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Author Topic: Annihilationism and disbelief in immaterial souls  (Read 10360 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: September 14, 2013, 01:33:07 PM »

The Christian view on the immortality of the soul is somewhat different from the Platonist view. The Platonists believed the soul to be immortal because it was so by very nature (vide the Phaedo). The more traditional Christian view is that the soul is immortal by the grace of God. A small, but sometimes important, detail.


Patristic references?
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« Reply #91 on: September 14, 2013, 02:33:52 PM »

What's more clinical than not breathing, no heartbeat, and starting to rot?
What is more mysterious and veiled in the heart of a man?

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It's written on the face of the last layer of a nesting doll.
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« Reply #92 on: September 14, 2013, 10:01:59 PM »

Huh?
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« Reply #93 on: September 15, 2013, 02:04:59 AM »

Huh?

oc.net is pangender friendly.
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« Reply #94 on: September 17, 2013, 10:15:55 PM »

Eh?
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« Reply #95 on: September 17, 2013, 10:58:18 PM »


He?
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« Reply #96 on: September 18, 2013, 06:46:23 AM »

Who?
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« Reply #97 on: September 18, 2013, 01:16:55 PM »

Enough of the low-content posts. Let's get this thread back on topic. Thank you.
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« Reply #98 on: September 18, 2013, 05:11:38 PM »

Hello!  I’m Didyma’s identical twin.  I joined this forum to cut out the middleman in our discussion.  I would prefer that we only discuss one of the topics my sister pointed out in the OP: Christian Anthropological Monism/Materialism/Physicalism, or Conditionalism/Annihilationism.  I’d rather not debate both at once.  It seems like the people here are mostly discussing annihilationism, and I’m newer to the Christian anthropological monism view, so I’m not as good at explaining it.  Therefore, I’d like to just discuss annihilationism, if that’s fine with you guys.  If you want, I’ll refer you to the podcasts that persuaded me to take on the CAM position, but I won’t be discussing them (not in this thread, at least).  (Don’t be surprised if I don’t start the CAM thread.  I’m pretty busy adjusting to college right now.)

I’m a little busy right now, so to start us off I’ll attempt to post my essay outlining the argument for annihilationism/conditionalism from the Biblical language of destruction that my sister posted earlier:

“As many Christians have noticed, one of the main issues non-Christians have with Christianity is the doctrine of the eternal conscious torment of the unsaved in Hell. The doctrine of ECT (as Eternal Conscious Torment will be called here on out) understandably clashes with most people’s sense of justice.  It clashes with mine, too. In fact, I’m sure that the vast majority of Christians have had at least some emotional distress when they thought about the traditional view of Hell.  Of course, just because something is emotionally displeasing doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, and which view of Hell is true is one of the most crucial things one can know.  Hell is too important for careless thinking and taking one’s own view for granted.  Christians must make sure whether such a major doctrine such as ECT aligns with the Bible.  If it doesn’t fit with Scripture, well, I’m sure God is very displeased His followers are saying such things about Him.  So, does the Bible really require us to believe that God will keep people alive in Hell forever just to suffer?

I won’t beat around the bush any longer.  I don’t think so.  I’m a Conditionalist.  You may have heard of other views of Hell held by Christians besides the majority ECT one, which I will sometimes refer to as Traditionalism.  The largest alternative view of Hell is Universalism, also known as Universal Reconciliation.  Conditionalism, also known as Annihilationism or Conditional Immortality, is less famous (or infamous, I suppose) than Universalism.  Simply put, it holds that eternal life is a gift from God, so the unsaved just won’t live forever. 

A more detailed explanation of Conditionalism is that the unsaved will be resurrected, but unlike the saved, will not be gifted with immortality.  Instead, they will be punished with permanent destruction, which includes a certain degree of suffering during the destruction.  Though the amount and strength of the finite suffering that is involved in the destruction will vary person to person according to divine justice, all the unsaved will eventually cease to exist.  Though the suffering will be finite, the punishment (complete destruction) will be eternal, since there will be no coming back from oblivion after this Second Death. 

'Which verses support your view?' you are right to ask.  Before I tell you, however, I would like to point something out.  Many, or even most Christians are committed to the belief that the soul is either indestructible or will never be destroyed.  While this may not be the only factor that causes someone is a Traditionalist (or a Universalist, for that matter), it’s inevitable that this would affect what a Christian believes about Hell.  I would like any reader who holds this view about the human soul to at least acknowledge how this could affect how they take the defense of my view.  It is very likely that you have read the verses that I am about to quote many times over, but through a sort of ECT 'filter.'  I would therefore ask you to acknowledge this figurative filter, and to try to remove it, if possible, just for the sake of trying to understand my position.

Now, on to the scriptural support.  In this essay, I will focus on the Biblical language of destruction, since the argument for Conditional Immortality that is based on it is the most straightforward.   

John 3:16 is among the most quoted verses, and for good reason.  It very succinctly explains the gospel in a way that is easy to understand.  Since it is so commonplace, it is easy to miss important messages in the text.  'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'   

I can’t think of a clearer way of saying it. 

'[...] whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'

I have heard the explanation that perishing can mean being apart from God.  And it does mean that.  People who don’t exist can certainly be considered apart from I Am.  But interpreting a word like “perish” in such a straightforward context as meaning 'Living forever (but in a horrifyingly painful place)' is simply bad hermeneutics. 

Here’s another verse: Romans 6:23.  'For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'  The wages of sin is death, and eternal life is a gift, not a given. 

