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Old 10-04-2001, 10:03 PM   #21
Toto
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Bob - If Meta's arguments were perfectly spelled, I would still have a problem with them. His answers are all too often pure insults. The very title of this thread accuses his opponents of stupidity - a common insult in the 3rd grade.

The fact that I have to make an effort to decipher what he writes is just an extra annoyance.

Perhaps he has made some good arguments somewhere. I haven't read everything he has written.

I feel that his posts show a lack of consideration for this Board. He once posted a paper that he wrote for school which was spellchecked, and it was a lot easier to read. But he won't take the time to do that for us.
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Old 10-04-2001, 10:06 PM   #22
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The problem with biblical contradictions is that they prove that the Bible is erroneous at least in some of its claims and that fact raises the question of determining what claims are factual.

Some of the contradictions include characteristics of mystical beings/gods and therefore raise the question of how we are to determine which of the biblical claims of the characteristics of mystical beings/gods are true and which are false.

Is Big G a god of war or of peace?

Merciful or revengeful?

See ... http://www.bobkwebsite.com/biblclcnt...cntrdctns.html
... for a side-by-side comparison of some biblical contradictions including the characteristics of mystical beings/gods.

Another problem which condemns the Bible is the discrepancy between OT prophecies and supposed NT fulfillments by JC. The OT prophecies are clearly local in time and place and do not prophesize JC's comings and goings and characteristics.

Did Isaiah prophesize JC or provide a sign for Ahaz that he would prevail in battle with Rezin and Pekah?

Did any OT prophet prophesize that JC would live in/be from Nazareth/be called a Nazarene?

See ... http://www.bobkwebsite.com/biblicalf...lfictions.html
... for a description of some of the biblical fictions.

Virgins births are found in other religions. The walls of the temple of Luxor depict a virgin birth.

Resurrections are found in other religions. The Bel myth of Babylon describes Bel's arrest, scourging, conviction, crucifixion, internment in the Earth, resurrection, and ascension.

See ... http://www.bobkwebsite.com/belmythvj...jesusmyth.html
... for more on the Bel myth.

Thus, Xnity is not necessarily an original religion, having borrowed from other religions various mythological people/things/events.

Physiologist Wilder Penfield conducted experiments by which he inserted electrodes into the brains of experimental subjects (normal people, not mental patients) and found that artificial stimulation of the brain can cause emotions which are real, the triggering of memories which seem to be as vivid as the actual original events, and religious experiences of awe and connection to the cosmos, all of which suggest that within our own heads/between our ears we have the capacity for religious experiences which are not necessarily real and could very well be hallucinations and delusions. If we can stimulate artificially experiences which seem real, then what we have is a group of gatekeepers guarding our brain centers for emotions/memories/religious experiences and if we are able to prompt the gatekeepers to stand aside, howsoever that be done, then we can stimulate those brain centers ourselves and experience the resulting emotions/memories/religious experiences without those emotions/memories/religious experiences being connected to any other facts within or without ourselves which would cause those emotions/memories/religious experiences to be rational. Most of us have experienced dreams so vivid that we were convinced they were real until we awakened and found they were false. Thus it is that we can deceive ourselves from within ourselves, including our “perceptions” of religious experiences. But, at the same time, it is only through our rational capabilities that we can use our perceptual capabilities to determine if or not what we think we see/hear/touch/smell/taste is what we actually see/hear/touch/smell/taste and therefore if or not we are deceiving ourselves.

And because we see/hear/touch/smell/taste no gods in contemporary times and are asked to believe in gods supposedly revealed in faulty books, the more logical course of thought and action is to adopt agnosticism and thereby reject theistic claims of the existence of conclusive proof of the existence of gods and atheistic claims of the existence of conclusive proof of the nonexistence of gods and await the discovery of conclusive proof of the existence or nonexistence of gods, preferably by the appearance in a form we can see/hear/touch/etc. and thus understand of an actual god and the performance by that god of events which demonstrate that it has greater knowledge and capabilities for using that knowledge than man individually or collectively. Until the gods prove themselves to us, we ought not to consider them in our decision-making and problem-solving.

