Balances in the Physical, Biological, Logical, Moral and Social Universe
Philosophical Papers --- 2/14/2020
I have written on this subject in the past in bits and pieces, that the universe, in some basic sense, is based upon balances. A balance is case or a dynamic tendency towards an equality (an equilibrium) on two sides of a phenomenon. The phenomenon is in an unsettled state until the equilibrium is reached. Hence balance often involves the coming together of opposite forces which dynamically interact until a state of equilibrium is reached. One may say a system in nature that is unbalanced abhors imbalance and proceeds towards a balance. This relates loosely to my former pronouncement of everything must find itself in its opposite; this is so to achieve balance (which is related to Hegelian thesis, antithesis, synthesis). Imbalances may also be rectified because nature abhors a vacuum, i.e., an unfilled state will tend to move to a filled state (consider atomic orbitals). It is often said that opposites attract, and this is often the case; but, not always. Sometimes opposites are repulsive and conflictive, at least in part, as clarified about relations between men and women in ďMen are from Mars; Women are from Venus.Ē Note that these are volitional opposites where two persons or two groups of persons want opposite things (or two opposite volitional entities such as lions and hyenas fighting over a kill where each wants the other to leave). Are there cases in nature (non-volitional) where opposites repulse?
The Notion of Balance
Relation Between Balance and Symmetry
Balances in the Physical Universe
This section will be hard to write and will take some thinking and research. Balances in physics exist but are less clear to me than chemistry.
Physical equal and opposite forces, matter and dark matter, particles and anti-particles. The application of mathematical equivalences in physics expressions. Negative and positive charges.
Newtonís third law of motion: whenever one mass exerts a force upon a second mass, the second mass exerts an equal and opposite force upon the first mass. Note linear momentum occurs as a lack of balance, i.e., proceeds until an opposing external force acts upon the system/particle.
An object is in equilibrium when the sum of all forces and torques acting on the object is zero. (?)
Note there are equivalences in most physical formulae, i.e., they are equations. Even though they donít necessarily represent a balanced physical situation. F=ma, the force is equivalent to mass times acceleration. I.e., you have the same quantities on both sides of the equation.
Conservation of matter (this may be chemistry as well as physics). Regardless of how you transform matter, or what form it is in, the mass is equal. Consider the LaPlace experiments. The balance is in that the weight of the matter is conserved if you transform it (change the molecules or state of matter) or even transform it back.
Mass-energy conversion (inter-controvertible) as in e=mc^2. The amount of energy is the same or balanced with the amount of mass times the speed of light.
Electron flow in a battery as seeking a balance of charges between a negative and positive terminal. (?)
Heat. (state physically ?) Hot air flows into cold air (heat always flows from higher to lower, second law of thermodynamics) until a temperature stabilizes or is balanced. (Note wind is convection current caused by heating cold air.) Hot and cold sources will balance and neutralize. First law of thermodynamics: the change in heat is balanced with (equal to) the change in internal energy of a system plus the work performed by the system. Heat and phase changes: Heat qua kinetic energy of molecules (extent to which they move in a substance).
Balances in Relativity Theory:
We have the conservation of energy and mass-energy conversion.
Conservation of energy.In physics and chemistry, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant; it is said to be conserved over time. This law means that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another. I.e., regardless of the form of energy its amount is constant or balanced. Thereís never an imbalance of energy.
Positive and negative charges, as in an atom where the number of positive charges given by the protons is balanced with the number of negative charges given by the electrons. These must remain balanced or the particle will become a charged ion which seeks a balance of charges from another oppositely charged ion. If you have an unbalanced number of neutrons and protons the element becomes an isotope often radioactive and unstable. Parenthetically if you change the number of protons you conduct nucleogenesis and transform the element into a different element.
Orbits as Balances
Moon rotating around planets or planets rotating around a star are a balance of gravitational pull (given by the inverse square of the distance between the two masses) creating centripetal force and the force of the moons or planets moving outward due to their angular motion. An object going around the earth in a circle has a vector component of velocity heading away from the planet while at the same time the object, due to gravitational pull, is centripetally falling towards earth (Raymond). These two forces balance each other so that the object stays in orbit. The centripetal/gravitational force is given by F=G[m1m2/r^2] or the inverse square law and the angular momentum force is given by F = m(v2/r) (? Verify). At any rate there is a vector that is constantly changing (as the object changes direction) that always points in a straight line away from the planet in its angular momentum, as an object will travel in a straight line due to inertia unless another force acts upon it (Newtonís first law of motion).
