Why I changed my mind


#41

To be fair, agnosticism as atheism lite may have been used by atheists in that very sense in order to avoid the negative connotation that some people have of atheism. I am sure that gay people had to identify themselves as something else in times gone by, as another example. Culture has colored many words that we use today, and I think discussions like these are helpful in untangling that mess.


#42

There are many moral ideas that cross many religions and cultures, so I don’t see how Christianity can lay claim to them.


#43

If you read the part you quoted it clearly states “I don’t believe”. Agnosticism deals with knowledge, not belief.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:36, topic:37604”]
Again, the question of ‘well maybe they did the crime but there is no evidence to establish that’ fits better with agnosticism as it has been defined for my whole lifetime (until very recently it seems).
[/quote]

I would tend to agree with that. Not having knowledge of how the crime was committed or who committed the crime would be more along the lines of agnosticism. Not believing the defendant is guilty would be more along the lines of atheism. If there was no evidence of guilt but a jurist still believed the defendant did it would be along the lines of an agnostic theist. A jurist who thinks the evidence clearly demonstrates innocence would not be an agnostic but would be an atheist.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:36, topic:37604”]
I again protest that these new definitions make things less clear whereas proper definitions are supposed to make things more clear, unless they are a rhetorical device rather than a tool to find truth.
[/quote]

I had a golf coach tell me one time that when you are correcting your swing it will feel wrong at first, but once you adapt to it you will be fine. I think you are going through the same thing.


(Mark Moore) #44

He said…

I am saying that he is taking only one category of agnostics and attempting to make that the entire set. People who don’t know whether or not there is a God are agnostics on the question regardless of what they believe about the knowabilty of the answer. Yes a lot of them take the position that it is unknowable- so they are telling me and everyone else what they can and can’t know. That is the ornery kind of agnostic. But that does not describe the group that just doesn’t know and is open to the idea that we can someday know. That is what I would call a more ordinary kind of agnostic.

Well you have shown me that one can be both, so a tip of the hat there. Still, going back to my larger point, you could put this on punnet squares or whatever, if you say the truth is un-knowable on the question then you are still denying the validity of all claims of evidence on the question, just the same as if you said the truth was the opposite of the truth-claim. Shading just a bit more, if I say it was freezing cold in my hometown last night and you “lack belief” that it was freezing cold in my hometown last night then you are at least implicitly making a claim that my evidence is not credible. Sure saying “I don’t believe it was freezing cold in your hometown last night” is explicitly saying you don’t accept the credibility of my evidence but either way, you are either 1) admitting that the evidence does not matter in your position or 2) disputing the credibility of that evidence.

I suppose it is possible there are atheists who say “I disbelieve in God even though I accept that there is evidence for God is true” but I have never run across that sort of person. They all put the mantle of rationality on their own shoulders and say that the reason they lack belief is there is a lack of evidence. And of course no evidence is ever enough. The last one I talked to in person, great guy, I may hire him if I get this next project I am in the running for, waived past all the evidence I presented. Finally I asked him if he would accept the truth of God’s existence if an angel appeared in the room with us and told him it was all true. He responded that he would assume that he was having a psychotic episode. Yet he continued to insist that the reason for his disbelief was a lack of evidence.

The bottom line is if the atheists here or anywhere else want to say their position is simply “a lack of belief” then I guess I can accept that even though I just looked in the Websters dictionary I had from college and it says “one who denies the existence of God.”

What I don’t accept is that the lack of belief is due to a lack of evidence or knowabilty. Sure there is enough room to avoid the conclusion if they want to hide from it hard enough, but that’s a choice. It is not a conclusion they are compelled to make by the evidence but rather a choice about what to believe about the evidence that they make. I guess I am coming back to this idea of “owning it”. If they want to mess with the definitions I guess I can deal with it, but I reject what appears to be the goal they have with the definition-shifting- placing themselves on the seat of reason and by doing so excluding theists, all the while taking umbrage when someone claims atheists think they have “a monopoly on truth” on the question of the existence of God.


(Mark Moore) #45

Well I looked it up in my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which is admittedly pretty old since I got it in college. An Atheist was someone “who denies the existence of God”. Yep, that one has been changed.

