# Time Explored

Updated on March 23, 2013

This hub is inspired by questions jcnasia, a writer on Hub Pages, asked me in response my Hub on entropy. The answer was way too long, as you can see, so I made it into a hub. The questions asked are typical questions people who believe in ID ask so I won’t address this specifically to jcnasia, but rather to a general audience. I will however, use the original questions as reference.

"It doesn't satisfactory answer the question: Does time have a starting point?"

jcnasia was referring to my hub on entropy. Of course I wrote the hub on entropy to show how the simple becomes the complex and how disorder naturally becomes order. These are the questions that preoccupy the person interested in ID, and entropy is usually erroneously sighted as a reason there must be a god to order things due to the "disorder" that entropy causes.

But in fact, entropy is what causes order, not disorder. So that entire argument is wiped out by a clear understanding of what entropy is, and not what it is mistakenly thought to be. But funny enough, time is another thing entropy has a lot to do with.

So what about time? The laws of entropy show the arrow of time. Going back to what I said in the hub: "the heat from the pan goes away from the pan into the colder room. It never happens the other way around, ever" This is what is known as the arrow of time.

In fact, another way to describe entropy is as an arrow of time that only flows in one direction.

In the quantum world atoms can move in either direction of time without becoming qualitatively different in either case. But entropy seems to move in only the one direction.

A cause always predicts its effect in that it has to happen before the event it affects. A catcher will never catch a ball before a pitcher throws it. You can not invent a telephone before you have discovered electricity and how to make wire etc. That's known as the causal arrow of time.

So due mainly to entropy time seems to us to only flow forward.

But the quantum arrow of time is a little different. It is "symmetrical" according to the Schrodinger equations.

Meaning that it flows both forward and backward. But due to what is known as quantum decoherence that effect is filtered out when it gets to the macro level and should never be witnessed by us. Again, quantum decoherence is linked to thermodynamic entropy.

In physics we talk about atoms being in symmetrical time. That means that how they behave in forward time is exactly the same as how they would behave in reverse time. Scientists cannot find an arrow of time on the quantum level. Whatever you do to the quantum, if you play it back in reverse there is no difference and no laws of physics are violated.

But it does not mean there is no arrow of time in the quantum and scientists are actively looking for one. The only avenue that is promising so far comes from the behavior of electrons. But the experiments that might confirm this idea or falsify it are, to say the least, complex and expensive. In any case, no time machines any time soon if ever.

The arrow of time produced by entropy is why we are responsible for our acts and held accountable. Once done an act cannot be reversed. If that was possible we could just go back and not do what we did, like we can in many video games.

Einstein, of course told us that time is relative to space and intimately connected to it. They are so connected that it is often called space/time denoting that they are basically the same thing or aspects of the same thing. No space or distance, no time. This is why it was postulated that if the rapid expansion of the universe started with almost infinitely compressed energy there could be no time in a singularity because there is no space.

However, this is not known to be a fact. For instance, if I had a machine that could shrink things to one inch in height, put you in a room with no windows and a ruler, your measurement of things in the room would remain the same large or small and you would notice nothing different. So even in such a compressed state it might be possible that relatively speaking a form of time/space could still exist. After all, another example is seen in the atom itself. The distance between a nucleus and its electrons is relatively larger than between our earth and the sun. Within an atom there is mostly “empty” space. Empty as defined in the hub Entropy Explained. There is no way to know whether or not the universe is a giant black hole. If it is then in reference to a body outside it our universe might seem almost infinitely compressed.

The fact is we can’t know. So the rule in science is not to speculate when talking about it. So we say nothing can be known about the physics in a singularity. However, more and more this idea of a singularity has been linked to black holes. Some interpretations call it a black hole instead of a singularity. We are studying those and finding out about their laws of physics. So perhaps a definitive answer will come from there.

So, does time have a starting point?

The question/statement was: “Case 1: Time has a starting point. But if everything in the universe is cause and effect like you say, then something outside of time had to cause time to start. And, something had to cause that something to cause time to start. And this is nonsense to have cause and effect events take place outside of time. So, we can rule out this first case”.

I’ve already answered some of this above. But to answer the question definitively we would have to be sure of a lot of things we are currently not sure of. BB theory is under revision once again because recently there has been information found that seems to indicate it may not be possible the way we had thought. In other words the basic model may be flawed. As I have said in other hubs, Penrose is proposing a new model in which the universe is much much older than we thought by trillions of years. Possibly infinite. That there was not one expansion, but many. Each expansion and stable period he calls an eon, and apparently we can know something about past eons. Not all the information is lost. But we will have to see where that theory goes.

This is why the scientific minded person never invests any faith in the findings of science, and particularly not cosmology. While many of the laws of physics are well known facts, interpretations of cosmology such as the BB are not. They are models or interpretations. Most of the time not even meant to be taken as fact, just working models. Too bad some people don’t know that.

As speculation goes and to answer the question of whether or not time had a beginning, there may have been many beginnings and dormant periods of potential. We don’t know. We do know it exists now.

So what if time has always existed in one form or other? The next question was:

If energy moving from higher to lower potential energy is the cause of every effect, then if time does not have a start, there would be an infinite stream of these events which each leaving the universe with less potential energy. Therefore, no matter how much potential energy the universe had at a point an infinite time in the past, it would have no potential energy right now. But there is potential energy,”

Well no. It would leave the universe with nothing but potential energy in a state of complete equilibrium. But I understand your point. This would only be the probable case if the universe was a closed system. Eventually the clock would wind down due to entropy. But we are not sure it is a closed system. In other words there is no way to know if there are other universes or objects outside ours that affect ours. There have been many theories of superverses, or a collection of universes. Again, I wouldn’t put money on any of them but they may lead to something eventually.

The fact is we don’t know yet what is going on. Currently we think the universe is flat and open. It is also expanding. So eventually because of the expansion the universe end up in "heat death" if no other process is at work. Penrose predicts there is. But expansion is the thing that led to BB in the first place by reversing time until all energy in the universe is almost infinitely compressed. If it is expanding it must have started out much smaller. The question is how much smaller?

Einstein thought the universe was static as did everyone else until Hubble came along. But he discovered that if it was, the mass of the universe should have made it eventually fall in on itself. So he created the cosmological constant which is the amount of repulsive force the universe would need, coming from the vacuum of space, to keep it static. But it turned out it wasn’t static. He thought it was the worst prediction he ever made. But it turns out he was probably right. There seems to be a repulsive force in the vacuum because the universe seems to be accelerating. Some call it dark energy and dark matter now. Being right for the wrong reasons is nothing new to science or human beings in general.

Dark matter and energy may be something coming from outside the universe. We don’t know. Probably not.

