On the Physicality of Ability (is an abstract thing “real”?)

The argument I have heard in opposition to my concept of man’s Ability being the core of his existence is that only “hard” nouns are real.  By this, I mean, those things present in the physical environment, which are not apprehended by abstraction.  That is, the physical comes first, and then the abstract concept follows…in other words, everything real in regards to what man can do must stem from biology, because Ability is abstract, thus, it MUST by a byproduct of the physical (the argument then really is that all truth flows from the tangible; which, of course, is very problematic from many people, not just people who believe in God).  For if abstract concepts are only real insofar as they are products of the physical, then, where does that lead us?  Man IS God.  However, if we agree that abstract concepts (like laws of nature, for example) are real and true and exist APART from man, then we must agree that, at least theoretically, that “Ability”, apart from physical biology, could certainly be true and real even though the concept is abstract.

At any rate, the idea, if I have it correctly, is that one starts with the hard noun (as I call it) and then what develops is an agreed upon abstract concept to describe some aspect or some “other” meaning from this thing.  Thus, the premise is that the abstract concepts are not really “real”.  The only thing that is real is what can be apprehended by the senses.  So, Ability, because it can only physically be apprehended by the senses when it is “doing” or in action, is not real, but merely a conceptual byproduct of the natural, physical thing…the hard noun.  So, biology comes first, then the ability…which seems strangely opposite:  what this is saying is that biology must act before it is ABLE to act; and this seems to me to make less sense than saying biology acts because it is first able to do so.

So—moving on— Ability is the “hole” which is an imagined, abstract byproduct of the physical body.  There is no power which drives the “doing” that is not first stemming from the physical body…the biology of the human.  The functional premise is that nothing we cannot readily perceive with our five senses actually exists.

That, to me, is a very literal interpretation of reality, and it calls into question just how then, abstract concepts can be realized as things which can be apprehended with the five senses.  If abstract concepts are not real, how is a concept fomented in the mind, and then realized as a product?  Case in point: language.  By using the above argument, one could say that language is not real.  It is only the byproduct of the physical actions, moved by biology.  However, if it is not real, then how is it organized in the mind?  How can something so non-existent be so literally apprehended, and effect such real, tangible outcomes?  And thus we are left with the problem of this:  if something is abstract, thus not real, how can it be true?  By definition, something that doesn’t exist cannot be true.  It cannot be anything, by definition, and thus, how is it possible?  So we need then to understand what we mean when we speak of the concept of “real”.  How do we define “real”?  If by real, we mean only the tangible universe, then any abstract concept, from language, to mathematical formulas, to ideas, to philosophies to whatever anything is not real. And yet, if they are not real…if they are merely holes in existence, then how can they effectuate what is so obviously grasped by the physical senses.  Walk outside and see a building…have a conversation via text…express a feeling in language.  If the abstract concepts which made these things possible and physical realities are not real themselves, then how is it they form such an integral part of our physical universe?  So we need to understand that the laws which are abstract, but which can create functional, physical reality which proves itself true by virtue of apprehending the product via the senses MUST be just as real as the biology which grasps them.  Thus, concepts which are apprehended by the mind (not NECESSARILY created by the mind) are as real as anything in the physical universe.  For if nothing abstract could be real, then by definition, it could not translate into anything real, either.  For it is impossible for the non-existent to produce something that exists.  Biology (man’s mind) uses the REAL concepts it grasps to create.  It doesn’t create the concept, in order that it be real, so that it can be employed in the creation of something physical.  This makes no sense.

In this way, then, one can argue that man’s Ability (what I call the root of his existence), is real, and is REALIZED by biology, not CREATED by biology.  Biology cannot create something not real, and then function with tangible, logical, consistent outcomes as though it were real.  If biology created ability, then ability could not be abstract (and what we would be saying, again, is that biology must act first BEFORE it is able to act…again, a logical and philosophical contradiction).  For the physical cannot create a REAL abstract concept (something not apprehended by the five senses), for if it could, then what we are saying is that the biological can create other-worldly (for lack of a better term) concepts (can create something out of nothing).  However, I argue that this is impossible.  The only PRODUCT of the physical must be something that is also physical.  Thus, abstract concepts are discovered by biology, and proved as being real and true by the tangible product they produce in the world…what man creates is the physical, which is a result of true and real laws and concepts which he has grasped by his innate ability (reason, being one)…which is itself the reality (though, in this life, it may well be abstract) that makes man’s DOING of anything possible, including the grasping of true conceptual realities.  This goes back to Locke’s work on Human Understanding.  The human mind is something which discovers the truths of the world, abstract and physical…it is not something which creates truth.  And as such, again, man is a product of the very real abstract concept of Ability, by which he discovers.  If Ability does not come first, but only the biological, then I argue man cannot apprehend any truth, and thus, could not create as a function of employing conceptual, abstract ideas.  He would exist as the animals exist.  As a function of creation, not as a function of God and himself; and moved by instinct only, and not able to employ any “truths” in the abstract sense.  The biological cannot function unless it is ABLE to function.  It is this Ability, which drives its action.  To argue that ability is not real because it is an abstract concept is to argue that man creates the abstract laws of all the universe and creation instead of discovers them.  If this is true, then we make man, God.  Man creates something out of nothing, by definition.  This is not in keeping with what we know to be true of man, and logic, and is certainly not in keeping with the Christian faith.  Ability must be present before man can exist as a physical entity capable of producing anything “real”.

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