The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
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The Contender
DanBeach
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Kalam Cosmological Argument For God's Existence Is Sound

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,650 times Debate No: 36110
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
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Rational_Thinker9119

Con





Kalam Cosmological Argument For God's Existence


1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

4. If the universe has a cause, there exists an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe who sans the universe is beginningless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, changeless, and enormously powerful.

5. Therefore, there exists an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe who sans the universe is beginningless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, changeless, and enormously powerful.


Rules/ Stipulations


The burden will be on Pro to demonstrate that the KCA is a sound argument. My burden is to undermine the argument, and/ or the support for it. The first round will not be for acceptance, as my opponent will make his opening argument in the first round. However, in round 4, Pro must simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."

PS. I would respectfully ask that nobody who has been a debate on the KCA with me recently accept this debate. I want to keep it fresh.
DanBeach

Pro

I would first like to start off saying this is my very first debate on this site, and I look forward to it. Hopefully I will be able to bring some different points to this story that you have not heard of before. I have two main points I would like to talk about, one being something I can see you have already seeing abut the other not so much. I will begin with this...

You should be aware of the law of conservation of mass which states that matter can not be created or destroyed but simply changed from one form to another. So with this said, it only makes sense that something beyond and above us had to have created this matter. It seems inconceivable that everything around us was just always here. I do not doubt that the universe is infinitely old (but empty), It is just an issue of conceptualizing it. Now to bring things back around to the main issue, How do you create something out of nothing? It is only possible to make, but it is impossible to create, since "create" does imply it was done so in a fashion where it was simply poofed into existence, wheres "make" is derived from something.

Now for my second argument, Hopefully a new one for you. Consider the story of the star of Bethlehem. Because of modern technology and mathematics, we can predict where stars will go in their orbit and even where they have been. Now, you can compare passages from the bible which reference the stars and we can go back in time in our software to check whether or not the bible is full of crap. "After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy" (Matthew 2:9-10). So what happened is that the software reveals that as the stars are setting in the west, Jupiter (known as father planet) and Venus (known as mother planet) nearly stack onto each other creating one of the brightest stars ever. this means the Magi who were located in Babylon saw this star and traveled west to Jerusalem. Next Jupiter was able to stop in the south which is the location of Bethlehem. Jupiter was able to stop due to a thing called retrograde motion, which is a phenomena planets go through because of the fact that we are viewing them from a stationary platform. {http://www.scienceu.com...}

Also, nine months before the birth of Jesus; Jupiter, the king planet, if Jupiter were to create a line behind it, it created a halo over the Regulus star, also known as the king star. This also all happened between in the feet of the constellation known as Leo the lion which is the symbol of the tribe of Judah. In Revelation 12:1-2 "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.". if you go back in time in the software you can see that the constellation "Virgo, the virgin" had the sun over top of her (it was during the day time this happened obviously) and the moon was also seen at her feet. The hypothesis goes that this was the conception of Christ as about nine months later the star of Bethlehem appears as I have talked plenty about already.

I included the star of Bethlehem story because it strongly suggests that God indeed played a role in the creation of the universe. I mean lets just view all the circumstances again. We just happened to call Jupiter the king and father planet, it just so happened to create three halo rings (representative of the holy trinity?) around the king star, We just so happened called a group of stars a constellation called Virgo the virgin, we just so happened to name Leo the Lion as such, instead of it being called literally anything else. The constellation could have been called a dog, something that does not relate to Judaism, but it did. I find it impossible that God did not play a role in some part of that process. Either he created the stars in such a way that they would line up in a specific way for the birth of Jesus, or he influenced us in the naming of our planets and constellations. I believe he played a role in both. either way it presents strong evidence that there is a God out there. Just think of the likely hood that all of these things could happen just by absolute chance.

Do not base the order of importance of my two points based on the amount of characters used in describing each point, I just simply had to assume that you know more about science than religion because, well... that is just how most people are.

