Your Corner: Ontology

RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Your Corner: Ontology

Hopefully I got that spelling correct.  Alright, so, the purpose of this thread is just to understand your understanding of 'ontology' and how it is constructed and used.

 So.. two questions.  And forgive me if a fudge the technicalities..

Give an ontology for something metaphysical.

Give an ontology for a compact disc.

Thanks. May seem simple... but I'm just trying to see, through an example, the proper construct of such a thing as well as the words and concepts allowed.

Purpose of this thread is not to 'define' ontology.. just examples.  Anyways.. that is all.  In the meantime I will surf the web to try to find some examples-- but I find forums to be much more unique and useful within the forum themselves. 


Chaoslord2004
Chaoslord2004's picture
Posts: 353
Joined: 2006-02-23
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: Give an

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Give an ontology for something metaphysical.

Material objects.  The ontology of a material object is that which is extended in space and time. 

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Give an ontology for a compact disc.

It is a material object... 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Well.. that seems

Well.. that seems simple.

 But then I don't understand what the problem is with giving an ontology for something like.. 'immaterial'.

Immaterial is something that is extended in time but not space. 

Right? or Wrong?.. just wondering. 


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: But

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
But then I don't understand what the problem is with giving an ontology for something like.. 'immaterial'.

Immaterial is something that is extended in time but not space.

Right? or Wrong?

I don't know if that's right or wrong, but it sounds fishy to me. Aren't time and space interlinked?


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
I believe space is

I believe space is interlinked with time.. but I'm not sure it's the other way around.

 In anycase.. it seems to be an accurate ontology-- no?


Chaoslord2004
Chaoslord2004's picture
Posts: 353
Joined: 2006-02-23
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: Well..

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Well.. that seems simple.

But then I don't understand what the problem is with giving an ontology for something like.. 'immaterial'.

Immaterial is something that is extended in time but not space.

Right? or Wrong?.. just wondering.

No, something immaterial is something not extended in space or time.  Now, im not sure if "immateriality" is a ligitemate ontological category...it might be.  However, without a positive ontology for WHAT it is, I remain agnostic on the matter.  As of now, it has not been shown to even be coherent.  Once it is shown to be coherent, the next step is a demostration of its existence. 

"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
That doesn't seem to be

That doesn't seem to be correct.. at least.. semantically.

"Immaterial" would be the equivalent of "Not material" even as "immature" is the equivalent as "Not mature".

Since your ontology for "material" is something extended in space and time-- why could "immaterial" not be something that is extended ONLY in time.

?

This would seem to fit within to the semantics of things.. it is.. after all.. the ontology for something that is "Not material".

[edit] I'm just trying to understand the idea of ontology.. it seems to be used a lot.


Susan
Susan's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: [edit]

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

[edit] I'm just trying to understand the idea of ontology.. it seems to be used a lot.

Where's Todangst when we really need him? Smile

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:


That doesn't seem to be correct.. at least.. semantically.

"Immaterial" would be the equivalent of "Not material" even as "immature" is the equivalent as "Not mature".

Since your ontology for "material" is something extended in space and time-- why could "immaterial" not be something that is extended ONLY in time.

?

This would seem to fit within to the semantics of things.. it is.. after all.. the ontology for something that is "Not material".

[edit] I'm just trying to understand the idea of ontology.. it seems to be used a lot.

Immaterial - "Not material" or nonmaterial has no time. Time is a measure of movement of matter/energy through space.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10687
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Time is like height, width,

Time is like height, width, and length in regards to studying the universe. In order to locate an object, you need it's location in all 4 of those dimensions.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Immaterial - "Not

Quote:
Immaterial - "Not material" or nonmaterial has no time. Time is a measure of movement of matter/energy through space.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/time

"Matter" is not required within the definition of time.

At least I believe I am reading this definition correctly.  Feel free to jump on me (Tod) for being "to restrictive" with my definitions.

Quote:
Time is like height, width, and length in regards to studying the universe. In order to locate an object, you need it's location in all 4 of those dimensions.

In order to locate an OBJECT.

But an OBJECT would be material, would it not?  We are speaking of the immaterial-- and I am not looking to create an objective way of locating it.  I'm just trying to give an ontology (according to what I understand an ontology to be from this thread.. I have no understanding of the word apart from this and the dictionary-- which is why I'm asking for help in developing one.. and trying to understand why some people say it is impossible. Smiling


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
I'm not a physicist... What

I'm not a physicist...

What Vaset was getting at, I believe, is that space and time are really one thing, space-time. I don't think the two things can be separated. So, I don't know if it makes any sense to say that something, such as a immaterial thing, could be located in time only.


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: which

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
which is why I'm asking for help in developing one.. and trying to understand why some people say it is impossible.

I'm no expert at giving ontologies, but I'll take a crack at explaining why it's impossible.

Let's say I saw a ghost. (Hopefully we both agree that a ghost is an immaterial thing.) Let's also say that the ghost is external, that is the image my brain creates of the ghost is from light that my eyes sensed. Now the light is material. I don't think photons have mass, but it is something in the natural, material world. My question is how does the ghost, something that's immaterial and not in space-time, create photons for my eye to sense? How does this immaterial thing interface with the material world? If the ghost somehow emits photons, wouldn't that actually make it a material thing by the fact it has a causal relationship with the universe?

In what way does this ghost exist? It doesn't exist in space time, so where does it exist? We can't answer these questions directly because we can't sense non-material things. I could claim that the ghost exists in a spiritual realm and is made of ghostons, but I could never show that's true. Any ontology I give is not verifiable because we're locked away in the material space-time universe.


