• ucarr
    1.2k


    You are counting back to a start point.ucarr
    I'm grouping all of the causality within an infinite universe in a set which then leads to one final question of causality, "What caused all of that causality?" This is commonly stated as, "What caused the universe?" So I'm not counting back to any start point. I'm noting that the starting point in causality is "What caused the universe?"Philosophim

    You are counting back to a start point:
    A first cause is logically necessary... A first cause is merely the point in the chains of causality throughout the universe that lead to the [terminates] at the point in which there is nothing prior.Philosophim

    Logic is the soul of your argument; logic is continuity; many times have you written, in your own words, for every causal chain we can count back until it's not possible to count back any further; this is the start point,i.e., the first cause.

    You should immediately discard your current would-be equations that use infinity as one of your input values. Using infinity as an input value is a violation of math form. It’s like trying to start a combustion engine with water instead of gasoline. Fundamentally wrong. If, however, you have your own math that rationally discards proper math form, that’s another matter. Do you have your own system of math?ucarr

    Incorrect. Infinity is a representation of a set of numbers. Just like 23 represents a set of 23 ones. Read here:Philosophim

    Computing with Infinity

    Can you show me one equation in your reference that doesn't compute to infinity? Yes, you can. There's one equation that computes to "undefined."

    So, all of your authorizing equations compute to a non-specific value. You want to represent an infinite causal chain mathematically. You use ∞ for the representation. Okay. What's important to your argument, by my interpretation, is logically working back through an infinite causal chain to a first cause which has nothing prior to it. Your first cause is not non-specific. Arguably, its most important attribute is its well-defined position in specificity as number one. The heart of your premise entails tracing back to a well-defined number one position for the start of real things.

    Can you cite an equation with infinity as an input value that computes to a well-defined discrete position on the number line? It needs to be a number neither irrational nor approximate.

    Your language for your premise needs to draw a parallel: Infinite causal chains are infinite series made empirical and bounded by eternal existence instead of by limits.ucarr

    I don't understand this, can you go a little more in depth?Philosophim

    You're making a logical argument about the beginning of causal chains of real things. You've said this is true for a universe posited as existing eternally. Set theory has an established procedure for binding infinite series with limits that can be mathematically approximated to with no final arrival at the limit.

    The point in our context here is that this insuperable disjunction between a bounded infinite series and its limit is evidence your premise is incoherent: the infinite series you're tracing back to first causes cannot reach their first causes. There's a gap of separation within your thought experiment you can approximate to mathematically, but you can't bridge that gap.

    Infinity is not a discrete number. It therefore cannot be precisely situated on the number line. It therefore cannot be precisely sequenced in a series populated with numbers. For these reasons, infinite values cannot be computed directly.ucarr

    Math is symbolic representation of quantities. You can symbolically represent infinity. You may not have heard of Georg Cantor's work on infinite sets. Here's an intro:Philosophim

    In my quote you don't see me denying infinity can be represented symbolically.

    In the link to Cantor's differing levels of infinite series, can you cite a passage addressing infinity conceptualized as an infinite series with a discrete starting point?

    Cantor's Levels of Infinity

    The Crux: QM Governs Cosmology – an infinite causal chain cannot have a precise first cause because it amounts to putting the whole number line – infinite in volume – within itself. Infinite values can be bounded (as argued above) but they cannot be definitively sequenced.ucarr

    Incorrect again. Read Cantor.Philosophim

    You need to highlight a passage in Cantor that addresses discretely sequencing an infinite value on the number line without approximation to a limit. That's what I'm specifically talking about. What are you specifically talking about?

    Given these limitations, the attempt to sequence an infinite value amounts to claiming a given thing is greater than itself; this irrational claim holds moot sway within QM, as in the instance of superposition; prior to measurement, the cat is neither dead or alive.ucarr

    Ucarr, randomly bringing quantum mechanics into this isn't going to work either. You misunderstand that statement and what it means. I can go into depth on this later if needed, but you need to understand Cantor and infinities first.Philosophim

    You need to go into probative details now because: a) you need to meet the same standard you apply to me:
    If you want to say I'm wrong, you're going to have to prove I am wrong, not merely say I am.Philosophim
    ; b) show how my reference to QM is random and irrelevant to this context; c) show how my citation of Shrödinger's Thought Experiment is both misunderstood by me and misapplied to this context.

    If we represent the infinite series of nothing-to-something as undefined, or 1/0, and observe that infinitely small approximates to the limit of zero, then infinitely-small-to-zero and its reverse take an infinite amount of time. So, speaking logically and computationally, nothing-to-something is a bounded infinity of undefined.

    You don't want to go this route Ucarr. I can say it doesn't because when there is nothing, there is no time. On the other hand, if you include time what you're saying is that an infinite amount of time would have to pass to get to this moment. Ucarr, if the universe has existed for infinite time, didn't you just disprove that the universe has always existed?Philosophim

    You're debating against my claim nothingness doesn't exist. How is it you think you can slam dunk my claim by merely stating that nothingness does exist. I see you believe my 1/0 argument is wrong. Where is your argument proving this?

    Explain how an eternal universe and a universe with infinite time difffer.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    Please explain how 'existence does not exist' without self-contradiction. Otherwise, necessary (eternal) existence.
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k
    In summary:

    Number 6 in the OP is false, and springs from a conflation of an originally valid conception of causality into a conception of explanation—i.e., number 1 starts with a standard conception of causality about events and by the time one gets to 6 it somehow transformed into a conception about explanations without conceding that the conception changed.

    If one sticks to the original use of the conception of causality, then 6 doesn’t follow because an a need to explain an infinite chain of events is not an event; and if they accept the use of causality as merely explanations then 6 doesn’t disprove the possibility of an infinite chain of events (which is required for the OP's conclusion to hold).
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Can what could or could not have been lie beyond probability in the case of true randomness?ucarr

    Lets break this down again. Probability as we know it is built off of constraints. These constraints are our capability to measure or observe aspects that would be needed for precise calculation. Thus shuffling cards that we cannot see. There is no true randomness in shuffling. If we were looking at the other side we would see exactly where the cards are.

    The other constraint we consider are the rules involved. A die bounces because of things like mass and gravity. There are tangible things we can measure combined with things that we cannot measure that allow us to make a probability, or educated guess at a constrained outcome.

    True randomness has no constraints. Its not that there isn't something that we can observe or measure, its that there is nothing there to measure at all. Whenever an outcome happens, there was nothing that had to be for it to happen. There was nothing to limit what would be, and nothing to push what would be.

    I don't know if this answers your question as 'beyond probability'. In one sense, it is a probability born out of the lack of constraints on rules, and the ultimate restraints on measurements.

    This question is meant to suggest entropy weakening true randomness to something not authentically random.ucarr

    Entropy is just the separation of matter and energy from a higher state to a lower state over time. This has nothing to do with true randomness.

    Is probability only possible in the absence of true randomness?ucarr

    Based on how I've defined probability, what do you think?

    This question is meant to suggest any event -- including inception of a first cause -- by the fact of its existence, prevents true randomnessucarr

    True randomness is not constrained. Something which can be constrained has laws, and is therefore not truly random. There is nothing to constrain or influence Ucarr. You keep seeing it as a 'thing'. It is a logical concept.

    From Heisenberg we have reason to believe we can't know every essential attribute of a thing simultaneouslyucarr

    This is only because our measurement impacts the results. The QM level is so small that anything we bounce off of it to detect it is going to alter its velocity. You can get the same effect by bouncing a baseball off of a softball. This has nothing to do with true randomness.

    Imagine that each causation within a causal chain -- because of the fact of its existence -- generates a prior (or subsequent) causation. How does the chain of causation reach the point of no prior (or subsequent) causation?ucarr

    That's the same thing as 2T + infinity = y

    Let us suppose true randomness is not a process. Is it still a phenomenon?ucarr

    What is your definition of phenomenon?

    This question is meant to suggest that if true randomness is to any degree intelligible -- as in the case of it being a phenomenon, even if not a process to a specifiable end, then it must possess a specificity of form and contentucarr

    True randomness is not a thing. It is a logical concept and conclusion.
    Because of what we know from QMucarr

    QM is not going to help you. You are taking things that exist and trying to impact true randomness as if its some dimension somewhere. Its not. Same with regular randomness. There is not a "90% dimension" where a certain dice roll comes out." We can influence the rules and constraints that exist to give us a logical prediction that changes the odds. But since true randomness is born out of a situation that has no rules or constraints, there is nothing to influence.

    There was nothing which could have changed or prevente the inception of the universe Ucarr. It just happened.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Hey, welcome back Bob! You still retain the title of the first person who realized this could not be proven empirically. A few others have understood that since then. Welcome back at another stab at the rest of the logic.

    Number 6 in the OP is false, and springs from a conflation of an originally valid conception of causality into a conception of explanation—i.e., number 1 starts with a standard conception of causality about events and by the time one gets to 6 it somehow transformed into a conception about explanations without conceding that the conception changed.Bob Ross

    That's just some poor word choices on my part. I had a few paragraph discussions with others on this, but they never referenced point 6 specifically. I'll go back and edit it to be clearer.

    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.Philosophim

    Lets edit this to: "If there exists an X which caused any infinite causality exists, then its not truly infinite causality, as there is something outside of the infinite causality chain."

    then 6 doesn’t disprove the possibility of an infinite chain of eventsBob Ross

    6 has never been intended to disprove an infinite set of events. The argument accepts that there could ben an infinite or finite set of events.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    You are counting back to a start point:ucarr

    In the causal chain, yes.

