0
   

The universe is not caused.

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 03:39 pm
@manored,
manored;141622 wrote:
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.

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.


Our minds are in the world. So what exists in our minds also exists in the world. But, of course, since there is a difference between the idea or the concept of a unicorn, it does not follow that because the concept or the idea of a unicorn exists, that unicorns exist. That would be like saying that because I am searching for the Fountain of Youth, that the Fountain of Youth exists.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 04:05 pm
@Reconstructo,
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....

LAW is what justifies without being justified !



...The Ultimate Cause is not caused, once it is the true reason of all there is...

---------- Post added 03-20-2010 at 05:19 PM ----------

Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 08:52 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;141709 wrote:

LAW is what justifies without being justified !



...The Ultimate Cause is not caused, once it is the true reason of all there is...

---------- Post added 03-20-2010 at 05:19 PM ----------



All of this is well said. Yes, causality is so useful that it's hard not to believe that nature does have a certain stable form. I certainly live as if it does. Still, Wittgenstein and Hume have a good point. It's a brilliant thing to question, the roots of causality.

I'm coming at the moment from a hard transcendental angle. The real is rational because humans are rational. Humans could even be called ratio, but that would be too poetic for some.

I think we evolved the concept of causality, precisely because it was useful, which means because nature does have laws, or a structure for which laws is a good metaphor. It's all quite mysterious, really. Could it not have been some other way?

I also see the beauty in necessity and law, just as Spinoza did. It's absolute form...which like Snickers, really satisfies.

Yes, cause and the behavior of being are pretty much one and the same. The concept is the essence of being. Even if nature is cause-bound, the human mind would have develop it's own mirror-image conception of this causality, ab-stract or yank it out. The great scientists and philosophers seem like those who could escape their immersion in the "way things are done around here" and think of it differently. Of course we are most of us nothings without our influences. We stand on the shoulders of giants or we crawl at their feet...

I really enjoy your presence here, as you have a true passion for it, just as I do.
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2010 10:03 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;141688 wrote:
Yes, for practical purposes, I agree. But I view philosophy as something that moves beyond the merely practical.

The claim that there are physical necessities solves many problems in philosophy, and that is why it is a superior view than it` s competition. I never say anything about being practical.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 11:26 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;141689 wrote:
Our minds are in the world. So what exists in our minds also exists in the world. But, of course, since there is a difference between the idea or the concept of a unicorn, it does not follow that because the concept or the idea of a unicorn exists, that unicorns exist. That would be like saying that because I am searching for the Fountain of Youth, that the Fountain of Youth exists.
Indeed, but, for practical purposes you have just mentioned yourself, I think its a good idea to split the world from the minds of its inhabitants.

Also, from the "everything is an ilusion" point of view, our mind is nowhere in particular, and always outside ever world.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Mar, 2010 02:08 pm
@manored,
The mind has no idea how to conceive of originality, it clashes with simple or even complex methods of understanding cause, that we see described here.
0 Replies
 
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 11:36 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;141772 wrote:
The claim that there are physical necessities solves many problems in philosophy, and that is why it is a superior view than it` s competition. I never say anything about being practical.


Physical necessities = theology in disguise. Regularity is the superior view.

Read this article: Laws of Nature [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Read this book: "The Concept of Physical Law", by Norman Swartz
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:26 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;142657 wrote:
Physical necessities = theology in disguise. Regularity is the superior view.

Read this article: Laws of Nature [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Read this book: "The Concept of Physical Law", by Norman Swartz
How is it a superior view? In the first article, the author says Necessitarians will say that an electron has a certain charge and that this is a law of nature.

Would a Regularist say that this isn't a law... it's only observed?

The crux of the matter, I think, is that a Regularist can't say that. Charge means that a particle has this property whether it's being demonstrated or not. We can't observe that an electron is charged unless it's being demonstrated. Having speculated that charge is a property, we make predictions. The predictions are verified by experiment and we then believe we were right.

