Not Everything Is Physical

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RCSaunders
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Not Everything Is Physical

Post by RCSaunders » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:45 pm

For most people it is obvious that not everything is physical. Unfortunately, the reason for that belief is very often not based on reason, but superstition, including mystical beliefs in spirits, the supernatural, and the incorporeal.

Nevertheless there a many perfectly natural things that exist that are not physical and knowing them requires no mysticism.

What Is Physical

The physical is all that exists that can be directly perceived, that is, seen, heard, felt, smelled, or tasted, including all that can be discovered or learned about the perceived using instruments and reason.

All that can be known about the physical is in terms of physical attributes or quealities, those that can be directly perceived like color, sound, texture, smell and taste, as well as all the discovered properties of the physical such as weight, shape and temperature, as well as, chemical properties, and biological properties.

Ideas and Language

Do you have any ideas? If you do, what color are they, what kind of sound do they make, what do they feel like, smell like, or taste like? How heavy are your ideas, what shape do they have, and what is their temperature? What are their chemical properties or biological properties? These are all physical attributes that all physical things have at least some of. They are what makes physical things physical. Whatever does not have these properties is not physical.

Ideas do not have any physical qualities or attributes. Even when recorded, written in books or recorded digitally, while the paper and marks on it, and the electrical states of digital memory are physical, the ideas themselves are not physical and do not exist in any recording device.

The same idea may be described in any language, and it is the same idea no matter what language it is written in, because it is not the marks on a piece of paper that are the idea, but the meaning the writer intended and the reader understands that is the idea. Ideas have no physical attributes and do not exist physically, ideas only exist in human consciousness.

You Can't Eat Ideas

One of the many recent popular ideas infecting society with irrational fears was expressed to me as follows, "I don't want any chemicals in my food." My question to this fool was, "what do you propose to eat? Poems?"

The entire physical existence is chemicals. Human beings are chemicals and all their food is chemicals. If ideas were physical, they would be chemicals too, and perhaps we could eat them. They would be easier to produce then what we currently eat.

I know the entire world of sub-atomic physics is not chemicals. Oddly enough, sub-atomic existence is contingent on chemical existence, however. The physical is that which is known by the direct perception of it. Everything else, including the physical sciences must be deduced from that. If there were no directly perceived physical (chemical) existence there would be nothing for the sciences to study or chemistry to explain.

Do trolls, angels, and magic dragons exist? They certainly do not exist physically, but they do exist as ideas, fictional ideas invented by human beings. Not everything that exists is physical.
Last edited by RCSaunders on Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Belinda
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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by Belinda » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:59 pm

There are some organisms that eat and don't know they are eating. Other organisms eat and know that they are eating. A mind and a body are aspects of the same organism.

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RCSaunders
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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by RCSaunders » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:27 pm

Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:59 pm
There are some organisms that eat and don't know they are eating. Other organisms eat and know that they are eating. A mind and a body are aspects of the same organism.
Absolutely. The "body" is physical with all the attributes of the physical, but life is an attribute that is not physical, and cannot be perceived or studied by any method the physical is. The life of an organism is only manifest in the unique behavior of an organism. Once life ceases, if it does, none of the organism's physical attributes change, but its behavior changes. As a consequence an organism subsequently changes physically because the life process, witch maintained the organism as the kind of living organism it was, has ceased.

Mind is an attribute of consciousness. Consciousness is an attribute of life. Life is an attribute of that almost infinitesimal number of physical entities called organisms. Physical attributes, life attributes, consciousness attributes, and mental attributes are all aspects of human beings, but only the physical attributes can be directly perceived or studied by the physical sciences. (Biology is the study of the physical aspects of an organism, not of life itself.)

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by Belinda » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:22 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
----but life is an attribute that is not physical, and cannot be perceived or studied by any method the physical is.


A rule of thumb is it it is not breathing it's dead. More precisely, brain death is taken to be death. However death is ascertained all methods are physical methods. The dead or unconscious subject is unable to communicate.

life of an organism is only manifest in the unique behavior of an organism. Once life ceases, if it does, none of the organism's physical attributes change, but its behavior changes.


