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Old 11th-April-2010, 01:58 AM   Animekitty's time 10th-April-2010, 06:59 PM    #1
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Default What are non-physical objects.

It is said that God is non-physical which got me to think.

Everything exists by cause and effect. If God is non-physical then God is the opposite of existence.

Even if we were in a scenario where the universe were a computer simulation the designer world still be physical regardless of the [type] of physics prevalent in its world.

So my conclusion is that God would be a physical object. If you disagree please explain.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 02:02 AM   Cognisant's time 11th-April-2010, 12:03 PM    #2
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

The Monolith!
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Old 11th-April-2010, 02:05 AM   Animekitty's time 10th-April-2010, 07:05 PM    #3
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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The Monolith!
2001 the book said the monolith was made of space-time.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 02:08 AM   BigApplePi's time 10th-April-2010, 09:08 PM    #4
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

It's been said God is spiritual. But if God is in us and also everywhere, God is both. We are not supposed to understand God anyway.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 02:13 AM   Animekitty's time 10th-April-2010, 07:13 PM    #5
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Originally Posted by BigApplePi View Post
It's been said God is spiritual. But if God is in us and also everywhere, God is both. We are not supposed to understand God anyway.
My point exactly.

If it cannot be understood it does not exist.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 02:18 AM   BigApplePi's time 10th-April-2010, 09:18 PM    #6
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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My point exactly.

If it cannot be understood it does not exist.
Huh? Your logic can't be understood. Therefore your logic doesn't exist.

I don't understand the economy of today. Therefore the economy doesn't exist?
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Old 11th-April-2010, 02:23 AM   Animekitty's time 10th-April-2010, 07:23 PM    #7
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Huh? Your logic can't be understood. Therefore your logic doesn't exist.

I don't understand the economy of today. Therefore the economy doesn't exist?
Logic is meant to be understood. All else is paradox.

If the economy CAN be understood then it is possible for it to exist.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 04:17 AM   Hephaestus's time 10th-April-2010, 10:17 PM    #8
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Your logic is flawed:

1) If the economy CAN be understood, then it is possible for it to exist.
First of all, If it can be understood, then it DOES exist. This does not mean that the converse is true though, "If it can not be understood, then it does not exist". That is the fallacy of duality.

2) Everything exists by cause and effect.
Not necessarily... what about a singularity, infinity or the uncertainty principle? Science has resorted to these concepts to handle phenomena that can not be understood. By your logic, they therefore don't exist.

3) It is said that God is non-physical.
In every religion I can think of, god, God, G-D, or gods have or have taken corporeal form.

4) If God is non-physical then God is the opposite of existence.
A flawed conclusion because the premise is flawed.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 07:58 AM   Jah's time 11th-April-2010, 08:58 AM    #9
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

God can be understood as a Memetic form.
(That is, like this text it exists as strings of information)

a Thought. an Illusion.
or a Story.

It doesn't have to have a "real" component to it.
If it affects people and inspire them to do stuff, then that becomes its physical manifestation.

Just like brick buildings in Germany probably started popping up after the Three Little Pigs had passed through the minds of people.

or Police, The threat of punishment.
That is also a fiction, basically.
It only works as long as people believe in it.
If everybody would wake up tomorrow, not believing in the Law, the Police would be of no value. They are vastly outnumbered.

For a more tangible example of the thing I'm trying to explain there you should read Night Watch by Terry Pratchett, (Where Vimes explains this concept. Discworld Fans will remember the episode I'm referring to)


The point is, Non-physical, or Less-Physical objects exist, Information is a prime example.
Though harder to prove, things like Justice can be understood and said to exist, though it does not have any physical component.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 08:14 AM   Deckard's time 11th-April-2010, 06:14 PM    #10
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah View Post
God can be understood as a Memetic form.
(That is, like this text it exists as strings of information)

a Thought. an Illusion.
or a Story.

