Picture from Life's Other Side

Kaze Araki

Libertarian Communist
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#1
[YOUTUBE]C8RXmACjQsk[/YOUTUBE]

In the world's mighty gallery of pictures
There're scenes that are painted from life,
Scenes of youth and of beauty,
Scenes of hardship and strife,
Scenes of wealth and of plenty,
Old age and the blushing young bride,
Hang on the wall - but the saddest of all
Is a pictures from life's other side.

A picture from life's other side
Somebody has fell by the way
And a life has gone out with the tide
That might have been happy someday
Some poor mother at home
Is watching and a-waiting alone
Longing to hear - from her loved one so dear
That's a picture from life's other side.



Central to the themes discussed in Theodicy is the problem of suffering which correlate directly with Abrahamic religions claims of God's Omnibenevolence. Bart D. Ehrman argue eloquently in "God's Problem" how he finally strayed away from Christianity and embraced Agnosticism due to the unanswered question of why we suffer. Indeed, Ehrman's personal account can be said as almost identical to mine - it was not the religious dogmas that made us leave our religions, but the inherent suffering in this world. The suffering that is so pervasive as such that to claim God even care for us constitute a cruel joke.

And so I asked you this question once again, why is life full of suffering?

 

-lexus-

Visions of Hell
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#2
Because we need it. You cannot have life without suffering. Its an instant by product of life in general.

Gods supposed omnibenevolence is a misinterpretation done by human beings. It is done out of the flawed and extremely limited perspective that human beings possess. But this is God, something that is of such an higher order of existence that it would be pointless to try and understand it in human terms. It is like trying to imagine how something that exists in 7 dimensions would truly look in human eyes. It goes beyond our power to do that.
 
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#3
Because we need it. You cannot have life without suffering. Its an instant by product of life in general.

Gods supposed omnibenevolence is a misinterpretation done by human beings. It is done out of the flawed and extremely limited perspective that human beings possess. But this is God, something that is of such an higher order of existence that it would be pointless to try and understand it in human terms. It is like trying to imagine how something that exists in 7 dimensions would truly look in human eyes. It goes beyond our power to do that.
1. To say something is "beyond our understanding" is an intellectual cop-out. I could forward any claim and then back it up with "Oh, it's just beyond your understanding." If that met the criteria for a valid argument, a person could literally prove anything. For instance. . .

1. "Magical faeries rape you in your sleep!"
2. "R u serious? That makes no sense."
3. "Oh, they're just beyond your understanding. They're so above you that their rapage doesn't need to make sense!"

2. To say that one cannot have life without suffering (Or that God could not make it so) is to say that there exists an order of power and rules that God did not create, or, in other words, that exist above God. If you press that argument, you must admit that there exist rules that govern God, which not only undermines his omnipotnence, but also causes the Cosmological argument to fall apart.

More specifically, if rules exist above God, then technically there are entities which existed independent of God, which undermines his necessity as the "uncaused causer"
 

-lexus-

Visions of Hell
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#4
1. To say something is "beyond our understanding" is an intellectual cop-out. I could forward any claim and then back it up with "Oh, it's just beyond your understanding." If that met the criteria for a valid argument, a person could literally prove anything. For instance. . .

1. "Magical faeries rape you in your sleep!"
2. "R u serious? That makes no sense."
3. "Oh, they're just beyond your understanding. They're so above you that their rapage doesn't need to make sense!"
Youre jumping the gun here. I do not use this beyond our understanding argument as a way to prove that God exists. Not at all. Im merely saying that if God exists, and with God I mean something that is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and omni benevolent, he would for his very characteristics be incomprehensible to us.

Are you claiming, as a mere 3 dimensional being, that you can fully comprehend the motives, actions and knowledge of a being that is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and omni benevolent? If that is true, then you must be a God yourself. Since I know youre not a God, I also know you understand just as much of God as I do, and that is next to nothing.

2. To say that one cannot have life without suffering (Or that God could not make it so) is to say that there exists an order of power and rules that God did not create, or, in other words, that exist above God. If you press that argument, you must admit that there exist rules that govern God, which not only undermines his omnipotnence, but also causes the Cosmological argument to fall apart.

