Pentateuch Not Written by Moses

At least not all of it

Thomas Paine wrote this 200+ years ago:

IT has often been said that any thing may be proved from the Bible; but before any thing can be admitted as proved by Bible, the Bible itself must be proved to be true; for if the Bible be not true, or the truth of it be doubtful, it ceases to have authority, and cannot be admitted as proof of any thing.

It has been the practice of all Christian commentators on the Bible, and of all Christian priests and preachers, to impose the Bible on the world as a mass of truth, and as the word of God; they have disputed and wrangled, and have anathematized each other about the supposeable meaning of particular parts and passages therein; one has said and insisted that such a passage meant such a thing, another that it meant directly the contrary, and a third, that it meant neither one nor the other, but something different from both; and this they have called undffstanding the Bible

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Having premised these things, I proceed to examine the authenticity of the Bible; and I begin with what are called the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. My intention is to shew that those books are spurious, and that Moses is not the author of them; and still further, that they were not written in the time of Moses nor till several hundred years afterwards; that they are no other than an attempted history of the life of Moses, and of the times in which he is said to have lived, and also of the times prior thereto, written by some very ignorant and stupid pretenders to authorship, several hundred years after the death of Moses; as men now write histories of things that happened, or are supposed to have happened, several hundred or several thousand years ago.

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I begin with the book of Genesis.–In Genesis xiv., the writer gives an account of Lot being taken prisoner in a battle between the four kings against five, and carried off; and that when the account of Lot being taken came to Abraham, that he armed all his household and marched to rescue Lot from the captors; and that he pursued them unto Dan. (ver. 14.)

To shew in what manner this expression of Pursuing them unto Dan applies to the case in question, I will refer to two circumstances, the one in America, the other in France. The city now called New York, in America, was originally New Amsterdam; and the town in France, lately called Havre Marat, was before called Havre-de-Grace. New Amsterdam was changed to New York in the year 1664; Havre-de-Grace to Havre Marat in the year 1793. Should, therefore, any writing be found, though without date, in which the name of New-York should be mentioned, it would be certain evidence that such a writing could not have been written before, and must have been written after New Amsterdam was changed to New York, and consequently not till after the year 1664, or at least during the course of that year. And in like manner, any dateless writing, with the name of Havre Marat, would be certain evidence that such a writing must have been written after Havre-de-Grace became Havre Marat, and consequently not till after the year 1793, or at least during the course of that year.

I now come to the application of those cases, and to show that there was no such place as Dan till many years after the death of Moses; and consequently, that Moses could not be the writer of the book of Genesis, where this account of pursuing them unto Dan is given.

The place that is called Dan in the Bible was originally a town of the Gentiles, called Laish; and when the tribe of Dan* seized upon this town, they changed its name to Dan, in commemoration of Dan, who was the father of that tribe, and the great grandson of Abraham. (*Now thought to be the ‘Sea People.’)

To establish this in proof, it is necessary to refer from Genesis to chapter xviii. of the book called the Book of judges. It is there said (ver. 27) that “they (the Danites) came unto Laish to a people that were quiet and secure, and they smote them with the edge of the sword [the Bible is filled with murder] and burned the city with fire; and they built a city, (ver. 28,) and dwelt therein, and [ver. 29,] they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan, their father; howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.”

This account of the Danites taking possession of Laish and changing it to Dan, is placed in the book of Judges immediately after the death of Samson. The death of Samson is said to have happened B.C. 1120 and that of Moses B.C. 1451; and, therefore, according to the historical arrangement, the place was not called Dan till 331 years after the death of Moses.

