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Where did ethics and morals come from?

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So this is a simple question. Where did ethics and morals come from. Give me straight up undeniable evidence. If none is found, give me a hypothesis. 
ExtempTalk



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  • Keal303NXQ3Keal303NXQ3 171 Pts   -  
    @JeffreyBlankenship Not from religion. From evolution. I already addressed this in the topic before this (Do atheists REALLY have a moral backbone?). Don't be scummy about it. 
    Happy_KillbotTreeMan
  • Keal303NXQ3Keal303NXQ3 171 Pts   -  
  • JeffreyBlankenshipJeffreyBlankenship 259 Pts   -  
    @Keal303NXQ3.

    Scummy? You just got me curious on everyone's views. That's all.
  • Keal303NXQ3Keal303NXQ3 171 Pts   -  
    @NoahFlynn What kind of bad attempt of an insult is this? 
  • Happy_KillbotHappy_Killbot 5060 Pts   -  
    Humans made ethics, that isn't even something that is up for debate. For any ethical system we can almost always point to the individuals who created it, and for older ones where we can not such as where their names were not recorded we can point to the civilization and/or time period in which they were contrived.

    As for morals, they are an innate factor of human and animal psychology which evolved over millions of years to aid our survival as a social species. While this is more contestable, it is mostly accepted at an institutional and scientific level. At any rate, morals did not come from any god, gods, or other mythical being and that wouldn't make any sense as there is evil in the world, so that very fact would imply that god would have to be evil or at least morally inconsistent, permanently barring the beliefs from any possibility to be objective.

    If you think morals are objective and come from god, I have one question for you:

    "Why ought we do what god commands?"

    If you don't have an objective answer for that question, then I have some news to break to you: god's morals are not objective.
    SkepticalOnePlaffelvohfen
    At some point in the distant past, the universe went through a phase of cosmic inflation,
    Stars formed, planets coalesced, and on at least one of them life took root.
    Through a long process of evolution this life 
    developed into the human race.
    Humans conquered fire, built complex societies and advanced technology .

    All of that so we can argue about nothing.
  • JeffreyBlankenshipJeffreyBlankenship 259 Pts   -  
    @NoahFlynn. What...
  • ExtempTalkExtempTalk 9 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: On the Source of Morality

    For the starter of this debate, the source of morality are the moral laws given by God to mankind. We all agree murder is wrong. It is obvious the commandment "you shall not murder", is an absolute moral law. If morals come from evolution then morals are not absolute. For example in nature we find predator-prey relationships, in nature, one animal kills or murders another for food. Thus murder is not universally condemned under the theory of evolution. Others will say that ethics and morals are social constructs that cannot by their worldview cannot say murder is wrong. Because if they are no objective standards to use then no judgments can be made. 

    This leads me to the moral argument for God. Because moral and ethical standards like "You shall not murder." are absolute and objective, than they cannot come from evolution or human social constructs. Instead of a higher power, God made these laws and revealed them to us through divine revelation and human nature. 
    PlaffelvohfenTreeManSkepticalOne
  • maxxmaxx 707 Pts   -  
    from early humans; only after the abilty to reason. afterwards, they were slowly taught and accepted over time@JeffreyBlankenship
  • piloteerpiloteer 1327 Pts   -  
    For the starter of this debate, the source of morality are the moral laws given by God to mankind. We all agree murder is wrong. It is obvious the commandment "you shall not murder", is an absolute moral law. If morals come from evolution then morals are not absolute. For example in nature we find predator-prey relationships, in nature, one animal kills or murders another for food. Thus murder is not universally condemned under the theory of evolution. Others will say that ethics and morals are social constructs that cannot by their worldview cannot say murder is wrong. Because if they are no objective standards to use then no judgments can be made. 

