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PaulS

Do animals share in this 'more' and 'beyond'?

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

You continue to propagate your fallacy. What lots of people think and how they bought into a position is not evidence for that position. 

I repeat: a few tens of milliseconds to 2 seconds and for want of 2 seconds you think all is illusion? The people are correct!

 

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21 minutes ago, thormas said:

I repeat: a few tens of milliseconds to 2 seconds and for want of 2 seconds you think all is illusion? The people are correct!

And yet clocks do not tick at the same rate at the top of your head and at your feet. Interesting fun fact.

Also, gravitational time dilation was measured from a difference in elevation between two clocks of only 33 cm

Edited by romansh

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

I repeat: a few tens of milliseconds to 2 seconds and for want of 2 seconds you think all is illusion?

No not just this. Books on science in general, personal introspection and actually thinking about the subject lead me to this conclusion.

 

1 hour ago, romansh said:

The people are correct!

Again a simple assertion with little science.

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5 hours ago, romansh said:

No not just this. Books on science in general, personal introspection and actually thinking about the subject lead me to this conclusion.

Yet, as you said, that is your conclusion - not everybody's.

 

6 hours ago, romansh said:

And yet clocks do not tick at the same rate at the top of your head and at your feet. Interesting fun fact.

Indeed a fun fact ..............

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18 hours ago, thormas said:

Yet, as you said, that is your conclusion - not everybody's.

Mine is based on science, reason and careful personal observation.  What is everybody else's based on? Or more to the point what is yours based on?

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49 minutes ago, romansh said:

Mine is based on science, reason and careful personal observation.  What is everybody else's based on? Or more to the point what is yours based on?

More to the point, as mentioned, we have been here before: this is your conclusion and you seem to choose not to (or be unable to?) accept that others disagree. 

You believe all is illusion, yet in your illusion you seek evidence that it is all an illusion, yet any 'evidence' would be illusory by definition. It is therefore, not evidence; it cannot be 'real' and dependable unless you allow all is real and then we might be able to rely on your evidence. Yet that would 'prove' all is not illusion.

 

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4 hours ago, thormas said:

 you seem to choose not to (or be unable to?) accept that others disagree. 

This quote alone shows you are not listening Thormas. I completely accept this. I fail to see this as a relevant argument.

4 hours ago, thormas said:

yet any 'evidence' would be illusory by definition.

This is why I take an agnostic stance Thormas. Yet I go where the evidence takes me even if I might be wrong. And be careful not to conflate illusory with delusory. Even if something might be illusory it still could be a reflection of reality.

Where's your evidence Thormas?

Edited by romansh

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10 hours ago, romansh said:

This quote alone shows you are not listening Thormas. I completely accept this. I fail to see this as a relevant argument.

This is why I take an agnostic stance Thormas. Yet I go where the evidence takes me even if I might be wrong. And be careful not to conflate illusory with delusory. Even if something might be illusory it still could be a reflection of reality.

Where's your evidence Thormas?

Not meant as an argument, just an assertion of fact. As has been stated before, you always insist on 'evidence' (as you do yet again above) whereas others, myself included, when talking about the meaning of life, whether it is an illusion, if there is a God and similar subjects do not believe there is 'evidence' one way or the other. There is no 'proof' to be had. It is a question of belief. Yours is an opinion or belief that you have come to for certain reasons - there is no proof - otherwise many, many, many more people would accept your assertions. Not only is that not the case, it never will/can be. 

As for the agnostic stance, you seem to come down on a particular side. You always go to no God, no meaning and all is illusion. A true agnostic would have to straddle because they do not know: recognizing there is not enough evidence to base any belief on. There is no sufficient evidence to take the agnostic anywhere: they do not know. Whereas the believer, believes there is sufficient 'reason' to jump one way or the other. 

As for my reasons, we have been down that path, it is not your cup of tea and I'm fine with that. 

 

However, the statement that, "Even if something might be illusory it still could be a reflection of reality' is intriguing. 

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

Not meant as an argument, just an assertion of fact.

How is this relevant to the discussion? 

3 hours ago, thormas said:

As for the agnostic stance, you seem to come down on a particular side

If you mean I have lost my belief that my perception is an accurate reflection of reality then yes, I have come down on a side.

While I agree there is no proof that the Earth can be considered spheroid orbiting the sun there is a whack load of evidence for this observation. There is much evidence that much of our perception is illusory, should we care to look at it.

I certainly have no need of the concept of God or god. Show me your evidence for any particular god and I will consider it.

Edited by romansh

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21 hours ago, romansh said:

How is this relevant to the discussion? 

