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Big Blooming Blighter

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Everything posted by Big Blooming Blighter

  1. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic E-mail to Petkov   

    A pitfall of so many philosophical discussions is that the nuances of meaning are overlooked, and what ought to be cogent arguments and valuable discourses becomes shouting matches.
    IOW, I think it would be conducive to your discussion if you each defined free will. It's entirely feasible that the good professor and yourself might disagree that the free will you're thinking of can exist in a 4D world, while the free will he's thinking of does not (and, perhaps cannot).
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  2. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Sensoryism: A New Philosophy   

    Brilliant, though, being in a small town where everyone kips in the afternoon, it can get a bit dull during the day.
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  3. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Sensoryism: A New Philosophy   

    Interesting how the word "bollocks" changes over time.

    Of course, in my day, "bollocks" was bollocks and "interesting" meant something completely different.
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  4. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Troll Post On Racism   

    If we deny morality, racism isn't immoral?
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  5. Big Blooming Blighter added a article in Philosophy   

    An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time
    By Robert P. Taylor (2007)

    It would not be amiss to compare the mystery of time with the mystery of the divine (should any such thing exist). On the one hand, it seems everyone is aware of it. The transition from morning to afternoon conveys a sense of time. The ongoing aging process conveys a sense of time. Change, or rather the perception of change, conveys a sense of time. Yet, in spite of all this, and when even the simplest and the most brilliant minds agree that there is at least an inference of what might be called ‘time’, it is not at all apparent what time is. More interestingly still, it is not at all obvious that time itself even exists.

    The Non-Existence of Time

    It is not uncommon for philosophers to use spatial analogies when describing issues relating to time, and I think one would be apt here. Consider that there is a room with no doors and a small window looking in. When you look through the window, you see a red cube; and yet, you later discover, the cube is not there at all. What is there is a trick of the light - a result of mirrors and infrared light-waves and a host of other things that create the illusion.

    From the experience, two things should be clear: first, it is obvious that there is no actual red cube; and second, if there is no red cube, then there must exist some sort of entity that is capable of producing the illusion of a red cube. At the macroscopic level, and by ordinary experience, the illusion of an object is bound to the same physical laws as an actual object. Hence, if there is nothing to determine the existence of the object (mass of particles formed in such a manner as to create a solid, liquid or gaseous form of certain size, shape and structure) then there is no object. Likewise, if there is nothing to create the illusion of an object (refracting or reflecting light-waves, distorted light-beams, hallucinations caused by psychological defects, et cetera) then there is no illusion. As it were, nothing comes from nothing.

    As to space itself, Solipsists contend that the world is illusionary: it does not exist, at least not as perceived. Taking this to the extreme level, one might assert that space is not real, and this would apply whether space is a substance or a relation between spatial objects. If space is a substance, then the laws of illusion apply to it as well as to spatial objects: something creates the illusion. It might be cognitive processes going on in a brain imprisoned in a vat, or it might be an elaborate computer code. On the other hand, if space is a relation, then the exposé of spatial objects as illusions themselves should be enough to deal with the apparent existence of space. Quite simply, there cannot be an existing relation between two non-existent objects. As with spatial objects, the illusion is there because it has a source. Either the thing that makes one perceive spatial objects is the thing that makes people perceive space, or space is a coincidental consequence of the perception of spatial objects.

    For example, in the room with the red cube, suppose that another object – also an illusion – exists. Anyone looking through the window will perceive a red cube and (say) a blue cube. One will also perceive a fixed distance between the two cubes. When the illusions end, the distance will no longer exist, because distance, being relational, requires spatial points to relate to. If there are no cubes, there cannot be distance between the cubes.

    What about time? Is the illusion of time possible even without a source for the illusion? If so, then one must ask what the illusion is. How do we differentiate between actual time and perceived time, if either of them exist? If we cannot differentiate, how can we say time is illusionary? On the other hand, if there is a source for the illusion of time, what is its nature? Is there a super-time so beyond human comprehension that a simpler form of time is required? Is time the consequence of a fallible perspective of reality? Is it necessary to posit entities or phenomena to explicate time?

    Already, just by asking if time exists, I have been forced to compare time with space and ask, if time does not exist, what gives us the perception of time? If time is real, what is it? If time is not real, what do we perceive, and is that thing externally located or internally located? If it is internally located, does it bear relation to external entities or phenomena, or internal brain states? If it is externally located, is it spatial, or does it stem from something altogether unfamiliar? These are the sorts of questions asked by philosophers interested in the subject of time.

