An immaterial question

RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
An immaterial question

Would any philosophical argument convince you of the existence of something immaterial (were immaterial is defined as something that exists completely independent of physical reality)?


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
No.

No.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


fcaustic
fcaustic's picture
Posts: 13
Joined: 2010-01-24
User is offlineOffline
 Theoretically I guess it

 Theoretically I guess it could. However I've never heard such an argument and I'm doubtful that one exists.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Not that I know of.

Not that I know of.


v4ultingbassist
Science Freak
v4ultingbassist's picture
Posts: 601
Joined: 2009-12-04
User is offlineOffline
I'd say no, on the premise

I'd say no, on the premise that, for me, it'd mean giving up on trying to understand something.  The historical trend has been that things have physical causes, and not supernatural ones.  Consequently, invoking the supernatural is just saying, 'we can't find a physical reason.'  As such, I will personally never accept an argument for immaterial existence.


Marquis
atheist
Marquis's picture
Posts: 776
Joined: 2009-12-23
User is offlineOffline
I don't understand the

I don't understand the question.


Jeffrick
High Level DonorRational VIP!SuperfanGold Member
Jeffrick's picture
Posts: 2368
Joined: 2008-03-25
User is offlineOffline
.

             No.

 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13405
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
No. 

No.


 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
Probably not. I say

Probably not. I say probably, because I am physically sensitive to these phenomena and always was, as long as I can remember. It is diffcult for me to imagine a life without "immaterial" phenomena. I can only speculate what would I do in that situation.

Of course, there is nothing "immaterial", just different degrees of materiality. There is also nothing "supernatural", only what the majority of people or mechanical detectors can't yet reliably detect, but this will improve with mental and technological progress.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3191
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
"philosophical," no.

"philosophical," no.


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
Marquis wrote:I don't


Marquis wrote:

I don't understand the question.

I suppose what I'm asking you are what you feel the limits of philosophy are.  According to some people philosophy is the root of all knowledge.  Everything that can be known is known either threw philosophy or threw something that relies on philosophy.  Other people seem to disagree and confine philosophy to a lesser role, or no role at all.  I was wondering what you think philosophy can or cannot do.  


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
Well, what would it mean to

Well, what would it mean to say that something exists that is not connected to physical reality in some way? If I understand the question, then anything that exists and is capable if interacting with the real world must be part of the real world.

 

For example, let's just say that ghosts exist. If that is the case, then the fact that they interact with any aspect of the world as we know it pretty much makes them casually connected to the world and therefore, they cannot be supernatural.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
Answers in Gene Simmons


Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Well, what would it mean to say that something exists that is not connected to physical reality in some way? If I understand the question, then anything that exists and is capable if interacting with the real world must be part of the real world.

 

For example, let's just say that ghosts exist. If that is the case, then the fact that they interact with any aspect of the world as we know it pretty much makes them casually connected to the world and therefore, they cannot be supernatural.

 

I suppose if something existed and it had no connection to physical reality whatsoever then that things existence would be completely irrelevant to physical reality.  I.e. its existence would be functionally equivalent to its nonexistence.  I have often thought that there could conceivably be a limitless number of realities unconnected to this one, but even if there are it is pointless to think about them as anything more than a mental exercise.  

Philosophy, in trying to determine ‘ultimate’ reality, sometimes uses ‘possible worlds’ to make statements about the real world.  Do these ‘possible world’ have any real meaning, or are the just a mental exercise?Sometimes I think that philosophy without empirical data can tell you nothing about reality outside of your own mind; including the nature of the mind itself.   

 

 


Marquis
atheist
Marquis's picture
Posts: 776
Joined: 2009-12-23
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:what you think

RatDog wrote:
what you think philosophy can or cannot do

 

I subscribe to the classical definition of philosophy, i.e. a composite of the two Greek words philos and sophia, which roughly translates into "love for wisdom". In other words, philosophy is not a "thing" but rather an attitude, maybe even an abstract fetish; a drive, or desire. A part of your nature. Sophiaphilia.

With respects to your question, we run into an immideate problem, being that of incompatible modes of existence. Something which exists separated from this universe can certainly be imagined, but we would have no way of proving or disproving it. So it would, at best, be a stupid postulate. Any- and everything which interacts with reality in such a way that it influences events and processes that are part of reality, is, by default, connected with reality and therefore real, even if it cannot be explained within our current framework of scientific understanding.

The most prominent characteristic of philosophy - in the classic, sophiaphiliac sense - is a consequent suspension of judgment based in the fundamental acknowledgement of your own inability to understand, i.e. it is unbecoming, almost blasphemous, to succumb to the desire to "believe" this or that way just for the sake of selfish comfort in the moment. All in all, philosophy cannot "do" anything but that; observing without judging.

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

http://www.kinkspace.com


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:Would any


RatDog wrote:

Would any philosophical argument convince you of the existence of something immaterial (were immaterial is defined as something that exists completel y independent of physical reality)?

Not likely... however, I suppose it depends on the current definition of "physical reality". For example, extra-dimensional existance, as well as travel...

 

Ex gratia, I sometimes dream myself as the new GOD* in place of the current ones, and I would do so through technology. (AKA a Deus ex Machina) The means and paths towards a Technological Singularity are quite infinite, and they can easily become monopolized by a single individual.