So we are probably looking at a beginning of the universe at some point. But energy cannot be destroyed nor created. So it has potentially always been around in one form or another. Possibly as another universe at another point in “time”. Some postulate that the universe is traveling through a black hole. One theory is that it is a black hole, as I’ve already stated.

In other words we do not know yet with any certainty and all our models are only possibilities based on observation and theoretical physics rather than the certainty of hard science. It’s a work in progress.

But philosophically speaking, time can be seen as an ever changing now rather than a straight line from past to future. In that case no past exists to go back to and no future pre-exists to go forward to. All events happen in a timeless space, and time is only relevant as way to measure movement in that space. Don’t worry, your watch is still relevant for that four o’clock appointment.

As humans we cannot get away from feeling linier asymmetrical time. It may be an illusion but it is a convincing one. Certainly not something anyone in any field of study has a complete grasp of.

Now to the point of these questions

“It appears to me that naturalism cannot answer the question about time, not because we just have figured out the answer yet, but because of inherent contradictions”

The problem is that a god doesn’t answer these questions any better.

In reference to this statement: “But if everything in the universe is cause and effect like you say, then something outside of time had to cause time to start. And, something had to cause that something to cause time to start. And this is nonsense to have cause and effect events take place outside of time.”

The problem is still that you can ask, who made that god and then who made the god that made that god? You can do that infinitely. So the answer is usually: God always was and always will be. Well this is a fine assertion and it solves the problem. But there is one issue we have with it. There is no physical proof of a god. The eternal first mover is postulated because it stands to reason that if there were ever a “time” when nothing at all existed in or out of a universe, there would be nothing now. You can’t get something from nothing.

And of course nothing is not a state of existence it is the absence of existence. So this is the proof for a god or first mover that conveniently always was and always will be. I have a hub on this ontological argument.

Aquinas, of course, said this had to be the Christian god. However, it doesn’t have to be, There is also nothing that says it has to be a being nor that it has to have intelligence. None of that is implied nor addressed in the proof itself. It just means something, whatever it is, has got to have existed without ever not existing.

So let’s look at the first law of thermodynamics again. Energy/mass cannot be destroyed and cannot be created. Here we have a substance that is by all accounts always been in one form or another. So from the Physicalist perspective this substance is what likely created all things, and indeed it is what all things that exist in real terms are made of. So the nature of energy/matter is the process of existence. In theistic terms, god is not a being, it is the nature of being.

Now, the other thing about the theistic god is that it is said to be outside time. What the heck does that mean? There is no time where god lives? Well then the objection: “this is nonsense to have cause and effect events take place outside of time.” must apply to the Christian god as well. Or does the Christian god make things happen without cause or indeed without a reason? A reason of course being a cause. That doesn’t seem to be what theists mean.

In fact theists have no idea what they are talking about because they know as much about time as physicists do. Nothing. For there to be no time in heaven, going by physics, there would be no space. Hence god would be a compressed mass, But of what? Energy?

They will tell us we cannot know how god works or the details of his world. But if that is true then neither can a theist and so they are just speculating that god lives in a timeless state because it suits their purpose. Their purpose of course is to convince everyone that this god exists and is separate from what it “created.” As well as that it is perfect and knows all and sees all in advance. It couldn’t do that if it was bound to time or space or distance could it?

Sounds more and more like the life of a singularity. Isn’t that ironic? But again, a god is only an implication and one interpretation of a logical philosophical argument. It boils down to: you can’t get something from nothing.

Everything in the universe is cause and effect. The logical alternative to a god right now with what we do know, is a natural process. It is as simple as that. The theists do not have all the details of how god did it and we don’t have all the details of the process worked out yet.

But the theist generally isn’t looking. They say that “god did it” is the answer. But it doesn’t answer anything. It doesn’t answer how it all works, which is what people like me are really interested in. That’s where science comes in.

The difference between the physicalist and the theist is that we can point to “god” and study it, finding out what its secrets are. And in so doing find out what we are. The theist cannot point to their god nor even show that it actually exists outside their imagination. Their certainty comes from faith. Ours comes from the uncertainty of the quest, and the knowledge that we don’t care if we are right or wrong in the end, as long as in the end we find out what is really going on. .

If in the end we find their god, we’ll let it know they are looking for it.

## Popular

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• Maria Janta-Cooper

6 years ago from UK

Great hub, thanks for writing.

I'm with Penrose. There is some truth in his ideas, I think.

Another thought... maybe spacetime is god? :):):)

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

SW:

"Complete disregard or appreciation for other cultures resulted in the extermination of the native American Indian and that is an extreme example. Two people with English as their mother tongue brought up in two completely environments will speak different languages so there is more to this than your comment gives credit for here and empathy is probably a more fitting approach."

The way people engage is a dynamic. It is not cut and dried. There are many roads to get somewhere and even though you travel one road there are others traveling other roads that will end up in the same place eventually. In fact all will have contributed to getting there. In this case it is a peace between all people.

We have learned lessons from the mistakes of the past colonial era as well as the second world war and then Bosnia and Rwanda. Genocide is not acceptable anymore.

But when cultures start interacting there is always a period of conflict and chaos as the two cultures merge. It is unavoidable. But eventually these things work themselves out. The Muslim population of Canada are exemplary citizens by and large. But there is an adjustment everyone has to make and that's not always easy. It takes time. But Canada has a tendency to accommodate more than most countries because we have decided to go with the multi cultural model rather than the melting pot model.

It should not be up to one side more than another to learn the culture they are dealing with and make allowances for it. As I said, people learn in different ways.

What one does on the internet is a completely different thing than one does in person. If I go to a Muslim chat room I expect to learn how I am expected to behave and accept the cultural rules. When in Rome, so to speak. So when a Muslim comes to a Christian vs atheist chat room where no holds are barred, why should people fear picking the Muslims religion apart? Why should we treat anyone any differently? Why should they expect or demand that we do?

If I go to a Muslim country I will abide by their rules. I have gone to Cuba and respected their laws and rules and culture. But if I am in Canada and someone from Cuba is talking to me, they will have to make allowances for the fact that my culture is different and I that theirs is different. We are on no one's ground. We are in no one's culture. We are just two people trying to get a handle on each other.

If people are offended in the religion vs atheist forums they should likely leave and stop torturing themselves be they atheist Muslim or Christian. They are in the internet culture.

"I have read your comment here and also read the link but will agree to disagree for the following reasons:"

"The conscious mind is the aware mind and accounts for a very small fraction of the mind that all compromises the subconscious. I accept that they are not separate but the model we use to describe the mind makes it seem so."

So far you are saying exactly what I said.

