The Big Bang as "first uncaused cause"

The Big Bang as "first uncaused cause"
Patrick M.
Initiate

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 46
#71 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 21, 2011 - 2:03 PM:

Nubbles wrote:
Hawking concludes infinite regression is impossible. So are all infinite regressions true?

We need to reassess what we are doing this for, because now that we are trying to prove whether infinite regression is impossible or possible, the conversation cannot continue. It's impossible to prove one way or another by its nature. We also still seem to think of time as traveling, as if there are definite points in time. Impossible. Zeno's paradoxes disproved this ages ago. So there cannot be definite points in time. Without definite points, you can never define a point in time. Even if these points were infinitesimally small, they are still definite. I just defined them as "infinitesimally small". An infinite amount of infinitesimally small points is still an infinitesimally small point, because without change, we only have a one dimensional representation of time. Therefore, time is not linear. Therefore, there is no timeline. Therefore, time is not a fundamental part of reality, change is. If you disagree, then define time. Without definite points, then time is undefinable. It has no meaning other than the one we gave to it. If you still think there are definite points then explain how there is a change from one point to another. The fact that we are still basing everything on timelines in metaphysical discussion is astounding to me. I am new to the philosophy community and I am deeply saddened to see influential people such as Stephen Hawking making what appears to be a fundamental mistake. 

Why do we assume there even is a "first uncaused cause"? Why are we looking to prove infinite regression is possible? All proposals as to how there could be a "first uncaused cause" need some sort of proof  that infinite regression does not invalidate an argument. If you find this so-called proof, you are making the statement that infinite regression does not invalidate an argument. At that point, you would need to reconsider all other instances of infinite regression. This is because you have proven that they are all possibilities. In other words, you have proven the "potential" validity of every instance by proving that every instance is not necessarily invalid. So the original argument is also the conclusion to this argument.  Your argument is that infinite regression does not mean an argument is invalid, and your conclusion is that all instances of infinite regression are "potentially" valid. This is obvious. All you can say at that point is  "Anything is possible". If anything is possible, then you know nothing. You have made no progress whatsoever. This is true even if you claim that not all infinite regressions are the same, which would eventually put you in this position again because you then have to define each type of infinite regression. At this point, you are just making up concepts to fit your preconceptions. What in the world is a "type" of infinite regression? If you cannot define it now, then why do you think it has meaning? Are you not the one who is giving it meaning? So, there is nowhere to go from here. You have been defeated by the metaphysical. And you still don't have any idea what it is. It was you all along. The ego. The "you".

If you try to prove that infinite regression is impossible, then you have the same problem. If you could "prove" that, then you are making the statement that every instance of infinite regression is true because you could not say any instance is false. This is not possible in a strictly object-based reality. As an example, consider the statement "Falsehood is Truth". You would be declaring this to be true. Obvious problem there.

On the issue of causality, you have a problem. You are still thinking of time in the conventional way. Is there a cause that cannot be divided into smaller causes? If I drop a ball, what was the cause that immediately preceded the ball's descent? Could the descent be called the effect? Could it even be called the cause?

On the issue of mathematics in general, you also have a problem. Numbers are defined by their relative (subjective) positions on the number line. There is no absolute (objective) definition. Since numbers are the basis of all mathematics, we have made an assumption. We have assumed that reality is subjective (relative). But we still insist on an objective (absolute) reality. We are using relative terms to describe what we are assuming is absolute. This is impossible by definition. Even if we then assume that reality is relative, you still cannot use relative terms. Relative terms cannot describe relative terms. This is impossible by definition.

On the issue of epistemology, you have another problem. You are using words, which imply objective meaning. You are trying to use objective terms to describe an assumed objective reality. This is impossible by definition. An absolute cannot describe an absolute. Even if you then assume that reality is subjective, you are using objective terms to describe a relative reality. This is impossible by definition.

On the issue of the metaphysical, you once again have a problem. The word "metaphysical" assumes a physical (objective) reality. You know the rest.

Western philosophy has failed. We thought we were getting closer, but we were headed in the wrong direction. the entire time. Thoughts on this?