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: why

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
why could "immaterial" not be something that is extended ONLY in time?
Because, the immaterial cannot measured. Time is a measure, thus the immaterial does not have time.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
Immaterial - "Not material" or nonmaterial has no time. Time is a measure of movement of matter/energy through space.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/time

"Matter" is not required within the definition of time.
Time does not exist independently of matter/energy. Time is a measure as temperature is a measure. The clock is as a thermometer as a yardstick as a scale. These measuring devices MEASURE the functions of matter/energy. Time measures the movement of matter/energy through space. I don't think it is possible to simplify it further.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Time is like height, width, and length in regards to studying the universe. In order to locate an object, you need it's location in all 4 of those dimensions.

In order to locate an OBJECT.

But an OBJECT would be material, would it not? We are speaking of the immaterial-- and I am not looking to create an objective way of locating it. I'm just trying to give an ontology (according to what I understand an ontology to be from this thread.. I have no understanding of the word apart from this and the dictionary-- which is why I'm asking for help in developing one.. and trying to understand why some people say it is impossible. Smiling
The ontology of immaterial is nothing.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote: I'm not a

Quote:
I'm not a physicist...

What Vaset was getting at, I believe, is that space and time are really one thing, space-time. I don't think the two things can be separated. So, I don't know if it makes any sense to say that something, such as a immaterial thing, could be located in time only.

I'm not a physicist either.. but I thought that "space-time" referred to "time in space"... "space" being used as an adjective in this case.


MrRage
Posts: 896
Joined: 2006-12-22
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
I'm not a physicist...

What Vaset was getting at, I believe, is that space and time are really one thing, space-time. I don't think the two things can be separated. So, I don't know if it makes any sense to say that something, such as a immaterial thing, could be located in time only.

I'm not a physicist either.. but I thought that "space-time" referred to "time in space"... "space" being used as an adjective in this case.

Space-time is the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time used as a single entity. The term is "space-time is a four dimensional manifold". Massive objects like planets and stars actually bend space. The speed of an object also affects how time is measured. I'm getting out of my league so I'll stop here.


kmisho
kmisho's picture
Posts: 298
Joined: 2006-08-18
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: That

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

That doesn't seem to be correct.. at least.. semantically.

"Immaterial" would be the equivalent of "Not material" even as "immature" is the equivalent as "Not mature".

Since your ontology for "material" is something extended in space and time-- why could "immaterial" not be something that is extended ONLY in time.

?

Referring to time without space is incoherent, and vice versa. Simply, if there are events (in time) they must be happening somewhere (in space).


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote:That

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

That doesn't seem to be correct.. at least.. semantically.

"Immaterial" would be the equivalent of "Not material" even as "immature" is the equivalent as "Not mature".

Ah, but in the case of 'not mature' there is still something left over to be. Ruling out mature behavior still leaves a set of behaviors we call immature behavior.

So the problem with the definition for immateriality is not that the definition is negative, but that it rules out everything.

Let me explain:

Terms like "supernatural" or "immaterial" are broken concepts: They cannot actually refer to anything, because they are defined solely in negative terms (what they are not) without any universe of discourse (anything left over for them to be).

Immateriality - defined as neither matter nor energy. So, what's left over for it to be?

Supernatural - defined as 'not nature' or 'above nature' or 'beyond nature'. So again, what's left over for it to be?

Now some might respond at this point: but we use negative definitions all the time, and they are meaningful. But this response simply ignores that negative definitions provide information through their universe of discourse - what is not ruled out is identified, indirectly. For example, if I were to hold out a box with a penny and a pencil in it, and say "the object in the box I am thinking of is not the penny", you'd know from the universe of discourse, (the 'things in the box&#39Eye-wink that the object I was thinking of was the pencil. The negative definition and the universe of discourse provide the information together.

o the problem isn't just that terms like 'immateriality' and 'supernatural' are solely negative definitions, it is that they rule out any universe of discourse. There's literally nothing left over for these terms to refer to, so there's nothing left over for them to be. The terms are therefore meaningless, incoherent.

And please note: attempts to 'solve the problem' through using euphemisms like "OK, I don't mean not nature, I mean 'beyond nature' or 'above nature'" still fail to solve the problem: unless you can show how these distinctions lead to a difference, the phrases are ontologically identical - they all rule out any universe of discourse. For clarity, I will repeat: unless you can show how saying "above nature' differs from saying "not nature" your distinction is a distinction without a difference.

Counter arguments:

Counter argument: "Supernatural" simply means "beyond what is natural." There is nothing in that definition per se which means that there is no grounds for believing it."

Response: My essay is written to refute this very point. You define 'supernatural' as 'beyond what is natural". This means you've given your term a negative definition without anything left over for it to be. So what's leftover for it to be? If your answer is "nothing" then how can your term have any ontological status?

Counter argument: You're 'begging the question' that to have ontological status is to be material.

Response: No, on the contrary, immateriality is not being ruled out a priori. You are beinng challenged to give an ontology for your theory. If you want to talk of things such as 'immateriality' or 'supernatural' you must show how these terms are meaningful. If all you can do is provide a set of negatives, devoid of any universe of discourse, then the reality is that your terms are broken concepts.

As it stands, your own response begs the very question being debated: whether or not the terms 'immaterial' or 'supernatural' are meaningful terms is the very question under consideration: you can't simply assume the terms are coherent through naked assertion! You're being asked to demonstrate how your term can be coherent.. you're being asked to provide either a 1) positive ontology or 2) a universe of discourse or 3) a concession that your term is in fact meaningless.