It doesn't have to have a "real" component to it.
If it affects people and inspire them to do stuff, then that becomes its physical manifestation.

Just like brick buildings in Germany probably started popping up after the Three Little Pigs had passed through the minds of people.

or Police, The threat of punishment.
That is also a fiction, basically.
It only works as long as people believe in it.
If everybody would wake up tomorrow, not believing in the Law, the Police would be of no value. They are vastly outnumbered.

For a more tangible example of the thing I'm trying to explain there you should read Night Watch by Terry Pratchett, (Where Vimes explains this concept. Discworld Fans will remember the episode I'm referring to)


The point is, Non-physical, or Less-Physical objects exist, Information is a prime example.
Though harder to prove, things like Justice can be understood and said to exist, though it does not have any physical component.
I think this terminology confuses the issues. You call things like ideas, threats, justice and information "Non-physical", but they are all very much physical. They exist as configurations of matter and energy, the same as every other physical "thing" in the universe.

When we talk about things "existing", we generally mean in the physical world, but the concept could also be applied to non-physical things. But since we can only interact with things that are physical, it seems meaningless to speculate about non-physical things.

If something did exist outside our universe, and we could interact with it and/or vice-versa, could it be called non-physical? What is our definition of physical anyway? I think the OP was basically saying that "non-physical" implies the inability to interact with the physical. I think this is congruent with many people's ideas of god, but I also think many others just label god as "non-physical" without really thinking about the implications of that.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 09:34 AM   Jah's time 11th-April-2010, 10:35 AM    #11
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Thought and information has matter ?
In a way, yes, thought has a physical existence, kinda like static electricity, but consider a man who's dying, and as he is dying he is thinking through some issue or other, but dies without conveying this idea, did that idea then exist ? or does this, since it is in essence unmeasurable after death occurs and the bio-electricity leaves the nervous system, dead end as another meaningless question...

And what is Justice then ?
It is an evaluation of action and consequence, is it not ?
What if an action thought Just, is after the fact realized as unjust, does Justice disappear retroactively ? Has the action then always been unjust even when it was thought Just ?
Or is Justice a mere temporary assignment as to whether an action has benefited a majority of sentient beings.

And if "God" is truly Non-physical in the sense that it cannot interact with the physical, how can it then ever be evaluated to exist, and won't he issue then become entirely meaningless ? Kinda like Time before the Big Bang.

If a God exists only without our universe, then the question of it's existence is meaningless, and relation to God becomes, also, meaningless, since you cannot interact either way.
doesn't it ?

And if it is congruent with how most people consider God non-physical, then there should be absolutely no motivation to act on Gods behalf, to pray, pledge allegiance etc., and yet they do.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 10:10 AM   Deckard's time 11th-April-2010, 08:10 PM    #12
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah View Post
Thought and information has matter ?
In a way, yes, thought has a physical existence, kinda like static electricity, but consider a man who's dying, and as he is dying he is thinking through some issue or other, but dies without conveying this idea, did that idea then exist ?
Yes.

Quote:
or does this, since it is in essence unmeasurable after death occurs and the bio-electricity leaves the nervous system, dead end as another meaningless question...
I don't really follow. The idea is unmeasurable? How does this affect whether or not the idea existed?

Quote:
And what is Justice then ?
It is an evaluation of action and consequence, is it not ?
What if an action thought Just, is after the fact realized as unjust, does Justice disappear retroactively ? Has the action then always been unjust even when it was thought Just ?
Or is Justice a mere temporary assignment as to whether an action has benefited a majority of sentient beings.
Justice is just an idea in our brains. It exists just as any other thought: as electro-chemical states and neural configurations.

Quote:
And if "God" is truly Non-physical in the sense that it cannot interact with the physical, how can it then ever be evaluated to exist, and won't he issue then become entirely meaningless ? Kinda like Time before the Big Bang.