There is a striking confusion between the historical and the chronological arrangement in the book of judges. The last five chapters, as they stand in the book, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, are put chronologically before all the preceding chapters; they are made to be 28 years before the 16th chapter, 266 before the 15th, 245 before the 13th, 195 before the 9th, go before the 4th, and 15 years before the 1st chapter. This shews the uncertain and fabulous state of the Bible. According to the chronological arrangement, the taking of Laish, and giving it the name of Dan, is made to be twenty years after the death of Joshua, who was the successor of Moses; and by the historical order, as it stands in the book, it is made to be 306 years after the death of Joshua, and 331 after that of Moses; but they both exclude Moses from being the writer of Genesis, because, according to either of the statements, no such a place as Dan existed in the time of Moses; and therefore the writer of Genesis must have been some person who lived after the town of Laish had the name of Dan; and who that person was nobody knows, and consequently the book of Genesis is anonymous, and without authority. Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason-Part II, 1795ish. Several different parts (separated by asterisks) were put together here in the interest of brevity Google above to find original on net.

The above example written by one of the founding fathers of The United States, Thomas Paine, in 1795 is just a small example of how wrong the Bible is. I have already written earlier on this blog (Here) that Genesis refers to ‘Ur of the Chaldees,’ loongg before the Chaldeans controlled the city. These two arguments alone are enough to throw serious doubt on the historicity of Genesis. Actually I think they disprove Genesis and the Pentatuech altogether, in the sense that they prove Moses did not write all of it. And that pretty much does in “Bible inerrancy” as espoused by some Christian sects.

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REAL ID…Almost Here

The deadline for state compliance with the REAL ID Act will pass this May 11th, 2008 without a single state meeting its requirements. Last I heard 17 states have passed legislation rejecting or refusing to enact this National ID law.

A rebellion is underway about this matter and I am hoping the American people win this one.

Do we really want to hand this kind of power to the Feds? Yea sure, it sounds kinda benign now…but, if it passes…somewhere down the road this ID scheme has potential to destroy the last vestiges of freedom this country enjoys.

I have heard that those over 50 will not have to have this REAL ID, and I think I know why. We’ll make the biggest stink about it, because we remember a free America…Before all this orchestrated Bull Sh–.

I’ve already emailed my senators and congressman my feelings. I urge you to think this through, and consider telling your Fed Reps how you feel about having to carry ‘papers’ wherever you go.

There is still time if we make enough noise.

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Thomas Paine on Religion

The Tower of Babel

The story of the tower of Babel is told in Genesis xi. It begins thus:

“And the whole earth [it was but a very little part of it they knew] was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass as they journeyed from the East, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly, and they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city, and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men builded.

“And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

“So [that is, by that means] the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off building the city.”

This is the story, and a very foolish, inconsistent story it is. In the first place, the familiar and irreverent manner in which the Almighty is spoken of in this chapter is offensive to a serious mind.

As to the project of building a tower whose top should reach to heaven, there never could be a people so foolish as to have such a notion; but to represent the Almighty as jealous of the attempt, as the writer of the story has done, is adding profanation to folly. “Go to,” say the builders, “let us build us a tower whose top shall reach to heaven.” “Go to,” says God, “let us go down and confound their language.”

This quaintness is indecent, and the reason given for is worse, for, “now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.” This is representing the Almighty as jealous of their getting into heaven. The story is too ridiculous, even as a fable, to account for the diversity of languages in the world, for which it seems to have been intended.

As to the project of confounding their language for the purpose of making them separate, it is altogether inconsistent; because instead of producing this effect, it would, by increasing their difficulties, render them more necessary to each other, and cause them to keep together. Where could they go to better themselves?

Another observation upon this story is, the inconsistency of it with respect to the opinion that the Bible is the Word of God given for the information of mankind; for nothing could so effectually prevent such a word from being known by mankind as confounding their language.

The people, who after this spoke different languages, could no more understand such a Word generally, than the builders of Babel could understand on another. It would have been necessary, therefore, had such Word ever been given or intended to be given, that the whole earth should be, as they say it was at first, of one language and of one speech, and that it should never have been confounded.

The case, however, is, that the Bible will not bear examination in any part of it, which it would do if it was the Word of God. Those who most believe it are those who know least about it, and priests always take care to keep the inconsistent and contradictory parts out of sight.