I also dream myself as having numerous vestal virgins near my 'throne' at all times, but that is more of a Male Ego type thing, than anything else. (And probably a subject best left to another thread)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Marquis wrote:  an abstract

Marquis wrote:
  an abstract fetish; a drive, or desire. A part of your nature.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmNO.

I don't think I'm going to get off over what happens to be my philosophy at one particular moment or another... since I learn so readily from others, and adapt AND internalize whatever fits in with my capricious whims at one particular moment or another.

Quote:
Sophiaphilia.

I learned a new word today........

 

Quote:
is a consequent suspension of judgment based in the fundamental acknowledgement of your own inability to understand, i.e. it is unbecoming, almost blasphemous, to succumb to the desire to "believe" this or that way just for the sake of selfish comfort in the moment. All in all, philosophy cannot "do" anything but that; observing without judging.

Okay, this rings a more accurate and truthful tone with my current set of beliefs....... however, selfish comforts make us who we are, including the inability to understand others because of our own "selfish" choices.

edit: more to the point, we exist and thrive because we are, in some way or another, selfish. When you engage in any sort pre-determined belief, or you pursue a biological impulse, or you even see yourself as a particular archetype or pursuer of self-empowerment, you are essentially... being selfish.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Marquis
atheist
Marquis's picture
Posts: 776
Joined: 2009-12-23
User is offlineOffline
Kapkao wrote:you are

Kapkao wrote:

you are essentially... being selfish.

 

From the point of biological determinism, it is impossible to not be "selfish" - insofar you are a living organism.

I can see that I did not choose my words wisely here, when I intended to suggest that the pursuit of immideate gratification often stands in conflict with your chances at succeeding with more long-term objectives. However, my point was that a philosopher is true to his "non-self" (sophia) rather than his "self" (ego).

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

http://www.kinkspace.com


chazmuze
Theist
chazmuze's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: 2008-04-19
User is offlineOffline
Only if one's ultimate

Only if one's ultimate presuppositions changed. 


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Marquis wrote: Kapkao

Marquis wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

you are essentially... being selfish.

 

From the point of biological determinism, it is impossible to not be "selfish" - insofar you are a living organism.

I can see that I did not choose my words wisely here, when I intended to suggest that the pursuit of immideate gratification often stands in conflict with your chances at succeeding with more long-term objectives. However, my point was that a philosopher is true to his "non-self" (sophia) rather than his "self" (ego).

Awareness of other intelligences is important, but to what extant? You can actually become TOO selfish, and become either psychotic (from absolute social isolation) or a sociopath (from being hardwired to ignore the moral complex of the brain, in a number of situations- and sometimes just in general) of some sort as well.  You can also become so 'sophia-aware' that you ignore whatever impulse or thought process is generated internally by your own mind, exclusively from social influences. To me, free will, self-awareness, biological impulses, and willpower, are INFINITELY more important to me than they would be for 'most' people. Thus, I believe in "Selfishness as a Virtue". You must also accept that technology has advanced sufficiently enough, and rapidly enough, that the creation of an "artificial God" will be MUCH more likely during this century, than in one imagined previously.... and that, any such technological singularity developed now will have lasting effects on our ability to pursue our ambitions... as it may inevitably be used to serve only one individual. An "Ultimate Selfish Act", if you will... thusly, a person who is "perfectly selfish"(Think: "Universal Super Being" and Frank Herbert's Dune) may eventually learn how to spread their ego to every corner of this universe, and those which are ultimately parallel to ours. (Parallel Universes aren't just a science fiction concept, apparently)

This concept, which I like to call "Unlimited Ambition", which has a more precise psychological term, but has implications beyond just simple "megalomania"... refers to our species' potential ability to make "Perfect Humans", and under such circumstances, Brian Sapient's signature line... would no longer have any meaning imaginable, whatsoever. Thus, I believe sophiaphilia will ultimately become over-rated, ultimately, when in comparison to the ability to completely understand the self, en absentia of assistance from others.

I am interested in your input on these concepts...

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
chazmuze wrote:Only if one's

chazmuze wrote:

Only if one's ultimate presuppositions changed. 

I have no idea what your talking about. 


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
yeah i supose i could be

yeah i supose i could be convinced.  It would have to be one hell of an arguement though.


chazmuze
Theist
chazmuze's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: 2008-04-19
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:chazmuze

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

Only if one's ultimate presuppositions changed. 

I have no idea what your talking about. 

The opening question was in reference to what type of event, evidence, etc. would convince one that immaterial entities exist irrespective of matter.  I assume this is the meaning of the opening topic.   Everyone holds basic presuppositions or axioms that support how they interpret evidence, facts, and all things.  We categorize particulars based upon what we accept as true or sound within our own paradigm or worldview.  A philosophical naturalist or any materialist will reject immaterial entities a-priori.  Even if one cannot justify the source of logical law, abstract forms of math, future propositions, beauty, ethical obligations, etc.  This brings me to a conundrum of sorts; as this whole web site has the term 'rational', yet cannot justify the absolutes that support rationality.  They are reduced to mere contingencies or material components of finite brains and many other propositions if they are not absolute and universally binding.


 

Chazmuze


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
chazmuze wrote: RatDog

chazmuze wrote:

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

Only if one's ultimate presuppositions changed. 

I have no idea what your talking about. 

