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# The universe is not caused.

Thu 18 Mar, 2010 06:23 am
I guess it is natural to ask question like where the universe come from? It is "natural" to ask for the cause of so and so. It make sense to ask for the cause for why some event A occur, and not B occur. I am here to argue that it does not make sense to ask for the cause of the universe as a whole. The whole intuition that we can ask for the cause of the universe as a whole comes from the fact that we often ask for the causes of it` s parts. Our universe as a whole is made up of causally interacting parts. Let`s denote "A <= B" to mean "A is caused by B". Let suppose that S is the set of all causes in the universe. It does not matter if S is finite, or infinite. Let ` s suppose X_i are the events in S for all i s.
Now, let use in some sense list the causal relation in S out in complete detail as illustrated by:

(1) X_1<=X_2<=X_3....................

(1) in fact contains all the causal relationships in S. At this part, let ` s make U ( "U"niverse) to stand for the series in (1). The important question we can ask now is: Is U in need of a cause? If the answer is yes, then U would be part of (1), but that is clearly a contradiction. If the answer is no, then we come to the conclusion that U is not caused by anything. Thus, it makes no sense to ask for the cause of the universe.

Conclusion:

The universe as a whole is made up of many interacting parts that stands in some type of causal relationship with one another. It makes sense to ask for causes of different parts of the whole, but it does not make sense to ask for the cause of the whole if we define the universe/whole as the sum total of all the causes, and their relations. Similarly, it is intuitive to ask for the cause of some physical objects, but the universe is not not a physical object. You cannot rise the same type of causal questions on it. The relationship between an object, and the universe is more or less like the relation between the element of a set, and the set itself. They are different ontological entities.
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kennethamy

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 06:32 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;140861 wrote:
I guess it is natural to ask question like where the universe come from? It is "natural" to ask for the cause of so and so. It make sense to ask for the cause for why some event A occur, and not B occur. I am here to argue that it does not make sense to ask for the cause of the universe as a whole. The whole intuition that we can ask for the cause of the universe as a whole comes from the fact that we often ask for the causes of it` s parts. Our universe as a whole is made up of causally interacting parts. Let`s denote "A <= B" to mean "A is caused by B". Let suppose that S is the set of all causes in the universe. It does not matter if S is finite, or infinite. Let ` s suppose X_i are the events in S for all i s.
Now, let use in some sense list the causal relation in S out in complete detail as illustrated by:

(1) X_1<=X_2<=X_3....................

(1) in fact contains all the causal relationships in S. At this part, let ` s make U ( "U"niverse) to stand for the series in (1). The important question we can ask now is: Is U in need of a cause? If the answer is yes, then U would be part of (1), but that is clearly a contradiction. If the answer is no, then we come to the conclusion that U is not caused by anything. Thus, it makes no sense to ask for the cause of the universe.

Conclusion:

The universe as a whole is made up of many interacting parts that stands in some type of causal relationship with one another. It makes sense to ask for causes of different parts of the whole, but it does not make sense to ask for the cause of the whole if we define the universe/whole as the sum total of all the causes, and their relations. Similarly, it is intuitive to ask for the cause of some physical objects, but the universe is not not a physical object. You cannot rise the same type of causal questions on it. The relationship between an object, and the universe is more or less like the relation between the element of a set, and the set itself. They are different ontological entities.

It is certainly true (as you argue) that just because it makes sense to believe that the parts of the universe are caused, it does not follow that it makes sense to believe that the universe (as a whole) makes sense. But, on the other hand, neither does it follow that it does not make sense to believe that the universe as a whole has a cause.
TuringEquivalent

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 07:03 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140864 wrote:
It is certainly true (as you argue) that just because it makes sense to believe that the parts of the universe are caused, it does not follow that it makes sense to believe that the universe (as a whole) makes sense. But, on the other hand, neither does it follow that it does not make sense to believe that the universe as a whole has a cause.