    Can you show me one equation in your reference that doesn't compute to infinity? Yes, you can. There's one equation that computes to "undefined."ucarr

    Which one?

    Can you cite an equation with infinity as an input value that computes to a well-defined discrete position on the number line? It needs to be a number neither irrational nor approximate.ucarr

    Its logic. I've written this before in brief but will reference it again.
    Causality can be written as "If A then B" or "If A -> B".
    Further in logic we can use the terminology Everything or Something. I won't use the formal symbols because copy pasting annoying. :)

    So we have the set 2T + infinity = Y
    Does Something -> 2T + infinity = Y? No.

    And Ucarr, the logic and math are all ways to break down the argument into a way you can see more clearly. The argument hasn't changed.

    In the link to Cantor's differing levels of infinite series, can you cite a passage addressing infinity conceptualized as an infinite series with a discrete starting point?ucarr

    Again, you're looking in the wrong place. Look at the logic above.

    You need to go into probative details now because: a) you need to meet the same standard you apply to me:
    If you want to say I'm wrong, you're going to have to prove I am wrong, not merely say I am.
    — Philosophim
    ; b) show how my reference to QM is random and irrelevant to this context; c) show how my citation of Shrödinger's Thought Experiment is both misunderstood by me and misapplied to this context.
    ucarr

    I don't mind, I just wanted to give you a chance to address the first part because it makes the second part moot.

    First, we discussed earlier how true randomness cannot be influenced by anything else. So QM is useless.

    Second, the uncertainty principle is all based off of our measuring tools being too strong. The way we measure things is by bouncing smaller particles off of larger things. Usually the particles are small enough that the bounce does not impact its location or velocity. But in the quantum world, what we bounce off of the things we are measuring affects the outcome. We're measuring the smallest things with some of the smallest things, not smaller things.

    So in the case of the cat, its not that the cat is both alive and dead before we measure it. Its that the outcome could be that it is alive or dead, but we won't know until we smack it with a particle to see it.
  • ucarr
    1.2k
    ucarr_180 Proof



    If existence is eternal, you're metaphysically constraining existence to a binary structure of "to be" or "not to be." Do you feel completely comfortable excluding a grayscale gradient between "to be" or "not to be"?ucarr

    Suppose you could choose whether or not the universe is binary or complex. Which would you choose?ucarr

    Please explain how 'existence does not exist' without self-contradiction. Otherwise, necessary (eternal) existence.180 Proof

    We're looking at a metaphysical binary structure for existence, and thus everything conceivable is metaphysically constrained to a fundamental binary. Can we liberate ourselves from this constraint?

    You're almost certainly correct in your perception of the status of existence as indivisible lest there be self-contradiction, so that keeps us confined within the binary. And yet, however, we frequently question the existence of things conceived mentally. I know, this is retracing Meinong.

    I'm just thinking a possible attack upon the binary might involve configuring an equation that computes a probability that sits between two limits as a bounded infinity. This is supposed to be a mathematical picture of an approach to an existing thing with no arrival, thus partial existence.

    With establishment of a grayscale zone between "to be," and "not to be," we might calculate non-binary wave function states that might predict a class of elementary particles hovering between differential_integral functions.

    Let's imagine these elementary particles bridge QM and Relativity states. Our work might be moving us toward T.O.E. Consider that tough problems in practice point to unexamined problems in our metaphysical commitments. Perhaps the existence binary is blinding us to the bridge linking QM with Relativity.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    We're looking at a metaphysical binary structure for existence, and thus everything conceivable is metaphysically constrained to a fundamental binary. Can we liberate ourselves from this constraint? [ ... ] the existence binary ucarr
    I don't know what you are talking about (re: the underlined above).

    ↪ucarr Please explain how 'existence does not exist' without self-contradiction.180 Proof
    :chin:
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    Lets break this down again. Probability as we know it is built off of constraints. These constraints are our capability to measure or observe aspects that would be needed for precise calculation. Thus shuffling cards that we cannot see.Philosophim

    Are you talking about constraints that empower precision of measurement: "our capability to measure or observe," or constraints that limit precision of measurement: "shuffling cards that we cannot see"?

    There is no true randomness in shufflingPhilosophim

    This puts me in mind of a generalization: There is no true randomness in practice, i.e., in our phenomenal world. In other words, material things, acting through their presence, always insert a measure of determinism regarding outcomes. This is so because material things have entropy attached to themselves. Consequently, the entropy of a material thing diminishes the purity of possible outcomes, i.e., true randomness. So, in our phenomenal world, material outcomes of material things in motion always have a measure of determinism attached. Probability cannot be cancelled in the real world. Therefore, your thought experiment with true randomness is an idealization.

    The other constraint we consider are the rules involved. A die bounces because of things like mass and gravity. There are tangible things we can measure combined with things that we cannot measure that allow us to make a probability, or educated guess at a constrained outcome.Philosophim

    Yes. This is the real world.

    True randomness has no constraints. Its not that there isn't something that we can observe or measure, its that there is nothing there to measure at all. Whenever an outcome happens, there was nothing that had to be for it to happen. There was nothing to limit what would be, and nothing to push what would be.Philosophim

    There is no true randomness outside of a thought experiment.

    There is no nothingness outside of its paradoxical presence within a thought experiment. The metaphysical binary of existence confines us to existence via self-contradiction. We cannot exit ourselves from existence, not even via our thought experiments. Your thought experiment re: nothingness is thoroughly embedded within existence. If it weren't, it wouldn't be possible for you to entertain yourself with the thought of it. At no time are you making contact with nothingness, so your arguments from a supposed but fictional nothingness are paradoxical non-starters.

    Entropy is just the separation of matter and energy from a higher state to a lower state over time. This has nothing to do with true randomness.Philosophim

    If by higher state you mean level of organization of material things into functional systems, then explain why level of organization has nothing to do with its opposite: no organization, i.e., randomness?

    Is probability only possible in the absence of true randomness?ucarr

    Based on how I've defined probability, what do you think?Philosophim

    I think the answer is "yes." I also think it not possible to have a state of total non-organization. So, no true randomness. If no true randomness, then no general anything-is-possible.

    True randomness is not constrained. Something which can be constrained has laws, and is therefore not truly random. There is nothing to constrain or influence Ucarr. You keep seeing it as a 'thing'. It is a logical concept.Philosophim

    In a complicated way, thoughts are things.

    From Heisenberg we have reason to believe we can't know every essential attribute of a thing simultaneously.ucarr

    This is only because our measurement impacts the results. The QM level is so small that anything we bounce off of it to detect it is going to alter its velocity. You can get the same effect by bouncing a baseball off of a softball. This has nothing to do with true randomness.Philosophim

    True randomness breaks apart all connections of the material universe. Just as you can't observe an elementary particle without changing it, you can't observe true randomness through a thought experiment without changing it. In all cases of what you experience and therefore know, you're connected with the objects of your observation. In your act of observing true randomness, you prevent it from being true.

    Imagine that each causation within a causal chain -- because of the fact of its existence -- generates a prior (or subsequent) causation. How does the chain of causation reach the point of no prior (or subsequent) causation?ucarr

    That's the same thing as 2T + infinity = yPhilosophim

    As I recall, y is an infinite value, and thus it has no discretely specifiable position on the number line; it's unlimited volume over limited extent between limits. It never arrives at a start point (or an end point).

    Let us suppose true randomness is not a process. Is it still a phenomenon?ucarr

    What is your definition of phenomenon?Philosophim

    Since a phenomenon is an object of a person's perception, what's already been said about observation of a material thing (facts as thoughts are material things) applies here too.

    True randomness is not a thing. It is a logical concept and conclusion.Philosophim

    QM is not going to help you. You are taking things that exist and trying to impact true randomness as if its some dimension somewhere. Its not.Philosophim

    With your language you're saying -- literally -- that true randomness does not exist. Well, I agree. The difference between us, however, is that I intend to say that whereas you don't, even though you do. Moreover, by extension of the transitive property, you're saying your thought experiment doesn't exist. I know you think your thought experiment is dimensionless, but your brain is not. No brain, no thought experiment, so your thought experiment, in a complicated way, inherits the dimensions of your brain.

    There was nothing which could have changed or prevente the inception of the universe Ucarr. It just happened.Philosophim

    Within the context of your thought experiment. And, as you think, your thought experiment has no dimensions, so, by your thinking, where does that posit the universe? Well, the one you think incepted from nothingness exists within the context of your thought experiment within your brain. See below for your own verification of this.

    Hey, welcome back Bob! You still retain the title of the first person who realized this could not be proven empirically.Philosophim
  • Benj96
    2.3k
    If an Alpha exists, its own justification for existencePhilosophim

    I agree. I would coin this alpha with the term "potential". As potential is inherently defined by itself. It "is" that which can "do". Potential is as potential does. It requires no prior cause but does give rise to time and causality when it acts.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Are you talking about constraints that empower precision of measurement: "our capability to measure or observe," or constraints that limit precision of measurement: "shuffling cards that we cannot see"?ucarr

    I'll state again, both. I covered that in the first two paragraphs.

    So, in our phenomenal world, material outcomes of material things in motion always have a measure of determinism attached.ucarr

    Its not a measure of determinism, its determinism. Probability is a an educated guess at what will likely happen based on deterministic rules that we know.

    Probability cannot be cancelled in the real world. Therefore, your thought experiment with true randomness is an idealization.ucarr

    Probability cannot be cancelled. If we have randomly shuffle some cards and pull a card, its a 4/52 chance its a jack. You can change the situation. So if I put one more jack in there its 5/53 chance of pulling a jack. My thought experiment on true randomness is not an idealization, its a correctly concluded conclusion. That which is not caused by something else, has no constraints, and thus prior to its inception could not be predicted. True randomness is the only thing which cannot be predicted.