The opening question was in reference to what type of event, evidence, etc. would convince one that immaterial entities exist irrespective of matter.  I assume this is the meaning of the opening topic.   Everyone holds basic presuppositions or axioms that support how they interpret evidence, facts, and all things.  We categorize particulars based upon what we accept as true or sound within our own paradigm or worldview.  A philosophical naturalist or any materialist will reject immaterial entities a-priori.  Even if one cannot justify the source of logical law, abstract forms of math, future propositions, beauty, ethical obligations, etc.  This brings me to a conundrum of sorts; as this whole web site has the term 'rational', yet cannot justify the absolutes that support rationality.  They are reduced to mere contingencies or material components of finite brains and many other propositions if they are not absolute and universally binding.

Your conundrum is easily solved when you take into account that just as people can have different axioms or assumptions about reality so to can people have a different sense of what qualifies as justification.  Everyone considers there own axioms or assumptions to be justified.  Really, in reasonable discourse between people with radically different views it's best to stick with the things you have in common and the thing we all have in common is that we all live in this world.  If you want to change someone’s views you have to start were you agree not where you disagree.  Simple repeating your assumptions over and over again isn't going to convince anyone who wasn't already convinced in the first place. 

Also assumptions and axioms do not simple exist in a vacuum.  Assumptions and axioms affect how one interprets evidence and facts, but evidence and facts affect people’s assumptions.  If assumptions were unaffected by anything then people's assumptions would never change, but that is obviously not the case.  Assumptions are tested constantly against the realities of our lives, and those that don't meet our expectations are eliminating or modified. 

 

 

If you wish to understand were I am coming from you may wish to look at this. Pragmatism and Prediction


chazmuze
Theist
chazmuze's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: 2008-04-19
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:chazmuze wrote:

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

Only if one's ultimate presuppositions changed. 

I have no idea what your talking about. 

The opening question was in reference to what type of event, evidence, etc. would convince one that immaterial entities exist irrespective of matter.  I assume this is the meaning of the opening topic.   Everyone holds basic presuppositions or axioms that support how they interpret evidence, facts, and all things.  We categorize particulars based upon what we accept as true or sound within our own paradigm or worldview.  A philosophical naturalist or any materialist will reject immaterial entities a-priori.  Even if one cannot justify the source of logical law, abstract forms of math, future propositions, beauty, ethical obligations, etc.  This brings me to a conundrum of sorts; as this whole web site has the term 'rational', yet cannot justify the absolutes that support rationality.  They are reduced to mere contingencies or material components of finite brains and many other propositions if they are not absolute and universally binding.

Your conundrum is easily solved when you take into account that just as people can have different axioms or assumptions about reality so to can people have a different sense of what qualifies as justification.  Everyone considers there own axioms or assumptions to be justified.  Really, in reasonable discourse between people with radically different views it's best to stick with the things you have in common and the thing we all have in common is that we all live in this world.  If you want to change someone’s views you have to start were you agree not where you disagree.  Simple repeating your assumptions over and over again isn't going to convince anyone who wasn't already convinced in the first place. 

Also assumptions and axioms do not simple exist in a vacuum.  Assumptions and axioms affect how one interprets evidence and facts, but evidence and facts affect people’s assumptions.  If assumptions were unaffected by anything then people's assumptions would never change, but that is obviously not the case.  Assumptions are tested constantly against the realities of our lives, and those that don't meet our expectations are eliminating or modified. 

 

 

If you wish to understand were I am coming from you may wish to look at this. Pragmatism and Prediction

How do you come to an agreement on starting points if one holds to naturalism and the other holds to the reality of immaterial entities?  Testing against one's personal experience does not equate to a universal truth.  Subjective experience is not absolute. 


 

Chazmuze


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
chazmuze wrote:How do you

chazmuze wrote:

How do you come to an agreement on starting points if one holds to naturalism and the other holds to the reality of immaterial entities?  Testing against one's personal experience does not equate to a universal truth.  Subjective experience is not absolute. 

The natural starting point is were there is agreement.  Are you telling me that we can agree about nothing?  If we both saw a tree could we agree that the tree existed?  Can we agree that we are having this conversation?  Can we agree that we both exist?


chazmuze
Theist
chazmuze's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: 2008-04-19
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:chazmuze

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

How do you come to an agreement on starting points if one holds to naturalism and the other holds to the reality of immaterial entities?  Testing against one's personal experience does not equate to a universal truth.  Subjective experience is not absolute. 

The natural starting point is were there is agreement.  Are you telling me that we can agree about nothing?  If we both saw a tree could we agree that the tree existed?  Can we agree that we are having this conversation?  Can we agree that we both exist?

Why must a worldview of naturalism be my starting point?  Why not have abstract absolutes or immaterial starting points?  We can both agree to see a tree, but there is no reason that I must use empiricism as my starting point.  I can use empiricism for probable evaluation and demarcation science.  Even with empirical, natural observation; there are immaterial supports that come into play.  For instance; one must hold that nature will remain generally uniform in the future for the tree to maintain it's existence and for your sense perception to operate uniformly.  How would a naturalist justify this without using circular reasoning?  That is; one is proving the future will be like the past, based upon the past...Hume's dilemma.  Since I start with the immaterial realm of an absolute and personal deity (Christian Theism); I can justify the uniformity of natural law that sustains the observed tree or data.  If one asks for proof of my starting point here, then an infinite regress of proofs would ensue and the interchange would never conclude.  There is a difference between ultimate presuppositions and various components within an operative worldview or belief system.  I  don't believe that you can use naturalism to prove that naturalism is the ultimate criterion for truth; which is an immaterial, philosophical claim itself!


