Home Forums Fiction Writing General Writing Discussions Zombies and Vampires ~ Yeh or Bleh?

This topic contains 106 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Kate Flournoy 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #4918

    Hannah C
    @hannah-c
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 314

    Also, Christians are no longer under the dietary restrictions of the Old Testament, so the laws forbidding us to eat certain things in the OT are void.

    So are you saying we are allowed to drink blood now?

    HC

    #4919

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3912

    Hey, you have some really good points there.
    Okay, just for the record, I write fantasy. I definitely write about dragons and elves (at least my own version of elves) and other such magical creatures. But I think we need to be extremely careful about using creatures that are very closely associated with darkness and evil such as vampires and zombies.

    From your post, I think I must have been sending the message that I think it is wrong to even have a vampire or a zombie in your book, because they are evil. Absolutely the Bible addresses witchcraft and evil— I am not against having those things in my book. But don’t promote evil. We are still determining whether or not zombies and vampires (specifically vampires at the present moment) are evil, but just for the record I do not believe that we should not write of evil things. Without evil, how can we know righteousness as anything special and different? Without the darkness, we never would have discovered the stars. (Sorry, I like metaphors) 😛
    So if we assume that vampires are indeed perfectly right and fitting to write about, setting aside all arguments on that point for a moment, I have a question still. What does it add, besides an element of cheap horror? Why do it, even if it is right?

    Also, you talk about holding your writing to a higher standard than Lewis or Tolkien. By what authority are you determining your standard? You admitted that Bible does not say vampires are demonic and should be avoided. Therefore, you are going outside of the Bible to say vampires are inherently sinful. How do you know that vampires, or elves, or dragons, or aliens can’t be part of this higher standard you speak of?

    Well, I guess I am not making the case that it is wrong or wicked to write of vampires or mess with the laws of this our world, but is it really the best idea? The Bible does not say that vampires are inherently sinful, that is true, nor does it say that one should not tamper with the laws of this world, but it does say this: ‘Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him. Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not condemn us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. 1 Cor.:8
    Does this not apply to every area of our lives? Once my work is published, I cannot control into whose hands it falls. May I never be accused of making another follower stumble!


    Reagan Ramm
    @reaganramm
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 73

    Probably not the kind you would like, I have no actual references. But there is the Bible itself. If you’ll recal there is no mention of vampires and zombies. There is, however, verses that talk about not drinking the blood of life (which vampires do.)
    Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul.
    Genesis 9:3-4 -Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
    But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
    That says it pretty clearly.
    If you do not agree with me that is your prerogative. I am not here to change your opinion–that is not my job–I am merely here to state my own.
    HC

    First of all, it’s very important to understand the Bible in its context.

    The Bible’s first prohibition against consuming blood comes in Genesis 9:2-4, where God tells Noah, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.” This prohibition was most likely a ban on eating raw blood (i.e., uncooked meat). For the first time, animals were an allowable food source, and God was making sure that Noah did not eat them raw.

    It’s important to understand that New Testament believers in Christ have freedom from the dietary Law, and we are to “stand firm” in that liberty (Galatians 5:1). It is not the law that makes us clean anymore, but Christ. “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink” (Colossians 2:16). So, eating a rare steak, blood sausage, blood pancakes, blood soup, or blood tofu may not be palatable to all Christians, but it is allowable.

    However, if you believe that we should still not consume blood, then in order for your views to be consistent, you must also believe that we should still offer sacrifices, that we are not to eat pork, rabbit, and that it is sinful to wear clothing of two different fabrics, among many other restrictions.

    However, let’s assume that you are right, and that drinking blood is a sin. How is this sin worse than the sins of lying, stealing, cheating, murder, jealousy, etc.?

    If your point is that we should not write about vampires because drinking blood is sinful, then you must also believe that we cannot include characters in our stories who commit any other sin.

    What is more, the Bible depicts people committing terrible sins. By this logic, we would have to say that we should not read the Bible.

    I’m sure you do not believe any of this, but this is where the logic leads. As we’ve written about in many Kingdom Pen posts, there is a difference between depicting something sinful, and advocating it. We certainly do not want to promote or advocate sin.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Reagan Ramm.
    #4922

    Reagan Ramm
    @reaganramm
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 73

    From your post, I think I must have been sending the message that I think it is wrong to even have a vampire or a zombie in your book, because they are evil. Absolutely the Bible addresses witchcraft and evil— I am not against having those things in my book. But don’t promote evil.

