Why is it silly?

A number of people have called defining atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of gods "silly".

Why?

There are a large number of people who lack belief in the existence of gods. They don't believe that no gods exist, but they - for whatever reason - cannot draw the conclusion that a god exists.

What would you like them to be called (or to call themselves) if not atheists?
 
A number of people have called defining atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of gods "silly".

Why?

There are a large number of people who lack belief in the existence of gods. They don't believe that no gods exist, but they - for whatever reason - cannot draw the conclusion that a god exists.

What would you like them to be called (or to call themselves) if not atheists?

Fools.
 

Mr Laurier

Active member
A number of people have called defining atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of gods "silly".

Why?

There are a large number of people who lack belief in the existence of gods. They don't believe that no gods exist, but they - for whatever reason - cannot draw the conclusion that a god exists.

What would you like them to be called (or to call themselves) if not atheists?
No clear evidence for the existence of any god or gods.
The un-clear evidence is as good for Shiva or Zeus, as it is for Jehovah. Odin and Osiris are better candidates for being plausible.
Threats from a raving preacher are NOT compelling reason to believe in a particular god.
 

Furion

Member
A number of people have called defining atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of gods "silly".

Why?

There are a large number of people who lack belief in the existence of gods. They don't believe that no gods exist, but they - for whatever reason - cannot draw the conclusion that a god exists.

What would you like them to be called (or to call themselves) if not atheists?
In your case it is likely because one day you claim there is no God, and the same day you claim you do not know.
 

Whateverman

Active member
In your case it is likely because one day you claim there is no God, and the same day you claim you do not know.
There are supposedly many gods. An atheist can be sure of the non-existence of one, but not the non-existence of all.
 

Furion

Member
There are supposedly many gods. An atheist can be sure of the non-existence of one, but not the non-existence of all.
There are apparently little gods who think they can know empirically unknowable things.

Only a fool claims to know such things.

It's not intellectually honest either.

I've not seen an atheist here or elsewhere hold out serious hope in any particular God, meaning they are persuaded there is no particular God either out of these "many gods", so they just fool themselves. If you find an atheist who still holds out hope in Allah, let me know.

Atheism is a bit like a sandblaster, it can only do one thing when a new God is presented to atheists, sandblast it. You should examine your thought processes and see them as they really are, not some equivocation of what you decide it is.

Some do declare what they actually believe, what you call hard atheism, and some do not declare what they actually believe.

I see it as a critical thinking fail among "soft atheists."
 

docphin5

Member
A number of people have called defining atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of gods "silly".

Why?

There are a large number of people who lack belief in the existence of gods. They don't believe that no gods exist, but they - for whatever reason - cannot draw the conclusion that a god exists.

What would you like them to be called (or to call themselves) if not atheists?
Maybe..."agnostics". Personally, I think it is lack of serious thought (i.e. "silly") to assert with certainty that there is no God, especially because there are different models of God (i.e., Greek, Semitic, Asian, Christian) and because of the infinite amount of things that we do not know.

On a practical level I think a-theists are overlooking the real possibility that WE are the independent manifestations of the divine entity ("God") who resides outside of existence or reality as we know it.

You guys spend a lot of time rejecting YHWH in the Bible who forms the outer or material man but you fail to give much thought to the "Spirit" in the Bible who is producing the inner, spiritual man. Paul defines "Jesus Christ" as the face of the Spirit in us (2 Corinthians 4:6). Paul never even mentions YHWH by name except in association with the "god of this world", "foolish Sophia", "first Adam", and "adversary" of us, meaning, the material world, itself, when personified, "fell" from the celestial heavens. IOW the material world "blinds" us from who we really are, is the product of transgression, passed death to all, and condemns men (lacking the inner Jesus or Spirit), respectively.

But Paul was only rewriting what had been known for 2, 000 years before him. The YHWH-Spirit correlates with Atum-Re in the Egyptian religion who taught about the outer "god" and the inner "god". The Hebrews likely borrowed from the Egyptians and transformed the literary pantheon of the Egyptians (e.g. Atum-Re: Osiris, Seth, etc.) into the literary Biblical "Elohim" (e.g. YHWH-Spirit: Moses, Isaiah, Elijah, etc.) prophets and humans on earth. The point is that god has been known and described by many civilizations for over 3,500 years and divinity was always seen as within us because we are independent manifestations of the hidden God, whether the Bible call him El, or the Egyptians called him Amun.

