What it is to be a Substance? and What it is to Exist? We need to establish knowledge about the man on a firm basis and the information it provides must be tested for its accuracy and consistency with an external reality. We have to make the fundamental distinction between the living and the non-living matter. The scientific advances of the 19th and 20th centuries reinforced the materialistic position concerning the basic similarity of organic living and inorganic physical matter. The man is viewed as a product of natural evolution and is thought to be subject to the same laws of Physics and Chemistry or mechanistic principles.
We need a methodology to study philosophy and to understand philosophical statements. Logical Positivism, also known as Scientific Empiricism aims to clarify concepts in both everyday and scientific language. It describes analysis of language as the function of philosophy. This analysis of language and of concepts is important to understand questions of belief and ideology which affect what we think we ought to do individually and socially. I would use this method of ‘Applied Philosophy’ to analyze the philosophical doctrine of ‘Materialism’ and to study the views and philosophy of Baruch Spinoza and his efforts to interpret human nature and human existence.
Matter is an actual substance that has properties such as mass or weight, and occupies space. Matter has other attributes like motion, size, shape, and a form by which it may be recognized.
Materialism is defined as a system of thought that explains the nature of the world as entirely dependent on “matter” the final reality. Materialism as a philosophical doctrine deals with matter as the only reality and that everything in the world, including thought, will, and feeling can be explained only in terms of matter.
Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza, Dutch philosopher taught that there is but one infinite substance, God or Nature, having infinite attributes of which only thought and extension are knowable. He was excommunicated from his Jewish community.
Spinoza held that mind and body as merely different aspects of a single substance. In his view, God is Nature in its fullness. The Matter is immutable or indestructible, and Spinoza explained the indestructibility of matter is established by the uncreated and eternal nature of God. “By Body”, Spinoza writes, “I understand a mode which expresses in a certain and determinate manner the essence of God in so far as He is considered as the thing extended.”
This philosophical doctrine of Materialism is used in modern times to explain that comfort, pleasure, and wealth are the only goals or values of human life and human existence. The idea of materialism is used to contrast it with the spiritual, or intellectual goals, or values of human life.
In my view, man will not be able to define his purpose in life if there is a separation of matter and spirit. Man is a physical being with matter and form. To define the goals, or values of human life, man must understand what it is to be a substance and what it is to exist. If matter and spirit are separated, and if there is no unity between matter and spirit, human life would be simply impossible. The word or term ‘Spirit’ is associated with characteristics such as immutable, immortal, immovable, imperishable, indestructible, immaterial, eternal, and unchanging, or constant nature of a substance which withstands the influence of time.
If God is uncreated and is eternal, Spirit is a natural extension of God’s nature and shares the same attributes. To recognize the spiritual potential of a substance, we have to understand the nature of matter.
THE LAWS OF CONSERVATION – “LIFE IS NEITHER CREATED NOR DESTROYED”:
If materialism is about the influence of material wealth, I would like to use the Power/Force/Energy called Money to talk about Life and Death. The Laws of Conservation are applicable to both living, and non-living matter. Hence, if matter can neither be created nor destroyed, it can be stated that “Life can neither be created nor destroyed.” If any person can refute my claim using valid, scientific information, I would give the person a US $1,000 bill as a reward.
THE LAWS OF CONSERVATION OF MATTER:
Chemical elements are the fundamental materials of which all matter is composed. There are about 107 known chemical elements. Chemical elements can combine with one another to form a wide variety of more complex substances called compounds. The number of possible compounds is infinite; perhaps a million chemical compounds are known.
When two or more elements combine to form a compound, they lose their separate identities and the product has characteristics quite different from those of the constituent elements. The gaseous elements hydrogen and oxygen with quite different properties can combine to form the compound water which has altogether different properties from either hydrogen or oxygen. Most of the naturally occurring matter represents physical mixtures of compounds.