I'm sorry, but this appears to be nonsensical. Was this created with the postmodern essay generator? http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/

Zeno's paradoxes prove nothing and have been refuted since ancient times. Basing your argument on Zeno isn't going to get you very far.
Nubbles wrote:
Therefore, time is not a fundamental part of reality, change is.


Time is a measurement of change, as was established earlier in this thread. So if you have any change from state X to state Y then time is just measuring the change from X to Y.

All proposals as to how there could be a "first uncaused cause" need some sort of proof that infinite regression does not invalidate an argument.


A first uncaused cause would rule out an infinite regress (and vice versa), so it is just the opposite of what you say above.



Edited by Patrick M. on Aug 21, 2011 - 4:00 PM
busycuttingcrap
malcontent
Avatar

Usergroup: Moderators
Joined: Jul 15, 2011

Total Topics: 42
Total Posts: 1882
#72 - Quote - Permalink
1 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted Aug 21, 2011 - 3:52 PM:

Nubbles wrote:
Hawking concludes infinite regression is impossible. So are all infinite regressions true?


Huh? Because we are to assume the opposite of whatever Hawking says, or what?


Nubbles wrote:

We need to reassess what we are doing this for, because now that we are trying to prove whether infinite regression is impossible or possible, the conversation cannot continue. It's impossible to prove one way or another by its nature. We also still seem to think of time as traveling, as if there are definite points in time. Impossible. Zeno's paradoxes disproved this ages ago. So there cannot be definite points in time.


Um, in the present context we are discussing infinite regressions because the first cause argument asks us to believe that they are conceptually absurd... How does this thoroughly convoluted discussion of time show that it is impossible to address the possibility of an infinite regression? Especially since an infinite sequences of causes doesn't seem to necessarily invoke the concept of time...

And BTW, I don't fully understand what you take Zeno's paradoxes to be, but I think you are mistaken... The standard exposition of them, found in Aristotle, has adequately been solved by the distinction between physical divisibility and conceptual divisibility, and the discovery of calculus and limits has allowed us to deal meaningfully with infinite cardinalities.
There are of course other constructions of the paradoxes, an example of one such- that motion consists of the sequential traversal of all the intervals within a given distance, and that there is no first or last interval, the traversal of which leads us to either begin to move, or cease to move (given that there is never any interval which is not conceptually divisible, the process of division goes on to infinity never arriving at a first or last interval)

Nubbles wrote:

The fact that we are still basing everything on timelines in metaphysical discussion is astounding to me. I am new to the philosophy community and I am deeply saddened to see influential people such as Stephen Hawking making what appears to be a fundamental mistake.


I think you are misunderstanding Hawking. If your point is merely that relativity (not Zeno!) has forced us to abandon the idea of a absolute timeline, i.e. one that is universally valid, this is not something one of the leading physicists is likely to overlook. And as I said, I really don't see the bearing this has on the present discussion.
Nubbles wrote:

Why do we assume there even is a "first uncaused cause"? Why are we looking to prove infinite regression is possible?


Whoa... This is the part that makes me question whether this wasn't the result of that (quite entertaining) essay generator... We don't "assume" there is an uncaused cause, the question is whether the traditional arguments in favor of one succeed...

And the next part is very confused (and confusing)
Nubbles wrote:

All proposals as to how there could be a "first uncaused cause" need some sort of proof that infinite regression does not invalidate an argument. If you find this so-called proof, you are making the statement that infinite regression does not invalidate an argument. At that point, you would need to reconsider all other instances of infinite regression. This is because you have proven that they are all possibilities.


Arguments based on the premise "everything must have a cause" must rule out infinite regressions in order to arrive at the conclusion that the causal sequence terminates at an uncaused cause... They admit, in effect, that an infinite regression invalidates their argument, which is why they seek to rule it out by claiming that it is conceptually absurd or self-contradictory.

