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More about cause and effect

 
 
Reply Mon 16 Sep, 2013 04:05 pm
Everything we do, say or think is an effect of some kind of cause -- we eat because we are hungry, drink because we're thirsty, answer the phone or door because it rings, bathe, brush our teeth, comb our hair because that's what we do everyday, scratch because we itch, yawn because we're bored, go to the market because we need things, stop at signals because they are red, turn on a light because it's dark, watch TV or the computer because that's what we do everyday, pay bills because they're due, respond to posts because we have something to say.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 3,851 • Replies: 69
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Sep, 2013 12:02 am
@Rickoshay75,
What point are you trying to make ?

Note...
1. That humans can be said to differ from other species on account of their ability to "think" in terms of "cause and effect" and thereby attempt to control their lives with limited success.
2. That" cause and effect" have no ultimate philosophical or scientific status.

The words in italics might serve to modify your views.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Sep, 2013 02:57 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

What point are you trying to make ?

Note...
1. That humans can be said to differ from other species on account of their ability to "think" in terms of "cause and effect" and thereby attempt to control their lives with limited success.
2. That" cause and effect" have no ultimate philosophical or scientific status.

The words in italics might serve to modify your views.

What status does it have in philosophy or science in your opinion? Also, how is change explained in your opinion because the changed thing can only arise due to a collection of prior causes and conditions? When examined retrospectively they were seen to have been necessary and without those certain causes and conditions any attempt to replicate the change will fail.

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Sep, 2013 06:24 am
@igm,
IMO Science is about refinement of our pre-occupation with prediction and control. The problem is that our definitions of necessary and sufficient conditions for "an event" to occur are 1. based on at least one assumed axiom (Godel) and 2 may have unforseen consequences as yet unquantified (global warming for example) which devalue the presumed "success" of our control program. In short "cause" and "effect" are both logically open sets (i.e. "event winows") even if we seek to close them for economy of understanding.

This personal opinion is backed by Hume's celebrated philosophical deconstruction of causality (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding) and the time symmetries of modern physics which are antithetical to directional sequences in time.

Now it may be the case that what we call "understanding" and "explanation" are so heavily steeped in "causality" that no transcendent alternative can be offered. It boils down to an argument about whether we think causality is merely an anthropocentrically useful concept, or whether we think "causal mechanisms" are independent of the human observers which evoke them,
igm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Sep, 2013 07:28 am
@fresco,

Thanks fresco... I'll give some thought to what you've said... I have that volume by Hume on my bookshelf.. (studied by me at college but not clearly remembered). Buddhism looks at what it calls, 'Truly existent cause and effect' and concludes that it is not possible, this realization is called, 'empty dependent origination' or slightly differently 'dependent origination', which are technical terms that aren't easily explained, especially in a post... thanks again!

JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Sep, 2013 08:40 pm
@igm,
Fresco and Igm, thanks for some truly edifying posts.
0 Replies
 
Rickoshay75
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 12:59 pm
@fresco,
That" cause and effect" have no ultimate philosophical or scientific status. >>

They did when I was an electro-mechanical engineer for over forty years. Everything I designed was based on cause and effect.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 12:02 am
@Rickoshay75,
Rickoshay75 wrote:

Everything we do, say or think is an effect of some kind of cause -- we eat because we are hungry, drink because we're thirsty, answer the phone or door because it rings, bathe, brush our teeth, comb our hair because that's what we do everyday, scratch because we itch, yawn because we're bored, go to the market because we need things, stop at signals because they are red, turn on a light because it's dark, watch TV or the computer because that's what we do everyday, pay bills because they're due, respond to posts because we have something to say.


Sure. But you must recognize that your list of C & E enumerates a host of different kinds and categories of causes and effects. Hunger and thirst are the involuntary-yet-conscious products of self-regulating biological systems. Bathing, brushing one's teeth, and combing one's hair are, on a basic level a response to a desire for comfort , and also are, on a broader historical level, a response to social norms informed by a casual knowledge of the benefits of personal hygiene. People go to the market, stop at red lights, and even pay bills because they have a sense of self preservation within a complicated social system. Still, i must admit, scratching and yawning are (somewhat-) involuntary reflexes -- one can't pretend that deliberation has much to say about that -- except that both can be repressed, with considerable will, in certain social situations. A person does want to turn on the electric light when they can't see in the dark -- someone else invented it, but one does take advantage of earlier tools.

