Systematic Political Science


Human Perception of Tangibles and Intangibles via Affordances and the Gottwelt of the Natural Law Spectrum 

Dallas F. Bell, Jr.

1. Introduction

Edward B. Titchener (1867-1929) might describe perception as being a sensation(s) for an experience(s) to which meaning is ascribed.  Perception is commonly treated by psychologists as a variable dependent upon stimulus factors, learning, moods and emotions, and motivational factors.  Systematic political science would say that perception occurs dependent upon how the chosen theology dictates input and is epistemologically processed cognitively to affect both individual and societal behavior.  Each view agrees that human perception of an object(s) or event(s) is determined by stimulus conditions and by human factors. 

The interdisciplinary branch of neuroscience called neuroethology attempts to understand how humans translate stimuli into behavior.  Thus, the focus is on discovering the neurological function of innate behavior.  Ethology (derived from ethos; Greek for moral nature, guiding beliefs) is the study of the human ethos.  Ethologists often employ the terms umwelt, eigenwelt and mitwelt.  Umwelt (German, um means around; welt means world) refers to the environment of perceptual abilities and priorities across species, especially man's relationship to the environment.  Eigenwelt (German, eigen means one's own) looks at man's relationship with himself.  Man's relationship with other people is mitwelt (German, mit means with). 

Umwelt can be seen as encompassing Physical Natural Laws (NLP).  Eigenwelt and mitwelt would involve Natural Laws of Freewill (NLF), especially Lb.  A glaring omission from those areas is the relationship of man to the God of the first cause of all effects--Schöpfergott (German, Schöpfer means Creator of all; Gott means God).  Gottwelt would be a necessary concept to describe the La category of NLF.  Jakob von Uexk¨ll (1864-1944) noted that humans can have the same environment but behave with different umwelt (plural, umwelten).  This difference, of course, would extend to the eigenwelt and mitwelt due to the difference in the Gottwelt. 

2. Visual Perception

Though perception is beyond seeing and all senses are used to understand, a chief human ability is visual perception.  This is the ability to input and interpret visible light through the eyes.  The mechanics of the visual system begins when the lens of the eye receives light that is reflected from an image.  The retina is the light sensitive part of the back of the eye.  The retina converts the pattern of light into neuronal signals.  The neural impulses are processed from the retina to the lateral geniculate nucleus and then to the brain's primary and secondary visual cortex.  Gestalt Laws show how visual patterns are perceived as a whole. 

The ability to 'see' objects allows information to be obtained without the physical proximately needed by the senses of touch and taste, etc.  In 1976 experiments, R.J. Herrnstein, D.H. Loveland and C. Cable observed that animals learned to discriminate among realistic photographs of different classes of objects, such as trees, fish, water and humans.  The pigeons' discrimination between categories of objects seemed to also imply that the birds perceived the objects on the photos which suggested conceptual ability.  In a sense, they were demonstrating the bounds of tangibles and intangibles. 

3. Tangibles and Intangibles

It is becoming evident that tangible things are real entities capable of being perceived by the mind and may include touch but are not necessarily subject to the sensation of touch.  J.J. Gibson (1904-1979) pointed out that the perception of things by vision is as self-evident as the perception of things by touch.  Gibson used the ecological approach which is concerned with the interrelationship between organism and their environment.  He coined the term 'affordance.'  Gibson defined affordances as what the environment offers, provides or furnishes, either for good or not for good.  P. Dourish, in 2001, defined affordance as the relationship between the environment, the organism and an activity.  Dourish also coupled the notions of physical and mental phenomena.  Coupling addressed how the users access abstract phenomena and act upon them based on their goals and mental state. 

In 1999, Donald Norman categorized affordance into real and perceived affordances.  (In an email exchange February, 2008, between Donald Norman and Dallas F. Bell Jr., Norman explained that he deliberately does not touch on concerns involving the theological or eschatological because they are not within his sphere of expertise.)  Gibson and Norman, for practical purposes, would lean toward a restricted view of tangibles that would require some degree of touch.  This would mean that such things as rainbows, the sun and stars would be considered intangible.  We know by many means that those examples might not be subject to physical human touch, due to proximity constraints, but are no less real entities. 

In the condition of schizophrenia, it is observed that the mind is capable of perceiving things audibly, visually and by touch that do not exist due to involuntary hallucinations and delusions.  Hallucinations are false perceptions and acceptance for behavior of phenomena as real.  Delusions are false beliefs which cannot be modified by reason demonstrated by facts.  Arnold Lunn's 1931 humorous quote is widely used to demonstrate voluntary delusion of Darwinian evolutionists, "Faith is the substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of links unseen."  This is a play on the Hebrew 11:1 quote, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 

Illusions are not delusions.  An illusion is a distorted perception or hallucination which is a false perception.  For example, a magician is said to perform an illusion where it seems that a tiger is turned into a woman.  The audience may temporarily voluntarily perceive the illusion but would not really believe the tiger has become a woman.  The tangible and intangible would exclude examples of involuntarily perceptions that break with reality. 

4. Natural Laws

The scientific method is seen as having four basic steps.  First, the phenomena is observed and described.  Second, a hypothesis is formulated to describe the phenomena.  This statement is limited to cause and effect and may refer to the prior state of knowledge.  Third, the hypothesis is used to predict new observations or other phenomena.  Fourth, independent tests and predictions can be performed by other testers.  If those testers validate the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or a law of nature. 

It is often theorized that theories can never be proved but can only be disproved.  There is always the possibility that a new observation will conflict with a previous theory.  This is much like trying to prove a negative which may be empirically impossible.  However, a threshold of possibility may otherwise be attained.  Most people will not jump off a high cliff based on the hope that they may not fall to the ground because gravity is 'only' a theory. 

