argument for universal causation.

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bees
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 03:44 am
can some one spell out the argument of universal causation for me? i keep reading the basic principle over and over again and it keeps ******* with my head.

i'm planning on picking up Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, and i'm doing some research beforehand so that i have an easier time slicing through the old-english writing style.

any help would be appreciated, thanks.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 07:25 am
@bees,
I know a lot of the English philosophical texts have been modernized recently, and here is a version of the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion that has been updated.

Amazon.com: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion: The Posthumous Essays of the Immortality of the Soul and of Suicide: David Hume, Richard H. Popkin: Books

The meaning hasn't been changed, but the readability has improved. I haven't actually read the book so I cannot help you with your question, but I thought I would pass on potentially helpful information.
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 08:37 am
@bees,
My understanding is it is basically the 'chicken before the egg dilemma' that has plagued scientists and theologians for a thousand years.

Causation suggests that everything that exists had to have a predecessor or point of origin to be more specific.

you will find many here who like to say that everything 'JUST IS'.. lol

I am not one of them by the way.:poke-eye:
 
boagie
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 11:50 am
@Pathfinder,
YO!Smile

First cause is not necessarily a justified concept, as there seems to be no such thing as a closed system, speculations about a first cause are just that specualations, until we no more, even the universe is not known to be a closed system. There may be as many universes as there are galaxies in our own universe, and although the concept is strange to us, there may be no end, no totality to speak of. Perhaps the cosmos just is. In the case of an ocillating universe, it cannot be said that something ceases to be, for it is a process, all orders within contained in whole, forever renewed.
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:16 pm
@bees,
"Perhaps the cosmos just is." :brickwall: :shocked:

I told you they were going to say it didn't I ? :whistling:


I agree with Boagie though to a degree. There is absolutely no proof of anything regarding origin or first cause and therefore we must avoid coming to conclusions on theories.

However I do not agree with Boagie in such a way that he has accepted that there is no beginning, which to me goes against what he says about about not believing in theories. One is just as bad as the other in my book.

I conclude that there is definitely an unknown force at work with regard to creation and the origin of it, but that is as far as any person can speculate without further evidence. So although I will admit that the possibilities of some sort of infinite nature to creation are possible, there is not enough evidence to warrant any acceptance of such a theory. The fact is that we know absolutely nothing about the origin of our existence.
 
bees
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:23 pm
@Pathfinder,
Perhaps I'm not being clear - it's not my intention to argue the merits of the belief, I would just like to known what the belief of someone who gives merit to the idea of universal causation is.

Plain and simple - what does the belief of universal causation entail?
 
boagie
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:25 pm
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder,Smile

I think we are in agreement there, nothing concrete can be claimed about what we know of origins or first cause. I do not say there is no begining, I also do not say there is--neither nor do I say!! Its anyones guess.
 
boagie
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:30 pm
@bees,
bees wrote:
Perhaps I'm not being clear - it's not my intention to argue the merits of the belief, I would just like to known what the belief of someone who gives merit to the idea of universal causation is.

Plain and simple - what does the belief of universal causation entail?


Bees,Smile

If they are claiming knowledge in this area of universal causation/first cause, they are delusional, bonkers. There is no foundation for such an assumption other than our own inadequate understanding of cause and effect.
 
bees
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:34 pm
@boagie,
I don't care if there's no foundation/justification/knowledge behind the belief - i just want to know what the belief is.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:43 pm
@bees,
bees wrote:
I don't care if there's no foundation/justification/knowledge behind the belief - i just want to know what the belief is.

:bigsmile: I can sense the frustration. Ha ha! The belief in the law of universal causation is the belief that every event in the history of the universe has a complete set of causes from which that event necessarily follows. The problem with this is infinite regression.
 
bees
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 01:52 pm
@Bones-O,
Bones-O!;51999 wrote:
:bigsmile: I can sense the frustration. Ha ha! The belief in the law of universal causation is the belief that every event in the history of the universe has a complete set of causes from which that event necessarily follows. The problem with this is infinite regression.


Thank you very much, and agreed.
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 04:43 pm
@bees,
Bees,

I think you got too close to the hive my friend.

We already stated exactly what you are asking for.

You seem to be asking confused questions.

Sorry!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 06:44 pm
@bees,
bees wrote:
Perhaps I'm not being clear - it's not my intention to argue the merits of the belief, I would just like to known what the belief of someone who gives merit to the idea of universal causation is.

Plain and simple - what does the belief of universal causation entail?


It is that for every event, there is some cause sufficient to produce that event, and that every cause is also an event. (There are no uncaused events).
 
bees
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 07:31 pm
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;51956 wrote:
Causation suggests that everything that exists had to have a predecessor or point of origin to be more specific.


this explanation was a little vague, and off-target for me, but thank you for the effort anyways.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 08:08 pm
@bees,
Perhaps you can ask a more specific question then, if you still don't understand. I think everyone has attempted to reiterate, and streamline, the law of causation for you. Ken did a good job here:

kennethamy wrote:
It is that for every event, there is some cause sufficient to produce that event, and that every cause is also an event. (There are no uncaused events).


What more do you ask?
 
bees
 
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 11:21 pm
@Zetherin,
oh no no - the argument was cleared up for me by bones by the first page - and kenneth explained it quite clearly as well.

my question is answered.
 
thenorthener
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 07:29 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder wrote:


However I do not agree with Boagie in such a way that he has accepted that there is no beginning, which to me goes against what he says about about not believing in theories. One is just as bad as the other in my book.



Not directly on the subject but it seems relevant. The idea of beginning and end is a very human construction. We see the beginning and end of concepts and ideas. For example, a flower begins to be when the seed germinates and then seizes to be shortly after it whither and dies. Now as far what makes up the flower itself nothing has begun, nor has it ended other than the human perception and categorization of it. It is simply that we perceive the end of a particular arrangement of neutrons, protons and electrons. However none of these constituent particles begin or end, they simply rearrange themselves. Take the First law of Thermodynamics - Energy can be transformed (changed from one form to another), but it can neither be created nor destroyed. Taking this into account consider some of the most progressive theories in particle physics, e.g. string theory. Many of these theories hold that energy is the basis of matter and if this is so the the universe/universes has not begun or ended, it has just been subject to eternal changes.
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 09:45 am
@bees,
what exactly do you mean when say eternal?
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 03:18 pm
@bees,
Here's a thought... The idea of a beginning of the universe (temporal) is usually held to be at odds with the infinite regression of universal causality. It suddenly occurred to me that there is no limitation on how many cause-effect events may occur in a finite interval of time, thus the idea that the universe started is not inconsistent with infinite regression: it is possible to have an infinite causal chain in a finite-aged universe. Is there an argument against this?
 
thenorthener
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 03:39 pm
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder wrote:
what exactly do you mean when say eternal?


By eternal I mean without beginning or end. Sorry, I've misconstrued what I was thinking there. More an infinite number of changes occurring over a eternal time frame.
 
 

 
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