"However what we know is conscious and what is below the level of awareness is subconscious and as such is not known. The subconscious is not open to knowing but it is to feeling. You can bring things to your conscious awareness but in my own professional and personal experience this only occurred through feeling and not through intellectual investigation. An example of this is when a person relives a traumatic incident in childhood but does so as if the incident is occurring in the present an abreaction occurs and the repression released. Once this happens the person is in a position to apply conscious reasoning to understand what happened and choose another way to see it. Up to repressed emotion associated with the incident would have been the root cause for any number of psychosomatic conditions which would have been under the control of the subconscious. So it is in this context that I was speaking about feelings and emotions and how simply applying conscious effort is not sufficient to penetrate or “educate” the subconscious as you alter suggest. This is why hypnosis in psychotherapy is so effective and takes only a fraction of the time to resolve such problems which we are not in conscious control of. Ask any traumatised soldier who behaves as he does when he returns home."

This is funny. I can not disagree with anything you are saying here because that's my point. By hypnosis you release the repressed emotion by what? Having the person relive the incident and what? Consciously reason it out and "understand" what? The reason for the emotion! And that helps resolve the conflict/psychosomatic conditions.

Your method of doing this hypnosis. Great tool. But we don't all have it at our disposal. Particularly not people with low income. There are other ways to get to the same place, just like the in topic above. There are many roads or methods to doing the same thing. How can you understand an emotion if you repress it? It is by living it and working it through rationally and logically that you resolve it. You track down why you are having it.

Not everyone has the mental tools to do it on their own. But it can be done without hypnosis and of course it isn't necessary in most cases.

But to me you are not disagreeing with me at all here.

SW says:

"I have answered this above and for the same reasons would say that the fact you say you are aware of being passively aggressive may indicate an underlying emotional root cause of which you are not aware and this is another example of what I mean by subconscious being off limits to conscious reasoning."

No. It's a tool. When I use it I am aware of it and I am using it to get a specific kind of response.

SW says:

"This is a fair question and though I know I can think clearly about things I am equally aware of my ability to feel too. I make a conscious effort to involve both in all my interactions and try to refrain from judging either my reasoning or my feelings as both are as important."

However reasoning is flawed. Or more to the point, prone to making mistakes.

I don't judge my emotions either but I do judge my reasoning. You have to avoid making mistakes with it.

" I feel that my generation was taught to belittle all expressions of emotion of feeling as sissyish especially for a man and associated emotion in a negative way with unreasonable and hysterical women. It took me up until about 10 years ago to engage both aspects of myself though up to that point I “thought “ I had been. It was a real eye opener when I just didn't think a feeling but actually felt it and I still find myself sometimes lapsing into my old ways when I try to control feelings I am not comfortable feeling."

See, I'm not talking about controlling feelings I am not comfortable with. That's hiding from them. But my emotions don't hide from me and I don't hide from them. I learn why they are there and whether or not I need to do something to resolve them.

Some people can't remove themselves from the situation or emotion long enough to analyze it enough to get a handle on it. A method to do that is to stand outside your self as a dispassionate third party so you can find out where the problem really is. You don't live in that position, you use it as a tool. That's completely different from hiding from it.

" Spirit does not even enter into this as I see spirit as something separate even to this dynamic. In my opinion when the thinking and feeling minds are balanced then we are truly expressing ourselves fully and in that state we are in a position to experience ourselves as spiritual beings but not till then."

So please describe what you mean by spiritual. I'm interested.

The rest of your comments seem to have been cut off. Probably too long for this format. It happens. The problem is that when you submit it, it looks like it is all there. But if you refresh you see where the system cut you off. I hope you still have the rest of that reply.

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

"Everything that we perceive exists in the mind and the reality we imagine we are experiencing outside of us is and always has been in the mind. This is where people get stuck because it is a truly convincing illusion so convincing in fact we ridicule anyone who questions it. But the clue to this illusion lies in something you yourself said. "The universe from the atomic particle to the human runs on conflict and the resolution of conflict." Conflict requires "TWO" resolution is "ONE". What is the sound of one hand clapping? You must be familiar with this famous Zen koan which points to duality as the survival mechanism of the ego. Without conflict and desire the ego cannot exist but there is a way to exist in this world but without being attached to it as our minds would have us do. I believe that people like Jesus have tried to show us how but you can see how his and others' message has been so twisted to be almost unrecognisable.

You will have to help me make sense of this because I've seen you write this in the same pattern at least twice and once in the line you showed me. Did you write the content of that link?

This is the reason I wrote that rebuttal hub to your hub on matter in the hope you explain yourself and tell me what I am missing here.. To me this makes no sense. What do mean everything we experience is in the mind? Of course it is, but it looks like you are saying the mind creates matter and the world around us.

Basically that means all our thoughts are illusion as well as family and friends and day to life. Doesn't it? Are you then suggesting nothing we experience corresponds to reality? Or just there is no reality?

I'd like you to give me more details on how this works because it seems very contradictory. When you say: "Without conflict and desire the ego cannot exist but there is a way to exist in this world but without being attached to it as our minds would have us do."

What is I if not the mind? What exactly are you saying exists outside mind? What do you mean by we can exist without being attached to this world? What world would we be living in? What happens to the world of conflict and resolution that you say is just ego based? Does it disappear and all your problems are solved as the veil is lifted?

You really are going to have to go in to much more detail. To me these ideas are gibberish in my head right now. Please clarify.

I also have to correct you a bit. There is no number that makes conflict or resolution. The combinations and permutations seem to me to be endless. Again, you have to make me understand this concept.

"You make another statement that seems to contradict itself: "

"The way to control emotion is by understanding it"

"Understanding is an intellectual activity and emotion is a subconscious dynamic. How can you ever explain or understand something with the intellect that has nothing to do with it? "

As I said, the two are not separate and the subconscious causes the conscious. I do not understand where you get the idea that there is a barrier between them. The conscious is the way the subconscious is examined rationally. Feeling is translated to complex symbols we then call concepts.

"There are no words or thoughts that can describe love because it is not an intellectual idea. You do not think love...you feel it!"

Yes. But it can be put in to words and its causes can be known both chemically and psychologically. But broken down to why it exists and what it is in simple terms, it is obviously the desire of one human to make another a part of them. It seems you have an objection to that idea. Why? Do you not see how it corresponds to reality? If not, please explain why not.

" People try in vain to intellectualise feelings as a way of not feeling them."

Not so in my case but I am sure it happens. I successfully discover why I have them. I feel them, to be sure. But there is always a reason for them. Once a reason is found it explains the feeling and then you can understand it and know where you want to go with it.

" Fear is the underlying motivation for the world's love affair with trying to intellectualise and understand everything and that is why there is such a lack of empathy in the world today. Schools are completely focussed on the intellectual development of our children and the emotional development is completely ignored."