    There is no true randomness outside of a thought experiment.ucarr

    There is also no probability outside of constraints. Probability is not randomness. It is an educated inductive prediction based on what is known and what cannot be known.

    There is no nothingness outside of its paradoxical presence within a thought experiment. The metaphysical binary of existence confines us to existence via self-contradiction. We cannot exit ourselves from existence, not even via our thought experiments. Your thought experiment re: nothingness is thoroughly embedded within existence. If it weren't, it wouldn't be possible for you to entertain yourself with the thought of it. At no time are you making contact with nothingness, so your arguments from a supposed but fictional nothingness are paradoxical non-starters.ucarr

    There is zero contradiction in stating that nothing is possible. Its simply the absence of something. Is zero impossible or a contradiction Ucarr? Because zero is a symbolic placeholder for 'nothing'.

    Entropy is just the separation of matter and energy from a higher state to a lower state over time. This has nothing to do with true randomness.
    — Philosophim

    If by higher state you mean level of organization of material things into functional systems, then explain why level of organization has nothing to do with its opposite: no organization, i.e., randomness?
    ucarr

    No, a higher energy state. Entropy is 'random' because we cannot measure exactly when something will go to a lower state of energy. However, it can be reasonably approximated over time as we have an average decay rate for different forms of matter.

    Based on how I've defined probability, what do you think?
    — Philosophim

    I think the answer is "yes." I also think it not possible to have a state of total non-organization. So, no true randomness. If no true randomness, then no general anything-is-possible.
    ucarr

    "Yes" does not counter my points. "You think" does not counter the points either. A belief that you cannot have a state of toral non-organization does not counter why its been concluded to necessarily exist.

    There is no true randomness outside of a thought experiment.

    There is no nothingness outside of its paradoxical presence within a thought experiment.
    ucarr

    I'm pretty sure that when you go into space, there's a whole lot of nothing. And there is nothing paradoxical about it. And this is more than 'a thought experiment'. This is a reasoned argument that leads to a logical conclusion. That's what you have to overcome.

    In a complicated way, thoughts are things.ucarr

    True. But in this case the thought is a representation, not actual randomness itself.

    True randomness breaks apart all connections of the material universe.ucarr

    Not at all. If the big bang is the first cause of this universe, it was truly random in its inception.

    Just as you can't observe an elementary particle without changing it, you can't observe true randomness through a thought experiment without changing it.ucarr

    This makes no sense. Please explain why.

    In all cases of what you experience and therefore know, you're connected with the objects of your observation.ucarr

    Only in the fact that you are observing things that are bouncing off of it like light or sound. If you touch it or impact it that's actual change that you're imparting on it.

    In your act of observing true randomness, you prevent it from being true.ucarr

    What? :D Ucarr, this makes no sense. If something random incepts into existence and I happen to see it, how did I prevent it from incepting?

    That's the same thing as 2T + infinity = y
    — Philosophim

    As I recall, y is an infinite value, and thus it has no discretely specifiable position on the number line; it's unlimited volume over limited extent between limits. It never arrives at a start point (or an end point).
    ucarr

    Correct. I've never claimed it does. That changes nothing of what stated.

    Let us suppose true randomness is not a process. Is it still a phenomenon?
    — ucarr

    What is your definition of phenomenon?
    — Philosophim

    Since a phenomenon is an object of a person's perception, what's already been said about observation of a material thing (facts as thoughts are material things) applies here too.
    ucarr

    I still don't understand what you're trying to say.

    With your language you're saying -- literally -- that true randomness does not exist.ucarr

    I'm saying it does not exist as a dimension dice roll. It does not exist 'as a process' We cannot watch a truly random deck of cards being shuffled. Just like there is no dimension of "coin flipping" that we can influence to change the calculated odds of the coin being 50/50 heads or tails. It does not exist as a 'thing'. An individual coin flip exists as a thing, and we can influence the coin flip. But we can't influence the probability itself. Probabilities in any form are predictive inductive concepts based on the limitations of the known situation. So if I cannot influence the coin predictably nor know what side it will land on, its a 50/50 probability because we have a limitation that it will land on one side or the other. If there are no limitations, then anything is possible. And because there are no limitations, we cannot limit it. Unless you want to declare the logic of 'probability as a concept' is incorrect, you're not going to have any luck demonstrating anything was not possible prior to the inception of a first cause.

    Within the context of your thought experiment. And, as you think, your thought experiment has no dimensions, so, by your thinking, where does that posit the universe? Well, the one you think incepted from nothingness exists within the context of your thought experiment within your brain. See below for your own verification of this.

    Hey, welcome back Bob! You still retain the title of the first person who realized this could not be proven empirically.
    — Philosophim
    ucarr

    This is a logical proof, not an empirical proof. I've mentioned this many times already. This is not just, 'a thought experiment'. You need to logically demonstrate two things:

    1. Why a first cause is not necessary.
    2. Why a first cause would not be completely random.

    You're working too hard to avoid these direct points. If you wish to concede you cannot counter these logical points, then that's fine. But pointing out that its not empirical is not a counter to its logical necessity when I've clearly pointed out this is not an empirical conclusion.
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k


    Lets edit this to: "If there exists an X which caused any infinite causality exists, then its not truly infinite causality, as there is something outside of the infinite causality chain."

    This doesn't resolve the ambiguity but, rather, re-enforces it: when you use the term 'cause' in the infinite chain, it does not refer whatsoever to the same thing as when you use the term 'cause' outside of it. You are using the term 'cause' in two toto genere different senses, and conflating them.

    To say that X 'caused' the infinite series of causality is NOT to claim that the infinite series is caused in the same sense as each member of its causality. X 'causing' the infinite series is really an non-causal (in the sense that you used it to discuss the infinite series itself) explanation of why the infinite series is there.

    Otherwise, if you mean to refer to 'X "caused" <...>' in the same sense as causality within the series, you are simply not contending with an actual infinite series of causality when positing X: if the infinite series is the totality of all causality, then there is necessarily no causality outside of it and, thusly, X cannot 'cause' the infinite series but, at best, can only be afforded as a brute fact explanation.

    Brute facts are not necessarily causes; although they could be.

    As far as I understand, and correct me if I am misremembering, your point with 6 is intended to posit the infinite series as itself a cause and to say it is the first; but this only works if one is conflating your two senses of the term 'cause'.
  • ucarr
    1.2k




    Can you show me one equation in your reference that doesn't compute to infinity? Yes, you can. There's one equation that computes to "undefined."ucarr

    Which one?Philosophim

    It's your citation. Find it yourself.

    Can you cite an equation with infinity as an input value that computes to a well-defined discrete position on the number line? It needs to be a number neither irrational nor approximate.ucarr

    Its logic.Philosophim

    No. Can you cite a math equation that... (see the underlined above)

    Your premise --
    Here's a question I think unaddressed and important that arises: With the exception of first causes, is it true that -- within the everyday world of things material and otherwise -- all things are part of a causal chain that inevitably arrives at a first cause?ucarr

    Yes. To not be would be complete and utter chaos that could never be understood, codified, or made into any sort of law.Philosophim

    Imagine that each causation within a causal chain -- because of the fact of its existence -- generates a prior (or subsequent) causation. How does the chain of causation reach the point of no prior (or subsequent) causation?
    — ucarr

    That's the same thing as 2T + infinity = y
    Philosophim

    So we have the equation 2T + infinity = Y representing an infinite chain of causation. Per your premise, this infinite causal chain has a first cause.

    Computing with Infinity

    Using the above link to your citation we have,

    Some Special Properties:

    If x is any integer, then;

    x + ∞ = ∞

    So, using your math equation (it's not a symbolic logic statement), with T = 1, we get,
    2+∞=∞

    This equation, which computes to infinity, fails to terminate at position one, a clear and discrete position on the number line. You won't find infinity occupying a clear and discrete position on the number line. Your equation, being the logical representation of an infinite causal chain with a first cause, and moreover being the engine of your thought experiment, by failing in its representation, dooms your effort to logically support your thought experiment.
    Philosophim

    And Ucarr, the logic and math are all ways to break down the argument into a way you can see more clearly. The argument hasn't changed.Philosophim

    Nor has its faulty logical support.

    In the link to Cantor's differing levels of infinite series, can you cite a passage addressing infinity conceptualized as an infinite series with a discrete starting point?ucarr

    Again, you're looking in the wrong place. Look at the logic above.Philosophim

    All I see in the citation to Cantor is math irrelevant to my math claim your equation is a failure.

    First, we discussed earlier how true randomness cannot be influenced by anything else. So QM is useless.Philosophim

    My citation is not in reference to your true randomness narrative. It refers to placing an irrational number onto the number line without calculating in terms of limits. Your mistake entails assuming that because you see no connection between our debate and QM, therefore I must be randomly throwing it into the mix.

    the uncertainty principle is all based off of our measuring tools being too strong.Philosophim

    Incorrect. Here's a quote from the link below: A common misconception about the uncertainty principle in quantum physics is that it implies our measurements are uncertain or inaccurate. In fact, uncertainty is an inherent aspect of anything with wave-like behavior.

    Heisenberg Uncertainty _CalTech

    Material things are connected, thus we can't always make complete measurements locally, as in the case of complementary attributes such as position and speed when distributed in waveform. Moreover, these effects are in play at the human scale of experience, but they're too minute to be detected by our senses.