Agnostic is a little more muddled than I remembered but “one who holds that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable.”

So they don’t even know whether or not they can know, but they know that they don’t know! And like the original definition for atheists they are “probably” claiming that you don’t know either. That does sound like your definition and makes what I call the “ornery” agnostic the likely norm. Other than that, it said pretty much what I thought. Agnostic= don’t know if god exists (and probably can’t). Atheist= denies that God exists. And I did not claim that an agnostic was an “atheist lite”, I claimed 1) that both had a strain that could try to tell us what we know and don’t know- shades of the ‘monopoly on truth’ that got this thing going and 2) that t_aqua’s definition blurred the lines between the two because it could apply to an atheist as well as an agnostic when in reality they were different things. I was complaining that it failed to make distinction. Some other posters here straightened me out on part of that though.


#46

People can be agnostic as it relates to knowledge about God, but still be theists because they do believe that God exists. If we are talking about people who don’t believe in God, then we are talking about atheists and not necessarily agnostics.

You will notice that nowhere in that statement do you describe any evidence, so it is your evidence-free claim that they are not accepting on face value.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:44, topic:37604”]
The bottom line is if the atheists here or anywhere else want to say their position is simply “a lack of belief” then I guess I can accept that even though I just looked in the Websters dictionary I had from college and it says “one who denies the existence of God.”
[/quote]

Dictionaries were often influenced by the views of the majority who would be theists.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:44, topic:37604”]
What I don’t accept is that the lack of belief is due to a lack of evidence or knowabilty. Sure there is enough room to avoid the conclusion if they want to hide from it hard enough, but that’s a choice. It is not a conclusion they are compelled to make by the evidence but rather a choice about what to believe about the evidence that they make.
[/quote]

In multiple conversations I have had with theists they confuse evidence with beliefs. When an atheist asks for evidence they are asking for demonstrable facts that can be independently verified.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:44, topic:37604”]
If they want to mess with the definitions I guess I can deal with it, but I reject what appears to be the goal they have with the definition-shifting- placing themselves on the seat of reason and by doing so excluding theists, all the while taking umbrage when someone claims atheists think they have “a monopoly on truth” on the question of the existence of God.
[/quote]

I am fully aware that as an atheist I may be wrong, but that’s ok. I stay away from debates on Truth with a Capital T, and instead explain where I am at and how I got there. I don’t need you to be an atheist in order to be an atheist myself, and I absolutely support your continued journey in your faith.

I think the important part is that none of us have a monopoly on Truth with a Capital T. That’s kind of the point. Perhaps it is wrong for atheists to insist on demonstrable and verifiable evidence, but that is what we are doing nonetheless. All we can do is be up front about it, and explain why. At the end of the day, we as humans have far more to agree on and work towards than just a debate about religious beliefs.


(John Dalton) #47

Here’s the thing: I haven’t heard all claims on the question and never will.

Are you saying the question has been proven beyond doubt? That disbelief is entirely unreasonable, as if I said that I disbelieve water is dihydrogen monoxide?

I am not convinced by the evidence I’ve heard on the matter. Indeed, to me, the evidence is not credible. As such, I don’t believe the conclusion.

I’ll ask you a question–in particular, when you speak of evidence here, are you arguing for Christianity or theism in general? We atheists are hardly alone on this planet in not accepting the claims of Christianity.

I suppose it is possible there are atheists who say “I disbelieve in God even though I accept that there is evidence for God is true” but I have never run across that sort of person.

Nor have I. It’s a contradictory position.

They all put the mantle of rationality on their own shoulders and say that the reason they lack belief is there is a lack of evidence. And of course no evidence is ever enough.

This is more how I see it. For various reasons I won’t bore you with here, the idea of gods is not convincing to me in general. I have heard a lot of reasons for belief from different people. I accept that you find those reasons convincing. I simply don’t. I don’t claim to understand the ultimate nature of our reality. I don’t think anyone on our planet does understand it either. As I see it, there’s plenty of room for you to have your beliefs on the matter and for I to have mine.

The last one I talked to in person, great guy, I may hire him if I get this next project I am in the running for, waived past all the evidence I presented. Finally I asked him if he would accept the truth of God’s existence if an angel appeared in the room with us and told him it was all true. He responded that he would assume that he was having a psychotic episode. Yet he continued to insist that the reason for his disbelief was a lack of evidence.

