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  1. #31
    Commodore con Forza Sybarite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    ... because apparently neither you, nor I, and nor anybody else will change his/her opinion as a result of it...
    Minds are changable – I changed mine a few years ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    So then, why wasting time?
    Can discussion and debate ever be a 'waste of time'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Sybarite, it was not the first post of me you had read; you didn't really think I literally suggested the ancient Romans lived in caves??...
    In the absence of knowledge to the contrast, Andrew, it is always best to treat another poster literally. Actually, I didn't think that at all – but rather that, in your haste to credit Christianity with so much of the credit for civilisation (including the fact that we don't live in caves in western Europe), you had not taken account of those civilisations where they equally didn not live in caves, but were not Christian either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … But – really – science ? As we do understand this term?
    Yes. Science – in terms of explorations to attempt to understand and explain the world. Science as we know it today had to start somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … So, if you don't like the example with Internet – Okay, which model of the car you have ? Say, TOYOTA, Ford , BMW ? Well, doesn't matter . If the science had developed that „fast“ as it was in the times of ancient Romans – don't you think your means of transportation – NOW!! - would be still a horse and a carriage, at best?
    But Andrew, we are still left with your claim that science (up to and including the internet) is a direct result of a particular religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … They would just change one another, running in a circle. Thanks to the Christianity , Europe has got the chance to break from this circle, and this opportunity was well used…
    Now this is interesting. Because you seem to be implying that there were all those little religions – and then there was a ‘true’ one. Why is Christianity any more believeable (and therefore valid) than tales of Wodin and Odin and Loki and Freya? If you don’t think tales of giants walking the Earth are believable, why should tales of virgin births be believable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … Not sure I do understand exactly what you mean – who had to save which knowledge?
    Vast swathes of ancient knowledge were nearly lost. The church at the time didn’t want this knowledge around – see Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose for a fictional view of this. Quiet a lot of ancient Greek and Roman knowledge was salvaged and kept safe by Muslims at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … Everything we have now are copies – who made them , how do you think[/B]…
    There’s quite an irony in this, since this is exactly what Christians (and Jews and Muslims) have too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    But Galileo … His punishment was – to live two months at the villa of the bishop of Florence (who was his mate!!! ) , reading 7 psalms each day ( that cruel, huh ?)
    Andrew, however gentle you consider the ‘punishment’, that does not equate with supporting science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    They were all Christians – how could they combine it with their activities?
    First – were they? You know this? Or they said the right words because, at the time, it was not very tactful to admit non-belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    All Russian scientists – beginning from Lomonosov? How did they actually manage it , to bring their works out – they had to be totally controlled by the Church? Following your logic – the Church might have generally no problems of just burning down the bastards? Or was the European science born underground? Were the universities illegal?
    You seem to see only extremes. Look at the US today – the president uses his veto to stop (on religious grounds) some kinds of scientific research that could alleviate a great deal of suffering. Does that mean that universities don’t exist and are illegal? Or does it mean that science is supported by the prevailing religious attitude of those in power? It doesn’t mean either per se. To say that universities were not illegal is a straw man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … you can not blame ALL CHRISTIANS for the deeds of Torquemada?
    I have not attempted to do so. But we are, inevitably, talking in generalised terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … No, but I find it interesting. Who were these Christians?..
    Again, for the sake of brevity, we are talking in generalised terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … I heard about a real organisation which is really called Opus Dei, and their aims seemed to have nothing to do with that described in Da Vinci Code…
    Yes, we had a government minister who was a member of Opus Dei – a nutter who actually found herself confused between her duty to the government and the country, and her personal beliefs (which happen to support homophobia).

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Once again – who were the Christians sending these threats? Did any organisation ( like Al-Islam ) take responsibility? If not – say, it was anonymous – was it worth mentioning here?
    Well, we have a particularly unpleasant bunch of bigoted, hypocritical nutters in the UK called Christian Voice, led by Stephen Green, but a general campaign against the screening of the particular programme was loosely organised by two reactionary national daily newspapers, the Daily Mail and The Sun.

    We have also had the fatwah against author Salman Rushdie and the recent upset over his knighthood; Sikh riots that forced a play by a Sikh woman, about Sikhs, to close. (For clarity’s sake, these things were not done by all Muslims or all Sikhs, but they were motivated by religion) We had protests about the cartoons – and have subsequently had trials where people have been sent to prison.

    The UK still has an established church that is tied to the state and where high-up members of that church get to sit in the House of Lord’s (the upper chamber) and make political decisions purely because they are senior figures in that religious body – the head of which is the monarch (who isn’t allowed to be a Catholic, for instance. Nor is the Prime Minister, for that matter).

    We have new legislation to prevent the religious being offended. It’s so clumsily worded that it could be used to stop comedians making jokes. We still have the former blasphemy laws on the statue book (if God is so all-powerful, why the hell does He need protecting from mere words?) We have legislation that allows religions to discriminate in employment. There are special rules for the religious everywhere. Churches and other religious places are exempt from tax – why?