Another important verse is Matthew 10:28, in which Jesus says to fear God, who can destroy the whole person in Gehenna.  (While Gehenna is usually translated as Hell, I and many other Conditionalists believe that that translation is unhelpful, since when one thinks of Hell, one usually thinks of images from the traditional, ECT view.)

In 1 Corinthians 3:17, it states that God will destroy the wicked.  In 2 Thessalonians 1:9, it says that the wicked will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power.  In Psalm 104:35, it states that the wicked will be no more.  According to Psalm 139:19, God will slay the wicked.  The wicked will be like smoke that vanishes, and the ashes of burned chaff under the feet of the righteous, according to Psalm 68:2 and Malachi 4:1-3, respectively.  I won’t list all of the verses I know of that support the Conditionalist view. That would be monotonous.  I am confident that you can understand the language of the verses I’ve already quoted, but in case you would like to see more, I will include a fuller list in the description. [meaning the description in deviantart]

One of the verses that is most often used by Traditionalists against Conditionalists is Isaiah 66:24, and by extent Mark 9:48, which quotes it. These verses can actually be used to support Conditionalism.   Based on the definition of the word “quench,” a fire never being quenched means that it won’t be put out, not that it will never burn out.  In addition, the worm, according to the closest translations to the original manuscripts 'will not,' 'shall not,' or 'does not' die.  The worm will not 'never' die.  To interpret 'never' from 'will not' makes matters absurd.  For example, if a park ranger told me that if I took a certain precautions that I would not die, it wouldn’t be rational to think he was saying that I would never die.  He would be saying that if I followed his instructions, I would not die at that time.  A good example from the Bible would be Genesis 42:20, where Joseph tells his brothers to verify their claims by bringing their youngest brother, and they will not die.  Joseph didn’t mean that by bringing Benjamin to him, his brothers would attain immortality.  He just meant that if they followed his instructions at that time, he wouldn’t have them killed.  In that context, they were offered life, but outside of that context, life was not guaranteed.  It’s the same with Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:48.  It is assured that the worms (and the fire) will not be prevented from consuming the corpses, but the worm and fire are not guaranteed continuance after that.  The agents of destruction will do what they do best until their job is done. 

However, the permanence of the worms and the fire is not really the most important part of these verses.  In Isaiah 66:24, those who rebel against God are not described as alive in any sense.  They are corpses.  The corpses are being destroyed, not tormented by the worms and the fire.  In Mark 9:48, Jesus is quoting Isaiah 66:48, so based on that fact and the wealth of verses referring to the death and destruction of the unsaved, He is also referring to corpses. 

Does the imagery in these verses paint a picture of people living in torment forever, of people being refined for eternal life with God, or of people perishing?

When I was first shown what these verses were clearly saying, my mind was (pleasantly) blown.  This certainly sounded a lot more like God.  I was expecting to fight the Conditionalist view more, but I soon happily switched sides.  If, after you have read these verses, you find that the Conditionalist view makes better sense out of these verses, don’t be afraid to reconsider your view, too.”




It is important to note that the argument from the Biblical language of destruction is not the only argument for annihilationism.

Here's the proof (outlined in video form) about church fathers who were annihilationists [these are only the ones with the least disputable texts.  The Didache, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the author of First and Second Clement (Clement?), all say annihilationist-sounding things, but those things are more disputably annihilationist]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je3AW6QeXzk&autoplay=1
Here's the list in the video: Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas the author of the Epistle of Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great.
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« Reply #99 on: September 18, 2013, 06:49:47 PM »

Hello!  I’m Didyma’s identical twin.  I joined this forum to cut out the middleman in our discussion.  I would prefer that we only discuss one of the topics my sister pointed out in the OP: Christian Anthropological Monism/Materialism/Physicalism, or Conditionalism/Annihilationism.  I’d rather not debate both at once.  It seems like the people here are mostly discussing annihilationism, and I’m newer to the Christian anthropological monism view, so I’m not as good at explaining it.  Therefore, I’d like to just discuss annihilationism, if that’s fine with you guys.  If you want, I’ll refer you to the podcasts that persuaded me to take on the CAM position, but I won’t be discussing them (not in this thread, at least).  (Don’t be surprised if I don’t start the CAM thread.  I’m pretty busy adjusting to college right now.)

I’m a little busy right now, so to start us off I’ll attempt to post my essay outlining the argument for annihilationism/conditionalism from the Biblical language of destruction that my sister posted earlier:

“As many Christians have noticed, one of the main issues non-Christians have with Christianity is the doctrine of the eternal conscious torment of the unsaved in Hell. The doctrine of ECT (as Eternal Conscious Torment will be called here on out) understandably clashes with most people’s sense of justice.  It clashes with mine, too. In fact, I’m sure that the vast majority of Christians have had at least some emotional distress when they thought about the traditional view of Hell.  Of course, just because something is emotionally displeasing doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, and which view of Hell is true is one of the most crucial things one can know.  Hell is too important for careless thinking and taking one’s own view for granted.  Christians must make sure whether such a major doctrine such as ECT aligns with the Bible.  If it doesn’t fit with Scripture, well, I’m sure God is very displeased His followers are saying such things about Him.  So, does the Bible really require us to believe that God will keep people alive in Hell forever just to suffer?

I won’t beat around the bush any longer.  I don’t think so.  I’m a Conditionalist.  You may have heard of other views of Hell held by Christians besides the majority ECT one, which I will sometimes refer to as Traditionalism.  The largest alternative view of Hell is Universalism, also known as Universal Reconciliation.  Conditionalism, also known as Annihilationism or Conditional Immortality, is less famous (or infamous, I suppose) than Universalism.  Simply put, it holds that eternal life is a gift from God, so the unsaved just won’t live forever. 

