Open Letter #14 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, “We can get drunk and wait for death!” Tony Johnson

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After Life #1 Trailer

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(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

May 1, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 14th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to pass along some evidence that indicates the Bible is historically accurate.

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in the 5th episode of the second season of AFTERLIFE is the following conversation: 

Sandy: We laugh at James for living with his mum. He is 10 years younger than me and I live with my mum. Everyone has a date [for the review tonight]. 
Tony: I haven’t. 
Sandy: Sorry.

Tony: No I mean you are not the only one. It’s no big deal. There is no rush. Don’t wallow. You get addicted to it. I am I think [addicted] to grief. I sort of know where I am with it. When something goes well and I see a glimpse of hope I get confused then when it all turns to [crap] I say Oh there it is. Then I say we can get drunk and wait for death. 
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Sounds like Tony is a nihilist and I believe the reason that may contribute to that is that Tony thinks that God doesn’t exist and there is no hope after the grave. Furthermore, one day the universe will collapse and all people will die or even worse if someone started a nuclear war that ended all life! How did get here? Atheists have embraced evolution. 

According to life UNDER THE SUN in ECCLESIASTES chance and time plus matter (us) has determined the past and it will determine the future.By the way, what are the ingredients that make evolution work? George Wald – “Time is the Hero.”

Image result for george wald

 Jacques Monod – “Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.” 

Image result for manod jac nobel prize

 I can not think of a better illustration of this in action than the movie ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute. On May 4, 1994 I watched the movie for the first time and again I thought of the humanist who believes that history is not heading somewhere with a purpose but is guided by pure chance, absolutely free but blind. I thought of the passage Ecclesiastes 9:10-12 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
Francis Schaeffer noted: 

You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space

Is there any positive way to spin the fact that in a world of life only UNDER THE SUN that there is hope for us? Some hang onto the idea that the human race may get better and continue. Charles Darwin wrote, “Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is…” 

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Now you have now the birth of Julian Huxley’s evolutionary optimistic humanism already stated by Darwin. Darwin now has a theory that man is going to be better. If you had lived at 1860 or 1890 and you said to Darwin, “By 1970 will man be better?” He certainly would have the hope that man would be better as Julian Huxley does today. Of course, I wonder what he would say if he lived in our day and saw what has been made of his own views in the direction of (the mass murder) Richard Speck (and deterministic thinking of today’s philosophers). I wonder what he would say. So you have the factor, already the dilemma in Darwin that I pointed out in Julian Huxley and that is evolutionary optimistic humanism rests always on tomorrow. You never have an argument from the present or the past for evolutionary optimistic humanism.

You can have evolutionary nihilism on the basis of the present and the past. Every time you have someone bringing in evolutionary optimistic humanism it is always based on what is going to be produced tomorrow. When is it coming? The years pass and is it coming? Arthur Koestler doesn’t think it is coming. He sees lots of problems here and puts forth for another solution.

Darwin wrote, “…it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful…”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Here you feel Marcel Proust and the dust of death is on everything today because the dust of death is on everything tomorrow. Here you have the dilemma of Nevil Shute’s ON THE BEACH. If it is true that all we have left is biological continuity and biological complexity, which is all we have left in Darwinism here, or in many of the modern philosophies, then you can’t stand Shute’s ON THE BEACH. Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men. Charlie Chaplin when he heard there was no life on Mars said, “I’m lonely.”

You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space. They say when it was shown in Stockholm the first time, the tough Swedes with all their modern  mannishness, came out (after the opera was over) with hardly a word said, just complete silence.

Darwin already with his own position says he CAN’T STAND IT!! You can say, “Why can’t you stand it?” We would say to Darwin, “You were not made for this kind of thing. Man was made in the image of God. Your CAN’T- STAND- IT- NESS is screaming at you that your position is wrong. Why can’t you listen to yourself?”

