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Elder andersen on abortion


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If a Catholic or an LDS or anyone else in the world could definitively say when the spirit and body of an embryo becomes one, THEN an argument could be made using words like murder and personhood could be made.  Until then, it is just a culture war of opinions, neither side having a moral foundation to base their argument on.  It is for that reason that this should be strictly a personal choice.  Forcing another persons ideology on another runs counter to every other concept of government and religion. We certainly know that point at death.  We do not know that point of when the process starts.  This issue will always remain just a personal opinion until some definitive proof can be offered showing exactly when the embryo and spirit unite.

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9 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Honestly, the only answer the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has is "when God says it is allowable."  That's why abortion under such circumstances is considered rare and the exception, not the rule.  There is no blanket allowance given from God, even when rape or incest are the cause of abuse.  

Has God said when it is allowable?  I am not aware of any claimed revelation on the subject.  Is all I have seen is the opinion of Church leaders?  Could you point me to where you heard of such a revelation?

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

I ultimately find all theodicies lacking in one way or another, so the problem of evil is a bit of a mystery to me. So I suppose that God will have to answer for evil, but I imagine His answer will be a perfect one.

I know you like to have a sarcastic flippant tone, and you usually make me laugh, but characterizing my position as telling a rape victim to "suck it up, wimp" is wrong.

I am interested in how your opinion plays out.  Do you believe God commits murder when a child is stillborn?  If God is all good, then is committing  murder on an unborn child good or evil?

Also, do you believe that Catholic doctrine should be legally forced on someone who doesn't believe in the Catholic Church?

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30 minutes ago, california boy said:

Has God said when it is allowable?  I am not aware of any claimed revelation on the subject.  Is all I have seen is the opinion of Church leaders?  Could you point me to where you heard of such a revelation?

"Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer."

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21 minutes ago, california boy said:

If a Catholic or an LDS or anyone else in the world could definitively say when the spirit and body of an embryo becomes one, THEN an argument could be made using words like murder and personhood could be made.  Until then, it is just a culture war of opinions, neither side having a moral foundation to base their argument on.  It is for that reason that this should be strictly a personal choice.  Forcing another persons ideology on another runs counter to every other concept of government and religion. We certainly know that point at death.  We do not know that point of when the process starts.  This issue will always remain just a personal opinion until some definitive proof can be offered showing exactly when the embryo and spirit unite.

Okay, I will go on record to state when the spirit of God and a body of an embryo within a mortal mother become one, independent of the mother.  When the fetus that is born is alive, or living.

Until then it is the mother keeping her impregnated egg within her alive as the impregnated egg continues to develop and becomes ready to be born.

And it may be worth mentioning here that we can definitively state that it is the spirit of God that gives life to a body like ours, which is like his.  Without the spirit of God within our mortal body it is dead while our spirit, which is also his, is still alive.

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59 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:
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You will note that I said "electively kill."  I didn't say "murder."  Nor did I imply such a thing

Let me correct myself for hypertechnicality's sake.  The Bible does not treat foeticide as homicide, meaning the killing of a human being. It treats it as property loss. 

And yet the Church seems to treat abortion as something more than property loss.  

"The Lord commanded, 'Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it' (Doctrine and Covenants 59:6)."

59 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Have compassion for the poor sisters who make this mistake. 

I do.

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

And yet the Church seems to treat abortion as something more than property loss.  

"The Lord commanded, 'Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it' (Doctrine and Covenants 59:6)."

I do.

Thanks,

-Smac

I'm sorry.  I'm sticking to the more specific scripture.  Again, I adhor abortion.  I think it is race war.  It is particularly abhorrent to see the federal government support Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers when, in the words of Ben Carson, "I thought that was what Obama Care was for."  I realize federal money can't be used to directly support abortion, but that's just trickery.  

Again, I urge compassion for the sisters who make this mistake.   

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45 minutes ago, Zeniff said:

Okay, I will go on record to state when the spirit of God and a body of an embryo within a mortal mother become one, independent of the mother.  When the fetus that is born is alive, or living.

Until then it is the mother keeping her impregnated egg within her alive as the impregnated egg continues to develop and becomes ready to be born.

