posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 05:35 AM
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.