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Old 01-05-2012, 11:54 PM   #1658806  /  #26
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SMS, do you think that one of the letters in the Latin alphabet is the "greatest"? If so, which one?

No, I don't, though I'd say the same for islands too.
Why not?
Because I don't see them as having intrinsic maximums.
What does "intrinsic maximum" mean?
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:01 AM   #1658818  /  #27
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http://www.princeton.edu/~grosen/puc...tological.html

Is this page a good representation of the the argument?
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:06 AM   #1658822  /  #28
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There are 4 * 10^26 possible total order relations and even more partial order relations on the set of Latin letters. Each of the 26 letters is the greatest element w.r.t. to some order relation. For example, Z is the greatest letter w.r.t. the dictionary order. A is the greatest letter w.r.t. reverse dictionary order. Q is the greatest letter w.r.t. what we may call "reverse QWERTY keyboard order". Using the English-language version of Scrabble we can define a partial order relation Rξζ, where ξ and ζ denote arbitrary Latin letters, by

(a) Rξζ is undefined if ξ and ζ are different letters yet yield the same score,
(b) Rξζ is true (i.e. ξ is greater than ζ) if ξ yields at least as high Scrabble score.

With this partial order, there is no unique greatest letter. Q and Z are both maximal elements, and greatest in their own slightly different Scrabble-way.

So the first problem for someone who wants to argue that there is a single greatest Latin letter is that there's an embarrassment of richness of possible order relations. The second problem is that quite many order relations don't have a unique maximal element. The third problem is that a vaguely defined intuitive relation may fail to be an order relation at all, e.g. by allowing cycles (A is greater than B, which is greater than C, which is greater than A).

When it is argued along the lines that God is the greatest entity of all, and must exist because, all other things equal, existance is "greater" than non-existance or whatever, one implicitly or explicitly considers some order relation over an incredibly large class of hypothetical and real entities. This class presumably includes Harry Potter, Vishnu, the letter X, the Canary Islands, and much more. How do we know this intuitively imagined order relation is a genuine order relation? How do we know it has a unique maximal element? And, last but not least, it should induce a particular ordering of the Latin letters. So which Latin letter is the greatest?
what?

I'm puzzled. I haven't seen an ontological argument which functions quite like you described it above, Anselm's certainly didn't. Frankly, I don't see why the argument herein given by you considers some order relation between hypothetical and real entities. I suppose you could argue that this is applicable within certain modal formations, though you havent presented any such argument here.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:20 AM   #1658837  /  #29
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what?

I'm puzzled. I haven't seen an ontological argument which functions quite like you described it above, Anselm's certainly didn't. Frankly, I don't see why the argument herein given by you considers some order relation between hypothetical and real entities.
Follow Buttershug's link for an example that implicitly relies on an ordering, it even has a picture illustrating that both hypothetical and real entities are considered. If you reject this understanding of Anselm's argument, I'd like you to quote exactly what you endorse as the correct understanding.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:29 AM   #1658850  /  #30
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The most perfect bottle I can think of is a Klein bottle. The only thing that would make it better is if it existed.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:39 AM   #1658859  /  #31
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Follow Buttershug's link for an example that implicitly relies on an ordering, it even has a picture illustrating that both hypothetical and real entities are considered.
That's quite unlike the argument you describe.

OK, let's presume that the linked interpretation is correct. I'm still unsure why the class would include things like Vishnu, or why even why we need to consider any other existent either in the understanding or in reality alone. It'd be easier if you stated what premise does this. Is it the premise which purports that the greatest conceivable being exists in our mind?
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:53 AM   #1658879  /  #32
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The most perfect bottle I can think of is a Klein bottle. The only thing that would make it better is if it existed.
Clifford stoll has an interesting perspective on that. Google.him and klein bottle
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #1658890  /  #33
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So, what is the order? I've given you the class C. Now I'm asking you to give me the partial order R on C referred to in Anselm's argument. Given a and b in C, Rab holds iff ???
Now, hold on. I think we should first ask if you're familiar with his work. If you're not, then, unless there's some overarching principle at work here, I can't see how you could conclude yourself that he failed to provide this.
GTFO you piece of shit sophist.

No, you.

Here's the fact, Quiz. You haven't done your homework. You haven't read much of Anselm, if any at all, and so you really have no idea if he failed to provide this order, do you? This wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't the guy who put forth the argument to begin with, but he is.
If I am so ignorant, then enlighten me. What is the order relation? For a and b in C, Rab iff ???
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:02 AM   #1658891  /  #34
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The most perfect bottle I can think of is a Klein bottle. The only thing that would make it better is if it existed.
Clifford stoll has an interesting perspective on that. Google.him and klein bottle
nobody has sued him for false advertising?
A genuine Klein bottle does not have the hole in the side to let the neck through.
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:58 AM   #1659100  /  #35
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There is mathematical proof that infinity comes in different sizes.
Put that in your ontology and smoke it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:28 AM   #1659126  /  #36
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Moriah posts here?

