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SceptiKarl

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2012, 03:53:32 pm »
scepticalguy:

This pretty much sums it up as in those regimes it was just politically motivated atheism not atheism motivated politics.


Thanks scepticalguy, this must the first time someone has agreed with me here! This "den of lambs", (WLC), who would bite your leg off given half a chance!
Philosophers have interpreted the world in many different ways. The point is, to change it.

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2012, 08:44:39 pm »
SceptiKarl,

I think you are really missing the whole point here. It's not that communism=
atheism or atheism=communism, it's the whole worldview that comes from
the people who fought for and built communism. So, let us not call it
communism, shall we instead call it  I'll do it my way-ism.

Or, we could even call it Republicanism,  or Democracy.  It's not the system,
it's the people and their worldview behind the system.

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SceptiKarl

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2012, 02:26:45 pm »
rdavid:


I think you are really missing the whole point here. It's not that communism=
atheism or atheism=communism, it's the whole worldview that comes from
the people who fought for and built communism. So, let us not call it
communism, shall we instead call it  I'll do it my way-ism.

Or, we could even call it Republicanism,  or Democracy.  It's not the system,
it's the people and their worldview behind the system.



Of course you are free to put whatever lable you like on things. However, unless some common ground can be reached about what the lables mean, then the exercise is pointless. As I said, the Communist Manifesto defines communism as the "absence of buying and selling". Now that never happened in the USSR, China, Cuba etc. Using that definition, we can safely assume that communism never existed in Russia and elsewhere. In fact judging by the fact that people in Russia and elsewhere worked for someone else for a wage or a salary, we can safely assume that they were workers, and that there was a privileged ruling class of capitalists. Alright the system was a bit different from "free market" USA, but still a society divided by class division of rulers and ruled, based on private property. State property in Russia was just as closely guarded as state property is in the USA. We can hardly claim Fort Knox as an example of "communism" in action. Capitalism,- state capitalism, existed in Russia etc. and still does. As I said earlier, atheism had nothing to do with Stalin's dictatorship. He discriminiated against EVERYONE whom he thought was a threat to his power base. That included the Orthodox Church. Funnily enough he made some sort of rapprochment with the OC during WW2, in the interests of "Mother" Russia and patriotism!

Cheers SK
Philosophers have interpreted the world in many different ways. The point is, to change it.

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carl c

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 03:30:21 am »
Historical evidence is all over the map, but so far I think the Marxists have a commanding lead as far as sheer quantity of brutality, oppression, and body count (upwards of 100,000,000) are concerned.  The fascist socialists are a distant 2nd, then we have imerialism 3rd, islamism a distant 4th, followed by the inquisition and witch trials and other evil "G-d told me you are bad" heretical evil-doing.

I would agree that over the short period of time the "Marxists" do seem to be in the lead (estimated to be between 60 and 120 million) but overall  i would say that Christianity has the lead as many nations over the last thousand or so years were Christian and were hardly what you could call pleasant to their own populations let alone others. In fact we do not need to go back a thousand or so years at all to gain some figures.


The Christian British empire in India, Africa and pretty much every place else they were racked up a body count estimated at 30 to 50 million in fact in India during the British Empire rule had a life expectancy down to 23.2 and 22.8 years for men and women respectively.

The Christian Spanish in South America (estimates from 10 to 30 million).


The native American population was devastated by the christian settlers ( America's population was anywhere between 20 and 100 million). At least 90 percent of the native population were killed making the death toll between 18 to 90 million.

Nazi Germany was predominantly Christian and WW2 caused the deaths of 11.5 to 60 million people depending on how it is calculated (holocaust was over 11 million while the 60 million includes all deaths).

Obviously those are just 4 examples but they come to 70 to 230 million dead.


Now the regimes and their populations i list above were just as Christian as Mao's, Stalin's etc regimes were atheistic.


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John M

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2012, 06:46:24 pm »
Quote
Nazi Germany was predominantly Christian and WW2 caused the deaths of 11.5 to 60 million people

I think it is a bit unfair to label the Nazi leaders, precipitators and supporters within Germany prior to and during WW2 as anything related to Christianity. Many in Nazi leadership held Nietzsche and (some of) his ideals in high regard. This Nazi philosophy also appealed to a large percentage of Germans and I think it is fair to say that Nietzsche's worldview and Nazism/National Socialism is very far from true Christianity. To say that the German atrocities can be linked to Christianity is a bit far-fetched.

