The Chair

Posted: September 5, 2006 in Theo/Philo


Imagine for a moment that only things which comprise of material exist, nothing else exists, only space time, matter and energy.

Imagine that every phenomenon that has ever been or is to be can be explained by a physical cause and effect, through the application of scientific method. There are no events that cannot have a physical origin, and so all is open to investigation.

Imagine knowing this information gives a unity to your life, everything can potentially, eventually be explained, including your existence and why you are like you are -every detail of your life has explanation potential, down to plank scale.

Imagine knowing that there are other people who are misguided, mistaken and in error all of there lives, 24/7, because they have not understood the truth of there reality, for them matter and energy are not the whole story, they believe in phenomena that defies explanation, they believe in the black box, they believe in explanations and causation which are above the natural, which are super-natural.

Imagine that these Black Box believers are not aware or do not accept that they are infected with a physical entity, that they are hardwired to believe as they do. So even there beliefs have a physical explanation. Its DNA, Its neurology, its molecular.

What would a society in this imaginary world be like?

At the risk of setting up to knock down a straw man, I will boldly go forward to explore unknown worlds like this imaginary one.

Every human being on Earth is made up of nothing but atoms and energy, this fact is common to all and unifies us. But in this imaginary world we see diversity, we see personality. The conveyor belt-based assembly-line factory production produces the same identical product time after time without exception, which is its purpose yet with other physical products like say… Us, we see differences-how do we explain this diversity-within our exclusively physical existence?

If personality is an illusion then it doesn’t exist, how do we explain our differences? If our differences are as a result of physical processes then our choices, our loves and hates are the result of necessity or dumb numb chance. Do we treat the results of our choices in this way? To do so would empty the prisons.

Other problems are yet to be explained, (the scientific method I’m sure will come to the rescue) -such as why in this imaginary world we make a distinction between Humans and other objects?

What, for example, is the reason for treating a chair differently from the way we would treat other people? Apart from the functional characteristics of a chair, which constrain our approach to it as an object, what is the basis for according Humans with so much more value than an object?

Surely our exclusively physical nature provides us with a reason for unity -this unifies people, but if there is only the physical then we are equally unified with all physical objects, if not then we must have a reason to make the distinction, a distinction which does not include the physical, our reality is we are made of atoms, the same atoms that may of once been apart of a chair, so what is the basis of our distinctiveness? but our imaginary world has only the physical?

There are many other problems yet to be explained, -become a scientist-the market demand won’t dry up yet.

If truth is an expression of an exclusively physical entity then  our truth is suspect,it is not  in any way objective,but subject to the tidal  forces that  selection and  random mutations produce.

We have been doing a lot of imagining, of course that’s impossible, we are physical, how can we imagine? How can one physical bit be about another physical bit? What is the physical explanation for numbers, for maths-where do numbers exist physically?

Again we have the problem of our origin, our experience is that nothing can not produce something, an infinite regress will not do -but I know… scientists are working on it


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