ETA: 11258 posts! Where the fuck has she been posting?
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:44 PM   #1659248  /  #37
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Follow Buttershug's link for an example that implicitly relies on an ordering, it even has a picture illustrating that both hypothetical and real entities are considered.
That's quite unlike the argument you describe.
No, it isn't.
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OK, let's presume that the linked interpretation is correct. I'm still unsure why the class would include things like Vishnu,
This just bizarre since you presume the linked interpretation, which explicitly mentions trolls and Santa Claus, is correct. Is Vishnu somehow in a completely different class than trolls and Santa Claus and God?
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or why even why we need to consider any other existent either in the understanding or in reality alone. It'd be easier if you stated what premise does this. Is it the premise which purports that the greatest conceivable being exists in our mind?
Anselm's definition is paraphrased as "By 'God' we mean an absolutely unsurpassable being, a being that cannot conceivably be improved upon.". If this definition singles out a unique entity, then all other entities can conceivably be improved upon. For any other entity x (e.g. Harry Potter, Superman, the Canary Islands, Vishnu, the letter R, ...), there must be possible to conceive of an entity y which is a conceivable improvement on x. Is the intuitive relation "y is a conceivable improvement on x" a genuine order relation, as Anselm's argument implicitly requires but fails to justify? Is it a total or a partial order relation? Does any maximal element exist? Does it have a unique maximal element, or might a sequence of improvements upon Harry Potter end up at a different maximal element than a sequence starting from Superman?

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Old 01-06-2012, 05:39 PM   #1659538  /  #38
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Hi,

I'm on my phone so I can't say much just yet. I take issue to the claim that all other entities (which exist in intellectu?) can be conceivably improved upon just in virtue of there being a greatest conceivable being in the understanding. for suppose we understand one such being whose entire collection of properties comprise its essence. Here no property could be added or subtracted or modified without some entirely new being coming to existence. Thus, such a being couldnt be improved upon, since the result would be some one new being. Or suppose further that we understand beings for whom possess the essential property of maximal degradation, so that they cannot possibly be improved upon. Moreover, how in the world can, say, a rock qua rock be conceivably improved upon, or even as a being? I cant see how. They just arent the sort of things which can be improved on.

I should also say this. It is sufficient to only have two beings in mind: the greatest conceivable being who exists in the understanding alone and one whom exists in reality and the understanding. It's unnecessary to consider any other being within the mind. Those references (vishnu) were just handy to get you to understand what existence in the understanding amounted to.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:40 PM   #1659543  /  #39
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So, what is the order? I've given you the class C. Now I'm asking you to give me the partial order R on C referred to in Anselm's argument. Given a and b in C, Rab holds iff ???
Now, hold on. I think we should first ask if you're familiar with his work. If you're not, then, unless there's some overarching principle at work here, I can't see how you could conclude yourself that he failed to provide this.
GTFO you piece of shit sophist.

No, you.

Here's the fact, Quiz. You haven't done your homework. You haven't read much of Anselm, if any at all, and so you really have no idea if he failed to provide this order, do you? This wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't the guy who put forth the argument to begin with, but he is.
If I am so ignorant, then enlighten me. What is the order relation? For a and b in C, Rab iff ???
First admit you're not familiar with anselms metaphysic.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:44 PM   #1659550  /  #40
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My understanding is that it is absurd that something can be better than the best possible.
So what? That doesn't mean the absurd is wrong.

What is the answer to "Can God make a boulder so big he can't lift it?".
And I don't mean an explanation of it. I mean the answer to it that is not also absurd.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:54 PM   #1659568  /  #41
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So, what is the order? I've given you the class C. Now I'm asking you to give me the partial order R on C referred to in Anselm's argument. Given a and b in C, Rab holds iff ???
Now, hold on. I think we should first ask if you're familiar with his work. If you're not, then, unless there's some overarching principle at work here, I can't see how you could conclude yourself that he failed to provide this.
GTFO you piece of shit sophist.

No, you.

