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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Kajikami

    But there absolutely can be people who choose to become religious without having been immersed in any of the dogma.

    I personally know someone who grew up in an entirely atheist household, who became deeply religious in high school. She wasn't recruited by a religion or influenced by someone she knew; she decided there was something missing in her life, went looking for it, and found it in religion.

    I've heard taller tales in my life, as they say, but the least I'd like to clarify about such anecdotes:

    1. Being/becoming "spiritual," in a very nebulous sense might well occur in the absence of dogma. It is entirely possible some people are more readily able to enter meditative states, feel empathy, or something similar. I just wouldn't use the word "religious," here as that absolutely implies you've got the dogma hammered in and found that you agree with it or at least accept it despite obvious flaws. Nobody simply becomes christian without ever hearing of Jesus. Nobody spontaneously goes on Hajj without knowing of Mohammad. etc.

    2. I would be QUITE curious to know what an "entirely atheist," background entails. Frankly, I don't think such a house exsits anywhere. For one thing, we've already clarified that Atheism isn't a system of belief, but rather a rejection of theism and it's belief system. I know very non-believing families who take their kids to church or synagogue just for the cultural and historical significance. Even in the absence of that, I think it would be impossible in the US especially to dodge some fairly serious attempts at indoctrination.

    Ultimately, mid-life crisis and crisis in general can generate some of the most profound changes in our lives, but that isn't a positive affirmation of every change we make or the motivation itself. I would safely guess, in the case of your friend, she was being fed a lot of information about one religion or another from childhood or at least adolescence. When the crisis in her life came and she felt alone, the community of belief gave her something to be apart of.

    I don't think human interaction or a sense of belonging is bad, so good on her. I just wish she (and others like her) would choose a group that didn't involve the surrender of the mind to irrational truth claims.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Leeching beasts.. useless?
    Quote from maka

    Quote from Ruppgu

    Exactly, if we get good drops in the game that aren't for our character, what do you expect us to do with them exactly?

    Alts :)

    I have 3 level 60 characters, and 2 more about to hit 50, so my stash is full of stuff just waiting for them to ding 60. But I've been seeing that this is not the norm; what I see the most are profiles where over 90% of the play time is spent on one character only (like a lvl60 Barb and the rest all lvl2 or something).

    Paragon levels.
    Posted in: Witch Doctor: The Mbwiru Eikura
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    posted a message on Spirit Bears (An end-game farming build)
    Quote from Projaxs

    I hate zombie bears. The build is powerfull but you need alot of EHP to stand that dmg in act 3

    I dare say this is a bit exaggerated. I've been using bears in act3 since a few days after the patch and while it has become easier with my growing ehp stats, they're far from incredible at present and previously the build (at least the template) worked just fine for me.

    Oddly enough the biggest revelation (and for no good reason I can come up with) I gained here was to drop gargantuan for zdogs. I was far under-estimating how much better the dogs perform as a distraction vs. even the cleaving garg. It was literally a notable step up to make that flip and I have to give credit where it's due.

    As far as the finer points of the build go, I really think the build plays well with any combo of SH/SW runes you fancy. I can imagine with enough dps and/or ls the full nelson dmg variants would be absolutely wonderful. Currently running StW and Healing Journey myself and find the comfort zone has been hit. It's nice not to have that urgency of finding a new pack right away if the next group coming up is just 3-4 monsters strong. Similarly, it is also comforting to have a moderate heal packed when (looking at you rakkis) those tentacles are just in all the wrong places.

    Still hunting for a a Zunna's marrow at a reasonable price to completely my 4set, but it doesn't even feel urgent (though I don't doubt how amazing the bonus will be) considering how trivial act3 has become.

    Anyhow, +1 OP for the well explained template. Well done.
    Posted in: Witch Doctor: The Mbwiru Eikura
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Kajikami

    My meaning wasn't very clear here. Yes, the act of Faith is irrational. But the choice to be irrational can be a rational one. I don't think anyone is completely rational 100% of the time, and I'm not sure we should even aspire to be.