[ October 04, 2001: Message edited by: Bob K ]
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Old 10-04-2001, 10:58 PM   #23
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Toto:

I understand your frustrations.

Meta has numerous posts not only on the secweb but also on his own board that he is trying to track.

He may not have enough time to spellcheck all his posts.

Considering his dyslexia and numerous posts and resulting workload, I have chosen to accept his unedited ideas.

I would rather have his ideas than not, so edited or unedited makes no difference to me.
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Old 10-05-2001, 12:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob K:

...Most of us have experienced dreams which seem so real that we have trouble determining that they are not real until we awake physically and mentally and determine their true unreality; and so it is that we can deceive ourselves by internal stimulation of our own brain centers, and our self-deceptions can very well include religious experiences which seem real but which are not.
This bit of reasoning is fallacious, of course, as we can just as easily deceive any of our senses, yet we consider them to be generally reliable. To treat an experience of God as being somehow different, and reject it as having happened because such an experience could be illusory is not logical. How can you prove to me that my experience of God is not real? What method would you use to prove you are right?

Quote:
Is Big G a god of war or of peace?
This is the fallacy of false dichotomy. God is a God or both mercy and justice. He is certainly not a God of war.

Quote:
Merciful or revengeful?
Same fallacy. It is mercy and justice, and true justice is not vengence.

Quote:
http://www.bobkwebsite.com/biblclcntrdctns.html
... for a side-by-side comparison of some biblical contradictions including the characteristics of mystical beings/gods.
You begin your examination with a false assumption in which you say:

If there should be contradictory accounts of the same facts, then one of these two possibilities is the truth:
1. One account is true and the other(s) are false.
2. All accounts are false.


You have forgotten yet another possibility: There is always the possibility that the apparent contradiction is actually a paradox, or that the reader does not know enough information to make a judgement as to how the accounts may be reconciled. Short of claiming omniscience, total confidence in your own conclusions is risky.

Another problem is that what many of the things you have called a contradiction simply aren't. Examples:

How many creatures were on the ark?

There were two of every kind, and seven of the clean animals. Silence in one account cannot be taken as a contradiction.

Who killed Goliath?

You are looking at two different Goliaths. I went to 2 Samuel 21:19 and your reference is simply wrong:

2 Samuel 21:19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elha'nan the son of Ja'areor'egim, the Bethlehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

As verse 20 then goes on to describe a battle at Gath, it is clear that Gath is not the same as Gittite, as you have claimed on your web site.

Who killed Saul?

You and I have already had this discussion, and yet you have left this non-contradiction on your web site.

It is presentations of non-contradictions like these that make it more difficult to take complaints against the Bible seriously.

Quote:
Another problem which condemns the Bible is the discrepancy between OT prophecies and supposed NT fulfillments by JC. The OT prophecies are clearly local in time and place and do not prophesize JC's comings and goings and characteristics.
This is merely your assumption. Please do not confuse your assumptions with what is true.

Quote:
Did Isaiah prophesize JC or provide a sign for Ahaz that he would prevail in battle with Rezin and Pekah?
Both.

Quote:
Did any OT prophet prophesize that JC would live in/be from Nazareth/be called a Nazarene?
Clearly someone did, and there are several possibilities, all examined in depth by R. Brown in his book The Birth of the Messiah.

Possibilities include:

1) the work is lost to us now. We know as a fact that much of what was once in the Hebrew Bible is now lost to us.
2) Matthew was referring to a Nazir as described in Judges 13:2-7 (Samson being dedicated as a Nazirite by his mother) and 1 Samuel 1:22 (where Samuel is given the same designation by his mother).
3) Matthew is referring to the Neser of Isaiah 11:1.

