IUBio

First Causes

Paul Victor Birke nonlinear at rogers.com
Sat Sep 11 11:47:32 EST 2004


OK Lester, slowly absorbing your comments!

thanks

Paul

PS  If I could just say you are arguing that a change is by definition a 
difference and the first change as it were must therefore be a delta or 
difference in its essential form.  If this too crude a summary?

Paul

Lester Zick wrote:

> On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 13:36:10 GMT, Paul Victor Birke
> <nonlinear at rogers.com> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:
> 
> 
>>Dear Alex
>>
>>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.
>>
>>Paul (Engineer)
> 
> 
> Hi Paul
> 
> 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
> 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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