    So in the case of the cat, its not that the cat is both alive and dead before we measure it.Philosophim

    It is the case the cat is both alive and dead before measurement. Denying this means denying superposition. Is that what you're doing?
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    This doesn't resolve the ambiguity but, rather, re-enforces it: when you use the term 'cause' in the infinite chain, it does not refer whatsoever to the same thing as when you use the term 'cause' outside of it. You are using the term 'cause' in two toto genere different senses, and conflating them.Bob Ross

    Here's what I'm conveying.

    Lets say the set of an infinite universes causality can be written as 2T + infinity = y where T is time and Y and the flat numbers are causes. Now lets say someone comes in and says, "Something else caused that infinite universe to be." So a God or some time traveling matter.

    A -> 2T + infinity = Y

    Otherwise, if you mean to refer to 'X "caused" <...>' in the same sense as causality within the series, you are simply not contending with an actual infinite series of causality when positing X: if the infinite series is the totality of all causality, then there is necessarily no causality outside of it and, thusly, X cannot 'cause' the infinite series but, at best, can only be afforded as a brute fact explanation.Bob Ross

    I posted this with the idea that any type of way to get around the argument would go. As noted earlier a God or some timey wimey stuff. Instead of debating whether such a thing is possible, I just thought, "Lets assume it is." So all I'm noting here is that either something caused the infinite universe to exist, or nothing did. If something else did, and that was the first cause, then we have a finite causal chain of logic (if of course nothing caused A to be). And if nothing did, then the answer to what caused the universe to be infinite is the same as "What caused X to exist?" Nothing. Either way, we reach a point in causality in which there is no other cause for a state's existence.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Can you show me one equation in your reference that doesn't compute to infinity? Yes, you can. There's one equation that computes to "undefined."
    — ucarr

    Which one?
    — Philosophim

    It's your citation. Find it yourself.
    ucarr

    This took me a minute to find what you meant. I thought you meant an equation I had written here. Did you mean my reference to Cantor? If so, what is your point? I don't believe any of the equations I used in my example resolve to undefined.

    Can you cite an equation with infinity as an input value that computes to a well-defined discrete position on the number line? It needs to be a number neither irrational nor approximate.
    — ucarr

    Its logic.
    — Philosophim

    No. Can you cite a math equation that... (see the underlined above)
    ucarr

    No, you're ignoring the point. I'm simply using the equation to represent a set. If the universe has existed for an infinite amount of time, will there always be infinite prior causes? Yes. At every point T, will there be additional causes? Yes. If you agree to this, then you agree to the equation. If the form of the equation bothers you, turn it into an array set of values where t is the index. Its the same thing.

    If you disagree that this is possible, then explain to me how an infinitely existing universe does not have an infinite amount of prior causes at any second of that universe's existence? Because as I told you before Ucarr, you're treading in disproving that an infinitely existing universe makes any sense. I'm assuming an infinitely existing universe makes sense and is possible. If you agree, then the equation makes perfect sense. You're not fighting against my point Ucarr. You're inadvertently arguing against yours.

    And Ucarr, the logic and math are all ways to break down the argument into a way you can see more clearly. The argument hasn't changed.
    — Philosophim

    Nor has its faulty logical support.
    ucarr

    This is not an argument Ucarr. If you're just going to give opinions, then my argument stands as logical.

    First, we discussed earlier how true randomness cannot be influenced by anything else. So QM is useless.
    — Philosophim

    My citation is not in reference to your true randomness narrative. It refers to placing an irrational number onto the number line without calculating in terms of limits. Your mistake entails assuming that because you see no connection between our debate and QM, therefore I must be randomly throwing it into the mix.
    ucarr

    If its not in reference to true randomness, I don't see the point then.

    A common misconception about the uncertainty principle in quantum physics is that it implies our measurements are uncertain or inaccurate.ucarr

    I never said our measurements were uncertain or inaccurate. I stated our measurements affect the outcome.

    In fact, uncertainty is an inherent aspect of anything with wave-like behavior.ucarr

    Agreed. Mathematical wave behavior is a probability. The best example I can give is a light photon can be treated like a wave or a particle. Now does the light electron turn into something else? No, its still a photon. Particle calculations are when we can treat it like a bullet fired from a gun. Waves are when we can only create probable limits. So for example when electrons are floating around an atom, its more of a 'cloud'. Its easier to represent it in a wave equation (bounded uncertainty) vs a particle (Which asserts certainty in its specific location)

    And why do we calculate this way? Because at times its impossible to measure something as a particle and waves make it easier.

    But, this is getting ridiculous now. How does this have to do anything with the main argument? I'm not seeing any reference to these points I made:

    You need to logically demonstrate two things:
    1. Why a first cause is not necessary.
    2. Why a first cause would not be completely random.

    Everything should be in service of this to be on track. This is not a debate about QM unless you can demonstrate why its pertinent to the above two points.
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k


    And here is culprit of why your OP doesn't prove that there must be a first cause:

    And if nothing did, then the answer to what caused the universe to be infinite is the same as "What caused X to exist?" Nothing. Either way, we reach a point in causality in which there is no other cause for a state's existence.

    That the infinite series of causality just is, doesn't make it a cause; thusly, it is not a first cause.

    The cause of the infinite series of causality is NOT a cause: the use of the term 'cause' in 'the cause of the infinite <...>' is mere accidental word-play. That the infinite series of causality has no explanation for its existence does not entail that it is a cause: it is a brute fact, but not a cause.

    If this is true, then the infinite series of causality is a valid option that doesn't collapse into a first cause; whereof every cause is in the infinite chain and the infinite chain itself is a brute fact.

    The fundamental problem is that you are using this 'alpha' as a first cause in two different sense. Perhaps it would help clarify by denoting it with two different words. I shall call a cause in the sense of a contingent event a 'cause-e' and a cause in the sense of an explanation a 'cause-i'.

    The infinite series of 'causality' is really the infinite series of causality-es, and asking "what caused-e this infinite series?' is an incoherent question, so we throw it out. Asking "what caused-i this infinite series?" is perfectly valid, and the answer is, according to you, 'nothing'. So the cause-i of this infinite series is nothing, and, consequently, the infinite series is a first cause-i in the sense that it is a brute fact.

    That it is a first cause-e is incoherent, and makes no sense. That it is a first cause-i has nothing to do with whether or not it is a cause-e. Your argument conflates these two, muddies the waters, and claims that it is merely 'a first cause'. The reason, prima facie, people will disagree with you is that a cause usually, in colloquial and philosophical settings, refers to cause-e, not cause-i.

    Bob
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    Probability is a an educated guess at what will likely happen based on deterministic rules that we know.Philosophim

    Statistical probability is a math-based science. Calculating probabilities is not educated guesswork. Either the math is correct or it isn't. Uncertainty due to a range of possible outcomes -- soft constraint -- is completely scientific. Don't imagine the casinos in Vegas depend on educated guesswork for their profits.

    Probability cannot be cancelled. If we have randomly shuffle some cards and pull a card, its a 4/52 chance its a jack.Philosophim

    Mathematics governs how many ways 52 cards can be shuffled. The number is astronomical, but its not vague.

    As you say with 4/52, there's a calculated chance governing possible outcomes. No guesswork.

    My thought experiment on true randomness is not an idealization, its a correctly concluded conclusion. That which is not caused by something else, has no constraints, and thus prior to its inception could not be predicted.Philosophim

    If you dial down determinism and probability to zero, you are left with neither form nor content. One might refer to any remainder, if such exists, as undefined. The intelligibility of form and content won't allow your pure randomness to come on stage. Likewise your mind -- the epitome of compact, efficient form and content -- won't allow you to think your way into pure randomness, except paradoxically.

    You're correct about rejoicing with Bob Ross over his understanding first cause cannot be verified empirically. Were that the case, with pure randomness extant empirically, you and Bob Ross wouldn't exist. Non-existence cannot contemplate the nature of itself, but existence can and does even to the point of thought experiments that negate it.

    There is zero contradiction in stating that nothing is possible.Philosophim

    And "This sentence is false."

    Is zero impossible or a contradictionPhilosophim

    Neither. Zero is a number. It holds a place on the number line between -1 and 1. Don't confuse it with non-existence.

    Consider: ∅={ }; this is the empty set. So, if ∅={ } = nothingness and (1) = first cause, then they are disjoint sets, meaning they have no common members. So, the intersection of ∅={ } and (1) takes us right back to ∅={ }. This is like multiplying any positive number by 0. The result is 0. Also, disjoint sets means first cause and its causations are separated; this is self-contradiction.

    This is another refutation of something-from-nothing. As you see above, when nothing has nothing in common with something, nothing persists.

    Measuring Entropy

    Why can't we measure entropy?

    In simple words, entropy is a measure of the disorder of the system. No one can find the absolute value of disorder. But, the change in disorder can be measured. For example, the water molecules in ice are more ordered than in water; and the water molecules in water are more ordered than in vapor phase.

    Here is an argument that implies your pure randomness is an idealization. If, as I believe, pure randomness is the absolute value of disorder, then it's not found in nature.

    A belief that you cannot have a state of toral non-organization does not counter why its been concluded to necessarily exist.Philosophim

    My belief is based upon my attack upon: 2T+∞=Y.

    I'm pretty sure that when you go into space, there's a whole lot of nothing.Philosophim

    Firstly, space is not empty; it's a thing. That's why is warps under the influence of massive objects, like the earth. Also, don't confuse emptiness with non-existence. You can walk into an empty room. You can't walk into a non-existent room.

    In a complicated way, thoughts are things.ucarr

    True. But in this case the thought is a representation, not actual randomness itself.Philosophim

    Representations are highly ordered things.

    ust as you can't observe an elementary particle without changing it, you can't observe true randomness through a thought experiment without changing it.ucarr

    Just above you agreed thoughts are things. Still earlier, you agreed the presence of a thing changes what it observes, so your thoughts observing true randomness change it.