    We have a government that is full of religious types who are increasingly operating on the basis of their own religious agendas – Fiona McTaggart for one, Paul Coggins and his team at the Home Office for another. I’d need a lengthy essay to explain all these. Our form PM was religious. Our current PM is religious – the “son of the manse”. We have local doctors, employed by the state in the National Health Service, yet increasingly turning away women who request an abortion because of their religious views. We have rich businessmen effectively buying the right to be in charge of schools – and then bringing increased religion into them. We have school assemblies that are still required, by law, to have a Christian aspect every day. We have state funding for religious schools – including one near where I live where 50 Jewish girls get to do 50% normal education and 50% of the Torah. How does this help inclusivity? How does this prepare children for real life? So no, we are not a secular state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Or had Dawkins to flee from UK ( or US, whatever ) to save his life? Or were the authors of the Popetown ( weekly on MTV ) trialed by the English Court ( or at least stoned to death by the crowd of angry Christians )??
    Again, you are attempting to see things only in black or white. There have been blasphemy trials within recent memory – Mary Whitehouse was very fond of trying to go down that route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Do you really fail to see any difference between Christianity and the cults mentioned? Oh, man... Okay, they were all that old – where are all they now? What did they gave to the mankind? What good did they bring to the lives of their people who believed in all these gods?
    So here we get the crux – again. You view Christianity as somehow superior to any other religion. Why? On what basis? What evidence do you have that it’s more ‘truthful’ than any other religion? You say it’s different – what is the difference? What is the concrete, real-life difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … That is – were the Europeans maybe just more clever than the rest? Definitely not. There were a lot of theories of this kind – the racistic theories. Then, what did only they have and the other not??
    This is verging on superstition, Andrew. Why don’t we just all believe in von Daniken? And since you seem to be implying that ‘my god’s bigger than your god’ and he gave us all the tools to go and conquer these places, perhaps now is the perfect opportunity to ask why you want (apparently) to worship a god who, on your basis, sees it as perfectly acceptable to murder hundreds of thousands of people – some accidentally (via viruses from Europe brought to South America) to deliberately (what is now the US). What a nice God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … Okay – at least something good about US!
    I’ll assume that’s a joke.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … Let us assume there is no God. It doesn't explains anything in Creation, but raises a lot more questions - without any answer. Let us forget about it…
    No. Let’s not. Because religion does no better. If God created the world, who or what created God? Where did God come from? Do you have answers to that? No, you do not. And you cannot even begin to come up with any.

    Science has theories (the word 'theories' is here being used in a scientific way) to show how life could have begun. Evolution is a proven thing – you can even watch tiny organisms evolving in a lab dish. But science does claim to have all the answers. Unlike religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    The first logical concequence of this thesis – Jesus was not the Son of God, but a normal human being. It raises a great lot of questions once again, not a single one of which can be somewhat persuisive answered, as I strongly suppose, but let us forget about it too and go further.
    No. Let us go further. Because this is absolutely at the heart of the question. I have assumed that your earlier comment about the US and atheists was a joke. Yet such anti-democratic things occur precisely because people claim such things are real. Abortion doctors are murdered because people claim such things are real. 9/11 and 7/7 happened because claim that such things (in their religion) are real. Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem hand out leaflets offering money for anyone who murders a “sodomite” because people believe that this sort of stuff (in their religion) is real.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Next consequence – the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament came not from Above, but were figured out by the people, the same applied for the New Testament. These are all moral norms that had hold the Christian societies together – through the Centuries.
    A very high percentage of the commandments are nothing to do with morals and all about how you should worship a jealous god. Indeed, these are listed first so are presumably most important. They are not the foundation of any morality. And morality/ethics is not dependent on any religious set of rules. If they are, find me one good thing that a religious person can do, because of their religion, that a non-religious person cannot do. And in turn, find one bad thing that a non-religious person can do because they are not religious, that a religious person cannot do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    But now, in the modern times, should we presume that they are not holy anymore – they will be then reduced to the moral rules and norms, which were only good for an ethnic group of people which existed somewhere in the Middle East several milleniums ago. Their circumstances, way of life, language, mentality were totally different from ours.
    You’re getting there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    … If so, then – what would prevent me from stealing ( Don't Steal...) ? Or from killing ( Don't Kill )? Why should I stay true to my wife if there is lot of nice girls outside ( Don't .... ) ??
    I repeat: these things are not dependent on a religious viewpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Maybe love? Come on – what is love? If you believe only in Darwin, then you must admit we are all animals at last. Do animals know love? If I am only an animal – would not it be only logical to behave myself respectively?
    Now you’re ducking. Where did Darwin say that we cannot know love – or any other emotion? That’s right – he didn’t. We are animals – we are primates, apes. If a bunch of aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and decided to carry out an exercise in classification of all species, we’d be classed as apes. Scientific fact. Do animals have emotions? All the evidence, both scientific and anecdotal suggests so, so your point falls (again).

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    These questions are in no way new – you may open any book of Dostoevsky ( one of the most famous Russian and European writers, deeply Christian ) and read much more about it.
    I prefer Thomas Mann or Emile Zola.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Concerning the atheistic systems …
    There is no such homogenous thing or things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    These were Das Dritte Reich (of Adolf Hitler )…
    No. Hitler was not an atheist. Hitler was – on the basis of his writings, speeches and other people’s accounts of him – a Christian, a Roman Catholic. So, for that matter, were Franco and Pinochet.

    Let’s go back to the core. What basis is there for belief in a God? What basis (since this seems to be predominantly about Christianity, at least from your perspective) to believe that a virgin gave birth? Why is that so much more sensible than believing in fairies at the bottom of my garden?

    In other words, where is proof? There is none. I repeat the quote from Martin Luther: “reason is the devil’s *****, given birth by that stinking goat named Aristotle”.

    In other words, thinking is bad. Thinking is dangerous.
    Last edited by Sybarite; Oct-09-2007 at 17:46.

  2. #32
    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Hi Sybarite,
    thanks for the prompt response! Was interesting to read. Though I must complain, that you have ignored or did not answer the most of my questions. Or you still don't understand what I am saying? We should work on communication, then.