As a precaution to the possibility of being called a liar, I got this information about the star of Bethlehem from a movie called simply enough 'The Star of Bethlehem" {http://www.christianbook.com...}
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I welcome my opponent to the website. In this round, I will be addressing my opponent's claims by showing that they do not establish the desired conclusion.

Conservation Of Energy

The conservation of mass/ matter/ energy only entails that the net energy must always be the same. The universe most likely has a total energy sum of zero and many calculations demonstrate this [1]. This view is held because the negative energy of gravitational attraction and the negative energy stored in space, exactly offsets the positive energy in the universe to equal zero. This is hypothesis is no fiction either; as negative energy has even been experimentally verified between Casimir plates [2]. If there was no universe there was be a sum of zero energy; we we have the same sum with a universe. This means that no additional energy is required for a universe. Ergo, energy conservation would not really be violated. As physicist Alexander Vilenkin notes:

"We know that there are conservation laws, and that energy is conserved. Usually this means that if you have 'nothing', you cannot have something because that takes energy....The energy of a closed universe is always zero." - Alexander Vilenkin[3]

Vilenkin really is not talking about "nothing" as in non-being, but "nothing" as in a zero energy state. Energy can come from no energy, as long as there is enough negative energy to balance it out.

Additionally, the total energy of a flat universe is zero as well as a closed universe. As Physicist Lawrence Krauss states:

"In a flat universe, the total energy of the universe is precisely zero." - Lawrence Krauss[4]

Now, I would argue that even if the total sum of the universe is not zero, the conservation of energy would not be violated assuming the universe came into being. This is because that which could be described by the law would have started to exist at the exact same time as the first bit of energy. The law would never be violated, as energy would still be conserved for as long as the universe existed.

Stars, Planets, And The Bible

This has nothing to do with the Kalam. However, lets run though the claims:

"We just happened to call Jupiter the king and father planet"

How does this demonstrate that the universe began to exist, and was caused by God?

"it just so happened to create three halo rings (representative of the holy trinity?) around the king star"

Jupiter has four rings:

"Jupiter is known to have 4 sets of rings: the halo ring, the main ring, the Amalthea gossamer ring, and the Thebe gossamer ring."[5]

"We just so happened called a group of stars a constellation called Virgo the virgin"

Once again, how does this demonstrate that the universe began to exist, and was caused by God? None of these arguments have anything to do with the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

"we just so happened to name Leo the Lion as such, instead of it being called literally anything else. "

So? This has nothing to do with the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Also, my opponent is twisting the implications of probability fallaciously. What are the odds that I chose to McDonalds over any other possible restaurant? We can say that everything is improbable based in this flawed reasoning.

"The constellation could have been called a dog, something that does not relate to Judaism, but it did."

Yes, but this is due to tradition. Stars are always named in a manner relating to mythology. This says nothing about the ontological existence of a cause of the coming into being of the universe that is God.

"I find it impossible that God did not play a role in some part of that process."

I find that it is more likely that not that God did not play a role in any process at all. However, bare assertions without support get us nowhere.

"Either he created the stars in such a way that they would line up in a specific way for the birth of Jesus, or he influenced us in the naming of our planets and constellations."

My opponent has not shown that this is a true dichotomy, and it is in no way self-evident. As I said, human beings have always named bodies in space with regards to mythology. This is tradition. This says nothing on the actual existence of God.

Conclusion

I sufficiently refuted my opponents argument involving the conservation of energy. Also, his second argument had nothing to do with the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Not only that, but I showed that none of the things he mentioned really imply God at all. Pro has not met his burden of proof.

Sources

[1] http://arxiv.org...
[2] http://www.universetoday.com...
[3] http://www.closertotruth.com...
[4] Video Source
[5] http://www.universetoday.com...
DanBeach

Pro

"Now, I would argue that even if the total sum of the universe is not zero, the conservation of energy would not be violated assuming the universe came into being. This is because that which could be described by the law would have started to exist at the exact same time as the first bit of energy. The law would never be violated, as energy would still be conserved for as long as the universe existed."