If a God exists only without our universe, then the question of it's existence is meaningless, and relation to God becomes, also, meaningless, since you cannot interact either way.
doesn't it ?
Precisely. This idea has a lot to do with agnosticism (i.e. if god exists, it is unknowable).

Quote:
And if it is congruent with how most people consider God non-physical, then there should be absolutely no motivation to act on Gods behalf, to pray, pledge allegiance etc., and yet they do.
I think most deists believe god can interact with the universe, and assign the "non-physical" label without thinking about the consequences we are enumerating here. I don't think non-physicality (how we've defined it here) is an essential component of their belief system.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 10:12 AM   Jah's time 11th-April-2010, 11:12 AM    #13
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Unmeasurable in that it leaves no permanent trace in the tissue of the mind. (e.g. like a hard-disk drive) Thus cannot be measured after it has passed.


Thus it follows that God must be a Physical being. ?
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Old 11th-April-2010, 10:15 AM   aracaris's time 11th-April-2010, 10:15 AM    #14
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Originally Posted by Animekitty View Post
My point exactly.

If it cannot be understood it does not exist.
Whether or not something can be understood has little to nothing to do with whether or not it exists, and everything to do with the limits of the human intellect. I am pretty skeptical that humans are capable of understanding everything within the physical universe, let alone things which transcend it.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 10:25 AM   Deckard's time 11th-April-2010, 08:25 PM    #15
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Originally Posted by Jah View Post
Unmeasurable in that it leaves no permanent trace in the tissue of the mind. (e.g. like a hard-disk drive) Thus cannot be measured after it has passed.
Well your premise stated that the man was thinking about the idea, so if we are saying ideas are physical, then by definition the idea did physically exist.

Quote:
Thus it follows that God must be a Physical being. ?
I don't see how this follows. Maybe you are confusing the subject of an idea with the idea itself.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 10:29 AM   Jah's time 11th-April-2010, 11:29 AM    #16
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

You're claiming ideas as physical, so we accepted that. I merely stated that for all other persons except the deceased, his ideas remain non-physical, mere speculation, in an uncertain state, never to be revealed to any other living being.

And as God was removed from the Non-physical, due to it's ability to interact with the Physical universe, again, your own reasoning, Then it follows that God must be within the realm of the Physical, yes ?
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Old 11th-April-2010, 10:37 AM   useless username's time 11th-April-2010, 10:38 AM    #17
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aracaris View Post
Whether or not something can be understood has little to nothing to do with whether or not it exists, and everything to do with the limits of the human intellect. I am pretty skeptical that humans are capable of understanding everything within the physical universe, let alone things which transcend it.
very well said aracaris. Oh, I remembered something. Ah, it is impossible to disprove the existence of something. Crap, never mind. I just remembered that humans are omnipotent.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 10:47 AM   Jah's time 11th-April-2010, 11:47 AM    #18
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Defining existence outside human comprehensibility seems meaningless, since we could never understand or perceive it. Existence is, ultimately, like all other words in the human dictionary, based upon human understanding and comprehensibility.
Existence outside our understanding would imply that it is outside any physics that we can perceive, far beyond the realm of quantum theory and other human models of understanding.

If a being transcends the universe, and with it, all we can understand, then it is meaningless for us to define its existence, and to our comprehension of the universe, it may just as well be assumed not to exist.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 11:05 AM   Deckard's time 11th-April-2010, 09:05 PM    #19
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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You're claiming ideas as physical, so we accepted that. I merely stated that for all other persons except the deceased, his ideas remain non-physical, mere speculation, in an uncertain state, never to be revealed to any other living being.
Ok - I thought you meant from an objective perspective. I agree that from the perspective of other people who cannot interact with the idea, the idea might as well not have existed. But this is different from the question of whether it actually existed.

Quote:
And as God was removed from the Non-physical, due to it's ability to interact with the Physical universe, again, your own reasoning, Then it follows that God must be within the realm of the Physical, yes ?
I'm not really game to assign any properties to god. But if we assume god exists, then god is either physical (can interact with the universe), or non-physical (cannot interact with the universe).