Counter Argument: "To support your claim, one must introduce an additional supposition -- namely, that the physical universe is all that exists. This supposition is unproven and unsubstantiated."

Response: Again, no one is ruling out your term a priori. You are being asked to provide an ontology for your theory - so provide an ontology for your theory, not a set of complaints. If you want to hold that the term 'immateriality' or 'supernatural' make any sense, you must provide either a postive ontology or a universe of discourse. If you cannot do this, if all you have is a negative definition, without any universe of discourse, then you must concede that your terms are stripped of any actual meaning... you must concede that your terms can only point to 'nothing'.

Counter argument: I cannot give a materialistic account of "X*", ergo "X" is immaterial and this proves that immateriality is coherent.
(* "X" can be any of the following abstractions: numbers, universals, etc.)

Response: Yes, I actually get this argument.  Let me first point out the logical fallacies.

"I cannot give a materialistic account of X"

(Usually it is claimed that 'science' cannot give this account, but in reality, the arguer himself usually has no real idea of what neuroscience says about the brain, hence my use of "I" here.)

This is an argument from ignorance. Neuroscience provides a rational basis for holding that abstractions exist within material brains. Any failure of neuroscience in giving a satifactory materialist account for abstractions is not a basis for holding that abstractions are immaterial.

"...X is immaterial"

This is the fallacy of begging the question. One is simply assuming that "X" is immaterial, based on the previous argument from ignornace, and not for any positive reason.

"...and this proves that immateriality is coherent"

This is the fallacy of non sequitur. You are merely begging the question that "X" is immaterial and then asserting it as evidence of immateriality.  Nothing in this claim actually addresses the ontological problems outlined in this brief essay.

This argument commits three fundamental logical errors.


Here's some help in providing an ontology for your term:

1) Can you show that anything exists other than matter or energy? What are its "properties" - i.e. is it something natural? If not, how can we 'know" or "infer" anything about it. If we can't, what use is your 'hypothesis"? If it has no use, then why are we having this conversation?

Helpful guide: The most common error at this point is for the theist to respond by just asserting that something is immaterial (usually supported by an argument from ignorance) and then offering up this 'thing' as an example. That's the fallacy of begging the question. Again, you have to provide a postive ontology for you theory, not just an assertion that something is 'immaterial/supernatural'.

Even worse, the basis for this argument is an argument from ignorance: "I can't explain how numbers, or abstractions like 'freedom' could be matter, ergo they are not matter. (The most common response is for theists to asser that abstractions are immaterial.) But if you want to assert that abstractions are immaterial, you must demonstrate how they are immaterial, and not simply argue from ignorance, that they are because you are unable to work out how neurons work. If you're unable to grasp how a concept like a number or a generalization like 'freedom' can be encoded in neurons, your not free to simply believe that they both exist as 'nothing' at all.

2) How does something that is neither matter nor energy interact with our natural world?

Don't just assert that it 'does', provide a detailed positive account of how this occurs, without stealing from naturalism.

3) How do you avoid violating the principle of conservation of energy? If no physical energy or mass is associated with "immaterial things", then there is a serious problem: a fundamental principle of physics is that any change in any physical entity is an acceleration requiring the expenditure of energy - but if these things have no matter or energy, where does the energy come from? what you have here is something akin to the impossibilty of perpetual motion - energy from nowhere. Dan Dennet states that these questions represent the fatal flaw in any dualistic argument (i.e. to immateriliaty) (- 1990 Consciousness Explained.)

Don't just assert that it works just like 'naturalism', in other words, don't steal from naturalism.


 

Quote:

Since your ontology for "material" is something extended in space and time-- why could "immaterial" not be something that is extended ONLY in time.

I see that others have already answered this question:you can't have time without space/matter.

 

PS I eventually will have a stock reply to every major theist question. I hope at that point that I can merely provide a link as my response.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Referring to time

Quote:
Referring to time without space is incoherent, and vice versa. Simply, if there are events (in time) they must be happening somewhere (in space).

With regards to this as well as Mr. Rages previous post is where I guess I'm failing to understand-- which is the purpose of this post I guess Smiling (more understanding ontologies then anything else).

"Space" as defined by MrRage is the 3 dimensional manifold.

Yet.. my thoughts.. say.. if I think of a car.. the image of a car in my car cannot be defined with regards to any 3 dimensional manifold (I believe) and therefore would exist outside of "space".

I realize that there are some materialistic characteristics that my "thought" is dependent on.. but does that mean that my "thought" is "material" in the same sense that the flowing ions in my brain are "material".


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote:Yet..

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Yet.. my thoughts.. say.. if I think of a car.. the image of a car in my brain cannot be defined with regards to any 3 dimensional manifold (I believe) and therefore would exist outside of "space".

If you have an image of a car, then this image must exist. If it exists it must exist as something and not nothing.

The image - color, shape, i.e are all things. For you to experience them, as far as we know, they must be encoded as neurons. The neurons are material, they extend into space.

Abstractions are how we experience the working of our neurons. We can call this the difference between first person ontology and third person ontology (you can only, potentially, see my neurons from the outside, not experience them directly). To see color or shape, you must experience some thing producing color and shape, and these things must be extended into space (otherwise, how would you detect them, experience them?)

Nothng can exist 'outside space', but something can exist within a smaller amount of space while representing something that exists within a larger amount of space.

A map is a fine example.

The neurons in our brains are another example: they allow us to represent a car, its shape, its color, in a smaller amount of space: our neurons. The color and shape of a car are represented in our brains, by the extension, into space, of our neurons.

