Do humans have a soul?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Belinda
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Tue May 07, 2019 11:55 am

Immanuel Can wrote:
I don't see how the Determinist picture of the world allows that this is possible. How can we live "in defiance of (causal) reality, if that reality is all that exists in reality?
But your version of God is that He wields almighty power and has a Plan. That's to say the Almighty determines everything.The Almighty determining everything is one unnecessary step further than nature determining everything.

Moreover Immanuel claims that the Almighty has intervened in history by producing a stone tablet of rules and a holy book of rules so that we may know a little of His Plan.

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by attofishpi » Tue May 07, 2019 1:11 pm

Belinda wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:55 am
Immanuel Can wrote:
I don't see how the Determinist picture of the world allows that this is possible. How can we live "in defiance of (causal) reality, if that reality is all that exists in reality?
But your version of God is that He wields almighty power and has a Plan. That's to say the Almighty determines everything.The Almighty determining everything is one unnecessary step further than nature determining everything.

Moreover Immanuel claims that the Almighty has intervened in history by producing a stone tablet of rules and a holy book of rules so that we may know a little of His Plan.
With respect, I don't think a pile of stone tablets and a book was any attempt to reveal any plan.

Wot plan? A plan for a plan_et?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue May 07, 2019 1:20 pm

Belinda wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:55 am
But your version of God is that He wields almighty power and has a Plan. That's to say the Almighty determines everything.
No, that's a non-sequitur.

It's generally recognized among good theologians there's a distinction between Determinism and Foreknowledge. If God foreknows what will happen, that does not entail the he makes it happen, any more than your knowing I would respond makes me respond in this email.

You were right when you thought I would respond; your foreknowing was perfect, in that sense. But that doesn't mean you obliged or compelled me to do it. You didn't choose my words for me, and I could have decided not to respond at all...you're not to blame for whatever I said, despite your accurate foreknowledge.

Belinda
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Tue May 07, 2019 2:20 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 1:20 pm
Belinda wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:55 am
But your version of God is that He wields almighty power and has a Plan. That's to say the Almighty determines everything.
No, that's a non-sequitur.

It's generally recognized among good theologians there's a distinction between Determinism and Foreknowledge. If God foreknows what will happen, that does not entail the he makes it happen, any more than your knowing I would respond makes me respond in this email.

You were right when you thought I would respond; your foreknowing was perfect, in that sense. But that doesn't mean you obliged or compelled me to do it. You didn't choose my words for me, and I could have decided not to respond at all...you're not to blame for whatever I said, despite your accurate foreknowledge.
Most Christians claim that God is all powerful and ALSO all knowing. Determinism doesn't imply being able to predict anything , so determinists don't claim to be all-knowing. No scientist, determinist though he be,claims to be all-knowing.

Justintruth
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Justintruth » Tue May 07, 2019 2:24 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 3:59 pm
....it requires a conscious "experiencer," which is not a mechanical process but a personal and cognitive one. Absent a personal "experiencer," what we have is merely another kind of "occurrence."
Well, there is no doubt that as you say conscious experiencing is not a mechanical process if by mechanical process we me the solely the action of a device as described currently in physics.

But we also can demonstrate using anesthesia that a purely mechanical change in the brain removes conscious experiencing in the individual. And if we assume that there are no zombies, or a very low probability of one, then we have the basis to modify the physics. Conscious experiencing would then just need to be split into its possible types. They would form a set and an operator could be construction just like the energy operator in quantum mechanics that operates on the physical state to yield the probability of a certain kind of experiencing. The assumption that the states correlate would allow us to say precisely what kinds of devices see the color red. Can you create a device that is only red experiencing? Imagine no visual pathway from anything like the eyes. Just the right states in the brain and you will get red seeing I hypothesize. And much of the brain could be removed. And we might make artificial devices that red see. Again, it has nothing to do with electromagnetic radiation or the optic pathway. It is just that that pathway is connected to whatever is causing the red seeing. What is causing it is the physical state.