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Blake1960

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2013, 04:43:47 am »
It bears repeating:

Quote
   “The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately         148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.   


“The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous         name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan,         godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.   

“Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity         is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians,  even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand         religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two  incidents in ninety years reeks of causation!”

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Tertullian

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2013, 11:53:34 am »
The problem with this post is the dishonesty of atheists themselves. The argument that atheism as a belief was not responsible for the mass murder of socialist regimes because: "
It's seems to me that by same logic, if let's say Stalin would think that being vegetarian is very important and meat eaters are dangerous and he would command to kill them, you would not say that it vegetarianism has anything to do would you? Killing of other people is not part of vegetarianism and it would be communism would be still the cause. So I don't possible see how atheisM can be accused of the same. "
This is so palpably abursed no rational person should use it. I could say that if catholics are responsible for the inquistion than that would imply that if Torquemada  killed heretics because he thought they had large noseses, it means that aLargeNoseism is dangerous. This idea is ludicrous since if it were true than one could not be found guilty of being motivated to do anything. And Catholicism would be off the hook for Torquemada.
"So if some atheist will do some evil it is not because atheism but because moral guidance which they chose is bad.  e.g. some atheist my choose to believe that it is ok to kill other people for the good of state or his political ideology, but this has nothing to do with him beign atheist."
This statement is manifoldly false. Atheists do commit murder, rape and theft because the have no moral foundation. This person must not have read Marquis de Sade, Max Stirner, Nietzsche, Marx or Lenin. They all, because of their godlessness advocated murder and other immoral acts. Do you see the amish going on raping sprees like the atheists (Red Army rape of Eastern European women after WW2 see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_occupation_of_Germany
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_liberation_of_Poland)

Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings
"Yet Another Effort, Frenchmen, If You Would Become Republicans"
http://books.google.com/books?id=7T2WYXK6YFgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=philosophy+of+the+bedroom&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7KC_ULTKMOqE2QWp8ICwCg&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=philosophy%20of%20the%20bedroom&f=false
"The transgressions we are considering in this second class of man's duties toward
his fellows include actions.. prostitution, incest, rape and sodomy.  pg 314

"It is certain, that rape, an act so very rare and so very difficult to prove,
wrongs one's neighbor less than theft, since the latter is destructive to property,
the former merely damaging to it. Beyond that, what objections have you to the
ravisher? What will you say, when he replies to you that, as a matter of fact, the
injury is trifling indeed, since he has done no more than place a little sooner the
object he ahs abused in the very state in which she would soon have been put by
marraige and love." pg 325

The Birth of Tragedy & The Genealogy of Morals, Issue 677
by Friedrich Nietzsche
http://books.google.com/books?id=4Q8lWXlzpdgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=birth+of+tragedy+and+the+genealogy+of+morals&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C6G_ULinHsXErQHBsIHoCQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=birth%20of%20tragedy%20and%20the%20genealogy%20of%20morals&f=false

"To speak of right and wrong per se makes no sense at all. No act of violence, rape,
exploitation, destruction, is intrinsically "unjust," since life itself is violent,
rapacious, exploitative, and destructive and cannot be conceived as otherwise." pg
207

Max Stirner
THe Ego and His Own
http://books.google.com/books?id=T4SN0M7YSqMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=ego+and+his+own&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NbfAUP-aHKnY2AXzioGADA&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=entitled%20to%20murder&f=false

"I am entitled to murder if I myself do not forbid it to myself, if I myself do not
fear murder as a "wrong." ... There is no right outside me. If it is right for me,
it is right. Possibly this may not suffice to make it right for the rest; that is
their care, not mine: let them defend themselves. And if for the whole world
something were not right, but it were right for me, that is, I wanted it, then I
would ask nothing about the whole world. So every one does who knows how to value
himself, every one in the degree that he is an egoist; for might goes before right,
and that--with perfect right." pg 247