    Thanks for clarifying that, although I am not entirely sure I agree with that statement. There are many degrees of certainty which we must operate on to live out our daily lives. There is probably some neurological wiggle room to be considered too. Ultimately I think the point wasn't so much rationality must be our lone modus operandi, but that religious faith (that which fuels dogma) is a particularly dangerous irrational choice since it not only promulgates the spread of un-founded truths, but also allows hierarchies based on that dogma to continue working outside of any rational critique. ie. The Vatican being allowed to house international criminal pedophiles while the secular government of Cambodia is expected to extradite the co-founder of the pirate bay for copy-write infringement.

    Quote from Kajikami

    We can absolutely come to understand those feelings through science. But that isn't the same as causing people to feel them. Certainly some people can have some or all of these feelings by means other than faith in a higher power, but that doesn't mean that there isn't benefit to be had in gaining them through faith.

    That is an obvious statement, but not relevant to what I said. Of course understanding something and "feeling," it are two different concepts. However, we should not pre-suppose that there is only one method of eliciting those physio-emotional responses (in-fact, studies have shown so-called "spiritual" bliss can be experienced by anyone under the right setting and it is extensively studied in modern neuroscience for it's therapeutic potential).

    Unfortunately many people make this false connection between reaching a positive mental state and assume it came from their theology. What is more likely (given that these experiences are well documented among all religions and even non-religious persons) is that they have found a way to gain those experiences through the lens of their practice. The take-home from this point is simple. There's absolutely nothing wrong or irrational about the act of meditation, fasting, or some other method of attaining a desired mental benefit, but this should not be taken as credence for dogma. In-fact it would be much healthier to separate the two.

    Quote from Kajikami

    Mostly I agree with you here. However, the idea that everyone with faith has it only through conditioning is absurd. I'm not sure if your implying that. Certainly there is a huge amount of conditioning going on, and completely separating that from the issue would be nearly impossible.

    I don't think it is absurd at all, unless you are willing to define religious faith in some entirely nebulous and esoteric way. The control experiment is simple. Take a look at majority non-religious countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. These countries were previously part of Christendom like everywhere else in Europe. Clearly their genetic makeup has not changed dramatically in the last couple of hundred years. What is to explain their mass exodus from the church and from faith communities in general? The simple answer, and by Occam's razor the most likely, is that people are not born with a predication for faith. It has to be hammered in and inculcated deeply and then re-enforced the whole life long.

    Quote from Kajikami

    I think what I mean by "valid" is that I wouldn't think less of a person for the act of having faith. However, I definitely would frown on many of the choices people make based on their beliefs. I find that the religious individuals whom I interact with (a very select group I'm ready to admit) pick and choose only the messages which they believe are good. This may be a butchery of their faith from a theistic viewpoint, but I see it as only a good thing. I think atheists often try to say (and have in this thread) "look at all these bad things taught/done by your religion, how can you claim it is good" in an attempt to convince people to completely disavow their faith, but this will rarely actually occur. If an individual professes a belief in something you find abhorrent, absolutely challenge them for it. But individuals who only takes the good parts? They should be celebrated, because it is they who will move the religion in a better direction in the future.

    I certainly see the point you are making and once again I thank you for clarifying. This; however, is something I cannot agree with. Firstly, I concur there is certainly something to be said for a benign and selectively positive reading of some dogma so as to render it less caustic in a modern setting. Unfortunately, even those readings have some very unfortunate side-effects.

    1. They lend credence to the fundamentalists. There is no way a moderate catholic can tell his anti-Semitic conservative friend that he is following the dogma in an inappropriate manner. The only means of deciding which is the correct interpretation is to ask the highest religious authority (who in most cases tends to be conservative, for obvious reasons) or in the absence of such an authority (protestantism, Islam, etc.) you simply have a stalemate of equally unjustifiable viewpoints. If anything, the fundamentalist has a leg-up because there is no mention of reading the text as an abstract or analogy in the book itself.