But are you not telling me the emotional is also an illusion? See, you are confusing me. Give me some examples of how you would develop a child's emotional self?

"I do not advocate a focus on emotions and feelings but reiterate that it is in balancing both that we find what we are looking for."

You seem very down on the intellectual. You seem to be saying the emotion is reality, or there is no reality and then say that there should be a balance.

Again. I would appreciate it if you can give me much more detail as you think all this works because it is not gelling for me and that's unusual. Well it isn't actually but usually when this happens to me it turns out to be nonsense. But you seem to be an very intelligent person so it must be me. I'm sure you make me understand.

• Xavier Nathan

7 years ago from Isle of Man

Slarty said:

You have to learn to gauge who you are talking to and if they are from another culture you try to work with in that framework.

But the internet is not of my making so the fact is that all cultures come together and either participate or not. A Hindu is unlikely to get into a christian vs atheist conversation.

I see Muslims these days denouncing Christians and atheists alike but that is to be expected in the current climate.

Muslim culture and Christian culture do clash. And perhaps by having frank and brutal discussions some brutal actions can be avoided. They need to learn to grow a think skin no matter what culture they are from if they debate in these types of forums.

Some Americans are just as offended by them as an Asian would be.

The internet is an place of evolution. We can communicate almost mind to mind. We have to learn to get our point across and understand each other because there is no physical restraint or danger here. Just words and thoughts.

SW:

Complete disregard or appreciation for other cultures resulted in the extermination of the native American Indian and that is an extreme example. Two people with English as their mother tongue brought up in two completely environments will speak different languages so there is more to this than your comment gives credit for here and empathy is probably a more fitting approach.

Slarty said:

There is a difference between trying to bury your emotions and learning to control, understand and use them.

Yes, I concentrate on the intellectual, but it is not in an attempt to bury the emotional, it is in an attempt to guard against the imagination. I found I can talk myself into believing anything with it, so it is on a leash. There for me to use.

My imagination makes me a good trouble shooter. That's what I used to do for a living. I also play music which is a language of emotion. I can hear conversations in the music that are pure emotional conversations, but they have meaning.

But when it comes to the search for truth and reality, I use the the scientific method in my thought process as much as possible.

No pain no gain. Yes, in a way that's exactly it. But there is no more pain. I am a person at peace now, but it took a long time to achieve. I do outline some of this in a hub I did on spirituality.

https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Spiritual

It explores my journey somewhat.

SW says:

I have read your comment here and also read the link but will agree to disagree for the following reasons:

The conscious mind is the aware mind and accounts for a very small fraction of the mind that all compromises the subconscious. I accept that they are not separate but the model we use to describe the mind makes it seem so. However what we know is conscious and what is below the level of awareness is subconscious and as such is not known. The subconscious is not open to knowing but it is to feeling. You can bring things to your conscious awareness but in my own professional and personal experience this only occurred through feeling and not through intellectual investigation. An example of this is when a person relives a traumatic incident in childhood but does so as if the incident is occurring in the present an abreaction occurs and the repression released. Once this happens the person is in a position to apply conscious reasoning to understand what happened and choose another way to see it. Up to repressed emotion associated with the incident would have been the root cause for any number of psychosomatic conditions which would have been under the control of the subconscious. So it is in this context that I was speaking about feelings and emotions and how simply applying conscious effort is not sufficient to penetrate or “educate” the subconscious as you alter suggest. This is why hypnosis in psychotherapy is so effective and takes only a fraction of the time to resolve such problems which we are not in conscious control of. Ask any traumatised soldier who behaves as he does when he returns home.

Slarty says:

I didn't say I didn't have feelings or didn't allow myself to have them. I said I try to control them, and I use them. I made it clear to you that you wet my appetite. I invited you to comment on anything you like because you seemed reserved about doing so.

I admit to being passive aggressive, and am conscious of it when I am.

SW says:

I have answered this above and for the same reasons would say that the fact you say you are aware of being passively aggressive may indicate an underlying emotional root cause of which you are not aware and this is another example of what I mean by subconscious being off limits to conscious reasoning.

SW says:

"Concentrating on the intellectual can only be at the expense of the emotional and by relying too heavily on the intellect you are in effect creating imbalance and that is evident in the way you express yourself. There is nothing wrong with that and I find it very interesting because I have always found people who push the intellectual boundaries to the limit very interesting. They are as interesting to me as olympic athletes who push the boundaries of their physical bodies."

Slarty says in reply to the above:

Yes. So I could reply in your own words: concentrating mainly on the emotional can only be at the expense of the intellectual and by relying to much on the emotional you in effect create imbalance. So what you advocate then is a balanced philosophy of half emotion and half intellect perhaps? Half material and half spiritual? Do you really advocate that? Or are you more inclined toward the spiritual? You certainly don't lack intellect which is why I am enjoying this conversation. But I will bet you value the spiritual more. Am I wrong?

SW says:

This is a fair question and though I know I can think clearly about things I am equally aware of my ability to feel too. I make a conscious effort to involve both in all my interactions and try to refrain from judging either my reasoning or my feelings as both are as important. I feel that my generation was taught to belittle all expressions of emotion of feeling as sissyish especially for a man and associated emotion in a negative way with unreasonable and hysterical women. It took me up until about 10 years ago to engage both aspects of myself though up to that point I “thought “ I had been. It was a real eye opener when I just didn't think a feeling but actually felt it and I still find myself sometimes lapsing into my old ways when I try to control feelings I am not comfortable feeling. Spirit does not even enter into this as I see spirit as something separate even to this dynamic. In my opinion when the thinking and feeling minds are balanced then we are truly expressing ourselves fully and in that state we are in aposition to experience ourselves as spiritual beings but not till then.

Slarty says:

I do not deny having fears, though most prove irrational. I used o fear death when I was young but am at peace with it now. I won't deny any of my fears. But emotion is not one of them.

So let me explain how I see all this. Emotions are what the word suggests; they force us to do something. They are needs manifest and they require resolution. The totality of existence is about conflict and resolution and mankind is about need.

Each emotion denotes a different need or desire. They most often tell us of inner conflict which needs to be resolved.

The emotion of love is the desire to make another a literal part of you. An extension of self. Of course we know it is easy for most of us to make a child a part of our being, or our parents. But romantic love is often a struggle for power. After all, two different people are trying to make the other part of themselves. Issues must be sorted. Often they can't be for one of a million reasons.

Let me show you how this all inter relates. The patterns are the same all the way down the line.

When we first decide we want to ride a bike, we come to it with no knowledge. We have instinctive feelings about it but they are usually wrong. When we first ride the bike we need to balance ourselves and worry about where the brake is and how hard to push it. W

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

Spirit Whisperer

"your ideas do not resonate with me. The reason they don't is because in some way you seem to imagine a seaparteness from them which you then imagine you can control."