Here's the fact, Quiz. You haven't done your homework. You haven't read much of Anselm, if any at all, and so you really have no idea if he failed to provide this order, do you? This wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't the guy who put forth the argument to begin with, but he is.
If I am so ignorant, then enlighten me. What is the order relation? For a and b in C, Rab iff ???
First admit you're not familiar with anselms metaphysic.
Admitted. Now tell me what the relation is.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #1659644  /  #42
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Hi,

I'm on my phone so I can't say much just yet. I take issue to the claim that all other entities (which exist in intellectu?) can be conceivably improved upon just in virtue of there being a greatest conceivable being in the understanding. for suppose we understand one such being whose entire collection of properties comprise its essence. Here no property could be added or subtracted or modified without some entirely new being coming to existence. Thus, such a being couldnt be improved upon, since the result would be some one new being. Or suppose further that we understand beings for whom possess the essential property of maximal degradation, so that they cannot possibly be improved upon. Moreover, how in the world can, say, a rock qua rock be conceivably improved upon, or even as a being? I cant see how. They just arent the sort of things which can be improved on.
1. It's fine if the improvement is, by your intuitive standards, "some entirely new being". This is of no significance.

2. When saying that God can't conceivable be improved, one has a particular order relation in mind (alternative, one is talking vague nonsense). When you say that a rock qua rock can't be improved, you equivocate Anselm's intended putative order relation with some other order relation.

3. Setting aside points 1 & 2, your position above kills Anselm's argument. The definition of God provided in the presentation in buttershug's link is an entity which cannot conceivable be improved upon. If a rock satisfies this definition, the argument falls apart. Anselm needs God to be the unique entity which cannot conceivably be improved upon.
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I should also say this. It is sufficient to only have two beings in mind: the greatest conceivable being who exists in the understanding alone
On your above position, this would be an imagined rock.
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and one whom exists in reality and the understanding. It's unnecessary to consider any other being within the mind. Those references (vishnu) were just handy to get you to understand what existence in the understanding amounted to.
?

When very generic definition of God is provided, we are free to examine any entity from a very generic class to see if it fits the definition. There is no justification for restricting attention to just two entities.

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Old 01-06-2012, 06:51 PM   #1659660  /  #43
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My understanding is that it is absurd that something can be better than the best possible.
So what? That doesn't mean the absurd is wrong.

What is the answer to "Can God make a boulder so big he can't lift it?".
And I don't mean an explanation of it. I mean the answer to it that is not also absurd.
The answer is, "Yes -- the discrepancy between his PR campaign and who he really is -- but that's something that can only be ascertained through subjective experience."

Rationally speaking, of course, there are no gods, so the question itself is moot to begin with. And I'm not entirely certain my answer succeeds in escaping absurdity in your book, but it's at least honest and truthful, concerning the subjective and experiential, of course.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:06 PM   #1659687  /  #44
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1. It's fine if the improvement is, by your intuitive standards, "some entirely new being". This is of no significance.
Yes, it is significant, since it wouldn't be an improvement of that thing. It'd be false that that thing is improved, for it'd be some entirely new thing.

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2. When saying that God can't conceivable be improved, one has a particular order relation in mind (alternative, one is talking vague nonsense). When you say that a rock qua rock can't be improved, you equivocate Anselm's intended putative order relation with some order relation.
Your last sentence is just your bare assertion. I don't know what sort of response you're looking for here. Your first sentence is vague. For Anselm's purposes, it's enough that you understand the words rather than what it strictly involves.


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3. Setting aside points 1 & 2, your position above kills Anselm's argument. The definition of God provided in the presentation in buttershug's link is an entity which cannot conceivable be improved upon. If a rock satisfies this definition, the argument falls apart.

Not at all. Consider the paraphrase offered by the author:

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By "God" we mean an absolutely unsurpassable being, a being that cannot conceivably be improved upon.
No rock is an unsurpassable being. My dog surpasses a rock. So do you. Anselm's wording is better: "we believe that thou art a being than which nothing greater can be conceived." Can we conceive of a greater being than a rock? Sure. i just mentioned some. Can a rock being improved on? Er, no.




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On your above position, this would be a rock.

No, that's silly.



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When very generic definition of God is provided, we are free to examine any entity from a very generic class to see if it fits the definition. There is no justification for restricting attention to just two entities.
For the purposes of the argument, it's not necessary. We just need to consider two conceptions: the greatest conceivable being who exists in the mind alone and the other is the same but in both reality and the mind, and then ask which one is greater? That's all we need to consider insofar as the words 'the greatest conceivable being' is understood. There's nothing in his argument which requires us to look at Vishnu or Harry Potter, though we could, i suppose. But that'd be a secondary consideration unless you wish to deny that you understand the words 'the greatest conceivable being' or something else which would deny or undermine the truth of his premise. It's unclear where you are doing that. Do you understand those words?
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #1659706  /  #45
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3. Setting aside points 1 & 2, your position above kills Anselm's argument. The definition of God provided in the presentation in buttershug's link is an entity which cannot conceivable be improved upon. If a rock satisfies this definition, the argument falls apart.

