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If someone presents an argument that sounds convincing but does not present facts to back them up, beware. Below is a long(ish) philosophy paper that I have written that comes to a conclusion very, very loosely, and has no facts to back it up. However, if this paper was presented as a scientific theory to an uneducated mass, would they go for it?
First, we can start with a hypothesis that sounds intellectual to an untrained eye, and from there we can construct a theory. My question is, could this actually be convincing? If so, then what else is guiding the masses that simply isn't true?
Hypothesis: Sounds scientific, yet is backed only through philosophic musings.
Hypothesis: As if there are two substances in the universe, that of immaterial, and that of material, and the former is split into subsections, that of time, and that of space—the space already having laws in which to observe it—then should there also not be specific laws to that of time? Could this be why the theory of relativity can not account for the inconsistency between the quantum world and that of the non-quantum? Is it just that these two different worlds are acting differently with different laws of time? Could this be why microscopic material is time-symmetric, yet the grander world is not, as there are different laws guiding each?
Math and Phenomena
The central question posed here is whether math, at its foundation, can be considered phenomenon in any sense. This begs the question of what is phenomenon? To this I will describe it as a “mystical” interworking of the fabric of everyday life: something we depend on, yet cannot fully understand in our primitive knowledge, as the hunter-gatherers had no reasons to; to be phenomenon requires that it be discovered through higher education. What is discovered is the means of the phenomenon, yet what we observe can be described as the ends of phenomenon. Phenomenon seems to be hidden to the naked eye, yet at the same time we can observe it: An example of this being gravity; we can observe the apple falling from the tree—the ends of phenomenon—yet the true interworkings of such are entirely hidden—the means of the phenomenon. Therefore, to be phenomenon requires that there be observable ends to a seemingly unexplainable occurrence.
So, now with phenomenon being defined, where does math stand? Math can not be observed, so it must not be phenomenon, as it does not meet one of the criteria to be considered so. Math just seems to be a set of concrete rules and laws which at its foundation can not be observed in the world; but is saying this too premature? What is “math”? Most would answer this as numbers mixed with numbers based on certain criterion; but this can not be the case, as then there would be no reason to study math. To figure out what math is, we have to look back at phenomenon.
We have defined the ends of phenomenon, the observable outcome, but what allows the outcome to be manifest? What are the means? Looking at anything that would be explained as phenomenal, it appears that math is the means! Math is what drives phenomenon. What is observable in day-to-day life is the manifestation of math: if what we observe is the manifestation of math, then math, at its foundation, must be phenomenon.
Math and Physicality
My last section seemed naturally in refutation to materialism, as it described two different modalities required for phenomenon to exist and be experienced; a physical, observable world; and a hidden, mathematical—or spiritual—world which guided the physical observations, and was necessary for them to exist. A materialist might argue with this position without attempting to disagree with the foundation of the argument; however would simply state that it is the physicalities interacting with each other which gives rise to this hidden world: This world being the end result of the actions; flipping my last section’s argument on its head: the means of phenomenon is the observation, as we can see the objects physically interacting, leaving the end result of mathematics.
But does not this flipping of the means and end of phenomenon sound entirely silly? As when we summon a world before us that consists of only two objects, do we not intuitively involve math in this world even before the objects interact? In this world, when an object moves, it does not create with this movement the entirety of mathematics; these exist within their own right; before and independently of the physical world. And, if we, for the sake of argument, take this flipped means-end relationship seriously, what is it that first allows these two objects to move? If the world of mathematics, or the world generally only consisted of physicalities and their resulting interactions, nothing would ever be set in motion; we would inevitably be at a stand still and could not have experience: A similar argument could be made for the phenomenon of time, which seemingly fits into my guidelines, but not the materialists; no one could argue that time itself was physical or acted on the basis of interaction with other physicalities, and if they did, they would have the burden of explaining how the arrow of time first got shot out of its bow: as intuitively it seems that time would have to be present at the beginning, as everything is still without it.
If without time everything is naturally without motion, then nothing physical would be able to interact, and therefore no laws of mathematics could ever be spawned from these interactions: Certainly not the laws that guide time itself. And, if these mathematical laws never be born because all physical objects are frozen in time, then physical objects could not interact to create the laws. These last few sentences, of which are extremely similar, shows that the materialist has worked himself into a paradox which can not account for how physical objects first interact—giving rise to mathematical laws which allow them to interact.
