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Proverbial characters;- The Fool

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posted on Mar, 29 2019 @ 06:01 PM
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+The collector of the Old Testament Proverbs makes his purpose clear from the beginning.
“That men may know wisdom and instruction, understand words of insight” (ch1 v2).
Then he further defines this wisdom as “fear of the Lord” (v7). This phrase, when used in the Bible, means respect and willingness to obey.

I’m studying the different characters of Proverbs, as one way of organising and understanding the teaching.
The first two characters were Wisdom and Foolishness.
Most of the other characters have a mixture of these two qualities, but the Fool is a character in his own right.

The Fool in Proverbs is not a naturally simple-minded man, but a man who has no interest in acquiring wisdom.
“A man of understanding sets his face towards wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth” (ch17 v24).
He doesn’t seek it from elsewhere because he “trusts in his own mind” (ch28 v26).
He is that very dangerous person, a man “who is right in his own eyes”, and therefore takes no heed of advice (ch12 v15).
“Why should a fool have a price in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no mind?”( ch17 v16).

Having no wisdom, the Fool has no useful contribution to make in conversation;
“Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge” (ch14 v7).
“He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (ch13 v20).
“Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate [the town place of business] he does not open his mouth” (ch24 v7).

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
When he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (ch17 v28).
Nevertheless, the Fool does not keep silent half as much as he should.
He is prone to answer before he hears, which is “folly and shame” (ch18 v13).
In fact he positively rejoices in exposing his foolishness;
“A prudent man conceals his knowledge, but fools proclaim their folly” (ch12 v23).
“Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools” ( ch26 v7).

We have learned that the Wise man gains his wisdom by listening.
But the Fool is always talking, which has the effect of shutting up the ears.
Thus “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing an opinion” (ch18 v2).
While wise men benefit from laying up knowledge and heeding commandments, the Fool is “prating” and “babbling” and will only come to ruin (ch10 v14).

The combination of talkativeness and lack of wisdom also makes him quarrelsome;
It is the man who lacks sense who belittles his neighbour, while the man of understanding remains silent (ch11 v12).
And he also reacts very quickly to provocation;
“The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent man ignores an insult” (ch12 v16).
“A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (ch29 v11).
This illustrates the point that there is virtue, and wisdom, in keeping silent;
“He who guards his mouth preserves his life, he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (ch13 v3).
“Where words are many, transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent” (ch10 v19).

The problem goes much deeper than this.
We know that wisdom is “fear of the Lord”, a knowledge of righteousness.
So a lack of interest in wisdom is also a lack of interest in righteousness, and it shows.
“The wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool throws off restraint and is careless” (ch14 v16).
Therefore the Fool takes positive pleasure in bad conduct;
“It is like sport to a fool to do wrong, but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding” (ch10 v23).
“Folly is a joy to him who has no sense, but a man of understanding walks aright” (ch15 v21).

It is almost impossible, in practice, to correct his behaviour;
He “ignores instruction” (ch15 v32) and “hates reproof” (ch12 v1).
“Crush a fool in mortar with a pestle…yet his folly will not depart from him”(ch27 v22).
He returns to his folly like a dog returning to its vomit (ch26 v11).

Therefore it is not safe to have dealings with him;
“Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly” (ch17 v12).
If you try to employ him, you endanger other people as well as yourself;
“He who sends a message by the hands of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence” (ch26 v6).
“Like an archer who wounds everybody is he who hires a passing fool or a drunkard” (ch26 v10).
He certainly cannot be safely placed in a position of power;
“Like one who binds the stone in a sling is he who gives honour to a fool” (ch26 v8).

In the most extreme case, “not fearing the Lord” becomes conscious rejection.
As the Psalmist observes, “The Fool has said in his heart there is no God” (Psalm 14 v1).
In Proverbs, such a man may be called a “scoffer”.
“’Scoffer’ is the name of the proud, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride” (ch21 v24).
But this man is clearly to be numbered amongst the fools.
He “seeks wisdom in vain” (ch14 v6), he does not listen to rebuke (ch13 v1) and he does not like to be reproved (ch15 v12).
His arrogant pride is the key to his rejection of God and his wisdom.
It also accounts for the wrathful and quarrelsome nature which can “set a city aflame” (ch29 v8)
“Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarrelling and abuse will cease” (ch22 v10).

