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  1. #11
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Also the only thing I can think of which is not material yet can exist, is void. But even then it really isn't a thing and doesn't exist per se - it's simply were there's nothing.

  2. #12
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    @greenfairy I would recommend to you http://www.physicsforums.com/ There are a lot of people who professionally involved in science there. I've dealt with this all before. It is my belief that belief systems are neurological in nature and could be "rewired" so that an individual could become a different person if we had sufficient technology. To me, epistemology and philosophy are mostly bs. I think the reason people don't accept this idea is because of a fear that they are powerless automata in a world that they have no influence in. I do not believe that is the case, but I do believe it is that fear that blocks people from accepting their true nature as in a constant state of multi-being with the boundary between self and other nebulous the mind must evolve extreme compassion and love as it realizes that it is a small yet significant part in something much larger than itself. What exactly that is is still nebulous and the uncertainty is what is most scary because it is like death, our own mortality that we always try to run away from. But if one does not accept that one day they may die they do not appreciate how precious and filled with overwhelming beauty and awe each moment is.

    Anyhow, didn't mean to get all sentimental, but my personal goal is to cure humanity by accepting that our flaws are manifestations of physical aberrations that can be fixed to improve our ethical and moral being such as the lack of oxygenation to the prefrontal cortex that is correlate with sociopathy. To me it is bizarre and disgusting that people hold to dualism so they can funnel the world's resources to stupid bullshit like religion that is just a back-handed way of trying to cope with death rather than attacking the problem head on by looking at it as a biological malfunction to be remedied.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  3. #13
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Not by itself, no.
    Then a strict materialist would say that everything that exists is material, and the next question to ask is whether certain things exist and what it means to exist.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    An immaterial substance is not a substance.
    I'm inclined to agree. However, Descartes and several other philosophers would disagree.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Elementary components. The things which - as far as we can tell - are made of themselves, and not made of something smaller.

    Even though the object contains space, as a unit it occupies space because it is not trivial for most other objects to utilize this 'inner space'.
    Right. Correct as an illustration of concepts. So the smallest units of which we can be aware at this time are simply spacial locations with some sort of thing in them. But we don't really know what sort of thing this is. We have to define it by its actions, behaviors, effects.

    Actually, given that electrons bounce around inside of an atom in ways we don't understand, they can exist in virtually any location inside of an atom. Even electrons from another "object" can travel to the space inside of another "object." So the exclusivity of space is still not clearly defined.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Even subatomic particles are not just energy, they have quantifiable differences that energy alone cannot explain. If something is not material, then it cannot have physical quantities, and cannot have physical differences. You don't get a hydrogen atom out of just energy - or if you did, all atoms would be hydrogen atoms.


    See above about the hydrogen atom - that which has no form cannot have differences.
    Is a quantifiable difference material? What are things smaller than subatomic particles responsible for this difference? What causes/explains this difference? Underlying every two entities is a single entity from which they diverge. Every spectrum has two ends, but they are part of one whole. What then is the underlying entity of which these quantifiable differences are a part?

  4. #14
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    @greenfairy I would recommend to you http://www.physicsforums.com/ There are a lot of people who professionally involved in science there. I've dealt with this all before. It is my belief that belief systems are neurological in nature and could be "rewired" so that an individual could become a different person if we had sufficient technology. To me, epistemology and philosophy are mostly bs. I think the reason people don't accept this idea is because of a fear that they are powerless automata in a world that they have no influence in. I do not believe that is the case, but I do believe it is that fear that blocks people from accepting their true nature as in a constant state of multi-being with the boundary between self and other nebulous the mind must evolve extreme compassion and love as it realizes that it is a small yet significant part in something much larger than itself. What exactly that is is still nebulous and the uncertainty is what is most scary because it is like death, our own mortality that we always try to run away from. But if one does not accept that one day they may die they do not appreciate how precious and filled with overwhelming beauty and awe each moment is.

    Anyhow, didn't mean to get all sentimental, but my personal goal is to cure humanity by accepting that our flaws are manifestations of physical aberrations that can be fixed to improve our ethical and moral being such as the lack of oxygenation to the prefrontal cortex that is correlate with sociopathy. To me it is bizarre and disgusting that people hold to dualism so they can funnel the world's resources to stupid bullshit like religion that is just a back-handed way of trying to cope with death rather than attacking the problem head on by looking at it as a biological malfunction to be remedied.
    I'm not sure I understand all of that, but it is interesting. I myself am not a dualist. I am some combination of a materialist and an idealist, based on the uncertain distinction between matter and the immaterial. I suppose technically I am a materialist, but in a far less strict sense than most.

    I will look at that link.

  5. #15
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Also the only thing I can think of which is not material yet can exist, is void. But even then it really isn't a thing and doesn't exist per se - it's simply were there's nothing.
    Right. Matter/energy and void. I think the problem is that people who propose the idea of something immaterial, such as the mind, don't really know what they are talking about. Saying something is material doesn't really mean much if every situation we can conceive of, such as a mind existing outside of a body can be explained in material terms. In regard to personal identity, materialists would take the stand that minds cannot exist outside of a body; whereas dualists would believe that they could, in the form of information or electricity or energy or something. But if all those things are material, then both people are actually materialists, and the philosophical distinction is irrelevant.