Laws of nature have a central role in scientific practice.  They are also important to many philosophical issues.  Inductive inference suggests that there is a connection between law and confirming ability.  Distinction between generalizations and law may be made.  If everyone in a classroom in China has black hair, it is true that those in the room have black hair.  That generalization cannot be applied to all classrooms in the world.  On the other hand, Einstein's observation that nothing travels faster than light is also a true generalization but it is also considered universally constant.  Therefore, that constant is postulated to be a law. 

Laws of Science are often considered approximations of truth with limited application.  The Laws of Nature are considered literally true with no contradictory observations.  They are universal in that they apply everywhere.  Nothing seems to affect their absoluteness.  All things must comply with them.  They are stable and unchanging. 

There are two views of Laws of Nature.  One is the denial that laws are physically necessary in nature itself.  The other view argues that laws are of physical necessity.  Therefore, there would also be disagreement as to what conditions are necessary to state a law. 

When merging the ideas of many academic disciplines it becomes impossible to accommodate esoteric opposing definitions in efficient communication venues.  For example, systematic political science has a specific understanding of NL, NLP and NLF.  Natural law, to some people, may not equate the term as relating to the Laws of Nature.  To them it may refer to moral law and legal theory.  Furthermore, those areas may be considered independent.  They may define moral law as propositions having objective truth and untruth.  Often this is related to moral realism and not without controversy.  Other people claim standards for morality are derived from both the nature of the world and the nature of humans.  Some scholars combine both the views of objective truth and nature.  For these reasons, natural law theories of law are wrongly separated from the natural law theory of morality. 

5. Light and Natural Law Spectrums

The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is the range of all possible EM radiation.  EM radiation is generally classified by the largest wavelength of AM radio (about 3 football fields long) to the smallest wavelength of x-rays and gamma rays (about 30 x diameter of a hydrogen atom).  The spectrum includes AM radio, short-wave radio, television/FM radio, microwave/radar, millimeter waves/telemetry, infrared, visible light (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet), ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma rays.  EM radiation with around 400nm to around 700nm wavelengths are perceived as light to the human eye.  The infrared (longer than 700nm) and ultraviolet (shorter than 400nm) ranges are often referred to as light

When radiation with a frequency in the visible region of the EM spectrum reflects off an object(s), such as a vase of flowers, the eyes send the information to the brain and the flowers are perceived.  The multitude of shades and hues of reflected frequencies are processed and understood.  At most wavelengths the EM radiation is not directly detected by the human senses and maybe thought of as intangible or as in the past as not existing.  But we know now, through experimentation and technological instrumentation, that they do exist. 

We now understand that if we see a red apple, we are not seeing the apple but the reflected EM spectrum of red.  The same is true with NL.  The physical NL spectrum of NLP begins after the Schöpfergott singularity with the smallest object of mass and proceeds to the largest anthropocentric category of human life.  The NLP spectrum is mass (Gen. 1:1-2), light (EM spectrum)/motion/velocity/time/heat (Gen. 1:3-4), solid/liquid/gas/plasma (Gen. 1:5-10), plant life (Gen. 1:11-13), solar systems (Gen. 1:14-19), fish and fowl life (Gen. 1:20-23), other animal life (Gen. 1:24-25), and human life (Gen. 1:26-31).  The NLF spectrum of NL begins after the Schöpfergott singularity with the core of La (1, 2, 3, 4 and their subsets), to Lb (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and their subsets), then individual behavior (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), institutions (Fa, Ch, Bu, Go), that lead to societal behavior (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and ending with eschatology (1, 2, 3). 

If while walking down a mountain trail, the reflection of light indicated the precipice of a cliff most people would not ignore the input and will accept the reality and not walk off the cliff.  If the reality is rejected the appropriate consequences (effects) of the behavior (cause) for violating the NLP concerning gravity will be realized.  NLF are as evident from their reflections as NLP.  We innately know as youngsters that we do not want to be murdered, stolen from or lied to.  If we see those behaviors, we also know that such boundaries or laws regarding human behavior exist, do not change, are not contradictory, are applied everywhere, nothing affects them, and people must comply with them or suffer the consequences.  Though we may not be able to touch them they are no less real than a red apple on the table across the room that we cannot reach. 

6. Conclusion

People that would violate NLF, such as abortion murders of small innocent children, should not create surprise when they want to murder you for whatever reason they may concoct.  They would not want to be murdered themselves but should not be expected to have any compunction in harming you.  In 2008, Jonah Goldberg cataloged in his book, Liberal Fascism, many historical examples of behavior regarding liberal views of not complying with NLF and the subsequent fascist societal behavior.  "The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul."(Prov. 29:10)  Those realities reflect the objects of NLF and their Creator God--Schöpfergott.  God can be seen cosmologically, teleologically, and morally--Gottwelt.  Comparative religion studies, explained in the Encyclopedia of Christianity pages 637-638, can make objective value judgments of what is true or false based on empirical data.   

Understanding that living the NLF is humanly efficient and ( face="David" >ו) also brings God's kingdom into the realm of this world can be seen in the closing biblical passages.  "No man is justified by the law in the sight God.  The just shall live by faith.  The law is not of faith, but the man that does them shall live in them."(Gal. 3:11-12)  "The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power in the Godhead; so that they are without excuse."(Rom. 29:10)  There need not be any excuse because Jesus said that He came as light into the world so that whoever believed on Him should not abide in darkness.(John 12:46) 

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