"The conflict over the "right of property" wavers in vehement commotion. The
Communists affirm that "the earth belongs rightfully to him who tills it, and its
products to those who bring them out." I think it belongs to him who knows how to
take it, or who does not let it be taken from him, does not let himself be deprived
of it. If he appropriates it, then not only the earth, but the right to it too,
belongs to him." The Ego and His Own, ed. James J. Martin (New York: Libertarian
Book Club, 1963), pg 249

Stirner's philosophy lead to a wave of atheist terrorism purpetrated by a people adhering to illegalism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegalism

Lenin

The Economic Content of Narodism and the Criticism of it in Mr. Struve?s Book
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1894/narodniks/ch02.htm

" One therefore cannot deny the justice   of Sombart's remark that in Marxism
itself there is not a grain of ethics from beginning to end; theoretically, it
subordinates the ethical standpoint' to the principle of causality; in practice
it reduces it to the class struggle. "

"I really wish this Stalin/Hitler nonsense would stop. "
I really wish this atheist nonsense would stop.

The argument by atheist basically is any person who did anything bad as a christian did it beacause they were Christian, and any atheist who commited mass murder did not inspite of his atheism. This is ofcourse the fallacy of the double standard.

Atheism is a dogma it demands you believe that 1) life ends at death (though no one can prove it empirically), 2) matter and energy are all that exist in the universe, 3) christian morality is obsolete and to be disposed of, 4) man is his own savior etc. These are all non-negotiables for atheists if they didn't believe these things they would not be atheists.

The claim that atheist's in Russia did not murder because of their atheism is in some sense irrelevant their atheism didn't provide a strong enough moral compass to dissuade them from action. If every historical example of atheist's taking power leads to mass murder, we should not let them try again. But it is even more mendacious to claim that atheism didn't motivate them to action. It does.

Lenin:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
It is the duty of a Marxist to place the success of the strike movement above everything else, vigorously to counteract the division of the workers in this struggle into atheists and Christians, vigorously to oppose any such division. Atheist propaganda in such circumstances may be both unnecessary and harmful—not from the philistine fear of scaring away the backward sections, of losing a seat in the elections, and so on, but out of consideration for the real progress of the class struggle, which in the conditions of modern capitalist society will convert Christian workers to Social-Democracy and to atheism a hundred times better than bald atheist propaganda. To preach atheism at such a moment and in such circumstances would only be playing into the hands of the priest and the priests, who desire nothing better than that the division of the workers according to their participation in the strike movement should be replaced by their division according to their belief in God. An anarchist who preached war against God at all costs would in effect be helping the priests and the bourgeoisie (as the anarchists always do help the bourgeoisie in practice). A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could. A Marxist must be able to view the concrete situation as a whole, he must always be able to find the boundary between anarchism and opportunism (this boundary is relative, shifting and changeable, but it exists). And he must not succumb either to the abstract, verbal, but in reality empty “revolutionism’˜ of the anarchist, or to the philistinism and opportunism of the petty bourgeois or liberal intellectual, who boggles at the struggle against religion, forgets that this is his duty, reconciles himself to belief in God, and is guided not by the interests of the class struggle but by the petty and mean consideration of offending nobody, repelling nobody and scaring nobody—by the sage rule: “live and let live”, etc., etc.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
Marxism is materialism. As such, it is as relentlessly hostile to religion as was the materialism of the eighteenth-century Encyclopaedists or the materialism of Feuerbach. This is beyond doubt. But the dialectical materialism of Marx and Engels goes further than the Encyclopaedists and Feuerbach, for it applies the materialist philosophy to the domain of history, to the domain of the social sciences. We must combat religion—that is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently of Marxism. But Marxism is not a materialism which has stopped at the ABC. Marxism goes further. It says: We must know how to combat religion, and in order to do so we must explain the source of faith and religion among the masses in a materialist way. The combating of religion cannot be confined to abstract ideological preaching, and it must not be reduced to such preaching. It must be linked up with the concrete practice of the class movement, which aims at eliminating the social roots of religion. Why does religion retain its hold on the backward sections of the town proletariat, on broad sections of the semi-proletariat, and on the mass of the peasantry? Because of the ignorance of the people, replies the bourgeois progressist, the radical or the bourgeois materialist. And so: “Down with religion and long live atheism; the dissemination of atheist views is our chief task!” The Marxist says that this is not true, that it is a superficial view, the view of narrow bourgeois uplifters. It does not explain the roots of religion profoundly enough; it explains them, not in a materialist but in an idealist way. In modern capitalist countries these roots are mainly social. The deepest root of religion today is the socially downtrodden condition of the working masses and their apparently complete helplessness in face of the blind forces of capitalism, which every day and every hour inflicts upon ordinary working people the most horrible suffering and the most savage torment, a thousand times more severe than those inflicted by extra-ordinary events, such as wars, earthquakes, etc. “Fear made the gods.” Fear of the blind force of capital—blind because it cannot be foreseen by the masses of the people—a force which at every step in the life of the proletarian and small proprietor threatens to inflict, and does inflict “sudden”, “unexpected”, “accidental” ruin, destruction, pauperism, prostitution, death from starvation—such is the root of modern religion which the materialist must bear in mind first and foremost, if he does not want to remain an infant-school materialist. No educational book can eradicate religion from the minds of masses who are crushed by capitalist hard labour, and who are at the mercy of the blind destructive forces of capitalism, until those masses themselves learn to fight this root of religion, fight the rule of capital in all its forms, in a united, organised, planned and conscious way.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/oct/29.htm
That is absolutely incontrovertible, and, of course, we have all learnt this from the ABC of communism, the ABC of historical materialism, and the ABC of Marxism.
Stalin
 