Nubbles wrote:

In other words, you have proven the "potential" validity of every instance by proving that every instance is not necessarily invalid. So the original argument is also the conclusion to this argument. Your argument is that infinite regression does not mean an argument is invalid, and your conclusion is that all instances of infinite regression are "potentially" valid. This is obvious. All you can say at that point is "Anything is possible". If anything is possible, then you know nothing. You have made no progress whatsoever. This is true even if you claim that not all infinite regressions are the same, which would eventually put you in this position again because you then have to define each type of infinite regression. At this point, you are just making up concepts to fit your preconceptions. What in the world is a "type" of infinite regression? If you cannot define it now, then why do you think it has meaning? Are you not the one who is giving it meaning? So, there is nowhere to go from here. You have been defeated by the metaphysical. And you still don't have any idea what it is. It was you all along. The ego.


I'm not even touching this...

Nubbles wrote:

If you try to prove that infinite regression is impossible, then you have the same problem. If you could "prove" that, then you are making the statement that every instance of infinite regression is true because you could not say any instance is false. This is not possible in a strictly object-based reality. As an example, consider the statement "Falsehood is Truth". You would be declaring this to be true. Obvious problem there.


What are you smoking? If you could prove that "infinite regression is impossible"... then "you are making the statement that every instance of infinite regression" is false, impossible or contradictory... not true! Are you merely saying that we could never completely know of every instance? If a notion is conceptually absurd, that is, it yields a contradiction (which is what is claimed of infinite regressions), then it is ruled out in every instance...


You go on to refer to other "issues" in philosophy:

Nubbles wrote:

On the issue of causality, you have a problem...
On the issue of mathematics in general, you also have a problem...
On the issue of epistemology, you have another problem...
On the issue of the metaphysical, you once again have a problem...


To the extent that you accurately describe some issues in the history of philosophy, and you seem concerned mostly with skepticism regarding ontology (of numbers, concepts, etc.), this is ok, but again, what bearing does any of this have on first-cause arguments?

And your conclusion:

Nubbles wrote:

Western philosophy has failed. We thought we were getting closer, but we were headed in the wrong direction. the entire time. Thoughts on this?


Seems to come out of nowhere... You have just spent some time talking about ideas and insights that have come straight out of the history of "western" philosophy. Are these not valuable or at least interesting ideas and insights? What is the criteria of success? And are you suggesting that "eastern" philosophy has succeeded where other philosophy has failed?

Nubbles
Unmoderated Member

Usergroup: Unmoderated Member
Joined: Aug 17, 2011

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 163
#73 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 21, 2011 - 5:20 PM:

OK.

What does it mean, then, for an infinite regression to be impossible?

Does it mean that infinite regressions do not exist? If they do not exist, then where did the concept come from? How can we disprove the validity of infinite regression if that means we could not have come to that conclusion in the first place, because they do not exist according to the conclusion? Does it mean they do not render an argument invalid? If they do not render an argument invalid, then why are you using them to render an argument invalid (the eternal universe)?

I realize Zeno's paradoxes do not prove or disprove anything in an purely objective reality. What does? What is proof in an objective reality? What is evidence? Why do you think any conclusions you come to describe reality?

There are plenty of philosophical schools that assert there is no first uncaused cause. They do not make that assumption. How could there be a first uncaused cause? A cause requires a linear model of time. Describe a cause in a non linear model of time. I am asserting that trying to ground a "law of causality" is impossible, for the "law of causality" cannot explain why there is a "law of causality" in the first place. That would require another cause, which would lead into an infinite regression. So why is anybody trying to prove that an infinite regression invalidates an argument? I have already explained the futility of doing so.

You have stated that calculus was a "discovery". This implies it was there before we found it. Where was it before, then?

You make the following statement:

Arguments based on the premise "everything must have a cause" must rule out infinite regressions in order to arrive at the conclusion that the causal sequence terminates at an uncaused cause... They admit, in effect, that an infinite regression invalidates their argument, which is why they seek to rule it out by claiming that it is conceptually absurd or self-contradictory.

If an infinite regression invalidates the idea of causality, then there can be no causes whatsoever.  Please read those words carefully. If they are able to rule out infinite regression by proving it is conceptually absurd, then infinite regression does not make an argument invalid. Therefore, "a first uncaused cause" is not invalidated by infinite regression.

Read that last sentence carefully, please. Were they not trying to prove this in the beginning? Their conclusion is the same as their premise.

Premise: A first uncaused cause must be valid. (We must prove that an infinite regression does not invalidate this.)