Quote:

I realize that there are some materialistic characteristics that my "thought" is dependent on.. but does that mean that my "thought" is "material" in the same sense that the flowing ions in my brain are "material".

Yes. How else can you experience 'green' unless green is material and extended, by some medium, into space?

You're free to give an immaterial account any time you wish, however, I make my standard request: please mention me by name during your nobel prize award ceremony if you do.

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:

Quote:
PS I eventually will have a stock reply to every major theist question. I hope at that point that I can merely provide a link as my response.

Heh.. my point is not to prove God or immaterial. Merely to understand what makes up an ontology. Is a necessary condition of an ontology that "must allow it into the universe of discourse"?

Now that that's clear. I will continue on.. asking question to clarify this.

Quote:
Immateriality - defined as neither matter nor energy. So, what's left over for it to be?

Anything that exists within time but not space. Is there anything that does so? I don't know. As mentioned in the post before.. I ask a question whether a "thought of a car" can be considered something that exists "without space".

Quote:
unless you can show how saying "above nature' differs from saying "not nature" your distinction is a distinction without a difference.


Not nature necessitates or refers to:

|-------------------------| X
natural entity THIS: non natural entity

Beyond nature does not necessitate the former and can refer to:

|-------------------------|----------->
THIS: beyond natural entity
(natural aspects) (non natural aspects)


Anycase.. that was a solid question. The rest of it is dependent upon whether I take their position-- which for the purpose of this thread.. I do not.

Except this.. since I am seeking to understand ontology:
Quote:
1) Can you show that anything exists other than matter or energy? What are its "properties" - i.e. is it something natural? If not, how can we 'know" or "infer" anything about it. If we can't, what use is your 'hypothesis"? If it has no use, then why are we having this conversation?

Time.
System of those sequential relationship that any even has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another in a non-space (not 3 dimensional).
Time is natural.
N/A.
N/A.

Quote:
2) How does something that is neither matter nor energy interact with our natural world?

Through time.

Quote:
3) How do you avoid violating the principle of conservation of energy? If no physical energy or mass is associated with "immaterial things", then there is a serious problem: a fundamental principle of physics is that any change in any physical entity is an acceleration requiring the expenditure of energy - but if these things have no matter or energy, where does the energy come from? what you have here is something akin to the impossibilty of perpetual motion - energy from nowhere. Dan Dennet states that these questions represent the fatal flaw in any dualistic argument (i.e. to immateriliaty) (- 1990 Consciousness Explained.)

I don't.
I never said neither matter or energy was "associated with it".. I'm merely positing that it is neither matter nor energy itself.
I concede that something that a "thought" is associated with matter and energy.. and possibly is solely dependent upon matter and energy.. I'm just positing that the "thought" is neither matter or energy itself-- merely something that exists within time without space definition.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote: If you have an image

Quote:
If you have an image of a car, then this image must exist. If it exists it must exist as something and not nothing.

No doubt.. the car and thought must exist.  A thought does refer to something real.

Quote:
The image - color, shape, i.e are all things. For you to expereince them, they must be encoded as neurons. The neurons are material, they extend into space.

Indeed.

Quote:
Abstractions are how we experience the working of our neurons. To see color or shape, you must experience some thing producing color and shape, and these things must be extended into space (otherwise, how would you detect them, experience them?)

Indeed.

Quote:
Nothng can exist 'outside space', but something can exist within a smaller amount of space while representing something that exists within a larger amount of space.

A map is a fine example.

Yet, the different between a map and a thought is a map is, in fact, material and 3 dimensional. The lines are themselves three dimensional (graphite or ink molecule, etc) and the materials used to created the colors are three dimensional molecules.

A map does not only "refer" to a larger three dimensional thing.. it is in fact a three dimensional thing itself.

A thought is not a three dimensional thing itself, although it does refer to a three dimensional thing as well as 'three' dimensional things are associated with creating "it".

Quote:
You're free to give an immaterial account any time you wish, however, I make my standard request: please mention me by name during your nobel prize award ceremony if you do.

Heh. Of course.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: Heh..

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Heh.. my point is not to prove God or immaterial. Merely to understand what makes up an ontology.

And that is explained in my post.

Quote:

Is a necessary condition of an ontology that "must allow it into the universe of discourse"?

To exist is to exist as something. Therefore, if you provide a negative definition (X is not "Y&quotEye-wink there must still be something left over for X to be, or we cannot call it an existent.

 


Quote:
Immateriality - defined as neither matter nor energy. So, what's left over for it to be?

 


Quote:

Anything that exists within time but not space. Is there anything that does so?

I don't see how. Time is relational. How can there be 'time' if there are no events? How can there be events without any matter or any space.

If object A passes from object B to object C, in space, we can call the transition 'time'. How can there be time without matter an space?

 

Unless you can answer, you're back at square one.

Quote:

I ask a question whether a "thought of a car" can be considered that exists "without space".

Look to my last post.

 

Quote:
unless you can show how saying "above nature' differs from saying "not nature" your distinction is a distinction without a difference.

Quote:

Not nature necessitates or refers to:

|-------------------------| X
natural entity THIS: non natural entity

Beyond nature does not necessitate the former and can refer to:

|-------------------------|----------->
THIS: beyond natural entity
(natural aspects) (non natural aspects)

all i can say here is: what the fuck?! 