Now another thing completely is that experiencing is individuated and is factual. You can can have two separate instances of the same kind of seeing going on. And we have knowing or not knowing of the fact that it happened. We might or might not know that there is someone looking at a particular bag of bread in the grocery right now, and if there is then there is not just seeing the bread bag, but bread bag seeing happening there. But whether the "bread bag seeing" is occurring, is an objective fact, in the epistemic sense. It is not ontologicaly objective but epistemically objective following Searle.

http://new-savanna.blogspot.com/2016/10 ... ty-in.html

So we can refine our notion of what physics is by incorporating the right operators once we know what it is about the physics that is causing the specific type of experiencing under consideration. What other types are available that we don't know about? We have augmented our current senses with instruments that produce false color for example but there may be other experiencings that could be installed and then even hooked up to give us additional senses. Physics can have operators that predict ontologically subjective experiencing as properties of ontologically objective brains. There then is not substance dualism. Only the dualism inherent in the difference between experiencing someway and experiencing something.
But "occurrence occurs" is simply redundant and nonsensical; so we've got to keep "experience" involved in our explanation, and that requires a non-material thing to be genuinely real...that non-material but real thing would be a consciousness capable of turning the mere occurrence into an actual experience.
It is not just that occurrence occurs. Occurrence, if by it we refer to experiencing, occurs in specific ways. Red experiencing is not sound experiencing, for example. Also, the occurrences are individuated. This occurrence is not that occurrence.

I guess the question you have to answer is whether you are positing some substance and what properties it can have. I am not sure we need a separate substance. We just need separate non-physical properties for the current physical substances when properly configured.

Do you thing that there is a "non-material but real thing" call it "consciousness", that is capable of experiencing or not? Is it while not experiencing? Or do you think that all there is only the experiencing and if it stops then what ever was the conscious experiencing is gone. I am not convinced that there is anything besides the physics, other than experiencing, and I agree that it is impossible for experiencing to be "just physical" where here I mean by "physical" something specified by our current physical theoretical model. I do think that that model can be modified to include experiencing. Then experiencing is a property of a subclass of physical systems the probability of which can be calculated using some future operator on the quantum state vector of some system.

Had a great philosophy teacher say "You know what the problem with death is....How do you know when you are dead?!"

I do also believe that science includes such concepts currently but not in its theoretical models. For example, imagine a man looking at the moons of Jupiter with a hand held telescope, and he says he can see them and a scientist grabs the telescope and holds it by his side and points one end at Jupiter but not the other at his eye. He then declares that the telescope malfunctions because he has pointed it at Jupiter and he still fails to see the moons. Such a scientist would be laughable. Everyone at CERN knows to point their heads at their screens and they also know not to take LSD or alcohol or anesthesia while working on the science in the lab. But their theoretical models contain no operators that could possibly say why pointing the telescope toward a brain causes the sight of the moons of Jupiter nor what else you could point it at to cause that.
Things "occur"; but only people "experience," if you can see my point.
I see the difference that I think you are pointing to. The terminology is not standard in the way you are using it but we might adopt something like that. Some people in my youth used to call it essence and existence. Essence occurs but only people exist. That kind of thing. The difference is not just how we talk about it. The difference is real. I think the failure of the distinctions Essence/Existence or occur/experience are not quite right. The experience of something does not necessarily mean that it exists but it does exactly mean that the experiencing exists. There is also the fact that I cannot experience your experiencing but I can experience your brain. All of that needs to be captured and perhaps more when you get into truth or even the will or imagination. There is a lot that needs to be parsed out of it. We seem to have more than one form of thinking. We can know things we can't imagine and even see things in some strange way that involves depth perception. Our imaginations don't seem to be quie divorced from our visual experiencing yet they are not the same thing.

It's amazing how well Husserl does on all of this stuff.
Consequently, I think we've got to be careful about jumping to the counterintuitively reductive view that it's mechanics on both the "occurrence" and "experience" side of the equation. The natural supposition is that something more dualistic and personal is going on there.
I would propose that the therm "dualistic" be reserved for the case where there is some other "substance" than the particles described in the standard model. That substance then would be "red seeing" or not, for example. But perhaps it is the particles themselves which when organized into a certain class of devices, red sees. Then there is no need for a separate substance, just separate properties and in fact a whole new type of physical propertys called "experiencings". Alternatively, we can keep the term "physical" for the standard properties and use "non-physical" for experiencing. We then have property dualism. But ontological dualism would only occur if there were some substance in which the experiencing inheres.

For example, let's say that there are ghosts and there is a way for a ghost to become associated with and subsequently leave a body. Then we would need a substance to say which ghost red color experienced for example. But as long as no-ghost / no zombie holds I think we only need property dualism and do not need a substance other than the brains that cause the experiencing.

