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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Nothing "unphysical" exists      Home login  
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 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 51
Nothing unphysical existsPage 3 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Msg #5, Lynn said it right.
"But since we have no "unphysical" way to detect the "unphysical" one can't prove or disprove this statement."

This is the problem with us. We think we are given everything needed to understand the universe. Chances are we lack many qualities.

Here is another way to take a stab at the question.
What we see around us, the macroscopic world, in this world there is nothing unphysical. But once we enter the microscopic world, we discover there is nothing physical. I always argue with people in science websites that there is a huge disconnect between micro and macroscopic worlds and no one knows how to connect them.


First, it's commonly known that you can't prove a negative. Thus, can't prove we're NOT in the matrix and thus rendering everything we know of the natural world meaningless. Can't prove that we're not actually pigs and not humans and so on. However, at least most of us have ways of favouring one idea over another despite not being able to prove that any scenario one can possibly imagine is NOT true. It's usually based solely on evidence to support a positive. I cannot prove that a brick will never or has never fallen up to the sky when dropped. But based on a virtually unlimited number of overwhelmingly consistent observations of bricks falling down when dropped, and absolutely zero evidence that a brick has ever or will ever fall upwards, it is reasonable to form a theory that under the same conditions, bricks will fall downwards when dropped.

How do I prove it? ALL proof is based on an ability to accurately predict an outcome that would be consistent with your theory. Can I say for 100% certainty that the result will always be the same? No, because maybe the matrix is designed to deceive us.
 gingerosity
Joined: 12/10/2011
Msg: 52
view profile
History
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 4/28/2012 2:17:28 AM
The laws of physics? Surely they exist, yet are unphysical?

Unphysical: they simply describe/govern how the physical interacts with itself and have no form in and of themselves. They are not a construct of our physical mind; they existed long before intelligent life forms evolved.

Existence: well without them there would be no order in the universe. Subatomic particles - if they could exist at all - wouldn't even make stable atoms.

Do I get a prize? lol
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 53
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 4/29/2012 9:37:23 AM

The laws of physics? Surely they exist, yet are unphysical?

Unphysical: they simply describe/govern how the physical interacts with itself and have no form in and of themselves. They are not a construct of our physical mind; they existed long before intelligent life forms evolved.


This is usually the first kind of argument i get. Thoughts, ideas, concepts, plans, designs, music, laws, rights, patterns, etc...

each of these are our ways of interpreting physical. None of these interpretations exist independant of physical qualities. Ideas require brains. it's a physical function. When you say "laws of physics", you're refering to patterns. constant and reliable behavior of physical phenomena. the law itself is a physical phenomena. ex:"rate of acceleration" is a short form of describing the physical phenomenon. The law can be referenced in books, heard said by others, knowledge stored physically in the brain, stored physically and displayed physically on the internet. Even the law itself is very much physical. Yes, the pattern existed before we ever noticed, the pattern is something we define within the physical phenomenon. In no way is anything i or you mentioned "unphysical".

One of my main points is that if you were to describe something that DOES NOT EXIST, could you really say anything else other than "has no physical quality or presense at all"

FOR EVERYONE: how to define existence vs non-exisitence. What's the primary criteria that would separate the 2?
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 54
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 4/30/2012 10:16:52 AM
actually, i was hoping for a difference in criteria between existence and non existence. is it anything other than physical and non physical. Unless we're saying EVERYTHING exists, what characteristics are we looking for to determine non-existence. Or more appropriately, since proving negatives are always impossible, what primary characteristic are we looking for that would label something as "exsisting" instead of "non-existing"?
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 55
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/1/2012 4:04:16 PM

To the OP, it's not clear to me that nothing non-physical exists. There are some philosophers, like David Chalmers, who think that Consciousness does not supervene on the physical


First of all, I'm about to pick this quote apart but not YOU. A perfectly valid statement but just happens to touch upon a variety of pet peve arguments of mine... and they are extremely common.

My point of the question is this... EVERYTHING that has ever been discovered, observed, perceived, all of reality as we know it, is physical. It appears that in all of history, when it came to discovering things that were never known to exist before, it was only the physical qualities that changed it from non-existent to existing. It's so extremely obvious that it's hard to see. Start wording it in different ways to yourself and it will start to seem silly that it even needs saying in the first place.

