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!).

I agree with Loren. Don't short change yourself. As to being surrounded by giants, I disagree. You're not surrounded by them. Like all the rest of us, we're doing nother more than standing on their shoulders.

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.

You know, the older I get, the more I look back on my postings and am embarrassed by the typos I leave for the rest of the world to see. "we're doing nother more" as opposed to "nothing more." Certainly is conclusive evidence I'm no spring chicken.

I like what you said Loren. "If all I do in this world is make a positive difference to someone else ... well, that works pretty good for me." I could not agree more.

Well Pat, I read your post and did not catch that typo.  I think the mind sometimes just reads the whole sentence as it should be, because it knows what the person is trying to say.  I make typos all the time.  I need to check my posts before I send them off too!

I also agree with you and Loren about making a positive difference.  I just want my kids to know that they could not be loved more.  Even as adults now, they are my life.

I feel so very fortunate to have met you Joan.  You too Loren, and almost everyone here on AN. This place is so important to so many of us. 

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 http://www.lifeaftermormonism.net/ 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.

Spud, I think you aren't giving yourself enough credit! I don't have a college degree, and I know I don't express my thoughts as well as so many on AN do either, but I love to hear what you have to say! I think you are very intelligent, and you are one of my favorite friends on here!

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.

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