And he’s right. You’re making the assertion that God exists here. If the evidence that you present isn’t convincing to me, then I don’t believe your assertion because of a lack of convincing evidence.

I think there could be evidence that would convince me. I would go so far as to say that if God wanted to do so, it should be trivial for him. Like your friend though, an angel in a room telling me the truth might well not cut it.

What I don’t accept is that the lack of belief is due to a lack of evidence or knowabilty. Sure there is enough room to avoid the conclusion if they want to hide from it hard enough, but that’s a choice. It is not a conclusion they are compelled to make by the evidence but rather a choice about what to believe about the evidence that they make.

Maybe some theists and atheists have made a choice in this regard, but I haven’t. I simply haven’t been convinced by the evidence. It doesn’t matter if there’s an endless stream of it if it isn’t convincing to me in its character. As far as I’m concerned, it’s still a lack of evidence, convincing evidence. To illustrate (I’m not doing this to characterize your evidence but to explain the dynamics of the situation) if you need money and I give you a penny three times a day, will you still claim to lack money? Maybe a penny to me seems like a million dollars, but only you know how much money you need.

I guess I am coming back to this idea of “owning it”. If they want to mess with the definitions I guess I can deal with it, but I reject what appears to be the goal they have with the definition-shifting- placing themselves on the seat of reason and by doing so excluding theists, all the while taking umbrage when someone claims atheists think they have “a monopoly on truth” on the question of the existence of God.

I say I’m an atheist, how much more do I have to own it? I don’t believe your claims, so I’m an atheist. I don’t claim to have all (or even any of) the answers about what’s really going on in reality, and I’m not making any kind of claim to all reason. So if someone says I claim to have a “monopoly on truth”, I do take umbrage with that. I understand many of the reasons for believing. If you think I have to agree with them in order to think they’re reasonable, I don’t know what to say. It’s abundantly clear that many people who seem absolutely reasonable to me do believe. That may be the most convincing evidence of God that I’m aware of actually.


(Brad Kramer) #48

@Reggie_O_Donoghue Thanks so much for sharing about your journey. Sorry to cut in here, but I’m really curious about whether BioLogos (site and/or Forum community) had a role in your move away from skepticism and towards your current beliefs.


(Mark Moore) #49

John based on what your answers are there I’d say you are “owning it” pretty well. I was not talking about the label “atheist” but the consequences of what that label says about the reasons other people give for their faith. It discounts their evidence.

This whole thing started when some folks castigated Reggie for his “monopoly on truth” comment. I was only trying to make the point that atheists are claiming a monopoly on truth on the question of the existence of God because the position makes a statement about the validity of what others consider evidence for God, including personal experiences. Christians also claim a “monopoly on truth” as to the existence of God, and also the identity of God. Not a monopoly in the sense that they control all there is, because any number of people can decide to adopt the position, but a monopoly in the sense that they consider all contradictory claims false.

In conclusion, we have plenty to argue about around here, I just think people should “own it” when they take out a position like that without being touchy or lashing out.


#50

No more so than you discount the evidence for other religions. Most atheists don’t like the concept of post-modernism where everyone is right, all opinions have equal worth, and everyone gets a trophy for participation. Sorry, but some people are going to be wrong and some are going to be right. People may have the right to their own opinions and beliefs, but no one has the right to be right.

We also reject the idea that something becomes evidence simply because someone calls it evidence. At some point there has to be some sort of criteria that differentiates between evidence and not evidence. The criteria that atheists use is something has to be independent, demonstrable, and verifiable in order to be evidence. On top of that, the truth you are trying to determine has to be potentially falsifiable by the evidence you are gathering. If anything is evidence and anything is consistent with your claim, then you don’t have evidence.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:49, topic:37604”]
In conclusion, we have plenty to argue about around here, I just think people should “own it” when they take out a position like that without being touchy or lashing out.
[/quote]

I agree, as long as what they are being told to own is actually their position.


(Mark Moore) #51

Agreed. You and I agree on this. I detected signs from some of your co-non-religionists that they were not claiming any sort of “monopoly on truth” and I was saying we all do- if we have strongly held opinions about truth claims. It is intrinsically bound up in the nature of claims about evidence/truth claims.