    The quote of Lüther is cool - he was , no doubt, a clever guy. Rather strong expressions , though. What was the context of that?

    I am personally not sure, whether thinking is THAT dangerous ( maybe until you are thinking of robbing a bank ...)

    Now , just kidding in a coffee break.

    Good, and once again a 5 cents now to the topic of the vitality of this discussion.

    A lecture on a cosmogonic issue in a planetarium in a small town. The lecturer makes a slide show and explains - now, look, this is the Earth, this is the Sun, the Moon, here are another planets somewhere etc. After he has finished, an old lady comes to him and says,
    " Now, it was surely nice to look at that pictures of yours, but they are all fake and you were completely wrong in all your points, because everybody knows that the Earth lays on a back of a giant turtle! "
    The good man was well educated in the university, so he asks her - without delaying an instant:
    " Well, and what is UNDER this giant turtle?"
    " Why, sure - another one. And it is even bigger than the first!"
    " Okay , and ...."
    " Why, the third one! "
    The lecturer opens his mouth to ask again, but the lady puts in:
    " Now, you better stop with your foolish questions - that place is full with the turtles from bottom to the top! "

    Sybarite, never mind - I am kidding in a coffee pause and can't come out without another silly joke!

    I hope to be back to MMIF at this WE - that here was surely NOT an answer to your post -it comes next - just wanted to say I am here and still alive!!!

    CU all,
    Andrew
    "Once you have tasted flight, you will ever walk with your eyes turned skywards; for there you have been, and there you long to return." - Leonardo Da Vinci


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  3. #33
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I know how people were persacuted in Europe and England in the name of
    religon. It was horrible! It started with Constuntean the first Roman
    empirer king to use christianity to get his way. People were killed if they
    didn't join the Catholic church, Jewish people were slaughtered in the
    name of the Virgin Mary. That was Hitler for you! Queen Mary would
    put people to death if they didn't become a Catholic. That's why she was
    called Bloody Mary. Now there is a drink named in her honor. I could go
    on and on. As for medical help, I don't trust doctors either. The reason
    why I won't go. I might someday but not now. I will wear a pair of
    cheep reading glasses when I need bifocals. I will do anything to take
    care of my own emergencies. Doctors here can be quacks. I saw my
    husband and my dad lay there with cancer eating them up alive when
    they could have recieved treatment to shrink down the cancer and
    they both died. Now I sit here in front of the Library computer trying
    to give you the right answer. Just send back a reply.
    judy tooley P.S. on a controversial book

  4. #34
    Captain of Water Music pnoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybarite View Post
    Anyone else read this?
    I have. It made some good points, some not so good.

    EDIT: Hitler was not an atheist. The swastika, or so I've read, was a permutation of the cross.
    "Did anybody see this snowman
    Stand there with the lord
    With proper get up, hang his hat
    Only you're feeling sleepy-eyed"

    -Damo Suzuki

  5. #35
    Captain of Water Music pnoom's Avatar
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    [quote=Andrew Roussak;25242]I guess Europeans have to be aware at least ,that it is only thanks to Christianity that they do not live in the caverns today but can use the Internet, can take part in the open forums, and have the average lifetime of 70-80 years - not 37 like it was B.C. quote]

    I can only assume you pulled this out of your hat. Scientific progress has allowed this, and scientific progress has been constantly persecuted by Christianity. It still is today (creation anyone?), and probably always will be, because scientific discoveries erode the notion that the bible is literal truth.

    At least in ancient days, it was the Muslims who promoted progress, hence the reason we use Arabic numerals, not Roman numberals.
    "Did anybody see this snowman
    Stand there with the lord
    With proper get up, hang his hat
    Only you're feeling sleepy-eyed"

    -Damo Suzuki

  6. #36
    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Part one

    Hello Sybarite ( and all still participating in the discussion ), I am here again after a long break ( sorry, I can't help it ). It is not about a lack of interest, once again, but a lack of time.

    Sybarite, I want to answer herewith the last post of you. Let me begin with that of your points, which seem to me to be less significant ( concerning the sense of the whole discussion ), and move step by step closer to the core. The quotations will appear, therefore, not "chronologically " ordered.

    We have new legislation to prevent the religious being offended. It’s so clumsily worded that it could be used to stop comedians making jokes. We still have the former blasphemy laws on the statue book (if God is so all-powerful, why the hell does He need protecting from mere words?) We have legislation that allows religions to discriminate in employment.

    Now, first of all, I don't think I am really expected to comment the British laws – any of them. The sense of what you call blasphemy laws – on my opinion – should be actually the following . Surely God ( even if He exists only in our imagination ) doesn’t need to be protected from mere words ( you have named the reason , why ) . There are fanatics within each religion. These are, normally , nervous people. They can get angry, go out, kill somebody. The right of a free speech is inviolable , for sure, but in this particular case the human life seems to me to be more important. I guess this consideration alone could be sufficient. Surely you have to formulate such things so that they don't sound or work absurd – but it is a matter of law, anyway.

    You seem to see only extremes. Look at the US today – the president uses his veto to stop (on religious grounds) some kinds of scientific research that could alleviate a great deal of suffering.

    Sybarite, I don't see only extremes, I just prefer the colourful examples. Concerning George W. Bush – don't know exactly, what you mean, but even if it is true – it is surely not the only weird decision, made by the US president? I – personally – don't see any contradictions between science and religion, at least as I understand the both. This was, actually, my point from the very beginning, I will try to explain futher ONE MORE TIME , what do I mean with that. If the US president has some another point of view on the subject – why, sorry....

