Are Psychopaths The Only People Without Souls?

M

Mr_Bateman

Guest
Laura said:
Mr_Bateman said:
I suppose my 'research' could be considered biased in a sense.
I have deliberately leant towards the materialistic and scientific method. It just seems to be coming from a more honest place.
Not necessarily. As my husband has written:
Maybe you have not read that article recently or posted the wrong one? But it actually agrees with my statement.Your husband’s article is a very interesting read, but seems to end, just as it is about to answer my earlier question about scientific proof for a soul.

The first part of the article centres on the idea of science not dealing with moral issues. But it doesn’t claim to be, so highlighting it as a fault is not really fair, or relevant.

I did nearly stop reading at this line, because it is so wrong:

Religion teaches us to be open minded and accepting of possibilities which are far from being "rational".

As there is nothing open minded about religion. Anything that stifles questions is oppressive and close minded.
But then the article goes on to say:

Religions are always "secret" in one respect or another - even if that secrecy is only the declaration that no changes can be made, no questions asked, because the ultimate truth about God is a "mystery," a "secret."

Which totally contradicts the earlier sentence, but does redeem the article.

Any belief system that does not welcome questions has something to hide and so must be flawed.

Laura said:
As soon as any discussion on the soul starts focusing on life after death it is appealing to the emotional and becomes disreputable. Surely all the 'pseudoskeptics' in the world would be happy to find out they will survive death?
Probably not. And they probably won't. Those who can't conceive of it probably don't have it as I have already mentioned.
Speaking as a ‘skeptic’ (but aren’t we all skeptical of something?): death is not an attractive thought. Indeed, psychopaths have an enhanced sense of survival and this concept of a part of us surviving death is just that.
So I stand by the my original statement that surviving death is an attractive prospect to everybody and any belief structure based on this needs to be examined closely and objectively.
Laura said:
Evolution had to start somewhere. The very fact that a single atom exists depends upon something non-physical existing first.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t address how a soul could develop based on a physical environment.

And if animals don’t have souls, that suggests there is no such thing a ‘lesser soul’ to develop into a human soul.

Laura said:
If you read Dawkins carefully (and he probably doesn't have a soul either, but that doesn't mean he is a psychopath. You don't have to be a psychopath to not have a soul. Non-souled individuals CAN have primitive feelings, also, just as animals have; only they have them in conjunction with a human brain. Not a very good combination from the point of view of the souled people that interact with them, but perfectly fine when they stay with their own kind.) you will discover that he conveniently just "skips" over this point and says quite plainly that he "leaves it to physicists" to figure that one out.
I know I replied to some of this in an earlier post, but would be very interested in your reasoning behind Dawkins being soulless?

This is a man that has dedicated the remainder of his life to actively freeing people from the shackles of organised religion and is a supporter of various charities. Is ‘souled’ people are more empathic than those without, Dawkins would seem to have a ‘bigger soul’ than most.
Laura said:
It is even quite possible that the "soul" is just that: Information that is "arranged" in a special way (think "sphere packing.")
If that is the case (you don’t seem too sure) how does it interact with the environment, either to develop or feed into the material brain?
Laura said:
Here's some more reading for you:
http://www.trans4mind.com/spiritual/myers1.html
http://www.members.global2000.net/~periph/
http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/photographs.htm
http://www.cfpf.org.uk/
http://www.victorzammit.com/
I didn’t have time for these this week, but will have a look at them over the coming week.
Laura said:
Note that I am just giving you a sampling of what is out there and available to someone who is just starting to look into the subject. Been there, done that, have been convinced.
So you did not believe in a soul initially?

I find this interesting as previously you’ve said that those with a soul know it and those without can’t conceive of it. So is it possible for someone with a soul to be unaware and vice versa?

Laura said:
The fact is, this forum has been created for others who are also convinced. It was not intended to be a place where the merits of the argument for or against the soul could/would be argued. My suggestion to you is do the work, get your hands dirty in the research. If you are still not convinced, then that is fine. There are plenty of forums where you can hang out with your own kind.
I am not in any way arguing for or against a soul. I’m just asking questions.