    A- and B-Theories

    The A-theory, put in simple terms, states that time flows. The theory also states that there are tensed propositions relating to unfixed temporal points. That is, there is a past, there is a present, and there is a future.

    What exactly is meant by the proposition "time flows" is a complicated issue, and some philosophers would even reject the notion of the flow of time as ridiculous: if time does flow, then how fast does it flow? A second per second? A second per supersecond?

    With the A-theory, truth-apt statements such as "Hitler stole power in the past", "I am typing an essay about time now" and "There will be a seminar on Quantum Existentialism in the future", have their truth values determined by their position in the time-line. That is, the state of a proposition is determined by its referent being in the past, or in the present, or in the future.

    The B-theory states that time does not flow, and that time is tenseless. The implication of this is that there is no past, no present and no future. That is not to deny any of the events in time; rather, it is to claim that "past", "present" and "future" are indexicals. Points in time are more like "here" and "there" than fixed geographical locations like "Liverpool", "New York" or "Melbourne".

    According to B-theorists, the proposition "In the past, Hitler stole power" would actually mean "At some point in time prior to the one I presently occupy, Hitler stole power", and "I am typing an essay about time now" would actually mean "From my perspective I am now typing an essay about time". However, it would not be contradictory to say "Hitler is now stealing power and I am now typing an essay", given that the scope of "now" is not constrained to any one perspective. In other words, in relation to my position in the time-line, Hitler is not now stealing power, and in relation to his position, I am not now typing an essay. In a similar sense, a person in Manchester is "here" as much as a person in Liverpool is "here", but neither one of them could honestly say "We are both here", for the referent of "here" is not identical in both cases.

    The A-theory, and the B-theory, are often confused with related theories. Perhaps this confusion is down to a subconscious insistence that a theory needs to be complete, and that neither the A-theory nor the B-theory are complete. Perhaps the confusion stems from the fact that many ideas relating to time potentially overlap, or are contrary to one another. Since, for example, Presentism makes claims contrary to claims of the B-theory, it is understandable that Presentism might be confounded with the A-theory. Likewise, since the B-theory is often explained with spatial analogies, and since Four-Dimensionalism goes some way in making such analogies less unclear, it is understandable that the B-theory might be confounded with Four-Dimensionalism. I will now look at each of these in turn.


    Four-Dimensionalism may refer either to the view that time consists of real parts, like spatial parts (this contrasts with such views as Presentism), or to the view that spatial objects have temporal parts (such that the objects are extended through time, as well as through space). For the purposes of this essay, the view that time consists of real parts will be referred to as Eternalism, while the view that objects have temporal parts will be called Perdurantism. One should note that Four-Dimensionalism is not identical with the B-theory, though the two are compatible.


    Eternalism states that, just as all spatial points are equally real, so too are all temporal points equally real. This view is compatible with both the A-theory and the B-theory.

    Under A-theoretic Eternalism, an event in the future will flow from future, to present to past. It exists in all three temporal states – what that means, exactly, is unclear – rather than coming into existence in the present. For example, consider that a sprinter is being observed running past a slit in a wall. The observer can only see a slice of the racing track. As the sprinter passes the slit, the observer sees the sprinter, but the sprinter exists on the track even when he is not being observed. Obviously this analogy does not distinguish between past and future events, but it is sufficient to differentiate Eternalism from the view that only present events exist.

    Under B-theoretic Eternalism, all moments are equally real, and have equal validity in terms of their status as a temporal frame of reference. This contrasts with A-theoretic Eternalism, which contends that past and future events are real, but have a less valid reference frame than present events. Often, Eternalism is simply equated with the B-theory, since both theories present a view of time that grants equal ontological status to all temporal points. Furthermore, it is not obvious what an Eternalist A-series would entail. What does it mean to grant equal ontological status to the past, the present, and to the future, but give ontological importance to the present? This question has been explored in philosophy, though not always (if at all) successfully.


    In brief, Presentism contrasts with Eternalism, in that where Eternalism posits existing temporal moments beyond the present (such that the past and/or future exist in addition to the present), Presentism posits that only the present exists.