A more detailed explanation of Conditionalism is that the unsaved will be resurrected, but unlike the saved, will not be gifted with immortality.  Instead, they will be punished with permanent destruction, which includes a certain degree of suffering during the destruction.  Though the amount and strength of the finite suffering that is involved in the destruction will vary person to person according to divine justice, all the unsaved will eventually cease to exist.  Though the suffering will be finite, the punishment (complete destruction) will be eternal, since there will be no coming back from oblivion after this Second Death. 

'Which verses support your view?' you are right to ask.  Before I tell you, however, I would like to point something out.  Many, or even most Christians are committed to the belief that the soul is either indestructible or will never be destroyed.  While this may not be the only factor that causes someone is a Traditionalist (or a Universalist, for that matter), it’s inevitable that this would affect what a Christian believes about Hell.  I would like any reader who holds this view about the human soul to at least acknowledge how this could affect how they take the defense of my view.  It is very likely that you have read the verses that I am about to quote many times over, but through a sort of ECT 'filter.'  I would therefore ask you to acknowledge this figurative filter, and to try to remove it, if possible, just for the sake of trying to understand my position.

Now, on to the scriptural support.  In this essay, I will focus on the Biblical language of destruction, since the argument for Conditional Immortality that is based on it is the most straightforward.   

John 3:16 is among the most quoted verses, and for good reason.  It very succinctly explains the gospel in a way that is easy to understand.  Since it is so commonplace, it is easy to miss important messages in the text.  'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'   

I can’t think of a clearer way of saying it. 

'[...] whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'

I have heard the explanation that perishing can mean being apart from God.  And it does mean that.  People who don’t exist can certainly be considered apart from I Am.  But interpreting a word like “perish” in such a straightforward context as meaning 'Living forever (but in a horrifyingly painful place)' is simply bad hermeneutics. 

Here’s another verse: Romans 6:23.  'For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'  The wages of sin is death, and eternal life is a gift, not a given. 

Another important verse is Matthew 10:28, in which Jesus says to fear God, who can destroy the whole person in Gehenna.  (While Gehenna is usually translated as Hell, I and many other Conditionalists believe that that translation is unhelpful, since when one thinks of Hell, one usually thinks of images from the traditional, ECT view.)

In 1 Corinthians 3:17, it states that God will destroy the wicked.  In 2 Thessalonians 1:9, it says that the wicked will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power.  In Psalm 104:35, it states that the wicked will be no more.  According to Psalm 139:19, God will slay the wicked.  The wicked will be like smoke that vanishes, and the ashes of burned chaff under the feet of the righteous, according to Psalm 68:2 and Malachi 4:1-3, respectively.  I won’t list all of the verses I know of that support the Conditionalist view. That would be monotonous.  I am confident that you can understand the language of the verses I’ve already quoted, but in case you would like to see more, I will include a fuller list in the description. [meaning the description in deviantart]

One of the verses that is most often used by Traditionalists against Conditionalists is Isaiah 66:24, and by extent Mark 9:48, which quotes it. These verses can actually be used to support Conditionalism.   Based on the definition of the word “quench,” a fire never being quenched means that it won’t be put out, not that it will never burn out.  In addition, the worm, according to the closest translations to the original manuscripts 'will not,' 'shall not,' or 'does not' die.  The worm will not 'never' die.  To interpret 'never' from 'will not' makes matters absurd.  For example, if a park ranger told me that if I took a certain precautions that I would not die, it wouldn’t be rational to think he was saying that I would never die.  He would be saying that if I followed his instructions, I would not die at that time.  A good example from the Bible would be Genesis 42:20, where Joseph tells his brothers to verify their claims by bringing their youngest brother, and they will not die.  Joseph didn’t mean that by bringing Benjamin to him, his brothers would attain immortality.  He just meant that if they followed his instructions at that time, he wouldn’t have them killed.  In that context, they were offered life, but outside of that context, life was not guaranteed.  It’s the same with Isaiah 66:24 and Mark 9:48.  It is assured that the worms (and the fire) will not be prevented from consuming the corpses, but the worm and fire are not guaranteed continuance after that.  The agents of destruction will do what they do best until their job is done. 

However, the permanence of the worms and the fire is not really the most important part of these verses.  In Isaiah 66:24, those who rebel against God are not described as alive in any sense.  They are corpses.  The corpses are being destroyed, not tormented by the worms and the fire.  In Mark 9:48, Jesus is quoting Isaiah 66:48, so based on that fact and the wealth of verses referring to the death and destruction of the unsaved, He is also referring to corpses. 

Does the imagery in these verses paint a picture of people living in torment forever, of people being refined for eternal life with God, or of people perishing?

When I was first shown what these verses were clearly saying, my mind was (pleasantly) blown.  This certainly sounded a lot more like God.  I was expecting to fight the Conditionalist view more, but I soon happily switched sides.  If, after you have read these verses, you find that the Conditionalist view makes better sense out of these verses, don’t be afraid to reconsider your view, too.”




It is important to note that the argument from the Biblical language of destruction is not the only argument for annihilationism.

Here's the proof (outlined in video form) about church fathers who were annihilationists [these are only the ones with the least disputable texts.  The Didache, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the author of First and Second Clement (Clement?), all say annihilationist-sounding things, but those things are more disputably annihilationist]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je3AW6QeXzk&autoplay=1
Here's the list in the video: Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas the author of the Epistle of Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great.


tl;dr. Orthodoxy doesn't condemn anyone to everlasting torment per se.
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« Reply #100 on: September 18, 2013, 07:12:46 PM »

tl;dr. Orthodoxy doesn't condemn anyone to everlasting torment per se.