Time and Phenomenon
The last section left much to be desired, and left the burden of proof on me to explain what time is: as without this explanation the argument holds little weight. There are many views as to what exactly time is—some are universal and scope, and others only explore the human conception of time. With the argument of an immaterial world, I think it is safest to go with a universal conception of time, the conception that I think is adequate is that time is the observation of one experience building upon another. If this is what time is—at least at the surface level—then how does this fit into above definition of phenomenon?
Time, as just described, is the building of one experience on another; and in this sense time is not a fallible “object” as it is just a framing device to help us humans understand causalities and how things, such as life and death, progress. However, this is only the surface level of time, which is not entirely adequate, as it suggests that time is unique to humans, or subjects of experience. This can not be as “deep” as the definition of time can go, as we have scientific knowledge that the universe existed before us, and things interacted with each other, leading to our existence. Now, time is not only a useful framing device, but a type of mystical entity moving things along, as if the universe is but a bundle of drift-wood in the river that is time.
Why is this? This is because something had to be present that allowed for one cause to build on a previous effect: and this something is time itself. Without this mystifying entity, there would be stillness, and even if we argue that things can interact—or move--without time, causes would stack on top of effects and clutter the universe in a non-practical manner; a manner that would not have allowed us to get to the point of animal or earthly creation. Take for example an egg—a favorite example of physicists to explain “the arrow of time”—in a world where time did not exist, an egg would break, however it would not break in the same way that we imagine it would. In a universe where causes could not naturally build off of previous effects, things would be in existence simultaneously: The egg would both be breaking and broken at the same “time.” As it is time that allows for one experience to be cast into oblivion, giving rise to one that has built off of it.
All of this goes to show that the sense that time is but a framing device is not adequate, as there has to be something that allows for one thing to allow another thing. This definition of time fits into previously stated definition of phenomenon: As it is the observable instance of time that works as the framing device, yet the inner-workings of math and physics which allow for practical causality!
Time as a Physicality
If phenomenon was not ruled by some immaterial, rule-based means—math—then there is nothing guaranteeing practical causality—at least what we call practical. As described by physicists, time seems to have a direction, which to this point has been unexplainable; this is alluded to in previous sections, and what I described as causes being able to build off of previous effects while, something ethereal, sends the effects into oblivion. This entity, which is time, or more definitely described, the mathematics and physics guiding time, has to be immaterial in its very nature.
How can this claim be made? Well, if we were to look at time as a physicality, there seems to be nothing that guarantees that the arrow of time, which allows for a rationally based universe, to exist; as if time was strictly the result of physical interactions, then we could intuitively imagine that there exists such a physical interaction that allows things to unbreak, or be undone. In the example of an egg breaking, it could be said or imagined that such an interaction could be found, or simply made, that allows an egg to be perfectly rebuilt: This is the mystery of physics, and probably so because by physical laws, an egg should be able to be rebuilt—as atoms and the microscopic world are time-symmetrical.
If it is the case that physical laws should be able to conjure an idea of time that allows the undoing of everything, then we would reside within a universe that did not allow rationality, as what we consider to be rational is something that we depend and expect to happen given certain situations. If there was even the slightest possibility that we could find, or create, interactions that could undo anything, then the universe we hold dear would fail in an instant: morality would not matter, actions would not matter—nothing would matter, as anything could be undone.
If anything can or could be undone, then there is no practical causality; leading to an irrational world; and if this is the physicality based world, one of irrationality, then it is one we do not reside in.
Thought and Phenomenon
This section describes a phenomenon which is not based on any guiding principle, like the laws of math or physics, however, cannot fully be explained by pure physicalities. This is the “phenomenon” of thought, because there are no laws that currently prove what will be proposed, the challenge will be a harder one.
Thought, on its surface level, is the synapses between brain neurons which allow a flow of information. This cannot be the end-all-be-all definition of thought, however, as it fails to truly explain what thought—namely reflective thought—can conjure up. Some connections made by this physical thought process are completely explainable by physicalities; namely, how the brain groups certain categories of information. However, nothing physical can explain the seemingly other-worldly connections that a genius’ mind can see: Some of the most profound thoughts in history can leave others in perplexity; and probably because these are unexplainable physically. A broad example of this is what a new breakthrough is made in theoretical physics; these breakthroughs require loosely made connections between math, other phenomenon—what has been discovered before them—however, the categories that the brain naturally makes, which can account for other connections, can not account for this.