The argument is far to long and involved, and it is too late at night for me to type out the whole thing. You can find it in BM, pgs. 209-213, 216-219. I will quote from his conclusion:

But "Nazorean" evokes more than the name of a place. In a long NOTE I have discussed the various scholarly derivations of Nazoranios, pointint out that theya re not mutually exclusive but reflect the allusive wealth of the term. Nazreth is providentially the home of the child Jesus because it gives him a gentilic designation "Nazorean" that reminds us that he is a Nairite (Nazir)-a select holy one set aside to God's service from his mother's womb, like Samson and Samuel. In this motif Matthew may be reflecting an earlier infancy tradition, for we shall see that the Samson/Samuel pattern greatly influenced the Lucan infancy narrative. The gentilic designation "Nazorean" also reminds us that Jesus is the messianic "branch" (nesar)-the blossom from the Davidic root predicted in Isa 11:1, as part of Isaiah's continued description of Emmanuel.
(Raymond Brown, The Birth of the Messiah, [Doubleday: New York, 1993], pg. 218-9)


Personally, I find this argument to be plausible, and lean towards option (2) above, that Matthew is connecting Jesus to the term Nazirite found in the stories of Samson and Samuel, to be the most probable. At the same time, I do not rule out that Matthew was quoting from a now lost work, like the Assumption of Moses, or some other work that would have been known to Matthew and his audience at the time.

Quote:
http://www.bobkwebsite.com/biblicalfictions.html
... for a description of some of the biblical fictions.
Here you argue from silence and your own assumptions. As they are mere assertions, they are not actual arguments.

Quote:
Virgins births are found in other religions. The walls of the temple of Luxor depict a virgin birth.
Please provide the primary evidence for this claim. Once you look at it, you will find, in fact, that there has never been a single virgin birth in any pagan religion.

Quote:
Resurrections are found in other religions. The Bel myth of Babylon describes Bel's arrest, scourging, conviction, crucifixion, internment in the Earth, resurrection, and ascension.
Again, please provide the primary evidence for this. Your sources are quite bad, as no god or god man was portrayed as having been crucified prior to the death of Jesus.

Sadly, Mr. Jackson has lied to you Bob. Check the sources for his information before quoting from them. In fact, if you had checked the Infidels library, you would have found this claim already being made by Kersey Graves in his attrocious book, The World's Sixteen Crucified Savior Gods. I will quote from the SecWeb's disclaimer:

From The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors Or Christianity Before Christ:

Note: the scholarship of Kersey Graves has been questioned by numerous freethinkers; the inclusion of The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors in the Secular Web's Historical Library does not (emphasis in original) constitute endorsement by Internet Infidels, Inc. This document was included for historical purposes; readers should be extremely cautious in trusting anything in this book.

My guess is that Mr. Jackson took his cue from Mr. Graves, and that he did not check his sources either.

Quote:
... If we can stimulate artificially experiences which seem real, then what we have is a group of gatekeepers guarding our brain centers for emotions/memories/religious experiences and if we are able to prompt the gatekeepers to stand aside, howsoever that be done, then we can stimulate those brain centers ourselves and experience the resulting emotions/memories/religious experiences without those emotions/memories/religious experiences being connected to any other facts within or without ourselves which would cause those emotions/memories/religious experiences to be rational.
It is a fallacy to reject ones senses because they can be fooled. It is equally a fallacy to reject ones experiences because they can be fooled. Finally, it is a fallacy to reject the experiences of others simply because you, yourself, have not had these experiences.

Quote:
And because we see/hear/touch/smell/taste no gods in contemporary times and are asked to believe in gods supposedly revealed in faulty books,
And this is yet another fallacy Bob. Because you have not experienced God does not mean that others have not.

Do not compound your error with a demand that God prove Himself to you by your standards. If God exists, He will reveal Himself to you as He sees fit, not the other way around.

I really would recommend that you revise your list of contradictions. They are old, and have long since been rejected or disproven, even by sceptics. Your list detracts from those stories and passages that are truly in tension, and are problematic for Christians, and make reasonable discussion much harder. Your citation of Jackson's work is especially bad, as Jackson does not have an actual Babylonian tablet that he can point to.