If you mean I have lost my belief that my perception is an accurate reflection of reality then yes, I have come down on a side.

While I agree there is no proof that the Earth can be considered spheroid orbiting the sun there is a whack load of evidence for this observation. There is much evidence that much of our perception is illusory, should we care to look at it.

I certainly have no need of the concept of God or god. Show me your evidence for any particular god and I will consider it.

Interesting that there is not a 'whack load' about illusion - thank you for making my case and you have also further qualified that, even for you, it is about 'much'.....not all. 

I, also, have no need of the concept of God and once again, you mistakenly seek 'evidence.'  Further, I don't believe in any gods, simply what some people refer to as the Ground of Being (although it is not a term I favor): "God" is not a proper name.

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" 'The world is real.' 'No, it, is a mere illusory appearance.' 'The world is conscious.' 'No.' 'The world is happiness.' 'No.' What use is it to argue thus? That State is agreeable to all, wherein, having given up the objective outlook, one knows one's Self and loses all notions either of unity or duality, of oneself and the ego."   Ramana Maharshi

The world is nothing more than an embodiment of the objects perceived by the five sense-organs. Since, through these five sense-organs, a single mind perceives the world, the world is nothing but the mind. Apart from the mind can there be a world?  Ramana Maharshi

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Yet this too is opinion or believe.

Before my mind was, there were others minds that were and there will be more and different minds in the future. The world is - even when those minds are/were not.

If the world is the embodiment of objects perceived by the senses and through them perceived by the mind - there is that which is perceived. 

While it is useless to argue, it is at times enlightening - other times not so much.

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

Interesting that there is not a 'whack load' about illusion - thank you for making my case and you have also further qualified that, even for you, it is about 'much'.....not all. 

I can recommend some well referenced books for you - The Self Illusion Bruce Hood, Subliminal, Leonard Mlodinow, Behaviour, Robert Sapolsky. Plus any of the popular science books, plus I learnt about the illusory nature of reality in high school in physics classes.

3 hours ago, thormas said:

"God" is not a proper name.

Then you should be using a lower case 'g'.

Joseph

3 hours ago, JosephM said:

The world is nothing more than an embodiment of the objects perceived by the five sense-organs. Since, through these five sense-organs, a single mind perceives the world, the world is nothing but the mind. Apart from the mind can there be a world?  Ramana Maharshi

I get what Maharshi is trying to say here, But I can't help thinking the world will carry on quite nicely with my functioning brain. Here it seems we are obsessed with the observer/measurer relationship with reality found in physics. The late great John Bell captured the thought nicely here.

Quote

It would seem that the theory [quantum mechanics] is exclusively concerned about "results of measurement", and has nothing to say about anything else. What exactly qualifies some physical systems to play the role of "measurer"? Was the wavefunction of the world waiting to jump for thousands of millions of years until a single-celled living creature appeared? Or did it have to wait a little longer, for some better qualified system ... with a Ph.D.? If the theory is to apply to anything but highly idealized laboratory operations, are we not obliged to admit that more or less "measurement-like" processes are going on more or less all the time, more or less everywhere. Do we not have jumping then all the time?

I assume there is a reality beyond my perception. But my perception is illusory and incomplete, but nevertheless a reflection of that reality.

 

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9 minutes ago, romansh said:

I can recommend some well referenced books for you .......- 

And I could provide an even longer list of theologians, ancient to contemporary authors and thinkers, some of whom I have referenced before. Yet there is no definitive 'evidence,' no conclusive proof, so you, by self identification, remain the agnostic and others, if they choose, not so much. Thank god for free choice :+}

The use of lower or upper case is yours and, once again, you seek to impose your way on all. For others, the word god refers to the gods (be it Roman, Greek, other theistic religions and also angels, demons and various god-men. And there are still others, who simply prefer God over god when they talk of God. Choice!

I and some others apply the term god or gods to contingent beings, whereas "God" refers to that which sustains all in being or what some refer to as Being or even 
Ground of Being. But as Mystery (or as some theologians put it, not an object among others to be defined but a Subject to be encountered), God is not a proper name.

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31 minutes ago, thormas said:

 And I could provide an even longer list of theologians, 

Lets do a book review of one that you particularly like Thormas. One that talks about reality and our perception of it.

31 minutes ago, thormas said:

Yet there is no definitive 'evidence,' no conclusive proof,

And one more time I will settle for some corroborative evidence for the beliefs we hold.

Edited by romansh

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You're fully capable of reading and reviewing yourself and I would not think to deprive you of the discovery. So I begin by offering: Origin, Gregory of Nyssa, John Hick, Gregory Baum, John Macquarrie, selected offerings by Spong, Gabriel Moran and David Bentley Hart. Enjoy!