Lets review cons very last sentence here. He says basically that the universe is not infinite, so he must agree there was a beginning because he is saying that until the universe existed, there was no laws such as the conservation of mass, as it must have just became into being the same the "universe existed". In other words, before it was created. So now that I understand con believes in a universe that is not an infinite amount of year old; how does a universe just appear? How does it have a beginning with nothing to put it in motion. whether a particle is positive or negative energy something had to put in in motion. If i sealed off a box with absolutely nothing in it, that eventually i could open in up one day to find things within it?

Think about the concept, NOTHING. this means no fields of energy, no matter, no energy, absolutely nothing. no photons, quarks, waves, or fields. These properties had to be created before they could act. What I mean is that you can not say there is nothing and then be like "ohh, but we still have the quantum field", that does not count. that is something, not nothing. So even though in the video the guy says a universe can come from nothing, he has not really defined what nothing is. do energy fields still exist in this nothing? Give me evidence of a space filled with nothing, be turned into being filled with something, in order to prove me wrong It would be required to show a scientific experiment or example in which a closed system without absolutely nothing in it, spontaneously spawned something within it.

All of the statements I made regarding the bible was to provide evidence that there was a god involved in forming the universe.

First off, con took my run on sentence and dismantled it to make it appear as if they are all their separate point when they are meant to shed some light on how likely it would really be that all of these coincidences don't mean something.

explain how all of the following can possibly happen without there being a god to make this happen.

(all of this happens within a 9 month span during the time of the birth of Jesus Christ)
-If you were to follow the path that Jupiter takes it makes a "halo" shape around the star Regulus
-as predicted in the bible a virgin covered in the sun appears with the moon at her feat. This occurred when the Constellation Virgo, the virgin appeared in the sky during the daytime with the sun overlapping the constellation, and the moon was at her feet. I will come back to this later
-Jupiter made its three halo shaped rings at the feet of the constellation, Leo the Lion.
-Solid proof of the star of Bethlehem
-Star of Bethlehem was super bright with the brightness of Venus and Jupiter combined

now lets review the names of the planets, stars, and constellations reviewed.
-Jupiter; king and father planet
-Venus, Mother planet
-Regulus, King planet
-Leo the lion
-Virgo the Virgin

So with all of these points made, it seems very unrealistic that all of this could happen without a universe created by a god. First off, it seems peculiar that all of the planets and stars, when they were shot off in the universe by whatever means the pro believes (most likely big bang I would assume, however this is not important) that they were done so in a matter that all of the following situations would happen which I explained above. Keep in mind that all of this happened within a nine month span only, which in astronomical terms is a ridiculously small amount of time.

Now, not only did all the actions happen but how the constellations, planets, and stars were named, they all happened to have significance to what was happening at the time. Take a look at Leo the lion, lets take a look at the odds that it was named as being a lion. Regarding to this topic about Leo, my opponent stated that

"This has nothing to do with the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Also, my opponent is twisting the implications of probability fallaciously. What are the odds that I chose to McDonalds over any other possible restaurant? We can say that everything is improbable based in this flawed reasoning. "

Con says this in a way that implies that we can not deduce anything from probabilities and is unreasonably trying to diminish the significance of my point by comparing it to something trivial such as choosing a restaurant. I will humor your model and say what I am proposing is more like this. You are hungry, you have limited cash on you, you love fast food, the McDouble is your favorite sandwich, you say McDonald fries are the best, Ronald is your child hood hero, you have a closet filled with McDonald's memorabilia. Odds are not going to go to olive garden, just as with what I have stated, odds are, the universe was created by a God.