The physical attributes change. I have seen many dead bodies and can vouch for that.
As a consequence an organism subsequently changes physically because the life process, witch maintained the organism as the kind of living organism it was, has ceased.
The "life process" is not something added on to the living organism. When an organism is dying it's about to die is what you are saying.
Mind is an attribute of consciousness.


But sometimes we hear that a fully conscious man has lost his mind. One state of consciousness is what we commonly call madness.
Consciousness is an attribute of life.
But some living things are never conscious during their entire life spans.
Physical attributes, life attributes, consciousness attributes, and mental attributes are all aspects of human beings, but only the physical attributes can be directly perceived or studied by the physical sciences. (Biology is the study of the physical aspects of an organism, not of life itself.)
As a matter of fact mind evidence (psychology) and material brain evidence (neuroscience) constantly correlate so we conclude that mind and brain are twin aspects of the same thing which may be called 'mind-brain'.

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:42 am

Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:22 pm
A rule of thumb is it it is not breathing it's dead. More precisely, brain death is taken to be death. However death is ascertained all methods are physical methods. The dead or unconscious subject is unable to communicate.
We're not talking about death. Everything is dead except for those very few entities called organisms. Many organisms do not breath and it is very difficult to ascertain whether they have died. Some living things are dormant (like seeds) but the are not dead.

In the past, human beings have been declared dead because there was no detectable heart beat or breath, and buried. Later, scratch marks were found in the coffins. It is one reason embalming was mandated in most states--just to make sure the buried were really dead.
Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:22 pm
The physical attributes change. I have seen many dead bodies and can vouch for that.
Not instantly. At the moment of death, especially sudden death, the corruption begins at death but is often undetectable which is why a body that appears dead is carefully checked to ensure it is. At the moment of death, there is no difference in the physical attributes (weight, temperature, etc.) of an organism. All the change follows the death.
Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:22 pm
The "life process" is not something added on to the living organism. When an organism is dying it's about to die is what you are saying.
That's right. Life is not a, "thing," it is an attribute, just like the physical attributes, and it does not exist independently of the organisms it is the life of. At the physical level, life is manifest as a process that sustains the organism as the kind of organism it is. Organisms are the only physical entities that act to maintain themselves as the kind of entities they are. Neither life or the life process are added to an organism, life is that attribute that make the life process possible because the physical attributes alone do not make it possible.
Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:22 pm
But sometimes we hear that a fully conscious man has lost his mind. One state of consciousness is what we commonly call madness.
Err, you are changing the meaning of mind, here. The word mind is used in several way: "she changed her mind," I don't mind if you do that," he's of two minds," for example. Mind, as I have used it, only refers the unique, volitional, intellectual, rational human consciousness.
Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:22 pm
But some living things are never conscious during their entire life spans.
Part of the confusion here is my fault. When I say, "consciousness is an attribute of life," I mean and should have made it clear that consciousness is only possible to living organisms, not that consciousness always accompanies life.

I do not think consciousness can be attributed to prokaryotes or plants, but even the simplest organisms most be able to respond to external stimuli and to discriminate between different stimuli else their behavior would be the same for all stimuli, or willy-nilly.
Belinda wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:22 pm
As a matter of fact mind evidence (psychology) and material brain evidence (neuroscience) constantly correlate so we conclude that mind and brain are twin aspects of the same thing which may be called 'mind-brain'.
Psychology is not a science. Neurology is a genuine physical science. I have examined many claims to the affect that observations of brain activity are observations of mind and remain unconvinced. I'd be very surprised if there were no correlation between the two, after all, memory is stored by means of the physical brain, and all we are conscious of (not consciousness itself) is by means of the neurological system.

I would have no problem with the view that everything can be explained in terms of the physical. I know there is no supernatural and that the material world I am conscious of is real and all there is. The problem with the physicalist view is that it leads to a fundamental contradiction. The physical is knowable because its attributes, its behavior, and its relationships can all be understood, because they are determined by the physical principles discovered by the physical sciences. Why anything is what it is and does what it does can ultimately be described by the principles of physics, chemistry, and biology, or at least can and will be.