It seems that Regularists would be left with noticing that things happen, but with no model for explaining or predicting events.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:49 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;142670 wrote:
How is it a superior view? In the first article, the author says Necessitarians will say that an electron has a certain charge and that this is a law of nature.

Would a Regularist say that this isn't a law... it's only observed?


No, we both agree it's a law of nature. The disagreement is over what that entails.

The key section in that entire article is this:

Quote:
Although there are problems aplenty in Tarski's theory of truth (i.e. the semantic theory of truth, also called the "correspondence theory of truth"), it is the best theory we have. Its core concept is that statements (or propositions) are true if they describe the world the way it is, and they are false otherwise. Put metaphorically, we can say that truth flows to propositions from the way the world is. Propositions 'take their truth' from the world; they do not impose their truth on the world. If two days before an election, Tom says "Sylvia will win", and two days after the election, Marcus says, "Sylvia won", then whether these statements are true or false depends on whether or not Sylvia is elected. If she is, both statements are true; if she is not, then both statements are false. But the truth or falsity of those statements does not bring about her winning (or losing), or cause her to win (or lose), the election. Whether she wins or loses is up to the voters, not to certain statements.

Necessitarians - unwittingly perhaps - turn the semantic theory of truth on its head. Instead of having propositions taking their truth from the way the world is, they argue that certain propositions - namely the laws of nature - impose truth on the world.
If you think laws of nature control the universe, impose themselves on it so that it conforms to the truth of the laws, you have a fairly theological view of laws. They are like decrees of order handed down from a deity.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 12:56 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;142678 wrote:
No, we both agree it's a law of nature. The disagreement is over what that entails.

The key section in that entire article is this:

If you think laws of nature control the universe, impose themselves on it so that it conforms to the truth of the laws, you have a fairly theological view of laws. They are like decrees of order handed down from a deity.


---------- Post added 03-23-2010 at 02:04 PM ----------



---------- Post added 03-23-2010 at 02:16 PM ----------

Throw away Time...Time just messes up clarity !
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 01:44 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Night Ripper;142678 wrote:
If you think laws of nature control the universe, impose themselves on it so that it conforms to the truth of the laws, you have a fairly theological view of laws. They are like decrees of order handed down from a deity.


Fil. Albuquerque;142682 wrote:
That icon's head is made of rubber. It doesn't hurt when he bangs it against the wall.

The only point I was making is that it's a really wise and helpful physics teacher who draws a student's attention to the nature of the model that is inherent in any law. Notice: Ohm's Law and Poiseuille's Law. They're very similar for a reason: they originate in the same model that analyzes an event into three parts: potential, kinetic, and resistive.

Observed information didn't passively flow into the mind that generated these laws. The model came first in the same way the model for the railroad inspired the creation of universal telephone service.

The reason this is helpful to the student is that it prepares him or her to identify incorrect usage of a law. It also helps the student be more open to change in our understanding of the world. If the student thought the laws originated in observation, he or she might make the fatal mistake of imagining the model must be correct because experimentation proves its predictive ability. Experimentation does not verify the basic premises of the model. It only shows that the model works practically. Knowing this, the student won't be astounded to find out that Einstein's model for gravity is allows more accurate predictions of gravity's effects than Newton's.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 02:13 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;142692 wrote:
That icon's head is made of rubber. It doesn't hurt when he bangs it against the wall.

The only point I was making is that it's a really wise and helpful physics teacher who draws a student's attention to the nature of the model that is inherent in any law. Notice: Ohm's Law and Poiseuille's Law. They're very similar for a reason: they originate in the same model that analyzes an event into three parts: potential, kinetic, and resistive.

Observed information didn't passively flow into the mind that generated these laws. The model came first in the same way the model for the railroad inspired the creation of universal telephone service.