Now back to the naming of Leo, which comes from the name of a lion defeated by Hercules. now this constellation could have been named after Argus, Odysseus' dog, Laelaps, or even one of Helios' Cattle. The Constellation does not really have a feature that really defines it as being Leo, It is a generic enough of a shape to call many sorts of names but of course it is called Leo.

Now how about Virgo the virgin? This name obviously also holds significance. Since it is the figure which resembles a person it could have been called literally any person in Greek mythology. Even if we limit it to just females it could have been Persephone, Demeter, Penelope, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, etc.

The point of all of this is, is to give validity to the bible, and based on these accounts actually being historically accurate it gives proof to the existence of a god, a God who created the universe because if he did not, it is unlikely that all of those events previously mentioned would happen at all.

I will admit that my second main argument about the bible does not have much to do with Kalam upon a second review, and in interest of not wasting cons time. will resign, but only if it is requested.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I thank my opponent for his last round. However, I feel he is putting forward many red herrings, and misrepresenting the point of my arguments to the furthest extent.

Did The Universe Begin To Exist?

Nowhere did I concede that the universe is infinite, so my opponent opens up with a straw man right out of the gate. I will concede this point though. The problem is that if the universe had a beginning, that does not mean that the universe began to exist. My opponent also talks about a "before the universe was created", however this assumes that there was a "before the universe was created". There is no reason to think that there was any before the universe, or prior to the universe. In order for their to be a cause of the universe, there would have to be a causally prior to the universe, but there is no reason given by Pro to think there even was a prior to the universe in any context. Now, If something begins to exist, then that means it comes into being. If it comes into being, then this necessitates that prior to the first time it exists, that thing = out of being. Essentially, we have to start with that thing out of being, then a transition occurs from no thing, to that thing existing. This is what it means to begin to exist, or come into being. A finite past of a thing doesn't really tell us at all if it began to exist. We don't know I began to exist because I am 26 years old for example, we know I began to exist because a year before I was born, I did not exist (an "out of being" is plugged into the equation necessarily). I am not saying that temporal priority is necessary, that was just an example. If there is any state of affairs, even atemporally prior to a the first time a thing exists, then we can say that it began to exist. However, even if we assume A-Theory, and a first state of the universe, this still doesn't get one a coming into being. It is possible that there is no prior in any sense to the first state of the universe. If this is the case, then the notion of there either being no universe "prior", or a universe "prior" would make no sense, as there would be no prior, at all!

There is a distinction between:

(1) A starting moment of the universe (a 1st state)

(2) A starting moment of the universe which came into being from no starting moment of the universe, e.i. "nothing" (transition from no 1st state, to a 1st state)

(1) follows from (2), as the truth of (1) is included in (2) itself. There is no logical or metaphysical link requiring (2) to follow from (1). An a posteriori argument will not work, as any examples will involve parts of the universe, not the universe as a whole itself. Arguments for a finite past (The Big Bang, Philosophical arguments ect.) only demonstrate, at best, (1) not (2). If A-Theory is true and the universe has a finite past, it would not follow that the universe came into being, or violates ex nihilo nihil fit under Atheism. This means, that a finite past of the universe is not sufficient to establish that the universe came into being. In order for it to be true that the universe came into being, the universe must have been out of being (pasty tense not necessary, any type of prior state of affairs established would work). The theist hasn't established that the universe has ever been out of being. It certainly does not follow from a finite past, and is not synonymous with it.

Dr, Craig has a definition of coming into being:

e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact.[1]

The definition is insufficient. This is because it only speaks on a starting moment of the universe, not a starting moment of the universe that came from no starting point of the universe. Also, time is tensed under the Moving Spotlight Theory of time but it is an eternalist theory of time[2]. Meaning that a universe under an eternalist framework could come into being under Craig's definition, which is metaphysically possible. Philosophers Richard Swinburne and Adolf Grunbaum have a definition as well[3]. It can be formulated like this:

e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at sometime t and (ii) there is time prior to t at which e does not exist.