    2. Even the most benign and seemingly inconsequential belief can become a huge disaster. A hundred years ago, believing that life began at conception was bothersome and caused population booms and busts that created small, but notable human tragedies. Today; however, the seemingly innocent notion causes religious groups to try and block funding to stem-cell research. The treatment which could one-day cure dramatic and debilitating neurological disorders is being put on hold because a collection of cells, less than the number contained in the hair of a house-fly, is considered to be more valuable "life," than the living children dying of multiple sclerosis and other debilitating diseases.

    Ultimately, I think it is appropriate to give a bit of leeway on those of a very liberal faith, but one certainly cannot use the idea that a benign faith is harmless to gloss over the rather obvious societal issues perpetuated by not just fundamentalist faith, but religious faith in general.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Enty

    My point was that I and most christians dont take the bible literally. We use it as a sort of guide because most of the teachings used are all of loving and bringing peace to those around you. I should have clarified that the entire bible does not provide the correct or morally good answer 100% of the time, but in the teachings of the Roman Catholic church we mostly use ones that show the compassion and goodness of each human and that we should follow these ways.

    I think you and I have read dramatically diffirent versions of the Torah and New Testament. The claim that "most," of the teachings in either book make a case for moral living, peace, or coexitant global society is absurd. There is a massive amount of white-wash in any version of these texts that could be described in that light. And honestly, to the extent that one says the Bible is not true, they are no longer "christian," as described by the book they hold so dear. You may of course continue to adopt (or adapt, as the case may be) that terminology if you like, but it is no more fitting than saying a person who pilots an airplane is a goose because they are both regularly aloft at the same atmospheric height.

    Quote from Enty

    I do believe Christianity, or a mix match of it and other apparent truths and religions, is the one true faith. I believe that we have our god, or rather a god. Yahweh whatever you may call him(Zeus, Thor, Poseidon IDC as long as the entity "god" exists) Is real to me; but that is not to say I think everyone should be a Roman catholic. I believe in free will, and that God allows us to choose as we wish without interference. If you so choose to be atheist, agnostic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Confucius, then by all means go right ahead. It is not my place to decide your faith, your belief, your way of life. But as a christian I am to believe There is a god over us who watches us and lets us live.

    I would deeply love to say that I agree with this, palatable and globally accepting a statement as it was, but you've simply opened a yawning gap of problems inherent in your description of "god." Firstly, a great many (in fact the majority) of religions are/were pantheistic. There would be absolutely no use in saying a monotheistic religion is just another reflection of a pantheistic reality. The two simply are mutually exclusive. On a similar thread of discourse, many sects of Buddhism and Confucianism especially have no need of divinity at all. How can one square that with either pantheism or monotheism? Either one claim is right or the others are right, but there is no rational way to square the three as being conducive to a single universal truth.

    As far as a personal deity goes, I have to say this requires the theological back-flips one could only find in a true theist believer. I can't imagine for a second that you can seriously be (or understand the meaning of) deism and suggest that a benevolent creator watches over the million of infants who die in child birth each year, the genocides of our long and troublesome history, the diseases, famines, and other manners of disgustingly negative platitudes which have graced our existence since time immemorial. One necessarily must admit that either there is no rational reason to suppose a personal god, or that the personal god is entirely immoral. Thankfully, we have evidence for either claim and it is perfectly fine for us to simply state that the universe works fine without one.

    Quote from Enty

    I am a deist, not an atheist fully because i believe there is a god, where as from your definition you question it? If i got that wrong please correct me. I also changed my views slightly thanks to your explanations of certain things; I'm 17 years old and do not fully understand some of these concepts, so help me better understand if you will. I'd like to say I believe in Jesus although that would go against Deism, so I'm not sure I can anymore. Which would mean I'm not so sure I could be "christian" per se either. You just confused the shit out of me! Well in any case my belief is that Jesus was real maybe not the son of god maybe just a very good preacher of the faith. I believe in being loyal to my god and going to mass and receiving all the sacraments, none of which by the way "require" you to give money to the church. That is just people wanting to do so.I also believe that we are left to do what we want when we want where we want as long as it is not immoral. If you can accurately put me in a denomination of a religion please tell me what it is, I'm not too knowledgeable on the subject.