    Okay, yes, I did misunderstand you. Sorry about that! I was thinking you were saying it was wrong to even include them in your book. And I am completely with you that we are not to promote evil, and I don’t think vampires or zombies are to be promoted as good things.

    So if we assume that vampires are indeed perfectly right and fitting to write about, setting aside all arguments on that point for a moment, I have a question still. What does it add, besides an element of cheap horror? Why do it, even if it is right?

    You make a good point here which I agree with. I have never liked vampires or zombies myself because they are so cliched and cheap like you mentioned. I was very skeptical of Kerry’s book when I heard about it, and though I haven’t read it, after hearing the podcast, it sounds like he took a very unique angle on these creatures, which pulls it out of the realm of cheap horror.

    One could also say elves and dragons are cliched and over-used. But, putting a unique spin on them, like it sounds like you have done, is very interesting.

    And you also make a very good point about food offered to idols. That is definitely something we should keep in mind.

    #4924

    Hannah C
    @hannah-c
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 314

    I’m sure you do not believe any of this, but this is where the logic leads. As we’ve written about in many Kingdom Pen posts, there is a difference between depicting something sinful, and advocating it. We certainly do not want to promote or advocate sin.

    I agree that we should not advocate sin. But let’s look at this logically, what are you actually getting out of reading or writing about vampires and zombies? Even you must admit that they certainly are not edifying. So why put them in a book? I feel like adding those elements to a book is to put a stumbling block in the way of your brother be he christian or unbelieving. I feel like people in this generation are very susceptible to these themes and to put them in a book is like knowingly tripping your Christian brother and shoving the unbeliever deeper into their hole.

    I believe vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. Are evil. It is a personal conviction and as I have already stated, I’m not here to try and change your mind.

    But let me ask you a question or two now. Why is it so important that these themes be allowed in books when you don’t even like them? And where is your Biblical support saying they ought to be?

    HC

    #4929

    kingdompen
    @kingdompen
    • Rank: Bumbling Henchman
    • Total Posts: 4

    I agree that we should not advocate sin. But let’s look at this logically, what are you actually getting out of reading or writing about vampires and zombies? Even you must admit that they certainly are not edifying. So why put them in a book? I feel like adding those elements to a book is to put a stumbling block in the way of your brother be he christian or unbelieving. I feel like people in this generation are very susceptible to these themes and to put them in a book is like knowingly tripping your Christian brother and shoving the unbeliever deeper into their hole.
    I believe vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. Are evil. It is a personal conviction and as I have already stated, I’m not here to try and change your mind.
    But let me ask you a question or two now. Why is it so important that these themes be allowed in books when you don’t even like them? And where is your Biblical support saying they ought to be?

    I think the same could be said for things besides vampires and zombies. Why put anything evil in a story at all? My point is I don’t see a distinction between these things, and other evil elements, like villains.

    And, it would be nice if I could just say all these things are inherently evil,and should be avoided. However, it’s more important to me that we seek the Bible for truth, rather than our own feelings or understanding. I cannot condemn using these things in stories because I cannot find the Biblical support to say we should.

    And the burden of proof is on you to say that they are wrong, since the Bible does not openly say they are wrong. The Bible portrays a lot of evil, and it does so to display the light of Christ. If including vampires helps your story portray the light of Christ, okay. It’s not what I would do, but I don’t feel like there is enough evidence to say this is wrong.

    The Bible does clearly state lying, cheating, stealing, and murder are wrong though. How can you justify including these elements in a story, but not vampires. If vampires are just evil creatures intent on murder, how is that any different than an evil man murdering someone in a book?

    #4932

    Hannah C
    @hannah-c
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 314

    I cannot honestly point to a place in the Bible where it’s says vampires and zombies are wrong because to my knowledge there is no such thing mentioned in the Bible. However, I believe that dealing with such things opens a door to demons in your life. I have found an article that discusses the subject a bit.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/vampires.html

    HC

    #4935

    Ezra Wilkinson
    @ezra-wilkinson
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 146

    C’mon y’all, get your somethin’ on Imma saying something (now that my soapbox has been repaired). It’ll probably be incoherent, even I only really understand my thoughts while they’re in my head. So stay chill. Imma gonna try and make this interesting. (Please bear with it, the only hope you have of understanding it is reading the whole thing. Probably.)

    FACT: The human brain works highly differently for different people. Something that stimulates a certain reaction in one person’s thoughts will generate completely different things in another persons. Daniel and I are proof of this.