 

Chazmuze


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
chazmuze wrote:RatDog

chazmuze wrote:

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

How do you come to an agreement on starting points if one holds to naturalism and the other holds to the reality of immaterial entities?  Testing against one's personal experience does not equate to a universal truth.  Subjective experience is not absolute. 

The natural starting point is were there is agreement.  Are you telling me that we can agree about nothing?  If we both saw a tree could we agree that the tree existed?  Can we agree that we are having this conversation?  Can we agree that we both exist?

Why must a worldview of naturalism be my starting point?  Why not have abstract absolutes or immaterial starting points?  We can both agree to see a tree, but there is no reason that I must use empiricism as my starting point.  I can use empiricism for probable evaluation and demarcation science.  Even with empirical, natural observation; there are immaterial supports that come into play.  For instance; one must hold that nature will remain generally uniform in the future for the tree to maintain it's existence and for your sense perception to operate uniformly.  How would a naturalist justify this without using circular reasoning?  That is; one is proving the future will be like the past, based upon the past...Hume's dilemma.  Since I start with the immaterial realm of an absolute and personal deity (Christian Theism); I can justify the uniformity of natural law that sustains the observed tree or data.  If one asks for proof of my starting point here, then an infinite regress of proofs would ensue and the interchange would never conclude.  There is a difference between ultimate presuppositions and various components within an operative worldview or belief system.  I  don't believe that you can use naturalism to prove that naturalism is the ultimate criterion for truth; which is an immaterial, philosophical claim itself!

I've considered what you've said, and have several things I would like to say.  


First, people will decide what they want to believe.  At least to an extent.  I suppose we are all a product of our circumstances, at least to an extent.  Nature verses nurture and all that.  The point is that the person who decides your starting point is you, and the person that determines mine is me.  No one can force anyone else to change their views.  You can only offer reasons, or pressure.   


Second, people can only communicate with each other with the assumption of agreement.  We must, to some extent, assume that we know what the other person is saying.  How do we really know we are correct?  The only answer I can see is prediction.  If your assumption allows you to predict what the other says or does then that assumption can be said to be true.  Prediction is justification for a belief.


Thirdly, the phrase "ultimate criterion for truth" means nothing to me, because I do not believe that anything in a human mind can do equates to the reality that gave it birth.  In other words humans are limited.  In other word language cannot be a perfect vessel for reality, ultimate or otherwise.  All we can do is create models of reality, and hope the models are correct.  How better to tell if those models are correct then to judge them by what predictions they make?

 
As far as I can tell pragmatism is the best option available to a limited humanity.  

 


chazmuze
Theist
chazmuze's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: 2008-04-19
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:chazmuze

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

RatDog wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

How do you come to an agreement on starting points if one holds to naturalism and the other holds to the reality of immaterial entities?  Testing against one's personal experience does not equate to a universal truth.  Subjective experience is not absolute. 

The natural starting point is were there is agreement.  Are you telling me that we can agree about nothing?  If we both saw a tree could we agree that the tree existed?  Can we agree that we are having this conversation?  Can we agree that we both exist?

Why must a worldview of naturalism be my starting point?  Why not have abstract absolutes or immaterial starting points?  We can both agree to see a tree, but there is no reason that I must use empiricism as my starting point.  I can use empiricism for probable evaluation and demarcation science.  Even with empirical, natural observation; there are immaterial supports that come into play.  For instance; one must hold that nature will remain generally uniform in the future for the tree to maintain it's existence and for your sense perception to operate uniformly.  How would a naturalist justify this without using circular reasoning?  That is; one is proving the future will be like the past, based upon the past...Hume's dilemma.  Since I start with the immaterial realm of an absolute and personal deity (Christian Theism); I can justify the uniformity of natural law that sustains the observed tree or data.  If one asks for proof of my starting point here, then an infinite regress of proofs would ensue and the interchange would never conclude.  There is a difference between ultimate presuppositions and various components within an operative worldview or belief system.  I  don't believe that you can use naturalism to prove that naturalism is the ultimate criterion for truth; which is an immaterial, philosophical claim itself!

I've considered what you've said, and have several things I would like to say.  


First, people will decide what they want to believe.  At least to an extent.  I suppose we are all a product of our circumstances, at least to an extent.  Nature verses nurture and all that.  The point is that the person who decides your starting point is you, and the person that determines mine is me.  No one can force anyone else to change their views.  You can only offer reasons, or pressure.   


Second, people can only communicate with each other with the assumption of agreement.  We must, to some extent, assume that we know what the other person is saying.  How do we really know we are correct?  The only answer I can see is prediction.  If your assumption allows you to predict what the other says or does then that assumption can be said to be true.  Prediction is justification for a belief.


Thirdly, the phrase "ultimate criterion for truth" means nothing to me, because I do not believe that anything in a human mind can do equates to the reality that gave it birth.  In other words humans are limited.  In other word language cannot be a perfect vessel for reality, ultimate or otherwise.  All we can do is create models of reality, and hope the models are correct.  How better to tell if those models are correct then to judge them by what predictions they make?

 
As far as I can tell pragmatism is the best option available to a limited humanity.  