And I also agree with your last sentence. For the rest of it I thought you put it more succinctly and frankly when you said words to the effect that you are looking for scientific evidence and discounting other kinds of evidence. That kind of repeatable-on-demand lab stuff is the one thing that the Creator of the Universe is NOT going to give us IMHO. He is not going to submit to doing what amounts to lab-tricks for us.

If He behaved in a manner consistent with some rules then He is subject to those rules and thereby subject to manipulation. That is conceptually inconsistent with the very nature and dignity of God. He is the lawgiver. The laws are accountable to Him, not vice-versa. It is our hearts and lives that are in His hands, He is not obligated to act in way X if we set conditions to Y. This is basically attempting to detect and measure the Creator by the laws which He established to govern His creation. He is beyond them. In short the one kind of evidence you will accept is the kind He is not going to provide you, because it actually flips who is God and who isn’t.

Now what standard of proof you use for God is your business, and I am not one of those who would dust off the old laws which, for example, exclude atheists from juries. But I do wonder if you were on a jury, and some wretch who murdered my family were on the stand, how you would arrive at a conclusion of “guilty” based on the testimony of five eyewitnesses to the crime. After all, there is no verifiable, repeatable “scientific” evidence for the crime, or for any small-scale one-time event. I mean, for a big enough event we can look for some clue, like the idea of Jericho being sacked at a certain place and time. We can go look for ruins burned with fire in a particular layer or what have you and tell that something happened, but its still not “proof” in the strict scientific sense of the word.

I guess what I am wondering is if this standard of proof is one you consistently adhere to in every area of life, for example not bothering to read product ratings before purchasing the product, or determining guilt as a jury member as I noted above, or if this is just something you dust off to use when considering the existence of God? If you do apply it consistently I wonder how it is working out for you. It seems to me that I have to make decisions based on other kinds of evidence all of the time and I could not even function if I applied your standard strictly to the rest of my life.


#52

In some situations, what we may be arguing about his how we determine if something is true (with a small t).[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:51, topic:37604”]
But I do wonder if you were on a jury, and some wretch who murdered my family were on the stand, how you would arrive at a conclusion of “guilty” based on the testimony of five eyewitnesses to the crime. After all, there is no verifiable, repeatable “scientific” evidence for the crime, or for any small-scale one-time event. I mean, for a big enough event we can look for some clue, like the idea of Jericho being sacked at a certain place and time. We can go look for ruins burned with fire in a particular layer or what have you and tell that something happened, but its still not “proof” in the strict scientific sense of the word.
[/quote]

The first thing I would do is look for independence. What stake does the witness have in the case? How well does the witness do under cross examination? How consistent are the witness’ statements over time? How long after the event was the eye witness questioned, and could the interviewer have colored the testimony? How well do the different testimonies agree with one another, and do they show signs of tampering?

The problem you are getting at is one I probably agree with: eye-witness testimony is the worst type of evidence there is. Human memory doesn’t work like a VCR tape. Instead, our memories are pieced back together through associations and emotions, and they aren’t completely reliable. This is the reason that new forensic techniques are exonerating prisoners that were convicted on the basis of eye witness testimony. I would have a difficult time convicting someone based just on eye witness testimony, especially if it was just one person who had very good reasons to lie. If we have to move to second hand accounts that can’t be cross examined, then it wouldn’t hold much weight in my eyes.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:51, topic:37604”]
I guess what I am wondering is if this standard of proof is one you consistently adhere to in every area of life, for example not bothering to read product ratings before purchasing the product, or determining guilt as a jury member as I noted above, or if this is just something you dust off to use when considering the existence of God?
[/quote]

For things I consider to be true, I do try to consistently use these criteria. For things I consider preferences or opinions I may not use these criteria. I don’t use the scientific method to determine if I like chocolate ice cream more than vanilla, as one example.[quote=“Mark_Moore, post:51, topic:37604”]
It seems to me that I have to make decisions based on other kinds of evidence all of the time and I could not even function if I applied your standard strictly to the rest of my life.
[/quote]

Then what method do you use for determining if something is true?