    As I recall, y is an infinite value, and thus it has no discretely specifiable position on the number line; it's unlimited volume over limited extent between limits. It never arrives at a start point (or an end point).ucarr

    Correct. I've never claimed it does. That changes nothing of what stated.Philosophim

    Every infinite causal chain inevitably traces back to its first cause. If it does it's not infinite because infinity never begins. If it doesn't, it's not a causal chain because every causal chain has a first cause.
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    Did you mean my reference to Cantor? If so, what is your point? I don't believe any of the equations I used in my example resolve to undefined.Philosophim

    My point is that an equation that computes to either infinity or undefined does not represent: "Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause."

    No, you're ignoring the point. I'm simply using the equation to represent a set. If the universe has existed for an infinite amount of time, will there always be infinite prior causes? Yes. At every point T, will there be additional causes? Yes.Philosophim

    You're saying this while believing an eternal universe with infinite prior causes inevitably arrives at a first cause with nothing prior to it?

    If you agree to this, then you agree to the equation. If the form of the equation bothers you, turn it into an array set of values where t is the index. Its the same thing.Philosophim

    With t as the index, does the index extend to infinity?

    I'm assuming an infinitely existing universe makes sense and is possible. If you agree, then the equation makes perfect sense.Philosophim

    I agree. An eternal universe makes sense. One of it's salient attributes is the absence of a beginning. If you try to say an eternal universe is itself a first cause, you're positing it in its causal role as the outer parentheses set with itself as the inner parentheses set, but you're prohibited from doing so by the rule of set theory that says a set cannot be a member of itself.



    And Ucarr, the logic and math are all ways to break down the argument into a way you can see more clearly. The argument hasn't changeducarr

    Nor has its faulty logical support.ucarr

    This is not an argument Ucarr. If you're just going to give opinions, then my argument stands as logical.Philosophim

    Have you forgotten the assessments repeated below, or do you deny they're logical assessments of your logical support for you premise?

    Infinity is not a discrete number. It therefore cannot be precisely situated on the number line. It therefore cannot be precisely sequenced in a series populated with numbers. For these reasons, infinite values cannot be computed directly.ucarr

    The Crux: QM Governs Cosmology – an infinite causal chain cannot have a precise first cause because it amounts to putting the whole number line – infinite in volume – within itself. Infinite values can be bounded (as argued above) but they cannot be definitively sequenced.ucarr

    Given these limitations, the attempt to sequence an infinite value amounts to claiming a given thing is greater than itself; this irrational claim holds moot sway within QM, as in the instance of superposition; prior to measurement, the cat is neither dead or alive.ucarr

    My citation is not in reference to your true randomness narrative. It refers to placing an irrational number onto the number line without calculating in terms of limits. Your mistake entails assuming that because you see no connection between our debate and QM, therefore I must be randomly throwing it into the mix.ucarr

    If its not in reference to true randomness, I don't see the point then.Philosophim

    Let me repeat a second time what I repeated above:
    Infinity is not a discrete number. It therefore cannot be precisely situated on the number line. It therefore cannot be precisely sequenced in a series populated with numbers. For these reasons, infinite values cannot be computed directly.ucarr

    My reference to QM, therefore, is, in turn, a reference to a first cousin of randomness, quantum certainty. Since elementary particles are also waveforms, and since waveforms and their uncertainties are related to randomness, QM, which deals with these uncertainties, might also be speculated to deal with randomness, this especially given the relationship between random quantum fluctuations and the singularity.

    I never said our measurements were uncertain or inaccurate. I stated our measurements affect the outcome.Philosophim

    Second, the uncertainty principle is all based off of our measuring tools being too strong. The way we measure things is by bouncing smaller particles off of larger things. Usually the particles are small enough that the bounce does not impact its location or velocity. But in the quantum world, what we bounce off of the things we are measuring affects the outcome. We're measuring the smallest things with some of the smallest things, not smaller things.Philosophim

    From the evidence above, it's clear to me you're talking about gross measurement tools being grossly inaccurate, and moreover, you're claiming The Uncertainty Principle is all about that measurement inaccuracy. If you meant something else, you failed to use the correct words.

    In fact, uncertainty is an inherent aspect of anything with wave-like behavior.ucarr

    Agreed.Philosophim

    Perhaps now -- given the similarity of uncertainty and randomness -- you can see my reference to QM is not random.

    This is not a debate about QM unless you can demonstrate why its pertinent to the above two points.Philosophim

    I could show the pertinence of QM within this context, but I acknowledge that that pertinence introduces narratives too far afield from your points.

    You need to logically demonstrate two things:
    1. Why a first cause is not necessary.
    2. Why a first cause would not be completely random.
    Philosophim

    Regarding #1 -- My direct attack -- were that my purpose herein -- would be an attempt to show that first cause doesn't exist. I think @180 Proof is doing a successful job in managing that objective.

    I'm not directly attacking "first cause is logically necessary." Perhaps it is. This time round, I'm merely trying to set a standard of proof for the claim by examining your logical support in the form of equations. As you know, I deem your current equations a failure.

    Regarding #2 -- I'm already on the job of refuting this claim. Below is a copy of my next-to-last posting to this conversation.

    Consider: ∅={ }; this is the empty set. So, if ∅={ } = nothingness and (1) = first cause, then they are disjoint sets, meaning they have no common members. So, the intersection of ∅={ } and (1) takes us right back to ∅={ }. This is like multiplying any positive number by 0. The result is 0. Also, disjoint sets means first cause and its causations are separated; this is self-contradiction.

    This is another refutation of something-from-nothing. As you see above, when nothing has nothing in common with something, nothing persists.
    ucarr
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    That the infinite series of causality just is, doesn't make it a cause; thusly, it is not a first cause.Bob Ross

    Correct. The series itself is not a first cause. The answer to the question, "What caused the infinite universe to exist?" is the first cause. Its, "Nothing". So once we reach that point, we've found our first cause. The infinite universe as a whole exists without something else causing it. The series is HOW the universe exists, or when taken into a set can be used as example of its causal structure over time. But the universe itself isn't caused by anything else.

    You also must consider that we're not evaluating the set, we're evaluating the set as part of a causal chain. Once the set is established, there is still the last question in the causal chain. Thus the first cause is, "An infinite universe exists". After that we can use the set to evaluate how exists causally over time.

    The key to understanding this is to understand that causes can be grouped. For example, "What caused the universe to exist at this point?" can be answered with, "The entirety of the universe that has existed thus far." And on the flip side, "What has caused the universe to exist through all time and thus far?" the answer is once again, "Nothing, it is uncaused and simply is."

    If you wish to call that a 'brute fact', I'm fine with that. My overall point is that anywhere in a causal chain we will always reach a point in which there is no prior cause within the chain.

    The infinite series of 'causality' is really the infinite series of causality-es, and asking "what caused-e this infinite series?' is an incoherent question, so we throw it out.Bob Ross

    Its a perfectly coherent question. Working through the answer might seem incoherent because people don't like to accept that we've reached an end to causality (and what it entails), but I think its a coherent question with a coherent answer.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Hey again Ucarr. I can see some of our conversation is devolving into opinionated statements. Since so much is being written, I'm going to be ignoring those and focusing on arguments and points you've made. If you think I've mistakenly missed a point, please bring it up in your reply and I'll tackle it on my next response.

    Statistical probability is a math-based science. Calculating probabilities is not educated guesswork. Either the math is correct or it isn't.ucarr

    Probability is absolutely educated guesswork Ucarr. No one knows what card will be drawn next. Its an educated inference about the future. It might take 49 card draws before we see our first jack despite the odds being 4/52.

    Don't imagine the casinos in Vegas depend on educated guesswork for their profits.ucarr

    Yes, they do. The casino's only survive because the long term odds balance out to their predicted outcomes. There are several points in games where a person cleans out the house. But those points typically don't happen long often enough and often enough to override the losses.

    If you dial down determinism and probability to zero, you are left with neither form nor content. One might refer to any remainder, if such exists, as undefined. The intelligibility of form and content won't allow your pure randomness to come on stage.ucarr

    This is the reverse of what I've noted. The more constraints you have, the more deterministic it becomes and the number of possibilities approach zero. A coin has the constraint there only being two sides in consideration, and we are completely constrained on measuring or knowing the force of the quarter toss. That's why there are only two possibilities. Removing all constraints reveals all possibilities and is the negation of determinism. So no, this does not approach a probability of 0.

    You're correct about rejoicing with Bob Ross over his understanding first cause cannot be verified empirically. Were that the case, with pure randomness extant empirically, you and Bob Ross wouldn't exist.ucarr

    That doesn't make any sense. If the big bang randomly happened, we're still here. You are confusing true randomness as having to happen all the time, or that it must negate other things that have happened. There is no 'has to' outcome. It doesn't have to happen at any time. It could happen once over there, then happen again over there after a few billion years. The time for a first cause to happen is not a fixed roulette that's happening every second. Its completely unpredictable. Us all existing today is a completely viable outcome from true randomness, as are any and all possible universes.

    Neither. Zero is a number. It holds a place on the number line between -1 and 1. Don't confuse it with non-existence.ucarr

    If you have zero dollars Ucarr, money owned by you does not exist. The debate over zero has gone on for a long time. When it was first introduced many people thought it was impossible as well. We've long settled that debate. It is a representation of non-existence in this instance Ucarr. Completely viable and real. If you want to turn this into a debate about the number zero I think we've long crossed the threshold of reasonable arguments.