    We have a government that is full of religious types who are increasingly operating on the basis of their own religious agendas – Fiona McTaggart for one, Paul Coggins and his team at the Home Office for another. I’d need a lengthy essay to explain all these. Our form PM was religious. Our current PM is religious – the “son of the manse”. We have local doctors, employed by the state in the National Health Service, yet increasingly turning away women who request an abortion because of their religious views. We have rich businessmen effectively buying the right to be in charge of schools – and then bringing increased religion into them. We have school assemblies that are still required, by law, to have a Christian aspect every day. We have state funding for religious schools – including one near where I live where 50 Jewish girls get to do 50% normal education and 50% of the Torah. How does this help inclusivity? How does this prepare children for real life? So no, we are not a secular state.

    Sybarite, I do answer this point only because I am , probably, expected to give an answer. This is not the heart of a question. If the things are that bad ( as you are trying to outline them ), they must be approximately the same in all countries throughout EU. In Germany , where I live now, I can only say I don't see any bad concequences of smth. like this in my everyday life. Concerning the schools you describe – do these people have an opportunity to just choose another school ( without 50% of Torah )? I am sure , yes ( bad if not! ) . Then, it is a matter of their free choice, is not it? My daughter attends a normal grammar school ( Gymnasium, in German ), where she has only one lesson of a religion per week – I had never heard it was different in any other school here. Even if I were an atheist I would say it's Okay to attend this lesson, because they learn the history of the Christianity there, which is a part ( whether you like it or not ) of the history of Europe.
    Concerning everything you mentioned above, it still doesn't make UK an unbearable place for you – you are not urged to leave it, saving your life – like Salman Rushdie had to do? I have spent about 4 months of my life in UAE – and I would say, a real non-secular states do not look like UK anyway, in many respects.

    To be continued....
    "Once you have tasted flight, you will ever walk with your eyes turned skywards; for there you have been, and there you long to return." - Leonardo Da Vinci


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  7. #37
    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Part two

    Hello once again ... the post was too long - I had to divide it in 2 parts.

    From this point on , I have decided to systematize the further quotations in attempt to make this post at least somehow transparent. I hope it is Okay. So , you can just skip to the next "chapter", if this or that one seems boring. These are : 1. Moral Aspects; 2. Some Scientific Aspects; 3. European Science; 4. Basical Questions; 5. Conclusions.

    1.Moral Aspects

    A very high percentage of the commandments are nothing to do with morals and all about how you should worship a jealous god. Indeed, these are listed first so are presumably most important. They are not the foundation of any morality.
    Even if you don't like the first 4 of them ( that is what you presumably call "very high pecentage"? Weak argumentation ), another 6 would be alone sufficient – Don't Kill, Don't Steal...- you know. In a religious society, especially in an earlier one, they would not nevertheless work without the convincing religious context ( that’s why the first 4 ).

    In Christianity, it is even more simple – love the near as yourself ( Markus 13:31 ) . Not sufficient foundation?

    You may as well compare – The Moral Codex Of the Builder Of Communism, in the Soviet Union. This crazy thing had to be the basis of the new moral, and I had to learn it in a primary school by heart, as all the rest. The main principle – "The hatred to the enemies of the Communism, and the merciless struggle against them". 20 000 000 murdered only in the 30es, before WWII. I am not saying this document automatically made the monsters of the people. But such things were now allowed .

    And morality/ethics is not dependent on any religious set of rules. If they are, find me one good thing that a religious person can do, because of their religion, that a non-religious person cannot do. And in turn, find one bad thing that a non-religious person can do because they are not religious, that a religious person cannot do.
    Well, if we are only primates then – we should have followed the law of natural selection, as all animals do, right? That is, the strongest must survive. The human society has nevertheless, these weird moral norms, working exactly against this law. Old people's homes, hospices...you know. Do animals do that too? Where then the moral norms come from?
    Surely the atheists have the same moral norms as the religious people. Everybody knows, that killing, stealing is bad ( why??? ). These norms are, nevertheless, only instructions – you know, that you should follow them. Whether you do it or not, is the matter of your choice. I'm not saying that the fact of just belonging to this or that confession makes you holy. I am saying that the really religious person would LIKELY think twice before offending these norms, because the origin of this norms is being understood as God Himself. The religious person risks with his/her soul on the way, an atheist has nothing to lose.

    As for the examples of what non-religious person would do and religious not – can GULAG be a sufficient one?

    No. Hitler was not an atheist. Hitler was – on the basis of his writings, speeches and other people’s accounts of him – a Christian, a Roman Catholic. So, for that matter, were Franco and Pinochet.
    First of all , let me notice that you – and not for the first time – has torn the phrase out of its real context. I did not mean Hitler in person, but rather the regime he created ( as one based on an anti-christian ideology ). Then, I don't see Lenin in your list – what did make you to ignore him?

    For the sake of truth, a few words about Adolf Hitler. You are right – he was not, exactly, an atheist. He was born in Austria in 1889 – I have no doubt he should have been baptized there as Catholic. Surely he had also attended the services – in his early days . But later – the "minds are changeable", eh? The views of Hitler, as well as that of Goebbels, Himmler, Göring, were esotheric, not Christian. I have read a book about it ( which was called "The Criminal Nuber One", D.Melnikov - first published in the Soviet Union, later republished in Russia ) – if there was a single hint found, showing that Hitler was actually a Christian – I can't imagine it could be missed there. The doctrine of the Third Reich was based on a whimsical mixture of esotheric and occult views, taken from old European pre-christian myths ( that's why the Der Ring des Nibelungen ), as well as from Indian and Tibethian eposes. The word "swastika" itself has the Sanskritik roots. They needed the theoretical basis sufficient to justify the idea of Aryan ( or Indogerman ) race, as the dominating one. Christianity could not deliver the basis for such things – so they had to search for it in the myths. They have even undertaken the "scientific" expeditions in Tibethian region, to explore the esoterical backgrounds there, which they could use as a proof.

