## A first cause is logically necessary

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What caused space to always exist? Nothing.

"Nothing" in this context can be read in multiple ways: a) nothing as in no cause of space; b) nothing as in nothingness, a something that caused space, in which case the infinite regress towards a true first cause is under way; c) nothing as a category which includes logic, so first cause cannot be logically necessary.

If first cause is logically necessary, then logic is contemporary with (if not prior to) first cause.

My central point continues to be the claim no causation precludes any type of sequence, including something from nothing. Also, it should be noted that a causal chain exemplifies logical continuity as expressed: A ⟹ ~A = False. In English this sentential logic statement translates to "An existing thing does not imply the negation of itself." Following from this, claiming causeless first cause tries to equate sequence with the negation of sequence, the definition of first cause. Herein lies the heart of the incoherence of your claim.

I haven't forgotten your argument that before first cause a potential first cause can be anything, no restrictions and then, after inception of first cause, logical sequencing and its limitations are in effect.

This is an incomplete narrative of how first cause incepts because a declaration stating first cause can be anything in no way explains and justifies inception of first cause. First cause via something from nothing might be true, but such a declaration is an axiomatic presumption; logical necessity has no part in it.

Can you accept a paraphrase of: "A logical first cause is necessary" as follows: "Everything must have a beginning"?

No, they're not the same thing. The point of the theory was to show that even in an infinitely regressive universe, a first cause is still logically necessary.

If, as you say, even an infinitely regressive universe entails logical necessity of a first cause, that's merely saying in different words that: Everything, even an infinite universe, must have a beginning. In this situation of the causeless eternal universe, you're building a contradiction because there's no nothing for first cause to incept from.

If you're postulating an infinitely regressive universe that contains local first causes, then you're constructing a contradictory universe because if there comes into existence something causeless, then it's necessarily another, independent universe. Anything contained within the causeless universe cannot be first-caused because, being a part of a causeless universe, by definition it cannot be separate from said causeless universe. Furthermore, the independent universe as first cause is building a contradiction because -- again -- in the situation of an eternal universe, there's no nothing for a first cause to incept from.

You still haven't addressed the issue of the paradox of an eternal existence being self-caused. If a thing causes itself, then simultaneously it is and is not itself. This is a logical argument against existence of first cause.

An eternal universe has nothing prior. It has no prior cause for its existence.

You are therefore traveling the road to self-causation. On the other hand, if you accept that in the situation of an eternal universe, there is no causation because everything has always existed, with only the variation of forms giving the appearance of change, then the problem is solved. However, I know you don't accept this because causation lies at the core of what you claim.

Also, in the situation of an eternal universe, the start point cannot be ascertained; it's impossible. Well, if a start point is impossible to ascertain, then logical necessity of a first cause it likewise impossible to ascertain. It can only be supposed axiomatically.

Lets imagine an eternal universe where water exists everywhere. It has always been, and will always be. Why? What caused the universe to exist in that way? Nothing.

In the case of an eternal universe, you cannot talk rationally about nothing (or anything else) causing the universe to exist because it's impossible to ascertain any logical reason for its existence. This is so because reason_cause imply sequence, but infinite value cannot be specified and therefore cannot be sequenced.

Your crucial mistake in your thesis is thinking one can reason back to the beginning of an infinite sequence. By definition an infinite sequence, i.e., infinite value, has no beginning_ending. Beginnings and endings are specific whereas infinite values are undefined as with 1/0 = undefined.

Are you noticing how I always support my assertions with potentially falsifiable arguments? I never claim that such and such is so because my words say they are so. You do this over and over again. Your claims in this thesis always terminate in claiming it is so because the words you write say it is so. Your central claim is not potentially falsifiable. It is circular reasoning true by definition.

Why did one type of eternal universe exist, whereas another universe does not? There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.

It is not a presupposition, its a conclusion that we arrive at...

In your example, there is no arrival and no conclusion; instead, there is an observation and a declaration without any reasoning toward it:
There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.

The argument here isn't about the legitimacy of your observation; it's about whether or not you followed a chain of logic in making it. You haven't.

You see Ucarr, the argument's conclusion is logically necessary.

Don't confuse the logical decision to make an unexplainable observation axiomatically with logically explaining the content of that observation. You're doing the former, not the latter.
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He [ucarr] doesn't like the idea that there was nothing, then something.

I don't accept the claim: "Something from nothing" declared without explanation proves logical necessity of a first cause.

What I'm trying to show him is that an eternally self-existent thing is no different. There is nothing which explains its being.* No limitations on what could have been besides the fact of its existence.

Generally, I accept all of this. Specifically, I don't accept an axiomatic declaration as a rational explanation of the logical necessity of first cause.

*With this statement you prove I'm correct in saying your declarations about first cause are not logical, your stated purpose.
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The Set Theory Argument

“When we say that a set is finite or infinite, we are referring to the number of elements in the set, not to the "extent" (putting it roughly) of those elements.”

Set Theory: Bounded Infinity

Note - To find my source linked above, scroll down the page to "4 Answers," and then read the paragraph directly below.

This is a distinction made in observation of a set of numbers. Consider the set of numbers between 0 and 1. The number of elements in this set is infinite, yet the set has boundaries, so it’s an example of a bounded infinity. It’s important to note that no part of the set can possibly go to infinity. This limitation pertains to the extent of the set.

In a parallel situation, an eternal universe can be a bounded set of infinitely many existing things. So, the number of elements in this set is infinite, yet the set has boundaries, so it’s an example of a bounded infinity. Likewise, no part of this set can possibly go to infinity. This means the set of existing things, in parallel with the set of numbers mentioned above, has a limitation of specifiable content always short of its infinite extension. This precludes logical discussion about a start for the infinite extension. In consequence, it’s logical to talk axiomatically about what cannot be explained logically.

The critical question pertinent to our debate is whether or not you can talk logically about the before or after of a bounded infinity. When talking logically about the start of a chain of causality, you’re talking about the beginning of a continuity. That’s talking about the extent of a series. Since the infinite number of elements populating the series precludes you from ascertaining a start point, you can’t claim logically that before the start point there were such and such necessary conditions because you cannot specify a start point.

It's illegitimate to do so by simply making the declaration: "This is the start point, and before the start point there was nothing, thus the start point examples an uncaused start point, i.e., a first cause.” Doing this examples arbitrarily marking a start point by decree. That’s okay to do. Science and math oftentimes make decrees about a certain premise being an arbitrary start point for a sequence of reasoning that follows. These arbitrary start points are not arrived at logically. In this situation, an arbitrary start point is called an axiom.