There truly is no contradiction here. If I may say so it seems to be you that is suggesting a separation between the intellect and the emotion, not I.

I outlined the mechanics for you. You seem to think that emotion has no cause and that you can not tap the subconscious. But the subconscious is the world of emotion. You have full access to it, though not always full intellectual access. On that we agree.

" Firstly, imagination is the stuff of feelings and so you are in effect saying that you are using the subconscious of which you have no conscious awareness to control feelings which come from the subconscious. Do you see how I might view your ideas here as somewhat contradictory."

Certainly I see why you might see it that way considering your model of the subconscious and conscious. Imagination is certainly the stuff of feelings. But we are conscious of the subconscious through them. What I am saying is that there is no separation. By discovering why we have them, we are opening the subconscious to scrutiny and educating it. The subconscious has to do with instinct and intuition, not just imagination.

The subconscious is also the input signals from all the bodies cells. From the nerve system. From the sensory apparatus. All these inputs are based on material processes, and they can be explained as causal events.

So frankly I see no contradiction in the idea that you analyze feelings, track them down, resolve them or educate the subconscious and thereby modify them if need be.

We can only talk as if the subconscious and conscious are separate for convenience. But it is one process. The illusion is that there is a separation between them.

The brain has a prim function and that is to keep the body alive. It is like a central control system. In the human it has begun to favor itself do our enhanced concept of "I".

The reason this concept is enhanced in humans as opposed to most animals is because of our extraordinary ability to communicate in complex symbols.

The brain has in effect switched from it's prime function of keeping the body alive at all costs to keeping itself alive at all costs. That's why people tend toward creating religions that promise them ever lasting life. That's why they create the idea of soul inside a useless envelope.

"I have obviously been conditioned by my parents, by society etc to feel a certain way about certain things and I have the power to change how I react not by controlling my feelings but by changing the focus of my attention. Attention is how I direct deliberate thought and by deliberately aiming at a different target I "create" in myself feelings that I desire and so attract a different set of circumstances and people to maintain this new reality"

But none of this happens in a magic vacuum. Something drives you to refocus. You have the power because you have within you the process to accomplish it. But you wouldn't change yourself if you did not feel a need to. Where does that need come from?

You say you create feelings. From what and where?

You attract a new set of circumstances how? What I am try to say is you have to do things to attract new circumstances and new people.

So what you are saying is basically that you feel an imbalance in yourself, need to change or what ever. You deliberate to find a resolution to that imbalance, and then you do things to change yourself and your mental well being.

The feeling of imbalance is from the subconscious. You consciously try to discover what the imbalance is. In your case you seem to be saying that do that by imagining feelings that would solve the issue. Ok. Then you act in a way you think will or intuitively know will bring you to and maintain for you the desired feelings. Bingo. You really aren't saying anything different from the mechanics I described.

"It is not by force but a redirection and that is the only difference I can see by the way you and I operate in relation to feelings. You stand in front of a freight train imagining you can stop it , I redirect the line it is running on."

I think it's the other way around. I redirect the line because I say I control it. ;) You stand in front of a freight train imagining you can redirect it. That works in imagination or on your psychology, but not in reality.

Well I don't really think it's a good analogy anyway. Particularly not your part of it. At least I don't think so yet.

You say it is not by force. But again why are you redirecting anything? There is a cause and that cause is what forces you to react. How you react depends on your conditioning and genetic predisposition. You can recondition yourself but never remove all conditioning from yourself. So how can you say there is nothing forced? You are not choosing the situation you find yourself in, you react to it and try to change it if it makes you feel "wrong".

I have to run for now, but the best is yet to come. Your next statements are the ones we really need to address. So I want to take some time with them later this afternoon or this evening.

Thanks for the rational discussion.

• Xavier Nathan

7 years ago from Isle of Man

Slarty thank you for your reply. I appreciate the pains you have gone to explain your position and again though I may not agree with everything you say I appreciate your views and your opinions.

I would however like to clarify a few points. I am a Christian in that I was brought up a Catholic in Ireland. I am not interested in organised religion in any form and though I have visited an ashram in India for ten days to meet Sai Baba because I liked his message I have no "formal" training under any guru and do not belong to any religious or spiritual group.

I enjoyed your ideas about the subconscious and I do hear what you are saying about feelings and emotions but your ideas do not resonate with me. The reason they don't is because in some way you seem to imagine a seaparteness from them which you then imagine you can control. Firstly, imagination is the stuff of feelings and so you are in effect saying that you are using the subconscious of which you have no conscious awareness to control feelings which come from the subconscious. Do you see how I might view your ideas here as somewhat contradictory.

I do not consciously view anything about myself as inherently good or bad but I have obviously been conditioned by my parents, by society etc to feel a certain way about certain things and I have the power to change how I react not by controlling my feelings but by changing the focus of my attention. Attention is how I direct deliberate thought and by deliberately aiming at a different target I "create" in myself feelings that I desire and so attract a different set of circumstances and people to maintain this new reality. It is not by force but a redirection and that is the only difference I can see by the way you and I operate in relation to feelings. You stand in front of a freight train imagining you can stop it , I redirect the line it is running on.

Everything that we perceive exists in the mind and the reality we imagine we are experiencing outside of us is and always has been in the mind. This is where people get stuck because it is a truly convincing illusion so convincing in fact we ridicule anyone who questions it. But the clue to this illusion lies in something you yourself said. "The universe from the atomic particle to the human runs on conflict and the resolution of conflict." Conflict requires "TWO" resolution is "ONE". What is the sound of one hand clapping? You must be familiar with this famous Zen koan which points to duality as the survival mechanism of the ego. Without conflict and desire the ego cannot exist but there is a way to exist in this world but without being attached to it as our minds would have us do. I believe that people like Jesus have tried to show us how but you can see how his and others' message has been so twisted to be almost unrecognisable.

You make another statement that seems to contradict itself:

"The way to control emotion is by understanding it"

Understanding is an intellectual activity and emotion is a subconscious dynamic. How can you ever explain or understand something with the intellect that has nothing to do with it? There are no words or thoughts that can describe love because it is not an intellectual idea. You do not think love...you feel it! People try in vain to intellectualise feelings as a way of not feeling them. Fear is the underlying motivation for the world's love affair with trying to intellectualise and understand everything and that is why there is such a lack of empathy in the world today. Schools are completely focussed on the intellectual development of our children and the emotional development is completely ignored.

I do not advocate a focus on emotions and feelings but reiterate that it is in balancing both that we find what we are looking for.