    FACT: The only verse(s) in the Bible that I have found that would relate to how we should write (aside from certain things like profanity, which, no matter what way you look at it is a lessening of God’s Holy name), would be the verses that speak of ‘whatever is holy, whatever is lovely, whatever is beautiful, think about these things. That is our mandate when doing anything, and I’ll bring this out more later.

    FACT: Stories are methods of communicating themes, morals, ideals, and most importantly, truths.

    FACT: Jesus told stories in which the character who represented God the Father was an unjust merciless man (The Parable of the Unjust Judge/Persistent Widow), and stories which stepped outside of the natural laws of creation, including death and life. (The Rich Man and Lazarus.)

    FACT: There is a such a thing as a sin of conscious, which is doing something not inherently wrong by any means, but because you do not feel right doing it, it is a sin to you. (Romans 14:19-23.)

    I think that’s all the facts I wanted to state. Now let me use them. Please?

    Oh, wait, forget a fact…

    OK! Now I begin:

    When you were little, say 3-5, all you Tolkien fans, did you watch the LotR movies? Or, would you recommend showing them to a child of that age in full? I doubt it. Why? There are certain concepts, visual, conceptual, even spiritual that someone of a child’s age just can’t take, because they can’t take those things the same way an older person can.

    This is true of a lot of things. My older brother for instance has no problem with gore in movies. I do. I don’t watch it. His mind (at least, he claims this, and I see no reason to disbelieve him just because I want to think less of him), is able to handle that in a different way than mine. He can process it, and not dwell on it, and see past it. I can’t. So what situation do we have here?

    If he watched a graphically violent movie, his mind wouldn’t then afterward be dwelling on things that are not beautiful, etc…(again, in theory. He does not speak of graphically violent stuff, and doesn’t seem to dwell on it so this is the natural conclusion.) However for me, if /I/ watched the same movie, I’d be disturbed, and it’d be on my mind for some time. So for who would it be a sin to watch it? (Please note, we are assuming that the message taught in said movie is a good and right thing. Not necessarily that graphic violence is bad, why would it have to be that? It just needs to be a truth. If there are lingering doubts that graphic violence is inherently sinful, give me about two minutes, and I’ll pull up at least ten examples of God’s enemies having the flesh picked off their bones by birds, burning for eternity in fire, and in one case, God’s army being a large pit of skeletons which slowly regrow humanity from the outside in. That’s graphic.)

    What I’m saying is this: I think often people confuse the fact that a sin for them /must/ be a sin for others, and vice versa. (Or they think that if something is fine for them, it /must/ be fine for others.) That’s simply not true, especially when it comes to stories. People do just process things differently. It just is kinda…annoying to me to see people make blanket statements about stuff that should not have blanket statements. (Mainly the annoyance comes from the fact that when people do that, it’s not long after that people start screaming nonsense cuz they’re offended. It’s all quite exasperating.)

    My end statement(s) is/are thus: When it comes to stories, do what you know is right for you. Write what you know is right for you. Don’t presume to know what is right for your neighbor. It can get on their nerves. Both ways.

    The end.

    #4941

    Reagan Ramm
    @reaganramm
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 73

    Very good points, Ezra.

    #4944

    Ezra Wilkinson
    @ezra-wilkinson
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 146

    I cannot honestly point to a place in the Bible where it’s says vampires and zombies are wrong because to my knowledge there is no such thing mentioned in the Bible. However, I believe that dealing with such things opens a door to demons in your life. I have found an article that discusses the subject a bit.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/vampires.html

    HC

    Because I’m a nice person, I’m going to…tryyyy…not to be offensive. (I have a very…well, I don’t want to say logical mind…that’s arrogant. But I do greatly enjoy pointing out things that don’t make sense logically. No matter how I sound doing it, know that I do it simply to keep myself alert to my own mistakes, and you, and mean it in the nicest way. Please and thank you.)

    With a build up like that, I think it’s clear what I should be saying here: This statement was illogical.

    😛

    OK, maybe not /that/ illogical. But it was not used correctly.

    I think something Reagen is getting at (and I thank him for it) is that you are making a distinction between things that doesn’t have support from the Bible, but to you it feels like it does. Like I said above, that’s cool. That’s good. I have absolutely no problem with that.

    The problem is, you’re acting towards others like it does. The article you posted (I skimmed it for Bible passages, and read what it said about those, and then skimmed it again), made no case against vampires or zombies. It made a case for the themes presented by the author that was /conveyed/ via zombies and vampires. Those are two very different things.

    That’s about it.

    And naturally, if I have made a logical error, present me with this information in the same method I did so to you.