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1927/09/15.HTM
A DELEGATE: I often read of expulsions from the Party because of belief in God.
STALIN: I can only repeat the conditions of membership in our Party that I have just mentioned. We have no other condition.
Does that mean the Party is neutral towards religion? No, it does not. We carry on and will continue to carry on propaganda against religious prejudices. Our legislation guaranteed to citizens the right to adhere to any religion. This is a matter for the conscience of each individual. That is precisely why we carried out the separation of the Church from the State. But in separating the Church from the State and proclaiming religious liberty we at the same time guaranteed the right of every citizen to combat by argument, by propaganda and agitation any and all religion. The Party cannot be neutral towards religion and does conduct anti-religious propaganda against all and every religious prejudice because it stands for science, while religious prejudices run counter to science, because all religion is something opposite to science. Cases such as recently occurred in America in which Darwinists were prosecuted in court, cannot occur here because the Party carries out a policy of the general defense of science. The Party cannot be neutral towards religious prejudices and it will continue to carry on propaganda against these prejudices because this is one of the best means of undermining the influence of the reactionary clergy who support the exploiting classes and who preach submission to these classes. The Party cannot be neutral towards the bearers of religious prejudices, towards the reactionary clergy who poison the minds of the toiling masses. Have we suppressed the reactionary clergy? Yes, we have. The unfortunate thing is that it has not been completely liquidated. Anti-religious propaganda is a means by which the complete liquidation of the reactionary clergy must be brought about. Cases occur when certain members of the Party hamper the complete development of anti-religious propaganda. If such members are expelled it is a good thing because there is no room for such "Communists" in the ranks of our Party.

 http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1950/jun/20.htm
It is obvious that the quotation is inappropriate, because Engels here speaks not of "class languages" but chiefly of class thoughts, ideals, customs, moral principles, religion, politics. It is perfectly true that the thoughts, ideals, customs, moral principles, religion and politics of bourgeois and proletarians are directly antithetical.
Trotsky
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/idom/dm/14-burnham.htm
You stopped bothering yourself long ago, as you say, about the question of religion. But you stopped only for yourself. In addition to you, there exist all the others. Quite a few of them. We revolutionists never “stop” bothering ourselves about religious questions, inasmuch as our task consists in emancipating from the influence of religion, not only ourselves but also the masses. If the dialectic is a religion, how is it possible to renounce the struggle against this opium within one’s own party?
There is not a shred of evidence to support the specious claim that atheists do not murder because of their atheism, in fact their atheism impells them to murder.  We see from de Sade, Stirner, Nietzsche and Lenin that murder, rape and theft are not only morally not evil they are in some sense required by the athiest. If atheists do not murder it is because they have smuggled christian values into their world view see: Nietzsche's Twilight of
the Idols
http://books.google.com/books?id=p-b2Jn8qg_AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=twilight+of+the+idols&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gbnAUOSMBeru2QXZxoGgDw&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=christian%20god&f=false
pg 32 fifth letter to G.Eliot.