Conclusion: A first uncaused cause is not invalidated by an infinite regression.

You make the following statement:

What are you smoking? If you could prove that "infinite regression is impossible"... then "you are making the statement that every instance of infinite regression" is false, impossible or contradictory... not true! Are you merely saying that we could never completely know of every instance? If a notion is conceptually absurd, that is, it yields a contradiction (which is what is claimed of infinite regressions), then it is ruled out in every instance...

You contradict yourself here. You claim that my statement is false, and then you make the same statement and claim it is true. I am using the term "impossible" to mean "conceptually absurd". What are you smoking?

Are you saying there is no such thing as an infinite regression? What does it mean to rule out a concept such as infinite regression? If we rule this notion out, then we are declaring it to be a false notion, are we not? So any argument that was declared invalid by this notion before needs to be reconsidered, because the notion no longer invalidates an argument. Where is the flaw you say there is in this?

You have provided no counter argument other than to say "you are wrong".



Edited by Nubbles on Aug 22, 2011 - 1:28 AM
Patrick M.
Initiate

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 46
#74 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 21, 2011 - 7:23 PM:

Nubbles wrote:
Does it mean that infinite regressions do not exist? If they do not exist, then where did the concept come from?


If something X does not exist but we have the concept of X in our minds, then the concept X is a product of our minds. What is the problem here? Not every concept refers to something that actually exists, e.g., a unicorn does not actually exist just because I can conceive of one. Some concepts are the result of combining other concepts, e.g., a unicorn is the combination of a horse and a horn. This is how we are able to come up with concepts of things which do not exist.

Nubbles wrote:
What is proof in an objective reality? What is evidence? Why do you think any conclusions you come to describe reality?


Something X is said to be subjective if the truth of X rests solely on the individual's perspective, e.g., "Chocolate is the best ice cream." Something X is said to be objectively true if the truth of X is independent of any individual's perspective, e.g., "Chocolate is brown/black."

...isn't this obvious?

Also, what does any of this have to do with the original discussion? I feel like we're getting derailed here.

Nubbles
Unmoderated Member

Usergroup: Unmoderated Member
Joined: Aug 17, 2011

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 163
#75 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 21, 2011 - 8:13 PM:


Patrick M. wrote:


If something X does not exist but we have the concept of X in our minds, then the concept X is a product of our minds. What is the problem here? Not every concept refers to something that actually exists, e.g., a unicorn does not actually exist just because I can conceive of one. Some concepts are the result of combining other concepts, e.g., a unicorn is the combination of a horse and a horn. This is how we are able to come up with concepts of things which do not exist.



Something X is said to be subjective if the truth of X rests solely on the individual's perspective, e.g., "Chocolate is the best ice cream." Something X is said to be objectively true if the truth of X is independent of any individual's perspective, e.g., "Chocolate is brown/black."

...isn't this obvious?

Also, what does any of this have to do with the original discussion? I feel like we're getting derailed here.

I am rejecting the premise of the discussion. I am rejecting the premise that there is a "first uncaused cause". Even if you could prove that there was one, all you have determined is "There is no reason for the universe. It just happened." Is this what you are hoping to prove? If so, why do you even need proof? You seem to already know this. Isn't "there is no reason for the universe" your premise?

Premise: There is an uncaused cause. It was the first one. We'll call it the "first uncaused cause".

Conclusion: This cause had no preceding cause; it is uncaused. It happened for no reason.

You have made an assumption."Uncaused cause" is an oxymoron. An uncaused cause is impossible by definition. If you disagree, then tell me what the difference between "cause" and "effect" is. I think you are still thinking that events happen one after another. Time is not linear, so this is not possible. "Universe" does not equal "reality". You have been thinking that "universe" means "all that is". If this is not true, then what have you been thinking of it as?

 

Not sure what the answer to my questions you quoted are. You replied with another "If then" statement. I see no answer.

I have no idea what X represents. What is X? What are you defining X as? You state X is a product of our minds. This is also your conclusion based on the structure of the "if then" statement.

You say not every concept refers to something that actually exists. Which ones do?

You say subjectivity rests on the objective truth. What does objectivity rest on?