    #4946

    Sarah Hoven
    @sarah-h
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 669

    Amen to that, Kate! I pray that nothing I write causes another person to go astray.
    Reagan, you asked what makes a vampire inherently demonic. I think I can answer that. Just so you know, I am getting some of this information from “He Came To Set The Captives Free” by Rebecca Brown. It is about a Satanist who got saved, and it is excellent; however, I can’t recommend it to someone my age because the details of human sacrifice in it are too horrific. My parents had to read it with me.
    A vampire, like a werwolf or a zombie, is a type of witch- someone who has dedicated themselves to serving Satan. The Bible clearly states that witchcraft, in all its forms, is evil. A vampire is a witch who is controlled by a demon – that’s why they are demonic. They are extremely evil and extremely powerful. In her book, Rebecca Brown quotes the ex-Satanist: “Werwolves, zombies, vampires and other wer animals do exist. I have seen many of them. This is a very closely guarded secret by Satan. No one controls these beings except Satan or his high-ranking demons. He uses them mostly for discipline… These creatures are human beings possessed by certain types of powerful demons capable of bringing about the necessary physical changes within the human body. Some of the ancient Christian writings from the dark ages about these wer animals are very accurate… The wer animals are greatly feared and hated by everyone within the cult. They are loners, 100% sold out to Satan…” Interestingly, Rebecca Brown points out that, in the Bible, there is a distinction made between wild beasts and evil beasts. She believes that the verses that talk about evil beasts are referring to these wer animals. It’s certainly not wrong to write about evil, you are right about that; however, you should not portray these creatures as fictional and make-believe, when they’re not.
    I realize this sounds crazy, and you don’t have to believe it. But at least consider this- what reason is there to include such a dark, icky theme in your writing? Think of the potential for harm. I have a young friend who is obsessed with vampires, and I am determined that I will never write anything that would draw someone like her deeper into that trap. I don’t think it is enough to simply portray vampires as evil. That draw is still there. Is there a reason that justifies putting your readers in that danger? Unless you are intentionally trying to expose them for what they really are, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  Sarah Hoven.
    #4950

    Ezra Wilkinson
    @ezra-wilkinson
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 146

    However, I believe that dealing with such things opens a door to demons in your life. I have found an article that discusses the subject a bit.

    This I wanted to deal with in a separate post, because it (kinda) touches a nerve. (Not really…few things do. But it comes close.) (Again, I ain’t mad. But still…it needs mentioning.)

    OK, now, I ain’t gonna start discussion the pros and cons of Harry Potter, but I’m just saying, this is something I see a /lot/ in conjuncture with that. So I just thought I’d say that, maybe kill two birds with one boulder. (Stones are waaaaay too small.)

    Please, please, /please/, don’t tell people who like this stuff that it opens doors for demonic stuff, or is demonic, except on a case by case bias, with a /great/ deal of research into each case.

    Please.

    (However I do thank you thank you thank you that you said ‘opens a door’ instead of outright saying, ‘is demonic’. Most people aren’t that considerate, you’re amazing.)

    The reason I feel strongly about this is because it is perhaps one of the most serious claims you could ever lay against someone, and people throw it around like it’s /nothing/.

    I can’t count the number of times people have told me I like demonic stuff. And they didn’t even know anything about it.

    OK, but why is it serious? Because the devil can only enter an empty house. If you’re telling me that by reading a book I do not have the Spirit of God in me (cuz I’m into demonic stuff), and am therefore not saved…

    OK, /I/ don’t take it personally (‘specially when they put it nicely <3), but I really can’t blame people who do.

    Now don’t get me wrong. Obviously there is literature out there that is demonic, and if you become convinced of that, it is a good thing to go to your brother and tell him, “Hey, I think we need to talk about this.” But making blanket statements about something so broad, where there are millions of variables, and even about specific stuff that you know very little about for sure…OK, please don’t.

    People will be offended, and rightly so. (But, I will say, I am equally annoyed at how childish a lot of the people who are offended act. Nu-uh, evil for evil bro.)

    #4951

    Hannah C
    @hannah-c
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 314

    The problem is, you’re acting towards others like it does. The article you posted (I skimmed it for Bible passages, and read what it said about those, and then skimmed it again), made no case against vampires or zombies. It made a case for the themes presented by the author that was /conveyed/ via zombies and vampires. Those are two very different things.

    If I understood correctly you are saying I’m trying to take things that have no Biblical support and act like they do? Believe me that is not my intention. As I have said, I’m not here to change your mind or even condemn your opinion I’m only here to state mine.