The reason this is helpful to the student is that it prepares him or her to identify incorrect usage of a law. It also helps the student be more open to change in our understanding of the world. If the student thought the laws originated in observation, he or she might make the fatal mistake of imagining the model must be correct because experimentation proves its predictive ability. Experimentation does not verify the basic premises of the model. It only shows that the model works practically. Knowing this, the student won't be astounded to find out that Einstein's model for gravity is allows more accurate predictions of gravity's effects than Newton's.
0 Replies
 
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 02:39 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;142692 wrote:
That icon's head is made of rubber. It doesn't hurt when he bangs it against the wall.

The only point I was making is that it's a really wise and helpful physics teacher who draws a student's attention to the nature of the model that is inherent in any law. Notice: Ohm's Law and Poiseuille's Law. They're very similar for a reason: they originate in the same model that analyzes an event into three parts: potential, kinetic, and resistive.

Observed information didn't passively flow into the mind that generated these laws. The model came first in the same way the model for the railroad inspired the creation of universal telephone service.

The reason this is helpful to the student is that it prepares him or her to identify incorrect usage of a law. It also helps the student be more open to change in our understanding of the world. If the student thought the laws originated in observation, he or she might make the fatal mistake of imagining the model must be correct because experimentation proves its predictive ability. Experimentation does not verify the basic premises of the model. It only shows that the model works practically. Knowing this, the student won't be astounded to find out that Einstein's model for gravity is allows more accurate predictions of gravity's effects than Newton's.


I'm taking the statement "all electrons have identical charges" as true. It's true now and always will be. I don't doubt that, at least, I'm not here to argue about the truth of that statement. Let's just take it, or any other law-like statement, as true for the sake of argument.

The difference between necessity and regularity is that, given the truth of such a statement, Necessitarians claim that such statements are true therefore the universe behaves the way it does. The universe follows the law.

On the other hand, Regularists claim that such statements are true because the universe behaves the way it does. The law follows the universe.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 05:57 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;142711 wrote:
I'm taking the statement "all electrons have identical charges" as true. It's true now and always will be. I don't doubt that, at least, I'm not here to argue about the truth of that statement. Let's just take it, or any other law-like statement, as true for the sake of argument.

The difference between necessity and regularity is that, given the truth of such a statement, Necessitarians claim that such statements are true therefore the universe behaves the way it does. The universe follows the law.

On the other hand, Regularists claim that such statements are true because the universe behaves the way it does. The law follows the universe.
Right. I understand. Regularists are strongly opposed to any form of theism. Saying that events conform to physical laws is a vestige of the time when people saw God as the cause of any event. The better way to go is to see that laws don't cause anything: they only describe the way the universe behaves.

There is a danger of error and confusion that results from failing to see that the physical laws come from playing with ideas. The ideas may have been necessitarian in nature. What we want to do is see this.

For instance, you said you have no doubt that all electrons have identical charges. What you want to do is see what is meant by charge. That a charge means a quantity of charge. Charge is potential energy. Potential energy is that which is stored in a physical system. And when we say stored, we mean lacking any physical properties until the conditions of the system change so that the energy reappears in a form we can sense. What is the basis for believing that energy is stored? The simple answer is: intuition. In this case, the intuition found a semi-theistic model to express itself: energy is a "thing" that can be stored. Events unfold as this motive "thing" pops in out of nowhere and moves objects in time and space.

So is "all electrons have identical charge, or any charge for that matter" a true statement? All I'm saying is, let's hesitate to assume that the behavior of the universe has been described here. At least until we understand the story behind the words (which might have involved the dreaded theists or their kin.) Let's not allow our drive to remove the hand of God from our thoughts blind us to the fact that this hand is in our thoughts. We inherited it. That's all I was saying.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 09:19 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
I think the philosophical impact of causality on this level has to do with the idea of whether life itself has a purpose, other than just the purposes which humans seek to inject into it.

From a Buddhist viewpoint, speculation about first causes is generally regarded as a waste of time. Indeed the model that I think that will emerge soon, if it hasn't already, is that the Universe/s expand and contract through a series of Big Bangs - not just one.