When is the "truth of X" independent of an individual's perspective? How can you determine this from your individual perspective? I agree that unicorns do not exist just because you have conceived of them. This does not imply that unicorns do not exist at all. If you are asserting that unicorns do not exist because you have conceived of them, then you are saying that because you have conceived of of them, they do not exist. So everything you have ever conceived of does not exist, apparently.

"isn't this obvious?". My answer is no. This seems to be your entire argument. Is it not?

This topic is relevant to the original discussion, I think. I am asserting there does not have to be a "first uncaused cause". Am I not allowed to reject the premise of a "first uncaused cause"?  Isn't "first uncaused cause" the topic?  Is this not what we are discussing? I have made the argument that there is no "first uncaused cause" What is your counter argument to this assertion?



Edited by Nubbles on Aug 22, 2011 - 12:39 AM
Paradise
G.E. Moore than a feeling

Usergroup: Members
Joined: May 05, 2009

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 163
#76 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 22, 2011 - 3:48 AM:

An infinite regress is much more defensible than an uncaused cause. The motivation for the first cause argument is the notion that things require causes. By positing an uncaused thing to account for all other things, we undermine the very commitment that led us to ask the question in the first place. An infinite regress, by contrast, does no such thing.
Nubbles
Unmoderated Member

Usergroup: Unmoderated Member
Joined: Aug 17, 2011

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 163
#77 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 22, 2011 - 5:37 AM:


Paradise wrote:
An infinite regress is much more defensible than an uncaused cause. The motivation for the first cause argument is the notion that things require causes. By positing an uncaused thing to account for all other things, we undermine the very commitment that led us to ask the question in the first place. An infinite regress, by contrast, does no such thing.

This is full of contradictions. Your first statement is that an infinite regress is more defensible than an uncaused cause. So why are you defending an uncaused cause? You attempt to explain this in the third statement.

The second statement asserts that proponents of this argument are motivated by their premises. This is unethical on so many levels. You are asserting that proponents of this argument are motivated by notions that they already have to prove the notions that they already have. This is the definition of close-mindedness.

In the third statement, you say you undermine the very commitment that led you to ask the question. You say you did this by positing an uncaused cause. So, by making a statement (positing), you have proven that that statement is true. By positing an uncaused cause, you have proven that there must be an uncaused cause. Unbelievable. You must be God.

In the fourth statement, you say infinite regressions do not undermine this commitment. But in the third statement, you spoke as though undermining this commitment is a good thing.

You have made a colossal mistake.

What is your argument? What is the premise for this argument? Are you sure they are not the same thing?



Edited by Nubbles on Aug 22, 2011 - 6:18 AM
busycuttingcrap
malcontent
Avatar

Usergroup: Moderators
Joined: Jul 15, 2011

Total Topics: 42
Total Posts: 1882
#78 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 22, 2011 - 12:27 PM:

I appreciate your interest, and I'll try to go as easy as I can on you, but your post is so rife with elementary confusions that I don't even know what to really make of it...

Nubbles wrote:
OK.

What does it mean, then, for an infinite regression to be impossible?

Does it mean that infinite regressions do not exist? If they do not exist, then where did the concept come from? How can we disprove the validity of infinite regression if that means we could not have come to that conclusion in the first place, because they do not exist according to the conclusion? Does it mean they do not render an argument invalid? If they do not render an argument invalid, then why are you using them to render an argument invalid (the eternal universe)?



What is being claimed (not by me, but by the argument in question) is that an infinite regression of causes leads to the (absurd) conclusion that nothing exists now- things clearly exist now, so either infinite regresses are impossible, or they do not entail that nothing now exists. This is what is at issue. As for where the notion came from, what does that matter? We can form concepts of all types of things that do not exist in fact (flying sofas for example)... And what does this mean:

"How can we disprove the validity of infinite regression if that means we could not have come to that conclusion in the first place, because they do not exist according to the conclusion"

The point is that the possibility of an infinite regression of causes invalidates the first-cause argument, not because it says anything about the notion of causality, but because it offers an alternative to the conclusion, that the causal sequences responsible for everything that exists terminates at an uncaused cause...
I don't know how much more simply I can state this- if argument A attempts to prove that causal chains must be finite, i.e. terminate at some uncaused cause(s), it must show that an infinite causal chain is impossible. What is your problem here?

