God and energy

1.) We called it “energy” from energia since this was Aristotle’s word for whatever was an active source of motion or change. So taken it is strange that we would see some opposition between God and energy conservation since God was energia pure and simple, with no necessary admixture of anything other than active power. The conservation of energy has a perfectly acceptable theological sense in the system of the guy who came up with the term.

2.) Energy in physics explains changes in place or the state of chemical bonds or relation to a gravitational body in relation to something that does not change in these ways but rather changes state. We have no theory about what causes these state changes, only one that explains under what conditions one state can change into another. Some conversions are possible under some conditions and others aren’t, similar to the rules of converting currencies or translating languages (this much gas gives you this many miles, this many turns give you that many volts, etc.) But energy only explains the changes in the particular species of energy and not the state changes, just as dollars only explain how you can buy things in the US and not in Europe. True, it is always the case that $ = €x, but the dollars themselves are not going to do the purchasing, nor do they explain the activity (energia) necessary to convert one currency to the other.

3.) Though some energia is necessary to explain state changes, it is not a 7th form of energy. State changes arise from what transcends the six forms of energy. Either energy is the most fundamental level of physical explanation, or it isn’t – if so, state changes arise from a supernatural source; if not then physics awaits some new development.

4.) Leibniz proves that physics will continue its developments ad infinitum: motions will be unified into the six forms of energy, the energy will be unified into some transcendent causal meta-energy, etc.. Leibniz only insists that this new order of explanation, so far as it is natural, be a fact given a posteriori. But infinite explanations are not the same as all possible explanations.

5.) Kinetic energy is either changing place or it isn’t. If it is, it requires kinetic energy ad infinitum; if it isn’t then change of place is explained by what cannot change place but only “state” (e.g. it can turn into heat.) Kinetic energy explains because it transcends the explanandumThis is how all energy-based explanations work, which makes it frustrating that so many explantions limit themselves to the options of reductionism, non-reductionism and eliminativism. Actual physics explains by transcendence too (this might be a sort of nonreductivism, but one that I’ve never seen taken seriously.)

6.) Consider the unification of the Porphyrian tree. As one goes up, he thinks he is getting closer and closer to “being” but in fact this level can never be hit since to hit it at all is to hit what belongs to the totality of the tree and is in no way divisible by the mode of division proper to the tree itself. This is what God – pure energy – is. He is both the last level of unification and one that cannot be in continuity with the lower levels of explanation since it is already present at all the lower levels.

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