on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:40 pm

phyllo wrote:
It is either just embedded in your head as a belief or it is sync what the sort of evidence that would compel all reasonable men and women to think and believe the same.
Stop writing about "reasonable men and women". It's obvious that you have no standard for 'reasonable' and 'unreasonable' when it comes to God and/or morality.


As noted above, the distinction that I make revolves around this:

John and his friend Jane can both attend a Catholic mass. And they can convey aspects of this experience that would overlap. Facts about the experience that coincide with the actual objective reality of it. But if John was a Catholic and Jane was an atheist, how would the philosopher -- would anyone -- grapple with their conflicting reactions to the mass in such a way that an understanding of God might be encompassed reasonably?

My own "standard" revolves around that which either can or cannot be demonstrated to others as being in sync with what is in fact -- empirically, materially, phenomenologically -- true objectively.

Thus I would never argue that the points you or Ierrellus or other believers make are unreasonable. After all, they are based on personal experiences that you have had. Or they are based on the assumptions that you make regarding the definition and the meaning of the words that you use in your arguments. Instead, I would only argue that from my frame of mind none of you have succeeded in convincing me that your beliefs are in sync with what can be demonstrated empirically, materially, phenomenologically.

After all, a "leap of faith" to God can be rationalized. But that is not the same thing as demonstrating the existence of God.


phyllo wrote: Your response to the 'tequila' discussion indicates that the only way to demonstrate the existence of tequila to you, is to give you a bottle of tequila.
Similarly, the only way to demonstrate the existence of God to you, is to pull God out of a hat.


I still find it remarkable that you would actually make such a comparison. I can well imagine any number of demonstrable proofs that are available to folks trying to convince someone who has never seen a bottle of tequila that bottles of tequila do in fact exist.

How are the "demonstrations" that God does in fact exist on the same level? Existentially, in other words.

Note to others:

I must be entirely missing his point here. Can anyone reconfigure the argument so that it might be clearer to me.

Anymore than an argument rooted in the assumptions that one makes about the definition and the meaning of the words used in the argument brings this God into existence.


phyllo wrote: A few paragraphs ago, language had certain objective rules which made communication possible. Remember :
"And this communication -- this language -- has certain rules. Rules that are true objectively for all of us. Otherwise [for all practical purposes] how would we effectively communicate at all?"

Now you seem to claim that when it comes to God, words can have lots of different meanings. So which is it?

Why does this problem of definitions and meaning only come up when discussing God and morality?

Or if it comes up in all areas of discussion, then how can people communicate at all?


As I have noted repeatedly, the distinction I make is between the definition and the meaning that we give to the words we use to argue that we are having this exchange about God and religion on this thread in the ILP philosophy forum, and the meaning and the definition that we give to the words we use in attempting to demonstrate which of our arguments is more [or wholly] in sync with whatever the objective reality might be pertaining to God and religion.

We would both use the same set of proofs to establish that the exchange is in fact unfolding. But what set of proofs could be advanced in order to demonstrate that your subjective perspective is more in sync with reality than mine.

I will admit that my frame of mind is just an existential contraption rooted in dasein. How do you then transcend that with respect to your own arguments?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:08 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Define the color blue in both its physical and aesthetic manifestations. Can the latter be described logically as the former can? Is the experience of blue beyond our ability to explain in such a way that the explanation would appear to be truth for all reasonable men and women? That there is something synonymous about qualia as experienced by different persons has to do with communication. In other words we can agree that you see the same blue that I see. So it is with spiritual experiences.


Sure, if that's the point you wish to make regarding the extent to which our thoughts and our feelings and our experiences regarding God may or may not overlap, I agree.

And just as biologically most of us come into the world with the capacity to perceive the color blue in particular contexts in particular ways, most of our brains seem hard-wired [by the fact of evolution itself] to connect dots between "in our head" and "out in the world".

And, when you come into the world with the capacity to ask the question "why", sooner or later you get around to asking the question "Why?"

And I surely don't deny that the answer might be "God".