Nubbles wrote:
I realize Zeno's paradoxes do not prove or disprove anything in an purely objective reality. What does? What is proof in an objective reality? What is evidence? Why do you think any conclusions you come to describe reality?


You mistake me. I'm not interested in advancing a skeptical argument about "ultimate reality", I'm saying you apparently mistake the thrust of Zeno's arguments.

Nubbles wrote:
There are plenty of philosophical schools that assert there is no frst uncaused cause. They do not make that assumption. How could there be a first uncaused cause? A cause requires a linear model of time. Describe a cause in a non linear model of time. I am asserting that trying to ground a "law of causality" is impossible, for the "law of causality" cannot explain why there is a "law of causality" in the first place. That would require another cause, which would lead into an infinite regression. So why is anybody trying to prove that an infinite regression invalidates an argument? I have already explained the futility of doing so.


You haven't at all actually, you've only (apparently) misunderstood the structure of the argument. Even if you're claiming they we ultimately cannot know whether infinite regressions are possible or not, it doesn't change that IF they are possible THEN the first cause argument is thereby invalidated, and theres no way around this (a fairly simple point of logic).

And you further betray your fundamental misunderstanding here- the point is that this particular argument concludes, not assumes, that there is a first uncaused cause. The fact that many philosophic schools do not make this statement at all, whether as an assumption or as a conclusion, is immaterial.

Nibbles wrote:

You have stated that calculus was a "discovery". This implies it was there before we found it. Where was it before, then?

You make the following statement:

Arguments based on the premise "everything must have a cause" must rule out infinite regressions in order to arrive at the conclusion that the causal sequence terminates at an uncaused cause... They admit, in effect, that an infinite regression invalidates their argument, which is why they seek to rule it out by claiming that it is conceptually absurd or self-contradictory.

If an infinite regression invalidates the idea of causality, then there can be no causes whatsoever.  Please read those words carefully. If they are able to rule out infinite regression by proving it is conceptually absurd, then infinite regression does not make an argument invalid. Therefore, "a first uncaused cause" is not invalidated by infinite regression.


I don't really care whether you say that calculus was invented or that it was discovered, the point is that infinite cardinalities are not beyond are grasp as a result.

And it doesn't matter how carefully you read the claim "if an infinite regression invalidates the idea of causality, then there can be no causes whatsoever"- it's still nonsense... See above.

Attacking the premise of universal causality is a DIFFERENT route to short-circuiting the first-cause argument, but is completely separate from the question of whether causal sequences must be finite or not.

Nibbles wrote:

What are you smoking? If you could prove that "infinite regression is impossible"... then "you are making the statement that every instance of infinite regression" is false, impossible or contradictory... not true! Are you merely saying that we could never completely know of every instance? If a notion is conceptually absurd, that is, it yields a contradiction (which is what is claimed of infinite regressions), then it is ruled out in every instance...

You contradict yourself here. You claim that my statement is false, and then you make the same statement and claim it is true. I am using the term "impossible" to mean "conceptually absurd". What are you smoking?


Perhaps you mistyped then because your statement was:

"If you could "prove" that (infinite regressions are impossible), then you are making the statement that every instance of infinite regression is true "

Nibbles wrote:

Are you saying there is no such thing as an infinite regression? What does it mean to rule out a concept such as infinite regression? If we rule this notion out, then we are declaring it to be a false notion, are we not? So any argument that was declared invalid by this notion before needs to be reconsidered, because the notion no longer invalidates an argument. Where is the flaw you say there is in this?

You have provided no counter argument other than to say "you are wrong".



No! The first-cause argument claims that there can be no such thing as an infinite regression of causes because it leads to the patent absurdity that nothing now exists... So yes the proponent of the first-cause argument wants to declare it a "false" notion in that it is not possible, and thus their argument, which is invalidated if this notion is possible, can go succeed... If this is what you mean, then you were at least correct about one thing...
Patrick M.
Initiate

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 46
#79 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 22, 2011 - 2:33 PM:

Paradise wrote:
An infinite regress is much more defensible than an uncaused cause. The motivation for the first cause argument is the notion that things require causes. By positing an uncaused thing to account for all other things, we undermine the very commitment that led us to ask the question in the first place. An infinite regress, by contrast, does no such thing.