 

You mention 'prediction' as the ultimate criterion for a belief system.  Prediction itself requires a deeper held belief in uniformity.  If one's worldview cannot justify this uniformity, then it is incoherent.  Justification does not mean to experience it.  As I had pointed out the fallacy of induction in assuming the future to be like the past based upon the past.  Pragmatism was initiated by William James in the 1800's.  The view is that one is to take the course of action that brings the greatest 'good'.  The question becomes; what is 'good' or the 'greatest good'? In an atheist worldview, where we are nothing but matter in motion, there is no good or bad.  There exists only arbitrary labels of such actions.  In the empiricist observation of actions, one cannot derive an ought or good from an 'is'.  Circumstances can dictate action contrary to one's deeply held view of good, right, wrong, etc., just to achieve what is considered pragmatic.  A pragmatist uses science 'testing' as the road to truth, but cannot use that same science to prove that only science is the absolute means to truth.  A pragmatic view of truth also undermines trust.  What court room judge would allow one to take an oath, 'the expedient, the whole expedient, and nothing but the expedient'? 


 

Chazmuze


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
chazmuze wrote:Prediction

chazmuze wrote:
Prediction itself requires a deeper held belief in uniformity.

It is impossible to not have such a 'belief'. Actually, it's not even a belief per se; we're just born with a brain that assumes it, automatically.

Quote:
  If one's worldview cannot justify this uniformity, then it is incoherent.

First, a worldview does not have to answer every unknown in order to be coherent. To claim that it *must* is ... incoherent. There are things we don't know. There's nothing wrong with that. Hint: There are things you don't know either. Nobody has all the answers (even if they make believe that they do).

Second, even if we *start* at the unknown, it doesn't mean we are stuck there. In fact, we do have a good understanding/justification for why all humans are born with an understanding of uniformity built into their brains. It's simple really: Evolution. All animals with nervous systems assume that the world they experience is at least partially uniform. If they didn't, then they wouldn't be able to take advantage of the *real* uniformities in nature, and their nervous system would have no evolutionary advantage. Those nervous systems that do have this implicit assumption built in *are* able to take advantage of uniformity, and as a result, pay for themselves with the real uniformities they exploit. Thus, this basic assumption is a pre-requisite for any functional nervous system, including human brains.

In terms of worldviews, unfortunately, you also must a priori assume uniformity without logical justification, since logic itself depends on uniformity. The technical term for this is proof by retortion: It cannot be otherwise, or we couldn't even be having this conversation. Neither side can claim uniformity as a strength for their own side, or a weakness for the other side. Both sides depend on retortion.

So, basically, red herring.

Quote:
Pragmatism was initiated by William James in the 1800's.  The view is that one is to take the course of action that brings the greatest 'good'.  The question becomes; what is 'good' or the 'greatest good'?

No. Greatest 'good' is ethical utilitarianism. Pragmatism is about epistemological usefulness. Since 'useful' is ambiguous, there are different varieties of pragmatism. RatDog is defending the variation where 'useful' is 'what makes the best predictions'. Prediction is not ambiguous. You make a prediction, and it either comes true, or it doesn't. If different ideas make different predictions, and one idea makes more accurate, reliable, and/or timely predictions, then it is more 'useful' than the other.

Quote:
In an atheist worldview,

Not being an atheist yourself, the more honest approach would be to *ask* atheists about their worldviews, rather than *assuming* (and being wrong).

Quote:
Circumstances can dictate action contrary to one's deeply held view of good, right, wrong, etc., just to achieve what is considered pragmatic.  A pragmatist uses science 'testing' as the road to truth, but cannot use that same science to prove that only science is the absolute means to truth.  A pragmatic view of truth also undermines trust.  What court room judge would allow one to take an oath, 'the expedient, the whole expedient, and nothing but the expedient'?

Misunderstandings and straw men. See Pragmatism and Prediction. Like uniformity, you can't escape the assumption of pragmatism either. You are a pragmatist deep down, whether you acknowledge it or not.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:Marquis wrote:I

RatDog wrote:


Marquis wrote:

I don't understand the question.

 

I suppose what I'm asking you are what you feel the limits of philosophy are.  According to some people philosophy is the root of all knowledge.  Everything that can be known is known either threw philosophy or threw something that relies on philosophy.  Other people seem to disagree and confine philosophy to a lesser role, or no role at all.  I was wondering what you think philosophy can or cannot do.  

 

 

I feel the limits of philosophy are at the end of the natural universe.  When reality and philosophy clash, reality wins.

So, no.  The entire idea of something immaterial (I assume you mean supernatural) does not even make sense.  If something were immaterial we could never even discuss it, or debate it, or even fathom it.  That is one of the problems with claiming God is immaterial...if that is so, theists might as well just give up, because the nature and wishes of God are not knowable to a physical being.  Then the theist might claim that part of themselves is immaterial, but that is pure God of the Gaps stuff.  Priving the mind is non-physical in the modern world is just grasping at straws...there is a thread about that going on right now.  Bleh.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


chazmuze
Theist
chazmuze's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: 2008-04-19
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:chazmuze

natural wrote:

chazmuze wrote:
Prediction itself requires a deeper held belief in uniformity.

It is impossible to not have such a 'belief'. Actually, it's not even a belief per se; we're just born with a brain that assumes it, automatically.

Quote:
  If one's worldview cannot justify this uniformity, then it is incoherent.

 

First, a worldview does not have to answer every unknown in order to be coherent. To claim that it *must* is ... incoherent. There are things we don't know. There's nothing wrong with that. Hint: There are things you don't know either. Nobody has all the answers (even if they make believe that they do).