By Thomas Paine: Essays on Religion, Late 1700’s early 1800’s

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Religious Facts…Aren’t

The argument has been made that after Noah’s Flood Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth scattered to the four corners of the earth and repopulated a dead world. Well this makes a good campfire story, but consider the fact that the worship of Yahweh, Elohim, Jehovah, or El, never reached the four corners of the earth till long after the death of Jesus.

The Flood supposedly happened about 2300-2400 BCE. Afterwards, Noah and his son’s and their wives spread over the face of the earth to populate the continents with ‘God believing’ good people. After all, that was the purpose of the Flood…right? So we should be able to see Gods plan in action…right? He wiped the earth clean so the ‘Godly’ people of His choice would repopulate and make the world ‘Good’ again.

Tell me…how did that work out?

Of course it didn’t work out, because it never happened. Most of the population of the planet never heard of a Christian ‘God’ until thousands of years later.

There is NO evidence for a worldwide…sudden…or otherwise…belief in our Christian God all over the earth in the time after ‘The Flood’. The Christian God was not known outside the Middle East for thousands of years.

Why IS that, I wonder? Do you suppose it’s because the story is a fabrication of weird little Jewish men roaming around the hot deserts of Egypt, Israel, and Iraq? Figments of near heatstroke. A vain attempt to aggrandize their poor tribe, and give the Jewish people, who had no land of their own, a trace of pride and sense of power.

Now this same argument disproves the Tower of Babel myth, as it is well known that languages existed in populations all over the world. They never went away. If one is able to think seriously and critically about the claims of the Christian religion (and all others) they totally fall apart. They don’t have a consistency with the physical evidence that keeps popping up so inconveniently.

I wonder if there is some ‘apologetics’ in the literature that attempts to explain this? If anyone out there knows about any, a shout out would be appreciated.

So, I suppose the poor Christians will keep believing the lies…that their clergy keeps feeding to them.

Their House of Religion depends on the peasants suspending their disbelief…kind of like the movies…a fantastic, ephemeral vision…that does not really represent the real world. They go about their business and think they are living in the present; when in fact they live in an unreal mythological past where Gods in the sky and magic were ‘real’.

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Global Warming and Catholic(s)?

Always lots of interesting stuff floating around the Internet. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t learn stuff that may at one point affect my family and me.

In the April 20, 08 edition of the Australian newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph, Cardinal George Pell of the Archdiocese of Sydney, expressed his concern regarding the “global warming hypothesis” in an article titled, “Global warming is over.”

Cardinal Pell began his essay by giving examples of countries that have recently experienced much colder temperatures and heavier snow falls than usual.

“Canada has just experienced the coldest winter and the heaviest snowfalls since 1970-71, which was called a once-in-1000-years event. Another 18cm of snow would set an all-time record.”

“In China, the Chinese New Year coincided with a fierce cold snap and snowstorms, which prevented many city workers returning to their villages for the celebrations. Police had to deal with the ensuing riots. London has just experienced snow at Easter.”

The cardinal said: “while the world is much bigger than both China and Canada combined, which might be the exceptions to the new rule of man-made global warming, but they are inconvenient facts for the climate-change bandwagon.”

“And it is an intolerant bandwagon with loud, exaggerated claims that the issue is settled and that an unchallenged consensus among scientists confirms the hypothesis of dangerous, humanly caused global warming. In fact, the issue is far from settled.”

He listed three significant points:

“Last December, more than 100 international scientists, some of them members of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned the UN that attempting to control climate was “ultimately futile”. So did 500 experts in Manhattan in March.”

“Fighting climate change was distracting governments from helping the most vulnerable citizens adapt to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever they might prove to be. Futile attempts to prevent global climate change would be a tragic misallocation of resources, they claimed.”

His noted that: “none of the natural changes observed with glaciers, sea levels and species migration is outside the bounds of known variability, including the warming of 0.1C to 0.2C per decade, in the late 20th century. But the 1930s decade was warmer than the 1990s. Most importantly, the global temperature has not increased since 2001.