Actually, this is not a fair reading of Aquinas. The first premise is not "that things require a cause," it is "things which have a cause are caused by something else," that is, nothing is the cause of itself. So, this leaves open the possibility of a cause which itself is uncaused.

Lest we continue to be sidetracked, I will briefly restate my argument for why infinite regress is impossible:

1. any event requires the passing of some amount of time
2. regardless of the amount of time which any single event takes, an infinite regress of events will require an infinite amount of time
3. the universe is not infinitely old
4. therefore, an infinite regress is impossible.

Refer to my previous posts for supporting arguments.



Edited by Patrick M. on Aug 22, 2011 - 3:06 PM
Patrick M.
Initiate

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 46
#80 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Aug 22, 2011 - 2:40 PM:

Nubbles wrote:
I am rejecting the premise of the discussion. I am rejecting the premise that there is a "first uncaused cause". Even if you could prove that there was one, all you have determined is "There is no reason for the universe. It just happened." Is this what you are hoping to prove? If so, why do you even need proof? You seem to already know this. Isn't "there is no reason for the universe" your premise?

Premise: There is an uncaused cause. It was the first one. We'll call it the "first uncaused cause".

Conclusion: This cause had no preceding cause; it is uncaused. It happened for no reason.

You have made an assumption."Uncaused cause" is an oxymoron. An uncaused cause is impossible by definition. If you disagree, then tell me what the difference between "cause" and "effect" is. I think you are still thinking that events happen one after another. Time is not linear, so this is not possible. "Universe" does not equal "reality". You have been thinking that "universe" means "all that is". If this is not true, then what have you been thinking of it as?

 

Not sure what the answer to my questions you quoted are. You replied with another "If then" statement. I see no answer.

I have no idea what X represents. What is X? What are you defining X as? You state X is a product of our minds. This is also your conclusion based on the structure of the "if then" statement.

You say not every concept refers to something that actually exists. Which ones do?

You say subjectivity rests on the objective truth. What does objectivity rest on?

When is the "truth of X" independent of an individual's perspective? How can you determine this from your individual perspective? I agree that unicorns do not exist just because you have conceived of them. This does not imply that unicorns do not exist at all. If you are asserting that unicorns do not exist because you have conceived of them, then you are saying that because you have conceived of of them, they do not exist. So everything you have ever conceived of does not exist, apparently.

"isn't this obvious?". My answer is no. This seems to be your entire argument. Is it not?

This topic is relevant to the original discussion, I think. I am asserting there does not have to be a "first uncaused cause". Am I not allowed to reject the premise of a "first uncaused cause"?  Isn't "first uncaused cause" the topic?  Is this not what we are discussing? I have made the argument that there is no "first uncaused cause" What is your counter argument to this assertion?


Nubbles, this post is so confused that I don't even want to touch it. My counter argument to your assertion is all of what I've posted in this thread, none of which you have addressed with these obscure and bizarre posts.

EDIT: I said I wasn't going to, but...

Nubbles wrote:
Isn't "there is no reason for the universe" your premise?


no... this is simply a misunderstanding of what a "first uncaused cause" is. The reason for the universe is the Big Bang; there is no reason for the Big Bang (for example).

"Time is not linear, so this is not possible"


Where are you getting this from? Zeno's paradoxes?

I have no idea what X represents. What is X? What are you defining X as?


X is anything - do you have any experience at all with real philosophy?

When is the "truth of X" independent of an individual's perspective? How can you determine this from your individual perspective?


Are you trying to argue now that there is no distinction between what is objective and what is subjective? How can you prove that this is true with nothing objective to base it on? If not true, then why don't we just reject it and everything else you have to say? Your argument is self-defeating and you might as well take a vow of silence and live in a clay jar in the marketplace like Diogenes.

Sorry if I seem to be overly critical, but it looks like you are being intentionally obscure.

Edited by Patrick M. on Aug 22, 2011 - 2:56 PM
locked
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



This thread is closed, so you cannot post a reply.