Or the other option is that the whole thing defies comprehension and logic and just works, somehow. I guess if we are postulating an omnipotent god, anything is possible.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 12:38 PM   Jah's time 11th-April-2010, 01:38 PM    #20
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Well, Then the Deist God is semi-physical, and can interact with the universe, but cleverly shrouds itself from human observation in order to keep us guessing and arguing about its existence...

If the existence of God is granted Hypothetically. The only question that really is of interest is Why?
And dodging it by answering something to the essence that it is not meant for us to know is a cheap shot and will not be accepted.
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Old 11th-April-2010, 01:50 PM   Deckard's time 11th-April-2010, 11:50 PM    #21
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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If the existence of God is granted Hypothetically. The only question that really is of interest is Why?
Why what?
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Old 11th-April-2010, 02:29 PM   Flacid's time 11th-April-2010, 05:29 AM    #22
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Makes sense to me. God being Anti-physical, or something nonexistent
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Old 11th-April-2010, 03:50 PM   BigApplePi's time 11th-April-2010, 10:51 AM    #23
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah View Post
If the existence of God is granted Hypothetically. The only question that really is of interest is Why?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckard View Post
Why what?
Why grant the existence of God hypothetically?
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Old 12th-April-2010, 01:32 AM   Animekitty's time 11th-April-2010, 06:32 PM    #24
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Whether or not something can be understood has little to nothing to do with whether or not it exists, and everything to do with the limits of the human intellect. I am pretty skeptical that humans are capable of understanding everything within the physical universe, let alone things which transcend it.
Can you understand things that have no objective basis in reality.

Could a brain the size of a planet comprehend what a square circle is.

Non-physical object are ideas that do not exist in reality because reality transcends ideas in that reality exists, ideas only exist in the mind i.e. brain.
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Old 12th-April-2010, 02:01 AM   Trebuchet's time 11th-April-2010, 06:01 PM    #25
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

I define non-physical as something that lacks mass, energy, or dimension. So Time doesn't work for me because it is itself a dimension.

I have a harder time defining existing. Do numbers exist? I think they do. Two of something is two. The ratio between a circle's circumference and diameter is always the same.

Logic itself is non-physical, yet I am convinced it exists. Even more, I would argue that relationships between things certainly exist, like "after" or "within" or "because." I'm not at all prepared to try to describe God, though.
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Old 14th-April-2010, 05:19 AM   Vrecknidj's time 14th-April-2010, 12:19 AM    #26
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Pretty much I agree with the post right above mine.

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Old 14th-April-2010, 06:31 AM   Deckard's time 14th-April-2010, 04:31 PM    #27
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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I define non-physical as something that lacks mass, energy, or dimension. So Time doesn't work for me because it is itself a dimension.

I have a harder time defining existing. Do numbers exist? I think they do. Two of something is two. The ratio between a circle's circumference and diameter is always the same.

Logic itself is non-physical, yet I am convinced it exists. Even more, I would argue that relationships between things certainly exist, like "after" or "within" or "because." I'm not at all prepared to try to describe God, though.
Is a logic textbook physical? What else is logic but the definition of it that we have created?
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Old 15th-April-2010, 12:09 AM   Trebuchet's time 14th-April-2010, 04:09 PM    #28
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Is a logic textbook physical? What else is logic but the definition of it that we have created?
I don't think logic comes from textbooks. I think people discovered it, rather than created it, over many centuries, and now people learn it from (physical) textbooks.

For example, A = A seems like it would be true even if there were no textbooks. It is a concept, and I think concepts are non-physical. I'm not going to insist upon it, though. Let's hear arguments against it.
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Old 15th-April-2010, 03:48 AM   Deckard's time 15th-April-2010, 01:48 PM    #29
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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I don't think logic comes from textbooks. I think people discovered it, rather than created it, over many centuries, and now people learn it from (physical) textbooks.

