III. Materialism, Existentialism and Metaphysics
"Everything happens for a reason! Nothing stays unchanged forever."
Common sense observation
Questions that will be considered:
A random creation of universe?
How important are our perceptions of reality?
What is the relation between knowledge and truth?
Each of these three schools of thought Materialism, existentialism, and metaphysics, deal with our perception of reality. To put them in the same chapter is a challenge I may not be able to fully meet. But the temptation to solve the differences between them by adding the "accident" as their common denominator is too tempting not to try. It all comes down to an action and its effects, both in material and spiritual form. When a force overcomes resistance, a safely conserved energy suddenly is turned loose and acts randomly against its vicinity. In popular terms, this is translated as what goes up, must come down. That is Effectology in a nutshell.
I believe it is a good idea to begin solving any complicated matter by trying to write down its definition first. It simply keeps the subject on the right track and it serves as the basis for further clarification.
MATERIALISM is the theory that everything comes from "matter." The word "maternal" says it: it is the source of creation. It deals with tangible things that can be measured, most of them dating before and after our investigation.
Materialism originates from the Greek "atomism," with its many theories regarding the infinite number of atoms. It meant: to know as far as the matter was concerned. Accidental collision between atoms rearranges them in new molecular shapes and sizes, forming the basic four elements: air, water, fire and earth, all solid matter. I believe that the ideal shape of matter is the sphere: the atom, our globe, the planets, the celestial body of the universe; and yes, the egg, or any seed that originates life, is round. The line of the horizon, the wheel and the motion of a clock's arms are also round, and because of this they can turn forever.
Any motion inside of a sphere also has a round and safe direction. Anything that is outside these spherical parametric dimensions is chaos formed of randomly existing things waiting for something to happen. Most likely, they have the tendency to attract each other in order to achieve more stability. Material things come from matter without a soul or spirit, angel or devil. All matter has energy stored in it and is waiting for an accident to release it, and to move things around.
Because nothing is more material than the nature of the universe, I shall apply some Effectological points of view to its accidental creation and its endless effects, many affecting us directly. In the cosmos, an agglomeration of large scattered matter creates bodies, which have various forms of energy, mainly gravitational. This effect gives those bodies increased traveling speed in space. Sooner or later that speed will cause a crash with a similar body, which also travels at random until the two stellar objects fall into each other's field of gravity. Their crush is an inevitable accident, and takes the form of an explosion. Apparently, multi-galactic collisions fuel cluster and supernova explosions that end up as cosmic winds. These winds are powerful enough to create planetary movement inside spiral and elliptic galaxies.
In spite of these immeasurable explosions, ninety percent of the universe is made of dark matter. We do not know exactly what the dark matter is, because most of it we cannot detect. But it seems to be the foundation on which all galaxies rest. It is the needed spatial insulation between planets, and it contains cosmic explosions. In order for cosmic matter to remain in balance, an "anti-matter," which some call "light matter," must exist to provide equilibrium. Our Earthly atmosphere exists in perpetuity, because clouds charged with positive and negative electrical charges periodically collide and neutralize one another's energies.
The same phenomenon must happen in space on a cosmic scale, where the clash between "dark" and "light" matters produces giant explosions (of some five million degrees Celsius), such as the Big Bang and supernovas. Each galaxy experiences some 100 million supernovas; the Milky Way experiences one each century. The release of immeasurable energy has equally immense effects, creating cosmic dust full of carbon, helium, hydrogen and oxygen, which are the basic elements of our planet. There is no doubt that all 3,000 stars we see on a clear night are real and material.
To think in materialistic terms, one must accept the presence of the universe and initial creation. The first philosophers and astronomers detected how much the Bible left out of the material world, and thousands of them began an inexhaustible search for the truth about the creation of the universe.
This entire speculation is wide open to Effectological questions. Was it a moving accident that first stirred a passive matter, or was it an effect of another accident that disturbed the initial calm universe 14 billion years ago? Was it the accident of a vanishing universe that created ours, or was it a birth-like accident that created our new universe? Is the cosmos highly regulated, or is it a junk-yard full of stardust debris that turns into fireballs and cools off in the shape of planets? Probably Emperor Marcus Aurelius thought about the same questions when he wrote in his Meditations, "All things come from thence, from universal ruling power either directly proceeding or by way of sequence." Later on, at a verifiable level, many scientists focused on the materialistic aspect of these questions.
Johannes Kepler (15711630) introduced to astronomy the concept of the Sun providing the source of motion for the planetary system to move around it. He called the entire arrangement of the planets a "heavenly machine," and he understood the utmost importance of gravity in space an on earth.
Materialistically speaking, all of these forces are so tightly dependent on each other that they create a tug of war in the sky, generating a "power" that induces an effect in the inner or outer world. Any collision of these powers results in accidents that produce energy, which needs to be released and settled into the surrounding matter.
Rudjer Boscovich (17111787) considered dynamism as the main force in regulating matter and making changes in nature. Obviously, dynamism relates to unstable physical forces that are fighting against each other, producing accidents at all levels, even at the universal level.