Quote:
You do not seem to understand the philosophical nature of a worldview.  Coherence refers to the justifications of the foundations.  For you to claim that 'there are things we don't know' is a claim of omniscience.  You do not know that all people, at all times, did not, nor cannot know the foundations of their worldview. 

Second, even if we *start* at the unknown, it doesn't mean we are stuck there. In fact, we do have a good understanding/justification for why all humans are born with an understanding of uniformity built into their brains. It's simple really: Evolution. All animals with nervous systems assume that the world they experience is at least partially uniform. If they didn't, then they wouldn't be able to take advantage of the *real* uniformities in nature, and their nervous system would have no evolutionary advantage. Those nervous systems that do have this implicit assumption built in *are* able to take advantage of uniformity, and as a result, pay for themselves with the real uniformities they exploit. Thus, this basic assumption is a pre-requisite for any functional nervous system, including human brains.

In terms of worldviews, unfortunately, you also must a priori assume uniformity without logical justification, since logic itself depends on uniformity. The technical term for this is proof by retortion: It cannot be otherwise, or we couldn't even be having this conversation. Neither side can claim uniformity as a strength for their own side, or a weakness for the other side. Both sides depend on retortion.

So, basically, red herring.

Quote:
You have not examined all brains at all times and instances; hence, you cannot make the claim regarding an inherent knowledge of all brains.  Using the term 'evolution' as the answer is a mere 'evolution of the gaps' proposition. 

Quote:
Pragmatism was initiated by William James in the 1800's.  The view is that one is to take the course of action that brings the greatest 'good'.  The question becomes; what is 'good' or the 'greatest good'?

No. Greatest 'good' is ethical utilitarianism. Pragmatism is about epistemological usefulness. Since 'useful' is ambiguous, there are different varieties of pragmatism. RatDog is defending the variation where 'useful' is 'what makes the best predictions'. Prediction is not ambiguous. You make a prediction, and it either comes true, or it doesn't. If different ideas make different predictions, and one idea makes more accurate, reliable, and/or timely predictions, then it is more 'useful' than the other.

Quote:
In an atheist worldview,

Not being an atheist yourself, the more honest approach would be to *ask* atheists about their worldviews, rather than *assuming* (and being wrong).

Quote:
I have read and had discussions with leading atheist writers to know the basic tenets in 'most' atheistic tenets, i.e. ethics (naturalism), epistemology (empiricism/rationalism), and science (demarcation only), ultimate arbiter of truth (self or other men-humanism). 

Quote:
Circumstances can dictate action contrary to one's deeply held view of good, right, wrong, etc., just to achieve what is considered pragmatic.  A pragmatist uses science 'testing' as the road to truth, but cannot use that same science to prove that only science is the absolute means to truth.  A pragmatic view of truth also undermines trust.  What court room judge would allow one to take an oath, 'the expedient, the whole expedient, and nothing but the expedient'?

Misunderstandings and straw men. See Pragmatism and Prediction. Like uniformity, you can't escape the assumption of pragmatism either. You are a pragmatist deep down, whether you acknowledge it or not.

Any pragmatism I appeal to is guided by larger principles.

 

 

Chazmuze


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5087
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
I think not

Rational_Theist wrote:

RatDog wrote:

Would any philosophical argument convince you of the existence of something immaterial (were immaterial is defined as something that exists completely independent of physical reality)?

You need to tighten up your definition of "immaterial".  Defining it as something which exists "independently" of physical reality does not exclude the possibility of something both immaterial and dependent on physical reality.  For example, some classes of emergentism hold that immaterial things can emerge from physical events.

Do you mean to define "immaterial" as something which is not extended in space?

 

Though I'd also suggest any truly immaterial thing can only ever be discussed from a philosophical standpoint. Personally, I think the immaterial is entirely a product of the human imagination and by immaterial I don't mean things possessed of the odd characteristics of QT, though it's a patchy area, admittedly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
Rational_Theist wrote:You

Rational_Theist wrote:
You need to tighten up your definition of "immaterial".  Defining it as something which exists "independently" of physical reality does not exclude the possibility of something both immaterial and dependent on physical reality.  For example, some classes of emergentism hold that immaterial things can emerge from physical events.


Do you mean to define "immaterial" as something which is not extended in space?


The definition of "immaterial" is physically and scientifically possible. By no means, it's not a philosophical thing. "Immaterial" objects have mass, they are even composed of the same elements as material substances.
The difference is on below-quark level and how their atoms bond together. They don't form bonds with the matter that we are made of. Therefore, from our point of view, they're intangible and immaterial. From their point of view, we are immaterial.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


chndlrjhnsn
chndlrjhnsn's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2010-03-28
User is offlineOffline
If you defined immaterial as

If you defined immaterial as "not extended in space" I hope many of these guys would change their answers. Energy is not extended in space. Weight is not extended in space. Heat is not extended in space.


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3688
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is onlineOnline
chndlrjhnsn wrote:If you

chndlrjhnsn wrote:
If you defined immaterial as "not extended in space" I hope many of these guys would change their answers. Energy is not extended in space. Weight is not extended in space. Heat is not extended in space.

Well, weight is a characteristic of things, not a "thing" in itself. Heat is energy in transfer, so we can't really call that a "thing" either.

Is energy not extended in space?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


RatDog
atheistSilver Member
Posts: 562
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
Rational_Theist wrote:RatDog

Rational_Theist wrote:

RatDog wrote:

Would any philosophical argument convince you of the existence of something immaterial (were immaterial is defined as something that exists completely independent of physical reality)?