What’s not okay to do is to claim you can progress through a chain of reasoning from nothing to an arbitrary start. Just as there is no specifiable start, there is also no specifiable continuity leading to an unspecifiable start. This is another way of saying no part of the set can go to infinity. Doing so is therefore incoherent because the illegitimate continuity jumps from nothing to an artificially specified unspecifiable start point.
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"Nothing" in this context can be read in multiple ways: a) nothing as in no cause of space; b) nothing as in nothingness, a something that caused space, in which case the infinite regress towards a true first cause is under way; c) nothing as a category which includes logic, so first cause cannot be logically necessary.

The intended way of reading it is a).

My central point continues to be the claim no causation precludes any type of sequence, including something from nothing.

We're in agreement here then. I'm not claiming something comes from nothing. A first cause doesn't come from anything. I'm just noting that prior to a first causes inception, there is no prior causation or 'no thing'. Nothing is not a 'thing', but the absence of anything.

Also, it should be noted that a causal chain exemplifies logical continuity as expressed: A ⟹ ~A = False. In English this sentential logic statement translates to "An existing thing does not imply the negation of itself." Following from this, claiming causeless first cause tries to equate sequence with the negation of sequence, the definition of first cause.

A first cause exists, it does not negate itself. If it did, it would be gone. I'm not understanding how you see a first cause implies its own negation.

I haven't forgotten your argument that before first cause a potential first cause can be anything, no restrictions and then, after inception of first cause, logical sequencing and its limitations are in effect.

This is an incomplete narrative of how first cause incepts because a declaration stating first cause can be anything in no way explains and justifies inception of first cause.

You have my logic backwards. I'm not saying anything can be a first cause, thus justifying the inception of a first cause. I first establish what a first cause is, something which is not caused by anything prior or else. The consequence of this logically means that prior to the inception of a first cause, there was no reason why it should, or should not have formed. And if there is no reason why a first cause should or should not have formed, there is no limitations or rules that shape what a first cause should, or should not be.

If, as you say, even an infinitely regressive universe entails logical necessity of a first cause, that's merely saying in different words that: Everything, even an infinite universe, must have a beginning. In this situation of the causeless eternal universe, you're building a contradiction because there's no nothing for first cause to incept from.

No, I am not saying everything needs a beginning. Again, we're taking the entire set of the eternal regressive universe and asking, "What caused this to exist?" The answer is nothing besides the fact that it exists. Thus a first cause.

If you're postulating an infinitely regressive universe that contains local first causes, then you're constructing a contradictory universe because if there comes into existence something causeless, then it's necessarily another, independent universe.

No, its another separate causal chain inception. A first cause is the inception of a causal chain. When we're talking about 'the universe' we're implicitly talking about, "What caused the universe," What I'm noting is all causal chains have a point in which we reach an 'end', or the start of causation. When looking at a regressive infinite universe, we're going up the causal chain until we get to the point in the chain where we ask, "What caused an infinitely regressive universe to exist?" And the answer is, "Nothing, it exists without any prior causation." Thus the first cause.

Anything contained within the causeless universe cannot be first-caused because, being a part of a causeless universe, by definition it cannot be separate from said causeless universe.

Anything within a causal chain caused by something prior cannot be a first cause. But this does not prevent something outside of that particular causal chain from appearing and starting its own causal chain.

Furthermore, the independent universe as first cause is building a contradiction because -- again -- in the situation of an eternal universe, there's no nothing for a first cause to incept from.

The real contradiction is nothing that something else creates a first cause. It is completely in keeping with logic that the inception of a first cause entails nothing prior causes its inception. You're making the mistake of looking at the universe instead of the causal chain of that universe.

You still haven't addressed the issue of the paradox of an eternal existence being self-caused. If a thing causes itself, then simultaneously it is and is not itself. This is a logical argument against existence of first cause.

Can you explain this? I'm not sure how you arrive at this conclusion. If something negates itself, its gone. A thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. How do you conclude what's being said here leads to this?

Also, in the situation of an eternal universe, the start point cannot be ascertained; it's impossible. Well, if a start point is impossible to ascertain, then logical necessity of a first cause it likewise impossible to ascertain. It can only be supposed axiomatically.

You are confusing the "start of the universe" with the "start of the causal chain". The start of the causal chain is taking all the causation within that universe and putting it in a set. Then asking, "What caused this set?" Nothing. There is no prior cause.

Let me give you another example which might make this more clear. Lets say that there IS something which causes an eternally existing universe to be. There is an existence A which is able to retroactively cause an infinitely regressive universe B. Is this somehow less contradictory? And does it escape the inevitable question, "What caused A?" The answer is no to both. If you are stating that my conclusion is wrong, then you have to accept the alternative situation. This is what I'm trying to get you to see. All you're doing is noting, "A first cause cannot exist with an eternal universe," but you're not examining what that must necessarily entail if this is true either. Its why I'm asking you to give me an example of a universe without a first cause in its causation chain.

In the case of an eternal universe, you cannot talk rationally about nothing (or anything else) causing the universe to exist because it's impossible to ascertain any logical reason for its existence. This is so because reason_cause imply sequence, but infinite value cannot be specified and therefore cannot be sequenced.

As I've noted, we can do this by taking the set of causation within the infinite universe and asking what caused the set.

Are you noticing how I always support my assertions with potentially falsifiable arguments? I never claim that such and such is so because my words say they are so. You do this over and over again. Your claims in this thesis always terminate in claiming it is so because the words you write say it is so. Your central claim is not potentially falsifiable

Its very falsifiable. But I have yet to see its false. My arguments conclude it is true. That's very different from it not being falsifiable. As I've noted above, I've tried to say, "Assume it is false, what do we arrive at?" The frustration Ucarr is your inability to demonstrate it is false so far. Which is fine, keep trying. If it were clearly false, we would not be still having this discussion.

Why did one type of eternal universe exist, whereas another universe does not? There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.
— Philosophim

It is not a presupposition, its a conclusion that we arrive at...
— Philosophim

In your example, there is no arrival and no conclusion; instead, there is an observation and a declaration without any reasoning toward it:

You know this isn't correct at this point. This is frustration. Don't let that win. I've laid the reasoning out clearly at this point.

There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.
— Philosophim
You see Ucarr, the argument's conclusion is logically necessary.
— Philosophim

Don't confuse the logical decision to make an unexplainable observation axiomatically with logically explaining the content of that observation. You're doing the former, not the latter.

If you're going to assert that, you need to demonstrate that. Otherwise this is just not wanting to accept a conclusion.

He [ucarr] doesn't like the idea that there was nothing, then something.
— Philosophim

I don't accept the claim: "Something from nothing" declared without explanation proves logical necessity of a first cause.

Just to repeat, I am not claiming this. You have the order of logic backwards. First comes the logical necessity of a first cause, then comes the conclusion that this means the inception of a first cause cannot be explained by anything else, thus there is nothing prior which could cause a limit on what or would not incept as a first cause.