    Consider: ∅={ }; this is the empty set. So, if ∅={ } = nothingness and (1) = first cause, then they are disjoint sets, meaning they have no common members. So, the intersection of ∅={ } and (1) takes us right back to ∅={ }.ucarr

    I don't see the point. I'm not using an empty set nor multiplying by zero.

    Here is an argument that implies your pure randomness is an idealization. If, as I believe, pure randomness is the absolute value of disorder, then it's not found in nature.ucarr

    Pure randomness has nothing to do with 'the value of disorder' whatever that is. Explain to me how entropy has anything to do with "What caused an infinite universe to exist?" You keep confusing the point that true randomness comes from the result of a first cause being necessarily true. If you want to counter the idea of true randomness, you need to attack what proves it to be true, not the concept of true randomness itself. The concept of true randomness comes about as a necessary conclusion if a first cause is true.

    You can walk into an empty room. You can't walk into a non-existent room.ucarr

    This is poor language use, not a proof. I can walk into a vacuum sealed room right? Or a room empty of air? Non-existence as a concept is quite viable Ucarr. Are you sure the concept of infinity is?

    Just above you agreed thoughts are things. Still earlier, you agreed the presence of a thing changes what it observes, so your thoughts observing true randomness change it.ucarr

    My thoughts on true randomness change true randomness? How? How does my thinking about an atom incepting randomly change true randomness?

    Every infinite causal chain inevitably traces back to its first cause. If it does it's not infinite because infinity never begins. If it doesn't, it's not a causal chain because every causal chain has a first cause.ucarr

    You are once again confusing the infinite causality within the universe with the causal chain of that universe. There is still the question in the chain, "What caused that infinite universe to exist?" Either something caused the infinite universe to exist, or it didn't right?

    My point is that an equation that computes to either infinity or undefined does not represent: "Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause."ucarr

    No, and I've never claimed that. "What caused the infinite universe?" is the first question of the causal chain when 'Nothing' is the answer.

    I'm assuming an infinitely existing universe makes sense and is possible. If you agree, then the equation makes perfect sense.
    — Philosophim

    I agree. An eternal universe makes sense. One of it's salient attributes is the absence of a beginning. If you try to say an eternal universe is itself a first cause, you're positing it in its causal role as the outer parentheses set with itself as the inner parentheses set, but you're prohibited from doing so by the rule of set theory that says a set cannot be a member of itself.
    ucarr

    Correct. But I'm not doing that because there's another question on the causal chain. "What caused the infinite universe to exist?"

    Let me repeat a second time what I repeated above:
    Infinity is not a discrete number. It therefore cannot be precisely situated on the number line. It therefore cannot be precisely sequenced in a series populated with numbers. For these reasons, infinite values cannot be computed directly.
    ucarr

    Ok, and I'm going to repeat that this is irrelevant to the question, "What caused the infinite universe to exist?" The set is only meant as a way to capture all of the causality within an infinite universe. Set of X = [all causality within an infinite universe]. The equation was just a way to represent it over time, which is perfectly viable if you believe that infinity exists.

    I'll ask you very plainly again, because you keep dodging this. If an infinite universe exists, at any time T does there exist an infinite amount of prior causality? Its a clear yes or no question. If you answer yes, then my equation is fine. if you answer no, then my equation is not fine, but then again, we also just demonstrated an infinite universe is illogical and can't be put on the number line. If you dodge this question again, I'm going to assume you don't want to answer and I'm going to dismiss your complaints about my equation.

    My reference to QM, therefore, is, in turn, a reference to a first cousin of randomness, quantum certainty. Since elementary particles are also waveforms, and since waveforms and their uncertainties are related to randomness, QM, which deals with these uncertainties, might also be speculated to deal with randomness, this especially given the relationship between random quantum fluctuations and the singularity.ucarr

    How does this relate to our conversation on probability being a set of restrictions that enable us to reasonably guess at a future? How does this relate to a probability that has no restrictions? QM can't cause true randomness. True randomness is uncaused. Nothing causes true randomness, therefore nothing can influence true randomness. QM is still based off a set of restrictions that we know. Its no different then the randomness of a die roll.

    From the evidence above, it's clear to me you're talking about gross measurement tools being grossly inaccurateucarr

    This may be a language issue, so I'll point out the definitions.

    Inaccurate - Measurements which are unreliable.
    Reliable - Measurements which are consistent
    Measurements can be accurate despite impacting the target. For example, if I hit a cue ball into a billiard ball with X force, y spin, at Z angle, the ball will billiard ball will reliably result in a set velocity in w direction. Measurements that impact other things are not inaccurate. The fact that the cue ball changes the billiard balls velocity does not mean our measure is inaccurate.

    An example of an inaccurate measurement would be a stretchable ruler that constantly fluctuates in size and inches width. Or trying to measure something at a distance by spacing your thumb through the air without precision. QM measurements are not inaccurate, they just affect what is being measured because the size of our measuring tool cannot help but affect the thing being measured.

    Perhaps now -- given the similarity of uncertainty and randomness -- you can see my reference to QM is not random.ucarr

    Perhaps now you can see that your reference to QM does not solve the question, nor does covering this subject do anything for your case.

    I could show the pertinence of QM within this context, but I acknowledge that that pertinence introduces narratives too far afield from your points.ucarr

    That's conceding the point then.

    Regarding #1 -- My direct attack -- were that my purpose herein -- would be an attempt to show that first cause doesn't exist. I think 180 Proof is doing a successful job in managing that objective.ucarr

    Then you have not adequately understood his points or read my counters. He has not. Feel free to answer my counters to him if you think they aren't good.

    I'm not directly attacking "first cause is logically necessary." Perhaps it is.ucarr

    Then there's really nothing else to discuss. My equations are just ways to help you understand the situation when an infinite universe is proposed. If you don't personally like them or understand them, use the set I gave you. If you don't like that, just use the verbal argument I gave you.
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    Statistical probability is a math-based science. Calculating probabilities is not educated guesswork. Either the math is correct or it isn't.ucarr

    Probability is absolutely educated guesswork Ucarr. No one knows what card will be drawn next. Its an educated inference about the future. It might take 49 card draws before we see our first jack despite the odds being 4/52.Philosophim

    When a probability is calculated, either the computed probability is right or wrong. So, there's no guesswork involved in computing a probability equation. That the range is what is calculated is not uncertain. When you list 4/52 as a ratio expressing the probability of drawing a certain kind of card within a range of possible draws, there's nothing uncertain about the correctness of this computed ratio. What's uncertain is which particular member of the set computed by the ratio will be chosen and where within the range of possibilities. So, yes. We have to guess what and when one of the four possibilities will be chosen, but that there are four possibilities to be possibly chosen over the specified range is certain. If this weren't so, you wouldn't be quoting the odds as "4/52."

    "It might take 49 card draws before we see our first jack despite the odds being 4/52."

    The range is from 1 through 49 possible draws. What's uncertain is the exact number of draws within the specified range. The science of probabilities concerns itself with telling you what the range will be. By definition, a range of probabilities is about the range of probabilities, not about exactly when a member will be chosen.

    Don't imagine the casinos in Vegas depend on educated guesswork for their profits.ucarr

    Yes, they do. The casino's only survive because the long term odds balance out to their predicted outcomes. There are several points in games where a person cleans out the house. But those points typically don't happen long often enough and often enough to override the losses.Philosophim

    Casinos don't run on educated guesswork. Educated guesswork involves knowledge pertinent to outcomes, but probability, being a science, follows strict rules that govern computations. Do you think pollsters get paid to do educated guesswork about possible outcomes of elections? When tv stations call election results before all of the ballots are tallied, do you think that's educated guesswork?

    Your explanation supports my claim (this is an indication we're saying the same thing in different words). In your explanation, you describe what the casinos know. What they know are the odds. Knowing the odds is not educated guesswork. Why do you think successful gamblers -- casinos being the best example -- always know the odds? Also, at a 15% to 30% profit margin, do you think casinos are just getting by?

    The more constraints you have, the more deterministic it becomes and the number of possibilities approach zero.Philosophim

    This is a simplification of nature. Regarding a higher number of constraints in one situation compared to the number in another situation, the total level of constraint varies complexly rather than simply because of the possibility of constraints upon constraints.

    Removing all constraints reveals all possibilities and is the negation of determinism. So no, this does not approach a probability of 0.Philosophim

    Removing constraints in relation to determinism is governed bi-directionally. At the top end of the continuum of determinism, removal of constraints increases possibilities up to a point, and then the effect reverses if there isn't a certain amount of checking constraints maintained at the bottom end of the continuum of determinism.

    The process of removal of constraints can't go all the way to a total removal of constraints because that would mean total removal of intelligibility. You won't have any real and useful things if all constraints are removed because real and useful things -- being the products of constraints -- necessarily introduce intelligibility into a medium. Any medium populated by intelligible things has necessary constraints upon both the parameters of the medium itself as well as upon the intelligible things populating the medium. Without this no form, no content, no consciousness perceiving form and content. This is another way of arguing against the possibility of nothingness* and true randomness.

    *Nothingness is a thing. It's not possible to reason with unthingly nothingness because its not possible for existence to transcend itself.

    It [true randomness] doesn't have to happen at any time.Philosophim

    Can it ever happen? If true randomness exists empirically, the fact of its existence contradicts the definition of its existence. Any type of existing thing has a measure of determinism attached to it as a thing in itself. It would not be intelligible were this not the case. Kant might be right that we can't know a thing in itself, but I think he's only right up to a point. By his narrative, we can know a thing in itself as a thing that can't be known, otherwise what is he talking about?