    This leads me to the moral argument for God. Because moral and ethical standards like "You shall not murder." are absolute and objective, than they cannot come from evolution or human social constructs. Instead of a higher power, God made these laws and revealed them to us through divine revelation and human nature. 
    So is it immoral to kill because God made it that way, or is it immoral to kill because it is a universal truth that God knows?  
  • maxxmaxx 707 Pts   -  
    it is wrong to murder bcause society says so, humans  began claiming this among each other as long as they were in the same tribe so to speak; killing others was acceptable. as tribes grew togehter, society formed and killing each other became more morally wrong. basically, it is wrong becuse of the emotions that we developed as humans, in which lower animals do not have.@piloteer
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1037 Pts   -   edited June 19
    @JeffreyBlankenship
    Ethics and Morals have always been determined by society and the zeitgeist of time means that those morals and ethics will invariably change.
    It is a shame that most religious groups claim copyright over morals and ethics, claiming that without religion, we would have none, or that what ethics we do have are somewhat immoral. What these people refuse to accept is that most of the morals they claim to have come from religious scriptures also happened to have appeared in secular writings. Also, many of the morals and ethics that Christians, for example have adopted from the Bible, are so primitive and barbaric as to be deemed offensive and irrelevant to modern civilised society. For example, vilification of minority groups such as gays, unwed mothers, pro-abortionists, pro-euthanasia advocates. Morals and ethics such as these are what have pushed Christians into the fringes of society and such people are quite fairly labelled as ignorant, arrogant bigots.
  • maxxmaxx 707 Pts   -  
    by whom?
    @Swolliw
  • maxxmaxx 707 Pts   -  
    prove it@Swolliw
  • maxxmaxx 707 Pts   -  
    prove it. seriouslly. you keep making these claims, so let us see the proof. I dare say, that as bigotry goes, the candle burns more at your end, and I know many religious people that would put your intellect to shame.@Swolliw
  • SwolliwSwolliw 1037 Pts   -   edited June 20
    @maxx
    prove it

    It, being what?

    Anyway, you are at it again....the Spanish inquisition.

    How do you go about asking someone out on a date?....."Where are you going tonight and why? And prove it. What evidence do you have that you are going to do your hair? Are you prejudiced against me?

    Would it not be much nicer to be not so unpretentious......"Well Swolliw, those are bold opinions you have which I disagree with, for instance I think.........etc."

    You see, on this side of the reality fence, we discuss things and chew the fat, so to speak. 

    If you are going to be so blunt about things why not try my pick-up line....."That's a beautiful dress, it'll look even more beautiful on my bedroom floor".

  • SwolliwSwolliw 1037 Pts   -  
    @ExtempTalk
    God made these laws and revealed them to us through divine revelation and human nature. 
    If morals come from evolution then morals are not absolute........

    You have clearly made a strawman argument which is conditional anyway (if) and therefore completely useless to the topic and redundant. In any case, it is you who is (incorrectly) defining the killing of animals for food as murder, as well as being inconsistent with your belief that God sets the morals; since God also commands us to sacrifice animals, also to slaughter animals for food.

    Maybe this is your first attempt at debating however, your debating skills have much to improve on to be desired. I suggest that one of the junior debating sites may be a better option for you. You will be slaughtered like a lamb at the alter here.

  • JulesKorngoldJulesKorngold 116 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: A Suggestion From Our Senior Debater

    @Swolliw
    I suggest that one of the junior debating sites may be a better option for you.

    I didn't know you were the gatekeeper here.  Impressive for an incel.

  • SwolliwSwolliw 1037 Pts   -  
    @JulesKorngold
    I didn't know you were the gatekeeper here. 

    I'm not, nor did I ever say I was. I am merely giving you some advice because, in case your closest friends haven't told you, your literary and debating skills leave a lot to be desired...and that's putting it mildly.

    Dee
  • SkepticalOneSkepticalOne Gold Premium Member 1139 Pts   -   edited June 20
    @JeffreyBlankenship

    So this is a simple question. Where did ethics and morals come from. Give me straight up undeniable evidence. If none is found, give me a hypothesis. 

    This is like asking where ice cream came from. Morality is a human concept for human consumption. ;-)

    Plaffelvohfen
    I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible.
  • @ExtempTalk

    If morals come from evolution then morals are not absolute. 

    Morals are not absolute.