What I'm trying to show him is that an eternally self-existent thing is no different. There is nothing which explains its being.* No limitations on what could have been besides the fact of its existence.
— Philosophim

Generally, I accept all of this. Specifically, I don't accept an axiomatic declaration as a rational explanation of the logical necessity of first cause.

Maybe you're right that its axiomatic, but can you break it down how you arrive that its merely a declaration? Let me give you an example. A declaration is "A". I could easily state, "Not A" and as far as declarations go, both are viable. But what I'm noting is that if you start with "Not A" it necessarily leads to "A", and if you declare "A", it necessarily leads to A. That's not a declaration, that's a proof where we conclude A must be true.

“When we say that a set is finite or infinite, we are referring to the number of elements in the set, not to the "extent" (putting it roughly) of those elements.”

Correct.

The critical question pertinent to our debate is whether or not you can talk logically about the before or after of a bounded infinity. When talking logically about the start of a chain of causality, you’re talking about the beginning of a continuity. That’s talking about the extent of a series. Since the infinite number of elements populating the series precludes you from ascertaining a start point, you can’t claim logically that before the start point there were such and such necessary conditions because you cannot specify a start point.

Your mistake is that you are looking inside the set for a start point. The start point is not inside the set. It is the question of what caused the entire set. If I have an infinite series of decimals vs an infinite series of whole numbers, they are separate infinites in what they express correct?

As an analogy, I'm asking, "What caused the universe to be a set of whole numbers vs a set of decimals?" The answer is again, nothing. There was no outside cause which necessitated it be whole numbers or decimals. There is no outside reason which caused an infinitely regressive eternal universe to be composed of space vs water. There is no outside reason for the eternal universe to exist in such a way where a big bang happened, vs none at all. And remember, if you deny it, give me the alternative Ucarr. If I'm wrong, what does that entail, and does that make any sense at all?

It's illegitimate to do so by simply making the declaration: "This is the start point, and before the start point there was nothing, thus the start point examples an uncaused start point, i.e., a first cause.” Doing this examples arbitrarily marking a start point by decree

Again, the mistake here is only looking inside of the set for causality. The causal chain extends out to include the set itself. This is not by decree, but the natural next step in going through the chain of causality.
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A first cause exists, it does not negate itself. If it did, it would be gone. I'm not understanding how you see a first cause implies its own negation.

There is the question whether a first cause, lacking a precedent, must be eternal. Also, there is the question whether or not an eternal existence is self-caused rather than uncaused.

I'm not claiming something comes from nothing. A first cause doesn't come from anything. I'm just noting that prior to a first causes inception, there is no prior causation...

Following from this we have: a) there is no something-from-nothing, so, no first cause from nothing; b) there is no other thing in the role of a precedent for first cause. Given these restrictions, first cause cannot pop into existence from nothing and it cannot come from a precedent, thus it must be eternally self-caused. But here we encounter a contradiction: causation separates the causal force from the thing it causes, however, in the case of self-causation, this separation evaluates as self ⟹ ~self (self implies not-self), a contradiction. This therefore leads us to claim existence (of the universe) is eternal and there is no first cause.

I first establish what a first cause is, something which is not caused by anything prior or else. The consequence of this logically means that prior to the inception of a first cause, there was no reason why it should, or should not have formed. And if there is no reason why a first cause should or should not have formed, there is no limitations or rules that shape what a first cause should, or should not be.

Given: No should and no should not, we have equilibrium as nothing. Given: No restrictions and no intentions, again we have equilibrium as nothing.

I'm not seeing how this is any different from claiming: "First cause popped into existence from nothing."

It's okay to claim: "First cause popped into existence from nothing." Maybe so. I'm only claiming this declaration is not the conclusion of a logical sequence of reasoning. This is an issue because of what your title for this conversation claims: "A Logical first cause is necessary." You can't fulfill the claim of your title until you present a logical sequence of reasoning that necessarily concludes with: "First cause popped into existence from nothing." When you say you establish what a first cause is, you merely define first cause. That's okay to do. However, it's a claim of truth based on words asserted without a logical sequence of reasoning to justify them. Proceeding from here, you claim no reasons for or against existence of a first cause and no restrictions or intentions as to what the identity of first cause shall be. That's okay to do. However, again, it's a claim of truth based on words asserted without a logical sequence of reasoning to justify them.

...we're taking the entire set of the eternal regressive universe and asking, "What caused this to exist?" The answer is nothing besides the fact that it exists. Thus a first cause.

Okay. You're saying a first cause is uncaused. I think we agree this is a definition for which logical proof is impossible. An uncaused first exists without explanation. Fine. But don't claim your observation of the unexplainable equals proof of logical necessity. As I cautioned in my previous post, don't confuse the logical decision to merely observe and accept the existence of the unexplainable with the logical explanation of the unexplainable.

If first cause refers to an eternal universe, there follows the question whether anything is caused because everything has always existed, whether actually or potentially.

When looking at a regressive infinite universe, we're going up the causal chain until we get to the point in the chain where we ask, "What caused an infinitely regressive universe to exist?"

Going up an infinite causal regression does not conclude with arrival at a point; the points continue without arrival being possible. For this reason, there can be no logical assessment of what constitutes a first cause. All you can ever do, given the definition of first cause, is declare it without logical proof. Each time you declare a first cause, you're logically concluding its a concept the existence of which can only be accepted without an explanatory sequence of reasoning. Again, don't confuse your logical conclusion about what you can know and explain regarding a first cause with a logical explanation of the inception of a first cause. Perhaps your conversation title should be: Concluding A First Cause Simply Exists is a Logical Necessity. Isn't this what you've been saying over and over? If you had used this title in the first place, most folks would've agreed with you and this conversation would've ended long ago.

If you're postulating an infinitely regressive universe that contains local first causes, then you're constructing a contradictory universe because if there comes into existence something causeless, then it's necessarily another, independent universe.

No, its another separate causal chain inception. A first cause is the inception of a causal chain.

If something is part of an existing universe, how can it be without precedent? No, a first cause, by your oft-repeated definition: "Something which is not caused by anything else." cannot be other than a new and independent universe. An existing universe cannot spawn a first cause.

Anything within a causal chain caused by something prior cannot be a first cause. But this does not prevent something outside of that particular causal chain from appearing and starting its own causal chain.

There might be a first-cause-as-universe within another separate universe, but an existing universe cannot spawn something not related to itself. So, this appears to be a restriction upon what a first cause can be: it must be its own universe.

You're making the mistake of looking at the universe instead of the causal chain of that universe.

Since I reject logical first cause I look at something similar in terms of uncaused eternal universe.