She just wrote the essay I gave a link to, and also gave the link that I previously gave the link to (about church fathers that are supposedly annihilationist).
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« Reply #101 on: September 18, 2013, 07:43:30 PM »

tl;dr. Orthodoxy doesn't condemn anyone to everlasting torment per se.

She just wrote the essay I gave a link to, and also gave the link that I previously gave the link to (about church fathers that are supposedly annihilationist).

My CPU's temp is 117F.
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« Reply #102 on: September 18, 2013, 07:54:49 PM »

My CPU's temp is 117F.

Sorry...?
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« Reply #103 on: September 18, 2013, 07:55:45 PM »


It's within spec. No need to worry.
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« Reply #104 on: September 18, 2013, 07:59:01 PM »

Ok, so your Seventh Day Adventist, I'm not sure what you want us to say...  Huh
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« Reply #105 on: September 19, 2013, 04:53:12 PM »

Ok, so your Seventh Day Adventist, I'm not sure what you want us to say...  Huh

I am most definitely not a Seventh-Day Adventist.  Just because I believe in annihilationism doesn't mean I'm a Seventh-Day Adventist. That is only one doctrinal similarity.  If one can say that I'm a Seventh-Day Adventist just because I read the Bible and realized that it says God will destroy the wicked, then I can say you're a Muslim because you believe in only one God.
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« Reply #106 on: September 19, 2013, 05:34:54 PM »

You'd still be wrong by calling me a Muslim.
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« Reply #107 on: September 19, 2013, 08:23:19 PM »

Ok, so your Seventh Day Adventist, I'm not sure what you want us to say...  Huh

I am most definitely not a Seventh-Day Adventist.  Just because I believe in annihilationism doesn't mean I'm a Seventh-Day Adventist. That is only one doctrinal similarity.  If one can say that I'm a Seventh-Day Adventist just because I read the Bible and realized that it says God will destroy the wicked, then I can say you're a Muslim because you believe in only one God.
Sorry, it wasn't meant as an insult, but you were talking about monism and annihilationism, both of which are SDA positions and there are not many other denominations who push those other than them, so I just figured that was the perspective you were coming from.
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« Reply #108 on: September 19, 2013, 10:36:05 PM »

You'd still be wrong by calling me a Muslim.

I know, I was just illustrating the point that one doctrinal similarity doesn't make me a specific religion or denomination.

Sorry, it wasn't meant as an insult, but you were talking about monism and annihilationism, both of which are SDA positions and there are not many other denominations who push those other than them, so I just figured that was the perspective you were coming from.

Yeah, it's just that people say that we're wrong a lot by saying that Seventh-Day Adventists believe the same thing, or that Buddhists believe extinction is heaven. Guilty by association stuff. Whenever people compare us to Seventh-Day Adventists in a discussion I kind of assume something like that is happening. Sorry.

I honestly didn't know SDAs were anthropological monists, too, though they aren't the only people who are AMs.  The Hebrews weren't monolithically monist or dualist. It's the same with the views of Hell. The Hebrews weren't monolithic with that, either, and neither were the early Christians. 

Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great were conditionalists/annihilationists, for example.   
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« Reply #109 on: September 19, 2013, 10:39:42 PM »

You'd still be wrong by calling me a Muslim.

I know, I was just illustrating the point that one doctrinal similarity doesn't make me a specific religion or denomination.

Sorry, it wasn't meant as an insult, but you were talking about monism and annihilationism, both of which are SDA positions and there are not many other denominations who push those other than them, so I just figured that was the perspective you were coming from.

Yeah, it's just that people say that we're wrong a lot by saying that Seventh-Day Adventists believe the same thing, or that Buddhists believe extinction is heaven. Guilty by association stuff. Whenever people compare us to Seventh-Day Adventists in a discussion I kind of assume something like that is happening. Sorry.

I honestly didn't know SDAs were anthropological monists, too, though they aren't the only people who are AMs.  The Hebrews weren't monolithically monist or dualist. It's the same with the views of Hell. The Hebrews weren't monolithic with that, either, and neither were the early Christians. 

Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great were conditionalists/annihilationists, for example.   
Who is "us"?

I think it would be much more accurate to say each of them made statements that could be considered to be conditionalist/annihilationist. I watched the video and I would not say that the quotes put forth were a slam dunk for the position.  He focused on the term "immortality", but the way he interprets it is different than what I suspect the authors intended to convey.
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« Reply #110 on: September 19, 2013, 10:40:53 PM »

You'd still be wrong by calling me a Muslim.

I know, I was just illustrating the point that one doctrinal similarity doesn't make me a specific religion or denomination.

Sorry, it wasn't meant as an insult, but you were talking about monism and annihilationism, both of which are SDA positions and there are not many other denominations who push those other than them, so I just figured that was the perspective you were coming from.

Yeah, it's just that people say that we're wrong a lot by saying that Seventh-Day Adventists believe the same thing, or that Buddhists believe extinction is heaven. Guilty by association stuff. Whenever people compare us to Seventh-Day Adventists in a discussion I kind of assume something like that is happening. Sorry.

I honestly didn't know SDAs were anthropological monists, too, though they aren't the only people who are AMs.  The Hebrews weren't monolithically monist or dualist. It's the same with the views of Hell. The Hebrews weren't monolithic with that, either, and neither were the early Christians. 

Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great were conditionalists/annihilationists, for example.   