"Cause" is both a much more difficult concept and a much more difficult phenomenon than we'd like to think. "Effect" is similarly complicated. But the relationship between them is even more complicated.

"Cause and Effect" is not a matter of a domino affect -- Imagine that two pool balls were spinning toward one another, moving at near equal speeds, they impact and head off in different directions. What is the cause of each consequent motion, which is effected? The answer is both and both. "Cause and effect", considered in a larger context, is not a matter of "if-then" but of (in contrast to impromptu theater) "and-but" (or "but-and", whatev...)

I doubt any of the above will cause you to see sense, but hopefully it will help you to see how things fit together.(#hubris)
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2013 04:24 am
For the cause to cause the effect then the cause has to arise either at the same time or not at the same time as the effect; in each case the cause is not required for the effect because if it arises at the same time as the effect then the cause is not being used as it exists untouched and unchanged by the effect. If the cause has ceased before the effect arises then there must be a gap between the cessation of the cause and the arising of the effect, so there is no connection between the two; the effect would be arising from the gap created after the cessation of the cause...

... but without the cause being present there can be no effect...

This is why cause and effect is beyond our ability to explain it... it is beyond elaboration.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 08:41 am
@igm,
1 - Have you heard about transmission ?
Conservation of energy ?
Duration ?


2 - Causes precede effects because there are patterns on conditions without which given events won't happen...for all that I care and know the substance between cause and effect can be said magic just as in the same way Logic cannot be explained by logic. In causation ironically there is no cause of causation...things are as they are.

3 - Some of you people ought to try stop pseudo transcending the actual conditions of your existence...if someone robes you on the street when you get to a police station you won't say that your belongings just vanished...there is a good deal of hypocrisy between the speech and the factual way you conduct your lives...be authentic.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 10:21 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
I stand by what I said... I certainly don't believe in duration... can you point out an example?

I did say that without a cause there will be no effect.. it's how it happens that is unexplainable. You haven't explained it.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 01:43 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:

I stand by what I said... I certainly don't believe in duration... can you point out an example?

I did say that without a cause there will be no effect.. it's how it happens that is unexplainable. You haven't explained it.


Since when duration has to be infinite or permanent ?
Without duration you couldn't even establish something had changed in the first place.

Science aims to explain HOW rather then why change happens...so far it has done a sufficient good job in explaining it.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 02:24 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

igm wrote:

I stand by what I said... I certainly don't believe in duration... can you point out an example?

I did say that without a cause there will be no effect.. it's how it happens that is unexplainable. You haven't explained it.


Since when duration has to be infinite or permanent ?
Without duration you couldn't even establish something had changed in the first place.

Science aims to explain HOW rather then why change happens...so far it has done a sufficient good job in explaining it.

Science doesn't tell us 'HOW' things have duration... or can you give me an example?

Duration has to be, at the very least, momentary... quantum physics or even plain physics will not argue that there is an actual explanation that proves there is an actual moment of duration... not even for a single Planck length.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 04:22 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:

Fil Albuquerque wrote:

igm wrote:

I stand by what I said... I certainly don't believe in duration... can you point out an example?

I did say that without a cause there will be no effect.. it's how it happens that is unexplainable. You haven't explained it.


Since when duration has to be infinite or permanent ?
Without duration you couldn't even establish something had changed in the first place.

Science aims to explain HOW rather then why change happens...so far it has done a sufficient good job in explaining it.

Science doesn't tell us 'HOW' things have duration... or can you give me an example?

Duration has to be, at the very least, momentary... quantum physics or even plain physics will not argue that there is an actual explanation that proves there is an actual moment of duration... not even for a single Planck length.