....than you did not follow the argument. Read the argument again. Imagine a set S contains all elements with property p, or S={x| Px }. If S has property P, then "S is a element of S". This is surely absurd.
kennethamy

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 07:34 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;140871 wrote:
....than you did not follow the argument. Read the argument again. Imagine a set S contains all elements with property p, or S={x| Px }. If S has property P, then "S is a element of S". This is surely absurd.

That supposes that a set cannot be a member of itself. But is that true? Is not the universal set a member of itself?
ughaibu

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 07:47 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140875 wrote:
Is not the universal set a member of itself?
In ZF set theory there isn't a universal set, only the universal class, and as a class which is a member of a class is a set, the universal class can not be a member of any class.
manored

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 07:52 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Arent sets only agrupations made by us, and thus unable to have properties of their own? I mean "Universe" is the set of everything that exists. It does not actually exist, its only a group created by us, and thus its not part of the set "Universe". If it does not exist, then it cannot have a cause associated to it.

If the universe had a cause, it would have to be outside the universe. As "universe" means "everything that exists", that is impossible.
0 Replies

kennethamy

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 08:25 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;140877 wrote:
In ZF set theory there isn't a universal set, only the universal class, and as a class which is a member of a class is a set, the universal class can not be a member of any class.

Duly noted.......

---------- Post added 03-18-2010 at 10:28 AM ----------

manored;140878 wrote:
Arent sets only agrupations made by us, and thus unable to have properties of their own? I mean "Universe" is the set of everything that exists. It does not actually exist, its only a group created by us, and thus its not part of the set "Universe". If it does not exist, then it cannot have a cause associated to it.

If the universe had a cause, it would have to be outside the universe. As "universe" means "everything that exists", that is impossible.

Why cannot something created by us exist (even if not actually)? Computers are created by us, and they exist (actually or not).

Yes, if "universe" means everything that exists, then you are right (unless, as Spinoza thought, the universe is self-caused). But, a lot of people do not think that the universe means everything that exists. They think it does not include God.
TuringEquivalent

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 12:25 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140875 wrote:
That supposes that a set cannot be a member of itself. But is that true? Is not the universal set a member of itself?

No, the argument don` t require sets( I use sets as an analogy, but i guess it is confusing).

Note that (1) contains all the causes, and the relations. We denote that by S. If S is in tern "caused" by say Y, then S is a "part of" S. That is:

S := X1 <=X2<=......<=S<= Y<=.......

This is, upon reflection, crazy.

Thus, the only option is that universe is uncaused.
kennethamy

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 12:40 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;140956 wrote:
No, the argument don` t require sets( I use sets as an analogy, but i guess it is confusing).

Note that (1) contains all the causes, and the relations. We denote that by S. If S is in tern "caused" by say Y, then S is a "part of" S. That is:

S := X1 <=X2<=......<=S<= Y<=.......

This is, upon reflection, crazy.

Thus, the only option is that universe is uncaused.

But need a set be a proper subset of itself? If you are not using sets, then what are you using?
TuringEquivalent

1
Thu 18 Mar, 2010 01:32 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140960 wrote:
But need a set be a proper subset of itself? If you are not using sets, then what are you using?

...You do know i just wrote down the reason?
0 Replies

manored

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 11:20 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140884 wrote:

Why cannot something created by us exist (even if not actually)? Computers are created by us, and they exist (actually or not).
Then I said "created", I meant "Imagined". As in: Its an idea, a concept created by us.

kennethamy;140884 wrote:

Yes, if "universe" means everything that exists, then you are right (unless, as Spinoza thought, the universe is self-caused). But, a lot of people do not think that the universe means everything that exists. They think it does not include God.
How could something cause itself? =)

Indeed a lot of people use the word "universe" with another meaning, witch is around the lines of "This world where we live". But the word "universe" does mean "everything that exists". Maybe we need more words for these concepts =)
kennethamy

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 11:30 am
@manored,
manored;141603 wrote:
Then I said "created", I meant "Imagined". As in: Its an idea, a concept created by us.

How could something cause itself? =)

Indeed a lot of people use the word "universe" with another meaning, witch is around the lines of "This world where we live". But the word "universe" does mean "everything that exists". Maybe we need more words for these concepts =)

Then I said "created", I meant "Imagined". As in: Its an idea, a concept created by us.

