Author Topic: Immaterial vs Material  (Read 1861 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Immaterial vs Material
« on: December 27, 2011, 12:58:51 PM »
It's my understanding that materialism is the position that all things are matter.   I.e. atoms, molecules, quarks, etc.

But I've often heard people including other things in this philosophy, which I don't understand.

Space-time, forces, or even a massless photon.   How are these things matter, therefore material?

My interpretation is that a concept like space-time is an immaterial concept, induced using rationalism, to explain reality.

Offline velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 15420
  • Darwins +169/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 01:05:14 PM »
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline pianodwarf

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4354
  • Darwins +206/-5
  • Gender: Male
  • Je bois ton lait frappé
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 01:10:06 PM »
It's my understanding that materialism is the position that all things are matter.   I.e. atoms, molecules, quarks, etc.

That is correct.

Quote
Space-time

...is not a "thing".  It is the medium in which things exist.

Quote
forces, or even a massless photon.   How are these things matter, therefore material?

I would need to know which force you're referring to to explain how it is a material thing.  Explaining how photons are material is easy: if photons were immaterial, everyone would be blind.   ;)
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 01:16:32 PM »

...is not a "thing".  It is the medium in which things exist.


Ok, so then it's not matter.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 01:19:25 PM »
Quote
forces, or even a massless photon.   How are these things matter, therefore material?

I would need to know which force you're referring to to explain how it is a material thing.  Explaining how photons are material is easy: if photons were immaterial, everyone would be blind.   ;)

How about gravity?  You're saying gravity is matter?

Offline pianodwarf

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4354
  • Darwins +206/-5
  • Gender: Male
  • Je bois ton lait frappé
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 01:29:58 PM »
How about gravity?  You're saying gravity is matter?

No, I'm not.  The current theory is that what we perceive as gravity is the effect of matter distorting the space/time continuum, that is, the medium in which matter exists.  I.E., gravity is not itself matter, it is an effect caused by matter.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 01:35:35 PM »
Ok, so wouldn't it be fair to call gravity immaterial then?

Offline pianodwarf

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4354
  • Darwins +206/-5
  • Gender: Male
  • Je bois ton lait frappé
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 01:41:09 PM »
Ok, so wouldn't it be fair to call gravity immaterial then?

Only inasmuch as it would be fair to call "justice" immaterial, because it's more of a concept than a thing, per se.  That having been said, however, you're starting to take me out of my element.  My understanding of general relativity (which is what we're discussing here) is pretty basic.  You might want to spend some time with the Wikipedia article on the subject.  Or maybe someone else here can address the question better than I can.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_theory_of_relativity
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 15420
  • Darwins +169/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 01:43:03 PM »
this seems to be one more attempt to redefine words so Gill's ideas are "true".  Gill, did you read the links I posted?  Do you understand the one on matter? 

I'm curious if you can define matter yourself.  Can you? 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 01:54:09 PM »
Yeah, I skimmed it over.   There seems to be some differences in definition.

You have the basic definition, which matter is "anything which has mass and volume".

Then the relativity definition which is " anything that contributes to the energy–momentum of a system, that is, anything that is not purely gravity."

So then, gravity would not be considered matter by the second definition.

That's fine.  So then it seems acceptable, for science to induce ideas which are immaterial to explain aspects of reality.

Offline velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 15420
  • Darwins +169/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 02:03:48 PM »
Yeah, I skimmed it over.   There seems to be some differences in definition.

You have the basic definition, which matter is "anything which has mass and volume".

Then the relativity definition which is " anything that contributes to the energy–momentum of a system, that is, anything that is not purely gravity."

So then, gravity would not be considered matter by the second definition.

That's fine.  So then it seems acceptable, for science to induce ideas which are immaterial to explain aspects of reality.

ah, here we go, making an ignorant leap as usual and ignoring any definition that doesn't work with your nonsense.  Yep there is that basic definition and then what do we have after it?  Other ways that matter has been used in respect to human discoveries through time.  Your "basic" defintion has been largely left in the dust.

Gravity influences the physical world.  The most recent research says it's part of the aspect of mass/energy.   Gravity can be measured.   And "induce ideas"?  What are you tryign to say here?  I think you are using the word "induce" wrong. 

now, compare this to your magic forces that you've been claiming.  Can those be measured?  Can those affect reality? 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2011, 02:08:48 PM »
First, not my definitions, I'm quoting wiki you wanted me to read.