I didn't said Science tells us things have duration although if I have said it I would be correct, once Science uses clocks to measure the duration of phenomena, nowadays atomic clocks. What in turn I did said was that Science aims to explain the HOW things work rather then WHY things work. I maintain that claim.
I don't know why to given effects one can always observe a given pattern of causes preceding such effects. But I think the how has been fairly addressed.
You can be said to have a point to the extent we don't really know for sure what causation may fully refer to, but to the extent that causation refers to a given pattern of phenomena preceding a given pattern of effects there is no wronging ! Wink
igm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 05:17 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

...we don't really know for sure what causation may fully refer to,...

I agree and that was what I 'originally' pointed out... reread my first post on this...

It is impossible to witness a cause becoming an effect but an effect nevertheless will not arise without the cause having been present... it seems as if there must be a connection but when examined it cannot be found in the past, present or future and science has never witnessed the transition, only the result and then speculated that in some unknown way the cause must have given rise to it. It hints at how little science knows about deeper questions but nevertheless plenty can apparently be done by just ignoring them and continuing to go with what works and what superficially seems to be reproducible.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Nov, 2013 06:27 pm
@igm,
Has I've said in another thread establishing a fact about something does not need to exhaustively describe that something aside what it intends to describe, there is a scope in play. Facts have finite extension and comprehension and that extension needs not equal the size of the actual phenomena they partially describe so long what they can describe is accurate.
Things that work work with a reason.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 06:13 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Has I've said in another thread establishing a fact about something does not need to exhaustively describe that something aside what it intends to describe, there is a scope in play. Facts have finite extension and comprehension and that extension needs not equal the size of the actual phenomena they partially describe so long what they can describe is accurate.
Things that work work with a reason.

I stand by my original post...

http://able2know.org/topic/222602-1#post-5504512

... you've said nothing of substance and answered none of my questions.... it's all too vague and you seem to be defending something you 'hope' might be the case but with no understanding of how to do it.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 07:10 am
@igm,
Please point to me the questions I didn't answer you.
By the way what is it that has no substance ? That facts point to particulars ? That facts have a finite precise aiming in what they intend to describe ?
You see phenomena are a collection of properties that needs not be fully recollected so I can speak in specific aspects of it.
Next time you try to make a counter be substantial on what you are trying to counter...
igm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 08:07 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
A cause does not arise at the same time as the effect.
A cause if it does not arise at the same time as the effect is not the cause of the effect as it has ceased before the effect has arisen.
A cause must have been present, if it wasn't present then there will be no effect.

Causation cannot be explained and you've already agreed that you cannot explain it... that summarizes what I've said up to now and you haven't shown it is incorrect... why are you continuing to argue?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 08:21 am
@igm,
igm wrote:

A cause does not arise at the same time as the effect.
A cause if it does not arise at the same time as the effect is not the cause of the effect as it has ceased before the effect has arisen.
A cause must have been present, if it wasn't present then there will be no effect.

Causation cannot be explained and you've already agreed that you cannot explain it... that summarizes what I've said up to now and you haven't shown it is incorrect... why are you continuing to argue?


Cause needs to precede effect because there is mechanical transmission of energy such that the particular effect in question can follow. It needs not be simultaneous, even when it apparently seams to be simultaneous.
In certain situations the cause needs to keep on so the effect can keep on.
For instance when you are seated in a chair the atomic forces in the atoms of the chair have to withstand your weight in successive moments where you weight pulls against the atomic bounding of atoms in the chair so you don't fall. It still in this situation causes always precede effects so long there is transmission of energy. There was a reason why I spoke of transmission and duration you seem to have missed it.

The reason I said causation cannot be fully explained had nothing to do with your point but rather regards the problem of the first cause being uncaused since there cannot be an infinite regression of causes so you can arrive at this moment in time. In such light all that can be said about causation is that there is an order between causes and effects, a pattern in place, although there is no reason to it other then recognising what is the case is the case. There is no cause of causation. Causation per se is meaningless.
It can be reasonably argued that if the first cause has no cause then no other thing ultimately has a cause and thus that the passing of time is meaningless to the fact that things all along history are what they are.
 

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