Nothing much is to be gained from trying to reason with a Fool, because his pride will prevent him from listening;
“Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words” (ch23 v9).
“If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet” (ch29 v9).
Yet sometimes the attempt must be made.
The dilemma is laid out in a pair of instructions which seem to be in conflict.
On the one hand, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself”.
That seems to make sense. Don’t go down to his level, don’t throw your pearls to swine, don’t feed the trolls.
Yet the following verse maintains that you SHOULD “answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes” (ch26 vv4-5).
The solution to the paradox is probably that “according to his folly” has different meanings in the two cases, perhaps relating to style of argument or subject-matter.
If we don’t even try to give the man any answer, he may think we don’t have one.
It’s a question of knowing when the attempted discussion needs to be given up.

Therefore punishment is the most appropriate way of dealing with these people;
“Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and flogging for the backs of fools” (ch19 v29).
“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools” (ch26 v3).
That is because “the devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men” (ch24 v9).
The effect is to warn others against following their example; “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence” (ch19 v25).

It might be said, indeed, that the whole object of acquiring wisdom is learning not to be a Fool.




posted on Mar, 29 2019 @ 06:01 PM
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There is, apparently, an old Arabic proverb (our headmaster used to recite it) which goes like this;

“He who KNOWS and KNOWS that he knows is wise. Follow him.
He who KNOWS and KNOWS NOT that he knows is asleep. Wake him.
He who KNOWS NOT and KNOWS that he knows not is humble. Teach him.
He who KNOWS NOT and KNOWS NOT that he knows not is a fool. Shun him.”



posted on Mar, 29 2019 @ 06:24 PM
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Unfortunately I have seen to many fools listen to advice and it has been the advice of other fools, me as well
The trick I think is sourcing many opinions, weighing up their value and not just reacting on emotion

It always seems so much more complex in life than in the bible



posted on Mar, 29 2019 @ 06:29 PM
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a reply to: Raggedyman
The Proverbs answer would be "listen to the advice of a Wise Man".
I must admit it always puzzled me as a child, that half the kings in the story books got into trouble by listening to their bad advisers, and the other half got into trouble by not listening to their good advisers. It seemed that they could not win.



posted on Mar, 29 2019 @ 09:18 PM
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My respect Disraeli, and normally I wouldn't put in such a long response, but I believe He is at times a Prophet. At least these Lyrics would indicate to cover most of what fools cost us all.
Crazy Train
Ozzy Osbourne

Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as fools
Maybe it's not too late
To learn how to love
And forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life's a bitter shame
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

I've listened to preachers
I've listened to fools
I've watched all the dropouts
Who make their own rules
One person conditioned to rule and control
The media sells it and you live the role

Mental wounds still screaming
Driving me insane
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

I know that things are going wrong for me
You gotta listen to my words
Yeah
Heirs of a cold war
That's what we've become
Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
Crazy, I just cannot bear
I'm living with something that just isn't fair

Mental wounds not healing
Who and what's to blame
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train

Every day I wake, returning to the same plot and score........ hoping for change, but Einstein warned us.
...but then I remember Shakespeare.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Time is the one commodity we have little of. A wise man recognizes it



posted on Mar, 29 2019 @ 10:22 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Raggedyman
The Proverbs answer would be "listen to the advice of a Wise Man".
I must admit it always puzzled me as a child, that half the kings in the story books got into trouble by listening to their bad advisers, and the other half got into trouble by not listening to their good advisers. It seemed that they could not win.