You all are looking for evidence for God outside of reality when you should give serious thought to yourself and our world. Look in and discover who we really are. If you see yourself as ONLY material then by default you belong to YHWH or Atum alone. If you see yourself as, and are, in fact, good, true, just, then whether you know it or not, you belong to the inner Spirit, Jesus, or Re, and he will raise you up for eternity just as the mythical Osiris/Horus and Jesus Christ were raised from death.
 
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5wize

Member
You guys spend a lot of time rejecting YHWH in the Bible who forms the outer or material man but you fail to give much thought to the "Spirit" in the Bible who is producing the inner, spiritual man.
That's not true. I agree that we (atheists) do talk about how silly it is to anthropomorphize the formation of the material world as a willful creation event of some sentient "entity" just because we project how we humans create onto the natural world, but we also talk about our emotional and moral mental states being a product of our human experience and how they account as an example of what you would anthropomorphize as a spirit. None of this requires these complicated Gnostic analogies. It just takes looking at the world as is presented to us and navigating it with our discretion. If you need Gnostic fables like children need Aesop's fables or ancient Greeks used mythology, that fine. They are good tools to analogize these realities. But to think that they are somehow underlying realities is like thinking Aesop's animals actually talked to each other and the Greek gods actually do directly and materially underpin the human psyche.
 
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docphin5

Member
That's not true. I agree that we (atheists) do talk about how silly it is to anthropomorphize the formation of the material world as a willful creation event of some sentient "entity" just because we project how we humans create onto the natural world, but we also talk about our emotional and moral mental states being a product of our human experience and how they account as an example of what you would anthropomorphize as a spirit. None of this requires these complicated Gnostic analogies. It just takes looking at the world as is presented to us and navigating it with our discretion.
If you look at the world ONLY as it is presented to you, as you say, in its material form, without history or without a future, then you are NOT seriously considering the real possibility of something more than JUST a meaningless existence, relative to the life of the cosmos. I have no problem if you prefer that perspective, and in doing so, you have CHOSEN to only serve a material existence, however brief it is. But long before you came about and long after your meaningless existence, the "world" will still be going, because, the world has a life of its own. You just don't care. I get it. To each his own. However, great thinkers and seekers in every civilization looked inside and outside our mere existence and saw something more than a meaningless, material, existence. What they discovered is, apparently, NOT for you.

If you need Gnostic fables like children need Aesop's fables or ancient Greeks used mythology, that fine. They are good tools to analogize these realities. But to think that they are somehow underlying realities is like thinking Aesop's animals actually talked to each other and the Greek gods actually do directly and materially underpin the human psyche.
That is exactly what the myths do, they connect us (our psyche) to our non conscious self. Our non conscious self includes so much more, infinitely more, than our conscious self. And I am not alone on this. CG Jung describes it in his book AION. But it goes all the way back to Hermitic theology. So, yes, the myths are describing an underlying reality about our existence. Sorry, it means nothing to you. To others it does.
 
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Whatsisface

Active member
Maybe..."agnostics". Personally, I think it is lack of serious thought (i.e. "silly") to assert with certainty that there is no God, especially because there are different models of God (i.e., Greek, Semitic, Asian, Christian) and because of the infinite amount of things that we do not know.
I think atheists who have given this serious thought don't say with certainty there is no God, but believe the probability low. That there are different models of God, and that there is so much we don't know is a knife that cuts both ways and can be used as arguments against God. Many Gods indicates man's propensity to create God's, particularly in times of no scientific understanding and when magical thinking was commonplace. It's a possibility that a natural explanation for the universe could lie in the area of what we don't know. The more we discover about the universe the more we find it goes against our common sense intuitions that lead to simplistic arguments like the Kalam.
On a practical level I think a-theists are overlooking the real possibility that WE are the independent manifestations of the divine entity ("God") who resides outside of existence or reality as we know it.
Well, I think this possibility might exist, and as soon as the evidence shows it so, will believe. So far though....
You guys spend a lot of time rejecting YHWH in the Bible who forms the outer or material man but you fail to give much thought to the "Spirit" in the Bible who is producing the inner, spiritual man. Paul defines "Jesus Christ" as the face of the Spirit in us (2 Corinthians 4:6). Paul never even mentions YHWH by name except in association with the "god of this world", "foolish Sophia", "first Adam", and "adversary" of us, meaning, the material world, itself, when personified, "fell" from the celestial heavens. IOW the material world "blinds" us from who we really are, is the product of transgression, passed death to all, and condemns men (lacking the inner Jesus or Spirit), respectively.
There is an explanation for our spiritual side from a materialist view.
 

Whateverman

Active member
There are apparently little gods who think they can know empirically unknowable things.
All Christians do this too.

I've not seen an atheist here or elsewhere hold out serious hope in any particular God, meaning they are persuaded there is no particular God either out of these "many gods", so they just fool themselves. If you find an atheist who still holds out hope in Allah, let me know.
Why? Why do you think not seeing us hold out hope for the existence of a god is significant?

Atheism is a bit like a sandblaster, it can only do one thing when a new God is presented to atheists, sandblast it. You should examine your thought processes and see them as they really are, not some equivocation of what you decide it is.
Did you just claim I equivocate about my own thought processes, rather than see them clearly? That doesn't sound like a coherent idea, as you wrote it...

Some do declare what they actually believe, what you call hard atheism, and some do not declare what they actually believe.

I see it as a critical thinking fail among "soft atheists."
You seem to need to atheists to demonstrate things for you, which is weird.
 

docphin5

Member
<snip> Many Gods indicates man's propensity to create God's, particularly in times of no scientific understanding and when magical thinking was commonplace.
Or the "many gods" are representations written down by intelligent men who had insight about the inner man versus the outer man. Then along come the simple men who take the myths as historical events. And what follows over time is the sages/prophets/philosophers versus the orthodoxy/fundamentalists/(il)literates. You then lump then together and reject both without realizing the former came first who wrote the myths for the purpose of instruction. They cannot help that those who came later distorted the information for their own purpose. Do I ever defend magical thinking? Do I reject what science tells us about our world? Did the Greeks? Did the Egyptians who accomplished great feats of engineering? Your mistake is to lump all religion together and reject them all just because you reject fundamentalism, magical thinking, and orthodoxy (yes, there is no difference between magical thinking and fundamentalism and orthodoxy).
It's a possibility that a natural explanation for the universe could lie in the area of what we don't know. The more we discover about the universe the more we find it goes against our common sense intuitions that lead to simplistic arguments like the Kalam. <snip>
Quiet the contrary, the more we discover about our universe and the more we learn about classical religions, to include, Hermitism, gnostic Christianity, etc., the more we find they correlate. Why do you think I write OPs like "What Paul actually said" except to show that what he actually wrote correlates with our reality and to demonstrate that the orthodoxy has distorted what he actually wrote to support their "magical thinking" and fundamentalism.

Furthermore, there is no material explanation for humans rationally choosing to lay down their life for values, such as, love (Greek: agape), good, truth, or justice. They only do so because they value them more than life itself, they value them more than the brief life a material world offers. How can love or good be worth more than a life this material world offers unless such things exist outside our material world? It takes a rational soul to recognize that, by looking beyond the material world, whereas, the material world itself is uncaring, cold, and inimical to life.
 
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5wize

Member
If you look at the world ONLY as it is presented to you, as you say, in its material form, without history or without a future, then you are NOT seriously considering the real possibility of something more than JUST a meaningless existence, relative to the life of the cosmos. I have no problem if you prefer that perspective, and in doing so, you have CHOSEN to only serve a material existence, however brief it is. But long before you came about and long after your meaningless existence, the "world" will still be going, because, the world has a life of its own. You just don't care. I get it. To each his own. However, great thinkers and seekers in every civilization looked inside and outside our mere existence and saw something more than a meaningless, material, existence. What they discovered is, apparently, NOT for you.
What gives you the non-sequitur impression that atheists look at the world as a merely material form void of history, future, and meaning? Know your Nietzsche. There is plenty to care about. If you ae proposing your Gnosticism as some underlying Aesop or Greek Mythology to merely give intellectual form to the emotional and creative forces of reality, then we have no disagreement you and I. But if you think there is an underlying manifest reality to this, it all seems unnecessary to know or even care about.

So you bring up "care"? It might be you that just doesn't "care" about how things really are and you would rather dance in some belief system with no consequence in this world... whether it's all true or not.
That is exactly what the myths do, they connect us (our psyche) to our non conscious self. Our non conscious self includes so much more, infinitely more, than our conscious self. And I am not alone on this. CG Jung describes it in his book AION. But it goes all the way back to Hermitic theology. So, yes, the myths are describing an underlying reality about our existence. Sorry, it means nothing to you. To others it does.
It does mean something to me, especially the Jung architypes... but Jung knew them as reflections of reality, not reality itself. Most Gnostics actually believe the background struggle is real between forces not of our own. Is that your position?
 

docphin5

Member
What gives you the non-sequitur impression that atheists look at the world as a merely material form void of history, future, and meaning? Know your Nietzsche. There is plenty to care about. If you ae proposing your Gnosticism as some underlying Aesop or Greek Mythology to merely give intellectual form to the emotional and creative forces of reality, then we have no disagreement you and I.
Your own assertions demonstrate that your brief, material existence is ALL you care about. Sure you care about your family, your dog, your football team and you presumably want good for them. I do not take any of that away, but your own words say that you care for nothing more. Fair enough. But my point is that there is much more than your mere material existence. The cosmos will continue on for eternity after you are gone and there is a real possibility that it has a life of its own --which you care nothing for.
But if you think there is an underlying manifest reality to this, it all seems unnecessary to know or even care about.
That is your choice. Fact is that the world continues long after the time that you care for it. I and others see more to our reality than our brief, material existence, to include things more valuable than mere life, for example, love, truth, and justice, for which we seek to understand and cultivate because they are eternal, unchanging principles.

So you bring up "care"? It might be you that just doesn't "care" about how things really are and you would rather dance in some belief system with no consequence in this world... whether it's all true or not.

It does mean something to me, especially the Jung architypes... but Jung knew them as reflections of reality, not reality itself. Most Gnostics actually believe the background struggle is real between forces not of our own. Is that your position?
The "background struggle" described by the sages/gnostics/philosophers IS our struggle because of the inner and outer "god" (Hebrew: Elohim) in all of us. There is no other reality but ours. It may seem counter to what they wrote, for instance, Paul wrote that, "we struggle not with flesh and blood but with cosmic powers"; but he is only inferring that our struggles carry cosmic consequences for eternity. Mere flesh and blood would be like what you assert to care for, that is, a brief, material existence alone, but he is saying that, your choices, my choices, have eternal cosmic consequences. These are the "cosmic powers" that Paul has in mind, not some alternate reality where unicorns and fairies live. What our cosmos will be is a reality that each of us will have to come to terms with depending upon the choices we make now.
 
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5wize

Member
Your own assertions demonstrate that your brief, material existence is ALL you care about. Sure you care about your family, your dog, your football team and you presumably want good for them. I do not take any of that away, but your own words say that you care for nothing more. Fair enough. But my point is that there is much more than your mere material existence. The cosmos will continue on for eternity after you are gone and there is a real possibility that it has a life of its own --which you care nothing for.
What do you mean "care nothing for". Neither you or I can "care for" anything out of our reach to do so. Do you mean "have an intellectual curiosity about"? If so, that is a completely different story. Atheist have a very rich and meaningful curiosity about the mystery of the world we live in and the borders of our reach and beyond, so much so that we don't make up stories of how things are beyond that vision and in so doing encapsulate our understanding like someone who has to collect every rock they see on the beach and rob us all of the wonderful mysterious curiosity of it all.