If something negates itself, its gone. A thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.
. That's why there's the question whether or not self-causation is fatal:

"...causation separates the causal force from the thing it causes, however, in the case of self-causation, this separation evaluates as self ⟹ ~self (self implies not-self), a contradiction."

I'm asking you to give me an example of a universe without a first cause in its causation chain.

An eternal universe is an example because it has no beginning and no causation. I can't prove existence of such a universe logically. I can only declare it as an axiom from which reasoning follows. This axiom cannot be derived logically. It is, however, logical for me to conclude that this axiom is a necessary start point for reasoning. Since an unexplainable axiom is a necessary start point for a sequence of reasoning, it's clear the axiom stands beyond the reach of logic.

"Assume it is false, what do we arrive at?" The frustration Ucarr is your inability to demonstrate it is false so far. Which is fine, keep trying. If it were clearly false, we would not be still having this discussion.

Below I reprint an argument you haven't responded to:

...you cannot talk rationally about nothing (or anything else) causing the universe to exist because it's impossible to ascertain any logical reason for its existence. This is so because reason_cause imply sequence, but infinite value cannot be specified and therefore cannot be [logically] sequenced.

Here I'm talking about infinite-causal-chain-as-universe. I'm claiming you can't posit a first cause start point of an infinite-causal-chain-as-universe because any sequence -- once identified as infinite -- has no specifiable start point or end point. My logic is simple: if you can't find something, you can't claim it's either a start point or an end point. If this is true, then your claim a first-cause start point (for an infinite causal chain) is logically necessary is false because the math logic of infinity denies existence of start points and end points within infinite sequences.*

I wonder if you'll oblige my explicit request for you to counter-argue the specific points I've raised here.

*This is even true for infinite sequences that have boundaries. Such infinite sequences lie within specified start and end points, but the volume of the members is a separate thing (infinite) from the extent of the members (finite). Consider the sequence from 0 to 1.

Why did one type of eternal universe exist, whereas another universe does not? There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.

This is not a sequence of reasoning. If it were, you would include a list of possible reasons for only one type of universe. All entries but one on this list would be crossed out and a sequence of reasoning provided to explain and justify the exclusions. Instead, it's an axiomatic statement about space and matter used as a premise for claiming there is but one type of universe. It's okay to do this, but it's an axiomatic claim, not a logical explanation.

You know this isn't correct at this point. This is frustration. Don't let that win. I've laid the reasoning out clearly at this point.

You think claiming as fact "there is but one type of universe" is reasoning? Give me a logical explanation for your belief. See my statement above (infinity cannot be sequenced) for an example of
reasoning toward a conclusion.

Don't confuse the logical decision to make an unexplainable observation axiomatically with logically explaining the content of that observation. You're doing the former, not the latter.

If you're going to assert that, you need to demonstrate that. Otherwise this is just not wanting to accept a conclusion.

Imagine I don't know that a certain plastic, being a non-conductor, acts as an insulator against the flow of electric current. After repeatedly trying to get current to pass through the plastic to another conductor that completes a circuit that makes a motor run, I run a series of tests and see that whenever the plastic is excluded from the circuit, the motor runs. I therefore conclude, logically, that completing the circuit requires bypassing the plastic. I've made a logical conclusion about a state of affairs I've observed. Indeed, this is logical thinking. However, I shouldn't go forth to other people claiming I have a logical explanation for why the plastic keeps the motor from running. I'm merely observing what is happening as an axiom of unexplained truth that the motor doesn't run when the plastic is included in the circuit.*

*A chemist might enter the narrative with an explanation why the motor doesn't run with the plastic included in the circuit: it lacks the loosely bonded electrons needed to supply the current necessary to complete the circuit.

My example parallels:
Why did one type of eternal universe exist, whereas another universe does not? There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.

This is an observation, not an explanation. You have no argument towards claiming logically only one type of universe exists. On the basis of your information-scarce observation, there's no logical reason to conclude there exists only one type of universe. You insist people believe your claim because you say so.

First comes the logical necessity of a first cause, then comes the conclusion that this means the inception of a first cause cannot be explained by anything else, thus there is nothing prior which could cause a limit on what or would not incept as a first cause.

You merely state as fact: "logical necessity of a first cause." There's no explanation why logical necessity of first cause. Your state an observed what; you don't state an explained why.

Maybe you're right that its axiomatic, but can you break it down how you arrive that its merely a declaration?

What I'm trying to show him is that an eternally self-existent thing is no different. There is nothing which explains its being.* No limitations on what could have been besides the fact of its existence.

I've put in bold letters what's at the center of our debate: "There is nothing that explains the being of a first cause."

Here we have your fatal mistake in mostly your own words. By definition -- not by a sequence of reasoning -- you state without explanation the truth about a first cause: it's an axiom by supposition. Moreover, it cannot be explained logically because, as you say, "There is (by definition) nothing which explains its being."
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A first cause is self-existent though. I think that's the problem he has. He doesn't like the idea that there was nothing, then something. What I'm trying to show him is that an eternally self-existent thing is no different. There is nothing which explains its being. No limitations on what could have been besides the fact of its existence.
According to the worldview of Materialism, "nothing" is non-sense. And, since the physical world does exist, it must have always existed in some form or other. Also, how or why it came to be is not an empirical question, hence more non-sense. If there is nothing to explain its existence, then it's provenance is a matter of Faith, or Reason.

Ancient Materialism (e.g. Atomism) was a hypothetical solution to a philosophical question. But sensible modern Materialism seems to be primarily an alternative to religious answers to "Why?" questions*1. Apparently, it assumes that philosophy is impotent (decorative) to answer any questions about Reality. Hence Ideal notions, such as "something from nothing", are literally nonsensical, since we cannot sense nothingness. And from the perspective of modern Materialism, non-sensible is non-sensical.

Although you seem to be trying to evade the implication of "spiritual beings", by limiting the discussion to logical reasoning, not religious doctrine, even your First Cause is --- by definition of Materialism --- un-real, and non-sensible, therefore implausible. In Materialism, what is Real, is what is sensible*2.

Ironically, modern science postulates several causal features of reality that are logical inferences instead of sensory observations. For example Energy is the universal cause of all changes in the world, but we never detect the Energy per se, we only infer its logically-necessary existence from after-effects in material objects. Likewise, the notion of electric or quantum Fields is a logical inference from observation of changes in the material world*3. How that universal or local field came to be --- "popped into existence" --- is irrelevant for pragmatic Science : it just is, and it works.

Those invisible and intangible features of Reality, are accepted because they allow us to predict physical behavior. But most of those predictions are logical extrapolations from known rules of Nature. And how do we know those regulations of physical behavior? By rational inference, as expressed in terms of a> philosophical Epistemology, or b> scientific Natural Laws, or c> religious Supernatural beliefs. None of which are empirical observations, but unlike First Cause, some do have practical applications in the Real world.