And it may be worth mentioning here that we can definitively state that it is the spirit of God that gives life to a body like ours, which is like his.  Without the spirit of God within our mortal body it is dead while our spirit, which is also his, is still alive.

Will you also go on record that this is completely your own personal opinion that others might also hold?  And since it is just your opinion, are other opinions any less value?  Should you be forcing other people to hold your opinion?

Edited by california boy
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35 minutes ago, bluebell said:

"Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer."

Can you tell me where in answer to prayer, Church leaders have stated when the spirit enters the embryo?  That lies at the very heart of this issue.  As I said, no one can say with any authority when that happens.  Until one can, it is just opinion.  

Do you think you should force the opinion of Church leaders on others that don't agree with their opinion?

 

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15 hours ago, california boy said:

If a Catholic or an LDS or anyone else in the world could definitively say when the spirit and body of an embryo becomes one, THEN an argument could be made using words like murder and personhood could be made.  

With respect, I disagree.  Consider these statements by then-Elder Rusell M. Nelson in 1985:

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Regrettable as is the loss of loved ones from war, these figures are dwarfed by the toll of a new war that annually claims more casualties than the total number of fatalities from all the wars of this nation.

It is a war on the defenseless—and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn.
...
The woman’s choice for her own body does not validate choice for the body of another. The expression “terminate the pregnancy” applies literally only to the woman. The consequence of terminating the fetus therein involves the body and very life of another. These two individuals have separate brains, separate hearts, and separate circulatory systems. To pretend that there is no child and no life there is to deny reality.

It is not a question of when “meaningful life” begins or when the spirit “quickens” the body. In the biological sciences, it is known that life begins when two germ cells unite to become one cell, bringing together twenty-three chromosomes from both the father and from the mother. These chromosomes contain thousands of genes. In a marvelous process involving a combination of genetic coding by which all the basic human characteristics of the unborn person are established, a new DNA complex is formed. A continuum of growth results in a new human being. The onset of life is not a debatable issue, but a fact of science.

Further, D&C 84:27 states that John was "filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb."  This seems to be a reference to Luke 1:41 ("And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost") and 44 ("For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy").  So when "ensoulment" occurs isn't really clear from the Scriptures.  But I don't think ensoulment is determinative (certainly not for legislative purposes, anyway).

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Until then, it is just a culture war of opinions, neither side having a moral foundation to base their argument on.  

I quite disagree.  I think the pro-life side has a very strong moral foundation.

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It is for that reason that this should be strictly a personal choice.  

I reject that reason.  

I don't think ensoulment is determinative.  Instead, I think we need to reach a decision about personhood.  

If we were speaking about "a personal choice" in terms of getting a tattoo, or a haircut, or anything else a woman chooses to do with her body, then general principles of liberty and personal autonomy should generally prevail.  But abortion involves the life of another person, and hence is treated differently.

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Forcing another persons ideology on another runs counter to every other concept of government and religion.

I'll keep that in mind the next time we have a discussion about Masterpiece Cakeshop.

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We certainly know that point at death.  We do not know that point of when the process starts.  

Then I think we should err on the side of caution and say that life begins at conception.

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This issue will always remain just a personal opinion until some definitive proof can be offered showing exactly when the embryo and spirit unite.

I disasgree.  Ensoulment cannot be determinative in a legal context.  The beginning of life, of personhood, is a scientific/medical/legal question about which a decision can be made.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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9 minutes ago, california boy said:

Can you tell me where in answer to prayer, Church leaders have stated when the spirit enters the embryo?  That lies at the very heart of this issue.  As I said, no one can say with any authority when that happens.  Until one can, it is just opinion.  

 

 

It seems pretty clear that there is no doctrine on when the spirit enters the body, and that's probably why they teach that abortion is o.k. under specific circumstances if God says it is.  But yes, of course this is all based on personal beliefs.  Why does that have anything to do with anything?  There is no proof or evidence that your opinion on abortion is correct, it's just opinion. But that is obviously still valid to you.  Why act like that's valid for you but not for anyone else?

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Do you think you should force the opinion of Church leaders on others that don't agree with their opinion?