Balances in Chemistry
Chemical Reactions as Balances
Chemical reactions are balances, they must all be balanced. This is true in the sense of quantities on each side of the reaction, where the number of atoms of each element must be the same on each side. Consider the following reaction in the case of the formation of acetylene: 2 CH 4 → C 2 H 2 + 3 H 2. There are two carbon atoms on each side of the reaction from two methane molecules, and eight hydrogen atoms on each side of the reaction (three molecules of hydrogen gas and one molecule of acetylene).The balance of chemical reactions is dynamic. The molecules interact until there is an equilibrium. Most reactions are not reversible as the product(s) is/are more energetically favorable than the reactants form (in most cases although some reactions which are not energetically favorable can occur with energy input, such as ATP catalyzed reactions). Some reactions are reversible and the reversibility is a type of balance between two forms. Also, orbitals that are unfilled are imbalanced and stable state molecules are formed that fill orbitals. Also, isomers are molecules that have two forms which go between the two forms seeking either balanced form (an isomer is a molecule that has the same number of the same type of atoms as its counterpart but in a different configuration). Molecular chirality would seem to be a special case of isomerism. Left-handed and right-handed molecules have the same number of the same type of atoms but in different non-superimposable configurations (as your left hand canít superimpose on your right hand even though they have the same number of fingers in a similar configuration with the thumb on one end and the pinky on the other but with the thumb of the left hand on the right and the thumb of the right hand on the left). (Chiros in greek means hand, as in chiropractor or practice with the hands).
In ionic bonding, positively charged ions bond with negatively charged ions, such as in salt: a positively charged sodium ion bonds with a negatively charged chloride ion. Nature abhors an imbalance and a lone charged ion is imbalanced until it bonds with an ion of the opposite charge.
Molecular Formation Due to Finding Filled and Balanced Atomic Orbitals
In many atoms there is an imbalance in the sense that their outer orbitals are not filled. This imbalance may be rectified by sharing electrons (or orbitals overlapping) to form a covalent bond between the two imbalanced atoms to create a balanced state. Covalent bonds are widespread in chemistry and are one of the strongest types of bonds. (verify). For example, in hydrogen gas (H2), each atom has one electron in the 1s orbital. The 1s orbital is only filled when there are two electrons. When each hydrogen atom shares its lone electron with the other, their 1s orbitals overlap and each atom has two electrons in its 1s orbital by sharing their lone electrons. They move from an imbalanced state (unfilled orbitals) to a balanced state (filled orbitals). Such a bond is also called a sigma bond. Two atoms form a covalent bond when they each an unpaired electron to contribute. Double covalent bonds can form as in oxygen (O2) or triple covalent bonds can form as in nitrogen gas (N2). Covalent bonds may be polar or non-polar.
Phase Changes and Heat Equilibria
Phase changes which are based upon temperature changes move towards equilibrium (balance) when the internal temperature of one system is different from the external temperature outside of the system. Heat is actually changes in the kinetic energy of molecules. We can see such natural phase change equilibria all of the time as for example sunlight, a source of heat, causes evaporation of fresh or seawater that results in the water as vapor which then condenses in rain again as a liquid. Likewise sunlight may change ice (solid water) to liquid water as it does in the springtimes of northern regions or lack of sunlight may change liquid water into ice. Phase changes are used in engineering systems as for example a furnace heated water in a locomotive to produce steam to drive pistons. Likewise with wind or furnaces air, a gas, is heated and moves upward while cold air falls to earth creating a convection current called wind in the atmosphere. The convection current is seeking a balance between the hot and cold air. Almost all meteorological phenomena by the way can be traced back to heat changes. In the cosmos there are many great events driven by extreme temperature differentials seeking a balance.
Balances in Biology
Homeostasis is where a biological system regulates itself to maintain a constant environment or equilibrium (through negative and positive feedback loops). Examples of homeostasis include the regulation of body temperature (through sweating and vascular contraction/expansion, shivering, goosebumps, getting flush, etc.), the regulation of glucose in the bloodstream (through insulin or the glucagon hormone release), regulation of blood pH level, regulation of blood pressure (by constriction or expansion of blood vessels). Examples of non-human homeostasis in biology involve the movement of electrolytes and other substances in and out of cells to maintain a balance between the cellís internal and external environment.