More specifically, if rules exist above God, then technically there are entities which existed independent of God, which undermines his necessity as the "uncaused causer"
You are of course right. However, do note, I did not intend the first sentence to refer to God. It was a observation of how this world works, regardless of who made it.


In either case, do note that you are using human terms, human words and you blame God for not making this universe in such a way our crude human definition would call perfect. Again, God is incomprehensible for human beings, and so is Gods version of benevolence and perfection.

If this universe is indeed made by a God, and that God made this universe in every way perfect according to his standards, then logically it must follow that God knows that human suffering is part of this perfection. Humans just disagree with God. But humans are just almost insignificantly tiny things in the larger scheme of things, who have an imperfect understanding of how things work and who therefor come up with imperfect definitions of perfect and benevolence.
 
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#5
Youre jumping the gun here. I do not use this beyond our understanding argument as a way to prove that God exists. Not at all. Im merely saying that if God exists, and with God I mean something that is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and omni benevolent, he would for his very characteristics be incomprehensible to us.

Are you claiming, as a mere 3 dimensional being, that you can fully comprehend the motives, actions and knowledge of a being that is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and omni benevolent? If that is true, then you must be a God yourself. Since I know youre not a God, I also know you understand just as much of God as I do, and that is next to nothing.
Unfalsifiability, just another reason not to take religion seriously. Tis a vice, not a virtue.

You are of course right. However, do note, I did not intend the first sentence to refer to God. It was a observation of how this world works, regardless of who made it.


In either case, do note that you are using human terms, human words and you blame God for not making this universe in such a way our crude human definition would call perfect. Again, God is incomprehensible for human beings, and so is Gods version of benevolence and perfection.

If this universe is indeed made by a God, and that God made this universe in every way perfect according to his standards, then logically it must follow that God knows that human suffering is part of this perfection. Humans just disagree with God. But humans are just almost insignificantly tiny things in the larger scheme of things, who have an imperfect understanding of how things work and who therefor come up with imperfect definitions of perfect and benevolence.
Is that really relevant, though?

Lightning striking a small child so he slowly dies of his burns, or a child being crushed slowly by rocks in an earthquake doesn't seem to be a mark of a benevolent creator.
 

-lexus-

Visions of Hell
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#6
Unfalsifiability, just another reason not to take religion seriously. Tis a vice, not a virtue.
Again, Im not arguing for the existence of a God. Im simply assuming there is and that this assumed God has certain characteristics.

Now please answer my question. Can you as a simple human being truly understand the motives of something that possesses all knowledge in existence, is everywhere at the same time at every dimensional level and has infinite power? Can you really say something about what such a thing considers to be benevolent?

Is that really relevant, though?

Lightning striking a small child so he slowly dies of his burns, or a child being crushed slowly by rocks in an earthquake doesn't seem to be a mark of a benevolent creator.
If that creator was a human, then you would be absolutely right. However, God is not human. Your judging that what is so completely alien with human standards.

Hell, humans cant even agree on what would be benevolent and what not. So what makes you so sure that God must hold some simple human concept of benevolence?
 
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#7
@Lexus

Maybe all of that intense suffering of an innocent helps us achieve something greater? Perhaps.

If He is omnipotent/omniscent/omnibenevolent, then he wouldn't need baby-killing to inspire some greater lesson or truth onto us. If God created everything then God created the principle of causation.

So long as that remains true, the fact that babies are killed in terrible, painful ways, is not a necessary function of any causal chain. The baby-killing, as a stand-alone event, was formulated by God.

He could have chosen any trigger by which to impart these "greater goods" upon us. The fact that--as an omnipotent/omniscient being--He chose inflicting terrible pain upon innocent children speaks volumes, due to every single degree of pain and suffering was put into formulation with purpose in of itself. (I cannot stress this point enough. If the suffering of babies doesn't serve an unavoidable causal purpose, then God made babies suffer simply so that babies would suffer.)

Yes, God would be an entity beyond our understanding, but he can understand us. Knowing that to be true, he formulated that pain for no other purpose than pain in of itself understanding the deleterious effect that it would have upon us (the deliriousness of that effect being specifically designed by Him)

What purpose is omnibenevolence if it is wielded without the other person's perspective in mind?

For instance, I might be a being that is fully above another being called Fred (for example) and I might LOVE getting smacked in the face. In fact, I think getting smacked in the face is great. Let's say I know that Fred HATES getting smacked in the face, but is way less smart than I am.

So -POW- I smack him in the face. Would you argue that I was acting with benevolence?

(PS: I love how we skipped right to the highest tier of this argument, Lex. This is fun :D. Disproving the free will and duality arguments can get so stale after a while. . .)
 

-lexus-

Visions of Hell
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#8
Maybe all of that intense suffering of an innocent helps us achieve something greater? Perhaps.

If He is omnipotent/omniscent/omnibenevolent, then he wouldn't need baby-killing to inspire some greater lesson or truth onto us. If God created everything then God created the principle of causation.

So long as that remains true, the fact that babies are killed in terrible, painful ways, is not a necessary function of any causal chain. The baby-killing, as a stand-alone event, was formulated by God.

He could have chosen any trigger by which to impart these "greater goods" upon us. The fact that--as an omnipotent/omniscient being--He chose inflicting terrible pain upon innocent children speaks volumes, due to every single degree of pain and suffering was put into formulation with purpose in of itself. (I cannot stress this point enough. If the suffering of babies doesn't serve an unavoidable causal purpose, then God made babies suffer simply so that babies would suffer.)
I understand what youre trying to do. Youre essentially saying that if God makes babies die in a painful way for nothing, hes an asshole, and if it serves a purpose, why doesnt he use all his power to avoid this. Why didnt he make a world that consists only of light and not of darkness. According to you, or the people who use this argument, a world only consisting of light would be the ideal world, perfect in every way. That is a human ideal of what is perfect.

God, as we already established, is so far removed from the human condition that what he knows to be perfect can be a utterly different ideal then what humans believe in.

And look at it this way. If God indeed exists and made our universe the way it is, and it is indeed perfect in the eyes of God, then it means that this, earth, life as it is now, including the suffering, is perfect. It cannot get anymore perfect. That means that suffering is part of this perfection. Removing it would lead to an imperfect creation. Thus making all your wonderings and pleas and hate on God because he made suffering, moot. He made this place perfect, and we just cant see it.

Yes, God would be an entity beyond our understanding, but he can understand us. Knowing that to be true, he formulated that pain for no other purpose than pain in of itself understanding the deleterious effect that it would have upon us (the deliriousness of that effect being specifically designed by Him)
Now you are essentially asking why God didnt create this universe specifically to cater our needs. Like hes some low servant that exists only to serve lesser beings. I think that would be mixing up the relation God has with its creation. Why would he level his perfect creation to the level of beings who wouldnt understand perfection if they were part of it? He would then specifically have make imperfect creations so that simple beings can think their world is perfect. Simple beings that would then reject it again because they would be bored. Or he would have to pervert beings so that they would accept a world that other lesser beings would think to be perfect.

What purpose is omnibenevolence if it is wielded without the other person's perspective in mind?

For instance, I might be a being that is fully above another being called Fred (for example) and I might LOVE getting smacked in the face. In fact, I think getting smacked in the face is great. Let's say I know that Fred HATES getting smacked in the face, but is way less smart than I am.

So -POW- I smack him in the face. Would you argue that I was acting with benevolence?

(PS: I love how we skipped right to the highest tier of this argument, Lex. This is fun :D. Disproving the free will and duality arguments can get so stale after a while. . .)
Its pointless to give such an example for several reasons.
First, youre asking another human a question about what he considers to be benevolence. Just because you and I consider something to be benevolent doesnt make it benevolent. Second, your example goes out from human characteristics. Just cuz youre smarter then the guy youre punching doesnt make you similar to being omniscient.
 
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#9
I understand what youre trying to do. Youre essentially saying that if God makes babies die in a painful way for nothing, hes an asshole, and if it serves a purpose, why doesnt he use all his power to avoid this. Why didnt he make a world that consists only of light and not of darkness. According to you, or the people who use this argument, a world only consisting of light would be the ideal world, perfect in every way. That is a human ideal of what is perfect.

God, as we already established, is so far removed from the human condition that what he knows to be perfect can be a utterly different ideal then what humans believe in.

And look at it this way. If God indeed exists and made our universe the way it is, and it is indeed perfect in the eyes of God, then it means that this, earth, life as it is now, including the suffering, is perfect. It cannot get anymore perfect. That means that suffering is part of this perfection. Removing it would lead to an imperfect creation. Thus making all your wonderings and pleas and hate on God because he made suffering, moot. He made this place perfect, and we just cant see it.
Or it proves that God's not perfect. (That's what this whole argument is for, Lex, as I'm sure you know.)

Of course, if you'd rather obfuscate everything behind the "mysterious God" argument, I can't stop you.

This argument is generally heavily looked down upon in philosophy, because it's attempts to explain and argue a point, and then when pressed to explain the subject of the explanation, the proponent just shrugs and says "Who knows! He is above our perception. I can't know, you can't know!"

A philosopher would be much inclined to say: "If you don't know then stfu and let the big boys figure it out."

As I explained, it's a terrible argument to prove God, because as far as arguments go, it can be used to prove anything. It's shoddy. However, you do not appear to be proving God but rather, simply targeting the argument. . . fine.

I suppose you do not care that the mysterious God argument undermines even your own existence. Under the postulation of a mysterious God that we cannot even begin to understand, even "Cogito Ergo Sum" becomes invalid. Though, I suppose you don't care about that implication either. . .

Now you are essentially asking why God didnt create this universe specifically to cater our needs. Like hes some low servant that exists only to serve lesser beings. I think that would be mixing up the relation God has with its creation. Why would he level his perfect creation to the level of beings who wouldnt understand perfection if they were part of it? He would then specifically have make imperfect creations so that simple beings can think their world is perfect. Simple beings that would then reject it again because they would be bored. Or he would have to pervert beings so that they would accept a world that other lesser beings would think to be perfect.


Its pointless to give such an example for several reasons.
First, youre asking another human a question about what he considers to be benevolence. Just because you and I consider something to be benevolent doesnt make it benevolent. Second, your example goes out from human characteristics. Just cuz youre smarter then the guy youre punching doesnt make you similar to being omniscient.
The biblical implication of omnibenevolence is benevolence towards man, not God's own special kind of benevolence to the entire universe.

The argument of Evil targets the Christian God. I have no idea what kind of God you're postulating here.
 

Zero Phoenix

The Second Coming of Hazama
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#10
And so I asked you this question once again, why is life full of suffering?
Maybe if a certain person didn't eat from a certain tree we wouldn't have sin. Maybe if a certain person didn't kill his brother we wouldn't have death. Maybe if atheists got off their horses and on their knees we wouldn't have so many problems. But let's get down to the grit Kaze-dono. All problems in life come from other people, i.e. humans in general. If people weren't out 24/7 busting caps in other people's asses, stabbing people, raping people, stealing and what have you we wouldn't be having this discussion.

As I told you more than a dozen times already, the issue is not religion but people who: A) Don't have one or B) Don't follow the one they claim to have. In either scenario, the lax religiousness of the person in question is to blame for any problems they create or experience.

Agnostics, atheists, whatever the hell haters are calling themselves nowadays did not reach their so-called "beliefs" because of the suffering in the world. They all reached their conclusion because they were more drunk on science rather than common sense. If two idiot walk up to each other and both of them pull their guns out and end up killing each other (happens to rappers all the time), and you witness this act, should you be held accountable for doing nothing to stop it? Probably so but you aren't going to like that line of reasoning. Likewise, if the um, I don't, civilized people in this world start eating each other do we blame God. More than likely, you'll probably say yes but then we'd have to apply the same logic to your inability to stop other people from killing themselves.

Here is a crazy idea and I know it's crazy because really, who wants to take responsibility for anything when they don't have to right. Maybe the reason there is suffering in the world, is because there are more people complaining about it that doing anything about it.

Why doesn't God end the suffering in this world? That's why He created "you."

But hey who am I to assume anything. I'm just a guy who finds it more practical to solve the world's problems than complain about them.
*Miic drop.*
 

-lexus-

Visions of Hell
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#12
Or it proves that God's not perfect. (That's what this whole argument is for, Lex, as I'm sure you know.)

Of course, if you'd rather obfuscate everything behind the "mysterious God" argument, I can't stop you.

This argument is generally heavily looked down upon in philosophy, because it's attempts to explain and argue a point, and then when pressed to explain the subject of the explanation, the proponent just shrugs and says "Who knows! He is above our perception. I can't know, you can't know!"
Oh I know. I know you longer then today and Ive seen you use it before ^^

I see it differently though. We got two lines of reasoning here. Each line of reasoning assumes for the moment that a God exists. One line of reasoning takes the human as its basic point, and tries to reason itself towards a God that meets certain criteria. Of course this line of reasoning will fail, thus 'proving' that God isnt perfect and that hes actually just a douchebag that likes to kill babies.

The other line of reasoning is taking God as its base point. If you say that he exists and because we defined him as omni benevolent and such you assume this to be true. Then you start reasoning back towards a human being. Now it turns out the human being simply doesnt get it as much as he likes to think. Which is not so surprising if you consider for a moment that he tries to understand a being that is so far removed from the human standpoint that its simply impossible to understand him.

The problem I have with these arguments is that they are essentially simple human word plays trying to capture something that goes above and beyond our ability to communicate.


A philosopher would be much inclined to say: "If you don't know then stfu and let the big boys figure it out."
Which would suggest incredible intellectual arrogance from the philosopher in question, to think that he, as a human with extremely limited knowledge can understand and from there judge a being that sees all, knows all, hears all, is everywhere at the same time and exists in every conceivable dimension.

I suppose you do not care that the mysterious God argument undermines even your own existence. Under the postulation of a mysterious God that we cannot even begin to understand, even "Cogito Ergo Sum" becomes invalid. Though, I suppose you don't care about that implication either. . .
Hmm, you would have to explain that one to me Im afraid.

The biblical implication of omnibenevolence is benevolence towards man, not God's own special kind of benevolence to the entire universe.

The argument of Evil targets the Christian God. I have no idea what kind of God you're postulating here.
No God in particular. Like I said, Im just assuming a God with certain characteristics.

And well, you are right, I do have trouble seeing the biblical interpretation of God as being the correct one. Then again, they have attempted to explain and define a something with crude human words, trying to describe something that isnt from this world in terms that are from this world.



And just for some lulz. God is all powerfull, Im sure he can find find a way where torturing babies is somehow benevolent ;)
 
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#13
Oh I know. I know you longer then today and Ive seen you use it before ^^

I see it differently though. We got two lines of reasoning here. Each line of reasoning assumes for the moment that a God exists. One line of reasoning takes the human as its basic point, and tries to reason itself towards a God that meets certain criteria. Of course this line of reasoning will fail, thus 'proving' that God isnt perfect and that hes actually just a douchebag that likes to kill babies.

The other line of reasoning is taking God as its base point. If you say that he exists and because we defined him as omni benevolent and such you assume this to be true. Then you start reasoning back towards a human being. Now it turns out the human being simply doesnt get it as much as he likes to think. Which is not so surprising if you consider for a moment that he tries to understand a being that is so far removed from the human standpoint that its simply impossible to understand him.

The problem I have with these arguments is that they are essentially simple human word plays trying to capture something that goes above and beyond our ability to communicate.
Mmmn you're right. So long as I can use it to rape the bible, I'm happy.

Which would suggest incredible intellectual arrogance from the philosopher in question, to think that he, as a human with extremely limited knowledge can understand and from there judge a being that sees all, knows all, hears all, is everywhere at the same time and exists in every conceivable dimension.
You have to understand. . . focusing on the things "we can't know" goes entirely against philosophy. Philosophy only to enlarge knowledge, never to throw up its hands.