Nomad

P.S. If you would like to examine your presumed "contradictions" in more depth, I would recommend Glenn Miller's Copycat Savior? Page A and Part B. The articles are long, but he does address virtually every question you have raised regarding Jesus' birth and death. He also examines the question of Isaiah 7:14 in considerable depth.

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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Old 10-05-2001, 06:07 AM   #25
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In all this Christian rambling, NONE OF THEM have yet detailed the criterion they use to determine which verses in the Bible are true, and which are not true. Metacrock tried, but failed:
Quote:
So "how do we know we can trust it" is a foolish question because it speaks at cross purposes with the text iself. The purpose of the text is not to give us a blow by blow account of literal events and literal truths in every enstance, so the fact that it doesnt do this is beside the point. But to then come back and demand that if it doesnt' do this we can trust it for anything else is just plain dense.
Then how do you figure out what is literal and not literal? History clearly shows that certain events in the Bible did happen. This means that those described events are said in a literal context. But what about something that is also described in such a context and is obviously false, like Noah's Flood? Thats an error.

You still have not explained why we are to trust a book that has flaws in it - if it got quite a number of stuff wrong, how do we know which parts are right?

Nomad tries, too, but fails:
Quote:
For Christians, our way of knowing what God is, wants, and thinks, is transmitted to us by way of the Bible, the Church (both acting as agents of the Holy Spirit), and personal revelation. Is this objective? I suppose that depends on how you look at it. To me it is completely objective, but only way we can have objective facts is if God exists at all. Otherwise, none of us can prove that we actually KNOW anything.
Well, your Christian way of 'knowing God' has failed miserably. Its brought you nothing but disagreement over the past 2,000 years. Even now, there are many Christian divisions out there each claiming they have your above-quoted criterion to 'prove' their drastically different versions of Christinsanity.
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Old 10-05-2001, 07:00 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>

This is very close to my own belief. I have come to accept that the existence of an omnipotent Creator God is something that can ONLY be known by experience. God is not a fact waiting to be discovered, but rather, a being perfectly capable of revealing Himself to His creatures as He sees fit. Contained within this assumption, and clearly reflected in a great deal of Scripture (both Old and New Testament) is the idea that God can, and does, also hide Himself from those that have no desire to see Him.

Given His nature, this is entirely consistent. As with any other being, He can reveal as much (or as little) of Himself as He so choses. To me I am eternally grateful that He would elect to reveal Himself to us at all. After all, He was never under any obligation to do this, any more than I am obligated to share or reveal myself and thoughts to others.

As one final offer of evidence that the Church has taken the view that the Bible need not always be literally true, one need look only at the research of great scholars like Raymond Brown and J.P. Meier, both of whom received the Church's blessings in their works, even as they cast great doubt on the literal historicity of much of the Bible. As I have stated elsewhere, and on numerous occassions, I think the rules established and followed by St. Augustine some 1600 years ago (see On Christian Doctrine) are far better and more useful than those given to us by 19th and 20th Century (largely American) fundamentalists. One of the most consise and simplist summations of this method of Biblical interpretation and how it has functioned for Christians throughout the ages can be found at the Orthodox Church of America: The Word web site:

It is the faith of the Orthodox Church that the Bible, as the divinely-inspired Word of God in the words of men, contains no formal errors or inner contradictions concerning the relationship between God and the world. There may be incidental inaccuracies of a non-essential character in the Bible. But the eternal spiritual and doctrinal message of God, presented in the Bible in many different ways, remains perfectly consistent, authentic, and true.

I agree fully with this, as does Meta. Does this mean real differences do not exist? Of course not. But we must remember that even Paul warned us that [F]or now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. (1 Corinthians 13:12). Neither I nor anyone else needs to a perfect understanding of either God, or the Bible in order to be saved by Him. In fact, such a thing as perfection on my part is impossible in this life. But I can and do trust in the One who made me, and it is in this trust and faith that I will accept that God will give to each of us as much of Him as we are able and willing to accept.