You find all he is left here is biological continuity, and thus his feeling as well as his reason now is against his own theory, yet he holds it against the conclusions of his reason. Reason doesn’t make it hard to be a Christian. Darwin shows us the other way. He is holding his position against his reason.

Aniara (opera)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Premiere production at the Royal Opera, Stockholm 1959. Set by Sven Erixson.

Kjerstin Dellert and Olle Sivall in the premiere production.

Aniara is an opera in two acts by Karl-Birger Blomdahl, with a libretto by Erik Lindegren based on the poem Aniara by Harry Martinson, that was premiered in 1959.[1] Subtitle of poem and opera is the ambiguous phrase En revy om människan i tid och rum: “A revue/review about Man in Time and Space”.[2]

The score of Aniara is varied and makes full use of a range of musical idioms, including jazzserial writing and an electronic tape. The narrative is sung primarily by Mimaroben, a bass-baritone, who operates the electronic tape, Mima, the computer, and by the chorus.[1] In essence the opera (and poem) deal with the relationship between the individual and the group through time.

Many representatives of the international press were in Stockholm for the premiere in 1959 at a time when the space age was beginning.[2] Blomdahl said in interview that the opera (in common with his next opera Herr von Hancken) was founded on “modern man’s complexity and his basically impossible situation”; Aniara dealt with “the downfall of the group”.[3] A production was mounted in Gothenburg in 1994.[4]

Contents

 [hide

Roles[edit]

ROLEVOICE TYPEPREMIERE CAST, 31 MAY 1959[5]
(CONDUCTOR: SIXTEN EHRLING)
MimarobenbaritoneErik Saedén
The blind poetesshigh sopranoMargareta Hallin
Daisi DoodysopranoKjerstin Dellert
Libideldancer
Three chief technicians2 tenors, baritoneSven-Erik Wikström, Arne Ohlson, Bo Lundborg
Comedian, Sandonhigh buffo tenorOlle Sivall
IsageldancerLoulou Portefaix
Den stenstumt dövetenorRagnar Ulfung
Chefonebass-baritoneArne Tyrén
Chorus: space cadets, passengers

Synopsis[edit]

Controlled by the computer Mima, the space ship Aniara leaves the poisoned Earth, heading for Mars. Through Mimaroben, who is the operator of Mima, the emigrants learn of the evil of mankind.

During the celebration of midsummer, the vessel is thrown off course, causing panic, and forcing a journey to the constellationLyra which commander Chefone says will last for the rest of the lives of the crew and passengers. When the Earth is destroyed, Mima cannot continue, and Sandon makes jokes about the safety on board, but when the mute describes in signs the end of the world he becomes silent. Chefone blames Mimaroben, who, with the pilot Isagel, is taken away.

The commander deals as best he can with the increased despair and moral deterioration among those aboard, depicted in a scene in a hall of mirrors, where Daisy Dodd, her lesbian partner, and the passengers dance, and the blind poetess speaks of her cult of Light, which has replaced Mima. The body of the dead chief technician is shot into outer space in the direction of the star Rigel. The 20th anniversary of the voyage is celebrated, and the blind poetess ecstatically sees the city of heaven, but is taken away.

The final scene shows the last night onboard where Isagel dances and the blind poetess sings of the joy of death. A light beam sweeps over the dead passengers and Mimaroben prepares for the end. Finally darkness descends over the occupants of the space ship, and the audience in the theatre.

Recordings[edit]

The first performance was broadcast by Swedish Radio; a subsequent recording was conducted by Stig Westerberg, and included Viveka Anderberg, Björn Haugan, Stefan Parkman, Mikael Samuelson, Thomas Sunnegårdh and Jerker Arvidssonin among the cast.