    Franco and Pinochet – please see above , concerning how Hitler was baptized and later on . I would be interested to know which source you have used – in Wikipedia, I have failed to find anything about their religious views. Btw, if you mean they were Catholics – find me a quotation from the New Testament excusing mass murder.

    2.Some Scientific Aspects.


    Science has theories (the word 'theories' is here being used in a scientific way) to show how life could have begun. Evolution is a proven thing – you can even watch tiny organisms evolving in a lab dish. But science does claim to have all the answers. Unlike religion.
    Sybarite,first of all, there is a logical crux here. You see, this "life could have begun" means actually, that you are speaking of a theory, which is a matter of belief, until it is proven. This belief is not better, than any other. Then – you said "theories". The presence of two or more points of view ( scientific theories ) on the same subject in the same time means, in fact, that they are all wrong, strictly speaking. Because it means, that every of these theories has its lacks.

    Well, it doesn't actually matter. Furthermore – only for the sake of clarity:
    Evolution – if you mean the classical evolution theorie of Darwin (1859 : On the origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life ) - it describes , actually , only the evolution WITHIN the specific race, and fails to explain or show how the races mutate, or transform, in the higher forms. There were attempts to model it – in the SU, in the 50es. These attempts failed ( disgracefully failed, because there was a political context in it in that time ).

    Now, we have a theorie of gen mutations, which , theorethically , can make such things possible. Though, they still didn't become a single one positive mutation on this way – the new species, which could be reproductive and viable. All they have at the present moment , are - at best - monsters, waste. I believe, it is only a matter of time, though – sooner or later, such new species can arrive. BUT EVEN THIS WILL PROVE NOTHING, because they will know, at that point, HOW. But they will be not a step nearer to explain , WHY, because the science just does not give the answers of such kind.
    There is even no question that the positive mutations are possible – though , I guess they work in the labs CONSEQUENTLY in this direction – still without sensible result. The real question is – WHY so much positive mutations ( how many species on Earth? ) within that critical period of time, without any help from outside?

    Science may claim to have all answers – yes, sure. But these answers are not contradictory with that, given by the religion. These are different answers on the different questions.

    The copy of the Bible, that I own, has 1225 pages of the text, and the description of the Creation itself takes less than 2 of them. If you will take care to read these two pages (once again) , and then will try to reproduce the ESSENCE with your own words , there will be not much. It is being, in fact, affirmed, that God had created the Universe, the Earth, the life on it, and the human beings. That’s all. It is not being described, HOW and on which ways it was done. It is not the matter of the Bible.

    That is, if God had created life – he had to do it SOMEHOW. You say , gen mutations? Ok, why not?

    Now you’re ducking. Where did Darwin say that we cannot know love – or any other emotion? That’s right – he didn’t. We are animals – we are primates, apes. If a bunch of aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and decided to carry out an exercise in classification of all species, we’d be classed as apes. Scientific fact. Do animals have emotions? All the evidence, both scientific and anecdotal suggests so, so your point falls (again).


    Good, and rather funny. Even if I looked exactly like an ape ( say I was a little bit more hairy as I am and had a tail ) – I would still think of myself as of homo sapiens and not as of ape, because the actual difference is not the common physiology but reason and moral ( I guess it was already mentioned – see Moral Aspects above, 2nd quote ).

    Logically, the common physiology is not a proof of any theorie. I could as well say, that God had used this type of a body ( of an ape ) because it had to perfectly fit to all what I was supposed to do in my everyday life. It fits, actually, doesn't it? So, He used the ape's form as a matrix and put the reason and soul inside. That's all – now try to find a gap in this logic.

    Emotions – again, wrong context. Have I ever answered what Darwin did or did not say about love? I have meant love as a part of the moral obligation – see above , in the same place.

    Surely I know that my cat has emotions – fear, anger etc. Love, in many cases, too – but all these emotions do not contradict with the law of natural selection – they are absolutely logical in its context. But I don't see WHY this emotions must have transformed in the moral norms, which are purely irrational – from this point of view. You will even fail to find any intermediate form on the way of such transformation in the nature, to come up with an example.

    So, your argument does not fall – because it was not an argument.

    3 . European Science


    Let’s take these two for a starter.

    Vast swathes of ancient knowledge were nearly lost. The church at the time didn’t want this knowledge around – see Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose for a fictional view of this. Quiet a lot of ancient Greek and Roman knowledge was salvaged and kept safe by Muslims at the time.


    Now I do at last understand what you wanted to say with this – and I would say, you would better not use it as an argument.

    The "Vast swathes of ancient knowledge", and the works of Aristotle among them, were not given to the Muslims by the Aristotle in person. It was the result of their continuous raids to Byzantium, they were in the constant state of war throughout the whole history of the East Roman Empire. The distant parts of it ( Syria, Egypt ) were conquered by Arabs already in 646, the first registered blockade of Consantinopolis was in 674. The "vast swathes of knowledge" were not lost, but taken by Arabs from the libraries of Byzantium, plundered by their troops. On the same way, these works came to Europe later ( crusades, began 1095-97 ).

    Btw, Byzantium did not have such thing as the Dark Ages. Should I say now, that the mentioned works would be no less safe in Byzantium without any "help" from Muslims?