“This finding invalidates the global-warming hypotheses because the amount of carbon dioxide continues to increase and the temperature should be increasing, too. It isn’t.”

His concludes: “today’s computers cannot predict climate over long periods, as there are too many unknowns and variables.”

“We should never forget that while computers are miracles of human ingenuity, they are also limited, cannot think for themselves and are totally obedient to their last human master.”

Well, I certainly don’t know how much a Catholic Cardinal knows about the science of global warming, but I must admit, I have had small doubts about what seemed like a rush to judgment or overstatement on this matter. I do know that billions of dollars have been already spent on efforts to stop the perceived danger and they have made not one wit of difference. Wonder who’s getting all that money?

I also remember a series of articles in a Canadian newspaper, about a year, maybe a year and a half ago, that interviewed a scientist that resigned from the UN committee because he felt that the public statement that the UN released on warming was highly overstated.

Now this is lousy journalism, because at the time, I had just a passing interest in the subject and now I can’t find the article. I’m sure its still floating around out there in the ‘ether’, and I will find it. If anyone knows of this series or can lead me to it, please let me know.

For the sake of our world and our children we can hope that the warming is just a ‘phantom.’ Failing that we must really tackle the problem without all the underhanded crap that large projects (like wars) always seem to spawn.

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Ben Stein did What?

Thinking about seeing the *movie* Expelled, No intelligence Allowed? You might want to go to this blog: Here It brings together reviews from all over the country.

People that support ID, evangelicals, and fundamentalist will flock to it I’m sure. Those people that wonder about the whole religious world and their flawed view of the universe will probably not want to support it by buying tickets to it.

I just can’t see Ben Stein believing in the crap he’s pushing. I’m thinking he got carried away in his thinking about possible profit. The linking of Darwin and Nazi’s is insanity of the first order. It is thinking that is just as crazy as Hitler’s was.

Hitler and the Catholic Church and the Pope were in bed together. That link is well established, so I would guess…religion and Nazi’s were much closer, and deserve more scrutiny. Did the Catholic Church ever apologize for their helping the Reich?

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Heaven or Hell…God or Satan

Below, in today’s post, I am corresponding with a nice young man named Justin. He is in college and is a very evangelical soul. Although I disbelieve in his worldview, I am happy to ‘talk’ with him. I hope you find our discussion as interesting as I do. You-refers to Justin. Me-refers to me. 😉

You: I’m going to try to ignore possible sarcasm in these questions and answer simply. Refers to post Here
Me: What? Me being sarcastic….Noooo 🙂

Me: Did matter always exist in the universe?
You: God began time. God created matter.
Me: Standard non-believer response…who or what created God?

Me: *Did God always exist in the universe?
You: No, God created time. God created the universe.
Me: Standard response, see above.

Me: Was there ‘nothingness’ everywhere that was filled up with a sentient cloud of electrons or atoms? Or was there absolutely nothing there…but, somehow, something…was a God?
You: There was God. Then he created.
Me: See above.

Me: Were we, and our universe, as we know it, purposely created to ‘glorify’ a cloud of sentient nothingness?
You:
We were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Me: Again with the ‘glorify’ thing. What is it with all Gods that we have to glorify them? Doesn’t he realize that the human race has evolved away from the wide-eyed innocence that priests in the past could count on for easy obedience in the flock? The church leaders couldn’t come up with anything better than he needs to be glorified? God doesn’t need to be glorified. Satan doesn’t need to be glorified…this ‘glorified’ crap needs to be re-examined. It sounds like an easy way out of explaining a phenomenon that really needs to be re-examined in the light of our better understanding of the world, and the universe, and human motives. Besides, how is God’s wife (Asherah) going to feel, if we go around glorifying him and leave her out? J

Me: Are we even real? Could we be a dream that a cloud of nothingness is dreaming? Shades of Matrix 🙂
You: We are real. Interestingly, it is the Christian worldview which states that we are real and the laws of nature are unchanging that allows science to take place.
Me: Well, actually I was being a little sarcastic there. The laws of nature, so far, don’t need a God to explain things. They’re a little fuzzy on the very beginning of things, as even I will allow for the possibility of ‘God’ or something having started it (time…the universe), but after it was here, natural processes can account for everything. We still come back to the conundrum of who created the creator. “He was always there” doesn’t cut it in my humble estimation.

