On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 13:36:10 GMT, Paul Victor Birke
<nonlinear at rogers.com> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>>Is not one of the >>theories of time<< that in fact everything exists
>in some kind of >>now<<. In the >>now<< mix of everything you could
>theorectically have the negation I suppose.
There seems to be something of a common misunderstanding here; so, I'm
enclosing part of my reply to Alex here to see if we can clear it up.
There seems to be a misconception here. It sounds to me like you are
considering first causes in historical terms where I intended it more
in the sense of omnipresent. Evolution is certainly considered an
omnipresent cause as would be a prime mover unmoved or the god of
There is no first cause in historical terms. This is the chicken and
egg problem I mention in my first reply to your post. Causes and
consequences are always mixed up with one another in an ongoing
sequence of interactions. Religion normally and science occasionally
project original causes like creation or the big bang, but these are
highly speculative and largely problematic in my estimation.
A first cause in the sense of omnipresence is simply a mechanical
reductio used as the driving cause of everything; and differences,
negation, contradicition, not, etc. certainly fill that role. It isn't
that there are no antecedent things between which differences exist.
It's more that without differences no interactions are possible.
Now, having cleared up the issue of historical versus omnipresent
causation, you can still reasonably ask whether things or differences
take precedence. This problem can be resolved by demonstration and
proof. There is no thing or group or collection of things which can be
proven universally the cause of differences, but differences can be
proven universally the cause of all things.
The proof is straightforward and simple. We just consider the nature
of alternatives to differences. For the simplest case, let's consider
that everything is the result of P "not" in the sense of negation or
differences. Then alternatives to P "not" are cast in the inherently
self contradictory form of Q "not not". And self contradiction is the
cause of nothing.
The same is true if we consider P "differences" or P "contradiction"
as the omnipresent cause of everything. In either case Q "different
from differences" or Q "contradiction of contradiction" is inherently
self contradictory and P "differences" or P "contradiction" is proven
the universal cause of everything, and no thing or things can be
proven the universal cause of differences for the simple reason that
there are always non self contradictory alternatives to every thing.
The reason this is important is that identifying differences in the
sense of contradiction or negation as the omnipresent cause of
everything allows us to identify the categories which things can be in
terms of the compounding of differences in terms of one another. For
example, without going into a lot of explanatory rationale, I consider
things defined in terms of one level differences to be material in
nature and things defined in terms of compound levels of differences
to be sentient in nature.
What I'd like to stress here is that I'm not dealing in mere hyperbole
and supposition. If there is some demonstrably universally omnipresent
or first cause for everything, it can only be demonstrable through the
universally self contradictory nature of alternatives. Which means in
turn that any universally demonstrable first cause of everything
itself must entail contradiction and cannot just entail any thing
defined in terms of contradiction or differences.
Regards - Lester