Beyond materialism

Within this website I explore whether there is a spiritual realm, a supernatural realm, containing God, mind, souls, consciousness with its contents (ideas, emotions, love, reason, etc) — this, from a purely philosophical and unreligious point of view.
In this article, I first assume there is a spiritual realm so as to explore the implications; then I present my conclusions elsewhere.

Six aspects to philosophy:

  1. Science is part of philosophy
  2. Philosophy is performed by conscious minds
  3. What is philosophy?
  4. Philosophy must integrate with modern science
  5. Pure philosophy
  6. Scope of pure philosophy

Science is part of philosophy

I find this following understanding to be useful:

  1. Science is part of philosophy, and is founded on philosophy (for example, the scientific method and epistemology).
  2. It's called science when you have better information obtained by observation and experiments.
  3. It's called philosophy when hypothesizing with incomplete information.

Wild speculative hypothetical conjectures (such as a multiple universe multiverse) are philosophy, not science.

The rejection of God is philosophy, but based on very many scientific observations yielding no evidence that God exists. If God exists, there would be provable interactions in the physical universe; but such things are not present. Religious claims are provably false; miracles have never been proven; philosophical conceptions of God can't explain the fact of suffering of conscious creatures.

Philosophy is performed by conscious minds

I postulate both a physical realm and a spiritual realm having these characteristics:

  1. the physical realm: explained by materialistic physicalist atheistic science.
  2. the spiritual realm: contains God, mind, souls, consciousness and its contents.

I consider consciousness with its contents (ideas, reason, mind, feelings, love, God, etc) as outside of the physical realm (mind-body dualism). And therefore, philosophy (and science) resides in the spiritual realm, in the mind.

What is philosophy?

There are only two fields of study, two categories:

  1. Science: the study of the physical realm. You use the scientific method with repeatable experiments to gain knowledge.
  2. Philosophy: the study of everything else (which is to say, the spiritual realm). Philosophy encompasses all of the social sciences, consciousness, God, love, emotion, souls, and etc. Philosophy includes the study of knowledge; this means: you use philosophy to do science.

Notice that science requires philosophy as its foundation. Science is part of philosophy.

Doing philosophy is mental and spiritual, not physical (but the brain participates).

Philosophy must integrate with modern science

I object to historical approaches to philosophy which are unaware of modern science, or which attempt to relegate the physical realm to mere ideas and such.

I accept science when limited to studying its proper domain (the physical realm).

Any interactions of the mind with the physical realm must be explained via an interface between the physical realm and the physical realm. Merely declaring that a chair receives its "chairness" from the realm of forms (for example) is not sufficient. Ditto for claiming that physical objects contain their forms embedded within them.

The physical realm exists apart from our conscious experience of it. And therefore, there is two-way interaction (communication) between the soul and the brain:

  1. Body to soul: Sense perception. The soul reads: (1) the electric flows of the neural network of the brain, and/or (2) the information imprinted upon the microtubules of certain neurons or within the topology of the web of connections of neurons. The soul then generates consciousness based on that content.
  2. Soul to body: The soul triggers wave function collapse, triggering action and behavior.

Pure philosophy

That is to say, consideration of the spiritual realm and its contents. Such topics as:

  1. Ideas
  2. Morality
  3. Logic and mathematics
  4. Understanding truth, knowledge, belief
  5. Is there a God?

Scope of pure philosophy

This section considers non-science as philosophy, that is to say, the philosophy about pure ideas having no connection with the physical realm:

Philosophy can demonstrate that certain ideas are false, and can provide useful information about which ideas might be true. Also, it can shed light on how to distinguish truth from mere belief.

Certain topics can only be explored via philosophy (not science), such as: (1) whether there is a God, and (2) how to derive morality without religion.

Beyond this, some philosophical systems by various historical philosophers seemingly blend together the physical realm with the spiritual realm, seemingly considering physicality as philosophical in nature. But philosophy resides in the spiritual realm, in the mind, apart from the physical realm. The physical realm grounds reality.

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Much of Christian doctrine is based on the philosophy of Aristotle and Plato and others, reinterpreted by Augustine and Aquinas (most Christians don't realize this fact). Therefore these Christian doctrines are not to be trusted; they are theology, not philosophy. Theology is useless or worse; it is based on information revealed by religion.