We generally categorize life as a quality. That is a thing has it and is alive or doesn’t have it and is dead or non-living. Suppose life is not a quality but a quantity. A quantity that grades from a stone to the Holy Spirit with such things as frogs, squash and human souls in between — a spectrum, so to speak.
Have you ever met a person who seems to be more alive than other people? Have there been times when you seemed to have more life than other times? Have there been times when some physical sense was heightened and you felt more alive? If life were a quality, you could only have it or not have it — you could not have more of it.
If life is a quantity, could variations in it account for moods and disorders? Could a quantity of life account for enthusiasm — could it account for sleep?
We have phrases in our language that suggest that someone at some time has considered life to be a quantity — phrases such as heightened senses or more alive.
Life can be taken out of things that possess it. Why isn’t the reverse true? If life were a quality, doesn’t that suggest that it could be put into things that don’t possess it. Like putting the color red into a fabric with a dye and removing it with a bleach.
If life were a quantity one might consider that everything in the universe contains as much life as each thing can hold. That would mean zero amount for a stone. For a human, it might mean a considerable amount with variations and fluctuations depending on capacity limits.
To help visualize this, suppose humans were assigned a maximum capacity for life of one hundred and a stone of zero. Nothing done to the stone could bring about a change in its life if it had no capacity for life. Humans, on the other hand, could have their capacity reduced if they were infected by some germ that took a bit of life from its host for its own use. The greater the infection, the more life taken by the germs and the less available for the human host. That could explain why infections never add life to their hosts but always diminish it. That is an infection never makes the host stronger or live longer. According to prevailing theories, making the host stronger should be to the germ’s advantage.
If physical life is a quantity, how much did you get?
Copyright © 2019 Sam Dronebarger | All rights reserved