No.
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« Reply #111 on: September 19, 2013, 10:53:12 PM »

I find the Irenaeus contention particularly amusing because right before the quote that the video posts, Irenaeus says this:

Quote
The Lord has taught with very great fulness, that souls not only continue to exist, not by passing from body to body, but that they preserve the same form [in their separate state] as the body had to which they were adapted, and that they remember the deeds which they did in this state of existence, and from which they have now ceased,—in that narrative which is recorded respecting the rich man and that Lazarus who found repose in the bosom of Abraham. In this account He states that Dives knew Lazarus after death, and Abraham in like manner, and that each one of these persons continued in his own proper position, and that [Dives] requested Lazarus to be sent to relieve himHe tells us] also of the answer given by Abraham, who was acquainted not only with what respected himself, but Dives also, and who enjoined those who did not wish to come into that place of torment to believe Moses and the prophets, and to receive the preaching of Him who was to rise again from the dead. By these things, then, it is plainly declared that souls continue to exist, that they do not pass from body to body, that they possess the form of a man, so that they may be recognised, and retain the memory of things in this world; moreover, that the gift of prophecy was possessed by Abraham, and that each class [of souls] receives a habitation such as it has deserved, even before the judgment.

That does not sound very conditionalist/annihilationist to me.
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« Reply #112 on: September 20, 2013, 05:24:33 AM »

tl;dr. Orthodoxy doesn't condemn anyone to everlasting torment per se.

She just wrote the essay I gave a link to, and also gave the link that I previously gave the linkto (about church fathers that are supposedly annihilationist).
Im gonna need the link so I can see a link about the previously link.
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« Reply #113 on: September 20, 2013, 05:24:33 AM »

So I googled the OP and got this:

deviantART: More Like Gaslamp Fantasy Setting by ~AndItWorked
http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/213756340

LOL at the first result, LARP!!

But somehow I can't find the text google pulled up. That is a mystery.

Oh and Aeschere nice to meet you. I am pretty much the world's greatest internet private investigator.

If I ever come across as extremely creepy by posting stuff of yours 3 years later to cross reference you it's because I can search whatever I need to in a matter of seconds. I'm just that good.
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« Reply #114 on: September 20, 2013, 07:13:10 AM »

You'd still be wrong by calling me a Muslim.

I know, I was just illustrating the point that one doctrinal similarity doesn't make me a specific religion or denomination.

Sorry, it wasn't meant as an insult, but you were talking about monism and annihilationism, both of which are SDA positions and there are not many other denominations who push those other than them, so I just figured that was the perspective you were coming from.

Yeah, it's just that people say that we're wrong a lot by saying that Seventh-Day Adventists believe the same thing, or that Buddhists believe extinction is heaven. Guilty by association stuff. Whenever people compare us to Seventh-Day Adventists in a discussion I kind of assume something like that is happening. Sorry.

I honestly didn't know SDAs were anthropological monists, too, though they aren't the only people who are AMs.  The Hebrews weren't monolithically monist or dualist. It's the same with the views of Hell. The Hebrews weren't monolithic with that, either, and neither were the early Christians. 

Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great were conditionalists/annihilationists, for example.   

The OT Hebrews understood that all souls, righteous or evil, went to Sheol.  What do you mean by "monolithic"?
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« Reply #115 on: September 20, 2013, 03:41:55 PM »

So I googled the OP and got this:

deviantART: More Like Gaslamp Fantasy Setting by ~AndItWorked
http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/213756340

LOL at the first result, LARP!!

But somehow I can't find the text google pulled up. That is a mystery.

Oh and Aeschere nice to meet you. I am pretty much the world's greatest internet private investigator.

If I ever come across as extremely creepy by posting stuff of yours 3 years later to cross reference you it's because I can search whatever I need to in a matter of seconds. I'm just that good.


Oh yes...that LARP thing.  I used to be in my school's LARP club because I thought it sounded fun, but we never actually did anything besides come up with settings. I eventually started D&D. 

Anyways, if you were looking for my essay, it was included in that really long reply of mine.
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« Reply #116 on: September 20, 2013, 03:47:59 PM »

You'd still be wrong by calling me a Muslim.

I know, I was just illustrating the point that one doctrinal similarity doesn't make me a specific religion or denomination.

Sorry, it wasn't meant as an insult, but you were talking about monism and annihilationism, both of which are SDA positions and there are not many other denominations who push those other than them, so I just figured that was the perspective you were coming from.

Yeah, it's just that people say that we're wrong a lot by saying that Seventh-Day Adventists believe the same thing, or that Buddhists believe extinction is heaven. Guilty by association stuff. Whenever people compare us to Seventh-Day Adventists in a discussion I kind of assume something like that is happening. Sorry.

I honestly didn't know SDAs were anthropological monists, too, though they aren't the only people who are AMs.  The Hebrews weren't monolithically monist or dualist. It's the same with the views of Hell. The Hebrews weren't monolithic with that, either, and neither were the early Christians. 

Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great were conditionalists/annihilationists, for example.   
Who is "us"?

I think it would be much more accurate to say each of them made statements that could be considered to be conditionalist/annihilationist. I watched the video and I would not say that the quotes put forth were a slam dunk for the position.  He focused on the term "immortality", but the way he interprets it is different than what I suspect the authors intended to convey.

"Us" is the rest of the conditionalists and I.  I should probably say conditionalism instead of annihilationism, by the way.  Most or all or the conditionalists I see prefer to call themselves conditionalists instead of annihilationists. 