Maybe a forum section for people interested, but not convinced, would have value? Somewhere where questions are welcomed? Especially as most of the info external to this site seems to only agree in part with the theory being proposed.
 

nf3

Padawan Learner
Mr_Bateman said:
Maybe a forum section for people interested, but not convinced, would have value?
No it would not, as evidenced by your complete inability to see where anyone here is coming from. If a person is convinced that the universe is entirely matter and that soul must evolve from matter, then nothing will change their mind. It is a waste of time and energy for all involved.

Mr_Bateman said:
Somewhere where questions are welcomed?
Questions are always welcomed. You, however, are not questioning. You are forcing your view of reality on others and ignoring the feedback being given to you. I don't think you are doing this intentionally, but it ties back in to the fact that you cannot see where we are coming from and is further evidence that you would be happier on another forum that discusses material explanations for soul.

Mr_Bateman said:
Especially as most of the info external to this site seems to only agree in part with the theory being proposed.
You do not understand the theory being proposed. It does not resonate with anything inside you. But the materialist theories do resonate with you, so why not pursue those elsewhere?
 

Third_Density_Resident

Jedi Council Member
Mr_Bateman said:
anart said:
This is the conclusion of the theory of evolution, but it is only a theory. If you have not had a chance to read 'Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race' by Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, it might well be worth your time, especially if you are basing your understanding on the theory of evolution.
The theory of evolution is called a ‘theory’ because the of the demands of the scientific method. As yet nothing has been put forward to disprove this theory which puts it way above any other theory (however sure their proponents sound).

The reviews on amazon for that book where enough to put me off. One of the biggest ‘tells’ in a weak argument are the points that are not addressed. And in this case several ‘against’ reviewers claim the entire book provides no evidence, just hearsay, and none of the ‘for’ reviewers argued it. Also, it is supposed to be debunking humans being 10 000 years old. But other than young earth creationists I don’t think anyone believes that anyway.
So you actually allow the reviews on Amazon alone to decide whether or not a book is worthy? Sometimes the reviews can be helpful, but for an extremely sensitive topic like evolution, it should occur to you that many people are programmed to think a certain way and hence they are likely to react very emotionally when something they read about evolution disagrees with their cherished beliefs and programmes.

Right now I am in the middle of reading the unabridged version of Forbidden Archeology, and thus far there is nothing 'weak' about it whatsoever. In fact the authors have gone to considerable lengths to look at the points of view from all sides of the debate. As for those Amazon reviewers claiming there's no evidence or only hearsay -- either they didn't actually read the book properly, or they are deluded, or they are unable to reason from an objective point of view. By the way, the book does not 'debunk' modern humans as being 10,000 years old, but rather 100,000 years old. Once again you've based your whole opinion on some very biased reviewers who either can't even quote numbers properly, or are doing it deliberately to prevent people from reading the book.

One of the main themes of the book is the way in which anomalous evidence has been dismissed simply because the evidence does not fit in with accepted evolutionary theory. Can't you see the huge problem with this? Much evidence has been accepted, even though it was more tenous than the anomalous evidence, simply because it agrees with accepted theory. Many modern paleontologists etc. are completely ignorant of the vast quantity of anomalous evidence because it's been deliberately ignored or buried, but not because the evidence was weak, but because it did not fit in with accepted theory! Over time, this has compounded problems further and further, and now we have theories that are so far removed from what actually happened that it's a right mess.

Mr_Bateman said:
Third_Density_Resident said:
If you took the time to do some proper research, you would find some good internet sites that deal with this kind of thing. But as a start, I direct you to this site: _http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/background/scientificproof/scientificproof1.html.
I have been super busy this week, but did spent considerable time reading this article and some additional stuff around the things it mentions. I have even ordered the book on subatomics.

But nothing in that article constitutes scientific proof.
It wasn't meant to constitute scientific proof. It was meant to act as a springboard so that YOU would go off and do your own research into the matter. We aren't all here at your beck and call. In any case, you should read all the articles on that site (there's plenty of them), and the ones that Laura suggested.

Mr_Bateman said:
To say a soul exists because the atom is not solid is like saying a desert has a soul because there is space between the sand grains.
No one was arguing this -- you're putting words into people's mouths. But the fact that the atom is not solid makes the idea of soul a lot more plausible, or indeed possible.

