• SaugB
    27
    I have written a blogpost about this recently, and I am wondering what folks here make of the following theory about the most important mystery in reality, which I think happens to be non-ontological:

    Any form, by definition [or assumption here], is enclosed extension. Thus, it has to have at least three points; any form has to be, at least, a triangle. For anyone concerned about the arising of each of these three points, the first point's arising might be a certain type of mystery. We come here to the theories of the Big Bang or of God to explain the arising of that first point in a form. But this mystery is, I feel, an acceptable mystery: we come to accept that we cannot answer questions like what came before God or before the Big Bang or any other 'ontological fundamental.' Then, we move to the second point in the triangle. We again ask: how did it arise?

    We can say, quite convincingly, that it arose in dependence on the first point. Or, we can say, something in the 'nature' of the first point caused the arising of the second point. Now, granted that we do not understand the first point's arising or nature clearly, we still accept that the second point is explainable: it causally depends on the first point, whatever the first point is, is our basic, and acceptable, explanation. I think problems really begin with the third point. Note that, now, all forms of explanation are exhausted: the explanation via a 'supernatural' origin and the explanation via causation/dependence are both given for the first and second point respectively. So, how do we explain the arising of the third point? One might say, "it is like the first point---it has a supernatural origin." But with this explanation, the third point would have to constitute its own form, and not be a part of the form [the triangle] that it is.

    Another option would be to say, "it is like the second point---it arose in dependence on the first point." This option is also not satisfying, because then the third point would constitute a point on a straight line and not an enclosed triangle, with its own unique position in that triangle. The problem is that this third point is not an 'ontological mystery,' since it clearly comes within the fabric of reality [it literally 'stands above' the other two points in a typical triangle], and does not have part of it beyond reality, like God or the Big Bang might.

    It is completely our mystery as far as we are beings in reality. It is a non-ontological mystery. And the problem is that because of this third, absolutely mysterious point, the whole triangular form becomes a mystery. It is such a powerful mystery because all explanatory frameworks---the 'supernatural' one and the one relying on causality/dependence---are exhausted. The broader point is that, since the triangle cannot thus be explained with our concepts [at least philosophically speaking], it means that there is no corresponding 'discourse' in reality that we can attempt to grasp in order to explain reality with our minds and concepts. Reality, ultimately, thus has to be ineffable.

    I wonder what others think of this theory of the non-ontological mystery of reality, and of reality being proven as ineffable in this way. I would love to hear your thoughts!
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    What are your thoughts on absurdism, the mildest of all the relativisms?
  • Pfhorrest
    4.6k
    In what way is Absurdism relativistic?
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    Well, it says that truth is unknowable in this life and that there are things we can encounter that are totally absurd (a very technical English word). Therefore if our minds can only see probable truth in this life and can experience and come to realization of things that are absurd, our faculty of reasoning itself is flawed. So this would be the most mild of relativism, as I see it
  • Pfhorrest
    4.6k
    I would call that more fallibilism than relativism, the difference being that a fallibilist concedes that there is something to be wrong about, and says we all might always be wrong about anything, whereas the relativist denies that there is any sense of being actually right or wrong, just different opinions.
  • Gregory
    3.8k


    On the contrary the absurdist can't help but project absurdity on the noumena, whatever it is
  • Gregory
    3.8k
    I find matter itself to be absurd. If I were to leap into a pool and start to shrink, I could shrink forever and still remain in the pool. But after forever, I can grow big again and come out of the pool, gaze at it, and notice that it's finite. No matter what calculus students tell me, I will always find this an absurdity
  • SaugB
    27


    I feel like the idea of absurdity implies that there is an explanation to something and that that explanation is absurd, like an explanation we cannot accept about something. So, absurd explanations would be suited for the first point in my theory of three points, in the sense that the explanations can be given for the first point but they are not easily acceptable. For some, God might be an explanation with a low degree of absurdity, for others the Big Bang might be absurd but still acceptable. But I don't know if I would say the drastic departure from all explanatory frameworks is an absurd situation first and foremost. The exclusion of the third point in my theory from all explanatory frameworks just makes the whole form first and foremost unspeakable---I feel like one cannot even 'enter' into the third point, even a little bit, to ascribe a characteristic like absurd to it. Also, to say the form is absurd is to give it an additional layer of interpretation, for me, which would be synonymous in a way with the unspeakable description but still feels heavy on the subjective side, if you get me. I feel like a Buddhist might say [and I am not all that sure], the assigning of 'absurd' to this situation would be too much of a 'view.' So, I would still insist that 'ineffable' is as far as we can go to describe the third point [and thus the whole form]--for me, it is not ineffable because it is absurd, rather it is absurd because it is ineffable; one does not first make contact with its absurdity and then say it is ineffable, rather it is ineffable first, which is to say it gives one no 'surface' to make contact with at all. But I do feel that to say it is absurd is a more expressive description, hitting at an aspect of mental life that the actual situation engenders. At least that's from what I understand about absurdity as a descriptor!
  • Philosophim
    557
    You seem to be addressing the nature of a "first cause". I addressed this more fully here: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/8924/a-fun-puzzle-for-the-forums-the-probability-of-god/p1
    but I will repaste the pertinent points.