I know some “wise” men who have offered terrible advice
Wise men are generally those who have experienced a situation before, not much point talking to those who haven’t experienced what you need advice on



posted on Mar, 29 2019 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: Raggedyman

Just because you may have experienced something doesn't always mean you've drawn the proper lessons from it. Look at how many people live paycheck to paycheck, constantly on the edge of ruin and never seem to learn from each dance with disaster to not go there again. And that's just one example that's very common.



posted on Mar, 30 2019 @ 02:50 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

So your analogy on this that the quote apply's,"Better to be thought the fool then to speak up and remove all doubt",yet when some speak the truth the same make folly of them,sounds like a vain statement,many who spoke the truth were called several names none of them with social redeeming quality's



posted on Mar, 30 2019 @ 03:16 AM
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a reply to: Oldtimer2
We musn't forget in all this the Proverbs definition of Wisdom/Folly, which is "in line with/not in line with the righteousness of God".
On that definition, the man who speaks the truth identifies himself as Wise (see previous thread), and the man who despises what he says identifies himself as the Fool who "ignores instruction" and "hates reproof".
But Proverbs also observes that there isn't much point in giving good advice to Fools, because they don't listen anyway.



posted on Mar, 30 2019 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


“He who KNOWS and KNOWS that he knows is wise. Follow him. He who KNOWS and KNOWS NOT that he knows is asleep. Wake him. He who KNOWS NOT and KNOWS that he knows not is humble. Teach him. He who KNOWS NOT and KNOWS NOT that he knows not is a fool. Shun him.”

Well taught and thank you for your wisdom.
lol



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 04:30 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
+The collector of the Old Testament Proverbs makes his purpose clear from the beginning.
“That men may know wisdom and instruction, understand words of insight” (ch1 v2).
Then he further defines this wisdom as “fear of the Lord” (v7). This phrase, when used in the Bible, means respect and willingness to obey.

I’m studying the different characters of Proverbs, as one way of organising and understanding the teaching.
The first two characters were Wisdom and Foolishness.
Most of the other characters have a mixture of these two qualities, but the Fool is a character in his own right.

The Fool in Proverbs is not a naturally simple-minded man, but a man who has no interest in acquiring wisdom.
“A man of understanding sets his face towards wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth” (ch17 v24).
He doesn’t seek it from elsewhere because he “trusts in his own mind” (ch28 v26).
He is that very dangerous person, a man “who is right in his own eyes”, and therefore takes no heed of advice (ch12 v15).
“Why should a fool have a price in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no mind?”( ch17 v16).

Having no wisdom, the Fool has no useful contribution to make in conversation;
“Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge” (ch14 v7).
“He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (ch13 v20).
“Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate [the town place of business] he does not open his mouth” (ch24 v7).

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
When he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (ch17 v28).
Nevertheless, the Fool does not keep silent half as much as he should.
He is prone to answer before he hears, which is “folly and shame” (ch18 v13).
In fact he positively rejoices in exposing his foolishness;
“A prudent man conceals his knowledge, but fools proclaim their folly” (ch12 v23).
“Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools” ( ch26 v7).

We have learned that the Wise man gains his wisdom by listening.
But the Fool is always talking, which has the effect of shutting up the ears.
Thus “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing an opinion” (ch18 v2).
While wise men benefit from laying up knowledge and heeding commandments, the Fool is “prating” and “babbling” and will only come to ruin (ch10 v14).

The combination of talkativeness and lack of wisdom also makes him quarrelsome;
It is the man who lacks sense who belittles his neighbour, while the man of understanding remains silent (ch11 v12).
And he also reacts very quickly to provocation;
“The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent man ignores an insult” (ch12 v16).
“A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (ch29 v11).
This illustrates the point that there is virtue, and wisdom, in keeping silent;
“He who guards his mouth preserves his life, he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (ch13 v3).
“Where words are many, transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent” (ch10 v19).

The problem goes much deeper than this.
We know that wisdom is “fear of the Lord”, a knowledge of righteousness.
So a lack of interest in wisdom is also a lack of interest in righteousness, and it shows.
“The wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool throws off restraint and is careless” (ch14 v16).
Therefore the Fool takes positive pleasure in bad conduct;
“It is like sport to a fool to do wrong, but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding” (ch10 v23).
“Folly is a joy to him who has no sense, but a man of understanding walks aright” (ch15 v21).

It is almost impossible, in practice, to correct his behaviour;
He “ignores instruction” (ch15 v32) and “hates reproof” (ch12 v1).
“Crush a fool in mortar with a pestle…yet his folly will not depart from him”(ch27 v22).
He returns to his folly like a dog returning to its vomit (ch26 v11).