Mr_Bateman said:
Sir William Crookes was interesting. I read up about him elsewhere and he was an accomplished scientist. Which begs the question: why would he think that results tested only by him and friends, only in his home would be treated with anything but scorn?

I can understand a non-scientist making this mistake, but he should have known better.
Crookes was indeed an accomplished scientist, and highly credible. I'm not sure of who tested the mediums (it's been some years since I read about his experiments) but I imagine that he didn't want to be marginalised for his ideas, and so only used those people he could completely trust. This really isn't too hard to understand. At the time of his experiments, there was a lot of 'debunking' going on, some of which was extremely dangerous (research Helen Duncan for more information). And if I'm not mistaken, I'm certain that non-friends and non-family did did test some mediums, albeit with Crookes there to supervise.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
Mr_Bateman said:
I suppose my 'research' could be considered biased in a sense.
I have deliberately leant towards the materialistic and scientific method. It just seems to be coming from a more honest place.
Not necessarily. As my husband has written:
Maybe you have not read that article recently or posted the wrong one? But it actually agrees with my statement.Your husband’s article is a very interesting read, but seems to end, just as it is about to answer my earlier question about scientific proof for a soul.

The first part of the article centres on the idea of science not dealing with moral issues. But it doesn’t claim to be, so highlighting it as a fault is not really fair, or relevant.

I did nearly stop reading at this line, because it is so wrong:

Religion teaches us to be open minded and accepting of possibilities which are far from being "rational".

As there is nothing open minded about religion. Anything that stifles questions is oppressive and close minded.
But then the article goes on to say:

Religions are always "secret" in one respect or another - even if that secrecy is only the declaration that no changes can be made, no questions asked, because the ultimate truth about God is a "mystery," a "secret."

Which totally contradicts the earlier sentence, but does redeem the article.

Any belief system that does not welcome questions has something to hide and so must be flawed.
I think that you missed the points here. Notice the qualifier of "Religions teaches us to be open-minded". It is "accepting of possibilities which are far from being rational."

That is, indeed, what religion does.

Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
As soon as any discussion on the soul starts focusing on life after death it is appealing to the emotional and becomes disreputable. Surely all the 'pseudoskeptics' in the world would be happy to find out they will survive death?
Probably not. And they probably won't. Those who can't conceive of it probably don't have it as I have already mentioned.
Speaking as a ‘skeptic’ (but aren’t we all skeptical of something?): death is not an attractive thought. Indeed, psychopaths have an enhanced sense of survival and this concept of a part of us surviving death is just that.
I don't think that a real psychopath has an "enhanced sense of survival" because they appear to be incapable of conceiving of things past or future as being real (if they think about them at all.) If this matter even concerns you at all, you are not a true psychopath. You could, however, be pretending that the matter concerns you for the sake of destruction.

Mr_Bateman said:
So I stand by the my original statement that surviving death is an attractive prospect to everybody and any belief structure based on this needs to be examined closely and objectively.
See above. "Survival of death" is of no concern to a true psychopath because they simply cannot conceive of being dead "in the future." That is one of the chief characteristics of the psychopath: complete lack of anxiety about anything except losing "food" right NOW.

Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
Evolution had to start somewhere. The very fact that a single atom exists depends upon something non-physical existing first.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t address how a soul could develop based on a physical environment.
Who said that a soul develops "based on a physical environment"? That's completely backwards.

Mr_Bateman said:
And if animals don’t have souls, that suggests there is no such thing a ‘lesser soul’ to develop into a human soul.
Who said animals don't have souls? Perhaps not individuated, but certainly a group soul.

Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
If you read Dawkins carefully (and he probably doesn't have a soul either, but that doesn't mean he is a psychopath. You don't have to be a psychopath to not have a soul. Non-souled individuals CAN have primitive feelings, also, just as animals have; only they have them in conjunction with a human brain. Not a very good combination from the point of view of the souled people that interact with them, but perfectly fine when they stay with their own kind.) you will discover that he conveniently just "skips" over this point and says quite plainly that he "leaves it to physicists" to figure that one out.
I know I replied to some of this in an earlier post, but would be very interested in your reasoning behind Dawkins being soulless?
It's evident in his arguments.