But what does that really have to do with all of the objections that I raise regarding the gap between "God" in your head and "No God" in mine?

You are either able to offer arguments/demonstrations/evidence/proof that effectively close that gap or you are not.
Last edited by iambiguous on Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:10 pm

My own "standard" revolves around that which either can or cannot be demonstrated to others as being in sync with what is in fact -- empirically, materially, phenomenologically -- true objectively.
It has been pointed out that even simple matters cannot be demonstrated to others. The taste of tequila can't be demonstrated. In fact, none of the senses can be demonstrated - you can't demonstrate sight, taste, smell, touch or hearing. All need to be experienced directly.
Thus I would never argue that the points you or Ierrellus or other believers make are unreasonable. After all, they are based on personal experiences that you have had. Or they are based on the assumptions that you make regarding the definition and the meaning of the words that you use in your arguments. Instead, I would only argue that from my frame of mind none of you have succeeded in convincing me that your beliefs are in sync with what can be demonstrated empirically, materially, phenomenologically.
In other words, nothing I say about God or morality is unreasonable since I can always claim that I had a personal experience which justifies it. And since that personal experience is inaccessible to you, you can't argue with it.

Sounds ridiculous. :shock:
I can well imagine any number of demonstrable proofs that are available to folks trying to convince someone who has never seen a bottle of tequila that bottles of tequila do in fact exist.
Let's see those proofs and let's see how quickly they fall apart.
As I have noted repeatedly, the distinction I make is between the definition and the meaning that we give to the words we use to argue that we are having this exchange about God and religion on this thread in the ILP philosophy forum, and the meaning and the definition that we give to the words we use in attempting to demonstrate which of our arguments is more [or wholly] in sync with whatever the objective reality might be pertaining to God and religion.
I asked about the meaning and definitions of words in specific areas of discussion and you have avoided answering by shifting again to the concept of 'demonstrating' . In all discussions, you are using words. So there is going to be similar problems of meaning and definition. How do some areas of discussion manage to avoid these problems?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:42 pm

phyllo wrote:
My own "standard" revolves around that which either can or cannot be demonstrated to others as being in sync with what is in fact -- empirically, materially, phenomenologically -- true objectively.
It has been pointed out that even simple matters cannot be demonstrated to others. The taste of tequila can't be demonstrated. In fact, none of the senses can be demonstrated - you can't demonstrate sight, taste, smell, touch or hearing. All need to be experienced directly.


From my frame of mind, this sort of discussion quickly descends down into the rabbit hole that revolves around fundamental -- ontological, teleological, metaphysical -- understandings of human perception itself.

Solipsism, for example. Or the nature or Reality itself.

And I will concede that this far out on the limb, I may be entirely full of shit. How about you?

But there is still an important distinction to be made between demonstrating the existence of a bottle of tequila [and going back and forth regarding what teqila tastes like] and demonstrating either that a God, the God, my God eschews the consumption of tequila or that a God, the God, my God does in fact exist on the level of a bottle of tequila.

Perhaps we will just have to agree to disagree here.

Thus I would never argue that the points you or Ierrellus or other believers make are unreasonable. After all, they are based on personal experiences that you have had. Or they are based on the assumptions that you make regarding the definition and the meaning of the words that you use in your arguments. Instead, I would only argue that from my frame of mind none of you have succeeded in convincing me that your beliefs are in sync with what can be demonstrated empirically, materially, phenomenologically.

phyllo wrote: In other words, nothing I say about God or morality is unreasonable since I can always claim that I had a personal experience which justifies it. And since that personal experience is inaccessible to you, you can't argue with it.

Sounds ridiculous. :shock:


There is nothing at all ridiculous about it. On the contrary, that sort of exchange -- precipitating very, very real consequences -- happens all the time out in, for example, the world that we live in.

All we can then do is to ask those who make certain claims about God and religion and morality [and who have the capacity to enforce those claims -- in, say, a theocracy] to go beyond the "claim" itself. In other words, to actually demonstrate why all reasonable men and women are in fact obligated to believe the same.