(Richard Wright) #53

Hello T_aquaticus,

You often state that atheists are logical and skeptical, inferring that theists aren’t. Many believers are skeptical, including myself. We believe in the teachings of Christ because they changed our lives and transformed our hearts, not because of the historical reliability of the gospels. We mostly don’t believe in the writings of Joseph Smith because they contradict what Jesus taught and don’t have the spiritual gravitas of Jesus’ teachings.

Atheists tend to conflate, “evidence” with, “proof”. The vast majority of the history of humanity have believed in the divine, because to us, existing in this life-producing place is evidence that it must have come from something greater. Not proof, but evidence.

The god of Scripture wants people to have faith and purposely doesn’t show up in the sky or on everyone’s cell phone. Actually, according to scripture He did talk to the Jews in Exodus, and they were frightened to death and told Moses to tell Him no longer to speak to them. Of course he appeared in the form of Jesus Christ according to the New Testament, and non-believers like myself were convinced through his life and teachings in the gospels that he was whom he claimed to be since it spoke to our souls. That, for myself anyway, was, “evidence” of Jesus being God.

So, to believers it’s much more logical that we are here because of God than we are a cosmic accident. Atheists don’t have a monopoly on skepticism and logical thinking.


#54

Let’s see how that stacks up in the rest of your post.

That’s not logical. Just because something changes your life does not make it true. People’s lives have been changed by beliefs and claims that are demonstrably false. One of the most important parts of skepticism is to judge claims based on reason and evidence, not emotion.

That is begging the question. You start with the assumption that Jesus’ teachings are true which is the question being asked. This is a logical fallacy.

Nowhere is a reasoned argument given showing how life requires something greater. It is simply asserted. This is not logical.

Second, just because people believe something doesn’t make it true. This fails even the most basic test of skepticism. No skeptic would ever say that something must be true because people believed it to be true in the past. In fact, the birth of modern skepticism was a direct response to the uncritical acceptance of traditional beliefs.

Begging the question. The claims found in the Bible are the ones we are questioning. You simply assert that they are true, and then use those assertions as evidence that they are true. This shows a serious lack of skepticism and logic.

To make that claim you would have to present a logical argument which you have yet to do.

No, we don’t. You are free to use logic and skepticism any time you want.


(Mark Moore) #55

For one-time acts of history which can’t be replicated in a lab I give a lot more weight to historical-legal evidence that you seem to. We can’t “prove” with science that George Washington crossed the Delaware and defeated the Hessians, we accept that it is true based on historical-legal evidence. If three eye-witnesses testified in court that the defendant murdered your family, provided as you mentioned that they were credible witnesses that did not have a motive to lie, absent counter evidence of equal weight I would vote to convict said defendant.

Now in regards to the truth of a religious teaching or position, I will say that I use another standard. That is some things just resound in my inner being as true, even if they convict me. The Sermon on the Mount for example. That is neither scientific evidence or historical-legal evidence. It is like I have something in me, connected to the Divine I think, which is able to recognize if this type of information agrees with my conscience or inner witness. And as C.S. Lewis pointed out, a lot of human cultures have broad agreement with regards to right and wrong. Cowardice is never considered a virtue for example.

But I think the large issue here is that I select the appropriate method of truth-determination for the question at hand, and I do wonder if stacking so many of your chips on the scientific method in regards to the existence of God is not tantamount to ruling out in advance any answer whose truth cannot be determined by the scientific method. For example I would “disbelieve” that Washington crossed the Delaware if indeed I limited myself to such evidence.


#56

What if there are three eye-witnesses who submit written testimonies were not cross examined, have a strong motive for wanting their testimonies to be believed, show obvious signs of copying from one another’s testimony, were written decades after the events, and can’t even be shown to be from actual eye-witnesses, would you put much weight on these accounts?

I won’t argue against this at all. You have beliefs that come from inner conviction, strong emotions, and a personal view of the world. That’s called being human.

What I do tend to focus on is claims that people make about facts, logic, and reason. These are concepts that we can tackle in a more objective sense, and that is what interests me.