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

"Slarty I see my comment whey your appetite and though you You say you have taught yourself to keep your feelings under control but your words betray your passive aggression albeit outside of your conscious awareness."

I didn't say I didn't have feelings or didn't allow myself to have them. I said I try to control them, and I use them. I made it clear to you that you wet my appetite. I invited you to comment on anything you like because you seemed reserved about doing so.

You have and I am grateful. You are obviously not Christian, and have had formal training in an ashram under a guru. I do not get to talk to many people who have that experience.

I admit to being passive aggressive, and am conscious of it when I am.

"Control seems to be your modus operandi and though you say you are searching for truth I only hear you talking about how proud you are of the fact that you have everything under control including your own feelings."

Yes I am proud of that. But it is a tool. I'll explain more as we go along.

"Your words suggest that you are unable to operate on the level of feelings because you don't trust them. But as long as you don't trust any aspect of yourself you are denying yourself and closing your eyes to your own truth"

That's an interesting idea and I see why you might come to that conclusion. But you are really not understanding what I have said and that is my fault. Feelings are not about trust. They are about conflict. We need them as they convey the messages of the subconscious. But again, I'll talk more on this as we go.

"Concentrating on the intellectual can only be at the expense of the emotional and by relying too heavily on the intellect you are in effect creating imbalance and that is evident in the way you express yourself. There is nothing wrong with that and I find it very interesting because I have always found people who push the intellectual boundaries to the limit very interesting. They are as interesting to me as olympic athletes who push the boundaries of their physical bodies."

Yes. So I could reply in your own words: concentrating mainly on the emotional can only be at the expense of the intellectual and by relying to much on the emotional you in effect create imbalance. So what you advocate then is a balanced philosophy of half emotion and half intellect perhaps? Half material and half spiritual? Do you really advocate that? Or are you more inclined toward the spiritual? You certainly don't lack intellect which is why I am enjoying this conversation. But I will bet you value the spiritual more. Am I wrong?

"I personally would not find my life fulfilling enough if I were to focus on only one aspect of what I am and in fact I cannot understand how anyone who does this cannot see it as an escape from being whole and balanced.

The whole idea of keeping your emotions in check betrays a fear that you seem to deny or perhaps are genuinely unaware."

I do not deny having fears, though most prove irrational. I used o fear death when I was young but am at peace with it now. I won't deny any of my fears. But emotion is not one of them.

So let me explain how I see all this. Emotions are what the word suggests; they force us to do something. They are needs manifest and they require resolution. The totality of existence is about conflict and resolution and mankind is about need.

Each emotion denotes a different need or desire. They most often tell us of inner conflict which needs to be resolved.

The emotion of love is the desire to make another a literal part of you. An extension of self. Of course we know it is easy for most of us to make a child a part of our being, or our parents. But romantic love is often a struggle for power. After all, two different people are trying to make the other part of themselves. Issues must be sorted. Often they can't be for one of a million reasons.

Let me show you how this all inter relates. The patterns are the same all the way down the line.

When we first decide we want to ride a bike, we come to it with no knowledge. We have instinctive feelings about it but they are usually wrong. When we first ride the bike we need to balance ourselves and worry about where the brake is and how hard to push it. We use our conscious mind a great deal. We also fall off it a great deal.

As we practice, our balance becomes instinctive. We don't need to think about it anymore. In fact, the better we get the less we use conscious thought for our actions. They become automatic.

What has happened? Conscious thought is too slow to control a bike fluidly. So the instinctive must be educated. Once educated your actions are automatic, and consciousness is free to make corrections as well as make your shopping list.

But what amazing thing has happened? The bike has become part of you. It is an extension of self. You have empathy for it. You understand it. The same process applies to driving a car well and even to rocket science and brain surgery. Anything we do well becomes part of us, and part of our instinctive self.

The same process applies to love. True empathy is the highest form of love.

So positive emotions are usually about bonding with something or someone. Including in to self.

What about anger? Negative emotions are often about wanting to exclude from self. Seeing injustice makes us angry and we suffer. We want to rightfully exclude such injustice from ourselves and the world.

Isn’t that a positive thing? Yes. But it is a negative emotion and we suffer for it. Yet we are justified in our suffering, are we not? Or perhaps if we did something our suffering would lessen? Emotions are a call to do. If here is an imbalance in self it will manifest. Suffering teaches one thing and one thing only, how not to suffer. Sometimes we can do nothing and so we must suffer existentially. Often we do not have the tools we need. And often an adjustment in thinking solves the issue. Not complacency or desensitization or hiding, but through understanding and coming to terms with the issue.

So this is how the human and the totality works: We do nothing without stimulus. We would not blink if it were not for the fact that the reaction is forced out of us because our eyes are dry. Every stimulus is a feeling or emotion in us and every feeling denotes a need and each need denotes the need for a resolution. An act that will resolve the need. Again, a change in thinking can be an act as well.

The universe from the atomic particle to the human runs on conflict and the resolution of conflict. That’s what we do. We interact. Each interaction changes all parties concerned, even if the change is not noticeable. They are cumulative. Each interaction is a form of conflict and resolution. For each act there are problems to be solved. Go to the store for bread you need money. You need to find the bread you are looking for. You need to make sure you get the right change back. You may need a way to get there and then you may need gas for the car. Anything can go wrong so we build conventions to make things go more smoothly. In the old days we used to have to grow the wheat and make the bread ourselves.

So emotion is tied to this dynamic. The way to control emotion is by understanding it, not by running from it. By recognizing and being better able to resolve it.

Lastly for this part of the conversation, will is also a manifestation of need. I can go from here to how the will is tied to genetic predisposition and conditioning, and then on to consciousness and awareness. But this answer has already turned in to another hub on its own.

• Xavier Nathan

7 years ago from Isle of Man

Slarty I see my comment whey your appetite and though you You say you have taught yourself to keep your feelings under control but your words betray your passive aggression albeit outside of your conscious awareness. No man can control the subconscious though many imagine they can they only fool themselves and betray their failure by the way their feelings manifest unknown to them.

Control seems to be your modus operandi and though you say you are searching for truth I only hear you talking about how proud you are of the fact that you have everything under control including your own feelings.

Your words suggest that you are unable to operate on the level of feelings because you don't trust them. But as long as you don't trust any aspect of yourself you are denying yourself and closing your eyes to your own truth.

Concentrating on the intellectual can only be at the expense of the emotional and by relying too heavily on the intellect you are in effect creating imbalance and that is evident in the way you express yourself. There is nothing wrong with that and I find it very interesting because I have always found people who push the intellectual boundaries to the limit very interesting. They are as interesting to me as olympic athletes who push the boundaries of their physical bodies.

I personally would not find my life fulfilling enough if I were to focus on only one aspect of what I am and in fact I cannot understand how anyone who does this cannot see it as an escape from being whole and balanced.