Therefore it is not safe to have dealings with him;
“Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly” (ch17 v12).
If you try to employ him, you endanger other people as well as yourself;
“He who sends a message by the hands of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence” (ch26 v6).
“Like an archer who wounds everybody is he who hires a passing fool or a drunkard” (ch26 v10).
He certainly cannot be safely placed in a position of power;
“Like one who binds the stone in a sling is he who gives honour to a fool” (ch26 v8).

In the most extreme case, “not fearing the Lord” becomes conscious rejection.
As the Psalmist observes, “The Fool has said in his heart there is no God” (Psalm 14 v1).
In Proverbs, such a man may be called a “scoffer”.
“’Scoffer’ is the name of the proud, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride” (ch21 v24).
But this man is clearly to be numbered amongst the fools.
He “seeks wisdom in vain” (ch14 v6), he does not listen to rebuke (ch13 v1) and he does not like to be reproved (ch15 v12).
His arrogant pride is the key to his rejection of God and his wisdom.
It also accounts for the wrathful and quarrelsome nature which can “set a city aflame” (ch29 v8)
“Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarrelling and abuse will cease” (ch22 v10).

Nothing much is to be gained from trying to reason with a Fool, because his pride will prevent him from listening;
“Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words” (ch23 v9).
“If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet” (ch29 v9).
Yet sometimes the attempt must be made.
The dilemma is laid out in a pair of instructions which seem to be in conflict.
On the one hand, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself”.
That seems to make sense. Don’t go down to his level, don’t throw your pearls to swine, don’t feed the trolls.
Yet the following verse maintains that you SHOULD “answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes” (ch26 vv4-5).
The solution to the paradox is probably that “according to his folly” has different meanings in the two cases, perhaps relating to style of argument or subject-matter.
If we don’t even try to give the man any answer, he may think we don’t have one.
It’s a question of knowing when the attempted discussion needs to be given up.

Therefore punishment is the most appropriate way of dealing with these people;
“Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and flogging for the backs of fools” (ch19 v29).
“A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools” (ch26 v3).
That is because “the devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men” (ch24 v9).
The effect is to warn others against following their example; “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence” (ch19 v25).

It might be said, indeed, that the whole object of acquiring wisdom is learning not to be a Fool.


Might it be a coincidence: that these assertions have been posted, leading in-to April-Fools-Day?

Are we fools: for breaking the silence of assumed wisdom, and posting/speaking/creating threads?

Would you be interested in being challenged on your statements, or would you prefer we just consider them as ideas?



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 05:15 AM
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originally posted by: Nothin
Might it be a coincidence: that these assertions have been posted, leading in-to April-Fools-Day?

It is a coincidence. It's an accidental side-effect of posting one thread a week, and the fact that my previous thread series ended in the middle of February.
The logical sequence of threads (Wisdom, Foolishness, Righteous Man, Wicked Man, Wise Man, Fool) more or less chose itself.

Are we fools: for breaking the silence of assumed wisdom, and posting/speaking/creating threads?

We learn in this thread that the Fool should not speak, but we learnt in the previous thread that the Wise Man ought to speak. Of course I'm bound by the latter injunction.

Would you be interested in being challenged on your statements, or would you prefer we just consider them as ideas?

The statements come straight out of the book of Proverbs. It would be on topic to argue that I have misunderstood what proverbs says.

edit on 31-3-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2019 @ 11:10 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: Nothin
Might it be a coincidence: that these assertions have been posted, leading in-to April-Fools-Day?

It is a coincidence. It's an accidental side-effect of posting one thread a week, and the fact that my previous thread series ended in the middle of February.
The logical sequence of threads (Wisdom, Foolishness, Righteous Man, Wicked Man, Wise Man, Fool) more or less chose itself.

Are we fools: for breaking the silence of assumed wisdom, and posting/speaking/creating threads?

We learn in this thread that the Fool should not speak, but we learnt in the previous thread that the Wise Man ought to speak. Of course I'm bound by the latter injunction.

Would you be interested in being challenged on your statements, or would you prefer we just consider them as ideas?

The statements come straight out of the book of Proverbs. It would be on topic to argue that I have misunderstood what proverbs says.


