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Both physical and metaphysical?

  1. Jan 19, 2007 #1
    What phenomena bound both the physical and the metaphysical? That is, those which have physical effect that cannot be attributed to a physical cause, or those which have a purely mathematical basis for the most fundamental physics. Some examples might include the statistics of the Bell inequality and the commonality of certain equations in many areas of physics.
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  3. Jan 19, 2007 #2


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    I don't see that the subjective can cause the objective, so I don't see how one could judge that some physical effect cannot be attributed to a physical cause. I think the proper conclusion would be to say that we don't quite understand what causes it.

    Similarly, if we lack evidence for abiogenesis, we shouldn't reason that a cause can't be attributed, but that we don't quite understand the cause yet.

    In fact, no one has a light meter than can show the sun is shining; it tells us information about the light, but our theory says the sun is shining. Our theories provide causes, so this is a matter of how one chooses/creates theories.
  4. Jan 19, 2007 #3
    Thought, emotion, dreams, for a few; any conscious event that cause the physical body to change state in any way is an example of the subjective or metaphysical interacting with and effecting the objective, the physical.
  5. Jan 19, 2007 #4


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    That begs the question because you start "any conscious event that CAUSES...".
  6. Jan 19, 2007 #5
    Do u think its a coincidence that peoples bodies generally attempt do things that generate pleasant subjective experiences, and attempt to avoid behaviour that causes unpleasant subjective experiences?
  7. Jan 19, 2007 #6
    Perhaps I wasn't very clear. "any conscious event" is meant to mean any thought, dream, memory, emotion etc.
    All of these are subjective phenomena. I don't think that there can be any question that these subjective things causes our physical bodies to change state even if it is the simple movement of a finger done intentionally to write my thoughts in this reply.
  8. Jan 19, 2007 #7


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    In total disagreement I'll point out that thoughts, dreams and emotions are all physical events. What causes them is also physical. We are physical. We are unable to process metaphysical events due to the nature of our physicalness.

    After all the research that has gone into exploring the machination of emotion, thought and dream processes I find it odd how they have retained the "metaphysical" label from the dark ages of "science".

    The only thing that I see having a root in a metaphysical state is energy. There appears to be no understanding of where energy started, ends, comes from or goes to. And this confirms that, operating as physical beings, we are unable to describe or study anything metaphysical.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2007
  9. Jan 19, 2007 #8


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    Don't you think it's more feasible for the objective to have caused the subjective, that the change in physical state causes the subjective phenomenon?
  10. Jan 19, 2007 #9
    I think that they are both interactive. It has been shown and experienced that the state of our physical bodies effect our subjective moods, emotions, thoughts and yes, dreams. It has also been shown and experienced that pure thought can and does effect the condition or state of our bodies.

    Having said that, I also believe that they can also be somewhat independent.
    We can have thoughts without influencing our bodies and without the influence of our body. Pure subjective thought does exist and is a reality just as pure physical phenomena exist and is a reality.

    The interaction of the seemingly separate events is the only time and place that I can think of that conclusively shows the interaction of both physical and metaphysical.

    The claim that all thought is purely of physical origin just doesn't hold. Consciousness cannot be shown to be purely physical nor can thought, intention nor will. If it were all physical and thus determinate there would be no new thoughts, ideas, inventions, music, writings nor art. How could non random or even random electro-chemical processes compose Beethoven's
    symphonies or paint De Vinci's Madonna. Mankind are creative and original and unique not physical response machines.
  11. Jan 19, 2007 #10
    I suggest the phenomenon called Homo sapiens via the process called scientific method. For, whereas metaphysics can establish that there are physical entities with attributes, only science can establish the statistical nature of the attributes. So, consider your example of "the statistics of the Bell inequality". It is via metaphysics that quantum entities (such as photons, electrons) exist that follow the Bell inequality (that is, they are the metaphysically given perceived by Homo sapiens, as well as many other animals), but it is science via actions of Homo sapiens alone that establish the statistics of the wave-particle duality attribute of the metaphysical entities that exist.
  12. Jan 20, 2007 #11


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    Thought is a medium. Its an electromagnetic medium that reacts to stimulus. Like a pencil, its only as creative and exact as its owner.

    There is practically an infinite number of combinations and variations of stimuli in our physical environment (including as many physcial thoughts). Don't you think Beethoven's work, DaVinci's work and everyone else's inventions, compositions and writings could have been produced out of the (practically) infinite number of combinations of these stimuli? The works are produced by the billions of neuronal impulses that physically react to the stimulus.

    I beg that you re-consider your metaphysical position on the origin of thought because it is physical and that is exactly how geniuses arrive at their works of genius. They have very active neuronal bundles (brains) and the bundles interpret the surrounding, stimulating enviroment in ways that only a genius with that rare and very active electromagnetic organ can do.

    I do not dispute the likelyhood of a metaphysical or "beyond" physical origin of energy (since I cannot prove it either way). However, thought has empirically been shown to be a purely physical interaction of chemicals and resultant EM impulses in an organic, living cellular structure.

    Its actually funny how this fact validates "metaphysical" claims like "telepathy" and "psychic awareness" because with neurons pulsing EM waves it is obvious that these specifically configured EM waves will (physically) influence the physiology (neurons) of other subjects.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2007
  13. Jan 20, 2007 #12
    Can a material being ever realize the metaphysical?
  14. Jan 20, 2007 #13
    I think that is the brain that reacts to thought. It is this reaction that is seen and detected as electromagnetic waves or actions.