What do you think they meant by immortality?
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« Reply #117 on: September 20, 2013, 04:00:31 PM »

You'd still be wrong by calling me a Muslim.

I know, I was just illustrating the point that one doctrinal similarity doesn't make me a specific religion or denomination.

Sorry, it wasn't meant as an insult, but you were talking about monism and annihilationism, both of which are SDA positions and there are not many other denominations who push those other than them, so I just figured that was the perspective you were coming from.

Yeah, it's just that people say that we're wrong a lot by saying that Seventh-Day Adventists believe the same thing, or that Buddhists believe extinction is heaven. Guilty by association stuff. Whenever people compare us to Seventh-Day Adventists in a discussion I kind of assume something like that is happening. Sorry.

I honestly didn't know SDAs were anthropological monists, too, though they aren't the only people who are AMs.  The Hebrews weren't monolithically monist or dualist. It's the same with the views of Hell. The Hebrews weren't monolithic with that, either, and neither were the early Christians. 

Ignatius of Antioch, Barnabas, Irenaeus of Lyons, Arnobius of Sicca, and Athanasius the Great were conditionalists/annihilationists, for example.   

The OT Hebrews understood that all souls, righteous or evil, went to Sheol.  What do you mean by "monolithic"?

I meant their view about what would eventually become of the wicked: eternal torment or eternal death (or something else). There were the Sadducees, who didn't believe in the afterlife and didn't believe in rewards or punishments after death. Then there were the Pharisees, who did believe in a resurrection. I heard some other, more strange things about them (about reincarnation and Jewish mysticism), but I'll have to confirm them first before I relate them to you. There were also other sects, but they aren't as famous and I haven't really heard much about them.

"Monolithic" here means practically every person in a group has view about a topic.
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« Reply #118 on: September 20, 2013, 04:05:19 PM »

I find the Irenaeus contention particularly amusing because right before the quote that the video posts, Irenaeus says this:

Quote
The Lord has taught with very great fulness, that souls not only continue to exist, not by passing from body to body, but that they preserve the same form [in their separate state] as the body had to which they were adapted, and that they remember the deeds which they did in this state of existence, and from which they have now ceased,—in that narrative which is recorded respecting the rich man and that Lazarus who found repose in the bosom of Abraham. In this account He states that Dives knew Lazarus after death, and Abraham in like manner, and that each one of these persons continued in his own proper position, and that [Dives] requested Lazarus to be sent to relieve himHe tells us] also of the answer given by Abraham, who was acquainted not only with what respected himself, but Dives also, and who enjoined those who did not wish to come into that place of torment to believe Moses and the prophets, and to receive the preaching of Him who was to rise again from the dead. By these things, then, it is plainly declared that souls continue to exist, that they do not pass from body to body, that they possess the form of a man, so that they may be recognised, and retain the memory of things in this world; moreover, that the gift of prophecy was possessed by Abraham, and that each class [of souls] receives a habitation such as it has deserved, even before the judgment.

That does not sound very conditionalist/annihilationist to me.

The quotation you bolded doesn't seem to have anything to do with conditionalism, necessarily.  Just about the intermediate state.

There seems to be some confusion about what conditionalism is.  It's just the view that God will destroy the wicked after the final judgement, and their eternal punishment is everlasting death of the whole person. The reason it's called conditionalism is that their immortality is conditional on whether they're saved or not.
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« Reply #119 on: September 20, 2013, 04:24:15 PM »

Oops, the reincarnation thing wasn't about Pharisees, never mind.
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« Reply #120 on: September 20, 2013, 05:17:37 PM »

Destroy isn;t meant literally in those passages.
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« Reply #121 on: September 20, 2013, 07:20:19 PM »

Destroy isn;t meant literally in those passages.

How did you come to that conclusion?
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« Reply #122 on: September 22, 2013, 11:29:14 PM »

Hello!  I’m Didyma’s identical twin.  I joined this forum to cut out the middleman in our discussion.  I would prefer that we only discuss one of the topics my sister pointed out in the OP: Christian Anthropological Monism/Materialism/Physicalism, or Conditionalism/Annihilationism.  I’d rather not debate both at once.  It seems like the people here are mostly discussing annihilationism, and I’m newer to the Christian anthropological monism view, so I’m not as good at explaining it.  Therefore, I’d like to just discuss annihilationism, if that’s fine with you guys.  If you want, I’ll refer you to the podcasts that persuaded me to take on the CAM position, but I won’t be discussing them (not in this thread, at least).  (Don’t be surprised if I don’t start the CAM thread.  I’m pretty busy adjusting to college right now.)

I’m a little busy right now, so to start us off I’ll attempt to post my essay outlining the argument for annihilationism/conditionalism from the Biblical language of destruction that my sister posted earlier:

“As many Christians have noticed, one of the main issues non-Christians have with Christianity is the doctrine of the eternal conscious torment of the unsaved in Hell. The doctrine of ECT (as Eternal Conscious Torment will be called here on out) understandably clashes with most people’s sense of justice.  It clashes with mine, too. In fact, I’m sure that the vast majority of Christians have had at least some emotional distress when they thought about the traditional view of Hell.  Of course, just because something is emotionally displeasing doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, and which view of Hell is true is one of the most crucial things one can know.  Hell is too important for careless thinking and taking one’s own view for granted.  Christians must make sure whether such a major doctrine such as ECT aligns with the Bible.  If it doesn’t fit with Scripture, well, I’m sure God is very displeased His followers are saying such things about Him.  So, does the Bible really require us to believe that God will keep people alive in Hell forever just to suffer?
You do realize that, seeing the Scriptures as a product of the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church and the life of the Church guided by the Holy Spirit, we Orthodox don't believe in sola scriptura, as you appear to do? The Scriptures are truly foundational to our doctrines, but only when understood within their context as a product of the life of the Church.