    As I explained, you are not a deist. At least not in so far as the word is commonly used. A belief in the theology of the bible (including a white-washed "Jesus is love," version) does situate you as a "theist," by definition. I think it would behoove you to look up some of these terms (wikipedia is accurate for most of them) if they are causing you some confusion. Also, I think you are highly misinformed if you believe tithe is anything but compulsory in most societies. In many countries of Europe the tithe is extracted by a government tax.

    I would agree with your statement that people should be able to do what they will so long as it is not destructive or an impediment to the health and well-being of others (I dislike using the word "immoral," since it is so easily derailed into a useless tangent where morality is entirely out of empirical reach - it is not - and the sole propriety of theology). Having said that, the negatives of religion and I may as well do the catholic church in particular since I gather you would be familiar, are obvious. The church has sheltered and continues to shelter known pedophiles. The church is responsible for a rather large number of genocidal actions taking place on the continent of Africa. The church is responsible for retarding the healthcare of millions of individuals by claiming that condoms are a sin, or worse yet, spreading the out-right lie that they increase the transmission of HIV/AIDS.

    I could go on in much gory detail, but I think the point has been made. You fully understand that you are not a deist (though I believe you might choose to be one at some point) by now and exactly why I am not alone in thinking that theism is one of the most tragic socially retarding institutions still existing in our literal and philosophical lexicons.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Kajikami

    As an atheist, I don't have "faith". But that doesn't mean I believe everyone who does is irrational.

    Surely you understand that this is a most obvious paradoxical statement. Faith is the most supine position of irrationality. It is a statement that no matter how much evidence is presented, the person will retain a notion of truth or knowledge indifferent of that suggested by empiricism. One most certainly can live a rational life and maintain their irrational faith in a compartment of their mind, benign and largely ineffectual, if they so desire, but that has absolutely no bearing on whether or not the act of faith is rational. It is necessarily irrational.

    Quote from Kajikami

    I propose that an individual can benefit (in say happiness, or quality of life) from a belief in god. The individual is comforted by the knowledge of an afterlife, a higher power watching over them, belonging to a larger organization, etc. So if you are capable of having "faith", it might be a good idea. However, no one can consciously choose to believe something. For this to work, you have to deny any such logical explanation for your "faith". So you proclaim that your "faith" needs no justification, or build elaborate explanations.

    I propose that if those feelings are anything but illusory, there is an empirical study about which we could come to know them. Neuroscience, psychology, sociology, and other sciences are fast approaching better understandings of things which used to be considered transcendent or at the least most aptly discussed in terms of theology. None of those feelings is improved upon by ending the conversation at "this is faith and nothing else need be said."

    Quote from Kajikami

    Now, I definitely don't claim all (or even any) theists make this choice consciously. I realize that I'm kind of implying theists must be lying to themselves, and that isn't really my intent. This is just one example, and if a theist would like to provide their own justification for "faith", I would love to hear it.

    I would argue there is a bit of social evolution at work, for lack of a better term. Nobody need be the mastermind behind some conspiratorial religion theory in just the same way that no grandiose creator being need lie behind the vast universe that we inhabit. Ideas evolve over time with culture and we are simply seeing some rather obvious irrational ones come under the scrutiny of other, more rational, ideas in modernity. To ask why one believes is almost, I think, a silly question. One is heavily conditioned to believe in the dogma they follow (as a theist) and the culture/idea/meme transfer is the only necessary progenitor.

