• Philosophim
    777
    In thinking on causality, I have concluded that the nature of existence necessitates a "first cause". The definition and justification of this conclusion are written below. This may be a little abstract for some at first, so please ask questions if certain portions need some clarity. I welcome all criticism!

    1. Either all things have a prior cause for their existence, or there is at least one first cause of existence from which a chain of events follows.

    2. We can represent with the following labels.

    Y: represents an existence that may or may not have prior causality.
    X: represents an existent prior causality to Y.
    Z: Represent an existence caused by Y.
    Alpha: A Y existence that is identified as having no prior causality.

    3. This leads us to 3 plausibilities.

    a. There is always a X for every Y. (infinite prior causality).
    b. The X/Y causal chain eventually wraps back to Y/X (infinitely looped causality)
    c. There comes a time within a causal chain when there is only Y, and nothing prior to Y. This Y is Alpha. (first cause)

    4. Alpha logic: An alpha cannot have any prior reasoning that explains why it came into existence. An Alpha's reason for its existence can never be defined by the Z's that follow it. If an Alpha exists, its own justification for existence, is itself. We could say, "The reversal of Z's causality logically lead up to this Alpha," But we cannot say "Z is the cause of why Alpha could, or could not exist." Plainly put, the rules concluded within a universe of causality cannot explain why an Alpha exists.

    5. Infinitely prior, and infinitely looped causality, all have one final question of causality that needs answering. "Why would it be that there exists an infinite prior or infinitely looped causality in existence? These two terms will be combined into one, "Infinite causality.

    6. If there exists an X which explains the reason why any infinite causality exists, then its not truly infinite causality, as it is something outside of the infinite causality chain. That X then becomes another Y with the same 3 plausibilities of prior causality. Therefore, the existence of a prior causality is actually an Alpha, or first cause.

    7. Because there are no other plausibilties to how causality functions, the only only conclusion is that a causal chain will always lead to an Alpha, or first cause.
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    A "first" number is logically necessary too ... :roll:
  • Manuel
    1.9k


    :up:



    The universe doesn't give a damn if it follows our logic or not.
  • Philosophim
    777

    Aw, don't do me like that 180 Proof. I usually love your wit and insight. Let me get you into the fun version of yourself.

    So technically, no, a first number is not logically necessary. Considering we can have negative numbers, and the creation of numbers is a formula that can be applied without limitation, there is no "first" number.

    First integer? Sure, that would be one. Of course, years later, 0 was invented, and that could be argued as the "first" integer. So would it be the first created integer, or the first integer in numeric order?

    In otherwords, even though I considered your post silly, I addressed it seriously for fun. Do the same to my post please.
  • Philosophim
    777
    The universe doesn't give a damn if it follows our logic or not.Manuel

    That's an interesting conclusion. If you read it and understood the premise, I would say it was clever. Feel free to explain why its clever within the confines of the OP, and I'll grant it.
  • T Clark
    7.2k
    Either all things have a prior cause for their existence, or there is at least one first cause of existence from which a chain of events follows.Philosophim

    I don't follow the logic of your discussion, but that doesn't matter, since I don't see why this is true.
  • Manuel
    1.9k


    Depends on how we think of cause. It's not impossible that the universe came into being for no reason or cause. Someone can say that makes no sense at all, but it could be the case for all we know.

    I share the intuition that something must be the cause of the universe, but maybe there are no causes when we get to issues of this depth.
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    My post simply shows that "first ... logically necessary" is incoherent. Based on that faulty premise, for me your argument is DOA. No diss meant, just showing (what you readily admit) instead of telling.
  • Philosophim
    777

    Y
    My post simply shows that "first ... logically necessary" is incoherent.180 Proof

    You're judging my post based on the title? Isn't that the same as reading the title of a news article, then commenting on it at the bottom of the forum? Come on, you're better than that. The title is just something to get people to click on it and read the post. Feel free to read the post, then let me know if my title was inappropriate.
  • Philosophim
    777
    I don't follow the logic of your discussion, but that doesn't matter, since I don't see why this is true.T Clark

    Fair enough, I am presupposing some knowledge here.

    Causality is the idea that a snapshot of existence is in the state that it is because of some prior state. Lets use a pool table for example. If I shoot a cue ball into the 8 ball, a certain amount of force is applied to the cue ball, which then transfers to the 8 ball, which then sinks in the right corner pocket.