References[edit]

  1. Jump up to:a b Wiklund A. Aniara. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London & New York, 1997.
  2. Jump up to:a b Thoor A. Opera in Space and in the Round. In: Swedish music – past and present, special edition of Musikrevy. STIM & Swedish Institute for Cultural Relations Abroad, Stockholm, 1966.
  3. Jump up^ Hambraeus B. Conversation with Karl-Birger Blomdahl. In: Swedish music – past and present, special edition of Musikrevy. STIM & Swedish Institute for Cultural Relations Abroad, Stockholm, 1966.
  4. Jump up^http://en.opera.se/media/doc/goteborgsoperan_archive.pdf
  5. Jump up^ Swedish Radio archive: http://smdb.kb.se/catalog/search?q=Aniara+opera+1959

Categories:

I listened to an interview of Michael Bate conducted by Alan Macfarlane and Dr. Bates said he saw ‘On the Beach’ with Robert Acland; a transforming moment as so outraged by the thought of nuclear annihilation that I became a rabid nuclear disarmer; went to RAF Wittering with the Cadet Corp to see what they claimed was an atom bomb; thus during the latter part of my school life I became extremely rebellious and formed a lot of good friendships among the nuclear disarmament community....I love cinema; in Australia I was offered a job as film critic for the Australian Broadcasting Commission; I had a weekly programme when I broadcast to Canberra about films and got free tickets to go to drive ins to see films like ‘Last Tango in Paris’ and comment on them; the film that made me realize this was something important was ‘The Seventh Seal’, shortly after which I saw ‘Last Year at Marienbad’ and I have never recovered.”


I love the cinema too and  also have seen the movies ON THE BEACH, THE SEVENTH SEAL and LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD and have done blog posts on them.

I noted that Dr. Bate l had seen the Bergman movie WINTER LIGHT. Recently I was watching the You Tube series BREAKING DOWN BERGMAN and Sonia Strimban said concerning that movie:

I think the movie is about what can human beings have faith in, and what can we hope for. The confusion of the minister Toma Ericsson (played by Gunnar Bjornstrand) is because he is supposed to be the shepherd of his flock and lead the people and show them the way and he is the one having the greatest crisis of faith. Can a belief in a greater being sustain people and if you don’t believe in the greater being then what is the meaning of your life? So what this minister is struggling with is this question, “Is God real or is God not real then what do I do?” His inability to relate to God translates into the barrenness of the rest of the film and this larger anxiety that everyone has about life and the meaning of life and can they survive.  


Let me make two points here. First, there is no lasting meaning for our lives if there is no God and afterlife and I wanted to share with you the story behind the song DUST IN THE WIND.

Second, God did communicate to us through the Bible and there is evidence that indicates the Bible is a historically accurate book (see below in this post).


Ricky, I sent you a CD a while back that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

If you had any doubts about the figures in the Bible being real people then up till 1993 you have mocked the lack of archaeological evidence for even Solomon’s father David, but not any more! 

Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology – #2 House of David Inscription

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This post is a continuation of our Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archaeology series. To see the complete series please click here.

The Great Kings of Israel

Without question the two greatest kings of Israel were David and Solomon. The Bible is full of rich stories recounting these two remarkable lives.

David burst onto the scene as a small boy who could play a musical instrument beautifully enough to calm the nerves of his king. The larger than life prophet Samuel secretly anoints David as the new king to replace the unfaithful King Saul. As a young man David shows fierce courage. He steps up, while all the men of the nation cower, and cuts the head off the giant Goliath. David then goes on to eventually become the greatest King of Israel. He is a poet, a warrior, a musician, a leader, a lover and so much more. David had substantial flaws but through it all God deemed him a man after His own heart. His influence is still felt today with the modern nation of Israel using the “Star of David” as their national emblem.

Solomon, additionally, is cloaked in his own greatness. Rarely can a son follow in the footsteps of a famous father. Solomon reaches iconic status through God offering him a unique opportunity, one wish. What is Solomon’s wish? Solomon famously asks not for riches but for wisdom. God, surprised by Solomon’s wish, makes him the wisest man who has ever lived. As an added bonus God goes ahead and makes him rich as well. Solomon’s wealth, influence and wisdom are without rival. These men are famous and contribute a considerable portion of Scripture (traditionally Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon).