Some believe in coincidence. Some don't.
Is coincidence any more than belief?
Perhaps the universe has served you up a fool, in the form of poor-old Nothin, for your thread, at this particular time?
Who really know how these things work?

IMHO: only xxxx, xxxx, xxxx and xxxx would dare to say whom should speak, and whom should not. (Self-censored, because the words that came to me, would possibly be taken as insulting).
Any belief system that deems some more worthy than others, is total BS.
Am not wanting to be mean with you, but perhaps asking you to look back to authenticity, honesty, humanity?

Where's the Love?

Sorry: but haven't 'learned' too much from these threads.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's something else.

Are the Proverbs open to interpretation?
Am not knowledgeable about the bible, but seem to recall a message in the preface saying something about it being the word of god, and that none should attempt to interpret it?
Didn't get much further than that.

This may sound sucky-upy: but didn't just want to seem confrontational to the material, as have seen you make many fine, agreeable, and intelligent posts around the boards.



posted on Apr, 1 2019 @ 01:48 AM
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originally posted by: Nothin
Any belief system that deems some more worthy than others, is total BS.

Your statement is a paradox, because it is declaring that some belief systems are less worthy than others, the very attitude you are professing to condemn.

Sorry: but haven't 'learned' too much from these threads.

I won't fret about that. I'm aware that horses can be taken to water but can't be made to drink.

Am not knowledgeable about the bible, but seem to recall a message in the preface saying something about it being the word of god, and that none should attempt to interpret it?

Your memory has let you down. There is a statement at the end forbidding additions, but there is nothing wrong with helping people to understand what it says, frequently a very necessary work.
Evidently the messsage of the book of Proverbs has disturbed you enough that you want to discourage me from presenting it (otherwise you would not have bothered posting). That is interesting. I suggest that you reflect on this point, because that might tell you something about yourself.



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 03:09 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: Nothin
Any belief system that deems some more worthy than others, is total BS.

Your statement is a paradox, because it is declaring that some belief systems are less worthy than others, the very attitude you are professing to condemn.

Sorry: but haven't 'learned' too much from these threads.

I won't fret about that. I'm aware that horses can be taken to water but can't be made to drink.

Am not knowledgeable about the bible, but seem to recall a message in the preface saying something about it being the word of god, and that none should attempt to interpret it?

Your memory has let you down. There is a statement at the end forbidding additions, but there is nothing wrong with helping people to understand what it says, frequently a very necessary work.
Evidently the messsage of the book of Proverbs has disturbed you enough that you want to discourage me from presenting it (otherwise you would not have bothered posting). That is interesting. I suggest that you reflect on this point, because that might tell you something about yourself.





Your statement is a paradox, because it is declaring that some belief systems are less worthy than others, the very attitude you are professing to condemn.


Have you already decided upon the meaning of my statement, without asking any questions?



posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 06:18 AM
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a reply to: Nothin
I discovered the meaning of your statement in the usual way, by examining the meaning of the individual words and how they were put together.
You described something as "BS". At the very least, that is labelling it as "less worthy" than something which is not "BS".
In other words, you are "judging".
QED.



posted on Apr, 3 2019 @ 12:49 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Nothin
I discovered the meaning of your statement in the usual way, by examining the meaning of the individual words and how they were put together.
You described something as "BS". At the very least, that is labelling it as "less worthy" than something which is not "BS".
In other words, you are "judging".
QED.


You know: can totally understand how your conclusion, is within the realm of possible conclusions, to be garnered from that statement.
It was partially considered, as a random vector, from the myriad of potential conclusions possible.

One would not be wrong to consider it as possible: but an error is made in concluding that it is not only probable; but definitely, 100% sure, the absolutely true meaning.

For me: their are other, more probabilistic possibilities.
(Am also considering my intentions, which are very unfortunately, difficult to sense over this gorge. It is understandable, that you know not my intentions.).

When we sit and talk: face-to-face, eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul, with other folks: we really make an effort to communicate, as best we can.
We practice active listening. We ask questions for clarity. We accept opinions, and attempt to separate them from facts.

Why don't we do this on ATS?




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