    The Name of the Rose – a really important detail for me here is the fact of the existence of the library itself. If they did not want this – or , following your logic, any other – knowledge around, what then this library for? All costs, complexities connected – why? They could just throw it all away and use the library for some other needs?

    Btw, I was never able to understand ( Name of the Rose ) which knowledge EXACTLY they did not want to be around. Even now, we do not have any knowledge which could be somewhat dangerous.

    Andrew:... Galileo is a good example . As you maybe know, he was a follower of a heliocentric idea, put forward by Nicholaeus Copernick ( the Sun as the center of the planet system, not the Earth ). It was not a heresie that time, but a punishable act , as it came into a contradiction with the „official“ cosmogonic ideas. His punishment was – to live two months at the villa of the bishop of Florence (who was his mate!!! ) , reading 7 psalms each day ( that cruel, huh ?)

    Sybarite: Andrew, however gentle you consider the ‘punishment’, that does not equate with supporting science.
    A little bit of history once again.

    You cannot trace any cosmogonic ideas from the Bible, because this book just does not contain them. It says, that God had created this world ( the Universe ), but it doesn't say how, it does not say nothing about how the material world functions, which physical laws it has etc.

    That is, the field of the practical knowledge was left to science.
    There was no such thing as an Academy of Sciences in the Middle Ages – these functions had to be carried out by the church. As the Bible did not provide ANY cosmogonic system, they had to accept the best one available. This was the system of Aristotle, which placed the Earth in the middle of the system. The heliocentric idea was put out by Kopernikus ( who failed to prove it – there were still no methods and instruments available ). The idea was suported by Galilei and finally proven by Johannes Kepler in the XVII C.
    Why did I write all this? I guess, it must be clear now that this case had nothing with the religion to do – but only with the fact, that the scientific knowledge had to be sufficiently proved, because it had to replace the official cosmogonic model then – which was, by no means, a "holy" one. The church acted in this case more like an Academy of Sciences,not as a religious organisation, and used the instruments it had on this way. That's all.


    Now we are coming to the point of my personal interest in this discussion.


    Andrew: Why not speak about Newton, Kepler, Deqart, Boillez? They were all Christians – how could they combine it with their activities? All Russian scientists – beginning from Lomonosov? How did they actually manage it , to bring their works out – they had to be totally controlled by the Church?

    Sybarite:
    First – were they? You know this? Or they said the right words because, at the time, it was not very tactful to admit non-belief.
    In this case the truth is exactly one mouseclick away. Visit this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton#Religious_views
    • about the religious view of Sir Isaac Newton, who wrote ( did you know it ? ) more works on theology as the scientific works . I can't think he had dedicated the significant part of his life to it only wanting to be "tactful". The words of Alexander Pope:
    Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night;
    God said "Let Newton be" and all was light!
    You may as well find in Wikipedia the biographies of all the scientists mentioned: Rene Dekart, Robert Boyle, Johannes Kepler. And of many others ( you may follow the links on the pages – you know ). You may find out, for example, that Francesco Antonio Grimaldi ( the wave nature of light, optics ) was taught in the jesuit college in Bologne and was , actually, Father Grimaldi, because he was a Catholic priest at the same time. About the Russian scientists – I can provide you a lot of examples, actually, though I may search in the Russian Wikipedia then – but I guess you have no doubt I can do it on demand. I can even post here some quotations from Albert Einstein, showing that he accepted the existence of God ( his views were not exactly Christian , as much as I know, but in no way materialistic ).
    Now, I guess these examples would be enough. I have to repeat my question, which you have simply ignored last time:

    How, on your opinion, could the mentioned above scientists ( the cream of the crop , each at his time ) combine their professional activities with their obviously religious world-views? Were they just fools?

    So here we get the crux – again. You view Christianity as somehow superior to any other religion.
    Let us make a stop here and clear up this point. I did not formulate it this way. We were speaking about the European science, and the dominating European religion is , obviously, Christianity. It is a history and does not have anything to do with my personal religious views.

    Why is Christianity any more believeable (and therefore valid) than tales of Wodin and Odin and Loki and Freya? If you don’t think tales of giants walking the Earth are believable, why should tales of virgin births be believable?


    And once again – more to the context of this point. I said , the Christianity did not stand in the way of science, because it had no sensible reasons to do that. You said it did. Let us end up with this point at first.

    Whether Christianity is more believable or not – does not play any role in this light. If I am saying that the Christianity was the decisive factor, which has made the breakthrough of the European science possible – it doesn't have absolutely nothing to do with my own religious confession. It is more about an ability to analyse the historical facts, known from the school programm. That is what you describe as a dangerous process of thinking. I could as well be an atheist – the facts would stay the same.

    Now this is interesting. Because you seem to be implying that there were all those little religions – and then there was a ‘true’ one....You say it’s different ( the Christianity – A.R.) – what is the difference? What is the concrete, real-life difference?..
    I have put these quotations together, because they all have the same context, so I guess I can try to answer them all at once.

    Now let's see. The Greekish mythology says, the ocean is ruled by Poseidon and is only subject of his mood or his will. Then comes the Roman mythology which says approximately the same, only the name of their god is now Neptune. Pre-christian Celts believed, that the elements were "gods" – or like that – themselves. And so on.

    That is, if I really believe, that the stars are being lighted on the sky by the hand of a god, responsible for that – I will hardly come to the idea of researching the objective laws of Astrophysics. If I think, that the water itself is "sacred", that it is a part of a god's body – I will hardly come to the idea of studying the chemical compound of water.