I think that we do not yet need substance dualism and I am not sure the term dualism should be applied to property dualism. But for sure only a fool would believe that experiencing reduces to the current physical model. I think I can prove that it does't fairly easily by just looking at the standard model and trying to find some operator on the quantum state vector that specifies the probability that some experiencing will be the result if I change your brain into that state. That I can't find it is the desired result.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue May 07, 2019 2:28 pm

Belinda wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:20 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 1:20 pm
Belinda wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 11:55 am
But your version of God is that He wields almighty power and has a Plan. That's to say the Almighty determines everything.
No, that's a non-sequitur.

It's generally recognized among good theologians there's a distinction between Determinism and Foreknowledge. If God foreknows what will happen, that does not entail the he makes it happen, any more than your knowing I would respond makes me respond in this email.

You were right when you thought I would respond; your foreknowing was perfect, in that sense. But that doesn't mean you obliged or compelled me to do it. You didn't choose my words for me, and I could have decided not to respond at all...you're not to blame for whatever I said, despite your accurate foreknowledge.
Most Christians claim that God is all powerful and ALSO all knowing.
Not a problem.

Again, just because you have power doesn't mean you are exercising it. You have power to type, but are not doing so right now.
Determinism doesn't imply being able to predict anything , so determinists don't claim to be all-knowing.
I didn't suggest they did. In fact, I didn't say a thing about what "scientists" do. I was only pointing out that your claim that belief in God entails Determinism isn't correct.

However, since you bring it up, what a secular Determinist will say is that in principle (though no person can presently, in fact, do this) IF there were, say, a supercomputer that could calculate the trajectory of every particular in the universe, along with the interactions among them. then in theory, when the universe was created then the outcome for ever possible even could be calculated. You and I might not know it, but everything was preset.

This means that our freedom would be nothing but an illusion -- and our sense of freedom would be a mere function of our lack of knowledge.

Again, I don't believe this is right, but it's certainly what they believe.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue May 07, 2019 3:22 pm

Justintruth wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 2:24 pm
Conscious experiencing would then just need to be split into its possible types.
So far so good.
They would form a set and an operator could be construction just like the energy operator in quantum mechanics that operates on the physical state to yield the probability of a certain kind of experiencing.
That's a proposal for an analogy, but not a precise analysis. We don't have reason yet to know how far the analogy holds, if at all.
...what kinds of devices see the color red. Can you create a device that is only red experiencing?
Now we've slipped over into a new analogy, the analogy of a "device." What reason have we to believe an "experiencer" is a "device" instead of a "person"? I'm not seeing that.
And we might make artificial devices that red see.
Wait. You've now said we might have a "device" that "sees." That implicates a mere mechanical entity in a process requiring consciousness.

To raise an objection: I have a sensor on my garage door. When it's interrupted, it activates a safety and stops the door. But it does not "see" anything. There isn't even an information-storing or information-processing unit hooked up to it...just a switch. So just because a sensor "responds" (is tripped) in case of an event does not mean it actually responds (or has an experience, or makes a decision), or that any intelligence whatsoever is involved in the operation.

Your step there is premised on an unwarranted assumption, I would suggest. Or can you provide some warrant for it?
It is not ontologicaly objective but epistemically objective following Searle.

http://new-savanna.blogspot.com/2016/10 ... ty-in.html
Distinction understood.
So we can refine our notion of what physics is by incorporating the right operators once we know what it is about the physics that is causing the specific type of experiencing under consideration.
But unless we have a better argument than I have yet seen, the "causing" you mean here is merely the presence of a stimulus. On the receptor side, we only have an "experience" if an intelligence receives, interprets and internalizes the stimulus. Otherwise, like my garage door sensor, it's not an experience at all, but merely a mechanical event tripping another.

Experience requires more than a mechanical chain: it requires a receiver in the form of a conscious, volitional entity known as a "person."
Physics can have operators that predict ontologically subjective experiencing as properties of ontologically objective brains.
This only conduces to the truism that brain-events and consciousness-events are coordinated: not to the conclusion that one IS the other, nor even for certain that one causes the other.

We must watch the causal fallacy there. It might be winsome, but it's not necessarily warranted by the facts.

Moreover, the receiving of a stimulus is necessary-but-not-sufficient for the having of an "experience." Remember my garage sensor.
There then is not substance dualism.