Thank you Meta. Your post and ideas are very welcome here, and I hope that they give a greater understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and to accept the Word of God as being true.

Nomad</STRONG>
Yea Ditto, what he said. Good going Nomad! I really basically agree with everything you said.
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Old 10-05-2001, 07:07 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bookman:
<STRONG>
Claimants of inerrancy are in the minority everywhere, even these boards. On that we are agreed.

Bear in mind, though, that Nomad posts frequently on the value of the NT as an historical account of Jesus life; it seems to me that demonstrations of errancy in the NT have applicability to this claim without resorting to the kinds of all-or-nothing arguments you reference in the OP.

Bookman</STRONG>

Vanderbuilt! Good school. I considered doing doctoral work there, wish I had.

I think even Nomad would agree that the pericopes are not necessarily in order. But I would agree with him that the general outline is histoircally accurate. There really was a guy named Jesus, he said most of the things attribueted to him in one form or another, died under Pilate, crucified claimed to be Messiah and so on.

I also affirm the resurrection.

But for me the important point is that with the exception of core doctirnes such atonement, the fact that it happened and the fact of knowing that it happened and being able to prove it are two different matters. So if it some incident recoreded in the Bible turns out not to be true that doesn't matter (unless of course it's something like the curucifiction or that Jesus didn't exist).
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Old 10-05-2001, 07:13 AM   #28
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Edited to add: Meta and I cross-posted - this reply was to Emporer, above:

I hate to argue their points for them, but I think you're being too narrow-minded. The histories of Heroditus have value in spite of the fact that they are filled with innaccuracy and myth. And the same is true of the Bible.

What Meta seems to be saying is that he knows that the bible has value because it has brought him closer to the grace of god. I can make no argument against a wholly sujective claim like that, but in the end a claim like that isn't particularly meaningful or relevant to me. That's the ultimate point here, that any value that the books of the old and new testament have had to some people is secondary to their personal, subjective experiences.

However, Nomad appears to be making a different claim - that the bible has no internal inconsistencies with regard to the core values of their faith. This might need to reside in a different thread, but it has always seemed to me that the path to redemption is a important tenet, and that the bible is unclear on whether acts, faith, or the sacrament of baptism is sufficient to secure one's salvation.

Perhaps Nomad could dredge up an old thread for me where this is elucidated?

Bookman

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Bookman ]
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Old 10-05-2001, 07:24 AM   #29
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[quote]Originally posted by Toto:
[QB]quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Metacrock:

Well its not all gravy you know. It's also the same tradition that gave us hospitals, modern scinece, bill of rights, Writ of habius corups {that's habeus corpus}, the basic concept of constitutional rights in general, the first abolution {I assume abolition?} group in America, the first woman's sufferage group in America, the underground rail road, the abolition movement in England, statistical problablity, {probability}, internal evidence as a criterion for the validity of a text, and a hot {host} of other good things that made Western civilization.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meta, you have a way with words. But you seriously need someone to edit your stuff. You're supposed to be a graduate student?[/b][/font]

Meta =&gt;I know. It's just hard to do that all the time. I have dyslexia. In school you have to do it and so I spend long paoinstaking hours on it. It's so much easer here to just push the button and post. I will, however, make a more conserted effort to edit.

Quote:
Do you think that the involvement of a few Christians in the abolition movement or the suffrage movement makes up for the centuries of justification for slavery and the subjugation of women?

Meta =&gt;It wasn't just a few,it was the majority. It was the first group, and probalby a lot more of them than atheists! But the abolition movment in England was started by the Quakers and the Methodists.