 

You need to tighten up your definition of "immaterial".  Defining it as something which exists "independently" of physical reality does not exclude the possibility of something both immaterial and dependent on physical reality.  For example, some classes of emergentism hold that immaterial things can emerge from physical events.

Do you mean to define "immaterial" as something which is not extended in space?

 

That doesn't make any sense.  If something is defined as independent of physical reality then that thing can not depend on physical reality.  According to the definition I'm using anything that depends on physical reality for it's existence is not immaterial.   That includes things that emerge from physical events. 


chndlrjhnsn
chndlrjhnsn's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2010-03-28
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

chndlrjhnsn wrote:
If you defined immaterial as "not extended in space" I hope many of these guys would change their answers. Energy is not extended in space. Weight is not extended in space. Heat is not extended in space.

Well, weight is a characteristic of things, not a "thing" in itself. Heat is energy in transfer, so we can't really call that a "thing" either.

Is energy not extended in space?

 

Well, my point was that these things are immaterial, and not really things as you rightly point out. But they are not independent of physical reality.

 

I don't think energy can be extended in space without a vehicle. Some matter is required to transmit energy, like a falling rock or a bullet. But I am not a physicist. I know it doesn't have mass.


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Scanner something error happened

RatDog wrote:

Would any philosophical argument convince you of the existence of something immaterial (were immaterial is defined as something that exists completely independent of physical reality)?

I have a problem with the OP -

  1. The question is too broad,
  2. and is almost superfluid in nature, and "physical reality"
  3. is difficult to define with any level of precision
  4. philosophical arguement? How do you define that?
  5. convince? I can be convinced of anything with sufficient evidence.
  6. DAMN I feel like Skynet inquiring about these things
  7. *face twitches*

 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3688
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is onlineOnline
chndlrjhnsn wrote:Well, my

chndlrjhnsn wrote:

Well, my point was that these things are immaterial, and not really things as you rightly point out. But they are not independent of physical reality.

Okay.

Rational Theist defined immaterial as "something" that is not extended in space. I interpreted "something" as like a substance.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


chndlrjhnsn
chndlrjhnsn's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2010-03-28
User is offlineOffline
If by "something" you mean

If by "something" you mean matter then it could only be extended in space. I was being a little more charitable in assuming that he meant "something" in a more general sense, not necessarily a thing in the strict sense of a material object.

 

There certainly could not be immaterial matter.


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3132
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:Would any

RatDog wrote:

Would any philosophical argument convince you of the existence of something immaterial (were immaterial is defined as something that exists completely independent of physical reality)?

Depends upon what falls under the category of philosophy. Some would call logic and mathematics a form of philosophy. So could concepts like infinity, square roots of negative numbers, statements that are simultatneous true and false, etc... exist independent of the physical world. Do things exist if only in the relm of imagination?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
chndlrjhnsn wrote:If by

chndlrjhnsn wrote:

If by "something" you mean matter then it could only be extended in space. I was being a little more charitable in assuming that he meant "something" in a more general sense, not necessarily a thing in the strict sense of a material object.

 

There certainly could not be immaterial matter.

What about dark matter in the universe? There's only the gravity pull, but no material collisions. Isn't that exactly the case?


 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


chndlrjhnsn
chndlrjhnsn's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2010-03-28
User is offlineOffline
As a matter of definitions,

As a matter of definitions, it is impossible for something to be immaterial matter. But you could argue that dark matter is less material than ordinary matter, or that it's not matter at all. But immaterial means "not matter". Immaterial matter is A and -A: absurd.


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3688
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is onlineOnline
Luminon wrote:What about

Luminon wrote:

What about dark matter in the universe? There's only the gravity pull, but no material collisions. Isn't that exactly the case?

Dark matter would still be composed of particles. 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
chndlrjhnsn wrote:As a

chndlrjhnsn wrote:

As a matter of definitions, it is impossible for something to be immaterial matter. But you could argue that dark matter is less material than ordinary matter, or that it's not matter at all. But immaterial means "not matter". Immaterial matter is A and -A: absurd.

Don't be so strict about definitions. I suspect that next decades will show, that dark matter is composed of multiple states of matter, very distinct from our own. The concept of materiality will have to be reconsidered. There will be new necessary words for our common matter and other states of matter. There are already such a concepts in my field of expertise, maybe science will adopt them. But I can't use them here much.

All the fuss about definitions seems useless to me. The name does not have to be perfect. "Immaterial" or "non-material" colloquially refers to the sum of all matter that has such a properties, that distinguish it from dense-material matter. Most of people are OK with such a colloquial terms, they have intuition and the intuition tells them what it means. We are not robots that need an exact data format. I can't explain to everyone basics of string theory, so they would have a precise understanding. My everyday experience is, that the more precise I say things, the less people understand them. Get that? The research of "non-material" is important, not it's definition. Definition is a formality, unless you're someone who needs it for research. This is something I don't like about philosophy, this useless playing with words.

 

 

butterbattle wrote:
Luminon wrote:

What about dark matter in the universe? There's only the gravity pull, but no material collisions. Isn't that exactly the case?

Dark matter would still be composed of particles. 

I completely agree. Dark matter, or at least part of it will copy the Mendelejev's tablet. But there are certain fascinating properties that this matter has and which I was able to find out.