The First Cause is simply another inference from logical necessity. But is it Real? Of course not. It's Ideal. A belief, not a fact; just like an unexplainable quantum Field --- Scientists like to think it's a fact, "because it works". The Prime Mover only works in the beginning of world-making, not during its mundane operations. Like Plato's world-creating Craftsman, the First Cause does its work, then disappears into the work itself as ongoing Causation : e.g. Energy. :smile:

*1. What is the metaphysical theory of materialism?
In general, the metaphysical theory of materialism entails the denial of the reality of spiritual beings, consciousness and mental or psychic states or processes, as ontologically distinct from, or independent of, material changes or processes.
https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/materialism/v-1

*2. Sensible :
a> based on or acting on good judgment and practical ideas or understanding
b> practical and functional rather than decorative.

*3. Is the Quantum Field real? :
For generations, physicists argued whether those quantum fields were actually real, or whether they were simply calculational tools. Nearly a full century later, we're certain that they're real for one unambiguous reason: they carry energy.
Note --- Both QF and Energy are logical inferences, not observations

Provenance :
a> the place of origin or earliest known history of something.
b> the beginning of something's existence; something's origin.

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wtf :clap: :rofl:

"In the beginning there was no beginning" (i.e. there is no north of the North Pole just as there is no edge of a sphere or first point on a circumference).
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There is the question whether a first cause, lacking a precedent, must be eternal.

There is no question, its one of the main points of the OP. Whether the universe is finite or infinitely regressive, there is necessarily a first cause.

Also, there is the question whether or not an eternal existence is self-caused rather than uncaused.

Its uncaused. For something to be self-caused it would need to exist, then do something to ensure it exists. A self-sustaining entity is part of causality. "Why does A exist in state B at this time? Because A existed in state B one second prior". That's self-sustaining which is not a first cause.

Given: No should and no should not, we have equilibrium as nothing. Given: No restrictions and no intentions, again we have equilibrium as nothing.

I'm not seeing how this is any different from claiming: "First cause popped into existence from nothing."

Right, this is a consequence of the conclusion that a first cause must exist. You didn't counter that a first cause must logically exist, which is where we arrive at the conclusion that the inception of a first cause is not caused by anything else.

Following from this we have: a) there is no something-from-nothing, so, no first cause from nothing; b) there is no other thing in the role of a precedent for first cause. Given these restrictions, first cause cannot pop into existence from nothing and it cannot come from a precedent, thus it must be eternally self-caused.

A} needs to be clarified. Nothing doesn't cause something. It just means there is nothing which causes the inception of the first cause. b) is fine as long as you mean, "There is nothing which causes the first cause". Given these restrictions the only conclusion is that something can incept without nothing causing it. Self-cause does not work. Being explained by the fact that it does exist does not mean, "It causes itself as a first cause".

It's okay to claim: "First cause popped into existence from nothing." Maybe so. I'm only claiming this declaration is not the conclusion of a logical sequence of reasoning.

How so? If a first cause is uncaused by something else, then its existence cannot be explained by something else. This means its existence cannot be limited by something else either. Meaning, there is no logical reason for its existence besides the fact it exists. Meaning that what can potentially be a first cause is limitless. This is all a clear logical flow Ucarr. Address this specifically if you think its not logical.

You can't fulfill the claim of your title until you present a logical sequence of reasoning that necessarily concludes with: "First cause popped into existence from nothing."

I'm going to state this clearly again. This is not the point of the thread nor the title. The point is that a first cause is necessary. The conclusion that its inception happened without anything prior causing it, and concluding that anything could have happened, concludes from examining the logical conclusions of what being a first cause entails. These are two separate issues.

When you say you establish what a first cause is, you merely define first cause. That's okay to do.

True.

You can't fulfill the claim of your title until you present a logical sequence of reasoning that necessarily concludes with: "First cause popped into existence from nothing." When you say you establish what a first cause is, you merely define first cause. That's okay to do. However, it's a claim of truth based on words asserted without a logical sequence of reasoning to justify them. Proceeding from here, you claim no reasons for or against existence of a first cause and no restrictions or intentions as to what the identity of first cause shall be. That's okay to do. However, again, it's a claim of truth based on words asserted without a logical sequence of reasoning to justify them.

Ucarr, are you accidently confusing logical necessity with empirical necessity? The theory of relativity was logically correct. It was only confirmed as empirically correct when observing an eclipse. I've never stated my points are empirically correct. Logical correctness is "If we take these statements and definitions, reasonably this is the only conclusion we can reach." It doesn't mean it actually exists. Logically, I've presented the argument several times now. And not once have you taken the argument and demonstrated why the logic is incorrect. Do that and you'll have an argument. Otherwise, my points stand.

Perhaps your conversation title should be: Concluding A First Cause Simply Exists is a Logical Necessity. Isn't this what you've been saying over and over?

Its an odd way to word it Ucarr. 'Concluding' is redundant, and 'simply' is unnecessary. "Exists" doesn't work because that's present tense and I don't know if a first cause continues to exist or not. The title is proper English without redundancy.

Okay. You're saying a first cause is uncaused. I think we agree this is a definition for which logical proof is impossible.

If you mean empirical, yes, that's going to be extremely difficult to do. As a definition, its fine. I'm not sure what you mean by 'logical proof is impossible'. If we can start with 'not A' (our definition) and demonstration that we need to conclude 'A' as true at the end, then this is a logical proof that A must be.

If first cause refers to an eternal universe, there follows the question whether anything is caused because everything has always existed, whether actually or potentially.

No, an eternal universe that has causation in it is comprised of causal moments. Meaning that which has not happened yet does not exist. That which no longer exists, does not exist. We're just referring to the causal chains that lead up to this point of reality. So there is no question that causality exists in such a universe.

Going up an infinite causal regression does not conclude with arrival at a point; the points continue without arrival being possible.

You are misunderstanding how the set of an infinitely regressive universe still has to answer "What caused it?". Here's another example.

Here is a set of infinite regressive causality: 2t + infinity = Y

Infinity represent the number of causal existences in the universe. t stands for time, which for an infinite universe, has an arbitrary origin. So time can flow infinitely forward and backwards with no beginning or end. 2 represents that after every tick of that universe, 2 more causes happen.

Now here's the question which you have to answer Ucarr. Why is it 2t + infinity = Y and not 3t + infinity = Y? Is there anything outside which caused it to be one way over the other? How about 4t? Or -1T +2? You see we've captured the causal chain of the infinite universe, but that still hasn't answered "What caused that universe to exist?" My point is there is no outside cause by logical proof. If you say "A" is what caused the universe to be 2T + infinity = Y, I'm going to ask, "And what caused A?" And we're right back at the same conclusion, "Nothing". You have to logically break out of this to have a point.