Mr_Bateman said:
This is a man that has dedicated the remainder of his life to actively freeing people from the shackles of organised religion and is a supporter of various charities. Is ‘souled’ people are more empathic than those without, Dawkins would seem to have a ‘bigger soul’ than most.
Sorry that this offends you, but Dawkins does quite a bit more than just attempting to "free people from the shackles of organized religion" and "support charities." As he does this, he also seeks to remove some of the essential support that many individuals need in order to strive toward those very goals he promotes. Certainly we applaud the efforts to free people from ORGANIZED religion, but one ought not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
It is even quite possible that the "soul" is just that: Information that is "arranged" in a special way (think "sphere packing.")
If that is the case (you don’t seem too sure) how does it interact with the environment, either to develop or feed into the material brain?
Note that I am merely proposing this as a line for you to follow to conceive of the idea in more "scientific terminology."

Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
Here's some more reading for you:
http://www.trans4mind.com/spiritual/myers1.html
http://www.members.global2000.net/~periph/
http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/photographs.htm
http://www.cfpf.org.uk/
http://www.victorzammit.com/
I didn’t have time for these this week, but will have a look at them over the coming week.
And I don't have time for this discussion this week either. So, like I said, do some research first, discuss later. You might also like to look at the work of Rupert Sheldrake. There is an interesting exchange between Sheldrake and Atkins:

The discussion started with the interviewer asking Rupert to describe his work on telephone telepathy, and on his similar test with emails. Rupert described the results. In the videotaped telephone telepathy tests, the average hit rate was 45% compared with 25% expected by chance, with odds against this being a chance coincidence of billions to one (for Rupert's papers on telephone and email telepathy, see Scientific Papers )

The discussion continued as follows:

Interviewer: However let's talk to a leading scientist, Professor Peter Atkins, who is a biologist at Lincoln College Oxford. Professor Atkins why is all this a total waste of time in your view?

Atkins: Well, you can't rely on any of these experiments. And by the way I'm a chemist not a biologist. But there is no serious work done in this field. The samples that people use are very tiny, the effects are statistically insignificant, the controls are not done in a scientific way. On the whole there's just no point in doing it. There are no serious reasons for believing there should be an effect of telepathy anyway. There is no mechanism within modern science to account for it. There's nothing that drives people to believe in it except sentiment, emotion, and things like that.

Interviewer: Well it would be useful wouldn't it? I can think of all kinds of....

Atkins: Well this is the point, nature has been around for several billion years and the pressure of evolution and natural selection would have brought out telepathy to be one of the major senses, after all look what's happened to vision. Vision is enormously important to survival and several independent emergencies of vision and the optical system have occurred, but with telepathy it would be fantastic. You wouldn't need vision you'd just know what was to go on around you. The fact that evolution hasn't done it in a billion years seems to me to be really convincing evidence that it's all nonsense.

Interviewer: On the other hand when he produces his evidence, he said 25% was what you would expect, but what he got was 45%, that is remarkable.

Atkins: No, that's just playing with statistics.

Interviewer: Let's put that to Rupert. Rupert Sheldrake, he says you're just playing with statistics. He doesn't believe a word of it. What do you say to him?

Rupert: Well I'd like to ask him if he's actually read the evidence? May I ask you Professor Atkins if you've actually studied any of this evidence or any other evidence?

Atkins: No, but I would be very suspicious of it.

Rupert: Of course, being suspicious of it in advance of seeing it is normally called prejudice.

Atkins: Yes, there's always reason to believe in bizarre phenomena by looking into alternative explanations within the scientific milieu. For example people guessing, because of a particular time of day that someone's going to call.

Rupert: These tests exclude that, you seemed to have missed the point of the experiments. They're done by random selection. You know, I started from the kinds of objections you're putting forward, that's the starting point, then we try to go on and test those in rigorous scientific tests.

Atkins: But they're not rigorous.

Rupert: How do you know? You don't know a thing about it, you haven't looked at the evidence. I think you're talking from a point of view of prejudice, dogma and frankly lack of information. I would never presume to comment on your experiments in chemistry without reading them.

