Have you ever heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? It is a natural law like the Law of Gravity. It’s a very important law for people who work with thermodynamics. Since it is a natural law, it is always true. It relates to the energy of the world in all its different forms, heat, light, chemical energy and electrical energy. Energy is what makes changes, does all the work. We are made of energy and we use it to do all we do.
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I read the betty porteus' article; it's rather a pleasant and simple piece. I think her 'philosophy' is a classic instance of the expression of the 'thermodynamic origin of good and evil'. I'm not too sure about the 'impulse energy'; not that I disagree with it, but I'm just not sure yet?
Journalof Human Thermodynamics
LIFE AND THE 2ND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS:
For our world to be as it is, the smallest particles of energy had to begin to join together into integrated units. However it happened, we know it did. There wouldn't be life if protons and electrons hadn't become joined together to become atoms, and if atoms and molecules hadn't become joined together to become cells. A lot of energy was stored in this process. Think of all the energy in an atom, enough so that change after change has been made with no danger of dispersing it all.
As the scientists tell us, our world started with the big bang billions of years ago, when there was a tremendous explosion and the energy was spewed out in all directions for millions of miles to become our universe. Because of the law of gravity, it gathered into different masses to become our sun and stars, which arranged themselves in a balanced ordered arrangement in which all could move about with only occasional collisions.
The first step of our evolution occurred when the tiniest particles of energy joined together. Electrons and protons joined in different ways to become all the chemical units. Gradually, over millions of years, the chemical units joined together into larger units, each again ordered and balanced so that the parts could move in harmony. Chemical units joined into atoms, and atoms into living cells. The Second Law of Thermodynamics applied to all these arrangements. In this manner, each ordered arraignment could continue on for years until it would have gradually dispersed all of its energy and disintegrated and lost its ability to survive.
It was only when atoms joined into cells, bits of units of energy that could reproduce themselves and replace the energy they dispersed by absorbing energy from the environment that they could continue to survive. We as humans are constantly dispersing our energy. It is because we can replace this dispersed energy by what we drink and eat and absorb from the sun that we can continue to live for years.
Human beings are arrangements of energy, each, like all the others, integrated units in which the parts move in harmony. As such, cells are so designed that we can hear, talk, think, and plan. Arrangements don’t have to happen through trial and error. Humans have the ability to arrange. Humans have continued do so and have developed all the unbelievably different arrangements of our civilized world.
THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS:
There are many variations of the laws of thermodynamics. The First Law of Thermodynamics says that energy cannot be lost. Only its arrangement can be changed. The Second Law says that when arrangements of energy change they always disperse some of their energy. This means that when they change, some of their integration is lost. So in a way, it is a law of Disintegration. It sounds depressing, doesn't it? It sounds as though everything we do is eventually for nothing. Arrangements, however, only disintegrate when they disperse all of their energy. Such energy arrangements can continue if they can displace the energy they use.
Our world, to note, has been around for a long time – millions and millions of years – and though it certainly isn't perfect, it is far from being in a state of complete disintegration. Instead, there is integration in every direction. When you come to think of it, there is an amazing amount of integration.
Though there is more harmony in the world from the creation of all these integrated units, there is still much conflict and discord. The units now developed may also come into conflict with each other. As such, these conflicting units need to be integrated into larger units, in which they too will exist in harmony.
In the beginning, our world started to build up harmonious units of energy before there was any form of life. With our human consciousness and ability to think and plan, we can now, ourselves, create new arrangements. If we realize that the way to be happy is to follow our own creative impulses, as we join the rest of life in its effort to create new arrangements to harmonize the conflicting elements, and bring new order, unity, and harmony into the world, we may not only be happier ourselves, but the world might have more peace and harmony sooner than ever before.
As we know, cells kept joining together to become all the living creatures that are alive today. We, as human beings, are one of the most integrated objects in existence. How could all of this have happened? How did life ever develop? There must be some impulse in reality to join together what is apart into new integrated arrangements in which the reconfigurations move in harmony.
Since that impulse led to the formation of life, we might consider it the creative impulse of life, and, since it led to the creation of us as human beings, we must all have it within us. Based on this logic, we reason that the secret to happiness lies by exerting ourselves following it as we join with the rest of life in its struggle to make new and better arrangements of the world in all the facets of life. There are lots of happy people in the world who are doing just that.
Is 'Integration' the right word within this article? She needs to explain this concept in more scientific terms. The impulse theory section is good, and she should try to connect this more with the human FEELING of impulse. The impulse theory section also points to the same energy dispersion concept of your 'good and evil' content, which is cool. It’s also great that Lawrence Chin recognized the same thing. The last sentence in the summary is a nice one :)
According to the "Impulse Theory", then, for one to find contentment in life, one must account for and act according to the measurement of one's own impulses as these impulses weight against impulses of the surroundings in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. To test for theoretical appeal, let's see how this theory aligns with other models of "happiness" throughout history?
One of the first to theorize in this direction was the Greek philosopher Socrates, who lived in the fourth century BC. Socrates believed that the best way for people to live was to focus on self-development rather than the pursuit of material wealth . He always invited others to try to concentrate more on friendships and a sense of true community, for Socrates felt that this was the best way for people to grow together as a populace; and hence to "integrate".
The idea that humans possessed certain virtues formed a common thread in Socrates' teachings. These virtues represented the most important qualities for a person to have, foremost of which were the philosophical or intellectual virtues. Socrates stressed that "virtue was the most valuable of all possessions; the ideal life was spent in search of the Good. Truth lies beneath the shadows of existence, and that it is the job of the philosopher to show the rest how little they really know."  Here, we make the connection that what is Good usually accrues to or results in a state, or many states, of happiness. Socrates, in this regard, is generally credited with the establishment of the philosophy know as ethics, the study of what is Good and Bad in relation to moral duty and obligation. Although not a theory of happiness per se, Socrates did establish a logic in this direction.
Building on the works of Socrates, beginning about 400BC, the famed Greek philosopher Plato, a student of Socrates, posited that there must be one ideal way to "organize" society, of which all actual societies are mere imperfect copies, since they do not promote the good of all . In Plato's best known work The Republic he theorizes that the ideal citizen (one we might consider to be happy) is one who understands how best they can use their talents to the benefit of the whole of society, and bends unerringly to that task.
On the shoulders of giants, in about 350BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle, stemming from the school of Plato, having made much observation and strict classification of data in his studies, was impressed by the idea that both animate and inanimate behavior is directed toward some final purpose or goal. Hence Aristotle explained the behavior of people, institutions, and nations in terms of goals and purposes. Aristotle thought the concept of "purpose" could be used to explain the behavior of everything in the universe . In this regard, we may reason that "impulse" is the unconscious need to fulfill a structures purpose.
Aristotle's reasoning lay in the idea that everything has natural function and strives towards fulfilling or exhibiting that function, which is its best and most natural state. In a structures most natural state, it is logical to assume that a sense of contentment should result; or in a more direct manner, "happiness" should prevail. Through this short meta-analysis of happiness-logic in history, we find cogent agreement with the principle that a harmonious balance between one's own internal impulses in unison with the external worldly impulses functions operatively as we exert ourselves following this joint impulse unification or tendency as we join with the rest of life in its struggle to make new and better arrangements.
By the above logic, and based on the principle that the flux of solar energy through the earth system is what drives the formation of life, we might reason to postulate the follow, more encompassing, Porteus variation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics :