Posts Tagged ‘logic’

God: Not needed for happiness?

I want to just clear up something about myself and my views on religion. I’m not anti-religion. I may be an atheist, but you might be surprised how I believe the same things non-atheists do. In fact most of the atheists I know have a better moral system than most Christians. They don’t condemn based on Iron Age literature, half of them are vegetarian, and they use logic and reason instead of ignorance and faith!

People seem to think that “losing faith” is also about losing happiness and losing yourself. I lost my faith years ago, but the only time I went into a state of depression or experimented with self-mutilation it was because of my inability to cope with my sexual orientation. I didn’t have God to turn to and I had yet to find myself, and so for a short while after, I experimented with different pagan religions. I was certain that the Christian God couldn’t help me, so I searched for other deities who could, but it always ended the same. I just wasn’t into it. I couldn’t bring myself to believe something that I had no proof of. Something that man invented. I settled on atheism because I knew it was the right thing for me and the closest to my beliefs, and the path was more a search for myself in an effort to achieve happiness, while Christians go on a search for God in an effort to achieve happiness.

While sometimes I may appear anti-Christian, it’s more that I’m anti-fundamentalism and anti-Creationism (they tend to go hand in hand). I don’t agree with the Holy Bible teachings as a whole, as the book is outdated and promotes slavery, racism, and sexism. When nice Christians tell me they believe that the Bible is strictly about love, I know they’ve just never read it in its entirety. Priests and ministers pick and choose the passages they read to followers to support whatever their sect believes in. There may be many verses that support the idea that God is love and that’s what Jesus promoted and what Christianity is all about, but at the same time there are many verses that God is hate and that’s what Jesus promoted and Christianity is all about, so the Lutheran church that supports the idea that God is good and people who follow him are good, and the Westboro Community Church that supports the idea that God should be feared, hates many people, and only cares about sending those who don’t obey him to Hell, are both completely correct — because the Bible supports both claims. It’s full of so many contradictions that I’m sure Satanists could use the very same book to promote their agenda in opposition of the Christian agenda. The Holy Bible was written by a bunch of people who were never present for any of the events they recorded, and it was put together by an atheist in an effort to exploit Christianity to get his people to obey him. I am completely 100% for those who want to lead good lives and rid themselves of negativity, but I don’t think anyone should rely on the Bible for that. If you believe in God, believe in Him the way you want to, in whatever way you think is going to make you a better person, or better yet, quit wasting your mind on faith and contribute to the world of science, logic, and reason!

Forgiveness is one of the biggest traits that Christians rely on. If the Lord forgives you for things you feel guilty about, it’s like a giant load off your shoulders. However, I propose something to challenge the idea: What if God and Jesus aren’t real? Then do you feel better because they forgive you or because you’ve forgiven yourself? You don’t feel guilty because you’ve verbally expressed what made you feel guilty, thought about it, thought about what you’d do differently and how to come out of that mistake to be a better person, and yes that is a huge load off your shoulders, but the key thing is that you’ve forgiven yourself for it. I’ve made mistakes in my life and done things I regretted right after, and since I’m an atheist and do not believe in God, I’ve learned to forgive myself for these things instead of relying on an external source. I do the same thing Christians do when they ask God to forgive them, only I skip the middle-man and go right to forgiving myself, and it’s just as fulfilling and therapeutic. So I do believe in forgiveness and I support people asking for it from themselves or from God, no matter what they believe.

Christians might use the idea that there is a set right and wrong as set forth by the Bible, but that’s simply not true. The Bible saying something is right and wrong might influence the moral systems of the individuals but it is still not the end-all-be-all of morality. Everything is ultimately up to the individual person to decide what is right and wrong! People might think “But can’t we all say that Nazis were wrong? Are you saying that the Nazis were right because they said they were?” No, that’s not what I’m saying, and I’m sick to death of hearing that argument! It might be said that the Nazis were “wrong” simply because the majority as a whole believes they were wrong, but an individual deciding the acts of the Nazis were right changes nothing of the opinion of the majority. If one says, “The Nazis were wrong,” they are not correct, nor are they incorrect. The statement is simply a reference to the general opinion of society, and it could be rephrased to say “Most people individually believe that the Nazis were wrong” which by any studies that could be done would be a correct statement. There is no set right and wrong. Even if your God decides what he thinks is right and wrong, that still changes nothing because we all have the free will to think the way we want to, even if it differs from the opinion of God or the majority.