    An A-theorist Presentist might state that time flows: a potential future moment t3 becomes an actual present moment t2, and then a conceptual moment t1. This t3 is potential: it has the potential to become an actual moment. For instance, a driver speeding towards a wall will either crash or will not crash. Both the crash and the aversion of the crash are potential moments in the future. The t2, being present, is an actual moment. For those who understand Modality, t2 exists in the actual world; it is real. Therefore, the driver may crash. The event of the driver crashing into the wall is an actual present moment. The t1 is, for lack of a better term, a conceptual moment; it does not actually exist (any more) but can be conceived through memories, historical documents, and the like. One may thus remember being in a car crash. This memory is a conceptual representation of a moment that did exist, but does not now. The flow of time, then, is the passing of temporal points in and out of actuality.

    It might be objected that the potential future and the conceptual past have no place in the ontology of a Presentist. However, Presentism does not need to abandon any of its premises to acknowledge the existence of potential/conceptual temporal moments. All that needs to be done is to establish that the past and the future do not have the same ontological status as the present. The future can, perhaps, be foreseen. The past can be remembered, but these are no more real than a notion of an object being as real as the object being thought of. That is, representations of the past, and of the future, can certainly exist without contradicting Presentism.

    I have distinguished between past and future moments as "potential" and "conceptual" moments. However, some cases suggest such terms cannot be so readily applied. Fatalism, in conjunction with the notion of accurate prediction (e.g. infallible foreknowledge), would make the future conceptual, rather than potential. Likewise, backward causation or backward counterfactual agency could make the past potential, rather than conceptual.

    [A brief note: counterfactual agency takes the logical form "If P had occurred, then Q would have occurred". The antecedent of a counterfactual conditional necessarily involves some event that did not occur, but could have. Therefore, "If Hitler had not invaded Russia, he would have taken Europe" would be a counterfactual.]

    It is apparent that no B-theorist can adhere to Presentism, since by its nature the B-theory denies the existence of the present. Certainly, denying the status of "present" to what we experience to be "now" would not work, because without some other time to reference, "now" would not be "now" indexically, and this is precisely what the B-series depends on. It makes no sense to deny status of present to a point in time that has ontological precedence over other points in time.


    Endurantists maintain that objects simply are three-dimensional entities extended through the three dimensions of space. Further, objects persist through time in that one is wholly located at some point in time (t1), and passes to other points in time as a whole entity.


    Perdurantism states that objects extend through the three spatial dimensions, as well as through a fourth dimension. Therefore, objects have both spatial and temporal parts. This means that while a temporal part of an object may exist at t1, a distinct temporal part exists at t2, and another temporal part exists at t3, which is distinct from the temporal parts that exist at t1 and t2.

    Perdurantists can be divided into two main subclasses; viz. Worm Theorists and Stage Theorists (Exdurantists). Worm Theory states that temporal parts are segments (analogous to segments of a worm). If one imagines the entirety of an entity as a worm extending from future to past, then each segment of the worm would be a temporal part, suspended in a temporal moment. Stage Theorists hold that each temporal part of an entity is, in fact, a temporal counterpart to the same entity. Consequently, an entity, under Exdurantism, exists only during a single moment. In the next moment, a different, but identical entity exists as a counterpart.

    Exdurantism is a relatively novel theory, which appears to be an attempt to reconcile Endurantism with Perdurantism, by positing temporal counterparts rather than temporal parts per se.


    With this section of the essay, I hope to have provided the reader with a basic overview of some of the ideas tackled by philosophers interested in the metaphysics of time. Consideration, and indeed, discussion of these ideas is to be encouraged, and suggestions for research are always welcome.
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  6. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Good luck, Blighter!   

    I doubt it. These centres tend to restrict internet to education sites or a school intranet, and none of them permit using the internet for personal, non-educational/work-related use.
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  7. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Good luck, Blighter!   

    Should have seen these replies coming
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  8. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Two interesting pieces in Sunday NY Times   

    Read them both, more of the same old "Theists prove God!" "Oh no they haven't!" "Atheists prove no God" "Oh no they haven't" crap that cements my agnosticism

    Still, in fairness, the articles are reactionary, and do a good job laying down the facts.
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  9. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic I know one thing which is absolutely true, can you think of anything else?   

    Descartes came up with it first, only he acknowledged that it could only be proven to be true (objectively and reflexively) to him.