 

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35 minutes ago, thormas said:

You're fully capable of reading and reviewing yourself and I would not think to deprive you of the discovery. So I begin by offering: Origin, Gregory of Nyssa, John Hick, Gregory Baum, John Macquarrie, selected offerings by Spong, Gabriel Moran and David Bentley Hart. Enjoy!

 

Oh dear ... please choose a book that you think represents that our perceptions are not an illusory reflection of reality. Preferably on your bookshelf. And I will go through it on this forum. 

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53 minutes ago, romansh said:

Oh dear ... please choose a book that you think represents that our perceptions are not an illusory reflection of reality. Preferably on your bookshelf. And I will go through it on this forum. 

"Reality" is indeed a topic of these authors, perception possibly (as I don't read these authors to determine whether or not reality is illusion since I take it as a given) but you will get a sense of what is believed and perceived.

And, just to be nice, two recommendations: Hart's 'The Existence of God'  and/or Macquarie's 'In Search of Deity, An Essay in Dialectical Theism.'  It might not be necessary (or of interest) to read the latter's entire book but if interested, I can suggest specific chapters.

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20 hours ago, thormas said:

"Reality" is indeed a topic of these authors, perception possibly (as I don't read these authors to determine whether or not reality is illusion since I take it as a given) but you will get a sense of what is believed and perceived.  

So you don't have a book that argues that reality is really as we perceive it? Incidentally - it is The Experience of God - must have made a real impression on you 😁

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/david-bentley-hart-on-god/

A wag in the comments section wrote

Quote

 

New Atheism:
1. God is not a person
2. God is invisible
3. God is completely undetectable
4. God is beyond comprehension
5. There appears to be no God

Sophisticated Theology:
1. God is not a person
2. God is invisible
3. God is completely undetectable
4. God is beyond comprehension
5. Obviously God exists

 

 

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

So you don't have a book that argues that reality is really as we perceive it? Incidentally - it is The Experience of God - must have made a real impression on you 😁

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/david-bentley-hart-on-god/

A wag in the comments section wrote

 

Hey, I like 'Experience' better, thanks for the correction. Apologies, it must have been the 'intense pressure' to have to select 2 books, from so many, so you wouldn't be overwhelmed :+}  And this guy is leaving a great impression. It is an involved read, compared to some others, but well worth it.

Theologians and religious thinkers believe there is God and Reality is real! So, indeed they discuss Reality and they do give their insights into Reality. You should pick up on this in your readings. I, and most all human being who have ever lived, do not accept that reality is an illusion, so I don't seek out books on the topic. I already have interests and a long reading list.

Your wag is not well read but is trying to be so relevant!  Plus, I didn't say God is completely undetectable or that God is beyond comprehension (but that is a topic for the future). I agree that God is not a person: 'a' would suggest god is merely another continent being among others and 'person' seems to be too limiting...and contingent (again). Invisible, like Sue Storm kind of invisible - where there is mass but it can't be seen but indeed has an impact? Interesting! As for #5 in both lists, too cute by far. 

Hey, did you write that review of Hart? It immediately mentions he does not try to provide 'evidence' for God. Yet another one fails to understand!

Am I correct, that given the wag's comments, the 'review' of Hart, and that (most?) theologians don't believe reality is an illusion, that you're no longer interested in the books?

Edited by thormas

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20 hours ago, thormas said:

(snip)

I, and most all human being who have ever lived, do not accept that reality is an illusion, so I don't seek out books on the topic.

(snip)

Thormas,

When it is said Reality is an illusion, it means "not as it seems". I think you will find Rom has mentioned that more than once in his posts.  Here is an example of what many scientist are saying ....

---------------------------------

Quantum physicists are discovering facts about the world that we would never have thought to be possible.

The scientific breakthroughs that have taken place in the last few years are as significant to our understanding of reality as Copernicus’s outline of the solar system.

The problem? Many of us simply do not understand quantum physics. And this all began roughly a hundred years ago, when physicists began challenging the assumption that the physical space and universe that we see around us is actually “real”.

Scientists decided that to prove that reality was not, in fact, simply an illusion, they had to discover the “point particle”, and this would be accomplished with innovations like the Large Hadron Collider.

This machine was initially built to smash particles into one another, and this is where they made the greatest discovery: the physical world is not as physical as we believe. Reality is an illusion as we see it.  Instead, everything around us is just energy.