    And what does the Bible say? Nothing , actually. It doesn't contain ANY cosmogony ( see above ). God had created the Universe, as we do see it. It does not say HOW, it does not say nothing about the functioning of this system. This field is left completely to science.

    That is, Christianity did not stand in the way of science, because there was no any sensible reason for it. The church ,actually, needed sciences , because this cosmogonic vakuum should have been filled with knowledge. You may find out in Wikipedia, that the sponsor of Galileo's researches was cardinal Mattheo Barberini ( later Pope Urban VIII ). You may find the links to the universities, founded by the jesuits – like that in Graz, where Kepler had studied. And so on.

    I am not saying that Christianity is "better". It is just the only religion ( as far as I know it from a school program) that does not contain any own cosmogonic model. This was a chance, that the European science had used ( and quite well, I would say ).

    But Andrew, we are still left with your claim that science (up to and including the internet) is a direct result of a particular religion.
    I guess it is quite evident now. I just see the internet ( as well as the telescopes, spaceships, toothbrushes, ... ) as a particular consequence and result of the various scientific researches in Europe. Physics, Mathemathics...Hope it's clear now.

    Well, Sybarite, I would like to end up with that point at last, and want to post a question for you now.

    Once again – my point – the Christianity didn't stand in the way of science ( there was no reason for it ) Such situation was unique in the world, and provided the conditions, necessary and sufficient for the scientific breakthrough.

    Your points:

    Religion in general had never pushed the human progress forward...Religion had denied, rejected and stood in the way of science...
    and:
    So no, we are not a secular state . ( about UK now – A.R. )
    Which makes me think, that UK, as well as presumably all other European states, stood in the Middle Ages at least not better, than today.

    So, your point – the Europe in a whole was not secular, and its religion ( Christianity ) stood in the way of science. Good, accepted. Which means Europe stood in no way better than the rest of the world .

    If so, now my question – please name me at least 10 non -European ( non-American, non-Russian ) scientists in the period of time, say 1400 – 1900 AD and, say, 5 fundamental laws discovered not in Europe ( US, Russia ) in the same period of time.

    You know that I will come up any time with another 20 names , or laws – from Europe. And I know , that you will fail to find at least one example. Then, you will have to accept, that the scientific breakthrough, one of the results of which ( internet ) you do use everyday, origins from Europe – exclusively. And it must have a clear and sensible reason. If you don't like my version – please give me yours.

    And now we came to the core.

    4.Basical questions.

    Let’s go back to the core. What basis is there for belief in a God? What basis (since this seems to be predominantly about Christianity, at least from your perspective) to believe that a virgin gave birth? Why is that so much more sensible than believing in fairies at the bottom of my garden? In other words, where is proof ? There is none.


    First of all - the formulation is a little bit incorrect.

    BELIEF – 1.The feeling that smth. is real and true; ...2. smth. accepted as true or real ( Oxford dictionary ). Belief, as such, doesn't need a direct proof . If it is proven , it becomes a knowledge. I believe in smth., if it don't contradict to my knowledge, the common sense, and until the opposite is proven. And I guess you will need such thing as belief too – in 5 minutes.

    Concerning the proof .
    1. 1. If we are speaking of Jesus Christ as God – I don't think I will have sufficient troubles on this way. First of all, His existence as a historical person is not even being seriously discussed any more. There are tons of the special ( historical ) literature on this subject. Let me just spare it now. Concerning whether he was God – the tons of it , once again. I have to cut this extremely important issue very short. The probability of appearing of an uneducated man with such ideas in the Middle East in that time is miserable. The origin of these ideas is unclear. He had preached only THREE years. The spreading of Christianity, after Jesus was crucified , buried and denied ( even by His best scholar – Petrus ) is unexplainable.. The probability that it all should had necessary happen in the best time and place possible ( Christianity became – through the chain of accidents - the official religion of Rome, and then thus – all-European religion ) is miserable. And much more. So, you have to believe in Jesus as in God, or you have to stop to believe in a Probability theory. This question was, btw, simply ignored by the atheistic historiography in the SU.

      2. Proof of God's Existence – generally. Take a look:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kant
      Immanuel Kant has in his works Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason actually proved, that any practical arguments of the existence of God( or non-existence as well ) will never be sufficient. It is logically impossible to prove His existence or non-existence on this way. The particular case of it – natural sciences can not, logically, deliver any arguments sufficient, because the subject of their researches is the material world, and God – if He created this world - can not be Himself a part of it.

      3. One more reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Only_Possible_Argument_in_Support_of_a_Demonst ration_of_the_Existence_of_God
      Immanuel Kant, The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God.
      Rather shortly – Kant proves, that the human freedom can not origin from the material world. Its origin must have an over-material nature. Such origin is known as God. Even if our freedom and God are only imaginary, they can not be logically parted from each other.
      Sorry if it was a little bit complicated – but we are not discussing Star Wars now.
    If God created the world, who or what created God? Where did God come from? Do you have answers to that? No, you do not. And you cannot even begin to come up with any.


    The last and the best of all your questions. It shows me, that you can not accept anything that can exist eternally.

    Let's see.

    If I accept God , I must accept Him as the The Unique Not Created Essence. I accept that He was ALWAYS because I have no other logical opportunity. No, I can not imagine such thing. But I accept it , nevertheless, and I will have even less problems on this way, as you may expect, because I know that the TIME is one of the properties of MATTER. It makes no sense to apply the material cathegories to Something or Someone unmaterial. As such, God must have no problems to exist eternally. Btw, there many things even in material world, which nobody can actually imagine , but they are still accepted – these are, for example, the 4th dimension, dual nature of light, some paradoxes of time.