The Great Silence

We have two great kings; we also have a great silence. Outside of the Bible there has been absolutely no evidence David or Solomon ever existed. David and Solomon are portrayed in the Bible as international players. Solomon is married to an Egyptian princess, the Queen of Sheba comes to visit and learn from Solomon, David conquers kingdoms, yet nothing has been discovered from any country with any hint to their existence.

You can imagine the doubts this has developed in the scholarly world. Many scholars postulate the nation of Israel was nothing more than the equivalent of a backwoods hick town at the supposed time of David and Solomon. The Bible, it is thought, grossly exaggerates the influence of these kings (who may or may not have lived) in order to create some sort of false national pride to a much later generation. Are these fabricated stories? The archaeological record appears to support this view due to the shocking lack of any mention of their names.

For years millions of people trusted the biblical account of David and Solomon without any archaeological support, then came 1994.

1994

In 1994 archaeologists were digging in northern Israel at the ancient city of Dan. The area surrounding Dan is one of the most beautiful parts of Israel. The excavation had come across some interesting elements but nothing which would rock the archaeological world until a member of the team made an unlikely discovery.

The city gate was being excavated. Most of the gate was constructed with typical building materials of the time, but three of the stones holding the gate together held a history much more interesting than their neighboring stones. These three stone fragments were found covered with ancient writing. The largest stone fragment measured 32x22cm. Of the original writing 13 lines of text are partially preserved. The writing was found to be ancient Aramaic, dating to the mid-800’s BC.

What did the writing say? Interestingly, the stone slab is a form of ancient propaganda. An Aramaean king, most likely Hazael of Damascus, conquered the Israelite city of Dan sometime in the 840s BC. After he defeated the city he evidently erected this inscription in a public place to let everyone know he was now in control of the city. We know from the Bible Jehoram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, were both defeated by Hazael (2 Kings 8:7-15, 28; 9:24-29; 2 Chronicles 22:5).

In the inscription the Aramaean king claims to have killed the kings of both Israel (Joram) and Judah (Ahaziah) in the course of his southern conquests. Interestingly, this parallels an account of the murders of Joram and Ahaziah in 2 Kings 9, but in the Hebrew Bible’s account it is Jehu who kills the two kings in a bloody coup and seizes the throne of Israel for himself! So we have a strange historical challenge in which each names a different murderer.

Discovery

This inscription is fascinating on many levels, but what makes it the #2 biblical discovery in archaeology is the way one of the kings is described. The Aramaean king refers to the kingdom of Judah by its dynastic name, a name frequently used in the Hebrew Bible as well: the House of David. This not only indicates that the family of David still sat on the throne of Jerusalem, but this inscription represents the oldest textual reference to the historical King David ever discovered!

Significance

The House of David inscription is significant on many levels. First, contrary to all of the ink spilled touting the silence of David and Solomon from the extra-biblical record there is now proof of a historical king of Israel named David. Second, an Aramaean king would not brag about killing a king who was the relative of a guy who led a backwoods hick town. In order for Hazael to brag about killing a king descending from the House of David, David must have been a well-known and influential king even 150 years after his death. Third, after Hazael was eventually defeated it looks like the inhabitants of Dan tore down the inscription, broke it up into pieces and reused the stone fragments to construct their new outer gate showing their disdain for the inscription and love for their historically rich country.

The Tel Dan inscription is amazing. It is made more amazing by the decades of ridicule which surrounded the silence of David and Solomon from the historical record. That silence was broken in such a recent and surprising way through this small 13-line Aramaic inscription. What do you think?


The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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Adrian Rogers on Evolution

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Charles Darwin Autobiography

The basis for human dignity by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop

Dust in the Wind by KANSAS

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Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of KANSAS on 700 Club Part 1

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Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of KANSAS on 700 Club Part 2


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