The whole idea of keeping your emotions in check betrays a fear that you seem to deny or perhaps are genuinely unaware.

I will definitely visit those links you sent me but am quite busy at the moment.

Thank you.

• Xavier Nathan

7 years ago from Isle of Man

qwark I may do sometime but it is not high on my priority list right now but for the time being suffice to say that intellectual definitions have little to do with "being" and more to do with the thinking about being and is as such an escape. Feeling has more to do with being as it involves love and acceptance which some people feel they do not deserve. The intellect offers a far safer way out of that dilemma but is like living a life in emotional coma.

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

Spirit Whisperer

Ah my friend, this I like. You can be critical when you want to be and you are correct as well. I try to talk to people on their level. The art of debate for knowledge means you have to be able to talk to the man on the street, the scientist, the politician. Regardless of who they are they have an opinion which is often worthy of note.

You have to learn to gauge who you are talking to and if they are from another culture you try to work with in that framework.

But the internet is not of my making so the fact is that all cultures come together and either participate or not. A Hindu is unlikely to get into a christian vs atheist conversation.

I see Muslims these days denouncing Christians and atheists alike but that is to be expected in the current climate.

Muslim culture and Christian culture do clash. And perhaps by having frank and brutal discussions some brutal actions can be avoided. They need to learn to grow a think skin no matter what culture they are from if they debate in these types of forums.

Some Americans are just as offended by them as an Asian would be.

The internet is an place of evolution. We can communicate almost mind to mind. We have to learn to get our point across and understand each other because there is no physical restraint or danger here. Just words and thoughts.

There is a difference between trying to bury your emotions and learning to control, understand and use them.

Yes, I concentrate on the intellectual, but it is not in an attempt to bury the emotional, it is in an attempt to guard against the imagination. I found I can talk myself into believing anything with it, so it is on a leash. There for me to use.

My imagination makes me a good trouble shooter. That's what I used to do for a living. I also play music which is a language of emotion. I can hear conversations in the music that are pure emotional conversations, but they have meaning.

But when it comes to the search for truth and reality, I use the the scientific method in my thought process as much as possible.

No pain no gain. Yes, in a way that's exactly it. But there is no more pain. I am a person at peace now, but it took a long time to achieve. I do outline some of this in a hub I did on spirituality.

https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Spiritual

It explores my journey somewhat.

And please don't hesitate to give me your opinions about anything. Even when you disagree. How else are we to have a conversation and learn from each other?

• qwark

7 years ago

Spirit:

I'm curious, you said: "...what makes you human."

Human? How do you define the use of the word human as you just used it?

Why don't you write a hub concerning that question.

Being human? hmmmmm...that raises all sorts of imagined characteristics in my mind.

We exist as such complicated creatures, which makes your comment an enigmatic one to me.

Do you get my point?

Qwark :)

• Xavier Nathan

7 years ago from Isle of Man

Slarty have you thought about writing a hub about this as it is indeed a most interesting approach?

It reminds of the saying "no pain no gain" that people who were out to push their physical bodies to the limit would often say. I suppose you are saying the same thing but rather than pushing your physical boundaries to the limit you are testing your intellectual boundaries and you seem comfortable doing that. In any case pain is deliberately invited.

I like reading what you have to say but where I disagree with you I do not always feel the need to say so. In those cases therefore I agree to disagree but value relationship above making a point.

There are culture differences to be considered when we find ourselves communicating with people from all over the world and this is often overlooked in the drive to make a point.

What would be insulting to one culture or normal to one culture may not be to another. When I lived and worked in Japan I found Americans to be the ones most frustrated by the way Japanese communicated. Japanese tend not to be confrontational and American businessmen often took a Japanese silence to mean agreement when in fact the opposite was true.

Though we may all speak English this does not mean we all speak the same language so what you learned to take from fellow Americans may not necessarily work with people from other cultures who may make you very angry because they do not react as expected. It reminds me of the story of the competition between the wind and the sun to get a man to take off his coat.

You Slarty seem to place great importance on information,theories and models to explain your reality but for me these only tell one very small part of the story. Becoming a great debater and being able to explain other peoples' ideas to reinforce what you believe to be true and being ready to change your beliefs at a moments notice is admirable but where in all of your arguments are emotions and feelings? Are they to be shunned as you suggest? Being proud of not taking offence or feeling feelings that are part of being human is actually to deny or suppress what makes you human.

In my own experience both professionally and personally the only people I have ever met who tended to replace feelings with logic and the intellect in this way were people who sought to hide from their feelings and they all tended to be hurt and fearful children at heart.

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

Spirit Whisperer

There is never a reason to apologize to me, as you will never offend me. I value intellectual honesty and nothing honestly said requires apology.

You have nothing to feel embarrassed about either, for the same reason.

"I have not used confrontation as a way to learn so I am very interested in how you describe this."

Ego is something I've learned to use as a tool instead of allowing it to rule me. As a young man I wanted to break it down and rid myself of it. So I gathered my friends around and insisted they tell me all that was wrong with me in their eyes. After a time they began to play along. I sat quietly and reflected on all they said. I would sometimes be seething inside and knew that if I let it get the better of me I would fail to learn anything.

Later I included my "enemies" in this game. Not really enemies but people who either really did not like me or were cold toward me.

I learned a lot about myself in those sessions. And that lead me to insult contests. The first one to get angry lost. That taught me to have a very thick skin.

Later I began to debate in formal debate groups where there are rules of conduct. There were people there with much higher education than I had so they were tough on me. I won my first debate in 1967 arguing for a Palestinian homeland.

But I had a lot of ideas that I needed to work out in my head, and I found that input from others was the only way to develop my own philosophy through "trials by fire."

A lot of people are afraid to put out new ideas for public ridicule. But what I found was a great lack of ridicule or decent for my ideas.

So I went to the next level. The internet opened an opportunity for me to open myself up to the world and all the diverse ideas out there. To me, confrontation makes me think harder, research more, and consequently learn more. I hope others have this same experience and know that some do. But my method is not the method for everyone.

It is not about winning the debate it is about finding holes in your ideas and reforming them until they match reality.

Seeds are planted in both directions but the opponent never knows which or when. In these debates you fight with every argument you have to defend your view, all the while sitting outside it so you can continuously re-evaluate the merits of your position and if needed modify it on the fly.

But as I said I do value intellectual honesty so I acknowledge my mistakes and have no issue with simply saying I don't know, if that is the case. Usually, however, before I respond I do research so that I do know. This is the beauty of the internet. There is no reason for errors of ignorance when it comes to most subjects of fact.

In this way I find patterns of existence and study them. I am not concerned with interpretation. The patterns are the reality.