Me: Why would a God set up a paradise, with a snake/Satan that he knew would cause Eve to “Sin”? and Why was Satan…the sinner…even around then, or allowed to be in the garden?
You: God was not surprised. He allowed people to do what they did as part of His prearranged plan. God gets all the proper glory and credit in the end.
Me: So, let me get this straight; God, even in the beginning, was setting up this little plot to terrorize and murder mankind? He sets up this drama so the glory and credit will fall on him when we go through this horrible experience that is our human history? Man, that’s Evil with a capitol E. Who needs Satan when we have a God that can plot all of this from the beginning of time? *see asterisk below

Me: How was Satan even considered evil or sinful, when there was no evil or sin existing at the time?
You: Satan began to think of Himself like God. That was wrong. Through Adam the curse of sin entered mankind who was made in the image of God.
Me: Yea, those youngsters that we create get all full of themselves when they hit the teen years. We humans all seem to attribute anthropomorphism to our creations. If we are made in his image, I picture a 6’6″ human shape floating around in space, trying to figure out which end is up. Obviously not true that we are made in his image.

Me: Why was Satan even allowed to be around later in this fairy tale?
You: Not a fairy tale. However, see above comment on prearranged plan.
Me: *See above asterisked comment. That’s really Evil to plan something like that.

Me: Why would an intelligent cloud of nothingness set up the trap for his creations (us), knowing what the outcome would be? Isn’t that kind of like leaving a very sharp butcher knife in front of your one-year-old kid?
You: Not an intelligent cloud of nothingness. He is the Creator. He is God. See comment on prearranged plan.
Me: That God is Evil.

Me: Why would a God even create an evil being?
You: Does cold exist? It is the absence of heat. Does darkness exist? It is the absence of light. Does evil exist? It is the absence of God.
Me: I believe that is flawed logic. You are using physical phenomena that have no relationship to metaphysical reasoning. Yes there is good and evil in this world, and they are opposites in our logic. But, the absence of God does not mean all that’s left is evil? I have no sense of God in my mind, and I am far from evil. In my logic of un-belief, you really have no God directing your actions, and I believe you are probably not evil.

Me: Why is God so directly involved with the killing of so many humans?
You: I do not tell you what to do with your broken microwave. Please be respectful by not telling God how to initiate His justice against a rebellious creation.
Me: Well, the thing is…I’m one of the creatures that your God goes around indiscriminately killing and maiming with His Love. His ‘plan’ as described by various church leaders and evangelical civilians….sucks.

Me: Who tempted Satan to sin…why? If there was no sin before, what was the sin?
You: *Humans did not sin because they were tempted by Satan.* They did so because they chose to do so. You could say they were morally neutral unlike humans today who are inclined towards sin. I am speculating here as I have not done a study on it, but perhaps the angels were created morally neutral.
Me: * I’m sorry, did I miss something here? Didn’t Satan in the form of a snake, tempt Eve to take that fateful bite? Because he is an evil, arrogant, conniving, devilishly convincing fast talker. Here was poor Adam and Eve, literal ‘babes in the woods’ in a world that, to them, was brand new…they had no history to draw on, no instruction classes on the evil ways of some creatures, nothing to base critical decisions on. How gullible are we as young people…before we have had some bad experiences? And, if as you suggest earlier, this is just a pre-arranged plot…that’s just Evil.

Me: If there is no sin in heaven how did Satan sin? Do sins just pop-up, so to speak?
You: You have an incorrect presupposition. Take that away before reading this next sentence. Satan chose to have a rebellious attitude and thus sinned.
Me: Well we know from your exegesis that this was pre-arranged for him to act this way. He was destined from the moment of his creation to be sinful. So I guess God was just setting up this universe and us to be puppets in a play.

