First Causes

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Sun Sep 12 10:47:17 EST 2004

On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 16:47:32 GMT, Paul Victor Birke
<nonlinear at rogers.com> in comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>OK Lester, slowly absorbing your comments!
>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?

Hi Paul -

It's hard to agree or disagree. Differences certainly result in change
and all change originates in differences. But if we rely on change in
conventional terms to define differences, we may well exclude other
aspects of differences which do not necessarily result in change. I'm
thinking here of apparently static differences which define space, for

The fact is that we don't actually know that all differences result in
change, and the analysis of differences on that basis alone is too
simplistic. What we know and can prove is that differences in the form
of contradiction, negation, and not are the foundation of everything
whatever they may mean in dynamic terms of change.

Part of the problem is that there are different words in the language
that all refer to the general idea of differences but do so in various
seemingly unrelated ways. I'm uncomfortable adding further notions to
the mix if avoidable, and ideas like first change or delta seem to add
unnecessary complexity. Where needed for simplicity, I just use the
symbol "-" to denote differences in the sense of contradiction, not,
or negation.

>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

Regards - Lester

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