If something is part of an existing universe, how can it be without precedent? No, a first cause, by your oft-repeated definition: "Something which is not caused by anything else." cannot be other than a new and independent universe. An existing universe cannot spawn a first cause.

I never said another first cause was caused by the universe it incepts in. I noted that a first cause could incept within an universe because there is nothing that can cause it not to. For example, potentially there could have been other matter that was in existence before the big bang (if we are using the big bang as an example, not a literal, first cause). There is nothing within the logic I've noted that would prevent this from happening, therefore it is logically permitted.

I'm asking you to give me an example of a universe without a first cause in its causation chain.
— Philosophim

An eternal universe is an example because it has no beginning and no causation.

Then the first cause of the universe when we ask, "What caused a universe which has no beginning and is eternal" is "Nothing". This is proving my point Ucarr, not countering it.

I can't prove existence of such a universe logically. I can only declare it as an axiom from which reasoning follows.

And that's not an issue. I can't either. I also can't prove the universe did not eternally exist. Its irrelevant. Whether the universe eternally existed or did not, there is at least one first cause. THAT I've logically proven.

Below I reprint an argument you haven't responded to:

...you cannot talk rationally about nothing (or anything else) causing the universe to exist because it's impossible to ascertain any logical reason for its existence. This is so because reason_cause imply sequence, but infinite value cannot be specified and therefore cannot be [logically] sequenced.

I've answered this earlier here.

Why did one type of eternal universe exist, whereas another universe does not? There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.
— Philosophim

This is not a sequence of reasoning. If it were, you would include a list of possible reasons for only one type of universe

What? No. Its reasonable because the alternative proposal, "That a universe without a first cause can exist" leads to the conclusion that "A first cause must exist". Go back to the math sets I wrote.

You think claiming as fact "there is but one type of universe" is reasoning? Give me a logical explanation for your belief. See my statement above (infinity cannot be sequenced) for an example of
reasoning toward a conclusion.

I'm not claiming there is but one type of universe, and you know that at this point. Please don't resort to claims like this. You know I have stated several times that there is at least one first cause, and that I make no claim as to what that specific first cause is empirically or logically.

I therefore conclude, logically, that completing the circuit requires bypassing the plastic.

Yes, you used logic but also empiricism. This is an empirical claim, not a logical claim. You have not proven that its logically impossible to complete the circuit unless you bypass the plastic. You only know given the materials, tools, and techniques you have, you have no other means of completing the circuit by bypassing the plastic. If you proved that there was no method in existence which could. A logical proof would be an argument that demonstrates that no matter what material, tool, or techniques anyone comes up with, even those we haven't discovered yet, it is impossible to complete the circuit without bypassing the plastic.

I am noting that given an infinitely regressively caused universe or a finitely regressively caused universe, a first cause is logically necessary.

My example parallels:
Why did one type of eternal universe exist, whereas another universe does not? There is no answer besides the fact one type of universe, space and matter, exists.
— Philosophim

This is an observation, not an explanation. You have no argument towards claiming logically only one type of universe exists. On the basis of your information-scarce observation, there's no logical reason to conclude there exists only one type of universe. You insist people believe your claim because you say so.

This is not an observation, this is an example. The explanation is noting that at least one first cause is logically necessary. And this is an example of that being true. The logical proof allows you to plug in any type of universe you can imagine, and its still true. I'm not saying this prooves "One type of universe exists". I'm noting that no matter what it exists, a matter universe, non-matter universe, or 2t + infinity = y universe, there must be at least one first cause in its one or many causal chains.

I've put in bold letters what's at the center of our debate: "There is nothing that explains the being of a first cause."

Here we have your fatal mistake in mostly your own words. By definition -- not by a sequence of reasoning -- you state without explanation the truth about a first cause: it's an axiom by supposition. Moreover, it cannot be explained logically because, as you say, "There is (by definition) nothing which explains its being."

If a first cause is true, then it follows that "There is nothing that explains the being of a first cause." The logic is in showing that there must be at least one first cause. If you can demonstrate that it is not necessary that there is at least one first cause within a chain of causality, then of course its moot. Look at it this way. "Flying unicorns fly. But if we don't prove a flying unicorn is logically necessary, its moot." First causes have no prior cause for their existence, which means nothing explains its being. But if we don't prove a first cause is logically necessary, its moot.

Your goal is to demonstrate that a first cause is not necessary. You are not going to win by challenging the definition of the first cause, if the definition is logically necessary. The only way to do that is to demonstrate that logically a universe can exist that does not inevitably arrive at a first cause within its causal chain. Keep trying Ucarr!
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According to the worldview of Materialism, "nothing" is non-sense.

Nonsense. :D Nothing is the negation of material. You can't have materialism without it. "Aether theories" have largely been discredited in the scientific world from my understanding. Not that it really matters. Do materialists understand the number zero? Then we're good.

And, since the physical world does exist, it must have always existed in some form or other. Also, how or why it came to be is not an empirical question, hence more non-sense. If there is nothing to explain its existence, then it's cause is a matter of Faith.

There is no logical conclusion which leads to the idea that since the material world exists, it must have always existed. Nor is that an empirical conclusion. My proof is a logical proof, not an empirical one so I don't care if they dismiss it because its not empirical. They seem fine holding the idea that existence must have always existed without any empirical proof, so I can't take them seriously.

Hence Ideal notions, such as "something from nothing", are literally nonsensical, since we cannot sense nothingness. And from the perspective of modern Materialism, non-sensible is non-sensical.

I'm not saying "Something from nothing". Nothing is not causing something. Its something incepted despite there being nothing which caused it to be. If non-sensible is non-sensible than once again, claiming that the universe has always existed is also nonsense. If they dismiss the question out of hand, I don't care once again as this is a logical exploration, not empirical.

Ironically, modern science postulates several causal features of reality that are logical inferences instead of sensory observations. For example Energy is the universal cause of all changes in the world, but we never detect the Energy per se, we only infer its logically-necessary existence from after-effects in material objects. Likewise, the notion of electric or quantum Fields is a logical inference from observation of changes in the material world*3. How that universal or local field came to be --- "popped into existence" --- is irrelevant for pragmatic Science : it just is, and it works.

Bingo. Which is why the argument against logical conclusions that do not have empirical means of testability is hypocritical and can be hand waved away.

The First Cause is simply another inference from logical necessity. But is it Real? Of course not. It's Ideal.