Two specific examples that come to mind are: Newton’s invention—rather discovery—of calculus, and Einstein’s theory of relativity.
In both of these cases, the genius’ immaterial thought process—or thought that is not explainable by physical categorization of the mind—gave insight to what immaterialities were guiding the physical observations or insight they had. In the case of Newton, calculus was “discovered” in order to explain what he observed in gravity—the physical world of gravity. What allowed him to see this other worldly insight was not physical thought—as if synapses could account for such a profundity, then there would be a “genius-pill” on the market. Furthermore, the physical grouping of knowledge within the brain cannot account for this immaterial insight, as, logically, there seems to be no physical connection between the observable and the guiding: There is no logical that materialist’s could give. Newton did not get hit with an apple and then set out to find what physically made it break from the twig—no—Newton set out to find the immaterial guidance of what made it fall—what was under the surface level; and to find such he first needed mystical, immaterial, genius insight—connections his mind made beyond physical synapses.
Most likely unconsciously, Newton knew that to figure out the mystifying, gap closing, heavenly body, immaterial force, he had to turn to the immaterial world of mathematics.
Immaterial versus Physical Universe
In a previous thought experiment, we said how in a purely physical universe, the laws of mathematics arise from physical interactions as they happen; these laws then are just natural occurrences that we can gather through physical observation: and this sounds fair, but does this end my argument so simply? Is it a crazy, incoherent thought that the immaterial actually guides the physical; and that it is not simply how we can better understand it? I am not so quick to think so, as if we hold in our mind that physical interactions are just explainable by the immaterialism of math, and not guided by it, then our universe and galaxies would not hold their symmetrical shape: If it was the interaction before the mathematics, then nothing should guarantee symmetry.
Many should disagree with this statement, as what could guarantee symmetry in a physical world could simply be physical interaction—such as force and attraction. I think this is too quick of a jump, however; as if we think back to the beginning with two different states of mind, it is the immaterial mindset that seems to be the most coherent; though, counter-intuitively it is the physical mindset which makes, seemingly, more sense today. Basing an argument on something as mysterious as the beginning of time may seem a bad practice, however I think it is not in this case, as the specifics are of no importance. If, at the beginning, no laws existed until interactions gave birth to them, the chances of an asymmetrical, or failed, universe would be enormous; as if we think of all the heat and density at the singularity—from a physical standpoint—all of this matter would have to perfectly interact with one another in order to ensure a symmetrical world.
But what are the chances, in this physical view of the universe, that at the point of singularity—a period of infinite density and heat—that everything just so happened to happen in perfect unity; can we not, at least intuitively, imagine that some temperatures would vary, then leading to a snowball effect. If this intuition were to be the case, then different physical interactions would lead to different laws of math and physics that then future physical interactions would have to abide by; if this were to be the case, then natural symmetry would not exist. This all builds on the foundation that there would be asymmetry of density and temperature in an infinite singularity, however, which is a steep claim as physicists hold the view that it was symmetrical; BUT, if it is the case that the infinite flowed with perfect symmetry, would it be incoherent to think that then there were already pre-existing laws that allowed things to flow symmetrically? If not, it seems to be the case that asymmetry would arise.
It has since been pointed out to me that singularity should not be a point in time to argue about, as it is a theoretical time. So, a simple change could be made, and I do not think that this specific error makes much of a difference. As it could be said that, instead of singularity, that the exponential expansion of the universe should have naturally given rise to asymmetry, and not singularity; this, however, is not as strong of a point as it is not infinite, however the same argument could still hold—albeit weaker.
Physicalities and Mathematics
In previous sections I may have not been fair to the materialist, saying that what they may propose as a counter-argument to my original point is silly. However, after further reflection, I realize how easily it could be true. In the case of a universe where only two bodies exist, it is not too far-fetched to believe that these two bodies being near each other allow for the laws of gravitation to be in effect, however once one, or both, of these bodies vanish into oblivion, the laws go with them, as there is no longer a need for the laws. If this is the case, laws that are required for certain interactions are mutually dependent on what are causing those actions. This seems a plausible answer, as laws are created out of necessity, therefore no irrational laws should exist. Though I now see that the materialist argument is not as silly as I once thought, I still do not agree with it, and that much should be clear given arguments in the previous sections: I still hold that what guides physicalities are those immaterial laws that are always present.