-------------------------------

Even Buddists say " life is an illusion" 

“We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.”
― Gautama Buddha

In Hinduism, the prominent belief is that samsara is a feature of a life based on illusion (maya). Illusion enables a person to think s/he is an autonomous being instead of recognizing the connection between one's self and the rest of reality. Believing in the illusion of separateness that persists throughout samsara leads one to act in ways that generate karma and thus perpetuate the cycle of action and rebirth. 

 

People:

Albert Einstein "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."  also  "Time is an illusion"

etc. etc

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4 hours ago, JosephM said:

When it is said Reality is an illusion, it means "not as it seems". I think you will find Rom has mentioned that more than once in his posts.  Here is an example of what many scientist are saying ....

He does not always say that but, indeed, he has on occasion - yet I never remember him doing so as carefully as you. So, at times, yes, but it also gets lost in his insistence that all must have evidence for their beliefs - failing to understand that not all is subject to his criteria.  

However, I said, "most human being who have ever lived, do not accept that reality is an illusion." And, that remains true. Nor do these people, or apparently the scientist quoted, act as if the world is not physical or real. Actually, could one act in the world, other than accepting the world as real? It seems as if we act as if reality is as it seems! Apparently, those you refer to accept that 'energy' is real, for to deny that would indeed  be delusory, and to follow your line of thinking, energy manifests/presents itself (for lack of a better descriptor) physically - to/for us - so it can be perceived.  Actually, that sounds pretty cool! And, if one had a mind too, s/he could suggest that Being is real and manifests itself, to/for us (in us), physically. The limitation is not in the stars or in reality, it is in us.

And from there we could move to the question the ontological fortuity of it all.

The physical order confronts us at every moment not simply with its ontological fortuity but also with the intrinsic ontological poverty of all things physical–their necessary and total reliance for their existence, in every instant, upon realities outside themselves. Everything available to the senses or representable to the mind is entirely subject to…impermanence, mutability, transience. All physical things are composite, which is to say reducible to an ever greater variety of distinct parts, and so are essentially inconstant and prone to dissolution…. Nothing within the cosmos contains the ground of its own being. (The Experience of God, 92-93)

Note the (apparent) agreement in Hart: all things physical .....available to the senses or representable to the mind......with what you have written:  "the physical world is not as physical as we believe........... everything around us is just energy (and, I add, the manifestation of energy).

Now we have something! I have never had a problem with this understanding - however, one's presentation is essential. 

Yet, does it make a difference in the lives of people? We still and must act and react to the 'physical' world; we 'accept' it as real. And I wonder if illusion is too pejorative. The word illusion is synomous with mirage, apparition, hallucination, figment to imagination - even delusion. For me, and I suspect for most others, it doesn't work. And we have made the better case here: if, indeed, reality is energy, then it seems apparent that energy presents itself so it can be known to us and by us. Is energy real? We would say yes. Is it possible that energy manifests itself physically and is, thereby, know by us? Certainly seems to be the case. Is, then, physical reality an illusion? Well........probably not the best way to reach your audience and it seems we have, come across another and better way to talk about reality. Actually, with a little more prep time, I could present this and have people nodding their heads in agreement. It's all about the presentation of reality and truth (at least as we perceive it). 

Finally, this ties in nicely with a contemporary theology and a panentheistic take on "God:"  our perception of reality is not of Reality Itself, or what is called, for some religious persons, the 'Godhead' or God in himself - rather it is what is possible for us to perceive - as if through a glass darkly. The difference seems to be that Christianity believes that what is 'behind' the perception is Real and what is perceived is a presentation (an incarnation?) that is 'accurate' - simply not all encompassing. Or, simply that the Godhead is presented as/through the Logos.

Apologies to the Buddha, in this context, but I disagree a bit: we are 'of' this reality and when we understand this, we see that we are part of everything. 

Apologies to Hinduism, at least in this context: one can know s/he is an autonomous being and recognize the connection between one's self and the rest of reality. 

And Albert is intriguing: the illusion is a persistent one - because, if we accept the above, that which is 'behind' manifests the Real. I. of course, am using spatial terms like 'behind' but this should be taken no more literally that belief in a Supreme Being 'above' this world.

Christian thinkers and theologians have said that "God" is beyond time and space but time and space are part 'our' reality. So if illusion is or includes the presentation/appearance of reality in 'time' for us..........seems to be general agreement.

Well that was actually enjoyable and fun.

Thanks

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Even if one accept this idea that everything is illusion, there is no doubt that when two illusions meet reality happens.  Nothing illusory about hospitals and body shops.

My niece is having her first child Thursday!  Not an illusion!