    Plaffelvohfen
    I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible.
  • piloteerpiloteer 1327 Pts   -  
    maxx said:
    it is wrong to murder bcause society says so, humans  began claiming this among each other as long as they were in the same tribe so to speak; killing others was acceptable. as tribes grew togehter, society formed and killing each other became more morally wrong. basically, it is wrong becuse of the emotions that we developed as humans, in which lower animals do not have.@piloteer
    I would consider your answer more accurate than that of @Exemptalk.   
  • maxxmaxx 707 Pts   -   edited June 20
    prove your cllaim that christains are more of a bigot than you are of one.  i doubt if you can. they seem more tolerant of the ones that you are against; those who follow religion, gays, liberals, and blacks. wow, i bet you really get upset at a black christain who is a gay liberal. do not call others a bigot unless you yourself can prove you are not one, and on this site you have shown otherwise.@Swolliw
  • OliwiaWcisloOliwiaWcislo 17 Pts   -   edited July 1
    So this is a simple question. Where did ethics and morals come from. Give me straight up undeniable evidence. If none is found, give me a hypothesis. 
    Perhaps one possible vague origin/cause, is when 'personalised' consciousness may have occurred to bloom for 'specified' species such as, e.g. humans, and a slight direct towards individualism in form as, e.g. independence led to relying on development of own reasoning and evaluation of (e.g. causes, factors or even worth involving different events, objects and circumstances) and for varying factors and biological or environmental factors led to even further differentiation, moreover, things such as fear (e.g. the unknown) may have overwhelmed some/many in the evaluation for multiple reasons and they may have been more inclined to interpret others' reasoning. However, this reasoning may have also been influenced by e.g. fear or impulse and appears more decisive than other reasoning, so this decisive reasoning was adopted further, and through prolonged periods, become a somewhat habit that concluded its status as a 'common' moral or value. (adapted better in societies/groups with particularly strong social cohesion.)

    More individualistic morals and values may have been developed due to slightly more subservient circumstances, such as a focus on ones self worth, usually collectively. 

    However, I am not particularly sure about the specific cause of personalised consciousness or opinion at the current moment, other than for the reasons that it may be for survival or proving self worth. Likewise, I am unsure of the distinctinction between morals/values and opinions (could it be majority vs more personal?)

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3946 Pts   -  
    Ethics and morals are just shortcuts people use to avoid thinking about every situation from scratch. Imagine, for example, if, every time you meet someone on the streets, you had to decide whether to attack them in order to protect yourself, or not... Your life would be an endless mental struggle against trivial threats.
    So people develop certain standards of behavior, so they can trivialize trivializable elements of human interaction and focus their mental energy on less trivial ones.

    For example, it is not difficult to develop a set of conventions assuring that in all but a tiny minority of cases human encounters do not end with violence. Such principles as "treat others the way you want to be treated" do not constitute some supernatural wisdom, but are merely obvious rules assuring peaceful coexistence of people in a society. Societies that did not have such principles developed consumed themselves with irrational and impractical behaviors of their members. Imagine a society in which there is no prejudice against murder... Such society would not be very stable, and would eventually be conquered by a more pragmatic society.

    Same goes for individual human lives. Everyone is free to follow any moral and ethical code they want; but not all such codes live to a happy and stable life. If you, for example, spit in the face of every human you encounter, then sooner or later you will run into serious trouble. It is in your self-interest to treat other people with a certain degree of respect and care, as that is likely to induce mutually respectable and careful treatment of you by them.

    I like to say that morals are subjective, but nor arbitrary. Morals are subjective in the sense that different moral rulesets work best for different people. However, there are certain constraints on moral codes one can develop without strongly negative consequences. Whether you should treat everyone you meet with utmost respect, or whether you expect others to earn your respect and your baseline is lack of respect for others, is up to debate, and either may be superior, depending on what you want from life, your personality, et cetera... Whether you should try to murder everyone you meet or not, on the other hand, can only be answered with "no", as long as your goals in this life do not include dying in the nearest future.

    Morals do not have to come from some religion, ideology, governmental mandate, sage's wisdom, etc. Rather, they should come from deep intellectual work. What are your goals in life? How do you plan on accomplishing them? What kind of person do you need to become in order to achieve them? Will you be happy if you achieve them while being this person? How are other people going to react on you adopting this set of morals? It is hard work that should be constant and consistent. If you are serious about it and do this work, then your set of morals should evolve gradually, as you reconsider previous conclusions you have reached based on new experimental data you have, changing conditions around you and within you and so on.