    Quote from Kajikami

    My point is that choosing to believe without evidence (have "faith") can be just as valid and beneficial a choice as choosing to only believe as much as we have evidence for. In fact, given the benefits of "faith" (with the right choice of what to believe, you can almost completely eliminate any drawbacks), one might say the atheists who are unable to convince themselves to have "faith" are the real losers, despite their (stereotypical) opinion that they are somehow above the "ignorant" religious masses.

    While I don't entirely agree with using the word "valid," since it really conveys nothing in context, I will admit that we could eventually conclude a measure of cognitive dissonance is a natural state of neurology for some persons. I, personally, wouldn't agree that the present evidence suggest that, but it would make for some very interesting neurology and psychology debates. As far as atheists loosing out on some kind of knowledge because they cannot bring themselves to be that little bit irrational, I completely disagree.

    There is nothing preventing me from understanding the mindset of another individual. Knowing the literature, the social atmosphere, and having a degree of empathetic impulse (common in all but sociopaths) allows one to not be "ignorant," of the religious experience. The travesty we see is that people might appreciate the benefits now attributed to religion without all the socially destructive dogma that comes with the present institutions. Until that great divorce (I hope someone gets that joke) takes place with more people; however, the conversation will continue to end on the note you mentioned earlier.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Enty

    Well in this instance you're assuming us to take the old testament word for word exactly as it came to us(which its not). It's not that Adam and Eve were the actual first humans (they could've been bob and jill, or abugala and frugala), nor is "original sin" taken to be a special sin done by the first peoples that damned us all; It is all representation of a truth.

    Considering the biblical account makes no caveats saying "this isn't meant to be literal," and that a great number of religious adherents do seem to believe it to be literal for that reason, I fail to see the point of making that case. Furthermore, the concept of original sin is nothing of the sort. Truth being the polar opposite of a completely mythical and entirely non-evidential claim.

    Quote from Enty

    There was originally a man and a woman. At one point there was one man and one woman, simple as that.

    Originally there were a group of human ancestor primates who began evolving in the direction of what we now refer to as homo sapiens sapiens. There was not a single progenitor pair, but rather a population seeded by many individuals which developed into the human form we see today. Using such a fallacious assumption as the pretense for an argument is a bad idea.

    Quote from Enty

    Original sin is just that the original sin it is meant to be taken as just a sin that started more sinning, but in reality we know that all it really was, was the first sin. In turn we must be saved from sin which is where Jesus comes in to save us. His job as gods son was to show us how to be a better human and he did so by dying for what he believed in and was, and he spread the word and helped the sick and whomever he could.

    Original sin is simply the concept that people are born as sinners and there is no amount of right action possible to make a non-believer a good person. In point of fact, most Christians (the Catholics still retain their position as the largest denomination) do not even believe that Jesus has abolished original sin. One must grovel and praise the divine each day, receive the sacraments (one of which is to give a generous portion of your income to the church), and believe the nonsense before they are "saved."

    If there is a notion of generosity being implied here, I certainly do not see it. The book says that you are sick and offers you a cure to that sickness; however, in the absence of that book you could (and for the 100k+ years humanity existed prior to the founding of monotheism, people did) live a positive and fulfilled life without this concept.

    Quote from Enty

    Evolution disproves absolutely none of the points you made, in fact it just assert that the bible is a representation of moral living. Really it's a tool for living peacefully, although I know you'll say the crusades and the numerous wars started over the damned thing, but nevertheless its purpose is to be a moral compass if you will.

    Evolution disproves 100% of the creation accounts in the bible. Furthermore the book has no claim what so ever on morality. Yes, there are peaceful and progressive notions there-in, but there are also commandments to racial violence (the tribe of israel slaughtering it's neighbors), slavery (even found in the new testament where Paul commands slaves to serve their Christian masters especially well), and all manner of other disgusting amoral practices. The true compass of morality is within the human being reading the bible, not the bible itself. Our social primate instincts are highly developed and precisely what we use in the modern day to condemn a sadistic biblical literalist who wants to murder his neighbor for working on the Sabbath.