Not at all. Consider the paraphrase offered by the author:

Quote:
By "God" we mean an absolutely unsurpassable being, a being that cannot conceivably be improved upon.
No rock is an unsurpassable being. My dog surpasses a rock. So do you. Anselm's wording is better: "we believe that thou art a being than which nothing greater can be conceived." Can we conceive of a greater being than a rock? Sure. i just mentioned some. Can a rock being improved on? Er, no.
"y surpasses x", "y is greater than x" and "y is an improvement upon x" are supposed to be different expressions for the same ordering relation. I suppose you're free to explore versions of the argument that work with three distinct ordering relations simultaneously, but then you triple the burden you need to meet to respond to Quizalufagus' point, and there is no obvious way in which it makes the argument stronger.

When you say your dog is a "greater being" than a rock, which order relation do you have in exactly? Is it a total order relation? A partial one? Can you prove existence and uniqueness of a maximal element?
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When very generic definition of God is provided, we are free to examine any entity from a very generic class to see if it fits the definition. There is no justification for restricting attention to just two entities.
For the purposes of the argument, it's not necessary. We just need to consider two conceptions: the greatest conceivable being who exists in the mind alone and the other is the same but in both reality and the mind, and then ask which one is greater?
That's all we need to consider insofar as the words 'the greatest conceivable being' is understood. There's nothing in his argument which requires us to look at Vishnu or Harry Potter, though we could, i suppose. But that'd be a secondary consideration unless you wish to deny that you understand the words 'the greatest conceivable being' or something else which would deny or undermine the truth of his premise. It's unclear where you are doing that. Do you understand those words?
Of course I don't claim to understand the words "the greatest conceivable being"---that's what this discussion is about. The underlying order relation, and even it's status as a genuine order relation, is terribly unclear. There does not exist, under the obvious order relation in that context, any "greatest natural number". With other order relations there might exist one or even 100 greatest natural numbers. In the present context, there is no way to be sure if and what 'the greatest conceivable being' refers to. Your notion of "y is greater than x" could be incoherent, it could fail to be an order relation, it could allow multiple maximal elements, ...
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:13 PM   #1659758  /  #46
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"y surpasses x", "y is greater than x" and "y is an improvement upon x" are supposed to be different expressions for the same ordering relation. I suppose you're free to explore versions of the argument that work with three distinct ordering relations simultaneously, but then you triple the burden you need to meet to respond to Quizalufagus' point, and there is no obvious way in which it makes the argument stronger.

I can't see why y is greater than x is supposed to be y is an improvement of x. Suppose I say Preno is greater than SMS. Here I just mean that his grade of being or his great-making properties are greater than mine. This wouldn't suggest that I can be improved if I were Preno, for I would cease to exist. I simply lose my identity. What is it that improved if not me? Here i understand that I'm presuming contentious positions of identity, but so are you.

in any case, what you can say is that being omnipotent is better than not. Thus, being omnipotent is an improvement over not. Though this itself wouldn't suggest that any conceivable being can be improved upon by being omnipotent than not, since it hasnt yet been determined that any being can be omnipotent.

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When you say your dog is a "greater being" than a rock, which order relation do you have in exactly? Is it a total order relation? A partial one? Can you prove existence and uniqueness of a maximal element?

I frankly have no clear idea what all this means, and it seems to be anachronistic to apply these terms to Anselm's reasoning in order to understand him. Next you'll tell me that you can't understand Anselm because existence as a predicate cannot be expressed in Frege's formal systems.

When I say that my dog is greater than a rock, I say this partially because my dog is conscious. Conscious beings are always greater than rocks in virtue of their consciousness. Hierarchy of beings is common in medieval thought. A hierarchy of being is implicit within humanism too.




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Of course I don't claim to understand the words "the greatest conceivable being"---that's what this discussion is about.
I reject this. If you did not understand the words, then you could not speak about them entering relations of impliciation or entailment. Yet, you do. You speak of it implying order relations and the sort. So clearly you understand the words, or it is you who is talking nonsense.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #1659789  /  #47
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Well, I think my point is clear now. I'll add only that modal ontological arguments fail for the same reason since modal logics (or at least the modal logics that are relevant, e.g., S5) can be viewed as nothing more than languages for discussing relational structures.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:48 PM   #1659818  /  #48
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Well, I think my point is clear now. .
Fraid not.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #1659849  /  #49
Quizalufagus
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Originally Posted by SMS View Post
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Originally Posted by Quizalufagus View Post
Well, I think my point is clear now. .
Fraid not.
Pretty sure it is!
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:04 PM   #1659853  /  #50
SMS
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Originally Posted by Quizalufagus View Post
Well, I think my point is clear now. .
Fraid not.
Pretty sure it is!
No, but feel free to flail like Linus.
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