Well, maybe the immaterial consciousness effects our thoughts and behavior....

I just don't understand how such a suggestion would be so abruptly brushed off by many people, when , they're perfectly fine with using other immaterial concepts such as gravity to talk about something effecting matter.

People clearly didn't understand gravity for centuries.  Why would there be no possibility of other forces which people can't comprehend yet?

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12220
  • Darwins +268/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2011, 02:10:04 PM »
Ok, so wouldn't it be fair to call gravity immaterial then?

In the sense that it has a direct and predictable effect on how matter behaves, and that it can be directly and accurately measured...no.

Unless you are saying that immaterial things are predictable and can be directly and accurately measured.  Is that what you're saying?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2011, 02:14:41 PM »
Ok, so wouldn't it be fair to call gravity immaterial then?
Unless you are saying that immaterial things are predictable and can be directly and accurately measured.  Is that what you're saying?

Not exactly, I'm saying that there's things which are not matter,  yet could be said to effect matter, like gravity.  Or, space-time, not matter, yet is a concept required to talk about where matter is.

So then, to say everything is material, I don't understand.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12220
  • Darwins +268/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2011, 02:16:30 PM »
This has been explained to you already.

You obviously didn't both read and process it at the time.

Given that you didn't both read and process it then, is there a reason to expect that you would do so now?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2011, 02:24:06 PM »
Let's just put gravity aside a minute, because it can get complicated,

What about just space-time?  That's not material to you is it?

Offline velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 15420
  • Darwins +169/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 02:27:08 PM »
First, not my definitions, I'm quoting wiki you wanted me to read.
You are quoting a part of the wiki article and ignoring the rest.  Such amusing and false protestations of "but but it's what you said to do".  I did not, I said "read the article" not "scan it to cherry pick it and I'll be too stupid to notice".   &)
Quote
Well, maybe the immaterial consciousness effects our thoughts and behavior....
Evidence please.   I can say "maybe there are elves that control what color a piece of fruit is and when we're not looking all apples are plaid" and that doesnt' make it true. Same for your claims.
Quote
I just don't understand how such a suggestion would be so abruptly brushed off by many people, when , they're perfectly fine with using other immaterial concepts such as gravity to talk about something effecting matter.
Because there is no more evidence for this claim than there is for a teapot circling Zeta Reticuli.  Give me a reason, why should I even consider such a suggestion?  And gravity effects things.  You have yet to show your "immaterial consciousness" even exists, much less that it does anything. 
Quote
People clearly didn't understand gravity for centuries.  Why would there be no possibility of other forces which people can't comprehend yet?
  Gravity was demonstrated for centuries.  We might not have understood it (still really don't) but it sure existed.  We have no evidence for your navel gazing.  Not after millenia. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2011, 02:31:00 PM »
Quote
I just don't understand how such a suggestion would be so abruptly brushed off by many people, when , they're perfectly fine with using other immaterial concepts such as gravity to talk about something effecting matter.


Because there is no more evidence for this claim than there is for a teapot circling Zeta Reticuli.  Give me a reason, why should I even consider such a suggestion?  And gravity effects things.  You have yet to show your "immaterial consciousness" even exists, much less that it does anything. 

Pffffft.  What about the sense of agency, or simply awareness itself, ever consider that as evidence? I do.

Otherwise, I suppose we're just matter, which is aware of other matter.....

Offline velkyn

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 15420
  • Darwins +169/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • You're wearing the juice, aren't you?"
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2011, 02:49:48 PM »
Quote
I just don't understand how such a suggestion would be so abruptly brushed off by many people, when , they're perfectly fine with using other immaterial concepts such as gravity to talk about something effecting matter.


Because there is no more evidence for this claim than there is for a teapot circling Zeta Reticuli.  Give me a reason, why should I even consider such a suggestion?  And gravity effects things.  You have yet to show your "immaterial consciousness" even exists, much less that it does anything. 