How would I even do that?  By voting?  When you vote according to your beliefs do you believe you are forcing your opinions on others that don't agree with them?

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

I am interested in how your opinion plays out.  Do you believe God commits murder when a child is stillborn?  If God is all good, then is committing  murder on an unborn child good or evil?

This is getting into the problem of evil. If a natural event occurs that causes evil, is God culpable? Say, an earthquake causes a tsunami which then kills 1000 people. Did God commit murder?

Likewise, to use your example, if a natural process ends the life of a child, did God commit murder?

As I said previously in the thread, I haven't found a theodicy that is fully satisfactory, but I have faith in the goodness of God, so I trust in that without having all the answers. I don't fully know why God allows evil to occur, both manmade and natural.

1 hour ago, california boy said:

Also, do you believe that Catholic doctrine should be legally forced on someone who doesn't believe in the Catholic Church?

Well, it certainly has historical precedence :P 

However, your question is too general to answer, though I feel like it's more of a rhetorical question, i.e. you are making a point with the question rather than looking for an answer.

Laws almost always force someone to act or not act based on someone else's belief. It's all a matter of where we draw the line. That's why I say your question is too general.

So let me ask you an identical question to the one you asked me: do you believe someone should be legally forced to act (your words: Catholic doctrine forced upon them) in a way that goes contrary to their beliefs (your words: they don't believe in the Catholic Church)?

My question is also rhetorical, because I know your answer. You are more than ok forcing people to act contrary to their beliefs in certain situations.

See, it's all a matter of where we draw the line.

 

Edited by MiserereNobis
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37 minutes ago, california boy said:

Will you also go on record that this is completely your own personal opinion that others might also hold?

First, get him to go on record as to his true identity 😁

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5 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It seems pretty clear that there is no doctrine on when the spirit enters the body, and that's probably why they teach that abortion is o.k. under specific circumstances if God says it is.  But yes, of course this is all based on personal beliefs.  Why does that have anything to do with anything?  There is no proof or evidence that your opinion on abortion is correct, it's just opinion. But that is obviously still valid to you.  Why act like that's valid for you but not for anyone else?

How would I even do that?  By voting?  When you vote according to your beliefs do you believe you are forcing your opinions on others that don't agree with them?

There seems to be quite a large group of people that are trying through force of law to outlaw abortion based on their own personal belief.  Good to know that you aren't one of them.

If your vote is forcing someone to accept your belief, then yes that is different than just voting according to your beliefs.  Maybe to clarify.  Do you think it would be wrong to vote on a law that forced someone to capitulate to your beliefs?

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8 minutes ago, california boy said:

If your vote is forcing someone to accept your belief, then yes that is different than just voting according to your beliefs.  Maybe to clarify.  Do you think it would be wrong to vote on a law that forced someone to capitulate to your beliefs?

This doesn't make much sense. If my vote according to my belief ends up being law, then that forces people to act according to my belief (no law forces anyone to believe something, just to act). So voting according to belief = hoping my belief becomes law = legally forcing people to act according to my belief.

How can it be otherwise?

The second part of your quote is again strange, because I'm pretty sure you (and everyone) would vote for laws that force someone to capitulate. Can't you think of some laws that you are in favor of that would force people to not act on their beliefs? Laws that would force them to capitulate to your beliefs?

Edited by MiserereNobis
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7 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is getting into the problem of evil. If a natural event occurs that causes evil, is God culpable? Say, an earthquake causes a tsunami which then kills 1000 people. Did God commit murder?

Likewise, to use your example, if a natural process ends the life of a child, did God commit murder?

As I said previously in the thread, I haven't found a theodicy that is fully satisfactory, but I have faith in the goodness of God, so I trust in that without having all the answers. I don't fully know why God allows evil to occur, both manmade and natural.

Thanks for your answer.  Basically from what I am understanding from your answer, you have figured out a way to rationalize God taking an unborn child because He is God.  I guess that is understandable, or the whole definition of good and evil kinda falls apart.  

7 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Well, it certainly has historical precedence :P 

However, your question is too general to answer, though I feel like it's more of a rhetorical question, i.e. you are making a point with the question rather than looking for an answer.