The above definition is not sufficient, because even though priority is necessary, there is no reason why temporal priority is necessary. I developed a sufficient definition with regards to a coming into being:


e
comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) prior to t, is out of being, and (iv) eternalism is false

The above describes a true coming into being, not just a finite past. Also, it solves the problem of Dr. Craig's definition pertaining to the Moving Spotlight Theory.

Here is a diagram showing the difference between a true coming into being, and just a finite past:



My definition actually describes the model in the top frame, which makes it sufficient. So, while the universe may have had a first state, that doesn't mean that the first state came into being. My opponent must not only show that the universe has a finite past, but that the universe actually began to exist. This has not been accomplished, and Pro has the burden of proof to establish the resolution.

Nothing

Lets assume that the universe did come into being. My opponent says that I cannot say that there was "nothing" prior if there existed a zero energy state, or some other quantum state as those would count as "something". I agree. However, I never claimed that if the universe came into being, it did so from nothing. Thus, that was just a straw man on Pro's behalf. I did not post the video to endorse Laurence Krauss's view that the universe can come from nothing, I posted as a source to back up the claim that if the universe is flat, the total energy is zero. I am saying that if the universe came into being, it could have done so from a zero energy state. I did not once endorse the view that the universe came from absolutely nothing.

Apparent Coincidences

My opponent has not put forward any actual noteworthy coincidences. He just lists random things and calls them coincidences, then claims that God follows. That is a non-sequitur. He also dodged the fact that Jupiter has 4 rings and not 3, but he still talks about Jupiter like it only has 3 rings. Also, my opponent straw mans me once again by stating that I asserted that we cannot deduce things based off probability. We can, however Pro is doing this fallaciously. Pro has not explained why only God can be a probable explanation for everything he lists. He just assumes it. None of Pro's arguments have anything specifically to do with the Kalam Cosmological Argument, even if they are arguments for God. Additionally, if it is true that the writers of the Bible were able to predict things that turned out to be true, how can that only be plausibly explained by God? That seems absurd. People predict things that turn out to be true all the time. Pro has not tied a coherent case together.

Conclusion

Pro has not shown that everything that begins to exist has a cause. He has also not shown that the universe began to exist. He also lists random Bible stories and facts (shady facts at that) about heavenly bodies and calls them coincidences, when they are not major coincidences at all. Even if they were coincidences, why can only God explain them? Pro hasn't even come close to meeting his burden of proof.

DanBeach

Pro

DanBeach forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Rational_Thinker9119 forfeited this round.
DanBeach

Pro

DanBeach forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
O and closed is spherical in a way, it would re collapse at the end point of time. Well portrayed as spherical in most situations. Really to say its positive curvature when looking at it from a euclidean viewpoint.

http://abyss.uoregon.edu...
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
O and closed is spherical in a way, it would re collapse at the end point of time. Well portrayed as spherical in most situations. Really to say its positive curvature when looking at it from a euclidean viewpoint.

http://abyss.uoregon.edu...
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
I felt metaphorically speaking that would be obvious. They can throw out a X number for how long it would be, i just meant to say at some point if this planet is still alive no one will know what happened. Seeing as how we will probably collide with another galaxy before hand I doubt it will matter.

The argument is a summary from a book by Lawrence Krauss. I didn't direct quote, so I was assuming most people who keep up with this type of stuff would know the nothing from something argument off hand.

I'm limited to character restraint from explaining the first initial state of time, I am sure you would word it better but with a 2000 limit on a comment its hard lol. Daniel Craig takes the argument and argues it using epistemology. Will give him props for how well he can argue it though. He can make anything sound good. Well referring to the illogical creation of time.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
I felt metaphorically speaking that would be obvious. They can throw out a X number for how long it would be, i just meant to say at some point if this planet is still alive no one will know what happened. Seeing as how we will probably collide with another galaxy before hand I doubt it will matter.