Pffffft.  What about the sense of agency, or simply awareness itself, ever consider that as evidence? I do.
  I'm sure you do and it just reads like any theist claiming that "look around and see my god in the universe" a baseless claim with again nothing to support it.   Both the sense of agency and awareness can be explained by physics and chemistry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense_of_agency) .   Can we explain it completely? Not yet.  And again, no need to invoke some magical thing that you have no evidence for. 

Gravity affects things.  Injury and screwed up chemistry can affect the brain.  We see no evidence for any other "force" that effects the brain, and if it is interacting with a physical brain, there should be something we can detect.   

Quote
Otherwise, I suppose we're just matter, which is aware of other matter.....
  So?
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

http://clubschadenfreude.wordpress.com/

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12220
  • Darwins +268/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2011, 03:19:31 PM »
Let's just put gravity aside a minute, because it can get complicated,

No.  You brought up gravity.  You had a reason for doing so.  Stick with it, don't change topics when things get difficult for you.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2011, 04:00:53 PM »
Let's just put gravity aside a minute, because it can get complicated,

No.  You brought up gravity.  You had a reason for doing so.  Stick with it, don't change topics when things get difficult for you.
Ok.

Well you're saying gravity is material since it's effects can be measured.   

And sure, people can measure the acceleration of an object, and attribute the acceleration to gravity. But I'm saying gravity itself is an immaterial concept used to explain the acceleration, not something which has any material existence itself. 

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2011, 04:13:31 PM »
Let me also ask,  math is the foundation for these theories, is math then also a material substance?

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12220
  • Darwins +268/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2011, 04:20:20 PM »
Well you're saying gravity is material since it's effects can be measured.

No.  I'm saying that immaterial things that are real have effects that can be measured.  After all, you cited it as an example of something that is immaterial.  So, we can both agree, since gravity is immaterial, that immaterial things have definite, measurable effects on physical objects.  That's how we know about them.

Things that don't, aren't material or immaterial - they're just not a part of objective reality.

And sure, people can measure the acceleration of an object, and attribute the acceleration to gravity. But I'm saying gravity itself is an immaterial concept used to explain the acceleration, not something which has any material existence itself.

By that standard, your hand is immaterial, since it's just a concept used to explain your sensations and how you can grasp objects and such.  By that standard of what's "material", nothing is material.

Was that your intention?  Do you think that that's a useful definition of the word?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2011, 04:22:58 PM »
And sure, people can measure the acceleration of an object, and attribute the acceleration to gravity. But I'm saying gravity itself is an immaterial concept used to explain the acceleration, not something which has any material existence itself.

By that standard, your hand is immaterial, since it's just a concept used to explain your sensations and how you can grasp objects and such.  By that standard of what's "material", nothing is material.

Was that your intention?  Do you think that that's a useful definition of the word?

Depend on what's being considered.  If one considered a concept such as hand, yes, it can include many immaterial ideas.  But if one is considering the mass of the hand, you would induce material ideas.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12220
  • Darwins +268/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2011, 04:25:30 PM »
[Gill]
Mass is a concept used to explain the inertia, not something which has any material existence itself.
[/Gill]

Still not material, by your definition.  Nothing is.  That makes the word useless.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2011, 04:34:40 PM »
No, the hand could be said to be made of material since it has mass.

But if you're just talking about mass alone independent of the hand, then that's what I meant in that the mass is not a material itself.

Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12220
  • Darwins +268/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2011, 06:30:57 PM »
You've switched definitions now, Gill.

Did you realize it?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Gill

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 732
  • Darwins +5/-58
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2011, 06:49:48 PM »
I think you misinterpret my quote, because I left out some nouns as being assumed nouns..

Let me clarify.


"Mass is a concept used to explain the inertia of an object, but mass is not something which has any material existence itself.



Online Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12220
  • Darwins +268/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: Immaterial vs Material
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2011, 07:49:18 PM »
Well, yeah, mass isn't a material.  Math isn't a material.  Colour isn't a material.  "Smart" isn't a material.  "Running" isn't a material.  "Cold" isn't a material.

There are lots of things that aren't materials.  But given your posting history, when you call them "immaterial", it suggests that you think they are not physical.

A firm, unchanging definition of what you mean by "immaterial" would be helpful for your discussions on this forum, Gill, so that people will know that you're not about to bait-and-switch a different definition in at any moment.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.