Just came across your blog, and downloaded your "10 Assumptions..." , so have just begun learning what you think and why, and have no idea yet what you mean by matter. So far as having a soul in the sense of something related to our identity that is there before and after our biological existence, it could certainly be made from "matter" of some kind, even though many refer to it as "immaterial."
Thanks for your response. I have spent a couple hours over the past day reading your blog posts and the TAS [TTAOS] article for the NPA, and am getting a good idea of your approach to science and cosmology.
I am already in agreement with most of the 10 assumptions, but not with Materialism as you state it, and also can't make sense of microcosmic infinity.
My reservation about materialism is that we do not know what matter is. We know that everything we make contact with involves some kind of "stuff" and that it is always instantiated in some kind of structure, and that it is moving and capable of interaction with other things.
One could propose that matter is ultimately all built up from some irreducible substance, as has been tried historically, but as you point out, how can something elemental with no parts or structure have any causal capacity? Like energy or time without matter, one then resorts to Idealistic, bodiless propensity fields, charge-less potentials, actual chance, etc
So I get why the TAS [TTAOS] concepts are what you have assembled as a constellation, and why you posit an infinite regress of actual material entities. My concern is that the desire to make the 10 assumptions consupponible (what a word) may lead/force one to select from the only presently logical concepts for those assumptive slots, whereas future knowledge may furnish better solutions. To me it seems preferable to let some things float rather than positing an infinite regress of actual entities. If scientists of the 20th century weren't so driven to answer big questions quickly, might they not have given more time to arrive at less crazy theories?
One can wildly speculate, of course! For example, that an elemental substance does in fact exist, but is pre-material until exposed to a true vacuum, at which point it is torn into little ragged shreds that are also then put into motion as part of the rending process, and then capable of forming basic, material structures, including the aether.
Now I admittedly just made that up, but then who knows what we will discover. And then there is the question of consciousness. I have not yet read your ideas on consciousness, but surely an experience is something apart from the motion of matter. That is in part why even non-religious thinkers have wondered whether we have souls or astral bodies or mental fields, or whatever. The experience of awareness and having thoughts and feelings is not comprehensibly or demonstrably material.
Anyway, I look forward to further exploring your ideas, which as I said are mostly not far from where I have landed myself, and thank you for the provocation of further thought. I look forward to your comments and explanations!
Everything I just said would be determined, including my feelings about it, and the same for you when you read this and have whatever responses you happen to have. Determinism is incompatible with the idea of being informed, which is why a computer cannot be informed, because it is not conscious and is determined.
Is dualism the only option? I don't think so, because the universe of consciousness and information and feelings can have its own ways that are not causal like billiard balls, but rather like beings who can play billiards for the fun of it. Being alive and conscious to a materialist determinist is necessarily a mechanistic affair, but that could be nothing more, for a determinist, than the only output from the inputs involved. Really not an argument at all in any meaningful sense, but satisfying to those for whom it has been determined to be so.