The argument is a summary from a book by Lawrence Krauss. I didn't direct quote, so I was assuming most people who keep up with this type of stuff would know the nothing from something argument off hand.

I'm limited to character restraint from explaining the first initial state of time, I am sure you would word it better but with a 2000 limit on a comment its hard lol. Daniel Craig takes the argument and argues it using epistemology. Will give him props for how well he can argue it though. He can make anything sound good. Well referring to the illogical creation of time.
Posted by Sargon 3 years ago
Sargon
@ Mikal

1: You should give credit where it's due, as the entirely of the first half of your comment is arguments that have already been made by other people. Not only that, but it misunderstands the argument being made.

" A closed would mean that if you look far enough in one direction you would see the back of your head."

No, that's spherical.

"People even notice this with how fast the universe is currently expanding. In a few thousand years there will be no evidence to even show the big bang occurred other than book because of the rate of expansion at which the universe is undergoing currently"

In a few TRILLION.
Posted by Noctan 3 years ago
Noctan
Aw. I would have accepted then I saw you were Con.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
That also makes no sense if you have ever even looked at physics. Stating it does not have a beginning is inaccurate, what is meant to be said is that there is no first state or initial state of time.

It would be similar to this 1>>>>2>>>>3. One would represent the state most people think God created. If he existed prior to that, it would be illogical. As i said this is something even Craig (leading apologist) accepts.

Look at the beginning as a half open state of time. So instead of 1>>>>2>>>>>3 it would be more like 3>>>>>>>>>>> (X=end point). Remember this is defined as a certain point in time. Because it is half open, it is allowed to begin without the first essential state and have an end point. This is shown in the theory of general relativity.

The same theory that helped modern scientist show that there are three types of universes which are Open,Closed, and Flat. A closed would mean that if you look far enough in one direction you would see the back of your head. Entailing that eventually the universe would re collapse. An open universe would keep expanding at the same rate. A flat would begin to expand fast and eventually slow down to some degree. Come to find out its flat(this also gives credibility to quantum fluctuations that happen due to 0 energy). People even notice this with how fast the universe is currently expanding. In a few thousand years there will be no evidence to even show the big bang occurred other than book because of the rate of expansion at which the universe is undergoing currently . Cosmic Background Radiation which is the very proof that the big bang happened, which are the remnants and after glow of it happens to be shifting away marginally every year. So in a nutshell if you look at the Large Hadron Collider and some of the studies they are doing there, you could even argue a universe could spawn randomly and out of nothing due to mathematical properties that exist within a flat universe.
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
I agree with dannyc.

William Lane Craig has hijacked the Islamic Kalam argument. And in the case of this particular debate, you have added an awful lot of baggage that belongs to Craig, not Kalam. The original KCA argument is simply:

-Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
-The universe has a beginning of its existence;
Therefore:
-The universe has a cause of its existence.

The baggage that's been added is both unnecessary and implausible (to prove). Poor "Pro" bastard.
Posted by dannyc 3 years ago
dannyc
The KCA does not prove two characteristics which Con has produced. It does not prove the creator is a personal creator and it does not prove the being is changeless. You could also argue that just because something does not have a begining then it does not follow that this being cannot have an end.
Posted by DT 3 years ago
DT
The notion of omni-potence is originally rooted in Western Christian traditions (which later became philosophy) only to refer to God's ability to realize reality (universe).

However, it has been hijacked by modern Atheists which re-defined it and demanded that it must also refer to the power to resolve contradictions as well,

* Create fire that can not be extinguished
* Create a circle which is also a square

But these contradictions are true only by virtue of definition.

What we call "circle" is by definition sets of points that are equidistant to a point, and by definition different from points that form parellel lines.

Saying that God is NOT omni-potent because contradictions exists is tautologically similar to saying that "God does not exist because I said so".

God needs to be logically consistent with Itself, so obviously there are things it wont do which CONTRADICTS its nature.
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