Again, I have absolutely no problem with that. I also have preferences, beliefs, emotions, and ideals. However, I try to differentiate them from what I claim is true or valid. These are the points I tend to focus on, when someone claims that they are using logic, reason, and evidence but are instead relying on subjective preferences, personal beliefs, and human emotions. This may seem like nit picking, but as a skeptic I think these distinctions are important.

Added in edit: I found a couple of quotes that do a good job of describing the type of skepticism I tend to fall back on.

“What skeptical thinking boils down to is the means to construct, and to understand, a reasoned argument and, especially important, to recognize a fallacious or fraudulent argument. The question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premises or starting point and whether that premise is true.”— Carl Sagan in The Demon-Haunted World, 1995, p. 197

“The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with doubt, disbelief, or negativity. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It’s the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion.”— Brian Dunning


(Mervin Bitikofer) #57

The ever-surviving cowardly wizard Rincewind (of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels) being excepted here of course! (one of my favorites of Pratchett’s characters).

Sorry for the inane interjection here --couldn’t resist. More seriously, though, you continue to raise good points, Mark. I do think I can anticipate T’s response to the George Washington claim as being that it is a plausible claim and so he is probably willing to go along with historical testimony. But if several witnesses claimed they saw Washington levitate himself over the Delaware without any boat, then most of us would probably want a bit more evidence before entertaining the idea seriously.

BUT – this would still leave your basic challenge in place (unchallenged IMO) that there is a privileging here of empirically repeatable claims over historical ones. And maybe there should be. But the extent to which we let those empirical prejudices then denigrate any weight of historical testimony / or life impact is where I think we believers dwell in a different place than our non-believing friends do. My two cents on it anyway.


#58

The question then becomes who is elevating empirical prejudices (or preferences) above historical testimony and/or life impact? By attempting to argue that Christian beliefs do adhere to empirical methodologies of determine validity or truth, could this be taken as a tacit admission that those methodologies are superior to historical or personal views?

I think this is one of the failings of Intelligent Design. They are fighting a (completely unnecessary) culture war between theism and atheism where they try to plant their flag on the Hill of Science, and by extension the hills of modern skepticism and empiricism. By their own actions they are saying that if there is no scientific evidence for their beliefs then their beliefs are not valid. This is why they are so hostile to the idea that fellow theists would accept scientific findings which run counter to ID religious beliefs.

If you arrived at your beliefs through personal revelation then that is how you arrived at those beliefs, and trying to justify those beliefs through empiricism after the fact can make it appear as though your beliefs are invalid. I understand that atheists like myself can be a bit cantankerous and unnerving, but that shouldn’t require you to think like us or see the world like us. I think we can all have enough confidence and maturity in our views of the world that we can suffer through the fact that everyone may not agree with us.


(Mark Moore) #59

No. Unless of course they were threatened with death and accepted death rather than recant, which would ex-nay your motives objection. Now maybe they were just lunatics, but lunatics don’t turn the world upside down unless it is by force of arms or at least great riches. These guys did without any of that. How out of touch with reality can they be? I am not as concerned about the “decades after the events” thing. This was not about what they had for lunch on a particular Wednesday. This stuff would have stuck.

Look I seem to be having some problem with my account. It keeps forgetting my registration or something. I can only speak when spoken to. It is too much hassle to participate. If I don’t visit with you again I want you to know that I have enjoyed our interactions, I learned some things and hopefully taught some things. Fare well.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #60

I was presuming that you are exactly such a person! But I’m delighted to learn otherwise if you don’t own that.

I think we can trivially concede that all of us place a strong belief on what is in front of our eyes, and that this typically enjoys immediate privilege for all humans regardless of creed. We may walk by faith, but that doesn’t mean we shut our eyes to such daylight as God gives us.

Agreed on this!

Or it could mean that we are just trying to cater to some new set of expectations that the culture would now like to demand. And some Christians are hoping to enter into that game and play by those rules to try to reach those who dwell only there.

We already do. In fact any of us from western nations here were pretty much all steeped into the same cultural traditions so there may be almost no chance that I can think differently than you in all the culturally embedded ways that have conditioned both yours and my views. I just lean one way from that platform and you lean another direction. We may reach for different things, growing in separate directions, and significantly so. But the fact that we can even have productive discussions here at all [thanks for that, BTW] shows that we have long shared in very similar cultural conditioning.