    If we shake this magic 8 ball for a minute, we discover that it moved because of the force applied from the cue ball. In other words, the 8 ball didn't just move itself without any internal or external force. It did not move "simply because it moved". A first cause would be if the 8 ball moved and there was no reason why it should have moved, internally, or externally.

    Does that clarify causality? Do you have another take on it?
  • Philosophim
    777
    Depends on how we think of cause. It's not impossible that the universe came into being for no reason or cause. Someone can say that makes no sense at all, but it could be the case for all we know.Manuel

    According to my OP, I conclude that it is logically necessary that the universe came into being for no reason or cause. Do I make a good case for it?
  • Manuel
    1.9k


    If there exists an X which explains the reason why any infinite causality exists, then its not truly infinite causality, as it is something outside of the infinite causality chain. That X then becomes another Y with the same 3 plausibilities of prior causality. Therefore, the existence of a prior causality is actually an Alpha, or first cause.Philosophim

    Maybe this is the case, maybe it's not. We have to "stop the buck" somewhere otherwise we go down an infinite chain of postulates. We don't know enough to say either is the case.

    An argument could be made for both needing a first cause (or an uncaused cause) or not needing one, in the case the universe is actually infinite.
  • Philosophim
    777
    Maybe this is the case, maybe it's not. We have to "stop the buck" somewhere otherwise we go down an infinite chain of postulates. We don't know enough to say either is the case.Manuel

    Yes, you understand this part then. What I am proposing are plausibilities. Its either "Infinitely Regressive", or "Finitely regressive". We don't know for sure which is real. So what I'm doing is saying, "Lets pretend one is real, what logical conclusions can we reach or not reach?"

    An argument could be made for both needing a first cause (or an uncaused cause) or not needing one, in the case the universe is actually infinite.Manuel

    The argument that I'm making is that yes, the universe could be finitely or infinitely regressive, but that there logically can be no cause for why this should be. Many people say, "The universe could not have formed on its own," but my conclusion is, "The universe necessarily formed on its own".
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    You're judging my post based on the title?Philosophim
    No, sir, I also read your opening sentence:
    In thinking on causality, I have concluded that the nature of existence necessitates a "first cause".Philosophim
    Clearly it does not. This "concluded ... necessity" has long been refuted in both philosophy (logic) and physics (QG) which, like others on these fora, I've paraphrased
    Re: the "kalam argument" fails ... https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/484423

    Re: a physical interpretation ... https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/373602
    — 180 Proof
  • T Clark
    7.2k
    Fair enough, I am presupposing some knowledge here.Philosophim

    I know what causation means. I am familiar with pool tables. I don't think that's a good model for how the world, or causation, works. No need to go any further into it or send your discussion off on a tangent. I just wanted it to be clear that your assumption is not self-evident.
  • Manuel
    1.9k
    The argument that I'm making is that yes, the universe could be finitely or infinitely regressive, but that there logically can be no cause for why this should be. Many people say, "The universe could not have formed on its own," but my conclusion is, "The universe necessarily formed on its own".Philosophim

    The best we can say is that the universe is all there is, unless the multiverse theory happens to be true, which is difficult to test at the moment.

    If it is infinite however, it was never formed, it just is.

    We have some evidence for a Big Bang, so maybe that happened and nothing occurred before that. In either case, I agree, I don't see why something other than the universe is needed, save the multiverse, which just pushes the question further away.
  • Philosophim
    777
    No, sir, I also read your opening sentence:180 Proof

    Sigh. For shame 180. I am not arguing the Kalem cosmological argument. It is irrelevant whether it is plank state or big bang. Why all the effort to not read and comment on the logic of the argument, instead of just reading and commenting on the logic of the argument? Enough straw men please?
  • Philosophim
    777
    I just wanted it to be clear that your assumption is not self-evident.T Clark

    Which if you feel that way, is fine. But why? You simply said, "I don't agree." and left it at that! I want other viewpoints other than my own. If you just say "No" and walk away, I'll never know if your view point is right.
  • Philosophim
    777
    The best we can say is that the universe is all there is, unless the multiverse theory happens to be true, which is difficult to test at the moment.Manuel

    No disagreement.