For example, A = A seems like it would be true even if there were no textbooks. It is a concept, and I think concepts are non-physical. I'm not going to insist upon it, though. Let's hear arguments against it.
We discovered something non-physical? That's interesting.
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Old 15th-April-2010, 05:11 AM   Saeros's time 15th-April-2010, 03:11 PM    #30
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Originally Posted by Animekitty View Post
My point exactly.

If it cannot be understood it does not exist.
If it cannot be understood, it cannot be meaningfully discussed.
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Old 15th-April-2010, 11:22 AM   coberst's time 15th-April-2010, 11:22 AM    #31
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Reify--to regard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing.

We reify many abstract concepts such as freedom, justice, god, soul, communism, capitalism, etc.

Abstract concepts are constructed from concrete concepts. This is often done unconsciously. Abstract concepts are regarded a subjective whereas concrete concepts are regarded as objective by DickandJane.
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Old 2nd-May-2010, 01:05 AM   Nothing's time 1st-May-2010, 07:05 PM    #32
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Since ideas exist in a physical realm and have to be physical in concept in order for us to comprehend there existence (since if they were non-physical we apparently could not conceive of them) doesn't the very fact that we can conceive of a "god" prove that if such a god exists he must be physical?
(This is all conjecture on my part based on previously determined logic posted earlier not my personal opinion. I simply make this point to point out several logical problems in this thread.)
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Old 2nd-May-2010, 02:03 AM   Saeros's time 2nd-May-2010, 12:03 PM    #33
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Since ideas exist in a physical realm and have to be physical in concept in order for us to comprehend there existence (since if they were non-physical we apparently could not conceive of them) doesn't the very fact that we can conceive of a "god" prove that if such a god exists he must be physical?
(This is all conjecture on my part based on previously determined logic posted earlier not my personal opinion. I simply make this point to point out several logical problems in this thread.)
The problem with assuming that god, and the soul are physical is that physical things break down; they degrade over time. If god and soul are truly immortal, they would have to consist of something which doesn't break down; that is of something non-physical. In regards to your thoughts about thought, I can imagine a beautiful utopia with rivers of candy, and trees with chocolate fruit, but that doesn't mean that such a place physically exists.
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Old 2nd-May-2010, 04:05 PM   coberst's time 2nd-May-2010, 04:05 PM    #34
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

Examples of concrete concepts: the infant feeling warm and secure while being held following birth; being repelled by foul smelling stuff; the burden of carrying heavy stuff; observing the rise of milk in the measuring cub while watching mother make corn bread; noting that Grandma needs support while walking; getting knowledge while examining a tree.

Examples of abstract concepts: feeling warm when around my best fiend; telling a friend that the movie stinks; the feeling of being weighed down by troubles; the sense that stock prices are too high; I feel good when I support the troops; seeing a distant problem that might result.

Most of our concepts are abstract concepts and they are constructed from our concrete concepts. The more complex, broad, and sophisticated that our life style is the larger, more complex and sophisticated are our abstract concepts. Most of our concepts dealing with freedom, morality, politics, religion, justice, and history are abstract concepts.

Quotes from The Sense of Beauty: Being The Outlines of Aesthetic Theory by George Santayana
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Old 9th-May-2010, 11:23 PM   seigfried's time 9th-May-2010, 05:23 PM    #35
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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Examples of concrete concepts: the infant feeling warm and secure while being held following birth; being repelled by foul smelling stuff; the burden of carrying heavy stuff; observing the rise of milk in the measuring cub while watching mother make corn bread; noting that Grandma needs support while walking; getting knowledge while examining a tree.

Examples of abstract concepts: feeling warm when around my best fiend; telling a friend that the movie stinks; the feeling of being weighed down by troubles; the sense that stock prices are too high; I feel good when I support the troops; seeing a distant problem that might result.

