This has been a very rich morning, with lots of intelligent, insightful, powerful comments. Thank you most sincerely. I feel like I am surrounded by wise, compassionate giants.

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You're no slouch yourself, Joan.  Don't sell yourself short, please.

As for me, I know what I know.  When I feel like I know enough to make something resembling an intelligent comment, you and the rest of A|N get my best shot.  I just hope I'm contributing something positive and not just making noise (sometimes I DO wonder!).

What you said, Pat.  We stand on the shoulders of everyone from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to Robert Ingersoll, Sam Harris and the incomparable Christopher Hitchens, and that is only the ultra-short list.  They helped us along and I hope that we in turn can help others, one way or another.

If all I do in this world is make a positive difference to someone else ... well, that works pretty good for me.

Joan, you and everyone here make a profound difference for me.  Thank you.

Daniel, I will be thinking of you tomorrow and through your recovery. Joan

I feel the same way Joan.  I'm learning a lot from you wise peeps, for which I'm grateful.  At the same time I feel intimidated.

Before I came to the internet, when I compared my intelligence and knowledge of important things, to those around me, it was obvious that I was in the top 0.1%.  

When I joined I met people that had escaped mormonism and were thus considerably more intelligent than the average.  However, I still felt I could hold my own with them.

After listening to many ex-mormons and arguing with some of them, I became annoyed with many of them, that still had a desire to believe in a god or something after death.  My annoyance got to the level that I now don't go to that site at all.  

Atheist Nexus is my home now.  This is where the brightest of the bright appear to be, but I find myself trying to deal with the fact that I'm at a great disadvantage, at least as to my ability to express myself, and sometimes intellectually.  Giants indeed.  Still, it's worth it to be where I can gain new knowledge and better ways of thinking at an accelerated rate.

This discussion reminds me of the time when we will contact a race from another planet that are a million years more advanced than us.  We will probably feel like monkeys (or less), when we compare ourselves to them, but it will still be beneficial to receive what wisdom they will pass to us.

Thank you Melinda.  I  appreciate you also.  I receive complements and agreements from a number of people here from time to time, but it's still hard to keep my insecurity from shutting me down.

Melinda, I think you're no slouch in the intelligence department, but you are also nice.  And, in my book, niceness often trumps intelligence.  If someone seems intelligent, but is not nice, I often question how intelligent he really is, and stop paying attention to him.

I have no problem with someone responding to being attacked.

When I say being nice I do not mean being submissive or forgiving everything.  I do not mean being a yes-man.




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