    On the other hand, adopting morals created by someone else simply because they seem to have worked for that someone is deeply illogical. People are different. You can follow every moral the happiest person in the history of mankind followed - and be a deeply miserable person at the same time, because those morals were not tailored to you. Getting your morals from any "holy book", or "sage", or "thinker" is going to have a high probability of that outcome. You can read the "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius a thousand times, yet fail completely at becoming as content with your life as he was, because those are Aurelius' meditations, not yours.
    However, you can read about others' morals and think about why those morals work for them. Then ask yourself, "What morals would I need to adopt to reproduce their success, given the differences between our situations and personalities?" That is how proper work is done.
    That goes for "holy books" too. I do not think that the Bible or the Vedas are completely useless or harmful, as long as you read them in a proper context and understand that they were written by the people living in a very different time and having a very different outlook of life.
    But then, I also think that your time will be spent much more efficiently if you, instead, read a good book on mathematics or economics. Those will give you tools allowing you to connect the dots through pure logic, without having to place your faith in the words of other people who likely were not even aware of your existence when developing their morals.

    Civilization probably must have some basic universal moral standards to be lasting. But one of the essential such standards must be openness to people developing their own standards, however counter-intuitive it may sound. There is a reason Western civilization ultimately rose above all other civilization, and that reason is its openness to people making their own individual choices, often in strong dissonance with the "collective wisdom" of the society. Immigrants from all over the world came to the US or the UK, because they knew that in those places they would be allowed to largely live lives of their own accord. Instead of holy books, bishops, kings and uptight philosophers telling them how to live their lives, they would be left alone to build their own lives.
    So, ultimately, rigid morals ironically converged to moral flexibility. Competition of morals, similarly to market competition, turned out to work much better, than one strict enforced set of morals, similarly to centrally-planned economy. When a Korean and a Brazilian immigrant come together at a workplace, the dynamic relationship between them leads them to develop a certain interpersonal set of morals, and the better this set of morals becomes, the more efficient their interaction becomes. The most efficient sets of morals then lead to incredible economical productivity, and over time societies in which these take place become the dominant powers on the planet which everyone else, to various extents, looks up to.

    Contrary to the popular claims, the success of the American experiment is not thanks to the Christian moral code, but despite it. It is thanks to people coming here from all over the world, with different backgrounds, ideas and skills, and being judged for their merit, not for their looks or backgrounds. Some of the top US companies' CEOs were not even born in a country where Christianity is big, yet they came here and reached the top of the corporate ladder. Their morals, among other things, proved superior to their competitors'.
    Meanwhile, those who took their Christianity very seriously did not get anywhere. Look at the Amish people: they are largely stuck in the 19th century technologically. I have never seen a happy Amish person. Deep down they understand that there is something deeply wrong with how they live - but they take the Christian morals too seriously and can never deviate from their course.

    This is what rigid moral codes do to people: they get them stuck in a sorry state. Humans naturally need to evolve, to move forward, in order to be happy. If we are not improving our lives every day, then we are not fully living. And evolution includes evolution of moral views. Clinging to the same ancient philosopher or book prevents this evolution from happening. And when you hear one more incident of suicide bombing or mass shooting, you hear one more instance of a person who dug themselves so deep in a moral quicksand that the only way out was to drop a hydrogen bomb on themselves. A person who does not look forward has no reason to keep living.

    I seriously pity people who follow some moral doctrine and refuse to step away from it. All those people going to "meditation retreats" and listening to Sadhguru all day are looking for something among things they already have, instead of looking for new things. That is no way to live. You can meditate in a cave and eat your mushrooms all day long, but if you cling to the same darn set of ideas, then you will keep getting the same darn life. Meditation will not change that; using your brain will.
  • GnosticChristianGnosticChristian 225 Pts   -  
    Our morals and the ethics they produce come from our selfish genes.

    We are born defaulting to cooperation as the best survival strategy, and would develop morals and ethics to .