    If it is infinite however, it was never formed, it just is.Manuel

    Yes, I'm using the word "formed" but perhaps "incepted"? would be a better word? I originally wrote, "It just is" repeatedly in the lines, and while accurate, I felt I needed a word to encapsulate that phrase. So yes, that is the crux of the argument. If a universe is infinitely regressive, or finitely regressive, the reason for this is, "It just is." There can be no underlying reason for why the universe is. It simply is, no matter the type of origin we invent.
  • Verdi
    116
    The emergence of time must be preceded by time. How can time come into being without a time before?
  • Artemis
    2k


    See Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason"
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    What "strawmen"? Stop special pleading ... Your premise is incoherent, therefore the argument fails. QED. :smirk: I put more cogent, apt, counters on the table and you reject them like pearls cast before swine. Okay, suit yourself. Don't even bother refuting my objections. Others may find my links useful, even insightful, though you do not. Why, Philosophim, are you even bothering trying to reinvent long-refuted medievalisms? Next epiphany: "final causes"? :sweat:

    There can be no underlying reason for why the universe is.Philosophim
    This is my counter to the OP's premises.

    It simply is, no matter the type of origin we invent.
    "The type of origin we invent" matters to degree it is consistent with the best available observational data and measurements. Logic, as it were, is merely the syntax of any "origin we invent" and not metaphysically determinative as you apparently to believe.
  • Philosophim
    777

    The emergence of time must be preceded by time.Verdi
    According to my argument, no. To disprove this, you either need to show a flaw in my logic, or show why it is logically necessary that the emergence of time must be preceded by time.
  • Philosophim
    777

    See Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason"Artemis
    That's a rather large topic that covers many points. You'll need to narrow down what specific points counter my reasons if we're to have a meaningful conversation. I have read it before, and I have a good understanding of the subject matter.
  • Philosophim
    777

    What "strawmen"? Stop special pleading ... Your premise is incoherent, therefore the argument fails. QED.180 Proof
    Disappointing. You made a mistake in thinking it was a particular topic that it is not, and instead of bothering to read it and enter the conversation, you've doubled down on not reading it, and insisting its something that it is not. I expected better.
  • Verdi
    116
    According to my argument, no. To disprove this, you either need to show a flaw in my logic, or show why it is logically necessary that the emergence of time must be preceded by time.Philosophim

    Time, irreversible motion, needs a starter kick to kickstart. As such, there had to exist time before, though this doesn't have to be an entropic time. Time is eternal by its nature. Now how can that come into existence? God knows.
  • Artemis
    2k
    You'll need to narrow down what specific points counter my reasons if we're to have a meaningful conversation. I have read it before, and I have a good understanding of the subject matter.Philosophim

    Relax, it was just a book recommendation.
  • 180 Proof
    6.5k
    Phishing for more credit than you deserve, friend, ain't the way to get it.
  • Shawn
    12k
    I'd say that there's a mistake of saying a first cause instead of a 'prior' cause.

    Besides the Principle of Sufficient Reason can only (without appeal to metaphysics, or more concretely ', physics) posit a prior cause.
  • Philosophim
    777
    I'd say that there's a mistake of saying a first cause instead of a 'prior' cause.

    Besides the Principle of Sufficient Reason can only (without appeal to metaphysics) posit a prior cause.
    Shawn

    I'm a little confused. A prior cause is X above. A first cause would have no prior cause, which I designate alpha.
  • TheMadFool
    13.7k
    Münchhausen Trilemma/Agrippan Trilemma

    I suppose I can lend my support to the OP, as best as I can that is.

    1. Not everything is a cause. I once tried lifting a large rock and try as I might, the rock just wouldn't budge. Another time I pushed hard against a brick wall and then too the wall simply stood there without moving even an inch. Put differently, not everything has an effect or, more to the point, some things are not things that have effects.

    Use a Venn diagram to get a clearer picture. Don't use the premise everything has a cause because that's a petitio principii.
    Ergo,

    2. It is possible some things are uncaused (Room enough for a first cause an uncaused cause)

    Causal chains in the web of causation have dead ends - energy, as per thermodynamics, dissipates into unusable heat. Ergo, if science is correct, the universe should, at some point, come to a grinding halt - a car whose fuel guage reads empty slowly comes to a stop. Ergo, no causal loops possible.
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