    Quote from Enty

    I'm not saying Christianity is the end all be all and you have to be christian otherwise you're a damned fool just like i don't suspect you say that all Christians should be atheists and we're damned fools. Believe what you want to believe, but understand who you're fighting against here. We really do believe in a God that allows us to do as we please and the interventions of god really weren't meant to be literal besides Jesus. We're more deist than theist. At least most normal Christians. There are those who take the bible word for word, which is incomprehensible but whatever.

    If you don't believe that Christianity is the one true faith, you are not entirely christian, for that is one of the precepts within the biblical text of the new testament. You are of course free to some kind of mix-match, non-literal, neo-liberal interpretations of scripture if that is what you fancy, but if you do so there is absolutely no reason to claim a single word of it has literal truth or special meaning. If you want to be a deist, fine. I have no way of disproving the god concept of deism, nor does anyone else. Just realize two things about the position of a deist, if that is truely the position you take:

    1. The bible means absolutely nothing in any other context than literature. There is no godly truth therein because as a deist, your god is not present in the existential universe and has never interacted in the affairs therein. The personal god is the god of a theist.

    2. A deist is just as much an atheist (without theism) in regards to Christianity as a regular atheist like myself who doesn't bother to suppose a singularity or first cause and name it "god." If you want to characterize our position as being different in any meaningful way other than that, once again, you will find that your position is that of a theist.

    For the life of me I can't understand the point you were making, but I hope this helps you better identify (or perhaps clarify) your own position on the matter of deism. You seem to be dangerously close to completely shedding the chains of religion and thinking for yourself. :)
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Troll Population Seems to be Down.
    Quote from Zero(pS)

    Quote from Bilge

    "Everyone who disagrees with me is a troll" - it would be nice to see this mindset die out. It's the same mindset behind racism, an unwillingness to understand anything "different" in favor of disparaging it instead. Stupidity at its finest.
    While I can agree with you that a lot of people like jumping on bandwagons (and hate bandwagons even more), and that's a very bad thing, I don't think that's the case here.

    His immediately jump to a pseudo-intellectual defense of bad posting and attack on anyone who notices it is quite predictable.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Paragon 100 too easy?
    I get the feeling that "thinking out loud," has become far too normative online.

    There are such things as stupid questions. This just one example.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Alkaizer topping paragon ranking [edited]
    While some, and I wouldn't rule myself out in this particular instance (despite admittedly not giving that kind of venture much thought), might consider that justification to be an ethical preponderance; At the end of the day, the TOS quite clearly indicates that the game and everything in it are the property of Blizzard. That includes our accounts, items, and anything else until one actually has cash deposited into their paypal account.

    Again, I think this is a true and bothersome rift of grey area when it comes to intellectual property rights, but one cannot seriously enter into the prospective venture of investing into this game by that manner without acknowledging that risk. Until some kind of judicial verdict is rendered on the matter (and I don't know how far this line of reasoning has been in court), I would consider such an investment to be an absolute gamble. Blizzard doesn't even have to give a reason for banning a user.

    tl;dr: I wouldn't say there is a systemic problem per-se with "playing," the market; however, it's obviously a risky business and I would advise caution.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Two Demonic Slaves VS One Treasure Goblin - Double Maximus
    You have done well this day sir.

    +1
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Alkaizer topping paragon ranking [edited]
    Considering I'm still lackadaisically heading toward plvl 20, this thread is a bit depressing.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Getting loot from drops
    Quote from sifuedition

    The idea is simply that they can granularly control the rate at which usable gear drops without risking making everyone OP. They can do this kind of adjustment for all the affixes so you aren't rolling a level 40 affix on iLvl 61+ gear.

    Well said and exactly what I was driving at earlier.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Ultimate Random Chat Thread [URT] v4
    Creative stuff. :)
    Posted in: Off-Topic
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    posted a message on Boss Loots vs Elite Loots
    3 of the 5 legendaries I've found were from chests or other inanimate objects. Good old RNG :)
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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