Watch...
when i say physical, I'm not talking about just solid and touchable. I'm talking about anything that has any amount of matter, energy, force, volume, ability to affect other physical things, etc. Just show a sign of any of these and it;s a physcial quality. Otherwise, it's not taking up space, mass, energy, etc. It's literally not there. That seems to be how we define not exisisting. To say something unphysical simply hasn't been discovered yet is a meaningless statement because the act of discovery depends on noticing SOMETHING... otherwise, you're noticing NOTHING... are we actually debating wether "NOTHING" exists? is someone really going to come out and say that? I dont think it does... do you? say it... nothing may exist? something that is not there actually might exist?

Most of what we know about matter, energy and well, everything, has come from our advancements in understanding through science in the past 400 years or so. Before that, we went thousands with very little change in understanding... sure the stories and explanations changed but none of them were the least bit useful to practical application. along comes science and all of a sudden, we're solving problems left and right because we knew the questions we needed answered and we suddenly had a way to figure out the right one, which changed everything. The field of PHYSICS discovered all these laws and developped many theories based on them that are statistically 100 percent reliable to the point where even a child knows a lot of them and are able to confirm them time and time again themselves. It is often embarassing how often "science" is passed off as not to be taken seriously...

So when it comes to the big questions of wether the non-physical (having no physical quality) exists, instead of all the advancements in the field of PHYSICS to look at, you offer a quote from a philosopher? Not a physicist who has a background in EXACTLY this topic, credentials and experiencen and trainign and education and is a SCIENTIST?

Dont get me wrong. I'm not coming down on philosophers. I quote them all the time too. It's my favourite thing. Which is why i'm bothered by the comment.

MY philosophy is that WHAT someone believes is not nearly as important, relevant, interesting or revealing as WHY they believe it.

I'm not saying for 100 percent sure that the philosopher is wrong. I'm just curious WHY you give it credit. When the question is wether existence is dependant on physicality or not, of all the information from science and physicists that is available, why is a quote from a philosopher hold weight and convincing to you? More so than others, you, me or the many obvious non experts that fill these threads. Why is that an argument for you and maybe the answer would be reason to consider looking at it more heavily than all the other bullshit people with mouths and fingers can spout off

Lastly... not directed at you. Just venting from past experience. in fact, i think you are just a guy caught in the middle so I hope you laugh at the obvious obsessiveness of my rant.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 56
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/7/2012 2:49:03 PM
Even space itself isn't empty. The earth bends the fabric of space and time and creates a void and the moon spins on it like the edge of a barrel. These aren't "physical", but they cause physical effects and they're real. Time itself physical things, but it's not physical and it's real, too.........
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 57
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/7/2012 6:15:44 PM

Even space itself isn't empty. The earth bends the fabric of space and time and creates a void and the moon spins on it like the edge of a barrel. These aren't "physical", but they cause physical effects and they're real. Time itself physical things, but it's not physical and it's real, too.........


so.... space itself is not empty (true) but is it possible to fill space with something non physical? By definition, energy is the ability or potential to do work. the fuel required for existence, force, basicaly ANYTHING to happen. How can something void of energy, thus the ability to create force or affect anything, CAUSE a physical affect?

Perhaps you think I mean "solid". LIGHT is physical. a magnetic field is physical. all energy is physical , thus the field of "physics". THAT's what I mean by physical.
 lagoda
Joined: 11/20/2009
Msg: 58
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/7/2012 8:28:02 PM
So far most of the discussion has been metaphysical or philosophical.

In scientific jargon, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of standardized meaning to the term 'unphysical'. I've read it in Sean Carroll's descriptions of time and elsewhere in physics when explanations require mathematical transformations, for example, Lorentz transformations for special relativity. The term unphysical often denotes the negative values of solutions involving virtual particles, the bootstrap model, and resulting 'manifestations' of dark matter.

Even with the inclusion into the standard model of the Higgs boson or other force carrying particle such as the graviton to mediate gravitation, if such discoveries occurred, mathematics would continue to use point particles of Euclidean space to define both force and matter type of elementary particles. This definition assigns a 0-D to points when in reality, if we could see them, would be three dimensional and have shape. This is because capacities, spins, fields, and forces, etc, which generally do not exist independent of objects or other things, cannot be visualized well without these mathematical illustrations. However, abstract it might be, the 'stuff' of dark matter permeating space is based on physical substrate. So none of it is unphysical.

Short of the anthropic principle, teleology, and proofs, I think the above is also true of all concepts and abstract thought simply because all that exists in reality did so first as an illustration in thought.
 Balsamica
Joined: 2/24/2012
Msg: 59
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/7/2012 9:04:07 PM
"""so.... space itself is not empty (true) but is it possible to fill space with something non physical? By definition, energy is the ability or potential to do work. the fuel required for existence, force, basicaly ANYTHING to happen. How can something void of energy, thus the ability to create force or affect anything, CAUSE a physical affect? Perhaps you think I mean "solid". LIGHT is physical. a magnetic field is physical. all energy is physical , thus the field of "physics". THAT's what I mean by physical.""

