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Still Waters

Ghosts in the material world

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John Gray revives the memory of a ghost story to discuss materialism - the theory that only matter exists.

According to a curious, subtle, now largely forgotten writer: "Any event in this world - any human being for that matter - that seems to wear even the faintest cast or warp of strangeness, is apt to leave a disproportionately sharp impression on one's senses."

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-22380449

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Interesting read, though materialism fails to observe the other half of the universe that is present all around us, energy. Without it, we would not be here.

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Interesting read, though materialism fails to observe the other half of the universe that is present all around us, energy. Without it, we would not be here.

That's completely false. We can observe all kinds of known energy. Our eyes observe light. Our ears observe changes in pressure. Our nerves can sense heat and electricity. Those forms of energy that aren't directly perceived by our senses (i.e. radiation) are observed through instruments.

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Materialism..... A dogmatic philosophy? I agree. Honestly I'm not even sure why it's debated anymore. Materialism is no longer a possibility. Whe know to much about the quantum world. There is simply a more fundamental reality than borionic matter. Material is a manifestation of this fundamental reality not the building blocks for it.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting read, though materialism fails to observe the other half of the universe that is present all around us, energy. Without it, we would not be here.

And you fail to comprehend materialism.

Materialism..... A dogmatic philosophy? I agree. Honestly I'm not even sure why it's debated anymore. Materialism is no longer a possibility. Whe know to much about the quantum world. There is simply a more fundamental reality than borionic matter. Material is a manifestation of this fundamental reality not the building blocks for it.

Probably because no one takes your straw men seriously? Edited by Rlyeh

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And you fail to comprehend materialism.

Probably because no one takes your straw men seriously?

Indeed, but you have to admit there are many things we cannot directly observe or experience yet, such as dark matter, dark flow, dark energy (hence the name dark I assume :) which are only inferred by our current understanding of the universe. And our view of it is constantly evolving.

And as for quantum mechanics, we know very little about it. The quantum world is more alien to us than the rest of the universe. IMHO.

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Looks like Murk was the only one who could comprehend my answer.

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Indeed, but you have to admit there are many things we cannot directly observe or experience yet, such as dark matter, dark flow, dark energy (hence the name dark I assume :) which are only inferred by our current understanding of the universe. And our view of it is constantly evolving.

And as for quantum mechanics, we know very little about it. The quantum world is more alien to us than the rest of the universe. IMHO.

And what makes you think materialism ignores this?

Materialism is the view everything is derived from matter and energy.

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And as for quantum mechanics, we know very little about it. The quantum world is more alien to us than the rest of the universe. IMHO.

A lot is known about quantum mechanics. There may be a lot unknown, but that's a different matter. You're right however that it is indeed very alien, which is why you regularly hear quantum physicists saying they don't try and model or describe it with everyday analogies. Our everyday concepts of time, space, matter, causality, etc. tend to break down on the cosmological and subatomic scales.

Anyway, I don't understand this appeal to quantum physics. I see it regularly - quantum physics is weird and mystical therefore [insert fringe theory of choice here] is true. That just doesn't work.

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Indeed, but you have to admit there are many things we cannot directly observe or experience yet, such as dark matter, dark flow, dark energy (hence the name dark I assume :) which are only inferred by our current understanding of the universe. And our view of it is constantly evolving.

Is there any demonstrable link between those things and ghosts? Or are people just latching onto any new areas of science that aren't well understood to try and explain something they otherwise can't explain themselves (e.g. ghosts) even though there is no apparent link between them.

Back in the 19th century, when electricity was the newest greatest thing, it was used to explain everything. Ghosts, psychics, spirit mediums, etc. were all ascribed explanations by shoehorning this marvelous new "electricity" or "electromagnetism" into explanations. Because it was new and not very well understood by lay people, it was a convenient way of making something sound scientific. The same with quantum physics these days.

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I guess I'm not a materialist because I have seen a ghost and it wasn't my imagination and I believe others have seen them. Not that I believe every story that I hear.

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Quite arrogant for mankind to think they've even scratched the surface to understanding the universe and all its layers.

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