I am not a cosmologist or a scientist by any stretch of imagination, but from the data Effectology provides, I deduce four versions of how the universe was formed:
1. If the universe has always been here, this implies that is was made by a Creator. If that Creator is God, once in a while He must correct all cosmic accidents, which seem to periodically disrupt the perfect balance of material things in space.
2. If the universe was created out of dark matter or any other matter, then God was created at the same time with the Big Bang, the accident of all accidents. The effect of that violent accident was the unleashing of the cosmic energy needed to form the first galaxies and to create electromagnetism, producing gravity and heat. While gravity holds the huge conglomeration of starts together, it also causes galaxies to collide, and only their heat radiation keeps them apart.
The law of eternal return, "what goes around come around," works faultlessly in universe. Since the Big Bang, cosmic winds produced numerous black holes, voids with apparently no matter inside them. If the entire universe is water in a sink, and a black hole is the empty pipe underneath, then the whirlpool created by the suction of drainage, is the movement of all galaxies in universe. Eventually, they will all be sucked into an unknown universe.
Using our terrestrial comparison, galaxies serve the role of communities in universe, solar systems that of the families, while planets count for their population. Science has discovered more than a million galaxies, and our Milky Way has some one hundred billion suns. These staggering numbers are enough proof to think in materialistic terms.
3. If the universe is still in uncontrolled turmoil dictated only by random collisions, then the universe is expanding. Everything in the infinite space is created because of accidents, and their evolutionary effects tend to add dimension to the entire universe.
4. It is irrelevant if the accidental forces of "chaos" preceded the Big Bang triggering the universal blow up, or the Big Bang created chaos in cosmos. What is important is that out of the chaotic infinite movements, something began to take shape as an effect of the colliding forces and their effects. After that, dark, light and grey matter provided the recyclable energies. That ignited and maintained chaotic accidents needed to establish an inside and outside balance of any object in space.
The chaotic movements of infinitesimal objects were in fact the causal powers that created complex physical and chemical combinations, giving birth to new constructive properties of the pre-existing matter. Their effects were immensely instrumental in the creation of so many universal phenomena we keep discovering today. How this happened remains a mystery. What I can speculate is that without chaos, nothing would have been created, and order could not have been established at any level of existence.
Effectologically speaking, there must be some order in chaos. Probably the entire chaos is the sum of all objects of a limited order floating around and looking for their place in the jig puzzle to fit in the universal arrangement. Accidents that occur in that chaotic process provide the needed actions to establish a temporary order. Their effect is a "random order" we see around us. It gives the chaos a chance to serve a purpose and materialize in something meaningful. It is the world we know.
The Effectological conclusion is that any cosmic collision is an accident of chaotically arranged objects. The clash of energies forces heavier objects to absorb the energy of smaller ones and incorporate them. The exchange of energies of cosmic debris results in the creation of new stars, new constellations, and new galaxies.
While science investigates huge mysteries by using powerful exploratory tools and sophisticated mathematical formulas, philosophy uses logical investigation to define life. Materialism focuses exclusively on the physical properties of the world. This includes time and space, in which an object moves and produces effects on the other objects.
Once again, universal matter supports any form of materialism, including its theoretical aspects. One of these is that, in nature, random forces create collisions whose effects defy the previous arrangements. Nothing stays the same and predictable, because Mother Nature provides constant changes. The Earth's landscape was shaped by volcanoes, which created mountains, islands, and oceans. It was also shaped by the end of Ice Age accidents, when icebergs plowed their way from the mountains to the seas, leaving valleys, rivers, and flatlands behind them.
I call these sudden happenings "accidents" that are totally independent of our will or control. I call "effects" all the transformations resulting from these changes.
The Effectological formula of Matter is:
Chaos × Gravity ÷ Accidents
Modern science says that each day another Big Bang takes place in the universe, sending gamma rays to Earth. This would mean that exploding thermonuclear suns must be a vast distance from us, since we are not affected by this constant turmoil. Violent accidents of incomprehensible magnitude pulverize planets and stars, only to create others. These processes of doing and undoing create changes that we can hardly detect millions of light-years away.
Ancient philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and even the Stoics believed in the natural cycles of life and in the "eternal return" theory. It means that all things in the universe experience many changes, but they will return to their initial states. This "recycling" theory was easy to verify just by observing the succession of day and night, the tides, the cycle of seasons, and other predictable natural changes. The "periodos" were a view of matter that included time as a cyclic dimension.
Time is measurement of things that never increases or decreases. It only measures changes marked by natural and repetitive accidents. In fact, without accidents and their effects, there would be no need for time to measure anything. Objectively, time is the fourth dimension of our world and universe. We can see a light in the sky that traveled billion years to reach our eyes. How relevant is that accidental perception?
Science tells us that the fastest speed attainable is the speed of light: 300,000 kilometers per second. It takes sunlight eight minutes to reach our planet and sustain the life on it. That discovery had a huge effect on religious and philosophical scholars, who suddenly faced a cosmic fact: the limit of any traveling object cannot be faster than the speed of light. Suddenly, even time became a material thing.