Its not idea either. Its a logical conclusion through reason. Denying it inevitably leads back to its necessity. So its not a matter of faith either, but reason.
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Your goal is to demonstrate that a first cause is not necessary. You are not going to win by challenging the definition of the first cause, if the definition is logically necessary. The only way to do that is to demonstrate that logically a universe can exist that does not inevitably arrive at a first cause within its causal chain.

By making a small change to your last sentence, I get a proposition: Logically, a universe cannot exist that does not inevitably arrive at a first cause within its causal chain.

Does this alteration produce a proposition you endorse? Furthermore, does this proposition lie within the core of what you're saying in this conversation?
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By making a small change to your last sentence, I get a proposition: Logically, a universe cannot exist that does not inevitably arrive at a first cause within its causal chain.

To make it even simpler, remove universe. "Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause". I say this because we might have definitions of 'universe' that might differ here based on the context of the conversation.

The important point is the causal chain. So for example, if universe 1 creates universe 2, universe 2 is part of the causal chain that leads to universe one. If universe 1 and universe 2 incept as first causes, they are two separate causal chains. The easier and core problem is demonstrating a causal chain that does not have a first cause.
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So, it's correct to say your core proposition within this conversation goes as follows:

Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause.
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So, it's correct to say your core proposition within this conversation goes as follows:

Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause

Correct.
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Ironically, modern science postulates several causal features of reality that are logical inferences instead of sensory observations. For example Energy is the universal cause of all changes in the world, but we never detect the Energy per se, we only infer its logically-necessary existence from after-effects in material objects. Likewise, the notion of electric or quantum Fields is a logical inference from observation of changes in the material world*3. How that universal or local field came to be --- "popped into existence" --- is irrelevant for pragmatic Science : it just is, and it works.

I'm recalling from memory you citing Hume re: causation. The gist of your point is that causation, in his view, is an inference from observed patterns of apparently connected changes in states of being within the world. His conclusion, as reported by you, states that the concept of causation stands upon empirically-derived impressions of the world. In closing, you said these impressions are generally understood to fall short of a proof of the concept of causation.

Do you reject the belief causation resides within dynamical systems of self-organization phase-shifted across ascending levels of organization towards effects?
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Now here's the question which you have to answer Ucarr. Why is it 2t + infinity = Y and not 3t + infinity = Y? Is there anything outside which caused it to be one way over the other?

What does Y stand for in your equation?
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What does Y stand for in your equation?

Total number of causations within that point of time on the chain.
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I'm recalling from memory you citing Hume re: causation. The gist of your point is that causation, in his view, is an inference from observed patterns of apparently connected changes in states of being within the world. His conclusion, as reported by you, states that the concept of causation stands upon empirically-derived impressions of the world. In closing, you said these impressions are generally understood to fall short of a proof of the concept of causation.
I would prefer that you quote the assertions you are responding to. I don't remember exactly how I worded the comments on Hume's causation. But I wouldn't say that "the concept of causation stands on empirically-derived impressions". Empirical typically implies recorded & confirmed scientific evidence. But up until Hume's day, the notion of Causation (by some invisible entity) was taken-for-granted by most people, as a reasonable-but-untested inference from sensory observations. Therefore, Hume was philosophically & scientifically critical of that presumption.

The connection between sequential causal events (what we now call Energy) was invisible & intangible. There was no discernible difference between the putative "cause" and the presumed "effect". And 17th century Natural Philosophy had no formal concept of Energy, but the ancient notion of Spirit persisted. So he, not I, said the commonsense belief in Causation --- perhaps as a manifestation of heavenly Spirit acting in the world --- "falls short of" empirical proof. Where Kant spoke of "consult not experience", I'm guessing he was referring to what we now call Empirical Science. :smile:

David Hume & the Theory of Causation :
Hume's theory of causation states that causality is formed from the relationship between two impressions or ideas in the mind. However, because knowledge comes from experiences, assumptions of causality are intrinsically flawed and cannot be proven.
https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-metaphysics-of-causation-humes-theory.html

Kant and Hume on Causality :
And as the first imagination or invention of a particular effect, in all natural operations, is arbitrary, where we consult not experience; so must we also esteem the supposed tye or connexion between the cause and effect, which binds them together, and renders it impossible that any other effect could result from the operation of that cause. . . .
Thus, although Kant does not explicitly mention Hume in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, the parallels with Hume’s Enquiry are striking indeed

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-hume-causality/

Do you reject the belief causation resides within dynamical systems of self-organization phase-shifted across ascending levels of organization towards effects?
Could you rephrase that question in more conventional terms? Or explain your terms in more detail. For the record, I don't deny Causation; but I do think it's a mental inference, not a spiritual force, in the world. Instead, the term Energy now covers physical actions that used to be attributed to Spirits.
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What does Y stand for in your equation?

Total number of causations within that point of time on the chain.

Given a first cause, is it correct to say the next thing following the first cause -- the first thing caused by the first cause -- appears as the first causation? Subsequent links in the causal chain are, likewise, causations?

Regarding your equation:

Why is it 2t + infinity = Y and not 3t + infinity = Y?

Does Y have an infinite value?
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Given a first cause, is it correct to say the next thing following the first cause -- the first thing caused by the first cause -- appears as the first causation? Subsequent links in the causal chain are, likewise, causations?

Seems good to me. This is definitely clear in a finitely regressive universe. In the case of the formula of an infinitely regressive universe, because there is infinite time and we are capturing all possible causations within infinite time, there is no 'first causation". Essentially the first cause comes about after we capture all possible infinite causations in that universe, then ask the next question, "What caused it to be this way?"

Why is it 2t + infinity = Y and not 3t + infinity = Y?
— Philosophim

Does Y have an infinite value?

Anything + infinity is still infinity. I'm not questioning at this point whether this is possible, we're just looking at what its like to capture the set of all causations within an infinite universe.
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Could you rephrase that question in more conventional terms?

What I presented comes from Deacon. I thought I'd try to articulate an important chain of causation: non-life to life. As for everyday causation:

After going to the doctor with mild symptoms, you're told your spinal column is infected with pneumococci bacteria. Since it's believed this infection causes spinal meningitis, you're advised to immediately undergo an aggressive program of antibiotics within the intensive care unit.

Here's what's presently of interest to me:

For the record, I don't deny Causation; but I do think it's a mental inference...

Is it correct to say you see causation -- structurally speaking -- as a generalization in parallel with the specific energy-and-change relationship with respect to an invisible agent that causes transformation from one state-of-being to another state-of-being?
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In the case of the formula of an infinitely regressive universe, because there is infinite time and we are capturing all possible causations within infinite time, there is no 'first causation". Essentially the first cause comes about after we capture all possible infinite causations in that universe, then ask the next question, "What caused it to be this way?"

Am I correct in understanding you to be saying the procedure for comprehending the value of an infinite causal chain entails looking at the infinite causal chain as a whole?

