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How do we define the physical?

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posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 05:35 AM
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One of the key problems encountered in modern philosophy when discussing the idea of Materialism (or the closely related Physicalism) is defining exactly what is meant by the word "physical". What connotations does the word "physical" carry? Solid, concrete, touchable, observable etc. are just some of terms you could think of. To put it simply, we could say the physical represents what we can both see and touch.

But this definition is limited: there is a difference between what we can see with the naked eye and what we can see with microscopes and telescopes for example. If before the inventions of the microscope there was no observable way to confirm the existence of things such as microbes, what other phenomena are we missing out on observing without more advanced technology?

What of other measurable phenomena such as oxygen, light and the wind? Are these things physical in the same sense as, say, a tennis ball? No, they are not, yet science still acknowledges that they exist, despite their seemingly lacking "physical" properties. So why is it then that a scientist using a barometer is more trustworthy than a ghost investigator using an EVP device?

It seems the definition of the physical is elastic and open to interpretation in many ways. Materialists might be correct in the sense that everything has a physical basis for existing (after all, can NOTHING truly exist?), but they ought to be more open-minded in their approach to considering less understood concepts such as metaphysics and the paranormal. Just because we do not fully understand something does not mean it does not exist.




posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:07 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Well, physics is like building with Legos. A little stone after another, each a bit of ideas + curiosity + experiments = another step upwards in physics.

Or could anyone rebuild the LHC just to recreate the measurements necessary to confirm the Higgs-boson?


Equally for the paranormal. It shouldn't start with "talking to gods/playing cards with ghosts/exploring the nth dimension". It should start with small steps.

But what would be a small step?

Towards the LHC, it were things like fogchambers, showing early nuclear physicists the travellines of particles.


Seriously, I have no idea what could be a first step to verify the paranormal. We do not have a kind of measurement for the difficulty of paranormal activities. What if I said "just show me a person capable of seeing through cards" and that would be the most difficult paranormal thing, because reasons?



posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 07:53 AM
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How do we define the physical?

My favorite physical exam…

Hubble Space Telescope "deep field" image

Look again, zoom in. Almost all of the specks of light in this image are galaxies. Every time you get to questioning whats real or not pinch yourself with a Hubble.
edit on 3-8-2015 by intrptr because: spellng



posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 08:07 AM
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We do not define a thing. Defining is contrary to truth. The gods made heavy metal. Comma.



posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 08:23 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost
I would say that the 'physical' world is what is appearing - even the space that appears to be between apparent things.
The 'spirit' world is what is not appearing - it is what is seeing/knowing that which appears.



posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: ManFromEurope

I agree. A science field dealing with understanding synchronicity should be started and how it relates to quantum physics (double slit experiment). Using people who can create high level synchronicity and physically on a quantum level see what happens in the body to get how synchronicity and quantum physics is connected.

In quantum physics entanglement is a wormhole like phenomena. Just like Telepathy is a wormhole like phenomena. Information being allowed to rise to the surface of consciousness.

If/When we can measure synchronicity level we will be able to know how precise a psychic is. Some spiritual people do not like this since it will be exact and the objective truth on how the ability really work and on what level.

And no we are not all on the same level. I am not able to do some things with my third eye as other can. And if I want that ability I will have to learn it in some way or another.
. I have had empaths around me. Amazing ability and very beautiful souls. I am not an empath who take in those frequencies.

Seems we have some who can use the third eye for other things

W.U.N.V. Broadcasting:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

edit on 3-8-2015 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 09:44 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Definitive definition of physical: Anything that moves
Many will shout, "But a mountain doesn't move!"
Yes it does, it is make of atoms and even smaller things and they move.
edit on 3-8-2015 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

Just a note: materialism and physicalism is metaphysics. They are statements on the nature of being. Using the term metaphysics to describe the spiritual or paranormal is not the way the term is used in philosophy.

"Matter" and "Physical" are very problematic and ill-defined terms. To me, the terms are so diluted as to be nearly meaningless. The once popular idea of substance is no different than essence and spirit. But I think if we avoid monism or dualism, we can retain some of their use, and use "physical" or "matter" to describe that which can be measured, pointed at, observed etc.. We can even go so far as to say "physical" is anything which exists, and "non-physical" is anything that doesn't.

Myself, I've abandoned materialism, physicalism and monism as a metaphysics, and at present, adhere to a sort of pluralism. There are many ways and kinds of being instead of just one or two.



posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 11:20 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

What I meant to say is that hard-line materialists should be more open-minded when contemplating OTHER less explored metaphysical subjects such as the paranormal or spiritual. (It was too late for an edit when I realised the mistake.)

Therefore, I disagree with you that these topics should not be included under the umbrella of metaphysics. (Cue Religion vs. Spirituality debate and whether there is a difference or not).

If one believes that there is a separation between religious belief and spirituality, as I personally do, then it can be argued that both the paranormal and spiritual can, at times, be included in the realm of metaphysical discussion as they both deal with the nature of reality in many regards.



posted on Aug, 4 2015 @ 09:30 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost



Therefore, I disagree with you that these topics should not be included under the umbrella of metaphysics. (Cue Religion vs. Spirituality debate and whether there is a difference or not).

If one believes that there is a separation between religious belief and spirituality, as I personally do, then it can be argued that both the paranormal and spiritual can, at times, be included in the realm of metaphysical discussion as they both deal with the nature of reality in many regards.


That's the beauty of it, they already are included under the umbrella of metaphysics as long as they are about the nature of being, ie. that being is physical, that being is spiritual, that it is mental, that there is something rather than nothing or vice versa, etc.

Materialism (called physicalism nowadays) is indeed the prevailing metaphysics, since it is utilized by science, but it is still problematic from a philosophical standpoint.



posted on Aug, 4 2015 @ 11:11 AM
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The physical universe is the 26-dimensional space-time continuum predicted by quantum mechanics. It contains matter and forces that are E8xE8' heterotic superstrings and exist in 11-dimensional space-time. It is composed of two fundamental types of matter: ordinary matter, made up of E8'-singlet states confined to one space-time sheet, and shadow matter, which is composed of E8-singlet states confined to another space-time sheet separated from the first sheet by a gap along the 10th spatial dimension. This matter is invisible and interacts only gravitationally with the former. What has been called "dark matter" is mostly composed of the latter. Both constitute "physical matter." It is the focus of ordinary science, which fools itself that there is nothing more to study...

The 84 levels of consciousness beyond physical consciousness are superphysical realities. The lowest levels are composed of innately unstable, idio-plastic kinds of matter created by the conscious and unconscious imagination. It is the domain of the psychic. Superphysical matter responds to - and can be manipulated by - the will and imagination. The higher levels transcend subject/object duality and are ineffable. The physical universe underpins a consensus reality; the superphysical worlds are reflections of different levels of the soul and so are wholly subjective to a large extent. Travel in the physical universe is restricted by space and time, over which humans for now have only a little power. Passage in the higher realms is determined by the level of evolution of the soul, over which humans retain 100% control, although only a few consciously exercize it at present. Travel is achieved by the power of thought, rather than by technology or muscle power, because, unlike stars or galaxies, the superphysical worlds are not separated by space.
edit on 4-8-2015 by micpsi because: Typo corrected.



posted on Aug, 5 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: micpsi
Very interesting information, do you have any links for those of us whose interest you have piqued?



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