Atkins: But I've read your experiments in the past on other off the wall ideas that you've had.

Rupert: Have you? Well we can discuss any of those you'd like to.

Atkins: But none of them proved to be valid.

Interviewer: Thank you both very much... Anecdotally, I bet lots of listeners have had that funny feeling about the phone....
Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
Note that I am just giving you a sampling of what is out there and available to someone who is just starting to look into the subject. Been there, done that, have been convinced.
So you did not believe in a soul initially?
That's not quite the problem. I was exposed to a number of professors who did not and their bold declarations about the matter were causing me to question what I felt strongly inside. I wanted to find the "proof" so as to demolish their arguments. I wouldn't have even been concerned about the matter if there were not something inside driving me to pursue the question; I would have just accepted their pronouncements and been happy. I've had enough experiences that are completely outside the possibility of "normal scientific explanations" to convince me. But that is a personal thing. I learned that you can't convince anyone who is adamantly against being convinced. All the circumstantial evidence in the world (and there is a mountain of it) will not convince someone whose mind is made up the other way.

As the Bible points out, there are those who cannot be persuaded even if someone were to rise from the dead.

So, like I said, either you are not a true psychopath, or you have an agenda, or you would not be concerned at all with this issue.

Mr_Bateman said:
I find this interesting as previously you’ve said that those with a soul know it and those without can’t conceive of it. So is it possible for someone with a soul to be unaware and vice versa?
See above. The problem generally arises due to the effect of the psychopath on the mind of a normal human which is similar to the effect of a snake on a bird or mouse. Psychologist, Andrzej Lobaczewski describes it this way:

When the human mind comes into contact with [the reality of the psychopath], it releases psychophysiological shock symptoms in the human brain with a higher tonus of cortex inhibition and a stifling of feelings, which then sometimes gush forth uncontrollably. [The human mind] works more slowly and less keenly because the associative mechanisms have become inefficient. Especially when a person has direct contact with [a psychopath], who uses their specific experience so as to traumatize the minds of the “others” with their own personalities, [the normal human] mind succumbs to a state of short-term catatonia. The [psychopath's] humiliating and arrogant techniques, brutal paramoralizations, and so forth deaden his thought processes and his self-defense capabilities, and their divergent experiential method anchors in his mind. In the presence of this kind of phenomenon, any moralizing evaluation of a person’s behavior in such a situation thus becomes inaccurate at best.
Mr_Bateman said:
Laura said:
The fact is, this forum has been created for others who are also convinced. It was not intended to be a place where the merits of the argument for or against the soul could/would be argued. My suggestion to you is do the work, get your hands dirty in the research. If you are still not convinced, then that is fine. There are plenty of forums where you can hang out with your own kind.
I am not in any way arguing for or against a soul. I’m just asking questions.
There are other places where these questions can be asked.

Mr_Bateman said:
Maybe a forum section for people interested, but not convinced, would have value? Somewhere where questions are welcomed? Especially as most of the info external to this site seems to only agree in part with the theory being proposed.
There are many sites with many different perspectives; each person has to choose, based on their own internal drives and external experiences and observations, where they "fit." As Ark wrote to Robin Amis:

Point 4) What you say about students not being able to judge for a long time is certainly true. But whether discouraging them from such judgments is the only solution - I am not sure.

Certainly that was the way it was done in the past. Groups were usually small, whether exoteric or esoteric. Travel and communication possibilities were severely restricted. But today a qualitative change has occurred: we are now in the era of networking and instant communication on a planetary scale.

Therefore a different approach is possible: instead of having few students and "teach them even when they are not yet ready", we can address ourselves to those who are ready.

This was not so easy to do in the past when teachers communicated, at best, to merely hundreds of potential students. But it is possible now, when we can communicate with millions.

Whoever is not yet ready for the next stage, let him stay where he is or go back where he was. Those who ARE ready, will find you - if you take care and NETWORK efficiently.

So, I would not discourage students from making early judgments and discussing subjects that they are not prepared for. If they come to the wrong conclusions and go away or attack you, that is their free will. Let them go where their minds and their hearts lead them.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Maybe the problem is the word "soul". Mr_Bateman, I'm sure you would not deny things like sound waves, radio waves, gravity, and other invisible phenomena that nevertheless exist. In the case of gravity, it cannot even be detected or measured, we only know of its existence because of its effects on our surroundings.