But you know where that takes us, right?


I can well imagine any number of demonstrable proofs that are available to folks trying to convince someone who has never seen a bottle of tequila that bottles of tequila do in fact exist.


phyllo wrote: Let's see those proofs and let's see how quickly they fall apart.


Note to others:

What "on earth" am I missing here? Am I actually meant to take this seriously? That there are not companies that manufacture tequila, for example. That someone who has never seen a bottle of tequila cannot be take there and shown, say, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bottles of teqila?

There's got to be some crucial inference of his that I am overlooking.

As I have noted repeatedly, the distinction I make is between the definition and the meaning that we give to the words we use to argue that we are having this exchange about God and religion on this thread in the ILP philosophy forum, and the meaning and the definition that we give to the words we use in attempting to demonstrate which of our arguments is more [or wholly] in sync with whatever the objective reality might be pertaining to God and religion.


phyllo wrote: I asked about the meaning and definitions of words in specific areas of discussion and you have avoided answering by shifting again to the concept of 'demonstrating' . In all discussions, you are using words. So there is going to be similar problems of meaning and definition. How do some areas of discussion manage to avoid these problems?


Sure, there is the "concept" of "demonstrating" something. And then there is the actual empirical evidence and proof that revolves around the fact of demonstrating something.

I don't get why you don't get that distinction.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:50 pm

phyllo wrote:It has been pointed out that even simple matters cannot be demonstrated to others. The taste of tequila can't be demonstrated. In fact, none of the senses can be demonstrated - you can't demonstrate sight, taste, smell, touch or hearing. All need to be experienced directly.

Iambig is essentially anti-proselytisation and is fed up with people telling him stuff that he doesn't experience.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:10 pm

There is nothing at all ridiculous about it. On the contrary, that sort of exchange -- precipitating very, very real consequences -- happens all the time out in, for example, the world that we live in.
It sounds like everyone around you is from another planet and has an entirely different culture and biology. If I found myself surrounded by hyper-intelligent slugs from another planet, then I would understand your point. Instead, I'm surrounded by men and women who are very much like me. Birth, food, drink, sex, sleep, pain, pleasure, disease, death. This is all understandable.
What "on earth" am I missing here? Am I actually meant to take this seriously? That there are not companies that manufacture tequila, for example. That someone who has never seen a bottle of tequila cannot be take there and shown, say, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bottles of teqila?

There's got to be some crucial inference of his that I am overlooking.
You are missing a couple of points.

1. We are discussing the existence of tequila ... not bottles that are marked 'Tequila'. What's in those bottles? You have taste it to make sure that it is tequila and not something else.

2. We are discussing a context where tequila is not readily available in the local liquor store. We are in a place where it is not available. Someone who has tasted tequila is trying to convince someone who has not tasted tequila, that tequila exists.
Sure, there is the "concept" of "demonstrating" something. And then there is the actual empirical evidence and proof that revolves around the fact of demonstrating something.
Your focus on 'demonstrating' is a dead-end.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:20 pm

“When the wise man points at the Moon, the idiot looks at the finger.”

― Confucius
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:41 pm

Yes, there is a lot of finger pointing going on.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:00 pm

Iambig is essentially anti-proselytisation and is fed up with people telling him stuff that he doesn't experience.
I think that he is completely trapped by his intellectual contraptions. You can't get him to drop the ideas that are holding him back. Even if you show him that, for example, demonstrability often fails even for routine matters, he still holds on to it.

He still keeps using the same approach that didn't work years ago.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:02 am

phyllo wrote:
Iambig is essentially anti-proselytisation and is fed up with people telling him stuff that he doesn't experience.
I think that he is completely trapped by his intellectual contraptions. You can't get him to drop the ideas that are holding him back. Even if you show him that, for example, demonstrability often fails even for routine matters, he still holds on to it.

He still keeps using the same approach that didn't work years ago.