Homeostasis is a more pervasive concept than just biology. Artificial systems are often engineered to maintain a type of homeostasis or constant state. Consider a car which has a cooling system, it must maintain a certain temperature or temperature range to continue to operate. This is true of a number of engineered systems.
Cell Metabolism: Catabolism and Anabolism
In cell metabolism, catabolism and anabolism are complementary opposite processes. In Catabolism food and molecules are broken down with an energy release (the energy used by the cell) and some of that energy energizes anabolism or the construction of macro-molecules from smaller molecules.
Catabolism: Catabolism breaks down large molecules (such as polysaccharides (sugars), lipids, nucleic acids and proteins) into smaller units (such as monosaccharides(sugars), fatty acids, nucleotides, and amino acids with a concomitant release of energy (provides energy for the cell)
Proteins -> amino acids + Energy
Polysaccharides -> simple sugars + Energy
Lipids -> fatty acids + Energy
Anabolism involvesthe synthesis of complex molecules in living organisms from simpler ones to build macromolecules such as lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and polysaccharides
Amino acids + Energy (ATP -> ADP) ->Amino Acid biosynthesis and Proteins (synthesized through the genetic code in the nucleus (transcription) and then mRNA-> protein (translation) in the cytoplasm)
Simple Sugars + Energy -> polysaccharides + glycogen
Fatty acids + Energy -> Lipids
ďEcological balance has been defined by various online dictionaries as "a state of dynamic equilibrium within a community of organisms in which genetic, species and ecosystem diversity remain relatively stable.Ē An ecosystem is a community of living organisms and its environment. Ecological balance involves an equality in the production and consumption of energy in an ecological system. The biosphere requires a constant input of photosynthesis for plant life (autotrophs) to feed herbivores which feed carnivores (both heterotrophs), i.e., the ecological pyramid.
Predator (carnivore) and prey (largely herbivores and some carnivores) balance. Predators control the size of prey populations. It is well noted that when predators are removed from an ecological system, prey populations grow extremely large and create problems with the surrounding ecology (such as the plant life).
Ecological balances are under serious threat with global warming, industrialization, and human population increase. Many species may not be able to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Consider whether corals or other sea creates can adapt to acidification of the oceans. Can polar bears survive the lack of sea ice (feed themselves and their cubs by hunting seals)? Can tree shrews or orangutans adapt to deforestation? Human beings throwing ecological systems out of balance is helping to destroy our biosphere.
Symbiosis is a mutually beneficial (usually) relationship between two organisms. The symbiosis persists as it is a balance due to mutual benefit. There are several types of symbiosis:
∑ Commensalism = a relationship between individuals of two species in which one species obtains food or other benefits from the other without either harming or benefiting the latter. Examples include insects and animals which interact with flowering plants or eat fruit and spread the seeds of the plant on the forest floor or elsewhere..One species may obtain nutrients, shelter, support, or locomotion from the host species, which is unaffected. The commensal relation is often between a larger host and a smaller commensal. One organism may feed on the left-overs of another organism.
∑ Parasitism is a relationship between two organisms which persists yet is not mutually beneficial. The parasite feeds off of or obtains benefits from the host which is somewhat harmed by the parasite. Yet the relationship persists as a non-mutually beneficial balance.
∑ Mutualism.In mutualism there is a mutually beneficial relgationship between two organisms. Organisms which eat parasites off of other animals as the Oxpecker may pick off bugs or parasites off of the rhinocerous.
∑ Ectosymbiosis --- one organism lives on the body surface of the host
∑ Endosymbiosis --- one organism lives inside the other as some mutually beneficial digestive bacteria live inside of human stomachs.
Balances in Evolution
Part of what drives evolution is adaptation to a changing environment (and genetic mutations that may confer an advantage in such an adaptation). Adaptation is a matter of finding a balance between an organism and its environment. To this extent adaptation (and resulting natural selection) is enabled by balancing traits, capabilities, and behavior of an organism with the features of its new and changing environment. Such balances are in part what drives evolution.