 

 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


chndlrjhnsn
chndlrjhnsn's picture
Posts: 159
Joined: 2010-03-28
User is offlineOffline
Yeah, well I think people

Yeah, well I think people should be more like robots.


Fortunate_S
TheistTroll
Posts: 105
Joined: 2010-04-24
User is offlineOffline
Luminon wrote:The definition

Luminon wrote:

The definition of "immaterial" is physically and scientifically possible. By no means, it's not a philosophical thing. "Immaterial" objects have mass, they are even composed of the same elements as material substances.
The difference is on below-quark level and how their atoms bond together. They don't form bonds with the matter that we are made of. Therefore, from our point of view, they're intangible and immaterial. From their point of view, we are immaterial.

I'm not sure what you mean by "philosophical thing".  That seems like a disparaging term used to put natural science on some sort of intellectual pedestal over metaphysics, but I digress.

No, by definition, immaterial objects have no mass.  Mass refers to properties of matter. You obviously are defining "immaterial" in a very particular way, but that is not the classical philosophical understanding.  It is synonymous with the term "incorporeal".  But I really don't feel like getting pedantic on terminology.  That's just a red herring. 


Fortunate_S
TheistTroll
Posts: 105
Joined: 2010-04-24
User is offlineOffline
chndlrjhnsn wrote:If you

chndlrjhnsn wrote:

If you defined immaterial as "not extended in space" I hope many of these guys would change their answers. Energy is not extended in space. Weight is not extended in space. Heat is not extended in space.

It's a negative term, which means that all we have to do is take what we know about materiality and say that it does not apply to whatever immaterial is. 


Fortunate_S
TheistTroll
Posts: 105
Joined: 2010-04-24
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote:That doesn't

RatDog wrote:

That doesn't make any sense.  If something is defined as independent of physical reality then that thing can not depend on physical reality.  According to the definition I'm using anything that depends on physical reality for it's existence is not immaterial.   That includes things that emerge from physical events. 

It doesn't make any sense to you because you've posited a very limiting definition of "immaterial" which I doubt any philosopher in some credible academic circle would agree upon. 

First of all, your definition is vague.  It says nothing about the actual nature of these things which are not dependent upon physical reality.  It would be like defining a human being as something which exists independently of animal reality.  

Second of all, you have not clarified the meanings of your other terms.   What does it mean to "depend" on physical reality?  Do you mean causally dependent?  Ontologically dependent?  Epistemically dependent?  Logically dependent?  All of the above?  What does "physical reality" even mean?  Does that refer to the universe of physical things or is it simply every physical thing which is not the particular thing in question?  What if I can locate some entity which has mass and volume but which is not dependent on any other physical things?  Would that be classified as "immaterial"? 

Third of all, the classical philosophical understanding of "immateriality" makes no provisions as to whether or not something depends on physical reality.  It merely specifies that immaterial things have no physical properties.  In fact, they could have some dependence on physical reality that we are unaware of. 

Now if you still choose to defend your original post, then I will answer your question by saying that yes, I do believe there are things which are independent of all physical things.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5809
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Fortunate_S wrote:Luminon

Fortunate_S wrote:

Luminon wrote:

The definition of "immaterial" is physically and scientifically possible. By no means, it's not a philosophical thing. "Immaterial" objects have mass, they are even composed of the same elements as material substances.
The difference is on below-quark level and how their atoms bond together. They don't form bonds with the matter that we are made of. Therefore, from our point of view, they're intangible and immaterial. From their point of view, we are immaterial.

I'm not sure what you mean by "philosophical thing".  That seems like a disparaging term used to put natural science on some sort of intellectual pedestal over metaphysics, but I digress.

No, by definition, immaterial objects have no mass.  Mass refers to properties of matter. You obviously are defining "immaterial" in a very particular way, but that is not the classical philosophical understanding.  It is synonymous with the term "incorporeal".  But I really don't feel like getting pedantic on terminology.  That's just a red herring. 

'Mass' does not exclusively apply to 'matter'.

Energy effectively has mass, according to a certain famous equation:   m = E/c2 ( normally presented as  E = mc2 ).

So energy has mass but is not matter - it is 'immaterial' in that basic sense.

From Wikipedia:

"the most common current definition of matter is anything that has mass and occupies volume".

Quantum Mechanics further complicates this.

In short, yes, 'matter' has mass, but that is insufficient to define it.

"Classical philosophical understanding" is superseded by modern actual science-based understanding of any subject.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Fortunate_S
TheistTroll
Posts: 105
Joined: 2010-04-24
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:'Mass' does

BobSpence1 wrote:

'Mass' does not exclusively apply to 'matter'.

Energy effectively has mass, according to a certain famous equation:   m = E/c2 ( normally presented as  E = mc2 ).

So energy has mass but is not matter - it is 'immaterial' in that basic sense. 

What do you mean "in that basic sense"?  This is just a redefining of terms in different contexts. 

If it has mass, it is not immaterial.  It is that simple.  I don't care what kind of wordplay you do.

Quote:
"Classical philosophical understanding" is superseded by modern actual science-based understanding of any subject.

Not at all.  You are adhering to a metaphysical worldview of empiricism, which has not been justified by scientific means.  Therefore, your science is enslaved to philosophy.

But poisoning the well aside, none of what you said is inconsistent with the definition of "immaterial" being "lacking any physical properties", which is the classical philosophical understanding.  Energy is material, any way you slice it.