Which according to Indian religious cosmology, is just Brahman going

Breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe out

So in order to work out what it means, we sit down each morning and

Breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe out


BUT the idea that the Universe arises fortuitously, and that everything just happens, for no reason, is an incorrect view. There is a lawful relationship between intention and result, at every level of it. Where that started and why it exists, is out-of-scope for us mortals. Meanwhile

Breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe out
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 12:17 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;142770 wrote:
Right. I understand. Regularists are strongly opposed to any form of theism. .


You seem to see philosophy through only one prism. Can't one believe that the laws of nature are not laws created by God? The word, "law" is ambiguous as between prescriptive and descriptive laws. There is no good reason a regularist need be an atheist, or even an agnostic, since a non-regularist need not be a theist. This supposed connection never even occurred to me before your post.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 05:28 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;142831 wrote:
You seem to see philosophy through only one prism. Can't one believe that the laws of nature are not laws created by God? The word, "law" is ambiguous as between prescriptive and descriptive laws. There is no good reason a regularist need be an atheist, or even an agnostic, since a non-regularist need not be a theist. This supposed connection never even occurred to me before your post.
I'm no expert on regularism. It looks to me like it's essentially abhorrence of theism. They rightly notice that basic physics contains perspectives that evolved from older theistic ones. If that problem needs to be solved, you can't do it by suddenly saying "no more speaking of things being caused, only say things happen."

There's actually two reasons for that:

1. The idea of cause is too imbedded in physics. If you tried to surgically remove it, you'd have nothing left. The scientist starts by asking "why does the metal glow when it gets hot?" In other words: what makes it do that? Do any of them believe the universe is subject to the rule of law? Sure, you could look at it that way. Do they mind that that causes philosophical problems? No.

2. You can't tell scientists how to theorize anymore than you can tell birds how to fly. They have wild imaginations. That's basically what science is: crazy idea meets the space-time continuum (which is a crazy idea.)

So you're right: a nonregularist doesn't have to be a theist, but the regularist is claiming that they unconsciously are... that they just replaced God with natural law.

Interestingly, God, as the idea has been handed down to us, is partly an adaptation of Nature as the Romans understood the word. Natural rights became God-given rights.

In terms of creativity, divinity has been replaced not by nature, but by us. Unlike the Mesopotamians, we don't believe paper was invented by a god. We think we did it.

So what it comes down to is this: God represents something other than ourselves and our home. As Fil said: the idea that the universe is somebody else's project.

I know you don't like long answers, ken. Sorry.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 09:22 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;142955 wrote:
I'm no expert on regularism. It looks to me like it's essentially abhorrence of theism. They rightly notice that basic physics contains perspectives that evolved from older theistic ones. If that problem needs to be solved, you can't do it by suddenly saying "no more speaking of things being caused, only say things happen."


Well, I don't really like changing the meaning of words. I think there's a lot of baggage on the word "cause" and re-appropriating it for our purposes will lead to some misunderstanding. However, some people agree with you and there is a definition of causation that fits with regularity. It was made famous by David Hume.

A causes B if B regularly follows A spatio-temporally.

Since the light coming on regularly follows my flipping the light switch then my flipping the light switch "caused" the light to come on.

On this view, causation is nothing more than regularity, hence the name.
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Mar, 2010 10:17 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;143025 wrote:
Well, I don't really like changing the meaning of words. I think there's a lot of baggage on the word "cause" and re-appropriating it for our purposes will lead to some misunderstanding. However, some people agree with you and there is a definition of causation that fits with regularity. It was made famous by David Hume.

A causes B if B regularly follows A spatio-temporally.

Since the light coming on regularly follows my flipping the light switch then my flipping the light switch "caused" the light to come on.

On this view, causation is nothing more than regularity, hence the name.
I appreciate your bringing it up. It caused me to notice some things about the idea of cause.:bigsmile:
0 Replies
 
 

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