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

    2. We can represent this as answering the question, "Why did X happen?" A prior cause is Y. A first cause is simply X.

    3. This leads us to 3 plausibilities.

    a. There is always a Y for every X. (infinite prior cause).
    b. Y eventually wraps back to an X (infinite looped prior cause)
    c. There comes a time when there is only X, and nothing prior to Y (first cause)

    4. The logic of a first cause entails that there is no rule on how that first cause has to exist. In other words, you cannot claim "Its not possible for X to exist." To say there existed such a rule would entail "X exists because of Y". But there is no Y when X is a first cause. This can mean a first cause could be anything without limitation. X as a prime cause does not follow any rules besides the fact of its own existence.

    5. The two infinite loop options cannot answer the questions with another cause, "Why is is all of causality infinite? What caused it to be this way, instead of finite?" If we say, "Well X happened because of Y", then we're right back where we started. The only answer that can be given is, "It simply is". X is X, because X exists, and nothing prior. In other words, even if there is an infinitely looped chain of causation within the universe, the reason why it is infinitely looped in its causation, is a first cause. Its like that, because it simply exists that way.

    6. Therefore the only conclusion is that there is a "First Cause" to our universe. This means that there is no rule or reason why the universe exists, besides the fact that it does.

    If I understand your analysis, with this no third point needs to enter in. I confess, you explained the first and second point well, then did not explain what the third point was in concrete terms. We can speak of reality within the terms of understanding that there is a first cause, though we do not know what it is. Feel free to correct where I am wrong in understanding your theory.
  • SaugB
    27
    Thanks for your analysis. First, let me say that the problem is that by my definition a form has three points at least, so it is not about whether I need the third point in my theory---it is that reality has three-pointed forms as its most basic forms. Now I will try to explain my theory given what you have written. I feel like what you say explains the first cause, or the arising of the first point, well. Your analysis uses logic, so we can sum up and say that the first cause/point is explained by analysis via logic. The second point, since it arises second in this sequence, is explainable in part by whatever we have used to explain the first. So, the simplest explanation would be: "The second point arose in dependence on the first point, and since the first point is explainable by logic, the second point, by association with the first, is also explainable by logic. It is dependent on the first point, and it is logical in its arising like the first point." So far so good. The problem of the third point is that it is both unique [like the other two points, with its own place and arising] and yet a point in the given form. One cannot say the third point is explainable in the way the first point is, because if it were like the first point it would have to be a source of a new form, ie another triangle, and not be a third point in the triangle we are given. If you say the third point arose in dependence on the first point, then it wouldn't necessarily have as unique a place, ie, a form would not be completed, for the third point would simply be the opposite end of a straight line and not construct a triangle with the other two points. If one instead says the more convincing: "the third point depends on the second point," again, there is a reason to believe that we would have a straight line---it could simply arise next to the second point, in a sense, and not be above the other two points. In short, any explanation on the third point would explain the extension of a line, but not the extension of a form. But we actually have a triangle, which, to me, makes the third point unique from both the other points. There is an explanation for the uniqueness of the first and second points, as we have seen, but no necessary explanation for the uniqueness of the third point in a form. The explanation via logic used for the first point and the explanation via dependence on the first point used for the second point cannot be used on the third point. And since these two types of explanation constitute the whole field of types of explanations, there really is no explanation for the third point at all. It is there, it is real, for it is the third point in a form and hence is completely within the field of reality, but it cannot be explained by the tools we have. So, it is an ineffable mystery, in the sense that it completely escapes the type of logic you did for the first point as well as an explanation that says "the third point is dependent on the second point." I might be missing something here, but that is my theory as it stands in a nutshell. Hope this is somewhat clearer..
  • Philosophim
    557


    What is the third point though? I understand that the first point is an origin that has no prior origin. The second point is that a forms current state is due in some form on the causal dependence of the first point. What is the third point? A forms present state?
  • SaugB
    27
    As I have thought it, it is the third point in a triangle. Literally the third corner that makes it a triangular form. The points are not points of time but their time-based origins and ends and natures can be analyzed.
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