Laws almost always force someone to act or not act based on someone else's belief. It's all a matter of where we draw the line. That's why I say your question is too general.

So let me ask you an identical question to the one you asked me: do you believe someone should be legally forced to act (your words: Catholic doctrine forced upon them) in a way that goes contrary to their beliefs (your words: they don't believe in the Catholic Church)?

My question is also rhetorical, because I know your answer. You are more than ok forcing people to act contrary to their beliefs in certain situations.

See, it's all a matter of where we draw the line.

 

I don't quite have that belief.  I don't think a person should be forced to act contrary to their beliefs.  But sometimes there is a price to pay for standing up for those beliefs.  For example, I fully believe Catholic Adoption agencies should be able to deny access to LGBT couples.  In this case, the price is not receiving taxpayer money.  You can still discriminate but you just can't discriminate using tax payers money.  That doesn't require the Catholic Church to change any of its beliefs.  No one is forcing them to give up those beliefs.  

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11 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This doesn't make much sense. If my vote according to my belief ends up being law, then that forces people to act according to my belief (no law forces anyone to believe something, just to act). So voting according to belief = hoping my belief becomes law = legally forcing people to act according to my belief.

How can it be otherwise?

The second part of your quote is again strange, because I'm pretty sure you (and everyone) would vote for laws that force someone to capitulate. Can't you think of some laws that you are in favor of that would force people to not act on their beliefs? Laws that would force them to capitulate to your beliefs?

So if someone believed in abortion, do you think it would be morally right to vote for a law that forces people to have abortions under certain circumstances? 

A person can believe in the rights to decide if someone should have an abortion.  But imo, it is quite a different thing to vote for something to force that belief on others.  

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29 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

First, get him to go on record as to his true identity 😁

So did I miss something?  Has Ahab been banned?

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6 minutes ago, california boy said:

I don't think a person should be forced to act contrary to their beliefs.

So... baking a cake for a gay wedding?

Now, I've seen the arguments back-and-forth before about it. You often rely upon public accommodation laws, civil rights laws, and protected classes. But, if those laws require someone to act contrary to their belief, shouldn't you be against them, too? Shouldn't you be in favor of lunch counters denying service to blacks because serving blacks makes some owners act contrary to their belief that blacks are inferior and shouldn't be served with whites?

You are using a broad general principle to attack positions you are against, while ignoring that principle for positions you want to defend.

That's why I said your previous question is too broad, too general. We can't rely on principles like "don't legally make people act against their belief." That's totally unreasonable. Laws MUST make some people act contrary to their belief. Justice requires this. Mercy, too.

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38 minutes ago, bluebell said:

It seems pretty clear that there is no doctrine on when the spirit enters the body, and that's probably why they teach that abortion is o.k. under specific circumstances if God says it is.  But yes, of course this is all based on personal beliefs.  Why does that have anything to do with anything?  There is no proof or evidence that your opinion on abortion is correct, it's just opinion. But that is obviously still valid to you.  Why act like that's valid for you but not for anyone else?

 I think we all can agree that a child is the combination of a body and a spirit.  If there is no knowledge of when a spirit enters a body, then one can not claim that children are being murdered or that they need legal protection.  If you can't prove a murder has taken place, then  you can't really punish someone for murdering a fetus.

I personally have no knowledge of when a sprit enters an embryo, so I actually don't have an opinion on abortion.  Every child that I have helped conceive has been brought to full term.  

 

38 minutes ago, bluebell said:

How would I even do that?  By voting?  When you vote according to your beliefs do you believe you are forcing your opinions on others that don't agree with them?

I just answered this for Nobis and I will ask you the same question.

If someone believed in abortion, do you think it would be morally right to vote for a law that forces people to have abortions under certain circumstances? 

A person can believe in the rights to decide if someone should have an abortion.  But imo, it is quite a different thing to vote for something to force that belief on others.  

 

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7 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

So... baking a cake for a gay wedding?