I support peace and loving thy neighbor. Christians have had the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Westboro church, and many needless bloodshed in the Holy Bible. Violence may not be something most Christians today support but it is something that is a huge part of Christianity’s history and original belief system. I am still against pointless wars. I am against murder, including the death penalty. I am against unethical torture, and I am against putting people in prison to rot most of their lives in a room learning nothing and having no real way to actually rehabilitate. I see no difference between the lives of legal citizens and those of illegal immigrants, and I think they should be given an option to become citizens instead of being deported or thrown in jail, as our system of gaining citizenship is too complex and flawed, which is why they come illegally anyway.

Abortion is a different note, because people can say “But isn’t abortion murder? Isn’t it contradictory for you to be pro-choice and against murder?” To sum up my opinion, I personally don’t think anything can even count as murder until it’s far enough into the pregnancy where the abortion doctor will outright refuse to perform the abortion, and we can argue for years about the word “murder.” It’s a word, people. You criticize those who use the word murder to promote animal rights or being anti-war, but you suddenly care to use it when it involves things that don’t even have the capability to think yet? I support a woman’s right to choose when it comes to abortion, even though I myself in that situation might decide morally to birth the baby and give it up for adoption (if I was a woman). I think giving women that right is crucial, as rape and incest does happen, and in many situations, you have to do what you have to do. Many animals eat their litter for nutrition when they know they are unable to take care of them or they come out unhealthy. I don’t think its really the easiest thing for those animals to do that as they are just as emotionally attached to their children, but in the same way that they do that, we end the lives of fetuses when they are unhealthy or we’re unable to take care of them. Many, many children are given to orphanages and spend their entire childhood there as either no one wants them, or the state refuses to grant the right for those who do want them to raise them (single parents, homosexuals, etc). It’s NEVER easy for a woman to have an abortion, and something like that may haunt them forever, but it is better that they wait to have a baby until they’re able to take care of them and raise them in a healthy environment, and it’s definitely not as easy as “just having the baby and giving it up” for everyone. So I do support the right for a woman to choose, and there’s a bigger picture than “at what point does the baby get a soul?”

I do not have a problem with someone simply being Christian, nor what they choose to believe in, so long as they view all human beings as equal, including homosexuals, and promote an overall idea of self-improvement. I do have a problem with those who take a radical approach and choose to hate others.

I am an atheist, and I believe that I am a good person. The one thing that separates me from any peace-loving Christian is that I do not ask for God to do something, I take action myself, and I do not ask for God to forgive me, I forgive myself. I’m not a danger to society and I don’t bite. So don’t ever feel that because you are a Catholic or Mormon or Wiccan that I won’t like you, but at the same time, if you spark up a debate with me about deities and God, be prepared for a hell of a debate. Pardon the pun. 🙂

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I received a message from my future fall suitemate, Wil, yesterday, and I couldn’t help but share it, with my rebuttal underneath. After this conversation, he wanted to call me and see if I wanted to talk about any of my problems to see what “road blocks” are preventing me on my supposed “path to God”. FAILLL.

Regarding the “God lying” accusation you made about the verse in 2 Thessalonians:
This is something that has not yet occurred, so even logically God has not lied yet. Now we know He isn’t lying here, but simply closing the door to Jesus. This is after the restrainer of the enemy is removed in the end days and probably the Christians with it. At this point, once the bride of Christ (Christians) is removed the “rest” of the people are unable to accept Jesus (Possibly because He is there to judge unlike before when He was here to save). You could look at this from the viewpoint CS Lewis uses. His argument is about switching sides after you know who wins being simply unacceptable. If the Nazi’s declared they believed in American principles when the Allies stomped into Germany, that is simply not acceptable, and they will be crushed anyways. Basically, this verse is letting people know that you have to chose a side before the war is over. When Jesus arrives, the war is over, and God will shut the door to switching sides. Viewing this passage as a lie is simply being in denial.

Regarding the “God lying” accusation you made about the verse in Jeremiah:
As for this verse, there is really not much to debate here at all, for what’s written is what’s written. If you are only reading the Bible in an attempt to prove it is flawed, and you never do any background research, then this verse is a gold mine. But if you had been reading the Bible in order to understand it, you would see the error of your accusation here. Basically, what you failed to do was look into why the words written in that passage were included in the Bible. If you had, you would have found that these are Jeremiah’s words of frustration calling God a liar. Jeremiah calling God a liar does not make Him so, for if it did, then God certainly is. But rather, these words of frustration are included in the Bible not because Jeremiah’s words in frustration are true, but rather so we can see Jeremiah’s entire spiritual journey from start to finish, to see how he changes and grows in his own walk. This is simply a documented account of Jeremiah yelling at the Lord while He is upset… not a passage suddenly bearing new revelation that the jig is up and God is in fact a liar.

Regarding God having human emotions:
I did not quite explain this to you properly the first time, so let me clarify it so you’ll understand better. God made us in His image and gave us similar emotions to Him, the emotions that are good. Our evil emotions are sinful adaptations to the good emotions. These parts God does not have. Here are a couple examples…

Original emotions:
Love without sin = God’s love
Righteous wrath without sin = God’s wrath
Man’s emotions with sin:
Love plus sin = Lust
Righteous wrath plus sin = Uncontrolled Rage

That scenario simply WOULD NOT HAPPEN. To assume it would happen would be just stupid, as I’m sure you’d agree, yet that’s what atheists teach students in school every day (using the “proper” evolution teachings in place of the two factories respectively). You and I know that nothing which has order can come into being without design. Exploding ink/tree factories do not make dictionaries, men design them. Same with car engines… metal didn’t just randomly fuse together over billions of years until one day we had the Eight Cylinder Cummins Diesel… no, that engine had a designer and was created. So how can everything which we created be accredited to design, but everything far more complex and even more brilliantly efficient than we can create is accredited to chance? That just doesn’t make sense Jordan. If a power plant can’t just form randomly by chance, then how can a mitochondria (the power house of our cells)?
Thus let me state it one more time, logic alone will not prove that God exists, because human logic (as you and many other atheists still teach) does not recognize design, but rather accredits everything to chance. However, THERE is design in the world, and logically humans do not accept that, because it would mean there must be order, and order is designed. Using only logic is essentially hiding behind a shield. Logic proves there is gravity, and physics, and chemistry. But if you just stop there, you are misinformed. You need to look at order, and realize there is no logical way those things can exist other than by design, and know that God created order so that mankind can know that only someone of His glory and power could create such a beautiful and complex design (remember how I told you science proves God if you view science properly? This is what I meant… use what you know scientifically to discover order, and realize order is proof of God’s existence). Anyways Jordan, again, not to offend you, but a person who hides behind only logic, is hiding from the beautiful illogical order of God. With logic alone it doesn’t make sense that God would send Jesus to die for us, but His death created order (the order necessary for our salvation), and by reading the Bible we can discover that order, and see that order like that can only come from God. I hope you will be able to understand all that lol, as it may seem a bit confusing at first.
Anyways, I know that’s a lot to take in, and now I think you know why we can’t have these discussions over instant message anymore lol. I hope these words make you reconsider some of your preconceived notions about the Bible and God and Jesus, and if you have any further questions feel free to shoot.

Although both examples are emotions God and man share before sin, man expresses them differently due to his sinful adaptations, which is why (as you said) human emotions are flawed, but (as I said) God is not flawed. I hope that clarifies what I was trying to say.

On the issue of God bringing the pain on Egypt and not Abram as a double standard or being unfair:
Jordan, you must be able to grasp one simple concept… there are no good people. Once you realize that there are no good people, then of course these people deserve God’s judgment… everyone does. So if God chooses some to forgive and save, but He judges everyone else, we must remember the “everyone else” are not good and they deserve judgment. Just as we should also remember that the saved (Christians) are “not good”, but simply chosen as sons and daughters for forgiveness. Pharaoh was a bad man who was judged. Abram was a bad man who God chose. This is an example of why Christians call the gift of Jesus’ forgiveness “grace”. Grace is receiving something we do not deserve. And when Christians die, we receive mercy because of God’s grace (mercy is not receiving something we deserve). All men are evil, as the Bible clearly points out in this verse. And since all men are evil, all men deserve punishment. However, if we receive Jesus’ gift of salvation, we are given grace, and if we have His grace, we are given mercy when we die by having our sins forgiven and being granted passage into heaven. However, a lot of people have a hard time understanding the grace/mercy concept in a theological sense, so this verse just demonstrates it happening in a physical sense. That’s what is happening here.

Now I have one last thought for you to think about in this email before I leave Jordan. I don’t want it to offend you, nor cause you any further confusion, but I believe you are a logical guy, and this message will help you better understand the Lord.
Try to understand this. God is order. There is an order which He set everything to. The degree of the axis of the earth, the amount of oxygen present in our atmosphere so we can breathe, the process of a baby growing inside of a mother’s womb, the gravitational pull exerted by the moon to effect the Earth’s ocean tides, the efficiency of the motor powering the flagellum in our cells, the complexity of atoms… everything around us God has set in a perfect order, because God is order. Now knowing that, try to understand this. God is order, but God is illogical It’s funny, cause you can’t prove order using logic, but you can’t disprove order using logic either. Let me explain.
It is a scientific fact that order (an authoritative direction, instruction, command, or mandate which creates a condition in which each thing is properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodically and/or harmoniously in arrangement) does not occur by chance Jordan, and logic proves this. For instance, if a logging mill and an ink factory (for laughs, let’s say both of these were located next door to each other in a “primordial soup”) suddenly exploded (again for laughs, let’s call this the “big bang”), it is illogical to assume that even with the “right amount” of heat and pressure, even over 2.6 billion years, that a red hardbound Webster’s Dictionary with every word spoken in all languages of the world and their definitions written in 18 different colors would suddenly “just exist for no specific purpose” due to adaptations during the process of natural selection.

That scenario simply WOULD NOT HAPPEN. To assume it would happen would be just stupid, as I’m sure you’d agree, yet that’s what atheists teach students in school every day (using the “proper” evolution teachings in place of the two factories respectively). You and I know that nothing which has order can come into being without design. Exploding ink/tree factories do not make dictionaries, men design them. Same with car engines… metal didn’t just randomly fuse together over billions of years until one day we had the Eight Cylinder Cummins Diesel… no, that engine had a designer and was created. So how can everything which we created be accredited to design, but everything far more complex and even more brilliantly efficient than we can create is accredited to chance? That just doesn’t make sense Jordan. If a power plant can’t just form randomly by chance, then how can a mitochondria (the power house of our cells)?
Thus let me state it one more time, logic alone will not prove that God exists, because human logic (as you and many other atheists still teach) does not recognize design, but rather accredits everything to chance. However, THERE is design in the world, and logically humans do not accept that, because it would mean there must be order, and order is designed. Using only logic is essentially hiding behind a shield. Logic proves there is gravity, and physics, and chemistry. But if you just stop there, you are misinformed. You need to look at order, and realize there is no logical way those things can exist other than by design, and know that God created order so that mankind can know that only someone of His glory and power could create such a beautiful and complex design (remember how I told you science proves God if you view science properly? This is what I meant… use what you know scientifically to discover order, and realize order is proof of God’s existence). Anyways Jordan, again, not to offend you, but a person who hides behind only logic, is hiding from the beautiful illogical order of God. With logic alone it doesn’t make sense that God would send Jesus to die for us, but His death created order (the order necessary for our salvation), and by reading the Bible we can discover that order, and see that order like that can only come from God. I hope you will be able to understand all that lol, as it may seem a bit confusing at first.
Anyways, I know that’s a lot to take in, and now I think you know why we can’t have these discussions over instant message anymore lol. I hope these words make you reconsider some of your preconceived notions about the Bible and God and Jesus, and if you have any further questions feel free to shoot.

Fail?

My rebuttal:

Let me just start out by saying I was doing background research during the debate, so I don’t understand your claim as to why a fast-paced instant message debate couldn’t be done, but if you’re simply uncomfortable with it I’m fine with this, too.

Already in your post I couldn’t help but facepalm. You tell me that God chooses those who he decides to bring into Christianity, so I as an atheist, because the “spirit is not calling to me” have no free will and will be condemned to Hell for eternity for something that GOD chose FOR me? If that’s true, then predestination is also true – the idea that God has predetermined everything that’s going to happen in all of our lives. If that’s true, why even pray? Why not say “God’s will” and be done with the whole thing? He’s not going to change his Divine Plan for you or anyone else who comes along wanting something changed via prayer.

The reason I kept asking you questions and dissecting each individual thing you sent me was because you kept asking me if I understood it and it sounded logical. My answer to that question kept being no, because I did have problems with each individual line being illogical, in which you state yourself at the end of this message that logic should play no part, to which I agree to a certain extent: logic does have no part in religion. Like the Stephen King quote says, “The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance…logic can be happily tossed out the window.” That is certainly not to say that I agree at all with religion, I am simply showing religion in itself is illogical. As long as I am commenting on your last part of the message before I go back and comment on the middle of the message, I might as well also say that I am not “hiding behind logic,” nor are you “hiding behind faith.” Your use of words to look down upon my thought process of why I don’t believe in God can be turned around just as easily to look down upon your thought process of why you DO believe in God, and thus your statement is moot.

Logic is “the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning.” If you are unable to use logic to verify the validity of religion to the very end, then you, sir, are simply acknowledging the leap of faith that occurs between the rational (science) and the irrational (God), and thus acknowledge that science can never prove God’s existence, to which I say because God does not exist. If God cannot be proven to exist, then those who use the claim of his existence without logic can be likened to those who claim that Elvis is still alive, again without logic. They have no proof whatsoever to support their claim that Elvis is still alive, but I’m sure they have just as strong of faith in the subject! Now let’s go even further with the Elvis point and say that the believers who think that Elvis is still alive all also felt that Elvis touches every aspect of their life. All the sudden, you have people claiming that they’re off drugs because Elvis guided them through the path to righteousness, people who claim that Elvis is real in a way that those who don’t believe he’s still alive simply don’t “hear Elvis calling them,” people claiming that Elvis helped them get through tough times, and people claiming that Elvis performed miracles. Maybe in a few hundred years, a bunch of people who didn’t even live in the same time as Elvis heard the stories that were passed down about him and made a bunch of different books that tell people how to live their lives. The books will contradict, sure, but it’s the Holy Book of Elvis! Maybe even the first five books talk about how everything began and a prophet of Elvis, and that prophet’s death. Let’s say that prophet of Elvis wrote the first five books (yes, he foresaw his own death!). They don’t need evidence of Elvis being so godlike and why the books should be taken as truth, because they have faith, and accuse those who question it as “hiding behind logic.”

People reading that above paragraph might think, “But that’s crazy and illogical! There’s no way any of that could happen!” However, all of this can be applied to the irrationality of Christianity, and thus I can dismiss Christianity as easily as I can dismiss Elvis being still alive, Greek mythology, Hinduism, Paganism, Mormonism, and any other faith-based religion that has NOTHING whatsoever to back up their claims.

Back to your interpretations of the Bible, more fallacies can be pointed out. Exodus 20:13 says “Thou shalt not murder.” This is backed up again in Exodus 23:7 “Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.” Nowhere does it say “unless it’s in God’s name” and it can easily be assumed that murder in God’s name is just as wrong and hated by God. Yet we have the animal sacrifices that God ordered before Jesus’ crucifixion. We have millions that God himself killed. We have millions that God ordered to be killed. If God is all-loving and all-forgiving, then for one, those millions of murders prove that God is not all-loving, and the Pharaoh being punished for not being “chosen” proves he is not all-forgiving. No Christian will argue that murder is immoral, yet there was the Inquisition, the Holocaust, etc., all done with the name of God used for justification, and there are many Christians being pro-war, pro-torture, and pro-death penalty.

Your statement that the verse in Jeremiah being taken out of context is true, because yes it is taken out of context, but it’s still a verse in the Bible that says God lies and can still be used by many people trying to make a point the same way Christians also take Bible verses out of context to prove their own point. It is a collection of stories and genealogies (which, of course, is anti-biblical, since the bible clearly condemns giving heed to “endless genealogies” in 1 Timothy 1:4) to prove certain points, and thus no single verse should be used even by Christians to prove any point because that’d be taking everything out of context, but I wonder of course what point the endless condemnations in Leviticus make?

I am aware the order does not happen by chance, but what you’ve done again is make the leap of faith by claiming that these things are “order ordained by God” in the first place. I make my rebuttal by saying, no, these things are not order, and they are not ordained by anyone. Those things happen due to biology, math, and physics, which all three can be studied, interpreted, and fully understood. God, however, cannot be studied, and thus he cannot be interpreted nor fully understood, because you can’t study (to prove or disprove) that which does not exist. God cannot be proven by simply saying that atoms are complex. The complexity of everything alone is not enough to say “There is a Creator!” and that argument is hardly even used by theologians today. Natural selection has been taking place on this earth for billions of years, and in order to understand the complexity of atoms and life in general and how natural selection has, for billions of years, been shaping and changing the biology on this planet and how things react in certain circumstances, you simply cannot hold onto the Iron Age idea that the Earth was created a mere 6,000 years ago, because that HAS been disproven and there’s no longer anything to hold onto that outdated theory outside of the Bible. If the Earth was created 6,000 years ago, then yes, the complexity of atoms can point to a creator, because they had to have already been created complex since 6,000 years is not enough time for hardly any change, but all matter started out from a single particle, the point of singularity, and expanded outwards as explained in the theory of the Big Bang, which, unlike God, is a rational theory and conclusion because there are studies that can be made to point to that point of singularity and that the universe is expanding. To blatantly ignore the studies that have been done and what has been proven is called being ignorant, and if you are simply being ignorant then there’s nothing I can do. You ignorantly hold onto the flawed idea that God must be the Creator of all life, because all life must have been created in order to be complex today, ignoring the billions of years that have taken place to shape the universe that exists today. Let me ask you this, and I’m sure it’s a question you’ve heard before, but who created God? “God has always existed” you might say, “because God cannot have a beginning nor an end.” But I say, no, there is no God, and the universe has always existed, because the universe cannot have a beginning nor an end (and, yes, the universe existed before the Big Bang, because that was simply the point of singularity in which all matter was formed, but not actually a statement of a finite universe).

To point to the example set out by the Christian William Paley, an idea of complexity (in your case, “order”) is the human eye being so similar to a telescope with a purpose and the appearance of a design, but answer two questions for me:

1. Could the human eye have arisen directly from no eye at all, in a single step ?
2. Could the human eye have arisen directly from something slightly different from itself, something that we may call X ?
The answer to Question 1 is clearly a decisive no. The odds against a ‘yes’ answer for questions like Question 1 are many billions of times greater than the number of atoms in the universe. … The answer to Question 2 is equally clearly yes, provided only that the difference between the modern eye and its immediate predecessor X is sufficiently small.
So, too, can we use these questions/answers to say that the complexity (“order”) of things was not set out by any creator, and these things did not just pop up with already set designs and purposes. No, they have arisen from billions of years of evolution and natural selection, or the gradual, sufficiently small changes that have occurred over theses billions of years in order to achieve the end-product we have today. But evolution and natural selection are also not proof of a Creator, because they have no set purpose in mind. Evolution and natural selection, as pointed out by Richard Dawkins, together make up the “watchmaker” of the earth, but are BLIND watchmakers. One of many examples to prove this is lactose intolerance. Humans originally were not able to digest the lactose in milk past their weaning period, because milk is essentially “baby food.” Normally, and this holds true today with 75% of the world’s population, the intestine stops producing lactase, an enzyme to help break down and absorb the lactose in milk. Now, Scandinavians, Africans, and many other cultures have in their history depended on the milk of cows for survival, though it made them sick. Through evolution and natural selection, a genetic mutation came about in which humans continued to produce lactase past their weaning period, and thus were able to continue drinking milk. Asians have had no need to survive on milk in their history, and today 99% of asians are lactose intolerant (or, rather, don’t produce lactase). Now did evolution and natural selection know ahead of time that certain people were going to need to depend on milk for survival? No, of course not. This occurred from a specific circumstance, and was not predetermined by anything, not even God.

Your conclusions come from a misunderstanding of science and the Big Bang and a leap of faith from rationality to irrationality, and thus I cannot say I agree with what you have to say. Not now, not ever, until your cowardous “god” decides to man up and prove himself, instead of playing the silent dealer in a poker game who smiles all the time, gives you blank cards, and won’t tell you the rules.