    If you have zero dollars Ucarr, money owned by you does not exist.Philosophim

    Incorrect. Money owned by me in this situation can be represented by the number zero. So, I own money at volume zero. Don't confuse zero with nothing. Zero represents a specific volume of something, thus the representative and the thing represented are alike not nothing. Also, consider: $0.10 compared with $.010. Ten cents is ten times greater than one cent, a big difference. By changing the position of the zero in relation to the decimal point, the value decreased by a factor of 10. That zero effects that change is evidence that representation of nothing and being nothing are two different things.

    Consider: ∅={ }; this is the empty set. So, if ∅={ } = nothingness and (1) = first cause, then they are disjoint sets, meaning they have no common members. So, the intersection of ∅={ } and (1) takes us right back to ∅={ }.ucarr

    I don't see the point. I'm not using an empty set nor multiplying by zero.Philosophim

    The statement makes an explicit point: nothing interacting with something always results in nothing. So, no something-from-nothing. There's only nothing from nothing. You've argued that nothing in your argument is not a thing. With nothing as a thing, say, a thing represented by zero, nothing-as-a-representable-nothing can interact with something along the lines of (0)X=0. Nothing that is not a thing cannot be discussed without contradiction.

    Philosophim's Main Premise -- Every causal chain inevitably arrives at a first cause.

    This being your main premise, a claim that inhabits the domain of set theory, everything you write in the conversation -- in order to be pertinent -- should hold reference to set theory. Therefore, I'm advancing a pertinent argument in this conversation whenever I employ set theory logic within my arguments.

    Here is an argument that implies your pure randomness is an idealization. If, as I believe, pure randomness is the absolute value of disorder, then it's not found in nature.ucarr

    Pure randomness has nothing to do with 'the value of disorder' whatever that is.Philosophim

    Firstly, how can you make a declaration of fact about something you know nothing about?

    You keep confusing the point that true randomness comes from the result of a first cause being necessarily true.Philosophim

    Isn't this what you believe? You're the one propounding first cause from nothing.

    If you want to counter the idea of true randomness, you need to attack what proves it to be true, not the concept of true randomness itself.Philosophim

    You keep telling me how to manage my argumentation. Are you trying to control my narrative? When I couple this behavior with you repeatedly telling me not to draw my own inferences from what you write, and declaring that, instead, I should ask for your explanations of your meanings, I conclude that, firstly, you're trying to focus my attention on your intended meanings as distinguished from what you write and, secondly, that you have scant respect for the independence of my thinking. I'm inclined to think you are a bully. This isn't ad hominem; it's a reasoned argument drawn from the evidence cited here.

    If you want to counter the idea of true randomness, you need to attack what proves it to be true, not the concept of true randomness itself.Philosophim

    Either point of attack is sound.

    You can walk into an empty room. You can't walk into a non-existent room.ucarr

    This is poor language use, not a proof.Philosophim

    This is an argument. It's your job to disprove it.

    I can walk into a vacuum sealed room right? Or a room empty of air? Non-existence as a concept is quite viable Ucarr.Philosophim

    In making your sequence of argumentative statements, you leave out one crucial statement: I can walk into a non-existent room. Why do you leave out this statement?

    Non-existence as a concept is quite viable Ucarr. Are you sure the concept of infinity is?Philosophim

    Firstly, infinite causal chains are central to your premise. Is this an admission your premise is therefore flawed? Secondly, I'd like to see you argue against the logical merit of infinity as a concept, thereby simultaneously arguing against the logical merit of your premise.

    Just above you agreed thoughts are things. Still earlier, you agreed the presence of a thing changes what it observes, so your thoughts observing true randomness change it.ucarr

    My thoughts on true randomness change true randomness? How? How does my thinking about an atom incepting randomly change true randomness?Philosophim

    Your thoughts are organized. The content of your thoughts are likewise organized. "True randomness" within your reasoning thoughts is light years removed from what you intend it to mean. Organization and disorder always fight on contact. Be thankful that organization, in your case, continues to win. Do you imagine you could reason with true randomness in an argument if your mind was randomized?

    Every infinite causal chain inevitably traces back to its first cause. If it does it's not infinite because infinity never begins. If it doesn't, it's not a causal chain because every causal chain has a first cause.ucarr

    You are once again confusing the infinite causality within the universe with the causal chain of that universe. There is still the question in the chain, "What caused that infinite universe to exist?" Either something caused the infinite universe to exist, or it didn't right?Philosophim

    I've been arguing an infinite series doesn't arrive anywhere specific. That means the infinite series does not arrive at its limit, the universe. So that, in turn, means no final position along the infinite series has been reached, thus triggering the encounter with its first causation. Let's pretend for the moment it does reach its discrete end. When you reason that: There is still the question in the chain, "What caused that infinite universe to exist?" you uncouple your infinite series from its first cause. This uncoupling destroys your premise: Every causal chain inevitably arrives at its first cause. You're saying, instead, when the sequence of the chain is fully encompassed, there's still something beyond it. So, the total infinite chain has not and cannot arrive at its first cause. If it could, the question wouldn't remain.

    Your premise, along this line of examination, is fundamentally flawed because you configure it with an organization that necessitates a separation of first cause from its causations. You've committed yourself to this design and you've memorialized this commitment in the written record of this
    conversation:

    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.ucarr

    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.Philosophim

    When you address the problem of an infinite series having neither a beginning nor an ending, you destroy your premise by negating "A chain of causation inevitably arriving at a start point." The uncoupling of first cause from it chain of causations causes this negation.

    You have also memorialized another closely related problem within the conversation:

    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?ucarr

    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."

    If there's no first causation, how does the causal chain begin?

    If the causal chain doesn’t progress sequentially, meaning the infinite causal chain is always considered as a whole, then it’s not a causal chain, it’s a unified set with no first cause. This isn’t causation; it’s creation.
    Philosophim
    I'm assuming an infinitely existing universe makes sense and is possible. If you agree, then the equation makes perfect sense.Philosophim

    I agree. An eternal universe makes sense. One of it's salient attributes is the absence of a beginning. If you try to say an eternal universe is itself a first cause, you're positing it in its causal role as the outer parentheses set with itself as the inner parentheses set, but you're prohibited from doing so by the rule of set theory that says a set cannot be a member of itself.ucarr

    Correct. But I'm not doing that because there's another question on the causal chain. "What caused the infinite universe to exist?"Philosophim

    If that question pertains to something that's a part of the causal chain, then you've got a set being a member of itself. If the question does not pertain to something that's a part of the causal chain, and thus the universe is not part of the causal chain, then with an infinite causal chain you have the incoherence problem because infinite series have no beginnings or endings.

    Let me repeat a second time what I repeated above:
    Infinity is not a discrete number. It therefore cannot be precisely situated on the number line. It therefore cannot be precisely sequenced in a series populated with numbers. For these reasons, infinite values cannot be computed directly.
    ucarr

    Ok, and I'm going to repeat that this is irrelevant to the question, "What caused the infinite universe to exist?"Philosophim

    It's not irrelevant because:

    The set is only meant as a way to capture all of the causality within an infinite universe. Set of X = [all causality within an infinite universe]. The equation was just a way to represent it over time, which is perfectly viable if you believe that infinity exists.Philosophim

    Aside -- Now we see why you keep trying to focus my attention on what you intend to mean rather than on what you write.

    As you admit above: 2T+infinity=Y says in writing that your math description of an infinite causal chain arriving at a first cause happens in terms of an infinite series for which this can't happen. Believe what I intend, not what I write.

    If an infinite universe exists, at any time T does there exist an infinite amount of prior causality? Its a clear yes or no question. If you answer yes, then my equation is fine. if you answer no, then my equation is not fine, but then again, we also just demonstrated an infinite universe is illogical and can't be put on the number line.Philosophim

    No. An eternal universe is uncaused. Your equation fails, but the concept of an eternal universe does not fail alongside of it. In our conversation, you, not I, have been writing equations with infinity as an input value. I'm not trying to put an eternal universe on the number line with an equation that computes an infinite value. The standard of failure you cite is your equations; I have no involvement with your equations. I have no proof the universe is eternal, and you offer no proof its illogical.

    How does this relate to our conversation on probability being a set of restrictions that enable us to reasonably guess at a future?Philosophim

    My defense only addresses your accusation I dragged in QM randomly. No, QM uncertainty -- like the concept of randomness -- relates to uncertainty.

    Second, the uncertainty principle is all based off of our measuring tools being too strong.The way we measure things is by bouncing smaller particles off of larger things. Usually the particles are small enough that the bounce does not impact its location or velocity. But in the quantum world, what we bounce off of the things we are measuring affects the outcome. We're measuring the smallest things with some of the smallest things, not smaller things.Philosophim

    This may be a language issue, so I'll point out the definitions.

    Inaccurate - Measurements which are unreliable.
    Reliable - Measurements which are consistent
    Measurements can be accurate despite impacting the target. For example, if I hit a cue ball into a billiard ball with X force, y spin, at Z angle, the ball will billiard ball will reliably result in a set velocity in w direction. Measurements that impact other things are not inaccurate. The fact that the cue ball changes the billiard balls velocity does not mean our measure is inaccurate.

    An example of an inaccurate measurement would be a stretchable ruler that constantly fluctuates in size and inches width. Or trying to measure something at a distance by spacing your thumb through the air without precision. QM measurements are not inaccurate, they just affect what is being measured because the size of our measuring tool cannot help but affect the thing being measured.
    Philosophim

    All of the above is irrelevant to the issue in dispute: whether or not you erroneously identified The Uncertainty Principle as being a measurement problem. Given the evidence of what you wrote, as quoted above, there can be no doubt of it.