    Cogito, ergo sum.

    And you're now trying to rip it off and throwing your condescension my way because I mentioned his name.

    You don't get to boast of your aspirations to step onto the moon after shooting down any mention of Buzz Aldrin and you don't get to rip off Descartes without being caught out on this board!

    Go away, you soil-dwelling amoeba!
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  10. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic I know one thing which is absolutely true, can you think of anything else?   

    Strawman, rather than recycle.

    If Descartes had tried to apply his Cogito principle objectively, he would have ended up saying 'I doubt I exist, but to doubt is to think, and to think one must be, so anyone who doubts my existence must accept that I exist, for they cannot doubt my existence without thinking of my existence'

    I'm sure Inzababa would say something much more convoluted.
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  11. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    Has it not occurred to you why you keep getting banned, cretin?
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  12. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    Are we trying to further a conversation with someone who can't even start with reflexivity and self-evident statements?

    Epictetus, amongst many, many others would not have bothered to address this pompous, obtuse fool and I put it to the rest of you that we take a leaf from his book.
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  13. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    He knows logic!



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  14. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    Of course there are, because there are different scopes.

    In this, the actual world, it is not possible that JFK is the President of the US. This is a fact based on historical and political states of affairs.

    In some other possible world, JFK was not assassinated, was extraordinarily fortunate, and still reigns to this day.

    I like to distinguish these types of possibilia as 'localised possibilia' (things that are or are not possible given the way things are in the actual world) and 'modal possibilia' (things that are true in one or more possible worlds).

    The actual world (unless you're an extreme modal realist) is this world. All other worlds are non-actual, yet possible.

    If you are an extreme modal realist, then all worlds are actual, and we distinguish this world by simply saying 'this world'.

    Then we can get into schemas, and worlds where certain maximal sets of propositions hold true, but that's irrelevant. The whole notion of 'different kinds of possible' is irrelevant, of course, because the fact that a bachelor is unmarried (and the other axioms we threw your way) is necessarily true under all scopes of standards of possibility.

    A possible world, just to clear this up, is a maximal set of logically consistent propositions.
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  15. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    Oh, but I was SOOOOOOOO ready to pull out some truth tables(!)
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  16. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    There comes a point where 'questioning assumptions' becomes akin to being utterly obtuse.
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  17. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    It's not so much an assumption as a reasoned inference.

    Ax is a universal quantifier. It was created specifically for that purpose. To state 'Ax denotes that for all x or for any given x' is no more an assumption than to state 'The letter B is the letter B' or 'The colour red is not blue'.

    But no, I'm tired of this, we'll ask the bloody questions.

    Give us an axiom, or an argument, in predicate format, using modal logic if you wish, that demonstrates your grasp of logic. Use predicate format and the English vernacular to facilitate your demonstration.
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  18. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    That's the best you can do?

    I give you undeniable proof that there is no possible world in which there exists a married bachelor, and your best retort is to pick up one 'assumption' and attack that, with the entire crux of your attack depending entirely on your obtuse choice to ignore that explication of the assumption, which I gave on the same line!
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  19. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    OK, since Inzababa clearly struggles with English (and, I suspect, every other traditional language), maybe we should try a different style of communication.


    Let Ax stand as the universal symbol, such that AxFx is equivalent either to 'All x's that have the property F' or 'For any x that has the property F'

    Let Fx stand for 'x has the property of being a bachelor'

    Let Gx stand for 'x has the property of being unmarried'

    Let any lower case letter 'a' - 't' denote a token, the type, or collective, of which is shown as a lower case letter 'x' - 'z'.

    In this case the type is personhood.

    Hence, 'Gx' denotes that any token with the group 'x' has the property of being unmarried. 'Ga' denotes that some 'a' (call him 'Bill') is unmarried, therefore 'Gx' can be rewritten 'There is an unmarried person'. and 'Ga' can be rewritten 'There is a person, called Bill, who is unmarried'

    Since we're dealing with bachelors, and there are no female bachelors (as a female 'bachelor' is not called as such), we can reduce the scope accordingly, such that the type applies to men.

    Therefore, 'Gx' denotes 'There is an unmarried man'.