Where do believers get this idea that it isn't they who's very beliefs limit and rob us of our imaginations?
That is your choice. Fact is that the world continues long after the time that you care for it. I and others see more to our reality than our brief, material existence, to include things more valuable than mere life, for example, love, truth, and justice, for which we seek to understand and cultivate because they are eternal, unchanging principles.
Again, atheists acknowledge, are effected by, and make affect in the realm of love, truth, and justice. We just know where they have their origins which just makes us better at functioning with them as opposed to theists that only muse about them as some external transcendence.
The "background struggle" described by the sages/gnostics/philosophers IS our struggle. There is no other reality but ours. It may seem counter to what they wrote, for instance, Paul wrote that, "we struggle not with flesh and blood but with cosmic powers"; but he is only inferring that our struggles carry cosmic consequences for eternity.
O.K. We're in agreement there except for any eternal cosmic consequence. You'll have to outline what that would be so I understand how that consequence will manifest itself.... eternally.
Mere flesh and blood would be like what you assert to care for, that is, a brief, material existence alone, but he is saying that, your choices, my choices, have eternal cosmic consequences.
It's not "mere flesh and blood". We (atheists) realize better than ANY other that this "mere flesh and blood" is the storehouse and engine of all human consequence.
These are the "cosmic powers" that Paul has in mind, not some alternate reality where unicorns and fairies live. What our cosmos will be is a reality that each of us will have to come to terms with depending upon the choices we make now.
Cosmic consequence? I'm not even sure what that is? All consequence is bound to us, lives in us, and will die with us. We give it its form. Something may come after, and new consequences will arise, live, and die in whatever that is. Consequences only find form and meaning in sentience. They aren't "cosmic". We are not aware of any cosmic sentience. Did Jupiter say ouch when Shoemaker slammed into it? It's not a lack of imagination to say "no". There is plenty to still be imaginative about.
 
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docphin5

Member
What do you mean "care nothing for". Neither you or I can "care for" anything out of our reach to do so. Do you mean "have an intellectual curiosity about"? If so, that is a completely different story. Atheist have a very rich and meaningful curiosity about the mystery of the world we live in and the borders of our reach and beyond,
Right, you only care about the material world that you live in--here and now. Trying to make it sound like you are curious as to what comes next for our world is insincere. So you are just repeating yourself and adding nothing more. Therefore, I am correct in saying that you care nothing for what comes after this, and the FACT is that there is much more to come--which you care nothing for. We agree on this and I respect your choice. I do not judge you for that decision.

so much so that we don't make up stories of how things are beyond that vision... <snip>
I have never made up stories about our future. I only demonstrate how the mythical stories or their meaning correlates with the real possible futures our world is heading to, to include, an extremely complex, powerful, and possibly intelligent singularity--which you care nothing about, because it is "beyond your vision" but apparently not beyond the vision of astrophysicists, sages, philosophers, and gnostics.

Where do believers get this idea that it isn't they who's very beliefs limit and rob us of our imaginations?
So you have your axe to grind against "believers". Got it.

Again, atheists acknowledge, are effected by, and make affect in the realm of love, truth, and justice. We just know where they have their origins which just makes us better at functioning with them as opposed to theists that only muse about them as some external transcendence.
You mean the "love, truth, and justice" imposed by atheistic governments upon hundreds of millions resulting in poverty, suffering, and mass genocide. You have recent history against you if you are going to make generalizations about theists versus atheists.

O.K. We're in agreement there except for any eternal cosmic consequence. You'll have to outline what that would be so I understand how that consequence will manifest itself.... eternally.
The cosmos was a single thing before it expanded and produced us. Long after it produces us there is a real possibility of it collapsing into a single thing again. But you already asserted that you care nothing for what comes after you, so why do you ask? Why the idle curiosity about things you care nothing for? I certainly would not want to waste your time.
It's not "mere flesh and blood". We (atheists) realize better than ANY other that this "mere flesh and blood" is the storehouse and engine of all human consequence.
Got it (for the third time)... you assert flesh and blood is the engine of all human consequence --for the world that you live in--here and now. Already went over this about 3 times. You care nothing for what will come next, and there will be more to come, unless of course you know the cosmos ceases to exist after your life is over.
Cosmic consequence? I'm not even sure what that is? All consequence are bound to us, live in us, and will die with us. Something may come after, and new consequences will arise, live, and die in whatever that is. They aren't "cosmic".
So the cosmos after you is not the cosmos? It seems pretty self-centered to think the cosmos today is the only thing that matters. Anyways, I think we have exhausted this discussion. I understood your position and respect your decision to not care for anything that comes after you.
 