ME: What happens if we get to heaven and, God forgive…have a sinful thought?
You: Christians are born again and given a new nature. When in Heaven, there will be no sin. How exactly will that work? There are multiple theories, but I don’t think that is specifically laid out in the Bible. God created the universe. He can handle it.
Me: Ah, there it is. We are born again. The theory that explains it all.

Me: Since there is no visible heaven, will we be among the stars, on earth, another planet, or in our own imagination/minds?
You: Your question has a presupposition. Take that away before reading this next sentence. From my understanding, Earth will be restored and Christians will have access to it and Heaven while the unredeemed will be in Hell.
Me: So the earth will be like new again, and we (well…you) will live on it…and in heaven. Just Christians though. So approximately 40 to 80 billion souls will burn in hell?

Me: Where exactly do you think hell is, and why would a ‘loving God’ want to burn and torture people in it for eternity?
You: Hell is God’s place of justice. God is love. He loves life, therefore he hates murder, Love requires hate in a sense. God is loving and just, therefore Hell must exist. As it is just, it cannot be defined as torture.
Me: I’m sorry, but that’s some really bad logic there. 🙂 I’ll take the last part first: “As it is just, it cannot be defined as torture.” I think that’s what George Bush and Dick Cheney are rationalizing to themselves as they torture people. The rest of what you’re saying here is just so convoluted I can’t even wrap my brain around it enough to reply. I worry about your soul, in a metaphorical way.

Me: Did you ever examine your belief that Santa Claus is not real, and why you think that way? It’s because of the evidence…right?
You: Yes
Me: Give me something real.

Me: Do you Really believe that a ‘Universe Creating God’ would make up this little story of sin and redemption you claim we are all living?
You: No, I do not believe God would make up the story. It is not little either.
Me: You’re right; it’s not little. In most of the above discussion you assert that God did make up the conflict, from ‘the beginning.’ You’re trying to confuse me, right?

Me: Why do you still believe the Bible is the real inerrant word of a God, when you have been shown the many errors in it?
You: Your question has a presupposition. Examined correctly, there are no errors in the Bible. Secondly, I know the perfect God so His Word cannot error.
Me: “Examined correctly.” Those two words speak volumes about Christian Apologetics and the faith in general.

Me: Jesus was, without a doubt, preaching of the second coming of the ‘Kingdom of God’ in the near future, and here we are two thousand years later, still falling for it. Why?
You: People redeemed are part of God’s Kingdom. Christ’s return is coming soon in God’s accounting of time. Be ready.
Me: This doesn’t answer the question. Jesus was preaching the soon to come, new Kingdom of God, the second coming. Where is it? He said some of the same people he was preaching to would still be alive when it happened. If his words were inerrant, as all the words are (?), what happened?

Me: Evidence that believers cannot reach a consensus on the Bible (or the Koran for that matter) is found all over the Christian and Jewish communities. They disagree with each other…sometimes violently…over interpretations of their so-called Holy Script. That alone, is testament to the non-holy status of the Bible, and their sects founded on it. If the Bible and religion were true…the divisions would not even be there. The whole world would be under its sway.
You: You presuppose that if God wrote it, everybody would agree. You’re simply wrong on this point.
Me: Well, I think you’re wrong. 🙂 If there were a ‘True God’ out there in our world, the whole earth would know it, and the nightly network news would be doing interviews. That wouldn’t be something that would be denied in our world today…if the proofs were there. You have to step away from this little ‘Pre-planned By God’ drama. In the ancient world these mythical stories couldn’t be denied because not only wasn’t there enough knowledge about ‘things.’, but people were very gullible. They were not educated and hardly had knowledge of things further than their own horizons.
As people get educated and learn about the real world, these purposely planted superstitions fade away. There is no observable supernatural or magic phenomenon operating in our world. There is not any evidence or proofs that there ever was. A real God operating in our universe requires that magic be true…it isn’t.

Shalom

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