    Ax(Fx > Gx) All bachelors are unmarried men
    Fa Bill is a bachelor
    Ga Bill is unmarried

    This also works the other way

    Ax(Gx > Fx) All unmarried men are bachelors
    Ga Bill is unmarried
    Fa Bill is a bachelor

    The above arguments have shown that we can reduce the general rule to a specific incidence whether we determine bachelors to be unmarried men, or unmarried men to be bachelors. That is, in any such case we present such that the assumption, rule, or definition applies universally, there is no specific case that can possibly ignore or subvert the initial rule/definition/assumption. This is evident when one considers that the token 'a' can be replaced with any specific person (including Bill).

    Focussing, for the moment, on the universal rule, and combining the above arguments, we can show that the property of being a bachelor and the property of being unmarried are logically equivalent, thus

    Ax(Fx > Gx)
    Ax (Gx > Fx)
    Ax (Fx <> Gx)

    The <> symbol denotes that the conditional path can go either way, thus 'If F then G and if G then F' is equivalent to 'G only if F' and to 'F only if G'

    The conclusion above can, therefore, be written

    Ax((Fx > Gx) & (Gx > Fx))

    Consequently, it is logical (not an assumption) that, in all cases that something is a bachelor, that thing is also unmarried, and in all cases where something is unmarried, that thing is a bachelor.

    Let's see what happens when we try to apply the property of one without applying the property of the other.

    Ax(Fx <> Gx)

    The ~ symbol denotes negation

    Hence, we have

    All bachelors are unmarried, and all unmarried men are bachelors
    Bill is a bachelor
    Bill is married (negation of being unmarried)

    Extending this, through reductio, we get

    Ax(Fx <> Gx) (From definition of 'bachelor')
    Fa (Assumption 1)
    ~Ga (RAA assumption)
    Ex(Fx & ~Gx) (from P2 and P3) ('Ex' denotes any token. It is not the same as 'Ax' as it refers only to a specific, though nonspecified, thing)
    Ex (Gx & ~ Gx) (from P1 & P4)
    Ex(Gx) (from P1 & P5
    Ex(Fx & Gx)

    We have therefore shown that, for any specific man, to state that that man can be a bachelor without being unmarried (or vice versa), is to state a contradiction. Hence, it logically follows that any given bachelor is an unmarried man, as the denial of this logic entails a contradiction.

    I have, therefore, shown that all bachelors are unmarried men, and that to claim otherwise is to contradict oneself. One doesn't even have to use 'bachelors' and 'unmarried men'. The symbols above can denote anything such that F is defined by G (All circles are round, all triangles have 3 angles totally 180 degrees, etc).

    The only way, therefore, to deny that no bachelor is unmarried is to attack the definition, and present a case for the existence of a bachelor that is married. But this is self-defeating, as the above reductio shows. And, since the reductio establishes a contradiction between being married and being a bachelor, it follows necessarily that no bachelor is married, therefore it is impossible for there to exist a married bachelor, there, there exists no possible world containing a married bachelor.

    And I'm not interested in there being some possible world where the definition of bachelor is different, or the properties of being unmarried subserve differently in that world than in this world, because explaining basic logic is a fucking chore in this thread, so damned if I'm going to get into internalism vs externalism of mental thoughts and properties!
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  20. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    For fuck sake!
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  21. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    David, the implication of possible contradiction is nonsensical, as such a contradiction would only occur in at least one world, where you meant it to occur in all possible worlds (not the contradiction, per se, but the fact that it is a contradiction).

    If logical impossibilities were fixed in some possible worlds and not, necessarily, in others, then they would hardly be logically impossible.
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  22. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Modal logic and free will. Keith, Bob, Swartz, Dave, Tim: a bunch of guys.   

    A classic example of an impossible state of affairs

    Necessarily, all bachelors are unmarried
    Bert is a bachelor
    Bert is married

    Hence, there is no possible world in which Bert exists.
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  23. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Mood: various avenues to philosophizing   

    What you experienced here is going to happen on every thread, in every forum, until you get a clue and stop trolling.

    You've already been banned from several other forums, and it is quite evident to me that you are the sole common denominator across all those bannings.
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  24. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Mood: various avenues to philosophizing   

    [T]here won't be a need to ban me cause I'll be out of here.

    If you would.
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  25. Big Blooming Blighter added a post in a topic Mood: various avenues to philosophizing   

    Don't threaten prominent members unless you want to be banned.
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