Quote:
Christianity gave us hospitals when it controlled society, but they were pretty dismal places until modern non-theistic science made medicine more of a help than a hindrance.
Meta =&gt;Well it was in the middel ages, they didn't know anything about germs. But your suppossition that medical scinece is anti-rleigious and privileges atheism is totally wrong. IN fact modern medical science began in monestaries in the middle ages. Most of the early major advancements were made by Christians, such as Pasture.


Quote:
Most of the rest of what you cite came from non-Christian sources, or Christians in the process of throwing off their tradition thinking. I think this has been debated before, so I will not go through things again.
Meta =&gt;Yea it was debated and I slaughtered them because history is my profession. I study early modern history, this is my field. and you are wrong! wrong1 totally wrong! hahahahahaahahahahahah, wait. Ok sorry. Most of the other stuff I talked about I am not wrong about. Newton was a devoted Chrisatian, they were not in the process of thowing off Christian thinking. Name one that was? I think you are confussing the current state of socieital knowledge with Christian doctrine.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Toto: Why should I look to this tradition rather than, say, Zen Buddhism, if I wanted to experience god?


Meta: Zen doesn't claim to offer Grace. Also, Zen and Chrisitanity are not anti-thetical. A Christian can practice zen. All it claims to give you is the Buddah {Buddha} mind. Christianity gives the Mind of Christ. There may be a connection.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've heard of Christians who turn to Zen to learn meditation techniques. I've never heard of a Zen practitioner who felt the need to turn to Christianity for anything.


Meta =&gt;so? You probalby haven't gone out of your way to find them either.I've known zen enthusiasts who "got saved."


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Toto: Face it. Christianity, as opposed to other religions, depends on belief the literal truth of certain historic facts. Those facts look pretty unlikely to a skeptical observer.
Meta: Why are you so stuborn {stubborn}? You don't even know what your talking about and your still insiting {insisting} that you have to be right! What you just said there is only the case for one segment of the chruch {church}. The exclucivity {exclusivity} thing is anti-ethical {antithetical ???} to the Bible itself. see Romans 2. Acts 17.

No where (Nowhere} does the Bible say that all the historical infomation as {information has} to be accurate. In fact the Bible doesn't even say that it is the Bible.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Are you saying that a Christian does not have to believe in the virgin birth or the resurrection of Christ? Could we get you to debate Nomad on that issue?

Meta =&gt;It's a matter of opinion. In the liberal seminaries it is more than common to find those who claim to be Christian and don't accept the Virgin birth. I happen to agree with Nomad that we have to draw the line at the Ressurection (he would probably include the V birth too as part of the line)&gt; I accept the V birth but not as a litmus test for Christian identity. I don't know what he would say to that. But I don't care to debate Nomad. For one things, he's pretty damn good, I have an image to uphold. (as a bufoon). It's much more fun teaming up with him to battle you guys.

For myself, I'm not going to spend much more time on your posts. It really doesn't advance things for you to label arguments as "silly" or say I don't know what I'm talking about, without giving either some references or facts or reasonable argument. In fact, it just makes me more stubborn.


Meta =&gt;Um that was an unfortunate momemtary sense of exhuberance and hubris. I apologize.

[ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Metacrock ]
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Old 10-05-2001, 07:30 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob K:
<STRONG>Toto:

Point of Information: Metacrock is dyslexic.

This is a point of information and not an attack.

I do not recall where I got this information. It might have been from reading other of Meta's posts, or from private email exchanges between us.

For those of us who are not dyslexic, perhaps we cannot imagine what difficulties dyslexics have to deal with.

We can, however, note that even our own writings often contain confusions for which we need spell-checkers and grammar-checkers and therefore we can give Meta a measure of acceptance and patience for reading carefully what he writes in order to understand what he means, and we can give him credit for dealing with a condition we have trouble understanding but certainly would not want to have.

I appreciate Meta's passion and concern.

His writings and ideas prompt me to think, therefore I appreciate his presence.</STRONG>
Thank you Bob K I appreciate that very much. I am also going to try and edit more often.

I would also like to point out when I do spell check I often find that the other guy has as many errors as I do.
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