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Author Topic:   At what point should we look for a non-materialistic explanation?
Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

Message 114 of 160 (538394)
12-06-2009 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by 1.61803
12-06-2009 10:01 AM

Re: At What Point Should We Look for Wondrous.
How does the non material consciousness affect the material.
If you define gravity as being 'non material' then the question could be asked of gravity, or electromagnetic radiation. The answer is that they are not necssarily seperated in the way that you suggest - and almost certainly not in the sense that the OP meant.
Material is a somewhat old fashioned term, that is used now because of convention. Physical is often a term used nowadays in philosophy to avoid this linguistic confusion. That which is is physical is basically that which is describable via the methodology of physics. So gravity is physical.
Are thoughts? Well until you define what a 'thought' actually is, we can't say. It certainly seems that thoughts have a physical basis, just like 'colour' has a physical basis.
Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms to a certain condition, the condition of being physical. Of course, physicalists don't deny that the world might contain many items that at first glance don't seem physical items of a biological, or psychological, or moral, or social nature. But they insist nevertheless that at the end of the day such items are either physical or supervene on the physical.
The question is: is there a circumstance where we have to abandon this idea - and does it actually help to do so?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by 1.61803, posted 12-06-2009 10:01 AM 1.61803 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by 1.61803, posted 12-06-2009 12:06 PM Modulous has replied

Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

Message 116 of 160 (538403)
12-06-2009 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 115 by 1.61803
12-06-2009 12:06 PM

Re: At What Point Should We Look for Wondrous.
Are dimensions physical?
In the same sense that colours are physical, yes.
Particle theorist postulate that the most fundamental thing that can be is a string.
So what is the string?
Physical. And that's string theorists, not particle theorists - some of whom may not subscribe to string theory
So when electrons move between energy states they do so by what is know as a quantum leap. Where are they going? Leaping to where to reappear.
They don't 'go' anywhere. The 'leap' is an analogy. They just change energy states. They 'go' to the new energy state.
Described a probabilities and waves......sounds very non physical to me.
Why is it non-physical?
Remember - I'm not referring to the physical to mean 'that which is bosonic matter'. Quantum physics is still physics. If you want to argue for a definition of 'non-physical' such that quantum physics is 'non-physical' then again I am fairly sure are using a different definition than the OP.
I could define physical as 'something that is orange', but that wouldn't really have any impact on the actual metaphysical argument.
I am no scientist. But it seems at least to me that the someone who thinks something can exist from nothing is no more ridiculous than someone who thinks it cant.
Anything and everything can be the subject of ridicule. But that isn't the question at hand.
According to a physicalist, if you created an identical universe that shared all the same physical properties as this one - the universes would be completely identical. A non-physicalist might argue that a person is not solely determined by physical properties such as the state of their brain, but that a 'soul' exists seperate. So even if the bodies were identical, the brains identical and the experiences identical...if the souls are different then they are different people who react differently to the same stimuli and thus the universes are different.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by 1.61803, posted 12-06-2009 12:06 PM 1.61803 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by 1.61803, posted 12-06-2009 3:04 PM Modulous has replied

Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

Message 121 of 160 (538427)
12-06-2009 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by 1.61803
12-06-2009 3:04 PM

the mind and the physical
The problem I have with this premise is that initial conditions can never be the same.
Why not?
So this in itself would prevent a duplicate world.
But we just created a world with all the same physical properties. What's preventing this from happening?
But given that this world somehow comes to be identical I would say it would be identical. Souls and emotions and everything else.
It is only physically identical, not 'spiritually' identical. Souls don't need to be replicated (and in fact explicitly aren't). Emotions are replicated in so far as their physical basis is replicated.
Would the iron molecules in a indviduals would be the same?
They would have all the same physical properties. But they wouldn't necessarily be the same molecules.
Would spontanenous mutations in genes be the same?
Yep - that's a physically based thing.
Would these two worlds evolve on every level of physics end up the same?
I can not see how.
Not knowing how isn't material (heh). All that matters is that we consider such a universe.
Just one non functioning microtubual in a sperms flagellum would wipe out Hitlers whole family line.
But that would only happen if the physical properties of the universe are different, say the physicalists. And further - we could just create the new universe to be physically identical to the present one so we don't need to worry about history yet. Even if we stipulate that certain events will play out differently due to some inherent probabilistic effect which is not 'seeded' by the a physical property * - the physicalist would argue that at the moment the two universes have identical physical properties - there are no differences between them.
I do not know what the soul is.
No, but the only necessary definition is that it is non-physical. It is a dualist's concept of a soul.
I still think the mind is non physical.
The mind may well be 'non physical' in one sense, but the physicalist argues that the mind is an emergent property of the brain (the mind is what the brain does). It 'non physical' in the same sense that running is non physical. You can't point to running, it doesn't exist as a noun. The mind, the the physicalist might say, is not a noun, but a verb.
However, you take away my legs (physical things) and I lose the ability to run (in the sense of a certain kind of leg based locomotion). Take away the brain, and I lose the ability to think.
Do you think we should concentrate our research into consciousness surrounding the non-physical? Or have we not reached that point yet?

* Cavediver for example stresses that quantum physics is still deterministic - and it could be that the identical physical universe would have every probabilistic outcome come out the same. The truth of this matter isn't actually important to the point though, and I raise it merely as a point of interest.
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by 1.61803, posted 12-06-2009 3:04 PM 1.61803 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by 1.61803, posted 12-07-2009 12:32 PM Modulous has replied

Member (Idle past 100 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005

Message 130 of 160 (538523)
12-07-2009 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by 1.61803
12-07-2009 12:32 PM

Re: the mind and the physical
Well you cant run without legs, But you can in dreams.
I'm not sure what your point is.
I believe it is both.
I had picked up on that. Do you think that we have reached a point in consciousness studies where we should concentrate on non-physical explanations?
I believe we should not abandon the notion of non-physical until we have a deeper understanding.
I believe we should not investigate the notions of the non-physical until a reason to do so presents itself. Do you think there exists a reason to do so? I'm not 'abandoning' the non-physical in the sense of simply refusing to consider it - I just don't see what use considering such explanations has. We've been exploring them for our whole history but it seems that only when we exclude them and investigate the physical alone that we actually make interesting advancements in understanding and technology.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by 1.61803, posted 12-07-2009 12:32 PM 1.61803 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by 1.61803, posted 12-07-2009 10:26 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

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