I won’t beat around the bush any longer.  I don’t think so.  I’m a Conditionalist.  You may have heard of other views of Hell held by Christians besides the majority ECT one, which I will sometimes refer to as Traditionalism.  The largest alternative view of Hell is Universalism, also known as Universal Reconciliation.  Conditionalism, also known as Annihilationism or Conditional Immortality, is less famous (or infamous, I suppose) than Universalism.  Simply put, it holds that eternal life is a gift from God, so the unsaved just won’t live forever.  

A more detailed explanation of Conditionalism is that the unsaved will be resurrected, but unlike the saved, will not be gifted with immortality.  Instead, they will be punished with permanent destruction, which includes a certain degree of suffering during the destruction.  Though the amount and strength of the finite suffering that is involved in the destruction will vary person to person according to divine justice, all the unsaved will eventually cease to exist.  Though the suffering will be finite, the punishment (complete destruction) will be eternal, since there will be no coming back from oblivion after this Second Death.  

'Which verses support your view?' you are right to ask.  Before I tell you, however, I would like to point something out.  Many, or even most Christians are committed to the belief that the soul is either indestructible or will never be destroyed.  While this may not be the only factor that causes someone is a Traditionalist (or a Universalist, for that matter), it’s inevitable that this would affect what a Christian believes about Hell.  I would like any reader who holds this view about the human soul to at least acknowledge how this could affect how they take the defense of my view.  It is very likely that you have read the verses that I am about to quote many times over, but through a sort of ECT 'filter.'  I would therefore ask you to acknowledge this figurative filter, and to try to remove it, if possible, just for the sake of trying to understand my position.

Now, on to the scriptural support.  In this essay, I will focus on the Biblical language of destruction, since the argument for Conditional Immortality that is based on it is the most straightforward.
Do you think you may be following the same path most Protestants follow as regards your approach to the Scriptures? Look to the Scriptures as little more than a source text to support the development of your philosophies/doctrines?

John 3:16 is among the most quoted verses, and for good reason.  It very succinctly explains the gospel in a way that is easy to understand.  Since it is so commonplace, it is easy to miss important messages in the text.  'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'

I can’t think of a clearer way of saying it.  

'[...] whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.'
ISTM that you have defined "life" to be synonymous with "existence", such that eternal life means eternal existence. Is this the right way to define "life"?

I have heard the explanation that perishing can mean being apart from God.  And it does mean that.  People who don’t exist can certainly be considered apart from I Am.  But interpreting a word like “perish” in such a straightforward context as meaning 'Living forever (but in a horrifyingly painful place)' is simply bad hermeneutics.
How so?
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« Reply #123 on: September 23, 2013, 12:25:08 PM »

You do realize that, seeing the Scriptures as a product of the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church and the life of the Church guided by the Holy Spirit, we Orthodox don't believe in sola scriptura, as you appear to do? The Scriptures are truly foundational to our doctrines, but only when understood within their context as a product of the life of the Church.


My understanding is that the Eastern Orthodox Church is Prima Scriptura, which means that church doctrines cannot directly contradict scripture.  Is that correct?

Do you think you may be following the same path most Protestants follow as regards your approach to the Scriptures? Look to the Scriptures as little more than a source text to support the development of your philosophies/doctrines?

Why shouldn't I base my worldview in scripture? I'm a Christian, right?

ISTM that you have defined "life" to be synonymous with "existence", such that eternal life means eternal existence. Is this the right way to define "life"?

What does "ISTM" stand for? Anyway, I don't think I said that "life" means exactly the same thing as "existence." I said that life means life, and death means death (ceasing to live/ceasing to be conscious, able to make decisions, able to have emotions, growing, etc.)

I have heard the explanation that perishing can mean being apart from God.  And it does mean that.  People who don’t exist can certainly be considered apart from I Am.  But interpreting a word like “perish” in such a straightforward context as meaning 'Living forever (but in a horrifyingly painful place)' is simply bad hermeneutics.
How so?

The interpretation doesn't make sense for the word and its context. 

(Sorry if the quote formatting is weird.  I'm new to this kind of forum.)
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« Reply #124 on: September 23, 2013, 01:08:29 PM »

I believe Prima Scriptura is a term that Anglicans use.

Orthodoxy hold that we follow Sacred Tradition.  Scripture is part of that Tradition, but so is hymnography, the icons, the patristic Fathers.  It all works in unison.
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« Reply #125 on: September 23, 2013, 02:48:51 PM »

You do realize that, seeing the Scriptures as a product of the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church and the life of the Church guided by the Holy Spirit, we Orthodox don't believe in sola scriptura, as you appear to do? The Scriptures are truly foundational to our doctrines, but only when understood within their context as a product of the life of the Church.


My understanding is that the Eastern Orthodox Church is Prima Scriptura, which means that church doctrines cannot directly contradict scripture.  Is that correct?
We do indeed believe that Church doctrine cannot contradict Scripture, but that's not the definition of prima scriptura in that we also believe that one's interpretation of Scripture cannot contradict Church doctrines.

Do you think you may be following the same path most Protestants follow as regards your approach to the Scriptures? Look to the Scriptures as little more than a source text to support the development of your philosophies/doctrines?

Why shouldn't I base my worldview in scripture? I'm a Christian, right?
I'm not talking about basing your world view on Scripture. I'm talking about using Scripture as a source text for whatever philosophy you wish to construct. These two approaches are very different.