I mean look back to things like lightning and earthquakes. . . the ancients didn't understand them, but the purpose of philosophy was always to guess until they found something that seemed right.

Hmm, you would have to explain that one to me Im afraid.
My professor pointed this one out, actually.

Methodological skepticism is a form of belief that states that we should only believe that which is certain. So. . . by that degree of skepticism, you can't prove that this is all one elaborate dream. Or that reality isn't just a grand illusion by a demon.

Descartes argued quite effectively that "If I think, therefore I am". Because neither "dreams nor the manipulation of a demon" can manipulate him into thinking that he exists when he does not, because he must exist in order to be tricked into thinking that he exists.

However, if God's power is unrestrained by all human logic (If he can do even that which is nonsensical). It becomes possible that God, by a process nonsensical to us, is tricking us into thinking that we exist when we actually do not, therefore undermining Cogito Ergo Sum, and making it possible, once again, for us to not even know for sure if we actually exist. Another fun side affect of the mysterious God argument.

No God in particular. Like I said, Im just assuming a God with certain characteristics.

And well, you are right, I do have trouble seeing the biblical interpretation of God as being the correct one. Then again, they have attempted to explain and define a something with crude human words, trying to describe something that isnt from this world in terms that are from this world.
Hmn. . . the Christian God is much easier to prove nonexistant than your God.

And just for some lulz. God is all powerfull, Im sure he can find find a way where torturing babies is somehow benevolent ;)
:'(

Zero just dropped the free will argument on us. I'm going to go counter him with natural disaster evil and the nonexistance of Free will.

Meh. . . actually, I'm tired. I spent all night studying. I'll do it later.
 

-lexus-

Visions of Hell
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#15
You have to understand. . . focusing on the things "we can't know" goes entirely against philosophy. Philosophy only to enlarge knowledge, never to throw up its hands.

I mean look back to things like lightning and earthquakes. . . the ancients didn't understand them, but the purpose of philosophy was always to guess until they found something that seemed right.
I think its just humble to admit that there are limits to the things we can know and understand.

Of course, we havent reached them, and by all means, keep trying. But for now, God goes beyond humans.


My professor pointed this one out, actually.

Methodological skepticism is a form of belief that states that we should only believe that which is certain. So. . . by that degree of skepticism, you can't prove that this is all one elaborate dream. Or that reality isn't just a grand illusion by a demon.

Descartes argued quite effectively that "If I think, therefore I am". Because neither "dreams nor the manipulation of a demon" can manipulate him into thinking that he exists when he does not, because he must exist in order to be tricked into thinking that he exists.

However, if God's power is unrestrained by all human logic (If he can do even that which is nonsensical). It becomes possible that God, by a process nonsensical to us, is tricking us into thinking that we exist when we actually do not, therefore undermining Cogito Ergo Sum, and making it possible, once again, for us to not even know for sure if we actually exist. Another fun side affect of the mysterious God argument.
I see. Interesting, but like you said, I dont really care about it.

I dont think its relevant for what Im saying. Even if God manipulated us in some unlogical way into thinking that we exist while we dont actually exist, I like the illusion of thinking that I exist. Its powerful enough to have me convinced. So, even though technically its maybe not real, whats stopping me from experiencing like its real? I can feel, I can taste, I smell, I can hear and I can interact. Best dream ever right? For me, it simply wouldnt be relevant. On top of that, it only makes it a possibility with no way of knowing whether thats correct or not.

Heh, I think philosophers only hate it because it breaks away the certainty of being real.



Hmn. . . the Christian God is much easier to prove nonexistant than your God.
Certainly true.
 
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#16
Heh, I think philosophers only hate it because it breaks away the certainty of being real.
Radical skepticism generally makes philosophers shit themselves in anger from what I've seen.

One of my professors got angry and called it "Idiot Stoner Philosophy and threatened us saying that if anyone argued it on a paper, he'd fail them lmao xD