I believe nothing at all. There is no reason to invest belief in facts. They only require understanding and acceptance. There is absolutely no reason to believe in speculative ideas. They are to be dissected, processed, put away, and looked at later if new evidence arises that may prove or falsify them as facts.

It's my way of ensuring I don't let too much confirmation bias and mistakes in perception creep into my thinking.

In this way I keep my philosophy living and evolving, as I am prepared to change or modify or toss it out at a moment's notice.

I enjoy it when someone's insights force me to do that. For many people change is feared and unwanted. For me, intellectual change is embraced. Change is the only constant and so in this way I do not suffer if I am proven wrong.

I do not care what truth is as long as I know or am on the way to knowing what it is. But to prove me wrong my opponent will have to fight me for it. Not because I want to win, but because I need to be absolutely convinced. It has been done before, though not often.

In Zen, which is a way of thinking I strongly identify with, it is said that one of the monks did not attain enlightenment until he cut off his own arm with a sword.

To me the story means that enlightenment or understanding sometimes comes in state of shock.

A person I much admire for his intellect and actually genius once told me was afraid to engage people too deeply because if you succeed in destroying their faith, you leave them with nothing.

But I have found and what Zen teaches, is that no one changes their mind until they are ready. If they want to debate and test their faith, they are already on a path away from their current one whether they know it or not. Or they are so set in their world that nothing will shake them. And even if it does, they will modify their perspective until it suits them again. The human mind will not allow their perspective to be replaced by nothing.

U.G told us that if we were ever brave enough to touch reality, all we were ever taught and everything we ever thought, would be stripped away, and nothing put in it's place.

It's lucky most humans are not "brave" enough to go that far.

• qwark

7 years ago

Apology accepted Spirit! :)

Qwark

• Xavier Nathan

7 years ago from Isle of Man

I stand corrected. I appreciate you taking the time to set me straight on this. I had no idea that quark was referring to fundamentalist Christians that you are both in frequent battle with.It just goes to show how quick we are to judge and how wrong our perceptions can be. I seem to live in another world to you but I can still appreciate your point of view. I have not used confrontation as a way to learn so I am very interested in how you describe this.

You won't find me debating with people I see as brainwashed but I certainly do appreciate it when I find people who are open to entertain ideas outside of their belief system and whether they agree or not with mine is of little consequence.

I have fallen into the trap of judging another and I was angry with Quark by remarks I saw as being addressed to us all and with you for agreeing with him. I feel very embarrassed by this I hope you both accept my apology.

This has taught me a very good a lesson and for this I a very grateful.

• qwark

7 years ago

TY Slarty! :)

Qwark

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

Spirit Whisperer

Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to read my hubs.

As for the messages others leave, it is not my place to advocate or disapprove. A comment is a comment and negative or positive I delete no one.

There is some truth to what qwark said in regard to some fundamentalist Christians. I've been in the forums on the internet for over ten years and I have found that many of them, due to their beliefs, are very hard to reach and very narrow minded in their focus.

Of course they rightly say the same about me. From their perspective I am not open to their beliefs and so dismiss them.

But again, that dismissal has come from 50 years of religious, philosophical, historical and scientific study. There are not a lot of arguments i have not heard and not dissected and processed over the years.

I do not see you much on the religious forums so I do not suspect you know what goes on there. It is a battle ground between militant fundamentalists and militant atheists.

It is rare for there to be a meaningful conversation. People of like mind do seem to band together as qwark suggests.

However, the reason I did this hub was because jcnasia seems to want to go beyond the forums, and seems to be looking to find out what "naturalists" as he and others here seem to call us Physicalists, really think.

So I am looking forward to his comments arguments and critique.

I do try to be balanced and not insult individuals in my hubs. But one of the ways I learn best is through confrontation. So I will speak with civility to anyone who wants to debate that way, and I must say I usually prefer it.

But I also rather enjoy a good knock down dirty contest of insults between the facts if that is the way my debating partner wants to play. I never get insulted or take anything personally and have developed my debating skills rather well over the years. I have had to as some people I have debated were far more intelligent than I, and I've had to work to keep up.

So while what quark said was essentially true it is a generalization. He knows that, and I expect most of the fundamentalists who frequent the forums have grown a thick enough skin to let it run off their backs like water. If not they would not be in the forums which can be brutal if you are unprepared for very frank and to some, insulting opinions.

I did a hub on this called: "Why atheists are obnoxious."

You may find it interesting. It is about the dynamics of the internet religious forums.

• qwark

7 years ago

G'mornin'Slarty:

I respect your writing, the subjects you choose and the way you "cover" them!

I have no idea what caused "Spirit" to respond as he did, but it did start my day out with a laugh.

Methinks that my "ignostic" attitude may "disappoint and insult him." Who knows? :)

Ditto on the "have a great day!" :)

Qwark

• qwark

7 years ago

G'mornin' "Spirit:"

slurrrrrpp....coffee's good this AM.

I just read your comment and got my first laugh of the day.

My goodness! Such sensitiveness! You are so easily disappointed and insulted! :)

I know,...you "wear your heart on your sleeve!"

My "advice" is: try a "sleeveless shirt" You will be introduced to a world you haven't imagined yet. :)

Thanks for reading my comment and mentioning me! Much appreciated. :)

Qwark

• AUTHOR

Ron Hooft

7 years ago from Ottawa

Hi Qwark

Thanks again for your support. You are probably right that most people don't get through my hubs because they are too long for the average reader. I try to write in the simplest terms possible to allow a wide range of people to grasp what I'm saying.

But you are right that many will not get it. After all, I am talking to people of a completely different mind set than my own, as well as the like minded.

Ir's no one's fault. We all just keep plugging away at trying to find the truth.

You have a great day, Qwark. ;)

However,

• Xavier Nathan

7 years ago from Isle of Man

A very thorough treatment of jcnasia's questions and I must commend you on the lengths you go to present your arguments in as balanced a way as possible.

I am a bit surprised however by the condescending remarks of your self proclaimed "ass kisser" above qwark whose comment is more a reflection of his/her own projections. There is no need to insult hubbers in this way but as you seem to have accepted the comment without saying anything then I can only assume you advocate his/her remarks and I find that disappointing.

• qwark

7 years ago

Hahaha...Slarty, I loved the ending:

"If in the end we find their god, we’ll let it know their looking for it."

I hate to be an "ass-kisser" but I read your hubs thinking I may find something I disagree with......and I can't! :)

I think tho, that your thorough explanations might "swish" right over the heads of most fundies (if they try to read them) and they will sigh deeply, quit reading, and go back to the forums where trhey can seek solace in others of their ilk. :)

Excellent hub!.....again! Voted up.

Qwark

working