Most of our concepts are abstract concepts and they are constructed from our concrete concepts. The more complex, broad, and sophisticated that our life style is the larger, more complex and sophisticated are our abstract concepts. Most of our concepts dealing with freedom, morality, politics, religion, justice, and history are abstract concepts.

Quotes from The Sense of Beauty: Being The Outlines of Aesthetic Theory by George Santayana
Feeling the warmth of a fire is just as subjective as feeling the "warmth" of being in the presence of friends. Both are self-perceived states of one's body being described by the same adjective. The one is in regards to mechanical heat exchange resulting in sensory perception of warmth (often conceptually associated with security), and the other is a subjective experience of the biological events correlating to comfort and security (conversely associated with warmth) afforded by physical company of a friend.

Perhaps this is a long winded post with little point, but the little point I am attempting to make is that there is no compositional difference between the examples cited for concrete and abstract conceptions. It may merit a difference of some kind that concrete conceptions are seemingly those that have singular, subjective sensory experiences associated with them and abstract conceptions are those based on a great number of relations and stimuli, but the mechanism for self-awareness is the same through all.
Perhaps your post wasn't to make out a difference in the physicality of the two and only to point out the differences in complexity... in which case I retract my analysis on grounds of being redundant.

I also want to mention I have a difficult time submitting qualia to the realm of non-physical, but that may or may not be relevant to the topic at hand.

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The problem with assuming that god, and the soul are physical is that physical things break down; they degrade over time. If god and soul are truly immortal, they would have to consist of something which doesn't break down; that is of something non-physical. In regards to your thoughts about thought, I can imagine a beautiful utopia with rivers of candy, and trees with chocolate fruit, but that doesn't mean that such a place physically exists.
When physical things break down, they break down by physical mechanisms into physical components which still maintains some state of existence. I do, however, propose that an omniscient and/or omnipotent god would seemingly have those qualities contradicted in a physical manifestation that would conceptually be required to abide by the same laws of physics we do.

Also, no conception is based outside of physical reality. All thoughts manifest as composites built of references from perceptual experiences. Candy does exist, as do chocolates in the shape of fruit, rivers, and trees, so it is not hard to comparatively mix and match their qualities. Even the conception of a utopia is built out of individual pleasurable experiences. From a materialistic perspective it might be arguable that each of those individual perceptive experiences of physical things led to a series of unique, referenceable body-states that were later arranged in to a chimera body-state that was self-perceived as the conception of the utopia mentioned.
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Old 10th-May-2010, 12:20 AM   Saeros's time 10th-May-2010, 10:21 AM    #36
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

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When physical things break down, they break down by physical mechanisms into physical components which still maintains some state of existence. I do, however, propose that an omniscient and/or omnipotent god would seemingly have those qualities contradicted in a physical manifestation that would conceptually be required to abide by the same laws of physics we do.
If a table rots, and breaks down into its basic components, is it still a table? if the brain decomposes, is it still capable of producing conscious experience? is it still a brain? If god can break down, just like the brain and the table, would he still be an all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, ultimately benevolent god? How can god be bound by the laws of physics that he supposedly created?

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Also, no conception is based outside of physical reality. All thoughts manifest as composites built of references from perceptual experiences. Candy does exist, as do chocolates in the shape of fruit, rivers, and trees, so it is not hard to comparatively mix and match their qualities. Even the conception of a utopia is built out of individual pleasurable experiences. From a materialistic perspective it might be arguable that each of those individual perceptive experiences of physical things led to a series of unique, referenceable body-states that were later arranged in to a chimera body-state that was self-perceived as the conception of the utopia mentioned.
Yea, i agree. It would be difficult to imagine something that isn't in some way based on my prior experience of the world, even more so to describe it. My point was that just because i've seen chocolate, trees, candy, and fruit, and i have the concept of a utopia, it doesn't mean that my concept of rivers of flowing candy, and chocolate fruit growing in trees, has any actualization in any physical reality. In the same way, just because I can imagine an anthropomorphic god who has all of the power, and knowledge, and is absolutely good, and is everywhere (even though such a physical god would have to have a finite form); all of the things that people typically value, it doesn't mean that he exists.
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Old 10th-May-2010, 01:16 AM   aracaris's time 10th-May-2010, 01:16 AM    #37
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

It's also worth mentioning that not all religions actually do see god(s)/spirits as something truly separate from the physical world, particularly this is the case with the more nature centered religions.