Quote:

Anycase.. that was a solid question. The rest of it is dependent upon whether I take their position-- which for the purpose of this thread.. I do not.

except this.. since I am seeking to understand ontology:


Quote:
1) Can you show that anything exists other than matter or energy? What are its "properties" - i.e. is it something natural? If not, how can we 'know" or "infer" anything about it. If we can't, what use is your 'hypothesis"? If it has no use, then why are we having this conversation?

 

Quote:

Time.
System of those sequential relationship....

Stop right here. Time is a relational concept, ergo "time" is a function of material processes, as described above.

 


Quote:
2) How does something that is neither matter nor energy interact with our natural world?

 

Quote:

Through time.

Even if you had succeeded in showing that time was no material, did you really, honestly, think that saying 'through time' answers how something immaterial can work without energy?

 


Quote:
3) How do you avoid violating the principle of conservation of energy? If no physical energy or mass is associated with "immaterial things", then there is a serious problem: a fundamental principle of physics is that any change in any physical entity is an acceleration requiring the expenditure of energy - but if these things have no matter or energy, where does the energy come from? what you have here is something akin to the impossibilty of perpetual motion - energy from nowhere. Dan Dennet states that these questions represent the fatal flaw in any dualistic argument (i.e. to immateriliaty) (- 1990 Consciousness Explained.)

 

Quote:

I don't.

Then you've discovered perpetual motion. That's two nobel prizes in one day, and you've also overturned all of physics from the time of Netwon.

 

Quote:


I never said neither matter or energy was "associated with it".. I'm merely positing that it is neither matter nor energy itself.

It doesn't matter if you said it was associated with it or not, it necessarily follows. If something is neither matter nor energy, AND it works in some way, then it would produce work from nothing at all, and violate physics.

 

Quote:

I concede that something that a "thought" is associated with matter and energy.. and possibly is solely dependent upon matter and energy.. I'm just positing that the "thought" is neither matter or energy itself-- merely something that exists within time without space definition.

If a thought is neither matter nor energy, and it influences action, then it violates physics - it produces work from nothing. You have perpetual motion. If anything 'works' without relying on energy, you've got magic.

This is one of the killing blows to dualism/immaterialism.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
If you have an image of a car, then this image must exist. If it exists it must exist as something and not nothing.

No doubt.. the car and thought must exist. A thought does refer to something real.

Right. And you also believe that thoughts inspire action, right? So how do thoughts provide motivation for action, if they are immaterial? How does something produce work without energy?

If you are right, we are all fools for putting gas in our cars... why don't we use immateriality to drive our cars? Why don't we use immateriality to light our houses? Why don't we have perpetual motion everywhere?

Why do we use energy/matter for these things, if we are able to power ourselves magically, without any matter or energy?

Why does my computer require energy to produce data? Why don't we have computers powered by immateriality? Why don't ideas simply pop out of my computer? Why do I have to plug it in?

A radiobeams information to your house.... it uses radio waves to do so... these are material. You have to plug in your radio, give it energy, for it to pick up these waves... nothing for free.... matter/energy is involved in every step...

We can understand it with radios, with computers... but our own brains appear so magical to us that we imagine that they are somehow different... yet, in order to think, you need to eat, to keep yourself energized..... you need to keep your brain healthy and secure... or it won't work....

Why is there such a disconnect here then? I guess experiencing our own thoughts just seems to magical to us.... so we imagine there must be something more... 

 

 



Quote:
Nothng can exist 'outside space', but something can exist within a smaller amount of space while representing something that exists within a larger amount of space.

A map is a fine example.

 

Quote:

Yet, the different between a map and a thought is a map is, in fact, material and 3 dimensional.

No, a thought is material too, as you've just agreed to above... and it is 3 dimensional as far as the neurons that make up the though are 3 dimensional.

 

Quote:


A map does not only "refer" to a larger three dimensional thing.. it is in fact a three dimensional thing itself.

So are neurons.

 


Quote:

A thought is not a three dimensional thing itself,

I suppose we can potentially concieve of definitions that do not require 3 dimensions (freedom, love) or even mathematical references to objects with less than 3 dimensions: a point, a line or a plane. But can we really think about such things without 3 dimensions coming into play? Can you really think of 'love' without imagining it involving some thing, which of course is 3 dimensional? Can you really think of a 'point' without imagining it existing with 3 dimensions (how else could you see it in your minds eye unless it existed in 3 dimensions&gtEye-wink

Can you even think of something that at first glance seems dimensionless, such as color, without thinking of it in 3 dimensions? How else can you see green in your mind's eye unless you see green in some 'space'... with some depth, length, width?

And how can this 'green' itself be projected without the neurons which project it?

The entire process is 3 dimensional. Again, if you can explain to me how you can experience something without 3 dimensions, let me know.

Consider also: a 'thought' is a name we give to how we experience neurons working, from a first person ontology, ergo it is valid to say that thoughts are 3 dimensional, in that neurons are 3 dimensional and neurons are the basis for thoughts.

Quote:
You're free to give an immaterial account any time you wish, however, I make my standard request: please mention me by name during your nobel prize award ceremony if you do.

 

Quote:

Heh. Of course.

I knew you were cool.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote: To exist is to exist

Quote:
To exist is to exist as something. Therefore, if you provide a negative definition (X is not "Y&quotEye-wink there must still be something left over for X to be, or we cannot call it an existent.

Understood.  Clearly I believe.

Quote:
Immateriality - defined as neither matter nor energy. So, what's left over for it to be?


Quote:
Anything that exists within time but not space.


Quote:
Is there anything that does so? I don't see how. Time is relational. How can there be 'time' if there are no events? How can there be events without any matter or any space.

If object A passes from object B to object C, in space, we can call the transition 'time'. How can there be time without matter an space?

