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September 04, 2011


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"Materialists actually are the true monists, because they hold that everything in existence is formed of the same substance."

But what is this fundamental substance that materialists believe in?

Is it matter? is it energy? or is there both matter and energy (duality)? or is there matter and energy and emptiness (triality)?

George, good questions.

When I wrote this post, initially I was going to say something further in the second paragraph. But the night was late, my brain wasn't caffeinated, and I couldn't figure out how to describe the sole substance that the world is made of.

Matter. Energy. Matter/energy (most accurate, probably). Quantum fields (since there is no such thing as a perfect vacuum, as quantum effects persist in "nothingness," this argues against your triality).

I don't know if the word is as important as the idea. Whatever we call that foundational substance, likely it is One Thing, not a dualist Two Things.

Would the definition of a materialist be a person attached to aquiring things that add status?

... add 'energy-driven matter' or just 'matter.'

Its a thought-provoking post and its good you put it out there, but i question the fundamentals of what reality is assumed to consist of.

I'm not sure we have actually solved this problem. Quantum fields are all well and good but what causes such potentialities. And if there were just one substance why does it manifest itself in so many different way such as matter, energy, force, fields, nothingness, etc?

What causes this one substance to differentiate or change into different forms? We seem to live in a dynamic universe in which things are always changing, what is the cause or agent or law that determines this change and is it different from the one subtastance materialists supposedly believe in?

Back to the more concrete, what is dark energy if its prescence or mass cannot be sensed? Might it be a different substance from normal energy. Are all elemental particles, merely concentrated energy points of a quantum field?

I'm not convinced this is clear at all.

If the quantum field theory is correct and fluctations occur with virtual particles creating and annihilating, why after the big bang did some of these particles not get annihilated (creating everything)? Why imperfect annihilation, and does this mean heisenberg's uncertainty principle and dirac's equation are not obeyed?

On a deeper level, its difficult to understand how one can go from the quantum world of indeterminacy, which evolves over time to result in our deterministic world governed by causal laws of physics. I suppose entropy and gravity can be roped in, but if things are fundamental certain, there sure should be no semblance of order, and yet this is precisely what most of the laws of physics are based on, predictability and certainty.

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