They may also have the concept of there being something divine which transcends physical reality, but it is viewed as something just too foreign to the human experience to really be comprehended.

It's a bit like trying to fathom the idea that there are more dimensions than we actually are experiencing, sure they may exist, but for us to try to really comprehend them, and what they are like would be like a two dimensional being trying to understand what the third dimension is like, it's just far too alien.
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Old 10th-May-2010, 01:34 AM   amorfati's time 9th-May-2010, 07:34 PM    #38
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Default Re: What are non-physical objects.

The only thing I can think of is Mind.
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Old 10th-May-2010, 09:47 PM   seigfried's time 10th-May-2010, 03:47 PM    #39
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If a table rots, and breaks down into its basic components, is it still a table? if the brain decomposes, is it still capable of producing conscious experience? is it still a brain? If god can break down, just like the brain and the table, would he still be an all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, ultimately benevolent god? How can god be bound by the laws of physics that he supposedly created?


Yea, i agree. It would be difficult to imagine something that isn't in some way based on my prior experience of the world, even more so to describe it. My point was that just because i've seen chocolate, trees, candy, and fruit, and i have the concept of a utopia, it doesn't mean that my concept of rivers of flowing candy, and chocolate fruit growing in trees, has any actualization in any physical reality. In the same way, just because I can imagine an anthropomorphic god who has all of the power, and knowledge, and is absolutely good, and is everywhere (even though such a physical god would have to have a finite form); all of the things that people typically value, it doesn't mean that he exists.
You make it a case of personal identity, but that really isn't what I was going for when I spoke of that. I meant more to supplement your statement regarding degradation with the clarification that there is no eventual loss of physical material (withholding mention of theories surrounding black holes and universal expansion), which may be obvious, but could provide interesting grounds to go about describing what exactly the existence of a physical god would be.

Everything else I agree with, and I would like to even reiterate further the apparent contradiction a physical god presents. I like to read the question you posed at the end of the first paragraph as "How can one be what one created?" as I find it presents the same general inquisition in a comically mystifying way. It reminds me of the classic contradiction "Can an all powerful god create a stone that he cannot lift?", which intrinsically represents the same problem with an all-powerful god being physical as your proposition.

I think the simplest way to resolve the problem is to declare god's existence only in the physical world impossible, but it is perhaps hasty. if he were to be physical and still retain his O3 attributes, as mentioned, it would entail that he be not constrained by physical "rules" it would seem. But if you take a moment to look at the dynamic between "rules" and the universe, you realize that it is not the rules that define the universe, but the universe that defines the rules. In this sense, the "rules" of physicality are nothing more than conceptions by means of inductive reasoning, the lack of justification for which has already been uprooted by Hume. It does not seem logically incorrect, or implausible to imagine a physical manifestation that represents the "master cause" in the chain of events we experience in a deterministic life. By this I mean there is a divine physicality somewhere in reality from which all subsequent physical interactions in the universe follow.

I am not a big fan of non-physical as a property, and I think the whole idea is strange. As I said earlier, no conceptions are based outside of reality so it makes the grounds for proposing "some thing" exists outside of the physical world quite rocky. I find that you can at least represent the means by which a non-physical world was conceptualized by a simple X + Y = Z relation in that X is reality, Z is infinity, and Y is the conception of non-physical as infinity minus reality, but even if you find grounds to justify the conception, it still seems silly to make propositions about "things" that are there.

I personally have no investment in this thread's topic, but it is certainly enjoyable to ponder.
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