    ?? wtf

    And we know that being confined to a physical body is not the definition of material, because energy transcends the physical body, and we have already established that it is material.

  6. #16
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I'm inclined to agree. However, Descartes and several other philosophers would disagree.
    Let them disagree. Philosophers end up being off or wrong about a lot of things. (luminiferous aether, anyone?)

    Actually, given that electrons bounce around inside of an atom in ways we don't understand, they can exist in virtually any location inside of an atom. Even electrons from another "object" can travel to the space inside of another "object." So the exclusivity of space is still not clearly defined.
    Is a wheat field made entirely of wheat? No. It's a useful model, not a strictly literal one.

    The space is not necessarily exclusive. The wheat field does have a relatively defined boundary, but you can walk around in it, bugs live in it, and there's air and dirt and space and other non-wheat things that exist in there.

    Is a quantifiable difference material? What are things smaller than subatomic particles responsible for this difference? What causes/explains this difference? Underlying every two entities is a single entity from which they diverge. Every spectrum has two ends, but they are part of one whole. What then is the underlying entity of which these quantifiable differences are a part?
    I won't try to explain things that I can't explain. :P

  7. #17
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Let them disagree. Philosophers end up being off or wrong about a lot of things. (luminiferous aether, anyone?)
    So then we can conclude that you are a strict materialist, if you don't conceive of any substance which is not material. Fair enough. I'm leaning in that direction myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Is a wheat field made entirely of wheat? No. It's a useful model, not a strictly literal one.

    The space is not necessarily exclusive. The wheat field does have a relatively defined boundary, but you can walk around in it, bugs live in it, and there's air and dirt and space and other non-wheat things that exist in there.
    Well then, you've just conceded that physical boundaries are more conceptual than physical. In which case, objects/"things" are not as distinct as we might think, rendering the concept of objects largely conceptual. So looking microscopically beyond objects, we have their constituent parts, the smallest of which are subatomic particles, which are things which resemble some sorts of energy. So I conclude that everything is energy, and in order to apply that concept we need to know the causal capacities of different kinds of energy. Good, I'm a little closer to answers.

  8. #18
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Well then, you've just conceded that physical boundaries are more conceptual than physical. In which case, objects/"things" are not as distinct as we might think, rendering the concept of objects largely conceptual. So looking microscopically beyond objects, we have their constituent parts, the smallest of which are subatomic particles, which are things which resemble some sorts of energy. So I conclude that everything is energy, and in order to apply that concept we need to know the causal capacities of different kinds of energy. Good, I'm a little closer to answers.
    They're conceptual and physical.

    There are six types of leptons for example (electrons being among these) and they don't only differ in concept. They aren't made of anything else.

    I can't tell you why there are six of them, rather than say four, or twenty. But there are six and they are different.

    I also can't really tell you why an electron is not a photon. We can see that they operate differently, and are different, but we don't know the underlying reason that there's an electron and a photon instead of maybe one particle that does the job of both.

  9. #19
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    Right. Matter/energy and void. I think the problem is that people who propose the idea of something immaterial, such as the mind, don't really know what they are talking about. Saying something is material doesn't really mean much if every situation we can conceive of, such as a mind existing outside of a body can be explained in material terms. In regard to personal identity, materialists would take the stand that minds cannot exist outside of a body; whereas dualists would believe that they could, in the form of information or electricity or energy or something. But if all those things are material, then both people are actually materialists, and the philosophical distinction is irrelevant.

    ?? wtf

    And we know that being confined to a physical body is not the definition of material, because energy transcends the physical body, and we have already established that it is material.
    Yes I'd say the distinction is irrelevant.

    In more colloquial terms, everything is akin to energy. Perceived solidness, as when you sit on a chair, or walk on the ground, is an illusion. How we see and feel things are not how things are, and what is substance or material does not make sense in this context.

    A wooden board for example would not look like a board at all if you could get EXTREMELY close to it and magnify it. In spite of that it does have the properties that a board has, in a non-hologram way.

    We see things a bit differently than they exist, but this isn't the other way around. It's not things being different than how we see them. Our sense is not the authority and the way things are is not the deception. Our sense is the deception and the way things are is the authority.

  10. #20
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    They're conceptual and physical.

    There are six types of leptons for example (electrons being among these) and they don't only differ in concept. They aren't made of anything else.

    I can't tell you why there are six of them, rather than say four, or twenty. But there are six and they are different.

    I also can't really tell you why an electron is not a photon. We can see that they operate differently, and are different, but we don't know the underlying reason that there's an electron and a photon instead of maybe one particle that does the job of both.
    Interesting! I wonder what each lepton does.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Yes I'd say the distinction is irrelevant.

    In more colloquial terms, everything is akin to energy. Perceived solidness, as when you sit on a chair, or walk on the ground, is an illusion. How we see and feel things are not how things are, and what is substance or material does not make sense in this context.

    A wooden board for example would not look like a board at all if you could get EXTREMELY close to it and magnify it. In spite of that it does have the properties that a board has, in a non-hologram way.

    We see things a bit differently than they exist, but this isn't the other way around. It's not things being different than how we see them. Our sense is not the authority and the way things are is not the deception. Our sense is the deception and the way things are is the authority.
    Agreed.

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