My contention is that a "thought" is something that exists within time but not space.  A "thought" can be described as an "event".. but an "event" is not, itself, "matter" or "space".

Quote:
all i can say here is: what the fuck?!

Heh.. perhaps my little visual graph got messed up.

Perhaps you are asking a different question then I'm stating... but I will state the different once again.

To say that an entity is "non natural" is to state that none of the entities qualities are natural.

To say that an entity is "beyond natural" is to state either that either none or some of it's characteristics are natural-- just not all.

Quote:
Stop right here. Time is a relational concept, ergo "time" is a function of material processes, as described above.

How does a "relational concept" necessitate "function of material processes"?

First.. I must ask how "relational concept" necessitates (ergo) "a function of material processes".  

It does work the other way around: "A function of a material process" necessitates "a relational concept".. just not sure the other way around.

Even so.. this is not the point at hand, I have conceded that "a thought" is a function of "material processes".. but is that to say that it is "material" itself?

A function of an accidental incident is damage.  Is that to say that damage is an accident itself?

Quote:
Even if you had succeeded in showing that time was no material, did you really, honestly, think that saying 'through time' answers how something immaterial can work without energy?

No.  And I never stated it to be the case.  I think you are assuming, in this case, that just because something is a function of something else, they are the same.

Quote:
Then you've discovered perpetual motion. That's two nobel prizes in one day, and you've also overturned all of physics from the time of Netwon.

Heh.  I said "I don't".. because as I've stated before.. I never stated that the creation of a "thought" is completely independent of energy and matter-- I'm positing that it is not energy and matter itself.

Quote:
It doesn't matter if you said it was associated with it or not, it necessarily follows. If something is neither matter nor energy, AND it works in some way, then it would produce work from nothing at all, and violate physics.

Only if you're using "work" in this case in the same way that physics uses "work".. force times distance.

If that is the definition you are using.. then, no, a "thought" does not work.

If this is not the definition you are using.. then it does not "violate physics".

Quote:
If a thought is neither matter nor energy, and it influences action, then it violates physics - it produces work from nothing. You have perpetual motion. If anything 'works' without relying on energy, you've got magic.

This is one of the killing blows to dualism/immaterialism.

Only if you're using "influence" and "produces" in the same way that a physics uses the words "influence" and "produces".

Furthermore.. even if you are.. I have already stated that I do not contest that a "thought" is a function of "energy and matter".. therefore there is no "perpetual motion" because once "energy and matter run out" there will be no thought-- yet, as I stated about in my position.. does being of a function of something make it that something?

A function of biological processes make it biological?

CO2 is a function of biological process, yet CO2 is not biological (I don't believe at least.. Hm).

There just isn't a necessary relationship I can see between "functions" and definition.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Consider also: a

Quote:
Consider also: a 'thought' is a name we give to how we experience neurons working, from a first person ontology, ergo it is valid to say that thoughts are 3 dimensional, in that neurons are 3 dimensional and neurons are the basis for thoughts.

I believe this brings up my contention in my previous post.. and whether being "a function of something" requires it to be that something.

It may be the case in some instances.. but it is definitely not the case in all instances.

The relationship, I don't believe, is necessary.. and therefore the contention that a "thought" is "material" just because it is "based" or is "a function" of "the material".

Quote:
I knew you were cool.

Hah.  You are as well.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote:My

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

My contention is that a "thought" is something that exists within time but not space.

But there cannot be time without space.

Quote:

To say that an entity is "non natural" is to state that none of the entities qualities are natural.

To say that an entity is "beyond natural" is to state either that either none or some of it's characteristics are natural-- just not all.

Then you've still got a distinction without a difference - because the same problem remains: not natural = beyond natural, as far as the parts that are in fact not natural!


Quote:

How does a "relational concept" necessitate "function of material processes"?

Again, you're free to give us an ontology for immateriality and then to show us how there can be a relationship immateraility. Until then, all we can say is that time requires space and matter. Time is a relationship between objects in space.


Quote:
Even if you had succeeded in showing that time was no material, did you really, honestly, think that saying 'through time' answers how something immaterial can work without energy?

 

Quote:

No. And I never stated it to be the case.

But you asserted that 'time' was the answer to how it 'worked'....

 



Quote:
It doesn't matter if you said it was associated with it or not, it necessarily follows. If something is neither matter nor energy, AND it works in some way, then it would produce work from nothing at all, and violate physics.

 

Quote:

Only if you're using "work" in this case in the same way that physics uses "work".. force times distance.

If that is the definition you are using.. then, no, a "thought" does not work.

I'll ask again: do you think thoughts have a causal role in behavior?

If they do, then how can a thought cause an action without violating physics?

 

Quote:
If a thought is neither matter nor energy, and it influences action, then it violates physics - it produces work from nothing. You have perpetual motion. If anything 'works' without relying on energy, you've got magic.

This is one of the killing blows to dualism/immaterialism.

 

Quote:

Only if you're using "influence" and "produces" in the same way that a physics uses the words "influence" and "produces".

You're free to create an entirely new physics. But how many nobel prizes do you think you can win? Won't you run out of mantle space?



Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Terms like

Quote:
Terms like "supernatural" or "immaterial" are broken concepts: They cannot actually refer to anything, because they are defined solely in negative terms (what they are not) without any universe of discourse (anything left over for them to be).

Immateriality - defined as neither matter nor energy. So, what's left over for it to be?

Supernatural - defined as 'not nature' or 'above nature' or 'beyond nature'. So again, what's left over for it to be?