Everything except organisms. The reason we can know the physical is because it behaves according physical principles. It's determined and predictable. The behavior of organisms is not predictable.

If everything could ultimately be explained in terms of the physical,those things that would not exist except as the product of human minds would not exist at all, all science, history, literature, art, philosophy, and love would not exist.

I'll not write an essay here. I'll only say that my study of life and the nature of knowledge convinces me that the physical attributes are not all the attributes possible to existence. There are no supernatural attributes, only natural attributes that can be discovered and identified. Almost everything is physical. Those aspects of existence that are in addition to the physical are almost infinitesimal.

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by I Like Sushu » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:14 am

Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.

- Kant
The point being here is that language/ideas necessarily require perception. You simply cannot have the idea of ‘shapes’ or ‘democracy’ without something to apply it to. Not to mention the kind of ‘ideas’ you are referring to seem to be ‘words’ which are concepts derived from sound and sign - physical.

In short your definitions are too ambiguous here. Your definition of ‘physical’ as ‘chemical’ is strange to say the least. Is light ‘chemical’ and/or ‘physical’ in your eyes? I cannot ‘eat yellow’ so it isn’t ‘physical’ yet I can perceive yellow so it isn’t ‘physical’. I think you need to refine/rethink.

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bahman
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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by bahman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:23 am

The physical is an illusion.

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:04 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:42 am
If everything could ultimately be explained in terms of the physical,those things that would not exist except as the product of human minds would not exist at all, all science, history, literature, art, philosophy, and love would not exist.
But all explanations are products of human minds? So if it weren't for human minds then we would have no explanations.

It's almost as if the social constructivists were right...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construct ... istemology
According to constructivists, the world is independent of human minds, but knowledge of the world is always a human and social construction.

And so it seems to me idiotic to speak about reality, when all that you and I can speak about is our perception of reality. Least you can suggest to me a mechanism for acquiring knowledge of reality which bypasses our senses.

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm

bahman wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:23 am
The physical is an illusion.
The physical is all there is to be conscious of. If the physical is an illusion, then everything is an illusion, including your belief that the physical is an illusion.

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:01 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm
The physical is all there is to be conscious of.
Then consciousness is physical too.

I am conscious of being conscious. Self-awareness is the essence of consciousness.

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bahman
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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by bahman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:09 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:23 am
The physical is an illusion.
The physical is all there is to be conscious of. If the physical is an illusion, then everything is an illusion, including your belief that the physical is an illusion.
No. Mind is the only thing which is not an illusion. I already provided an argument for that which you didn't respond to it so I repeat it again: Consider a change in a physical system, A to B. A and B cannot coexist which means that A has to vanishes before B is caused. There is however nothing when A vanishes and nothing cannot possibly cause B. Therefore there should exist a mind that experiences A and causes B. This means that mind is the only thing which persists any change. This also means that what mind experiences and causes, namely physical, is an illusion.

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bahman
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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by bahman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:13 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:01 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm
The physical is all there is to be conscious of.
Then consciousness is physical too.
No, consciousness is an ability of mind.
Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:01 pm
I am conscious of being conscious. Self-awareness is the essence of consciousness.
Neural activity cannot possibly give rises to a state, mind, that this state experiences itself and other states.

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:17 pm

bahman wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:13 pm
Neural activity cannot possibly give rises to a state, mind, that this state experiences itself and other states.
You ever seen what happens when you put two mirrors opposite each other?

That's called recursion. It's turtles all the way down...

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by Belinda » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:24 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Err, you are changing the meaning of mind, here. The word mind is used in several way: "she changed her mind," I don't mind if you do that," he's of two minds," for example. Mind, as I have used it, only refers the unique, volitional, intellectual, rational human consciousness.
Scientists know that mind-brain can maintain conscious states other than waking awareness.

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Re: Not Everything Is Physical

Post by RCSaunders » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:41 pm

Belinda wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:24 pm
Scientists know that mind-brain can maintain conscious states other than waking awareness.
All sorts of claims are made by people who call themselves scientists. I do not believe anything on the basis of what any so-called authority or expert says in any field. You do. That's OK with me, but I choose to think for myself.

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