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Author Topic:   Will scientists ever find the connection between the physical and metaphysical?
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 40 (330204)
07-10-2006 12:20 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by randman
07-09-2006 11:29 PM


Re: Is the human will physical?
If such mental things are considered physical for this discussion, then why not metaphysical or spiritual things?

If the metaphysical is physical, then why have two different words?

I think that science is perfectly willing to conduct investigations into things that you might consider "spiritual" or "metaphysical", so long as they're well-defined. For instance, if the claim is made that one possesses a spiritual power that can move objects without touching them, that's a well-defined claim that can be easily tested.

But to simply wonder about "the metaphysical" leaves scientists waiting for more information, for the question to actually be defined. To address the question in the OP - exactly what "metaphysical" are we talking about, here?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by randman, posted 07-09-2006 11:29 PM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by randman, posted 07-10-2006 12:26 AM crashfrog has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5052
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 32 of 40 (330205)
07-10-2006 12:24 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Percy
07-09-2006 10:01 AM


Thanks Percy for directing me to Charles Seife.

This is from a review of his book.

With his gift for making cutting-edge science accessible and entertaining, Seife explains how theorists came to understand that information is not a construct of the mind but a fundamental element of the physical world, something that sits inside every living cell and surrounds every black hole in the cosmos. It exists, like energy, even if there is no life to observe it. Starting with the breaking of the Enigma code during World War II and building momentum with the computer revolution, information theory has taken its place at the forefront of theoretical physics as scientists begin to use it to reconcile the paradoxes of relativity and quantum mechanics that have puzzled theorists since Einstein. Lucid and exhilarating, Decoding the Universe probes the mind-boggling advances that are taking us to the brink of a new understanding of the universe.

The question then becomes is information physical as has already been suggested or is it where the physical and the metaphysical meet and how do we determine which it is.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Percy, posted 07-09-2006 10:01 AM Percy has not yet responded

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3241 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 33 of 40 (330207)
07-10-2006 12:26 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by crashfrog
07-10-2006 12:20 AM


why dodge the issue
why are you dodging my questions? Here is the majority of my post again. I'd appreciate a straightforward response.

am not so sure of what science considers physical or not physical.
Are mental things "physical" for example?

Is the human will physical?

How about things like paranoia or psychological conditions? Are they physical?

How about love? Is love predominantly a physical thing?

If such mental things are considered physical for this discussion, then why not metaphysical or spiritual things?

You are demanding definitions of how metaphysical is defined relative to physical, but are ignoring my questions on what you consider to be physical. How can anyone answer you if you don't first answer the questions above?

We cannot compare the metaphysical to the physical if you won't define what you mean by physical.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by crashfrog, posted 07-10-2006 12:20 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by crashfrog, posted 07-10-2006 12:32 AM randman has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 40 (330213)
07-10-2006 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by randman
07-10-2006 12:26 AM


Re: why dodge the issue
why are you dodging my questions?

I've answered the only relevant question in your post, which is right at the end, where you ask why the metaphysical can't be the physical. And the answer is obvious, as I said: because if the metaphysical was the physical, we'd call it "physical" and not "metaphysical." It's like asking why blue can't be red. Because if it was, it wouldn't be blue!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by randman, posted 07-10-2006 12:26 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by randman, posted 07-10-2006 12:38 AM crashfrog has responded

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3241 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 35 of 40 (330214)
07-10-2006 12:38 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by crashfrog
07-10-2006 12:32 AM


No, you are dodging.
You offered your own definition of "physical" and so I asked these questions to clarify what you mean by physical. What do you mean? You stated:

Whatever anything physical is connected to is physical, by definition.

Are mental conditions physical?
How about the human will?
How about consciousness?
How about love?

If mental things are connected to the physical, by your definition they are physical, right, and yet we have 2 different words. Can you not see the reason why?

The simple fact is science studies these things, right? The field of psychology and psychiatry is a field of scientific study, right?

Well, clearly mental things can be connected to the physical, and so are physical by your definition DESPITE BEING 2 WORDS (Duh!!). So by your inclusive definitions, metaphysical and spiritual things are physical too, just as long as any connectivity to the physical world exists.

So why not answer the questions so we can see what exactly you mean by physical?

Edited by randman, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by crashfrog, posted 07-10-2006 12:32 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by crashfrog, posted 07-10-2006 12:47 AM randman has responded
 Message 38 by ramoss, posted 07-10-2006 8:00 AM randman has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 40 (330216)
07-10-2006 12:47 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by randman
07-10-2006 12:38 AM


Re: No, you are dodging.
Are mental conditions physical?
How about the human will?
How about consciousness?
How about love?

All words we use to describe physical people doing physical things, so yeah, I'd say that to the extent that those things exist, they're in the physical world.

If mental things are connected to the physical, by your definition they are physical, right, and yet we have 2 different words.

2 different words, but not two antonyms. "Mental" is not the opposite of "physical." So these aren't relevant examples.

So by your inclusive definitions, metaphysical and spiritual things are physical too, just as long as any connectivity to the physical world exists.

"Metaphysical" and "physical" are antonyms. The metaphysical can't be the physical because, to the extent that "metaphysical" has any sort of definition, that definition is "something different than the physical."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by randman, posted 07-10-2006 12:38 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by randman, posted 07-10-2006 12:55 AM crashfrog has responded

  
randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3241 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 37 of 40 (330217)
07-10-2006 12:55 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by crashfrog
07-10-2006 12:47 AM


Re: No, you are dodging.
2 different words, but not two antonyms. "Mental" is not the opposite of "physical."

What the heck are you talking about? Physical and mental are different spheres just as physical and metaphysical are. It's fairly analogous. One definition of metaphysical is without form or substance, and that's a pretty good description as well of mental things.

You cannot see the human will. You see it's effects, but it is immaterial by definition.

Same with mental states. There may be a physical component in how a particular mental state works, but the thing itself is not really physical. It is mental, without physical form.

Same with love and consciousness. Consciousness may or may not need a physical body, but it is mental.

Same with personality.

In fact, our whole existence teaches us that non-material and non-physical things interact with and are intertwined with the physical world.

So there is no reason at all to think metaphysical and spiritual things are not intertwined with the physical world, and moreover, the metaphysical is nearly by definition connected to the physical world. If there is no connectivity to people or reality at all, then it isn't real, and metaphysical is a concept that reality includes and is connected to the metaphysical. By definition, if real, the metaphysical is connected to the physical.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by crashfrog, posted 07-10-2006 12:47 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by crashfrog, posted 07-10-2006 8:01 AM randman has not yet responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3123
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 38 of 40 (330259)
07-10-2006 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by randman
07-10-2006 12:38 AM


Re: No, you are dodging.
Concouisness, 'human will', love can all be explained via emergent properties of neurons in the brain. This can be demonsrated by people with brain damage, and by drugs the specifically interfer with brain function.

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 40 (330261)
07-10-2006 8:01 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by randman
07-10-2006 12:55 AM


Re: No, you are dodging.
What the heck are you talking about?

Antonyms? You don't know what an "antonym" is?

Physical and mental are different spheres just as physical and metaphysical are.

Well I think I made it pretty clear that they're not; it's more the difference between "doctors" and "dentists" than it is the difference between "doctors" and "non-doctors."

Things are "mental" because they occur in the mind, which occurs in the physical world. But things that are "metaphysical" are called that because they are held to be inherently non-physical.

Thus, to ask where the physical meets the non-physical doesn't make any sense; inherent to their defintions, they can never meet. What could be both physical and non-physical at the same time? A /= ~A is the most obvious conclusion of logic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by randman, posted 07-10-2006 12:55 AM randman has not yet responded

  
Casey Powell 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 40 of 40 (374413)
01-04-2007 1:47 PM


First of all, its a false dichotomy to separate the Physical from the Metaphysical. Right off the bat, this gets hit hard.

I can Separate MacroEvolution from MicroEvolution based on these standards here, and call them totally different! (ala ID movement, which I greatly and strongly oppose).

Edited by Casey Powell, : No reason given.


  
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