He doesn't hold onto it but instead he is trying to force subjective vs. objective reality/morality cognitive dissonance within Ierrellus and yourself (he is failing to do so as he has not learnt to change his strategies).
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:40 pm

I'd agree that Iamb appears trapped in his intellect and cannot give credence to experiential matters which he claims do not apply to his way of thinking. Experience is the bottom line; our definitions and distinctions rely on experience.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:43 pm

If you examine correctly, he does claim they apply to his own way of thinking.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:40 pm

One Liner wrote:If you examine correctly, he does claim they apply to his own way of thinking.

I realize Iamb has acknowledged that a spiritual experience is available for others, just not for him. But his insistence that it's all in the head degrades the actual experience. He wants objective proof of a subjective certainty. That could apply to our beliefs in science as being able to state objective reality. It can apply to our experiences with qualia. Changeaux argued that our ability to communicate exposes many experiences as common to "all reasonable men and women." ("What Makes Us Think".) It is from our common insights that we are able to communicate at all. In short, the fact that we can communicate shows that we have no radical subjective/objective divide such as would prevent you from understanding what I am saying to you. Reasonable men and women have and have had spiritual experiences.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:56 pm

It should be obvious right now, that amoungst the ever growing, free thinking atheists, that evil does not exist. Evil is subjective, it is simply what people consider wrong.


On the contrary, what should be obvious is that assertions such as this can only be understood substantively in a particular context understood from a particular point of view.

And then the part where any disputes that occur either are or are not able to be examined, then described, then [possibly] resolved utilizing the tools of theologians or philosophers or scientists.

Evil? Where and when? Pertaining to what particular behaviors that precipitate what particular consequences?

Also, what is obvious to me is that we all come into this world with deeply rooted wants and needs. Some more or less amenable to "reason", some more or less not. And that these wants and needs have ever and always come into conflict. And that those who come to desire one set of consequences are in fact prone to call those who want another "evil".
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:01 pm

So this couple kidnap an 8-year-old girl. He rapes her, while the woman stands by. Then the woman kills her by hitting in the head with a hammer which they had purchased prior to the assault.

To reduce that to "conflicting goods" or "we desire one set of consequences and they want another set of consequences" is disgusting. It is evil.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:14 pm

phyllo wrote:So this couple kidnap an 8-year-old girl. He rapes her, while the woman stands by. Then the woman kills her by hitting in the head with a hammer which they had purchased prior to the assault.

To reduce that to "conflicting goods" or "we desire one set of consequences and they want another set of consequences" is disgusting. It is evil.


Well, look at it this way:

God [most of them] are omnipotent. And, in being all powerful, He could surely have interjected at any time to stop this.

He did not.

So, how evil can it really be?

Also, given that God [most of them] are omniscient, there is nothing that these folks do that He was not already privy to.

So, how can it be said that, for all practical purposes, they have the freedom to choose anything at all?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:25 pm

Philosophy hides the emptiness.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:36 pm

phyllo wrote:Philosophy hides the emptiness.


Right, like the gods aren't invented to do much the same.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:59 pm

Ierrellus wrote:
One Liner wrote:If you examine correctly, he does claim they apply to his own way of thinking.

I realize Iamb has acknowledged that a spiritual experience is available for others, just not for him. But his insistence that it's all in the head degrades the actual experience. He wants objective proof of a subjective certainty. That could apply to our beliefs in science as being able to state objective reality. It can apply to our experiences with qualia. Changeaux argued that our ability to communicate exposes many experiences as common to "all reasonable men and women." ("What Makes Us Think".) It is from our common insights that we are able to communicate at all. In short, the fact that we can communicate shows that we have no radical subjective/objective divide such as would prevent you from understanding what I am saying to you. Reasonable men and women have and have had spiritual experiences.

Reasonable men/women have had spiritual experiences but not all and it is impossible to communicate something to someone where no "similar" experience exists (the fault then lies with the speaker and not the listener).
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:30 am

(the fault then lies with the speaker and not the listener).
There's fault to be assigned?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:58 am

phyllo wrote:
(the fault then lies with the speaker and not the listener).
There's fault to be assigned?