“A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.”  Carl Sandburg

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It seems to me we each experience the world through our perceptions, biases, and according to our experiences. In other words we experience the world subjectively. We both may look at the same thing or situation but see it differently. In that respect one might say we are looking at the world differently and for at least one of us or both of us the world may "not be as it seems" or illusory. On this forum we talk about President Trump but we each seem to see him in a different light. Our subjective nature makes reality far from objective in this case.

Burl's niece is having a baby and  that maybe a joyful experience for some and an unwanted experience  for others . The reality of it is colored by ones perceptual experience of it. To me, to see Reality means to see clearly, unobstructed by the concepts that thought superimposes on our experience. I find this very difficult. Perhaps because many of us are unaware or at times forget that our experience is filtered through a  mesh of conceptual thinking that may make it appear very different from how it actually is.

Just sayin 😊

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I think there is the problem with the use of the word illusion even when it is said to mean 'not as it seems.'

If, we accept that there is energy or that 'all is energy' and

if energy appears as physical reality and

if, therefore, it can be said the physical is not as it seems and 

if we are 'built' the same given our senses and a mind which receives and makes sense of what is received – 

then, it seems energy is something objective or real in itself and there is something 'objective' about us: we are built to receive and perceive this energy and it is experienced as the physical world and it is experienced as real. 

I have no problem with the above (and I also recognize it is scientific theory and religious belief (Buddhism and Hindu - Joseph's comments). And, as I said above, I think this can tie into a Christian understanding: God is considered the Real in theology, it is accepted that God in himself is beyond our knowing, and God presents or manifest Self or the Real in a way that there is (physical) creation that is sustained and that creation is meaningful; we can 'know' God or Reality as presented (again the limitation is ours). In theology, Reality is created and sustained through the Word (or philosophy's Logos) and humanity can know the Word - which is truly 'knowing God. To be fair, theology adds that although we can know the Word (of God), we can still not know God in Self (would science say we can know the physical (and therefore energy?) but not energy is itself (otherwise why would there be the 'illusion' at all?). 

It seems obvious that we (humanity, including the scientists and the religious believers)) do not act as if all is not as it seems. There is 'wisdom' inherent in the everyday actions of ordinary men and women who react to the physical world as real. If there is something to the science and something to the religious insight, perhaps if we want to explain it to others, we should be more careful and rigorist with our use of language. For the simple reason that illusion, given its 'street' definition is taken to mean not real at all, mirage, hallucination, figment of imagination, or delusion. This is what I (a rather intelligent person :+}) have always taken from some here, in spite of the occasional use of "not as it seems' and, many times, it is part of the positions of some that life has no meaning. 

So, I can agree with Burl that having a baby is not an illusion but as a Christian, I can also assert that the Reality the baby is born to is presented in a way that s/he can know it and what is known is never All (God in Self). I can also state that, although the illusion theory or belief is intriguing or the Christian Godhead belief is interesting - on a rainy day spent in a college library, it is not significant for most people. I can imagine a SNL skit about reality as illusion with a comedian trying to sit on a chair then realizing 'it is not as it seems' and watching their imagination run wild, extending to trying to leave the room, unsure of what to do because the door, windows, walls, everything is not as it seems. Both illusion and Godhead are interesting for a few but have no impact on the many and even the few act and react to the physical world and in that acting probably take it as it seems. 

If one feels the desire to spread either understanding or teach it to another, I think great care should be taken - simply so the other can understand and follow. 

There is definitely something to the idea of experience being subjective but all is not reducible to the subjective. I agree with Joseph that we do experience the world subjectively, however it seems there is something objective for experience to encounter and there is something objective in the subjects: humans have the same way of knowing (this is not to suggest this knowing is not influenced by our own experiences or faults in the original equipment). There is something in common, there is something that can be known, there is something(s) that we have in common and agree on, the evidence of that, is the history of civilization (and I know the horror of that history also but that we can say there are horrors, says something about what we have in common and know when we stray from it).   Regarding the baby, if we add to what we know and assume that a woman is in a healthy relationship, wants to be a mother and was planning on a family, for most/all in these circumstances it would be a happy experience. Change the circumstances and now the woman is a teenage girl, or older and not in a healthy relationship or didn't want a family now - then pregnancy might not be a happy experience. It is more than the stark fact of pregnancy and if the circumstances/experience are the same or similar - there is much greater 'agreement' on the meaning of the experience. It is not just our subjective reaction to a fact, (pregnancy) it is also the additional facts (healthy relationship, wants a family, timing) to which each subject reacts. 

This and the last post are continuing works, so I reserve the right to rethink and adjust if desired.

Note: as for Trump: as it seems, sadly, it is. There is something to objective reality! :+}

Edited by thormas

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