Well, if by non-physical you mean "nothing", are you asking if nothingness can exist? I guess I am not understanding the question.
 earthlingsRevenge
Joined: 10/30/2009
Msg: 60
Thoughts exist
Posted: 5/7/2012 9:48:33 PM
Thought is not 'unphysical'.

Thoughts exist as a map on neurons in our brains. Without this map you would not be thinking anything.

Just as everything displayed on a computer screen has a map on its RAM (memory).
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 61
Thoughts exist
Posted: 5/8/2012 10:17:52 AM
Here here earthlingsRevenge.

I feel sympathy for people just joining the conversation because so much gets discussed with these long threads that by the time you join in, without reading the whole thread, a point could have been made and addressed several times already, going around in circles. Not a critism, thus why I sympathise, and sometimes either skip a thread for being too long or skip to the end to see where the conversation is currently at.
 earthlingsRevenge
Joined: 10/30/2009
Msg: 62
Thoughts exist
Posted: 5/10/2012 6:37:58 AM
In macroscopic world any non-physical experience has a PHYSICAL basis.
Without that physical entity, the non-physical perception can not exist. But it is not the other way around.
In microscopic world , it is totally a different story, we don't even know what an electron looks like.

Consciousness is a totally different beast. But it also a physical base. Need some real works on it.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 63
Does mathematics physically exist?
Posted: 5/10/2012 9:31:37 AM
Mathematics either exists or it does not. Since we have named it "mathematics" and work with it daily, often using it to describe the physical world, I doubt it could be said mathematics doesn't exist, so I think it fair to say mathematics exists. The question remains as to whether or not mathematics is "physical".

Since your premise is that nothing unphysical exists, I think we can rule out mathematics' existence in an unphysical Platonic world of ideal forms. By the OP's premise, it must then physically exist. If mathematics didn't pre-exist the mathematician, then obviously the mathematician created mathematics. Has he created something physical, or has he created something unphysical?

Frankly, I find it hard to believe that mathematics has a physical existence. Could the OP explain how this could be, or would he concede that some unphysical things do exist?
 Stray__Cat
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 64
Thoughts exist
Posted: 5/10/2012 9:09:41 PM
Well if you are gonna insist on discussing only the mundane physical(or unphysical)
I wonder if the insides of black holes would count?
(Or did someone already mention those?)

They exist.
But are not physical inside.
or rather beyond the physical.
So they are perhaps something unphysical that exists.
 NO_NO
Joined: 4/12/2008
Msg: 65
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 9:33:03 AM

1. "Freedom" starts with an idea. one that happens in the brain, with measurable activity, changes in heat and electrical activity, with information physically sored in our brains. I consider all activities and events that occur within the brain to be physical in nature.


I didn't read the rest, I stop here. Let me ask you this, did freedom did not exist until the moment one thought of it?

I don't really believe in the word freedom, but since you seem too,I wonder if you thought of such, and what your ideas were once you thought about it.
 earthlingsRevenge
Joined: 10/30/2009
Msg: 66
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 1:08:04 PM

Mathematics either exists or it does not. Since we have named it "mathematics" and work with it daily, often using it to describe the physical world, I doubt it could be said mathematics doesn't exist, so I think it fair to say mathematics exists. The question remains as to whether or not mathematics is "physical".


Dukky, you are so close. This is the most formidable argument so far I have seen against physical world. But it also fails the test of pure non-physical entity. There are 2 arguments.

1) It brings back the same old question, we debated here on pof long ago, "Do numbers exist?"
The best answer is "No, numbers do not exist until you use it", more precisely, "until you use it on a physical object".
We can make the same argument against Math. You must use Math on a Physical substance only then Math has a meaning.

You want take the road from Boston straight to Rio de Janeiro. The road doesn't exist, but there are all ingredients (Math) ready to build the road, but it doesn't exist. Existence of ingredients doesn't make the existence of the road.

2) You may argue, existence of Math is like existence of Laws of Nature. Not totally true. Math is man-made. They are not laws of nature, they are man's approximation to laws of nature. You may also say (I sound like the Talking Head song), laws of nature are non-physical. Again, laws of nature apply only to physical objects, without objects there are no laws.

I have an open mind, I can change mind anytime when someone points it out.
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 67
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 3:57:23 PM
EarthlingsRevenge....