    But please, let’s just put all logic aside for a moment. The Bible does not actually say it’s wrong but let’s just put that fact away for a minute. Are you saying that deep down you don’t even feel a twinge of something that says “this is wrong.”? If not, good. But I do. Its one of my convictions and that’s why I feel like I should stay away from such things. I also feel like it could be a stumbling block to others but as I said thats just my opinion.

    I honestly don’t understand why you should try not to be offended, Ezra. In everything I said it was not my intention to offend. But in the same instance I will not apologize for the way I believe.

    HC

    #4952

    Ezra Wilkinson
    @ezra-wilkinson
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 146

    I realize this sounds crazy, and you don’t have to believe it. But at least consider this- what reason is there to include such a dark, icky theme in your writing? Think of the potential for harm. I have a young friend who is obsessed with vampires, and I am determined that I will never write anything that would draw someone like her deeper into that trap. I don’t think it is enough to simply portray vampires as evil. That draw is still there. Is there a reason that justifies putting your readers in that danger? Unless you are intentionally trying to expose them for what they really are, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

    Firstly, I will tell you like Hannah, I appreciate you. You are much cooler at handling stuff than other people I’ve met. Give me a high-five yo.

    However…I have a question. See that part in bold in the quote? OK, really, this is about your whole post: Do you have evidence of this fact?

    Don’t get me wrong, I do /not/ deny Satan’s power, and his work in this world, and undoubtedly this kind of stuff does happen. But I’m wondering if this book is fiction, based on a true story (or, as those kinds of things often are ‘loosely based on a story), or actual fact. I won’t knock it til I know that for certain.

    Now I have to say something. Something…hopefully cool: Language is amazing. Lemme ‘splain.

    Just cuz something goes by a certain name in a fictional story does not mean it /must/ be all the definitions of that name. I’ll put it this way. Gandalf from LotR is a wizard /In LotR/.

    However, that word was applied to him because audiences would associate it with certain things. /Not/ demonic horrible things.

    By the definition given in the Bible, Gandalf is /not/ a wizard.

    My point is, an author can call someone in his story one thing, because it will create a certain image in the mind of the reader. This does not mean that the author means it to be what the thing /actually/ is. If I wanted my readers to know about people who had a disease that made them sleep walk while their eyes popped out of their heads, I might have my characters call them zombies. That would make sense.

    That doesn’t make them the traditional zombie. They’re not walking dead. But still, I’d call them that, because it helps the reader connect to my story better.

    That’s what Imma saying.

    #4953

    Ezra Wilkinson
    @ezra-wilkinson
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 146

    If I understood correctly you are saying I’m trying to take things that have no Biblical support and act like they do? Believe me that is not my intention. As I have said, I’m not here to change your mind or even condemn your opinion I’m only here to state mine.

    But please, let’s just put all logic aside for a moment. The Bible does not actually say it’s wrong but let’s just put that fact away for a minute. Are you saying that deep down you don’t even feel a twinge of something that says “this is wrong.”? If not, good. But I do. Its one of my convictions and that’s why I feel like I should stay away from such things. I also feel like it could be a stumbling block to others but as I said thats just my opinion.

    I honestly don’t understand why you should try not to be offended, Ezra. In everything I said it was not my intention to offend. But in the same instance I will not apologize for the way I believe.

    Oh pfft, I know that’s not your intention. I fully believe you only are saying what you think is right, and you’ve done it in a non-offensive manner, and that’s a good thing to do, so I find no fault with you. It’s what we’re all doing. No problems eh?

    (OK, but can we take a social time out Hannah, OK, but really, can you and I sit back and laugh, because we should face it, it is pretty funny when someone says, “Let’s put all logic aside”, and then tries (and succeeds!) to be logical? Really, it’s just funny when someone says, “Let’s put all logic aside.”)

    YES! YES! GOOD! I am happy now!

    Though I do wonder, did you read my first post in this topic? Because it was basically restating what you just said.

    Me, /I/ don’t find the basic idea of vampires or zombies in and of themselves (as the layman defines the terms that is) as being inherently sinful. I think that like anything they can be used in sinful ways, and I also believe that due to some inherent characteristics, this could be easier for them, than for other things. But no, I do not feel a twinge about writing about them.

    Again, I do applaud you to do what you think is right. Everyone should do that yo.

    Oh, oh, I know it’s not your intention to offend. Ain’t mine either. But I do it a lot unintentionally. (Apparently I have a rather condescending mode of speech, and blunt ways of phrasing things. Pfft.) But often people can be offended by courteous words, especially when the words remind them of /truly/ offensive words spoken in the past.

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