    Now let's look in your cards. On the very same reason, you will have to accept ( denying God ) that the matter , regardless in which form of it , had existed ALWAYS. Logically, no other way. Matter, or energy, can not begin from nothing because it would contradict to the law of conservation of energy. Any reason, which could have caused such deviation, MUST have had an unmaterial nature – and is known as God.

    That is, end of the road. Someone or something – God or matter – should have existed always. This is exactly the state of affairs, in which the materialistic and idealistic world-views co-exist the last 2000 years ( a little bit longer, since 100 BC – Lucrecius ). That's why this debate did not generally make any sense from the very beginning.

    But at this point I want to ask you ( the last question ) - why the eternal matter should be more believable that the eternal God ?

    5. Conclusions.

    After all said and done, let's see what we both have in the long run.

    Accepting God as the Reason of the Beginning, I become an answer – WHY did this all happened exactly in this time and place, why the Earth orbit the Sun at the best distance possible, why such incredible amount of the positive mutations had happened, why Jesus had chosen the best possible time and place to appear on Earth, and so on. The questions, HOW this all ( Universe, evolution etc. ) works are delivered by science. I have no problems to understand – where the all-common moral norms come from, because I see the "good" and "bad" things as the reflections of Good and evil existing Above ( and beneath ). I have no problems to understand , why all known cultures did come to idea of God ( or gods ) without even ever seeing Him ( them ).

    Denying God, you must accept the eternal matter. You have to explain everything listed above only basing on the the law of the causal-investigatory communications – which is universal for all the phenomena in the material world. That is , you must have regard it all as the chain of accidents. The Earth had accidentally came to its orbit ( any other would be killing ) , the mutations were accidential etc. Theorethically, possible. Practically, I believe in a Probability theory. And therefore in God.

    Now, that's all. Thank you for attention, was fun writing. I can not add anything more to it and don't think it is, actually, necessary.

    Sybarite, I really respect your point of view. I have said that this discussion is useless – not because it is not interesting, but it just hardly can change the point of view of anybody.

    Nevertheless, if you would want to answer – please begin with the underlined questions.

    Best regards,

    Andrew
    Last edited by Andrew Roussak; Oct-16-2007 at 23:36.
    "Once you have tasted flight, you will ever walk with your eyes turned skywards; for there you have been, and there you long to return." - Leonardo Da Vinci


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  8. #38
    Captain of Water Music pnoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Roussak View Post
    Good, and rather funny. Even if I looked exactly like an ape ( say I was a little bit more hairy as I am and had a tail ) – I would still think of myself as of homo sapiens and not as of ape, because the actual difference is not the common physiology but reason and moral
    We only have morals because we have bigger brains. It's not because we're special in some way.
    "Did anybody see this snowman
    Stand there with the lord
    With proper get up, hang his hat
    Only you're feeling sleepy-eyed"

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  9. #39
    Captain of Water Music pnoom's Avatar
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    why the eternal matter should be more believable that the eternal God ?

    This one is fairly easy to answer. Because the evidence of matter is right in front of our eyes. There is zero evidence for an eternal God. I may not understand eternal matter, but I accept it because I see that it is there. Inserting God into the equation only complicates the matter without actually explaning anything.
    "Did anybody see this snowman
    Stand there with the lord
    With proper get up, hang his hat
    Only you're feeling sleepy-eyed"

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    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pnoom View Post
    We only have morals because we have bigger brains. It's not because we're special in some way.
    Bad answer . The elephant's brains are even bigger.
    "Once you have tasted flight, you will ever walk with your eyes turned skywards; for there you have been, and there you long to return." - Leonardo Da Vinci


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  11. #41
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi Andrew Roussak,

    'Tis true that the Elephants brains are bigger - physically speaking. They live in the here and now - Instinct is their guide - we as humans go beyond instinct.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  12. #42
    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pnoom View Post
    why the eternal matter should be more believable that the eternal God ?

    This one is fairly easy to answer. Because the evidence of matter is right in front of our eyes. There is zero evidence for an eternal God. I may not understand eternal matter, but I accept it because I see that it is there. Inserting God into the equation only complicates the matter without actually explaning anything.
    Bad answer. You have the material organs of perception and can therefore register only the material information. You can not register the dual nature of light with them as well ( know what I am talking about ? ) Nevertheless it is a proven thing.

    There is zero evidence for the eternal matter. If you look in the mirror, you will see your own reflection there. Which doesn't mean you have existed eternally.

    Inserting God into equation.... - read attentively the Conclusions from my last post, understand the essence, try again.
    Last edited by Andrew Roussak; Oct-17-2007 at 18:36.
    "Once you have tasted flight, you will ever walk with your eyes turned skywards; for there you have been, and there you long to return." - Leonardo Da Vinci


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  13. #43
    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce View Post
    Hi Andrew Roussak,

    'Tis true that the Elephants brains are bigger - physically speaking. They live in the here and now - Instinct is their guide - we as humans go beyond instinct.

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    thanks and cheers,
    Andrew
    "Once you have tasted flight, you will ever walk with your eyes turned skywards; for there you have been, and there you long to return." - Leonardo Da Vinci


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  14. #44
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    WooHoo - I made Captain - Finally

    Yay!!! I am going to sleep well tonight
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

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    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce View Post
    WooHoo - I made Captain - Finally

    Yay!!! I am going to sleep well tonight
    Wish you a fresh wind in your sails !!!

    Congrats Andrew






    "Once you have tasted flight, you will ever walk with your eyes turned skywards; for there you have been, and there you long to return." - Leonardo Da Vinci


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