ISTM that you have defined "life" to be synonymous with "existence", such that eternal life means eternal existence. Is this the right way to define "life"?

What does "ISTM" stand for?
Internet acronym for "it seems to me"

Anyway, I don't think I said that "life" means exactly the same thing as "existence." I said that life means life, and death means death (ceasing to live/ceasing to be conscious, able to make decisions, able to have emotions, growing, etc.)
Recursive definitions are useless as anything but an exercise in tautology. A definition must use words other than the word you seek to define for it to be effective.

I have heard the explanation that perishing can mean being apart from God.  And it does mean that.  People who don’t exist can certainly be considered apart from I Am.  But interpreting a word like “perish” in such a straightforward context as meaning 'Living forever (but in a horrifyingly painful place)' is simply bad hermeneutics.
How so?

The interpretation doesn't make sense for the word and its context.  

(Sorry if the quote formatting is weird.  I'm new to this kind of forum.)
How, then, do you know that your hermeneutics are good?
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« Reply #126 on: September 23, 2013, 06:59:00 PM »

I said that life means life, and death means death (ceasing to live/ceasing to be conscious, able to make decisions, able to have emotions, growing, etc.)
Aeschere, welcome. Don't feel the need to reply to goading/trolling posts here.

Anyway, I don't think this is the ancient Near Eastern understanding of death, the understanding of death you often find used in the Old Testament, for example. My responses to Didyma start here, where I write about this:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,53583.msg987478.html#msg987478

The later-to-be-prodigal son was functioning/moving/rotting in the pigpen, but was not alive in the Christian sense.
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« Reply #127 on: September 23, 2013, 07:36:20 PM »

I said that life means life, and death means death (ceasing to live/ceasing to be conscious, able to make decisions, able to have emotions, growing, etc.)
Aeschere, welcome. Don't feel the need to reply to goading/trolling posts here.
Who's trolling? Huh Since you're quoting Aeschere's direct response to something I posted, I think it safe to suspect you may be talking about me. If so, I think it quite rude and presumptuous for you to insinuate that I'm trolling, since that's not at all what I'm here to do.
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« Reply #128 on: September 24, 2013, 04:27:30 PM »

It is easy to udnerstand it.
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« Reply #129 on: September 24, 2013, 04:30:30 PM »

So I googled the OP and got this:

deviantART: More Like Gaslamp Fantasy Setting by ~AndItWorked
http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/213756340

LOL at the first result, LARP!!

But somehow I can't find the text google pulled up. That is a mystery.

Oh and Aeschere nice to meet you. I am pretty much the world's greatest internet private investigator.

If I ever come across as extremely creepy by posting stuff of yours 3 years later to cross reference you it's because I can search whatever I need to in a matter of seconds. I'm just that good.


Oh yes...that LARP thing.  I used to be in my school's LARP club because I thought it sounded fun, but we never actually did anything besides come up with settings. I eventually started D&D. 

Anyways, if you were looking for my essay, it was included in that really long reply of mine.

Schools have clubs for this? Is this to make it easier for the bullies to locate who they need give a hard time?
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« Reply #130 on: September 24, 2013, 04:31:30 PM »

Recursive definitions are useless as anything but an exercise in tautology

I thought you were a computer programmer or something.
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« Reply #131 on: September 24, 2013, 04:33:36 PM »

I said that life means life, and death means death (ceasing to live/ceasing to be conscious, able to make decisions, able to have emotions, growing, etc.)
Aeschere, welcome. Don't feel the need to reply to goading/trolling posts here.

Anyway, I don't think this is the ancient Near Eastern understanding of death, the understanding of death you often find used in the Old Testament, for example. My responses to Didyma start here, where I write about this:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,53583.msg987478.html#msg987478

The later-to-be-prodigal son was functioning/moving/rotting in the pigpen, but was not alive in the Christian sense.

My car says otherwise.
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Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
NicholasMyra
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« Reply #132 on: September 24, 2013, 07:44:53 PM »

I said that life means life, and death means death (ceasing to live/ceasing to be conscious, able to make decisions, able to have emotions, growing, etc.)
Aeschere, welcome. Don't feel the need to reply to goading/trolling posts here.
Who's trolling? Huh Since you're quoting Aeschere's direct response to something I posted, I think it safe to suspect you may be talking about me. If so, I think it quite rude and presumptuous for you to insinuate that I'm trolling, since that's not at all what I'm here to do.
I wouldn't call what you were doing trolling.
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
Aeschere
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« Reply #133 on: September 25, 2013, 03:32:38 PM »

So I googled the OP and got this:

deviantART: More Like Gaslamp Fantasy Setting by ~AndItWorked
http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/213756340

LOL at the first result, LARP!!

But somehow I can't find the text google pulled up. That is a mystery.

Oh and Aeschere nice to meet you. I am pretty much the world's greatest internet private investigator.

If I ever come across as extremely creepy by posting stuff of yours 3 years later to cross reference you it's because I can search whatever I need to in a matter of seconds. I'm just that good.


Oh yes...that LARP thing.  I used to be in my school's LARP club because I thought it sounded fun, but we never actually did anything besides come up with settings. I eventually started D&D. 

Anyways, if you were looking for my essay, it was included in that really long reply of mine.

Schools have clubs for this? Is this to make it easier for the bullies to locate who they need give a hard time?

Our high school is the nerdiest school I know of.
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Aeschere
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« Reply #134 on: September 25, 2013, 03:32:58 PM »

It is easy to udnerstand it.

Understand what?
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