that reaction. Consuming large amounts of sugar has been shown to release dopamine, the feel good neurotransmitter thats involved in memory and reward.3

The powerful effect that sugar has on our brain (making us feel good so we keep wanting more and more until we actually crave it and have withdrawals when enough isnt consumed) is analogous to the changes that take place with addictive drugs like cocaine.4 Scary!

Just like some people become addicted to drugs and some dont, some people become addicted to sugar and some dont. For some, the more sugar they consume, the more they crave. So if sugar is not used in moderation, addiction could occur and the risk of diabetes and obesity could increase. This, unfortunately, is the path so many are on now.

However, it is possible to live without added sugar! Sticking to fresh produce and making your own meals is one way to maintain control over their ingredients (or lack thereof). Healthy foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains still contain sugar, but its naturally occurring and in lower amounts than foods sweetened with added sugar or corn syrup.

Read the labels of every food and beverage you put into your shopping cart! If it contains sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, etc., these are red flags, and you should put them back on the shelf!

Addictions are hard to break. However, when people kick their sugar habit, they report more energy, weight loss, and many other health benefits.

If you regularly consume sugar, try going without it for a few days or weeks (if you can work up to that) and see how you feel. If you do find yourself facing irresistible cravings, try snacking on fresh fruit or engaging in some exercise to redirect your focus.

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