    Yes, I agree that there are virtually infinite stimuli and billions of interconnections; however, there is not an infinite amount of time. Creativity involves planning, logic, reasoning, intent and purpose. It is far more ordered than merely selecting from a nearly infinite set of stimuli and connections.

    It is only an assumption that thought is physical in origin; and, so far as I know, there is not a shred of empirical evidence that this is or is not true.

    The question is, is it thought that causes the electrochemical reactions or is it the electrochemical reaction that causes what we experience as thought?

    Is it metaphysical or physical?

    That is one possible but unproven explanation. There is also the also unproven explanation that we are all part or one consciousness and thus linked through this one consciousness. Again is it metaphysical or physical.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2007
  15. Jan 22, 2007 #14


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    The brain (which is a concentration of neurons) reacts to stimulus. This is a proven fact. Proven for over 30 years by neuroscience. The brain is our evolutionary survival trait. It developed in humans the same way a tiger's stripes developed as camoflage for it. The results were survival. The result of the survival is what we know today as the endangered tiger.

    You may have to prove your stance on this! Time is a concept. Are concepts limited by a finite or infinite state?

    I beg to differ here. Creativity can be as spontaneous as a flame in a fire. Planning, logic and reasoning are the stuff of planning, logic and reason. Creativity has no such defined boundaries. Of course you can use planning, logic and reasoning to be creative but you can also use purely sporatic and unrelated events and phenomena.

    Not a shred of evidence except that only physical, living organisms have thoughts. And, it is only when there is the physiology of neurological networks present that thoughts take place. The other evidence overwhelmingly points to thoughts being created by chemical impulses that are stimulated by stimuli in the environment. The "environment" can be the environment outside the brain and it can also be inside the brain. Both environments act to produce stimulated neurons which produce thoughts. Some thoughts are destructive and some are happy ones. Some thoughts are initiated by stimulus from other thoughts in the brain and some are initiated by thoughts in other's brains or by non-biological units in the environment.

    It is the chemoelectromagnetic reaction that causes a thought. Its rooted in ancient evolutionary sequences and today it has become rather complicated. But, basically, where there's stimulation and an organism with "ganglia" or "cerebralganglia" there is a chemical reaction. Today we call that reaction a "thought".

    That's like me asking "what caused energy to take place?". But, for the purpose of this thread, I'd define the physiological response of thinking or "thought" as the product of the "stimulus + response" equation.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  16. Jan 22, 2007 #15
    There may not be such dichtomy as physical and metaphysical. It is our way of seeing and assumptions that lead to this.

    So far the physics camp concentrates on matter, that is what you mean physical. The metaphysical dichtomy is only an assumption and many phonomena which are called that are in reality physical.

    Subjectivity vs objectivity is also result of current philosophy of science. Some of what today's science calls objective is indeed subjective. There is another way of looking at things that overcomes this dichtomy.
  17. Jan 22, 2007 #16


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    I'd have to agree that there is probably an overlap and a synthesis of all things physical and metaphysical. But, metaphorically speaking, we are fish in water, not on land.

    As fish we have no way of knowing anything other than swimming and being fish. Until we evolve some lungs and walk around on the surface, we are fish and only fish. We can't know or understand land and air. We only know fish, water and more water.
  18. Jan 24, 2007 #17
    Let us define "realize" as an operation [O] by a material being of bringing a metaphysical given [M] into being (eg, to make it real to ). Thus to realize [M] results in a transformation of both and [M] such that a new being is formed {[M]+}. I take {[M]+} superposed to be [M] "operationally realized". Thus I conclude that the metaphysical can only be realized by a material being as a veiled reality (never directly).
  19. Jan 25, 2007 #18


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    When we believe we've have had an "encounter" with a "metaphysical" occurance what is it that we believe:(?)

    Do we believe our physical reaction to a stimulus or do we believe the stimiulus itself?
  20. Jan 26, 2007 #19
    Why do you use the word believe?, do you see it anywhere in my post ? There is a reason not, it is because the operation [O] in my example, or "encounter" as you say, is an operation that results in "knowledge", that is, 0.0 % belief is involved when we say that "a material being realizes a metaphysical entity". Belief would occur only in those material objects that do not realize a metaphysical object but instead realize an object outside the metaphysical (an object incorporeal, supernatural, transcendental).

    Suppose the material being a red blood cell, and next to it a metaphysical entity called a O2 molecule. When the blood cell performs an operation on the molecule and via diffusion it moves across the cell membrane, after the encounter the blood cell does not believe it now forms a union with the molecule, it knows it. Such is my theory of knowledge as relates to material beings and their interaction with the metaphysically given. Here I suggest that knowledge as a concept is a characteristic of all material beings, not just neurons in living entities, whereas belief is so constrained. That is, while knowledge may be (or not) within neurons, belief must be.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2007
  21. Jan 26, 2007 #20


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    OK Rade, let me try to assimilate what you've come up with about knowledge. first let me use a definition of knowledge to help myself.


    So far these definitions of knowledge show a requirement of cognition. The cognition may entail reasoning, understanding facts, appreciation of interconnected detail etc.

    I don't see an eurythrocyte picking up an oxygen molecule "knowing" or gaining "knowledge" from this act. Its only for the consciously aware and cognitively active organism to derive "knowledge" from this act.

    Now i may be over representing your analogy. please let me know if I am.

    Here is a definition of belief. I believe it may be similar to the definition of knowing or knowledge, but let's find out!

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
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