Interesting. Seems like someone's told Rhad this before, and it seems to have had no effect whatsoever.

I wonder if someone might have mentioned this before...

hmm...

from this thread :

Quote:
Hambydammit said:

For the sake of completeness, I will mention that your understanding of negative definitions is similarly blurred. Definitions are entirely dependent on a universe of discourse. The nature of a negative definition is that it cannot offer one. A negative characteristic within a universe of discourse is simply a derivation of a positive characteristic.

hmmm.... also...

Quote:
Hambydammit said:

"God is not natural" is a negative definition because it offers no universe of discourse. Since everything that occurs in the universe is natural, by definition, then god must not exist in the universe. If he does, then he's natural. The term "supernatural" or any other "...natural" word used in its place is nonsense, since it describes nothing. While it "sounds logical" to say that since something is not natural, it must be supernatural, it is not. Without a positive description of what this existence outside of nature is, it is simply wordplay, and cannot be said to describe anything real.

While I was speaking of a completely negative definition, i.e. one that offers no universe of discourse, and that's maybe not exactly the right term, I think it was pretty clear what I was saying.

Good luck, Todangst.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:

Quote:

While I was speaking of a completely negative definition, i.e. one that offers no universe of discourse, and that's maybe not exactly the right term, I think it was pretty clear what I was saying.

Good luck, Todangst.

Haha. Hey Hammy.

I don't know how many times I have to agree with the two of you that when deeming something 'supernatural' I agree that there is necessitated, by the word, a certain amount of qualities that cannot be talked about in the universe of discourse.

I told this to Hammy. I've told this to Tod.

Yet.. as I've stated time and time again.. that a supernatural entity does not necessitate that it has NO natural characteristics. The natural characteristics are the ONLY character which I can, or do, speak of.

But.. in anycase.. the purpose of this thread was to understand ontology Hammy.. not argue that I can given one for supernatural qualities (which I can't) or immaterial (which I don't understand why I can't if 'material' is as Chaos says it is.)

In anycase.. I'll give it a read over.

Hah.. and.. to Hammy and Tod.. don't think just because I give you guys such a hard time (with my hardheadness or otherwise) that this means I have not learned anything from our conversations-- in fact, I have learned muchx2. 

Smiling


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo wrote: Yet..

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Yet.. as I've stated time and time again.. that a supernatural entity does not necessitate that it has NO natural characteristics.

Prove it. In fact show any evidence whatever.

You will be the first in history to show supernatural is natural.

And in fact you will be the first in history to show any evidence of supernatural.

 

If you can't, then I can only conclude that you are imagining things. 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Hah.. and.. to Hammy

Quote:
Hah.. and.. to Hammy and Tod.. don't think just because I give you guys such a hard time (with my hardheadness or otherwise) that this means I have not learned anything from our conversations-- in fact, I have learned muchx2.

Thanks, Rhad.  I really do appreciate you saying this.

For what it's worth, I give you a hard time because I care.  Before I left theism, I was very hard headed.  I think I was at least as persistent in my beliefs as you are... maybe more.  For me to leave, it took a very, very patient woman who continually busted me on the same mistakes over and over again, refuting every single argument I could come up with, combined with my own reading... lots of reading.

I simplify my de-conversion story most of the time, and say that when I read the bible, I left theism, but the reality is that I left Christianity after reading the bible.  It was a few years after that before I realized that all theism is fantasy.

 (Ok, after a quick proof read, I'll go ahead and admit that I'm still very hard headed.  I just happen to be correct, now!)

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:

Quote:
RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Yet.. as I've stated time and time again.. that a supernatural entity does not necessitate that it has NO natural characteristics.


Quote:
Prove it. In fact show any evidence whatever.

People try this a lot.. I do not believe the argument works in the way they wish.

With regards to proving an assertion-- like the one above-- is based upon the evidence or secondary premises one chooses to accept and not to accept is based.  The 'choice' required to 'prove' to someone is based upon choice, all things being equal.

There may be no objectively verifiable evidence to the matter, yet that is not necessary for the assertion to be held and the definition or concept applied rationally. 

Or will you deny the fact that you have absolutely no objectively verifiable evidence, whatsoever, on which to base your belief that the people you speak to, see, or write to, are existent outside of your head? The only 'evidence' you have, which is subjectively measured, is the mere fact that you want to or feel that it is necessary to believe so?

(Lots of absolute statements in there.. I may get myself in trouble with that later. Smiling

In anycase.. the ability to prove something to some external entity, I believe, exists independently of the ability to 'sufficiently prove' it to oneself, the things existence in actuality, or whether or not it is internally contradictory according to other necessary or stated premises.

Anyways.. just a generally applicable rule I believe.

Quote:
You will be the first in history to show supernatural is natural.

You misunderstand what I'm saying. The supernatural cannot be natural... a supernatural entity, however, can have natural characteristics.

For instance.. a ghost is considered a supernatural entity.. however, the mere fact that people describe it would require that some aspects, either visual or aural, are natural.

Quote:
And in fact you will be the first in history to show any evidence of supernatural (entity).

As I pointed out above.. it's all dependent on what you choose to accept as evidence.

Quote:
If you can't, then I can only conclude that you are imagining things.

You are free to conclude whatever you like.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Thanks, Rhad.  I

Quote:
Thanks, Rhad.  I really do appreciate you saying this.

For what it's worth, I give you a hard time because I care.  Before I left theism, I was very hard headed.  I think I was at least as persistent in my beliefs as you are... maybe more.  For me to leave, it took a very, very patient woman who continually busted me on the same mistakes over and over again, refuting every single argument I could come up with, combined with my own reading... lots of reading.