The indestructibility of matter was explained by Lavoisier as the Law of Conservation. “We may lay it down as an incontestible axiom,” Lavoisier writes, “that in all the operations of art and nature, nothing is created; an equal quantity of matter exists both before and after the experiment.” What appears to be the destruction of a body is merely the transformation of its matter into another physical condition, without loss of mass unless there is an equivalent gain in energy. The total quantity of matter and energy remains constant throughout all physical changes. Material substances undergo changes when they interact with other material substances, but this “change” cannot be described as the permanent reality. The permanent reality describes the unchanging, or constant nature of chemical elements and molecules in spite of their tendency to interact with other elements and molecules.
The Laws of Conservation are any of the several principles applied in Physics and Chemistry that state that certain properties of an isolated system remain constant with time. Each Law signifies that the nature of a substance or thing that does not change with the passage of time.
However, it must be noted that change is the pervasive phenomenon of the natural world. It is said that “Things in Nature Change with Time.” Although matter may change its form, or shape under the influence of time, its mass always remains the same. The Law of Conservation of Mass implies that matter can be neither created nor destroyed, that is, processes that change the physical, or chemical properties of substances within an isolated system leave the total mass unchanged. Similarly, The Law of Conservation of Energy implies that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, although it can be changed from one form (mechanical, kinetic, chemical, etc.,) into another form such as heat, or the energy consumed in the performance of work. In an isolated system, the sum of all forms of energy, therefore, remains constant. Every conservation law concerns a collection of two, or more objects, isolated from external influence, for which some physical quantity remains unchanged in time, or is conserved, quite apart from the details of what goes on between the interacting particles within the system. An important function of conservation laws is that they make it possible to predict the macroscopic behavior of a system without having to consider the microscopic details of the course of a physical process or chemical reaction. The fundamental character of these conservation laws is evident in the fact that each law may be deduced from or related to a symmetry property of space and time. The symmetry property of space and time determines the periodic frequency with which a natural change occurs while the nature or properties of things is conserved to allow the change to repeat itself in an expected manner.
SPIRIT-UNCHANGING NATURE IN A CHANGING WORLD:
Natural Science, and Natural History is about the natural phenomenon called change. The systematized knowledge of Biological Sciences provide us with information about extinction which is the most common phenomenon in planet Earth’s Natural History. Earth has witnessed several major, and minor episodes called extinction during which certain life forms got wiped out.
While extinction is driven by climate change and its associated environmental change, life continues to exist on Earth without any apparent change in the chemical composition of living matter. Extinction involves the loss of forms and it does not involve a change in the nature of the corporeal substance that has the potential called Life and is known as Living Matter. In other words, it may be stated that if a change is observed in the natural world, it is always supported by an underlying, unchanging principle. While living things are born and die at the end of their lifetime, the matter or the corporeal substance which has the potential to establish Life remains unchanged and its nature is conserved and is not affected by time.
Under the influence of the cyclical flow of time, individual, living things are born and are dying while the Principle of Conservation maintains the unchanging nature of things that constitute Life or Living Matter. Life is established by a vital, animating principle called Spirit; the presence of Spirit can be related to the unchanging or immutable nature of Matter that gets the nature called Eternal, or Immortal, or Imperishable or Indestructible that overcomes the limitations imposed by Time and Space.
The Magic of Creation involves the use of a design, or plan to introduce the abilities such as thought, will, feelings, and cognition into the matter that reveals their presence or absence while passing through stages like Life and Death. The same chemical elements, chemical compounds, and chemical reactions operate in the state called living and death and both are maintained by the same unchanging nature of Matter and Spirit.
In my opinion, it may not be correct to regard Spirit as separate from Matter. It will not be correct to separate man into a physical body or matter, thinking substance or mind, and an immaterial substance called Spirit. There is no human existence if there is disunity or separation of Matter, Spirit, the Body, and the Mind. The uncreated, Eternal, Spiritual nature of God that is shared by Spirit and Matter would lead us to claim: “Life can neither be created nor destroyed.”
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Wholemagic
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Newton
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Tyndall Effect
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Baeyer
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Munsell
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Chlorophyll
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Ives
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Red Blood Cell
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Photoperiodism
- Wholedude – Whole Designer – Phytochemistry