    Perhaps now -- given the similarity of uncertainty and randomness -- you can see my reference to QM is not random.
    — ucarr

    Perhaps now you can see that your reference to QM does not solve the question, nor does covering this subject do anything for your case.
    Philosophim

    You're spinning away from the issue to separate issues.

    I could show the pertinence of QM within this context, but I acknowledge that that pertinence introduces narratives too far afield from your points.ucarr

    That's conceding the point then.Philosophim

    No. If you're familiar with Venn Diagrams, then you know intersecting sets with members in common as well as non-common members is not an example of a random collision of wholly unrelated things.

    Regarding #1 -- My direct attack -- were that my purpose herein -- would be an attempt to show that first cause doesn't exist. I think 180 Proof is doing a successful job in managing that objective.ucarr

    Then you have not adequately understood his points or read my counters.Philosophim

    Neither I, nor 180 Proof, are so far persuaded by your logic. Also, neither I, nor 180 Proof are persuaded by your claim you and he are really on the same page.

    I know you're not persuaded by my logic and I, likewise, am not persuaded by yours.

    I hope you don't feel obligated to refute my arguments here.

    Perhaps you're willing to make a closing comment on our dialogue.

    If you are, I'll go first with mine and then let you have the last word.
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k


    The series itself is not a first cause. The answer to the question, "What caused the infinite universe to exist?" is the first cause. Its, "Nothing". So once we reach that point, we've found our first cause.

    If the series itself is not a first cause and there is no cause for the series; then there is no first cause.

    OR

    The series itself has no cause, and this makes it the first cause. But then you are saying the series is the first cause.

    You also must consider that we're not evaluating the set, we're evaluating the set as part of a causal chain.

    An infinite set of all causes is not a part of a causal chain.

    My overall point is that anywhere in a causal chain we will always reach a point in which there is no prior cause within the chain.

    My point is that chain of all causes, being infinite, will never reach such a point; and the series itself is not caused and thusly is not a first cause.

    The infinite series of 'causality' is really the infinite series of causality-es, and asking "what caused-e this infinite series?' is an incoherent question, so we throw it out. — Bob Ross

    Its a perfectly coherent question.

    It can’t be. Let’s break it down.

    Let’s call the set of all causes, C.
    Let’s call a cause, k.

    C, when evaluating if this set were infinite, would have an infinite amount of members.

    Asking “what caused this infinite series?” is asking for a cause (k) that is not in the set C, but this is impossible because every cause (k) is a member of C (by definition). That is why it is incoherent, and, actually, logically impossible:

    !{ ∀k ( k ∈ C ) && ∃k ( k ∉ C) }

    Now, if by “cause” you mean merely what explains the set C, then that is not incoherent because C’s members are causes, and not mere explanations. That’s why I separated semantically cause-e from cause-i.

    A brute fact is not necessarily a cause.

    Working through the answer might seem incoherent because people don't like to accept that we've reached an end to causality (and what it entails

    The issue is that you won’t reach any end in the set C when enumerating each k; and saying C exists as a brute fact does not make it a first k. You are conflating things here.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    Geez Ucarr, that is a LOT to go over. I'm going to try to condense a lot of this down to relevant points. I'm heading out of town tomorrow and this is going to take some time to write. Hopefully I'll have it by Sunday.
  • Philosophim
    2.4k
    The series itself has no cause, and this makes it the first cause. But then you are saying the series is the first cause.Bob Ross

    It is the first cause to the question, "What caused this universe?" The answer is that, as it exists. It is explained by its own existence, and nothing else.

    You also must consider that we're not evaluating the set, we're evaluating the set as part of a causal chain.

    An infinite set of all causes is not a part of a causal chain.
    Bob Ross

    How not? X = Set of all causes within a universe over time. What caused X? Nothing. Whether that time has a limit of zero or none at all, we still have the question of what caused it.

    You also must consider that we're not evaluating the set, we're evaluating the set as part of a causal chain.

    An infinite set of all causes is not a part of a causal chain.
    Bob Ross

    Lets say something did cause an infinite universe to exist. For example, a universe has some weird time power that explodes into an infinitely eternal universe elsewhere. Or for theists a God. In this case X = Set of all causes within a universe over time and A -> X. An infinite set is now part of a causal chain. Remove A, and !∃x -> X is still part of a causal chain.

    A brute fact is not necessarily a cause.Bob Ross

    True. But in the chain of causality I can start with, "What caused this infinite universe for infinite time T?" Nothing. Ok, then I can say, "What caused the universe to be in the state that it is in time T? Or between time T and T+5. But the first cause to all of it, why the universe for all T is there in the first place, is it just is. Nothing else caused it.

    Hopefully that answered your points Bob.
  • 180 Proof
    14.5k
    If the series itself is not a first cause and there is no cause for the series; then there is no first cause.Bob Ross
    :100:
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k


    When you posit that C is the set containing all causes (i.e., contingent events) and that the universe has a cause (i.e., is a contingent event), then the universe is a member of C and NOT C. You are conflating them.

    What is happening is you are starting with C (an infinite set that contains all causality) and then treating C as if it is one of its members (k) without realizing it.

    Philosophim, you must remember that the stipulation you gave is that C, which can be whatever you want to call it, is a set of infinite elements containing every cause; so the only way you can get the result you are wanting (which is that C is a cause and is the set of all causes) is with an incoherent circular dependency: C := {..., C, ...}.
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    Hello Bob Ross,

    I come to you asking a favor. Can you examine my argument below and tell me if it contains any fatal flaws?

    Consider: ∅={ }; this is the empty set. So, if ∅={ } = nothingness and (1) = first cause, then they are disjoint sets, meaning they have no common members. So, the intersection of
    ∅={ } and (1) takes us right back to ∅={ }.
    ucarr

    The statement makes an explicit point: nothing intersecting causally with something always results in nothing. So, no something-from-nothing. There's only nothing from nothing. You [Philosophim] have argued that nothingness in your argument is not a thing. With nothingness as a thing, say, a thing represented by zero, nothingness-as-a-representable-nothing can only interact causally with something along the lines of (0)X=0.ucarr

    One wants to claim the null set is disjoint with all other sets. Nevertheless, since the null set is a subset of all sets – including the universal set – then the null set is not disjoint from itself as a subset of any other set. But this simply means the nothingness of the null set is of one piece with the nothingness of its own nothingness as the subset of all other sets. So, again, the null set is disjoint with any somethingness in all other sets. So, again, no somethingness-from-nothingness.
  • Bob Ross
    1.4k


    Unfortunately, I was unable to parse exactly what you are trying to argue.

    In set theory, it is vacuously true that the null set is a proper subset of all other sets because technically there are no members of the null set that are not in the given (other) set; and the intersection of the null set and any other set is just the null set.

    It seems like you are trying to argue that since the set of all causes intersection with the null set would result in the null set, that something not having a cause is impossible. The problem with such an argument is twofold: firstly, that something that has no cause would not be a member of the set of all causes NOR a member of the null set and, secondly, the intersection of two sets equaling the null set just means that it has no communal members (which doesn't itself entail that it is impossible for there to be a member of either of the sets).

    Let's say the set of all causes is C and that the set of all non-causes is N.

    N cannot equal the null set, unless it has no members. So, if there were a thing which has no cause, then, being a member of N, N's intersection with C would result in the null set not because it was the null set but because they share no communal members. Crucially, this just means that the two sets have no communal members and NOT that it is impossible for there to be a thing which has no cause. It is expected that they would not share communal members, so I am failing to understand what you are trying to argue.
  • ucarr
    1.2k


    It seems like you are trying to argue that since the set of all causes intersection with the null set would result in the null set, that something not having a cause is impossible. The problem with such an argument is twofold: firstly, that something that has no cause would not be a member of the set of all causes NOR a member of the null set and, secondly, the intersection of two sets equaling the null set just means that it has no communal members (which doesn't itself entail that it is impossible for there to be a member of either of the sets).*Bob Ross

    I’m arguing that nothingness cannot support an intersection with somethingness. I’m choosing my words carefully because I’m not saying nothingness can or cannot cause somethingness. I know first cause is uncaused. However, first cause incepting in nothingness is, as I say, a somethingness nothingness cannot support.

    I support this claim by saying all existing things are networked. Therefore, no existing thing exists in pure isolation from other existing things, and this pure isolation is the implication of first cause as it is defined.

    *I made "either" above bold because, in the case of a set with an element being disjoint with the null set, and that disjunction evaluating to a null set, I don't see how the null set (of the disjunction) can contain an element (not common to the other set) since that contradicts the definition of a null set as a set with no elements.

    Okay. (Aside from the asterisk immediately above) everything is clear up to this point. Let me run by you one additional consideration: The intersection of disjunct sets is supposed by me to show that the null set is disjunct with every set except itself. So, even if the other set contains a member, its disjunction with the null set evaluating to a null set resultant shows that an intersection of nothing to something always results in nothing.**

    A simpler notation for this argument says: 0(X)=0.

    I brought up the fact the null set is a subset of every set to show -- in the interest of thoroughness -- that when we consider the null set conjunct with every set because of the null set being a universal subset, it's still a conjunction of nothingness with nothingness.

    **This is presumably a directional truth because the reverse: something-to-nothing is apparently possible, although a sound argument that something never reduces to nothing is perhaps possible.
  • Metaphyzik
    83
    What about quantum reality? If there were a first cause what if it were of quantum origin? It is there and isn’t…. It is in an uncertain state. Does the pedantic logic of linear reasoning still work?
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