I simplify my de-conversion story most of the time, and say that when I read the bible, I left theism, but the reality is that I left Christianity after reading the bible.  It was a few years after that before I realized that all theism is fantasy.

 (Ok, after a quick proof read, I'll go ahead and admit that I'm still very hard headed.  I just happen to be correct, now!)

Heh.  My "de-conversion" would require.. some things.

I have a very fluid concept of religion and God.  A very humble opinion when it comes to 'absolute knowledge'.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened in I grew in one of the 'sister' denominations of Christianity... because-- where I stand now, I cannot understand the logic of justification for Hell beyond a premise I can't see myself accepting.. 'Might is Right.'  In otherwords.. that God can do something I perceive as unjust, and, even if I cannot see now or possibly ever, I will still be wrong and held accountable.

I can only see through my own eyes...  and try to see it through others.  But still.. its all filtered through my personality created by aggregate experience. So...

But.. I was born into this life.  So all I can do is theorize about how I would be if I grew up in that way.. and whether I would still feel this way, and thus, probably would've given up my belief if I could not perceive any other way belief to have that would be congruent with my feelings (atheism, is something that would be congruent with my atheism.. it would just have a partial lacking with regards to something I do not wish to speak of in this thread.)

Wow.. this is real off subject.


kmisho
kmisho's picture
Posts: 298
Joined: 2006-08-18
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:
Referring to time without space is incoherent, and vice versa. Simply, if there are events (in time) they must be happening somewhere (in space).

With regards to this as well as Mr. Rages previous post is where I guess I'm failing to understand-- which is the purpose of this post I guess Smiling (more understanding ontologies then anything else).

"Space" as defined by MrRage is the 3 dimensional manifold.

Yet.. my thoughts.. say.. if I think of a car.. the image of a car in my car cannot be defined with regards to any 3 dimensional manifold (I believe) and therefore would exist outside of "space".

I realize that there are some materialistic characteristics that my "thought" is dependent on.. but does that mean that my "thought" is "material" in the same sense that the flowing ions in my brain are "material".

When you play a videogame do you think there must be actual x-wing fighters flying around inside your TV?

 

Meant to be humorous, but the implications of the analogy are precise.


RhadTheGizmo
Theist
Posts: 1191
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:

Quote:
When you play a videogame do you think there must be actual x-wing fighters flying around inside your TV?

Heh. No. But while the x-wing is a product of structured release of energy and reception with my eyes of light.. there is not 'light' being created in which to receive my thoughts. They are just "thoughts".

The question would better be... if you were playing a video game would you think there was anything in front of you if there was light from which to see it?

Yes.. perhaps ones neurons stimulate the mind in such a way that an image *is* visual.. but it is definitely not "visual" in the sense we usually use the word--- since no light is being created or received.

Or.. do you believe that "a thought" can be used for illuminating a room or smashing an ant?

I would contend that a "thought" is neither light nor matter.. albeit a function of them.

I guess the argument comes down to whether or not ion releases "create a thought".. or whether nothing is created at all.

And while it may be unprovable whether or not neuronic releases are sufficient in order to make a "thought" or whether "a thought" is "created" at all-- does it change ones ability to use the previously stated ontology for the sake of entering the word into "the universe of discourse".

Interesting.. I'm not particularly hellbent on holding that an ontology can be made for the immaterial.. (just thought I'd make that clear again).. just trying to understand why the particular ontology cannot be used or accepted.


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2811
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Quote:

While I was speaking of a completely negative definition, i.e. one that offers no universe of discourse, and that's maybe not exactly the right term, I think it was pretty clear what I was saying.

Good luck, Todangst.

Haha. Hey Hammy.

I don't know how many times I have to agree with the two of you that when deeming something 'supernatural' I agree that there is necessitated, by the word, a certain amount of qualities that cannot be talked about in the universe of discourse.

I told this to Hammy. I've told this to Tod.

Yet.. as I've stated time and time again.. that a supernatural entity does not necessitate that it has NO natural characteristics. The natural characteristics are the ONLY character which I can, or do, speak of.

Ah, I missed this.

I've already addressed this issue above, but you might have not noticed.

You've still got a distinction without a difference here- because the same problem remains: not natural = incoherent, as far as the parts that are in fact not natural/supernatural. So if all you can say is that 'supernatural' is incoherent except for the parts of a supernatural 'entity' that are natural, then you are still not saying anything all about the part that is 'supernatural'.

So, it's like this:

Me: In this box, I have a fahaiuofhasofijawfoe and a whistle.

You: "What's a fahaiuofhasofijawfoe'?

Me: It goes 'toot toot' when you blow into it.

You: Uh, ain't that the whistle?

Me: Yes.

You: so you haven't said anything at all about fahaiuofhasofijawfoe?

Me: Yes I have, I just told you all about the whistle.

You: (shakes head in dismay)

 The problem is really this simple: 'supernatural' is defined contra nature. To have a nature is to be part of nature. This is not a fallacy of equivocation as some mistakenly believe; (in fact ,it's a restatement of the axiom of identity) it an error to believe that 'having a nature' and 'being a part of nature' can be distinct concepts in the first place.

The axiom of identity: To exist is to exist as something To have a nature (identity) is to be part of the natural world (an existent.)

 

Quote:

Hah.. and.. to Hammy and Tod.. don't think just because I give you guys such a hard time (with my hardheadness or otherwise) that this means I have not learned anything from our conversations-- in fact, I have learned muchx2.

Smiling

Nice talking to you as always.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.