You agree that the universe had a cause, okay.
So if the universe, which I am referring to as the natural world, had an external cause(as it could not be internal because it would have to exist to create itself, which is a clear logical impossibility). This external cause is by definition supernatural.
Supernatural is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
"of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe."
The cause is beyond the universe, therefore it is supernatural.
Yes, it is equally self-evident to gravity.
I believe your argument that it is not is based on the fact that we have not observed every single effect to see if it has a cause.
However, we have not observed every single planet to see if they have gravity.
We know that all people die. Or do we?
We have not witnessed all people die, yet we believe it to be true.
The reason for this, I believe, is that 100% of the observable evidence points toward the conclusion. So Causality is equally true to gravity and mortality. Do you question the belief in gravity or mortality? If so, can you provide evidence that these theories are invalid and propose a theory that better suits the available evidence?
"Gravity is certainly not self-evident. There's quite a bit of research going on right now into the nature of gravity."
What is not self-evident about gravity?
"What sort of definition is that? Empirical or logical?"
It is a literal definition.
As for my previous arguments, see this thread and feel free to hop in on it.
Joe, may I ask what caused you to question the law of causality?
If nothing, then you would not have questioned it.
If something, be it curiosity, boredom, a belief that I am wrong, then it too had a cause. And if it had a cause, it therefor confirms my argument that everything has a cause in the natural universe. I could give you millions of examples in the natural world.
Additionally, Robert Jastrow wrote "every effect must have a cause; there is no first cause."
You have provided many interesting philosophical arguments, however there has been no evidence. I continue to argue that the Law of Causality is a self-evident principal of nature.
Does the law of causality apply something infinite?
Joe, your argument that causality is merely a relationship of things based on what preceded what fails. Simply put, it's because your argument that Y is not an effect of X unless we say it is is a false premise. If X-Y is a cause/effect relationship, Y would not happen without X. If I had not posted in this thread(X) you would not have responded to me(Y). To think otherwise undermines rational thought.
Additionally, I will play your game for a moment. (hypothetically) The Law of Causality is false. Therefore, this thread is irrelevant as Science no longer exists. As I stated above, science is a search for causes. If you remove the very pillar upon which science is based, it would be best not hear anything from you on the matter of any empirical or forensic matter as I would have to consider it hypocritical. You cannot accept science without causation.
Joe, if you are unwilling to accept the Law of Causality, I cannot make you.
However, I will also ask that you do not use any scientific research or experiments as evidence or arguments in any debates as these are all based on the validity of the Law of Causality. You have been very logical in your arguments and I respect you. Therefore I believe it is beneath you to do such a hypocritical thing as undermine the Law of Causality and then use arguments founded on it.
I believe the Law of Causality to be true because it is self-evident.
If not a force outside the natural world, which is what I call a supernatural force, then what?
Additionally, my belief that there is a supernatural force in play is based on science, founded on the Law of Causality, the validity of which you are questioning.
Would you like me to provide examples of the Law of Causality in action in the physical world? I would hope that they are evident enough that I need not demonstrate them.
I don't know of any forces outside the natural world. I suppose I might call such a thing a "phantasm" or maybe a "hallucination."
So bravo! You successfully transformed my query as to whether there is an alternative cause of the universe into a question of which word we should use in place of supernatural.
It's rather upside-down to suggest we search for a scientific basis for the basis of science. It's circular logic. It's as though science would be screaming "I'm true because I say I am!" No, the irrationality of such an idea is obvious.
You suggest we perform a scientific experiment(based on the Law of Causality) to affirm or deny the Law of Causality. Again, circular logic. The Law of Causality is true in every imaginable instance of the natural world and I challenge you to provide me with one in which it is not(don't go back to saying that I'm arguing based on a lack of evidence to the contrary. I have provided evidence and can easily provide more examples).
I apologize for the broken-up-ness of this post. I again accidentally submitted it too soon.