No, that's not so. I think we've jumped to a conclusion not yet warranted by the argument.
But "occurrence occurs" is simply redundant and nonsensical; so we've got to keep "experience" involved in our explanation, and that requires a non-material thing to be genuinely real...that non-material but real thing would be a consciousness capable of turning the mere occurrence into an actual experience.
It is not just that occurrence occurs. Occurrence, if by it we refer to experiencing, occurs in specific ways. Red experiencing is not sound experiencing, for example. Also, the occurrences are individuated. This occurrence is not that occurrence.
Not enough. We need to say more. It's not just that occurrences are individuated, but that they don't even constitute "experiences" unless they are received and processed by a genuinely conscious entity. "Red experiencing" and "sound experiencing" (and, we might add, red-type-1 experiences are not red-type-2 experiences, given different percipients, 1 and 2: they are at best "similar," but not "same") are different; but neither constitutes an "experience" so long as there is not a conscious recipient in play.
I guess the question you have to answer is whether you are positing some substance and what properties it can have.

Both "substance" and "properties" are terms that relate to Materialist assumptions only. If "consciousness" is a real thing (and we're both using it at this moment, so it must be), then it's not a "substance." As Locke pointed out, an identity or a consciousness is not a divisible thing: one cannot section off and give away a piece of it, or find a way to dissect it into component elements. It's a unity, and a non-physical reality.

This is why Philosophy of Mind folks speak of "supervienience" in regard to the mind. It seems to "sit on" the materials of the brain somehow, but we can't quite say how. The two are coordinated, at least to a large degree...but we can't find out anything about how they interact, because unlike "brain," "mind" is a metaphysical but real thing.
I am not sure we need a separate substance.
No, not a "substance." But a recognition of its reality nonetheless, and a taking-into-account of the limitations of the appropriateness of our methodology when we try to "get at" it by relying on methods that are designed for and work only on physical things.
We just need separate non-physical properties for the current physical substances when properly configured.
But to locate "properties," we need to have a thing that has physicality. It has to have aspects we can break down and separate from others. At best, what we can get with a metaphysical reality is to speak of "attributes," which is to say "non-separable characteristics that are integrated in the totality."
Do you thing that there is a "non-material but real thing" call it "consciousness", that is capable of experiencing or not?
If there is not, we could not do what we do here.
Or do you think that all there is only the experiencing and if it stops then what ever was the conscious experiencing is gone.
I'm not sure of your wording here: did you miss an "is"?
I do think that that model can be modified to include experiencing.
What makes you think that? Or are you saying you just would prefer to think that? What's the basis of your confidence there, I'm asking.
Had a great philosophy teacher say "You know what the problem with death is....How do you know when you are dead?!"
How did your philosophy teacher know you couldn't know? There's no stipulation that says "eternal life" (let's just assume it exists, for argument's sake) has to be the same in quality as "temporal life." You might very well "know" you've died...if there's a beyond.
Things "occur"; but only people "experience," if you can see my point.
I see the difference that I think you are pointing to. The terminology is not standard in the way you are using it but we might adopt something like that.
I think we kind of have to. We're reaching into a concept with great precision and finesse than most people bother to do. For their purposes, a blunt instrument that merely describes a cluster of related phenomena will do; but for us, we need a scalpel here. So I admit I'm being a bit stipulative when I say "experiencing requires an experiencer": but I don't think we can avoid being precise here.
Some people in my youth used to call it essence and existence. Essence occurs but only people exist. That kind of thing.
In a way, yes. The Existentialists were onto something in this regard. There's a world of difference between saying a thing is "there," and saying that the thing is "conscious."
The difference is not just how we talk about it. The difference is real.
Yep.
I think the failure of the distinctions Essence/Existence or occur/experience are not quite right.
Yes.
The experience of something does not necessarily mean that it exists but it does exactly mean that the experiencing exists.

No, I think the problem is in the use of the word "exists." "Exists" is an ontological term. It fails to nuance the issue of whether or not what "exists" is "experiencing," and is a conscious entity. The Existentialists, then, were also being stipulative: but I don't like their coinage. I think it's ambiguous.
Our imaginations don't seem to be quie divorced from our visual experiencing yet they are not the same thing.
Quite so.
I would propose that the therm "dualistic" be reserved for the case where there is some other "substance"
Well, I've already suggested that looking for a "mind substance" is the wrong way to go. In truth, if mind turns out to be any kid of "substance," we don't have dualism at all -- just another kind of Materialism.

What we need is something more like the physics-metaphysics distinction. We need to stop presuming that substance-based inquiry is supposed to yield us traction in regard to things like "souls," "minds," "identities," "consciousness"...

And why should that surprise us? We have plenty of conceptually real things that are relevant to the material, but which have no material existence of their own. Take a concept like "2": there is no "2-substance," because "2" is an adjectival descriptor, an enumerator, not a thing-in-itself. It can apply to practically everything, and be very real, in that sense: if it were not, all engineers would be out of a job. But, at the same time, it cannot be found as a substance of its own. You can't show me "2-ness" AS a substance, but it's possible to give me the realization of "2-ness" by means of its application to a substance.

That's admittedly only an analogy, and I don't take it to be entirely comparable. But it points us powerfully away from the confidence that substances are all that comprise "the Real."
But for sure only a fool would believe that experiencing reduces to the current physical model.
Strongly worded, but I'd agree.

Belinda
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Tue May 07, 2019 5:03 pm


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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue May 07, 2019 5:56 pm

Belinda wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 5:03 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theological_determinism

Theological determinism
???

What's your point? Some people are theological Determinists? Yeah, we knew that.

Some people are also Steelers' fans. That doesn't make it right. Nor does it make the Steelers the only team that plays real ball.

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Tue May 07, 2019 6:03 pm

I don't seek to contend with you , Immanuel, only want to increase my knowledge. There are people I need to contend with but you are not one of those.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue May 07, 2019 6:05 pm

Belinda wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 6:03 pm
I don't seek to contend with you , Immanuel, only want to increase my knowledge. There are people I need to contend with but you are not one of those.
Fair enough.

I just didn't see what the link was intended to tell us, that was not already part of the conversation. But if you provided it merely a general background for anybody who didn't know the issues, that's fine. Maybe it will help someone.

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Belinda » Tue May 07, 2019 6:12 pm

Yes, Immanuel, a general background of information for me too.

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Speakpigeon » Fri May 10, 2019 5:55 pm

philosophic nature wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:30 am
Soul is the aura, thé comprehensive part of our body.
The body of us is underlined with body, mind and soul.
I can't provide any truthful answer because of the very exotic vocabulary you use without define it...
What is "the aura"?
What is a "comprehensive part"?
What is it to be "underlined"?
Me, I have absolutely no idea.
EB

Justintruth
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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Justintruth » Fri May 10, 2019 7:16 pm

Here is what I get from your last post:

Two vs one:

Your position is that there are two real entities required for experiencing to possibly occur.

My position is that there is no entity logically required for experiencing to occur. However, as a matter of contingent fact, I hypothesize that all experiencing does physically require a single entity to occur.

Physical vs Non-physical:

Your position is that the entity that experiences must be non-physical.

My hypothesis is that the entities that experience are in fact all physical

External Stimulus Required:

Your position is that for experiencing to occur some external stimulus must be internalized by the conscious entity.

My position is that experiencing is a function of the state of the entity alone and that therefore no external stimulus is necessary.

Comments on above:

Two vs one:

The burden of proof is on the position with the higher number of posits. There does not seem to me to be any instances of ghosts or zombies. What is your reason for requiring the second posit of a separate conscious entity instead of one that has properties like position, temperature etc and also that experiences?

Physical vs Non-physical:

Is your position that an entity must not be “merely physical” or that it cannot be physical at all? Clearly, if by “physical” we are restricted to the current physical models, and that’s what “merely physical” means, then experiencing is non-physical, as it nowhere described in the physics that if matter is arranged in such or such a way, that some kind of experiencing will occur. Yet it does. We must not be restricted to the current physics precisely because of that.

Physics will not be able to do this without positing in addition to the current postulates that physics can experience. I agree that no physical device that operates “merely under current physical law” would be aware – but that is just the problem that needs correction in physical laws. I further think that it might be possible to define the phenomenology sufficiently to describe the physically possible experiencing and develop operators that relate the state of the device to the nature of its experiencing.

Signals Required:

There are numerous examples of instinctive learning passed on genetically. Clearly the assembly of the device is all that is needed. The sensory pathways in us are accidental and irrelevant to the discussion. Further, no information need be passed or even passable, for if there is a device with a single enduring experiencing no information can be encoded into it as it requires a difference (a 1 and a 0 if you want to think of it that way, to establish the spectrum required for information content). A computer memory that is unary is of no use. Nor is a communication signal that has only one state. 0 information is passed – Shannon

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Re: Do humans have a soul?

Post by Justintruth » Fri May 10, 2019 7:20 pm

Sorry, this post was to be in reply to Immanuel Can's previous reply to me

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