Well, in that case, not only was the concept of the computer created, but so was the computer (computers don't just grow). So in either case, what is created has to exist, otherwise how can it be created?

If people use the term, "universe" just to mean, Earth, they need a little education. But a lot of people do not use the term "Universe" for everything that exists, but for everything that exists except for God. I guess they would say, "the material universe".
manored

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 11:59 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141606 wrote:
Then I said "created", I meant "Imagined". As in: Its an idea, a concept created by us.

Well, in that case, not only was the concept of the computer created, but so was the computer (computers don't just grow). So in either case, what is created has to exist, otherwise how can it be created?
It can exist in our minds. So we may say that it doesnt exists in the world, but does in our minds.

I can create a story. It will exist in my mind, not in the world.

kennethamy;141606 wrote:

If people use the term, "universe" just to mean, Earth, they need a little education. But a lot of people do not use the term "Universe" for everything that exists, but for everything that exists except for God. I guess they would say, "the material universe".
Personally I think it should be reserved for "everything that exists", but we cant really decide what a word will mean...

Not a global decision, at least. Not how the world is today.
Reconstructo

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 02:46 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;140861 wrote:

The universe as a whole is made up of many interacting parts that stands in some type of causal relationship with one another. It makes sense to ask for causes of different parts of the whole, but it does not make sense to ask for the cause of the whole if we define the universe/whole as the sum total of all the causes, and their relations. Similarly, it is intuitive to ask for the cause of some physical objects, but the universe is not not a physical object. You cannot rise the same type of causal questions on it. The relationship between an object, and the universe is more or less like the relation between the element of a set, and the set itself. They are different ontological entities.

I agree. You are coming at it from a slightly different angle than Kant but with the same results. I would even go so far to say that causality is only justified psychologically, and not logically. Which makes it even more questionable to ask for a "cause" of the universe.
TuringEquivalent

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:04 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;141667 wrote:
I would even go so far to say that causality is only justified psychologically, and not logically. Which makes it even more questionable to ask for a "cause" of the universe.

...and i would say you are wrong
Reconstructo

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:12 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;141671 wrote:
...and i would say you are wrong

that's fine. but is that all you have to say? i don't mind disagreement in the least, but please don't be so flippant. make an argument.
TuringEquivalent

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:23 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;141675 wrote:
that's fine. but is that all you have to say? i don't mind disagreement in the least, but please don't be so flippant. make an argument.

the argument is that non-causal view do not support counterfactual.
Reconstructo

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:30 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;141679 wrote:
the argument is that non-causal view do not support counterfactual.

Well, I see causality as an interpretation of "the facts." But anyway, I like Turing, at least what I know about him, so I don't want to start our conversation w/ any sort of unpleasant argument.

I think causality is quite justified pragmatically, but not so much in a strictly logical sense. I haven't heard a good counter to Hume yet.
Quote:

The notion of causation is closely linked to the problem of induction. According to Hume, we reason inductively by associating constantly conjoined events, and it is the mental act of association that is the basis of our concept of causation.
Why should the future resemble the past? Because it always has? But that would be a circular argument....
TuringEquivalent

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:36 pm
@Reconstructo,
Code:
Reconstructo;141683 wrote:
Well, I see causality as an interpretation of "the facts." But anyway, I like Turing, at least what I know about him, so I don't want to start our conversation w/ any sort of unpleasant argument.

I think causality is quite justified pragmatically, but not so much in a strictly logical sense. I haven't heard a good counter to Hume yet.
Why should the future resemble the past? Because it always has? But that would be a circular argument....

Logically necessity? no!
physical, nomic necessity? yes.

The best explanation for why mass obey in the inverse square law is that it is a law.
Reconstructo

1
Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:38 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;141687 wrote:

The best explanation for why mass obey in the inverse square law is that it is a law.

Yes, for practical purposes, I agree. But I view philosophy as something that moves beyond the merely practical.

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