I'll say it again. you are my advocate and i barely have to say a word as long as you keep posting. Granted, I have to admit, there are a few other posts out there that also invoke silence from me because i dont think my point would be understood as our perceptions of reality are obviously too different to expect each other to understand each other.

Otherwise, many good points out there that I've long since battled with myself.

MATHMATICS:

it's a system to interpret the physical world. Dealing with measurable physical units... that's the only thing numbers are ever assigned to, even when hypothetical/theoretical equations are in play (x+y=z).

many use music as an example. "Surely a song is not physical". Well, by definition, if you can hear it, we KNOW it's physical... but then the "pattern" is what some people say is non physical. If it's written on paper, it's written on paper, physical. if it;s in our heads as a memory, physical. If it's not recorded anywhere in any form, despite having once existed, it no longer exists.

With music, math, methods, philosophies, etc., it's easy to label them as a thing all themselves without definginn out louod what they are. are martial arts physical? It;'s not the body, the arms, the kick but the METHOD and pattern to the whole thing. But take away the books, the ideas in your head, any recoding descibing the method or the physical activity demopnstrating it and the martial art will stop existing.
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 68
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 4:00:50 PM
@earthlingsrevenge


I'll say it again. you are my advocate and i barely have to say a word as long as you keep posting. Granted, I have to admit, there are a few other posts out there that also invoke silence from me because i dont think my point would be understood as our perceptions of reality are obviously too different to expect each other to understand each other.


Sorry if this implied I was talking about YOU. The line was but the rest is refering to a small number of OTHERS. I totally get what you are saying. same as me. Thus, no need to comment much. I'm sitting back and letting you address stuff because we would say the same thing. Sorry for the confusion.
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 69
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 7:51:24 PM
Does beauty exist?
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 70
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 7:51:50 PM
Does wonder exist?
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 71
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 7:52:18 PM
Does curiosity exist?
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 72
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/11/2012 7:53:09 PM
Does evil, virtue, morality, honour, knowledge, wisdom.... exist?
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 73
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/12/2012 1:19:08 AM
@earthlingsRevenge

it also fails the test of pure non-physical entity.


That statement implies that entities must exist that are non-physical (else there could be nothing to test against). This would refute the argument that there are no non-physical entities. Asserting that something fails an undefined test does not constitute a proof, only another assertion. The original assertion was that nothing unphysical exists. If the aforementioned test is intended to prove that original assertion, it should be in the form of a proof, not more unsubstantiated or fallacious assertions such as:

"numbers do not exist until you use it" (which implies that numbers are created and EXIST within some temporal time frame)

"You must use Math on a Physical substance" (Why? Aren't you begging the question by presuming there is nothing else to use it on? One can use math on math, so if your statement is true, then math is a physical substance.)

"The road doesn't exist, but there are all ingredients (Math) ready to build the road, but it doesn't exist.Existence of ingredients doesn't make the existence of the road."

You have just asserted that math exists and simultaneously does not exist. (a contradiction)

With respect to #2, I make no such argument. (looks like a straw man to me)

@musicfellow

it's a system to interpret the physical world.

That's physics. While math may be used by the physicist to interpret the physical world, it is much more than that. It's probably best to call it a language describing a system of formal reasoning.


Dealing with measurable physical units... that's the only thing numbers are ever assigned to

False, unless you can show (for instance) that all sets are measurable physical units.


take away the books, the ideas in your head, any recoding descibing the method or the physical activity demopnstrating it and the martial art will stop existing

That is yet another unsubstantiated assertion.

I remind you guys that the burden of proof falls on those making an assertion. I have yet to see anything approaching proof, or even a strong argument.
 musicfellow38
Joined: 2/17/2011
Msg: 74
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/12/2012 10:58:28 AM
@A_GENT
yes, yes, yes, no, yes, depends on your definition, yes, yes and yes. AND every one that exists are words describing something physical, a physical process, event, arrangement, etc. ;)
 earthlingsRevenge
Joined: 10/30/2009
Msg: 75
Nothing unphysical exists
Posted: 5/13/2012 8:46:06 AM
This thread is going on and on with no end in sight.
Here is my last post and I would like to present my thought on the subject and nothing else.

Our first reaction to this thread is "It can't be true, everything is physical???" But when you take one non-physical at a time, and trace backward, you'd find something physical attached to it.

a) I still think MSG #5 (Lynn) is right, even if there is anything non-physical our sensory systems prevent us
from receiving the signals.

b) In macroscopic world, everything is physical and measureable. All our non-physical experiences must have physical sources. . MATH falls in the same group as Laws of Nature.

c) In microscopic world, until we know more, everything seem to be non-physical.

Like many I also enjoyed others comments.
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