    Modern thinkers use Harm/Care, along with reciprocity, to denote the beginnings of most moral codes/systems.

    In this case, they are just reporting what nature has shown us and done forever.

    Nature, at the end of the day, along with the sun are our real gods.

    Try to live without either.  

    Selfishness is the creator of our morals.

    It forces us to be nice. Too nice.

    Regards
    DL 
  • GnosticChristianGnosticChristian 225 Pts   -   edited July 9
    MayCaesar said:

    I seriously pity people who follow some moral doctrine and refuse to step away from it.
    I am not sure if I understand you here.

    If it is a moral doctrine, why would one step away from it?

    Stepping to what?

    I have a moral doctrine, or a doctrine and ideology based on morals, and have stepped away to look at other thinking systems, but having found nothing better, I return to the good Christianity. Gnostic Christianity.

    If you just meant Christians who are following an evil entity, ignore all this.

    BTW. 

    Meditating is using all of your brain, instead of just a part.

    That is why almost all sages and guru recommend it.

    Regards
    DL


  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3946 Pts   -   edited July 9
    @GnosticChristian

    Because if you follow a moral doctrine, then your morals are static. As you live, you gain new experiences and knowledge, yet do not modify your morals. This leads to moral and intellectual stagnation; you are stuck, you are not developing as an individual. And I find this a truly sorry way to be.

    It is even worse when your morals do not come from you, but from some popular doctrine made by others. Then not only are you not developing as an individual, but you are not even a fully individual, as you are letting others think for you. When someone says something like "I follow stoicism", or "I am a Buddhist", or "I believe in ghosts", I cannot help but think to myself, "Come on, man, be original, at least. Come up with something novel, instead of recycling old stuff endlessly!"

    I personally do not follow any ideology; I have my own system of morals, ever changing, ever evolving. You will never find a commonly used label that characterizes me. You could, perhaps, approximate my views with something like "hedonistic solipsism", but that characterization would carry a lot of baggage that I do not.
    You could say, however, that I follow Greek logic. Unfortunately, I cannot develop my own logic that is different from the Greek logic, as I simply find Greek logic to be perfect for my purposes. But even here my mind is open to be changed, and if I ever meet an alien species, or, perhaps, a very powerful artificial intelligence that will show me a superior version of logic, then I will quickly transition to it.

    Do not follow doctrines. Follow a methodology allowing you to come up with your own moral prescriptions, and you will be golden.
  • GnosticChristianGnosticChristian 225 Pts   -  
    MayCaesar said:
    @GnosticChristian

    Because if you follow a moral doctrine, then your morals are static. As you live, you gain new experiences and knowledge, yet do not modify your morals. This leads to moral and intellectual stagnation; you are stuck, you are not developing as an individual. And I find this a truly sorry way to be.

    It is even worse when your morals do not come from you, but from some popular doctrine made by others. Then not only are you not developing as an individual, but you are not even a fully individual, as you are letting others think for you. When someone says something like "I follow stoicism", or "I am a Buddhist", or "I believe in ghosts", I cannot help but think to myself, "Come on, man, be original, at least. Come up with something novel, instead of recycling old stuff endlessly!"

    I personally do not follow any ideology; I have my own system of morals, ever changing, ever evolving. You will never find a commonly used label that characterizes me. You could, perhaps, approximate my views with something like "hedonistic solipsism", but that characterization would carry a lot of baggage that I do not.
    You could say, however, that I follow Greek logic. Unfortunately, I cannot develop my own logic that is different from the Greek logic, as I simply find Greek logic to be perfect for my purposes. But even here my mind is open to be changed, and if I ever meet an alien species, or, perhaps, a very powerful artificial intelligence that will show me a superior version of logic, then I will quickly transition to it.

    Do not follow doctrines. Follow a methodology allowing you to come up with your own moral prescriptions, and you will be golden.
    You should deal with what is given first.

    You are describing, basically, yourself as belonging to the group that puts wisdom and knowledge over supernatural gods.

    Laudable.

    You express your ideas for others well, while ignoring that you are describing yourself, but just using different words that mean the same thing.
     
    You say you have your own system of morals, as if they are unique to your thinking, when all you know you got from someone else.