Balances in the Logical Universe
Balances in the logical universe refers possibly to balances in an immaterial universe that may be right under our noses (i.e. if we have an immaterial component such as volition and consciousness we may be already living partially in both a material and immaterial universe/state). Perhaps and perhaps there is only the physical. What I consider the immaterial universe, if it exists is consciousness and volition and particularly aspects of consciousness which are highly structured such as mathematics and logic (other aspects of consciousness are structured as well such as intentionality). In mathematics there is the notion of an equation. In an equation, there are two sides. The two sides must balance. Equations and mathematical equivalences are balances. In mathematical laws, there are equivalences. For example with the law of distribution, a(b + c) = ab + ac or in associativity (a + b) + c = a + (b + c). In doing simplifications, as you are wont to do in an area such as Calculus (where after doing the Calculus part you are left with a huge algebraic expression), you reduce that expression to a simper form by balances. You may add or subtract or multiply, for example by the same factor on each side of an expression to eliminate terms and hence simplify. In fact, simplifications aside, throughout mathematics there is the notion of the equation. Two things are equal on each side of the equation, and no matter how you manipulate the equation you must always keep the two sides equal or balanced. In doing proofs, steps in the proof are made by using mathematical equivalences. In logic you have logical equivalences. For example, a = --a is a logical equivalence. P implies Q is logically equivalent to NOT (P and NOT Q), and so on. Again, in logical reasoning, one can employ these logical equivalence rules to proceed step by step. These logical and mathematical equivalences are applied to all sorts of fields. In business you have the debits which must equal credits in accounting. In chemistry you have the amounts of substance which must be equal in total on both sides of the reaction. In physics you have numerous
Balances in the (Volitional) Moral and Social Universe
the Political Elite/Globalization and the Rise of Nationalism)
Both Morality and Social Movements involve Volition, they are volitional (individual or group (collective) volition). There is volition in the biological universe as well, but it is more constrained and somewhat more mechanical (such as movement and food and mate seeking behavior).
In political organization, balances are important. The US Constitution was created by a wise set of Deists who understood that human beings seek power and to overpower others and their rivals. Hence, wisely, the framers of the Constitutions put in Checks and BALANCES, so that no one branch of government would overpower the other and the society and political organization would stay in some sort of balance.
The legal and justice system involves balance. Note, that the symbol for justice is a balance scale. Hence, ideas like punishment are supposed to be balanced with the offense with lesser offenses receiving lesser punishments and greater offenses receiving greater punishments.
Universal Justice and the Notion of Karma.
Karma as a mechanism of balance or as Raj of the Big Bang Theory said, karma, which involves an equal and opposite reaction is practically Newtonian. The notion of universal justice says that all actions in the universe must be balanced with an equal and opposite action, and so in the moral universe wrongdoing must be met with an equal an opposite force as in a punishment and acting well must be balanced with an equal force of reward. Clearly in this world many of those who do good receive no reward and those who commit evil even great evils often get away with it and are never punished. I.e., this world is not just. For the universe to be just there has to be some compensation mechanism after this life, and that is the notion of karma (in concert with the notion of the transmigration of souls). In karma, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reactions, perhaps not necessarily in this lifetime, so that the universe maintains balance. Take the Zodiac killer. He killed many people but was never caught. If there is no life after death and hence no universal justice, the universe just remains unjust and unbalanced. This would be completely contrary to physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics.
Yin Yang Energy.
Male-Female Social Balances
Sex and Romance: Sometimes opposites are repulsive and conflictive, at least in part, as clarified about relations between men and women in ďMen are from Mars; Women are from Venus.Ē These are volitional opposites, i.e., each side wanting something different from the other side. As for example men canít find women who just want to have sex and women canít find men that are romantic enough. For women romance enhances sex, for men, if we have to jump through too many romantic hoops and loops to get sex, it kills our sexual desire. Hence prostitutes and porn are very popular with men, both being sex without the required romance. For women sex needs to be personal and romantic (they need to know the person and wonít, in most cases, have sex with a stranger --- note hence there are no houses of prostitution for women); for men, impersonal and unromantic pure raw anonymous sex is usually the most exciting. There has been some compromise of late in friends with benefits where women will, in some cases, have sex with someone they know that they are not romantically involved with. I say things that are not popular to say but are true. (Possibly move this section to social balances or even the yin yang section). Itís often said that everything exists, but, thatís not true; there has never been a house of prostitution for women; one should be built on top of a male strip club! Women just wonít pay for sex because, in most cases, they donít need to (sex is readily available to women, not so for men). Besides there are mechanical problems with having a house of male prostitutes for women. Men could only service a few women before petering out (even if you have young guys on Viagra); however, cunnilingus male prostitutes could service almost an unlimited number of women if you added that. This is different from female prostitutes that can service an unlimited number of men.