But if you look at only a part of the evidence, and in a limited way, you could make a theory fit that small part. Maybe it's simply magnetism? And surely, if you're looking at a piece of metal that falls to the ground, something that can potentially be attracted by magnetism, your theory that it's just magnets may be possible. But the problem is when you consider all the other evidence, for example, that things that cannot be magnetically attracted also fall to the ground. And even then you could say, well what if gravity is a result of some highly sophisticated alien machine inside the earth? And certainly, for some planets in some possibility, something like this may very well exist. But again, considering the rest of the evidence for where gravity exists, that theory too becomes highly improbable.

Similarly, if you look for physical explanations of life, parts of it can very well be reproduced and accounted for by those purely physical explanations. You could very well have people without souls, without consciousness, but with intricate "artificial intelligence" that on the surface seems to perfectly mimic those who do have souls. So when you say that "all brains are the same across the board" you are demonstrating that you are only looking at the evidence that CAN be explained by physical means, you seem to be selectively ignoring evidence that shows there's more to it.

That brings me back to the word "soul". Don't assign any spiritual significance to it, think of it like any other phenomenon that cannot be seen (and sometimes cannot even be detected, at least not using our current technology), but the effects of which are seen, and when you look at ALL the combined effects, together they show that there is definitely something like a "soul" in at least some people, that nothing physical can account for these phenomena.

It's kinda like explaining wind if you're looking on a planet from space and have never seen or experienced wind before. You see evidence of it, but you don't see it directly. Clouds, leaves, dust, water, clothing, hair, fire, everything being moved by something. Some theories you could propose would only fit one thing - maybe only the leaves, but it would not also explain the clouds and the dust and the sand and the water, so you have to always consider the totality of all things to create a theory that adequately fits ALL evidence.

Similarly, when you say "random" - who says "evolution" is random? Randomness is only an assumption, just because you don't recognize a meaning or a pattern, does not mean there is not one. If you look at encrypted communication, you'd see what looks like random strings of letters and numbers with no pattern or meaning. If you have no idea that this is an encrypted communication you could say "Yup, this is random!". But of course, if you know how to decrypt it, you realize it is not random at all but very precise and very meaningful and has a definite purpose and direction.

Now, if you take a video game, let's say one as complicated and advanced as the virtual reality created in the movie "The Matrix", you could simulate reality to a great extent, to such an extent that it can on the surface appear no different than "reality". But showing that something can be, *on the surface appearance of it* faked, does not mean the original was done in the same manner. That would be similar to how many choose to "disprove" UFO evidence by demonstrating how a particular UFO video *can* be faked, and conclude that if it CAN be faked, then it must be faked.

The devil, is in the details, however. Look at *all* the evidence for clues as to what is behind the veil, because there really IS a ton load that points to a reality of something beyond the physical, something that is infinite, interconnected, and conscious, and endures after death of body, and also exists and can sometimes be accessed to various degrees when the body is still alive to "know" things that you could not have known in any other way, or do things. You can call it soul or you can call it whatever you want, it doesn't matter what you call it. We don't know what it is, all we know is, something is most definitely there, it fits ALL the data, data that purely physical or evolutionary explanations completely fail to explain.

As for the idea that "everyone is favorable to the idea of surviving after death" - not true. Some are simply convinced that there is no such thing as surviving after death, and so, they are actually favorable to the idea of not dying. Check out Ray Kurzweil and his technological singularity theory. He thinks in the next few years, technology, which is advancing at an exponential rate, will advance to the point of creating a technological singularity, like an exponential curve that shoots off into the sky. At which point we'll all become godlike, and will have the technology to keep ourselves alive, or only our brains/consciousness, indefinitely. Sure makes ya wonder, is this because he feels that this is the only possibility, that staying physical forever is the only real way to maintain your existence? Perhaps for him, it really is? He developed a tunnel vision with respect to this, and he's now taking hundreds of vitamin supplements a day to stay as "healthy" as he can until the singularity comes and he can be "immortal".
 
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