Moreover, am I correctly inferring that by looking at an infinite causal chain as a whole, I'm drawn by a sequence of reasoning to the necessarily logical conclusion that an infinite causal chain is a first cause?
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Am I correct in understanding you to be saying the procedure for comprehending the value of an infinite causal chain entails looking at the infinite causal chain as a whole?

It entails eventually putting it into a set.

Moreover, am I correctly inferring that by looking at an infinite causal chain as a whole, I'm drawn by a sequence of reasoning to the necessarily logical conclusion that an infinite causal chain is a first cause?

No, the chain is not the first cause. The first cause of the chain occurs after you take all other causality within that universe. So you have mapped out that it is eternal and infinitely regressive. What remains after that is, "What caused the universe to be?" Go backwards if you wish. Start with the set, then you can explore every single bit of cauasality within that set. None of what is in the set caused the set, an infinitely eternal universe, to be.
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It entails eventually putting it into a set.

The infinite causal chain equals members populating a set?

No, the chain is not the first cause.

Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause.

Is first cause a member of the causal chain?

The first cause of the chain occurs after you take all other causality within that universe. So you have mapped out that it is eternal and infinitely regressive. What remains after that is, "What caused the universe to be?"

At this point, you have evaluated down to two things: first cause; causal chain as members populating a set?
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The infinite causal chain equals members populating a set; they are more commonly referred to as the universe?

No, as mentioned before its the set of all causations within that universe up to the point in which we ask, "What caused that universe?"

At this point, you have evaluated down to two things: first cause; causal chain as members populating a set?

Ucarr, this is not complicated. Do you have a point or are you just going to keep asking odd questions? I've told you what this is several times already.
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The infinite causal chain equals members populating a set; they are more commonly referred to as the universe?
No, as mentioned before its the set of all causations within that universe up to the point in which we ask, "What caused that universe?"

It's not clear to me if the universe contains things that are causations mixed with things that are not causations. Is it the case that whatever is not a causation is a first cause?

Regarding: 'up to the point in which we ask, "What caused that universe?,"' it's not clear to me when this point is reached. Is this the point when: "It entails eventually putting it into a set." Does this evaluation of all causations into a set occur in time as we know it?

It's not clear to me where the first cause is in relation to its chain of causations. Is first cause inside or outside of the set of all causations?

Do you have a point...

Keep trying Ucarr!

What do you want me to understand from these two comments?
• 2.4k
Do you have a point...
— Philosophim

Keep trying Ucarr!
— Philosophim

What do you want me to understand from this?

I want to hear your point of view. I want a discussion. I don't mind answering some questions, but you've only posted questions for the last six posts without any feedback, and I'm failing to see this going anywhere at this point. Please try to engage and not make this a one sided 20 questions alright? Did you understand my point two posts ago? I don't know, I hope you did. Its getting to the point where I expect you'll ask, "What time is it?" "Is it true this means you like the color blue?" :D I'm laughing over here but really, please try to not just ask questions.

It's not clear to me if the universe contains things that are causations mixed with things that are not causations. Is it the case that whatever is not a causation is a first cause?

I have been over this numerous times at this point. Its been answered already several posts up, please review. We had a lengthy discussion about first causes and how they enter into causality once formed. Please look for that again.

Regarding: 'up to the point in which we ask, "What caused that universe?,"' it's not clear to me when this point is reached. Is this the point when: "It entails eventually putting it into a set."

Yes. We take the entirety of the causations over the infinite time in the universe then ask, "What caused this to be?" Why is it 3T + infinity = y instead of 2T + infinity = y? Do you see my frustration here? I feel like I'm going over the same stuff again and again. Please take some time to review what I've already written first before asking questions as we've covered a lot already.

Does this evaluation of all causations into a set occur in time as we know it?

What? Are you saying that the formulation of the formula 2T + infinity = Y occur in time? A causation chain in total is not taken in 'time'. Its an evaluation of everything that has happened so far. You are given the formula 2T + infinity = Y. This formula contains all the causality by time in that universe. So you say, "That's neat. What caused the universe to be infinite and eternal in that way?" Is it "Nothing" or is there something else that caused it? If there's nothing which caused it to be eternal, then there was nothing that deigned its inception; it simply is. A first cause to all the rest of the causality.
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It's not clear to me if the universe contains things that are causations mixed with things that are not causations. Is it the case that whatever is not a causation is a first cause?

I haven't forgotten you telling me after inception the causal chain develops within the everyday world as we know it.

The infinite causal chain equals members populating a set; they are more commonly referred to as the universe?

No, as mentioned before its the set of all causations within that universe up to the point in which we ask, "What caused that universe?"

We had a lengthy discussion about first causes and how they enter into causality once formed.

Regarding: 'up to the point in which we ask, "What caused that universe?,"' it's not clear to me when this point is reached. Is this the point when: "It entails eventually putting it into a set."

Yes. We take the entirety of the causations over the infinite time in the universe then ask, "What caused this to be?" Why is it 3T + infinity = y instead of 2T + infinity = y?

Since both of your equations evaluate to the same result, I wonder whether there's any meaningful distinction between them.

Does this evaluation of all causations into a set occur in time as we know it?

A causation chain in total is not taken in 'time'. Its an evaluation of everything that has happened so far. You are given the formula 2T + infinity = Y. This formula contains all the causality by time in that universe. So you say, "That's neat. What caused the universe to be infinite and eternal in that way?" Is it "Nothing" or is there something else that caused it? If there's nothing which caused it to be eternal, then there was nothing that deigned its inception; it simply is. A first cause to all the rest of the causality.

I understand you to be telling me you arrive at your premise:
Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause

by way of a thought experiment.
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Since both of your equations evaluate to the same result, I wonder whether there's any meaningful distinction between them.

I don't considering each time tick that passes we have a different number of causations added. But if you don't think its meaningful, tell me why!

I understand you to be telling me you arrive at your premise:
Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause
— Philosophim

by way of a thought experiment.

Yes, this is an example to help you understand the abstract points I've been making throughout our discussions. Is the thought experiment logical? Does it add clarity to the abstract? What do you think of it?
• 8.6k
Nicely put. My issue with contingency is that we don’t know enough about reality to know if all things are contingent. We know a little about of our localised universe.

Most people will agree, including many atheists, that the idea of a universe having a cause does not get us to a god and certainly not a specific deity. And what of idealism in this frame of contingency? Even idealism might recognise the eternity of consciousness with various expressions of it wafting in and out.
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↪Philosophim Nicely put. My issue with contingency is that we don’t know enough about reality to know if all things are contingent. We know a little about of our localised universe.

Correct. This is not an empirical proof, but a logical proof based on what we know today. Its nice to someone understand it right off the bat. :)
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