    If not, give us your unique and original thought.

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

    As a Gnostic Christian, here is how I express what you are doing, from my POV and how you show your morals and god.

    Modern Gnostic Christians name our god "I am", and yes, we do mean ourselves.

    You are your controller. I am mine. You represent and present whatever mind picture you have of your God or ideal human, and so do I.

    The name "I Am" you might see as meaning something like, --- I think I have grown up thanks to having forced my apotheosis through Gnosis and meditation and “I am”, represents the best rules and laws that we have found to live by.

    In Gnostic Christianity, we follow the Christian tradition that Christians have forgotten that they are to do. That is, become brethren to Jesus.

    That is why some say that the only good Christian is a Gnostic Christian.

    Here is the real way to salvation that Jesus taught.

    Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

    John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    Allan Watts explain those quotes in detail.

    Joseph Campbell shows the same esoteric ecumenist idea in this link.


    The bible just plainly says to put away the things of children. The supernatural and literal reading of myths.

    Regards

    DL




  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3946 Pts   -  
    @GnosticChristian

    I certainly developed a lot of my ideas by listening to other people's arguments: this is how we all develop intellectually, after all. But the synthesis of those ideas into a coherent system of ideas and morals I did on my own. I may have borrowed the method from others, but the conclusions are my own, even if they may coincide with conclusions of some other people. People can arrive at similar conclusions in different ways, and that is precisely what I am advocating for: you must reach your own conclusion, no matter how it compares to others' conclusions, and following an existing doctrine and adopting its conclusions is limiting and not authentic.

    I certainly do not think of myself as having anything to do with any gods. The concept of "god" may serve as an exemplar of the ideal version of myself, indeed, but it does not for me. I am not trying to become the ideal version of myself; I am trying to become a better version of myself today than I were yesterday. And I do not need to compare myself to others, real or imaginary beings, for that; I only need to compare myself to myself at different stages of my life.

    I have never liked the idea of venerating someone or something. Jesus, Joan of Arc, Einstein, etc. are interesting historical characters, but their existence has zero emotional impact on me. My eyes always look forward, at the road ahead, and while I love history, historical characters do not have some inherent value to me. I may read Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" and learn something from them, but I will never call myself a stoic, or erect a statue to Marcus. The past is the past; I live in the present and walk towards the future. Learning from the past is wise; getting stuck in the past is not.
    GnosticChristian
  • GnosticChristianGnosticChristian 225 Pts   -  
    MayCaesar said:
    @GnosticChristian

    I certainly developed a lot of my ideas by listening to other people's arguments: this is how we all develop intellectually, after all. But the synthesis of those ideas into a coherent system of ideas and morals I did on my own. I may have borrowed the method from others, but the conclusions are my own, even if they may coincide with conclusions of some other people. People can arrive at similar conclusions in different ways, and that is precisely what I am advocating for: you must reach your own conclusion, no matter how it compares to others' conclusions, and following an existing doctrine and adopting its conclusions is limiting and not authentic.

    I certainly do not think of myself as having anything to do with any gods. The concept of "god" may serve as an exemplar of the ideal version of myself, indeed, but it does not for me. I am not trying to become the ideal version of myself; I am trying to become a better version of myself today than I were yesterday. And I do not need to compare myself to others, real or imaginary beings, for that; I only need to compare myself to myself at different stages of my life.

    I have never liked the idea of venerating someone or something. Jesus, Joan of Arc, Einstein, etc. are interesting historical characters, but their existence has zero emotional impact on me. My eyes always look forward, at the road ahead, and while I love history, historical characters do not have some inherent value to me. I may read Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" and learn something from them, but I will never call myself a stoic, or erect a statue to Marcus. The past is the past; I live in the present and walk towards the future. Learning from the past is wise; getting stuck in the past is not.
    That is why Gnostic Christians are perpetual seekers of the best rules and laws I talk about above.

    I do not mind showing veneration for the best I have found. That does not mean I have settled for it as best and will quickly replace it if something better should show itself.

    What we are against is showing veneration for what Christians show veneration for. 

    You know the list.

    Regards
    DL
    MayCaesar
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