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2013, 03:09:46 pm »
No, Atheism is not a cause of mass murders. Religion isn't either.

Any doctrine or lack of doctrine is impotent in itself. Idea's don't have causal powers. Idea's can influence or persuade people to act differently, which can be good or bad, but it's the person who holds that view that is good or bad, not the mere idea or view.

In the same way, I get confused when people say that religion has done lots of bad throughout history.

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Tertullian

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2013, 04:24:12 pm »
Watt,

When I say atheism, I mean atheists. You are technically write that ideas do not perform actions. People do. I was arguing that the logical of atheism if acted out by people have and will lead to mass murder, but technically you are correct. I should have said atheists not atheism, since an idea is not able to act. I was using atheism as a kind of short hand for atheism, people who are atheists and people who act according to the philosophical implications of atheism.

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2013, 05:56:40 pm »
Watt,

When I say atheism, I mean atheists. You are technically write that ideas do not perform actions. People do. I was arguing that the logical of atheism if acted out by people have and will lead to mass murder, but technically you are correct. I should have said atheists not atheism, since an idea is not able to act. I was using atheism as a kind of short hand for atheism, people who are atheists and people who act according to the philosophical implications of atheism.

I do agree that the implications of atheism does lead to absurd conclusions. I think there is an undeniable link between the view of atheism and the view that morality is subjective, for example. But then, I know a few atheists personally who are generally nice people. Wether they believe in objective morality or not I do not happen to know; I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't actually thought about it seriously before or studied many implications to their belief (or lack of belief) that there is no God. They are simply good people who are atheists. Wether they have logical reasons for being good is another story.

There are plenty of people who describe themselves as devout followers of various philosophies or religious texts that often have horrendous teachings, and yet still they are nice people. Their view has no affect on whether they are a good person, because they do not follow their belief to some logical conclusions. These people are deceived or misguided, not immoral.

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Tertullian

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2013, 07:37:53 pm »
Watt,

There are individual atheists who can be nice and even have the appearance of morality, but the ideology itself is rotten and leaves only corpses in its wake. I think the friendly ones have borrowed from Christianity as Nietzsche claims in the aforementioned letter. 

You seem like a bright and friendly interlocutor, what subjects in philosophy or theology would you like to discuses? I will start a separate thread to do so, if you like?

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Tertullian

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2013, 07:42:47 pm »
"These people are deceived or misguided, not immoral."

I agree to a point. Those well meaning who fail to take their stated religion to its logical conclusion might be deceived, but the atheist's in history were not deceived and knew full well what atheism implied and lived by it as is seen by the legacy of death, murder, rapine and destruction. No ideology is a murderous and soul crushing as atheism, just look at the sorry remnant of Russia as it is today, compared to its former glories of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and Gogol.

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idunno

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2013, 07:49:17 pm »
Welcome to the forum Tertullian. Most of the fighting goes on in the Choose Your Own Topic section

Go head an introduce yourself, we always like new faces  ;)
“...these things- the beauty, the memory of our past- …are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited.”
- Clive

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2013, 09:01:26 pm »
Watt,

There are individual atheists who can be nice and even have the appearance of morality, but the ideology itself is rotten and leaves only corpses in its wake. I think the friendly ones have borrowed from Christianity as Nietzsche claims in the aforementioned letter. 

You seem like a bright and friendly interlocutor, what subjects in philosophy or theology would you like to discuses? I will start a separate thread to do so, if you like?

I do admit to share a same sense of concern for the conclusions that I feel people can logically come to after daring to look truly into the face of cold, atheistic ideology. Saying that though I have faith that the large majority of atheists would truly reconsider their position if/when that happens.

And thank you very much for your kind comments! I must say that I'm here to learn more than anything else. There are a few issues about epistemology that I would like to discuss sometime and I will be sure to start a thread if I cant find anything in already discussed that will answer my questions.

I'll see you around the forums and look out for what you'll have to say. Thanks.

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Tertullian

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Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2013, 09:10:34 pm »
"Welcome to the forum Tertullian. Most of the fighting goes on in the Choose Your Own Topic section "

Thanks for the kind welcome.

"And thank you very much for your kind comments!"
Your Welcome