Relationships: In relationships, it seems that some aspects of both persons need to be the same (like enjoying several of the same things, volitional) and yet complementary (things that we need that we lack the we find in the other, related to filling a void). Relationships are complicated and are based partly on opposites or complementarity and partly on sameness (like similar interests). With these two factors lonely singletons can be happy couples. I make a distinction between relationships and sex. Whereas I think you can have sex with anyone (free love or promiscuity), you may effectively have only one significant relationship (emotional commitment) with another (emotionally monogamy). Clearly, we have relationships and love for family members, friends, and our significant other. Hence, I do not support affairs or emotional romantic involvement or commitment with more than one person. Iím emotionally and relationship monogamous but sexually promiscuous just as I am sexually bisexual but heteroamorous. These are my mores. They are not the mores of the society I live in which is based upon faithfulness yes but not if the faithfulness is based upon jealousy and possessiveness. Possessiveness stifles a relationship and limits the otherís freedom and jealousy is a bad emotion and dangerous, which if and when unraveled can lead to even death (note the Snapped episodes). Sad if the faithfulness is only held together by jealousy and possessiveness. It would be better if my stance was openly consensual with my wife. I believe it is implicitly consensual, I.e., she knows I have sex with other people and doesnít care as long as I am committed to her or certainly tolerates it. I am not perfect. A relationship like the Nacamus who were swingers that both had sex with others consensually while maintaining a great marriage is really the heathiest type of relationship and arrangement. My relationship with Mari is friends with benefits. I take her to dinner as a friend. Besides having sex with her I truly like her and her values. There are various gradations of prostitution now. Women who make their living by having sex with multiple men are prostitutes. But, now, there are many women who have regular jobs and make their living through their jobs but ask for some money when having sex usually with an older man. I do not consider them prostitutes, but personally donít like paying any money for sex. I also will not have sex with a married woman. It is against my ethics, not just because her husband could come after me with a knife or gun but because I donít want to contribute to breaking up a marriage is the sex is not consensual (i.e. swingers or open relationship), and if she has children I especially donít want to be involved in breaking up a family. Families are sacred (the unit God gave you to come into the world with through genetics). These are my views and hence dictate my behavior.
Social Balances (Hegelian Thesis Antithesis Synthesis)
Why does the Universe seem to be based upon Balances?
First, why are balances so prevalent in the universe?
If you consider balances in things like predator-prey populations (where killing is necessitated), it seems that if there is a creator he did not create so much a merciful universe as one run almost mechanically by balances (like the notion of the goddess Ewa in Avatar).
The danger of imbalances or throwing things out of balance.
Balance and sustainability.
Aristotle and the Golden Mean --- Nothing in Excess
Justice and Balance
Justice is a very simple concept. It is a concept of balance. If one has done wrong, the wrong needs to be righted, otherwise there is imbalance. The punishment can never be greater than the offense or harm otherwise there is imbalance. The punishment needs to fit the crime, and then there is balance. Not accepting responsibility for wrong-doing is imbalance. Accepting responsibility for wrong-doing is the first step in achieving the balance: not repeating the offence, feeling sorry for the offense, and trying to compensate the offended. All of this is required to have justice or balance after a wrong-doing. Again, however we analyze justice, it always comes back to the concept of balance, of keeping things in balance and of restoring them to balance when they are out of balance.
Physicalists maintain a contradictory thesis. They recognize that the physical universe in physics, chemistry, and biology is all about balances and maintaining balances. Consider a chemical reaction. I have already explained these types of balances. Moreover, the logical world (and possibly aphysical world) is also based upon balances such as a math equation. If balances exist everywhere in the physical and even logical universe how does the physicalist tolerate that they donít exist in the social realm? Yes people commit injustices, imbalances, and sometimes these are set right and often they are not. Hence the social realm remains UNBALANCED. The whole physical universe is balanced but the social universe is often imbalanced. How can this be, according to the physicalist as the social world simply reduces to the physical? I have an answer to this but the physicalist would reject it. The social world (of animals and humans) involves volition, and there is reason to believe that volition is not physical as it is not part of a simple chain of causation. There is no volition if my volition is caused. Moreover, according to the physicalist there is only this life and then you die. But, then the social universe stays forever unbalanced. I.e., if there is nothing but this lifetime there is no universal justice and hence no ultimately balanced universe. And the physicalist would have to agree.