First Causes

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Sat Sep 11 11:37:10 EST 2004

On 11 Sep 2004 03:58:32 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<4141f007.920566 at netnews.att.net>...
>> On 9 Sep 2004 15:14:21 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
>> comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> >lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<41406d36.55578664 at netnews.att.net>...
>> >> On 9 Sep 2004 04:39:35 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
>> >> comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
>> [. . .]
>> >> >Could there be differences without these things? If so, how?
>> >> 
>> >> Could there be space and time without differences? No.
>> >
>> >Please explain. Are you using the term 'differences' to mean the
>> >presence of more than one thing or the detection of more than one
>> >thing? If the latter then the detection would involve more than one
>> >thing so many things come before 'difference'. If the former then you
>> >have widened the term 'difference' so far that it just means 'things'.
>> We have a significant problem here. If you're going to arbitrarily
>> snip relevant comments, there is nothing to discuss. If you want
>> answers to questions, please extend me the courtesy of addressing
>> all points I submit for consideration of the issue. I use the term
>> difference in the sense of contradiction, negation, or not.
>My apologies, on some moderated groups they will not allow
>contributions without the removal of items that are not addressed in
>the current post.

No problem. As a matter of policy I never cross post to moderated
groups because the rejection of a post by one moderated group causes
rejection by all groups moderated or not. It's a practice I call cross
threading that I've complained of in no uncertain terms in the past.

(Let me just add that I don't mind answering questions in isolation or
making comments isolated from the rest of the material in a post. It's
just that several omitted parts of the post applied directly to the
question you asked.)

>How could a negation occur as a 'first cause'? Suppose a thing
>occurred as a first ever thing, if this thing was a 'not thing' it
>would not have occurred. Can you explain how negation could be the
>first cause?

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
classic religions.

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

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