Borrowing from the genius of Newton, we can explain that a world of physicalities is improbable, though perhaps practical, giving the Newton Bucket thought experiment. In this argument, water in a bucket is concaving as the bucket is spinning, though the bucket is surrounded by nothing: absolutely nothing. This concavement seems odd—if we intuitively imagine that it does concave, which Newton does—as there are no bodies, no matter how distant, for this water to act in accordance with in order for it to concave. Different physicists have given answers as to why this is; it is spinning relative to: Absolute space, space-time itself, distant bodies, and others.
Given these sets of answers that were assumed by geniuses, specifically the first two, is it not immaterial aspects that are allowing the concavement of the water: Absolute space, and space-time? Or, could a different perspective be taken on this, and could it not be argued that the water in the bucket is simply acting in accordance with the immutable laws of mathematics and physics, which therefore require the water within the bucket to act this way; even in a universe void of any bodies to allow it?
This is my stance—though I would like to again point out that even in the other stances it is immaterialities which guide this concavement. Taking Newton’s thought experiment seriously, the third answer proposed as to why this is happening can not be, as in this universe exist no distant bodies. The second argument may also seem good, but can we not take Newton’s thought experiment one step further and attempt to imagine a universe void of time as well—while still allowing motion? And as for Newton’s own answer, it is one that I would align with the most. As we could simply exchange Newton’s idea of the water spinning relative to absolute space to the water spinning relative to the laws which exist within any universe. The Bucket Argument, taken in this mindset, does not seem so mystifying; as regardless of it is the only matter within the universe, it can not escape the laws which exist independent of material that gives rise to them out of necessity: They just are, and matter just acts within its guidelines.
The Problems of Space-time
In Newton’s De gravitatione et æquipondio fluidorum, it was mapped out that, in Newton’s mind, that there existed two substances within this universe: The materia prima and the second substance. In this work, it was contended by Newton that the former of these substances was that which was of God’s mind, and set motion to the bodies—and of which was numerical in nature; this materia prima was based on Aristotelian natural philosophy, and as such, this substance was ubiquitous and immutable. This is similar to above conceptions of the immaterial world—in that it is mathematical and that it first gave rise to bodies—as Newton called the secondary substance—while being all-encompassing and immutable.
The secondary substance which was described by Newton was that of observable, physical, bodies. These bodies were originally set in motion by God himself—or what I would say, they were originally set in motion of one of the phenomenon of materia prima—time itself. This alludes to separate entities which exist within this immaterial world of the universe, and as such, they should not be combined into one. As just because electrons and protons are similar, and work together, does not mean that they should be treated, and therefore formulated, in the same manner. This is the same for space and time—which are two different phenomenon; to Newton, it was a matter of Absolute space and “God’s mind”—which it should be noted that he did think was also absolute space—which is what Einstein built on when creating space-time. However, space and time, though they are constructed of the same immaterial “material” does not mean that they should be formulated in similar fashion—in practice they are extremely different. Space is that which physics laws exist—time is that which no laws have been found for—yet.
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You have not asked a question or proposed an argument or set a debate in motion. That is a requirement demanded of original (first) posts in a thread in these parts.
The piece is beautifully written. There is no argument made. The former validates its appearance on the argumentative forums, the latter denies it.
There are a number of terms and claims in your text that I don't agree with -- such as your argument of thoughts being other-worldly and quasi-independent of the brain and its processes. I also do not agree with your general view of the duality of the beginning of motion -- matter being started and its movement being started by a "mind". However big these differences may seem, and however significant, the differences only exist in explanations; that is, your overall world view is neither superior nor inferior to mine, your overall underlying explanation is a matter of personal opinion,which can be statistically more or less accurate, but in essence it is a matter of a person's own choice. The differences I talk about are in your assessment and mine with regard to how the world started and what makes it to keep on moving.
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Thanks again for your kind words, I appreciate it.
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Your text makes arguments but does not create arguments.Hassled005 wrote:Thanks for your response. Just to clarify, are you saying that my text does not make arguments, or my post does not make arguments?
Thanks again for your kind words, I appreciate it.
You make some lines of arguments to prove some points. But you instigate no argumentative debate.
Bothersome, in English, that "to argue" has so many very well defined and separate meanings. The language contains some million words, but for three strongly different concepts we doggonedly keep on using this lonely one word.