Now, I've seen the arguments back-and-forth before about it. You often rely upon public accommodation laws, civil rights laws, and protected classes. But, if those laws require someone to act contrary to their belief, shouldn't you be against them, too? Shouldn't you be in favor of lunch counters denying service to blacks because serving blacks makes some owners act contrary to their belief that blacks are inferior and shouldn't be served with whites?

You are using a broad general principle to attack positions you are against, while ignoring that principle for positions you want to defend.

That's why I said your previous question is too broad, too general. We can't rely on principles like "don't legally make people act against their belief." That's totally unreasonable. Laws MUST make some people act contrary to their belief. Justice requires this. Mercy, too.

This does go back-and-forth.  But I am consistent in my position.  I don't think a person should be forced to act contrary to their beliefs.  But as you pointed out, there are accommodation laws, civil rights laws and protected classes all conditional on holding a resale permit to operate.  A person in this case pays the price of not being able to bake wedding cakes.  A person should not be issued a resale permit to operate a lunch counter if they feel that blacks are an inferior race and shouldn't be served with whites.  That's the price for holding that belief.

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2 hours ago, Zeniff said:

Okay, I will go on record to state when the spirit of God and a body of an embryo within a mortal mother become one, independent of the mother.  When the fetus that is born is alive, or living.

Until then it is the mother keeping her impregnated egg within her alive as the impregnated egg continues to develop and becomes ready to be born.

And it may be worth mentioning here that we can definitively state that it is the spirit of God that gives life to a body like ours, which is like his.  Without the spirit of God within our mortal body it is dead while our spirit, which is also his, is still alive.

Thought of this clip:

Short but pointless.

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55 minutes ago, california boy said:

This does go back-and-forth.  But I am consistent in my position.  I don't think a person should be forced to act contrary to their beliefs.  But as you pointed out, there are accommodation laws, civil rights laws and protected classes all conditional on holding a resale permit to operate.  A person in this case pays the price of not being able to bake wedding cakes.  A person should not be issued a resale permit to operate a lunch counter if they feel that blacks are an inferior race and shouldn't be served with whites.  That's the price for holding that belief.

In the wedding cake situation, you say that the baker doesn't have to act contrary to their beliefs, they just have to pay the price if they act according to their beliefs. They refuse to bake the cake, they lose their business license. That's the price of acting according to their beliefs. So, if they act according to their beliefs, they can no longer work in their chosen field. That's a big price to pay, which seems tantamount to forcing them to act contrary to their beliefs. It's like telling someone: you're free to do whatever you want, but if you don't do what I want you to then I'll ruin your life. Your definition of freedom seems pretty academic, meaning that it doesn't really apply in real life: Sure you're free to choose, but make the wrong chose and your life is ruined.

Imagine this law: Any healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, etc.) who is involved in an abortion loses their medical license and can no longer practice medicine.

Do you support this law? It allows the healthcare providers to perform an abortion, but then they pay the price and lose the ability to work in their chosen field. They are not forced to act contrary to their beliefs -- they can still provide the abortion. They just have to pay the price and lose their license. They may be pro-choice, but losing their ability to work in their chosen field is, as you say "the price for holding that belief."

What's the difference?

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7 hours ago, smac97 said:

But what if a young mother is having difficulties with her newborn?  Do we as a society take a 100% "hands off" approach and let her do whatever she wants?  Drug the baby so that he sleeps at night?  Strike the baby when he's crying?  Kill the baby if he's inconvenient?

No, no and no.  Why?  Because the child's personhood is acknowledged, and the government has a role in protecting the child.

But society has more options to care for the newborn child because the baby can be acted upon without acting upon the mother where when a woman is pregnant, anything having to do with the baby inherently has to do with her as well.  Newborns and babies in the womb still are not equivalent cases.

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5 hours ago, california boy said:

Will you also go on record that this is completely your own personal opinion that others might also hold?  And since it is just your opinion, are other opinions any less value?  Should you be forcing other people to hold your opinion?

Yes, Yes, and No and there is no way for me to enforce my opinion anyway even if I wanted to do that.  But it should be obvious that I believe I am right, because I wouldn't believe what I believe if I thought I was wrong, and I do not value any personal opinion if I believe it is wrong even though I do value everyone's right to have an opinion even when I believe that opinion is wrong.

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