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Thread: Do the laws of the universe exist under materialism?

  1. #21
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    I believe the question in the OP is whether or not the physical laws have some sort of independent existence from the materialistic world in which they are found. As if the world were designed using such pre-existing laws. If that were true, then the laws exist in and of themselves, but it isn't true, and the laws don't self exist, at least there is no evidence or reason to believe so, they are simply human terms descriptive of the nature of the materialistic world.
    If you follow my posts and the concepts of Natural Laws determined by science are simply human descriptions of the Laws of the Universe, which indeed self exist indifferent to human philosophy and theology.

    I hope this clarifies my position.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-07-2017 at 06:38 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

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  2. #22
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    If you follow my posts and the concepts of Natural Laws determined by science are simply human descriptions of the Laws of the Universe, which indeed self exist indifferent to human philosophy and theology.

    I hope this clarifies my position.
    Yes, but there are laws and there are laws, there are extrinsic laws which exist apart from that which is subject to them, such as are human laws, and there are intrinsic laws which simply define the nature of the subject itself. I think that the OP is asking if physical laws are somehow extrinsic, existing in their own right, separate from matter. His insinuation being, I believe, that the material world was designed according to pre-existing laws.

  3. #23
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Yes, but there are laws and there are laws, there are extrinsic laws which exist apart from that which is subject to them, such as are human laws, and there are intrinsic laws which simply define the nature of the subject itself. I think that the OP is asking if physical laws are somehow extrinsic, existing in their own right, separate from matter. His insinuation being, I believe, that the material world was designed according to pre-existing laws.
    First, the Laws of Nature that have evolved through the falsification of theories and hypothesis by the Philosophy of Methodological Naturalism do not 'define' the nature of objects nor the ultimate Laws of our physical existence. They are 'descriptive' as is the math that is used in the tool box of science. I believe the actual ultimate Laws of our physical existence exist in their own right as does the eternal nature of our physical existence. This, I believe, would be true regardless of whether God exists or not.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-07-2017 at 07:50 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    Yes the laws of the universe exist under materialism; there is no logically coherent alternative to materialism.
    Nonsense. Some of materialism's implications are incredibly problematic. Just as one example, in philosophy of mind, materialism really doesn't explain qualia particularly well.

  5. #25
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psstein View Post
    Nonsense. Some of materialism's implications are incredibly problematic.
    The OP concerns the laws of the natural universe. And the natural universe is material, not immaterial. Hence, there is no logically coherent alternative to materialism.

    Just as one example, in philosophy of mind, materialism really doesn't explain qualia particularly well.
    It does. Qualia refer to subjective, conscious experience and this can be measured in terms of the natural activity of the material brain. You are the behaviors and knowledge generated by your brain, and you cannot be separated from that.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  6. #26
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psstein View Post
    Nonsense. Some of materialism's implications are incredibly problematic. Just as one example, in philosophy of mind, materialism really doesn't explain qualia particularly well.
    As with grmorton's and Leonard's assertions, this view is a classic 'argument from ignorance' to justify a Theist agenda. The statement 'materialism really doesn't explain qualia particularly well.' is extremely problematic based on anecdotal perceptions hypothetically limiting the ability of science now and in the future to understand the mind - brain relationship. Considering the philosophy of the mind is nice, but it is not science.

    The facts are that science has made significant advances in explaining the brain-mind relationship, and there is no reason that they will not continue to make advances in the future.

    The bottom line is there is absolutely no objective verifiable evidence for the existence of the soul nor any other source of the mind, consciousness nor qualia than the brain itself.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-08-2017 at 05:29 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  7. #27
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psstein View Post
    Nonsense. Some of materialism's implications are incredibly problematic. Just as one example, in philosophy of mind, materialism really doesn't explain qualia particularly well.
    I don't understand this statement. Your brain is physically altered by experiences. That should more than account for qualia.
    I'm not here anymore.

  8. Amen shunyadragon amen'd this post.
  9. #28
    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
    And if they do, how? Are they some material substance? I don't really see how they can exist under a materialist paradigm.
    Others have already said as much, but I'll throw in my two cents, here.

    The phrase "laws of the universe" refers to human-language descriptions of observed behaviors within the universe. So, these descriptions don't have physical existence (beyond the physical configurations of the brains conceiving them, if mind-body duality is not true). However, if you are asking whether the behaviors which they describe exist, that seems patently obvious. For example, in this case, to ask if Gravity exists is akin to asking if massive bodies are actually attracted to one another in the real world. The answer to that seems to be "yes."

    Quote Originally Posted by psstein View Post
    The physical laws do independently exist, just like mathematics exists in some sort of Platonic sense. The mathematical description of these laws doesn't exist independent of mind, because they're based on inferences from physical events.
    I'm not sure I understand you, here. If the physical laws exist independently in a Platonic sense, then they do exist independently of mind. If you are a Platonist, and mathematics exists in such a sense, then the mathematical descriptions of physical laws exist in such a sense.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every hidden truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

  10. Amen JimL, shunyadragon amen'd this post.
  11. #29
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    First, the Laws of Nature that have evolved through the falsification of theories and hypothesis by the Philosophy of Methodological Naturalism do not 'define' the nature of objects nor the ultimate Laws of our physical existence. They are 'descriptive' as is the math that is used in the tool box of science. I believe the actual ultimate Laws of our physical existence exist in their own right as does the eternal nature of our physical existence. This, I believe, would be true regardless of whether God exists or not.
    Well, first of all the laws do not evolve, what we call laws are found, but if you believe that the material world is eternal, and that the laws are descriptive of that world then the laws are nothing more than human language, made up terms, to describe the regularities found in that world. You may be saying somewhat the same thing, I'm just not sure. Do you mean to say that the laws would exist even if the world they describe didn't exist?

  12. #30
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Well, first of all the laws do not evolve, what we call laws are found, but if you believe that the material world is eternal, and that the laws are descriptive of that world then the laws are nothing more than human language, made up terms, to describe the regularities found in that world. You may be saying somewhat the same thing, I'm just not sure. Do you mean to say that the laws would exist even if the world they describe didn't exist?
    First, by meaning 'evolved' refers to changes in the human scientific Laws of Nature, and the Theories of science, which are not the same today as they were in times of Newton. Over time the scientific Laws of Nature become more accurate approximations of the ultimate Laws of Nature.

    Yes, the ultimate Laws of Nature would exist regardless of whether or not what they describe exists or not. I do believe our physical existence is eternal and has always existed as well as the ultimate Laws of Nature.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-09-2017 at 10:30 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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