5wize

Member
Right, you only care about the material world that you live in--here and now. Trying to make it sound like you are curious as to what comes next for our world is insincere. So you are just repeating yourself and adding nothing more. Therefore, I am correct in saying that you care nothing for what comes after this, and the FACT is that there is much more to come--which you care nothing for. We agree on this and I respect your choice. I do not judge you for that decision.
You are not correct at all about that. I'm sure you need to think that to maintain a superior self importance, but that's on you. I have 2 children. Do you really think I don't care about what I leave them personally and what type of world I leave them in? You couldn't be more arrogantly clueless on this point. Someone as clueless as you as to the motivations of another should refrain from capitalizing the word "fact" when it is merely emotional speculation and assertion that you are expressing as a result of your panties being suddenly in a bunch because someone doesn't buy your esoteric bullshit.
I have never made up stories about our future. I only demonstrate how the mythical stories or their meaning correlates with the real possible futures our world is heading to, to include, an extremely complex, powerful, and possibly intelligent singularity--which you care nothing about, because it is "beyond your vision" but apparently not beyond the vision of astrophysicists, sages, philosophers, and gnostics.
Yeah... you call it beyond my vision, I call it where fools rush in angels fear to tread.
So you have your axe to grind against "believers". Got it.
Just when believers think that their limited imaginations exceed our limitless imaginations.
You mean the "love, truth, and justice" imposed by atheistic governments upon hundreds of millions resulting in poverty, suffering, and mass genocide. You have recent history against you if you are going to make generalizations about theists versus atheists.
LoL, you are off the rails now. You sure do not have a firm grasp on the track of time on social progress from where we threw rocks at each other to chase each other away from a rotting carcass we wanted to eat to where global cooperation feeds the world as best it can and attempts to keep at bay the forces of survival that when threatened may destroy us. As if you know the details of the struggle of each pocket of mankind to get where we are now. You think we are socially devolving into chaos and not instead coming out of it? Whew.... you think you have some grand vision of the cosmos? You don't even grasp your here and now.
The cosmos was a single thing before it expanded and produced us. Long after it produces us there is a real possibility of it collapsing into a single thing again. But you already asserted that you care nothing for what comes after you, so why do you ask? Why the idle curiosity about things you care nothing for? I certainly would not want to waste your time.
Why care about something that is a mere curiosity? Save tomorrow for tomorrow to quote a great sage.
Got it (for the third time)... you assert flesh and blood is the engine of all human consequence --for the world that you live in--here and now. Already went over this about 3 times. You care nothing for what will come next, and there will be more to come, unless of course you know the cosmos ceases to exist after your life is over.
Here you go again.... flesh and blood will come next and I as a father am attached to that outcome.
So the cosmos after you is not the cosmos? It seems pretty self-centered to think the cosmos today is the only thing that matters. Anyways, I think we have exhausted this discussion. I understood your position and respect your decision to not care for anything that comes after you.
You can be a dick and think that if you want to.
 

docphin5

Member
You are not correct at all about that. I'm sure you need to think that to maintain a superior self importance, but that's on you. I have 2 children. Do you really think I don't care about what I leave them personally and what type of world I leave them in? You couldn't be more arrogantly clueless on this point.
So, nothing new here. You care only about you, your family, your dog, your football team anything else that directly affects you. I already understood that in post #15. You add nothing new and just repeat the same thing for the fourth time. At least you are consistent.
You can be a dick and think that if you want to.
You now resort to insulting others with vulgar slang. How mature? Fortunately, most a-theists on here demonstrate a lot more maturity.
 

docphin5

Member
And you have offered nothing to really care about beyond that other than Gnostic musings of the cosmos which robs you of your capacity to know what is of true import.

Oh? You don't consider your "gentlemanly" insult of the integrity of my "superficial" motivations, when I probably have much deeper veins in life and reality than you do, as something less than scholarly or mature? Some of us don't have that privilege because we're actually in the arena and know what it is when someone tells us how narcissistic and myopic we are... It's you being a dick in the cloaking of a scholarly Gnostic gentleman. At least I'll come out with it.
I never called you narcissistic. I even presumed you wanted good for others in post #15, so it is your insecurity talking now along with your immaturity for resorting to vulgar slang. Just so you know, I have been called a lot worse and your attempt at intimidation has no effect. Clearly, you aspire to be a bully too. So do you want to call it a day or make some more vulgar insults?
 
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