It also showed that the humans can never explore a universe of billions of light years, for no person or fuel can last that long. Just to travel to Mars, our closest neighbor in the solar system, a ship needs to travel for six months. Most likely, with present technology we are greatly handicapped by the "time distances" that outpace our means of transportation.
Kant and Laplace seemed to agree with the unending cycle of successive worlds, and Spinoza definitely believed that the universe was eternal. Simply put, dark matter, or any matter, must be eternal in time. However, unlike the matter, time is linear and not recyclable. But this materialistic belief collides with the axiom, "Any beginning must end," supported by Nietzsche's concept of a finite universe. It is opposed by the axiom, "In nature nothing is gained or lost, matter only changes."
If that is so, perhaps cosmic cycles repeat in order to reinvent themselves. That is done by the power of accidents, needed to initiate the renewals. It may sound like a contradiction of terms, but natural accidents must be a part of universal law, because they may be the force required to put nature back in balance.
Our earthly world was the effectological product of many galactic solar accidents. Scientific research indicates that Earth is about four billion years old, and its core is made of iron and silicon. Most likely, the Earth was circled by icy rings, like Saturn, and was once lifeless. When our planet was hit by a heavy celestial body, that accident had immediate effects, melting the ice and inducing rains while the north-south axis was tipped so as to no longer be vertical. This created the ice caps of the North and South Poles.
Fortunately, our tiny earth is situated in an accident free zone of our solar system. The sun itself is too small to be sucked in the galactical suicide movements, but big enough to maintain its steady spot in universe. Since Earth was born 4.5 billion years ago, science informs us that our planet bravely witnessed other 1000 suns vanishing.
At our terrestrial level, no one can argue with Plato's postulation that forms are the "true object of knowledge," as no one can deny that immediate experience is a reliable source of truth. Nor can one object to Aristotle's definition of physical objects as the ultimate reality. Because of this idea, materialism automatically includes verifiable notions of error and conflictto which I must add that these notions are created by detectable accidents that happen at all cognitive levels.
To our very ignorant eyes, accidents of collision between hot and cold clouds generate rain or snow, heat and gas accumulated in the Earth cause volcanic eruptions, and so on. Since nothing was gained or lost from the original matter, these accidents and their lasting effects seem to keep the vital balance in nature. Nothing can be more truthful and material than the interchangeable accidents and their effects, and they are the core components of Effectology.
Exact mathematics and physics deal with a material supply of data which can be calculated and declared virtually error proof. It was physics that Kant was so fond of when he talked about achieving the genuine knowledge about nature. Yet, the truth is a relative notion. Mathematics continually discovers new truths behind of established truths, and biology constantly changes theories that were once considered carved in stone. Materialistic biology also provides us with the sad truth that each human body contains mostly water, and a dollar's worth of minerals.
Much truth about our world was revealed by accidental findings, and even in mathematical errors. The incomplete and wrongly arranged table of elements forced the chemists to find the missing elements and place them in the right spots. Planet Pluto was discovered not with the powerful telescope, but with the pencil and eraser. It happened by using calculus to correct a mathematical error in our view of the Solar System.
In philosophy, the speculative power of investigating the truth is even less reliable, because it uses subjective ideas to find it. When materialism is applied to our existence, again we must focus on the importance of "matter" and of what matters the most: life. According to John Locke (16321704), even the concept of "ideas" is the object of material consideration, because the matter of brain is employed in thinking. He simply named ideas "materials of knowledge." Denis Diderot (17131784) considered materialism as matter in motion, and concluded on a personal level, "Living, I act and react as a mass; dead I act and react in form of molecules. Birth, life, and decay, are merely changes of form."
The dialectic materialism of Marx, Engels and Lenin produced a surprisingly Hegelian-like theory of materialism, based on its "real is rational and the rational, real" concept. They also used to their advantage Hegel's concept of contradictory forces that shape and change matters in nature and society.7
Marx provided a godless interpretation of everything, including economic and social matters. He bluntly stated that reality is the material world. Engels believed that men can produce substances and hold nature under control. Lenin had no doubt that matter exists independent of our existence, and that God plays no role in it. To all three important who controls the matter and renders justice among humans.
Effectologically speaking, thinking is the mental effect of the brain activity dealing with all external perceptions and internal bodily functions, which relate to each other to create a response to a new situation. Certain ideas are immediately materialized in actions. I understand "action" to be anything one engages in doing, from thinking and applying will power to physical performance and verbalization.
Actions move things and change the shape and order of the matter. Accidental ideas, formed under the pressure of fear or imposed by others, produce accidental actions with similar effects on all matter affected by them. It works according to formula below:
The Effectology effects of Materialism =
Matter × Motion ÷ Accidents
There is an endless chain of efficient and constructive accidents that move all matter in a precise order, until a perfect balance is achieved in the universe. I have no doubt that endless accidental happenings resulted in the correct physical and chemical combination, good enough to facilitate life on our planet.
In my opinion, life is a balancing act between good and bad forces that automatically bring into play their corresponding effects. Relativism is valid up to a point; otherwise, there is no beginning and ending- no cause and no effect. Reality is needed for real things to generate action and allow things to function in a materialistic life.