If fault is emotionally loaded for you then consider the word error.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:17 pm

The word "error" doesn't seem to fit either. In what way is an explanation of a spiritual experience to one who has never had such an experience in error? If you tell a child not to play in the street because he may get hit by a car, does it matter that the child has never been hit by a car?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby One Liner » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:34 pm

Ierrellus wrote:The word "error" doesn't seem to fit either. In what way is an explanation of a spiritual experience to one who has never had such an experience in error? If you tell a child not to play in the street because he may get hit by a car, does it matter that the child has never been hit by a car?

If you have a rebellious child who refuses to listen, then you are error.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:38 pm

If you have a rebellious child who refuses to listen, then you are error.
That's way too simplistic.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:53 pm

phyllo wrote:
There is nothing at all ridiculous about it. On the contrary, that sort of exchange -- precipitating very, very real consequences -- happens all the time out in, for example, the world that we live in.
It sounds like everyone around you is from another planet and has an entirely different culture and biology. If I found myself surrounded by hyper-intelligent slugs from another planet, then I would understand your point. Instead, I'm surrounded by men and women who are very much like me. Birth, food, drink, sex, sleep, pain, pleasure, disease, death. This is all understandable.


Right. There is a way to understand all of these things [including God and religion] and the folks around you [being reasonable] understand them as you do.

They know that there is a God and that morality is objective.

I'm the only one who just doesn't "get it".

That seems to be your argument.

What "on earth" am I missing here? Am I actually meant to take this seriously? That there are not companies that manufacture tequila, for example. That someone who has never seen a bottle of tequila cannot be take there and shown, say, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bottles of teqila?

There's got to be some crucial inference of his that I am overlooking.


phyllo wrote: You are missing a couple of points.

1. We are discussing the existence of tequila ... not bottles that are marked 'Tequila'. What's in those bottles? You have taste it to make sure that it is tequila and not something else.


Tequila:

Tequila is a regional specific name for a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 km northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco.

Now, out in the world that we live in, does tequila exist? You know, objectively? And, if John takes a swig from a bottle, is it possible to determine if it was tequila that he drank. Objectively, for example?

God:

1. (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
2. (in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.


Now, out in the world that we live in, does God exist? You know, objectively? And, if John attends a religious service in a Jewish synagogue, is it possible to determine if the congregation worships and adores the God? Objectively, for example?

That is the distinction that I make. I'm still in the dark regarding the one that you make.

phyllo wrote: 2. We are discussing a context where tequila is not readily available in the local liquor store. We are in a place where it is not available. Someone who has tasted tequila is trying to convince someone who has not tasted tequila, that tequila exists.


Come on, what does this really have to do with establishing that tequila does in fact exist in a world where tequila does in fact exist?

How is it really the same thing as someone who is a Jew, trying to convince someone who is a Catholic or a Protestant or a Moslem or a Hindu or a Shinto or a Sikh or a Baha'i or a Buddhist etc., that they [and they alone] believe in the one true Creator?

In fact the one thing they all share in common is that they have no capacity [that I have ever come across] to move beyond faith and to demonstrate the actual existence of their God. Not beyond the circularity derived from arguing that God must exists because the Scriptures say so and that the Scriptures must be true because it is the word of God.

Sure, there is the "concept" of "demonstrating" something. And then there is the actual empirical evidence and proof that revolves around the fact of demonstrating something.


phyllo wrote: Your focus on 'demonstrating' is a dead-end.


Why? Because when we get to the end of any particular religious narrative there is still nothing there but the narrative itself.

And that's your dead-end, not mine.

After all, my own narrative ends with "I" falling over into the abyss for all eternity.

And, thus, in my opinion, your narrative is bascially just a soothing psychological contraption that allows you to convince yourself that this is not true at all.

It is comforting and consoling in a way that my own grim conjectures can never be.

So, okay, in that really, really crucial respect, you win. Hell, I've never denied that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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