IUBio

First Causes

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net
Sun Sep 12 15:37:56 EST 2004


On 12 Sep 2004 10:36:21 -0700, dralexgreen at yahoo.co.uk (Alex Green) in
comp.ai.philosophy wrote:

>lesterDELzick at worldnet.att.net (Lester Zick) wrote in message news:<41432831.6456150 at netnews.att.net>...
>> 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.
>
>If we inspect the specific differences we end up with concepts like
>'different locations' and different masses'. Each of these differences
>would need a separate 'difference process'.

This would be true if we had prior ideas of space, mass, time, etc.
going into differences. We don't. We only have the mechanism of
differences and derive concepts like space, mass, time, etc. from the
properties and behavior of those differences.
 
>> 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.
>
>Lets analyse this. Does P "not" mean (not P) ie: all those things
>other than P?

No. It's unfortunate you didn't come into a couple other preceeding
threads where I tried to explain this kind of statement. P "not" is
really just a succinct notation where P is any proposition containing
a high order predicate "not". P "blue" would represent a propostion P
containing the high order predicate "blue". P "contradiction" means a
proposition containing a high order predicate "contradiction".

>If P"not" is (not P) then alternatives to (not P) are P. I cannot see
>how this is self contradictory but maybe I have misunderstood your
>nomenclature. Setting Q as (not)(not P) seems quite reasonable, Q
>would be identical to P.

P "not" does not indicate not P. And for that matter, Q not not P
wouldn't necessarily mean P and Q are the same. But this is a more
subtle and technically unrelated point. If I negate P and negate the
result, I haven't necessarily reverted to the original whatever it may
be unless we are only dealing with objective considerations. If we are
dealing with subjective considerations, there is no guarantee or even
plausible reason to believe that not not P means P.
 
>> 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.
>
>If the contradiction of P is all those things that are not P then the
>contradiction of the contradiction of P, although self contradictory,
>is still P - where is the problem?

For one thing P "not" is a logical proposition and not the negation of
P. So Q not P is only self contradictory if P is not to begin with.
The negation of not P would not be self contradictory. It would just
represent the negation of the negation of P. If P were "not blue" in
this regard, then the negation of P "not blue" would be contradictory
but not self contradictory. On the other hand if P is "not" then Q not
P would be self contradictory because it would mean Q "not not".
 
>> 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. 
>
>In the sense that (not)(not P) is P this is true but this is just a
>statement of identity. As I was pointing out earlier, identity is the
>root of classification, not difference. This is why you have
>introduced (not)(not P) rather than (not P). Obviously (not P) is
>everything in the world other than P but (not)(not P) is P -
>(not)(not) is the identity operator whereas (not) is the negation
>operator (difference). So your statement amounts to the claim that
>double negation amounts to identity. This is true and forms the basis
>of classification.

Rather than comment directly on this, let's see if my preceeding
comments clear up the confusion.

>> 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.
>
>You have not introduced an argument to justify this assertion. You
>would need to define 'sentience'.
>
>> 
>> 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. 
>
>But self contradiction in the form that you have expressed seems to
>mean identity ie: (not)(not)  for instance (not)(not P)=P.
>
>> 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. 
>> 
>
>But if you had P in the first place why not just assert that P=P
>rather than introducing a process where, given P (ie:P=P) then 
>(not)(not P)=P?

Well, apart from my comments above, the confusion is certainly
understandable. If I had P to begin with, there would be no reason for
a double negation. What I was trying to say was that I had "not" or
"contradiction" to begin with, and I named that P. So contradicting or
not-ting "not" or "contradiction" results in a self contradiction
named Q.

What I'm really after here is not P as an identity but the mechanics
involved in the discovery and recognition of P and everything else.
Saying P, or P=P, or P==P, doesn't shed any light whatsoever on the
processes or mechanics of the processes underlying those identities. 

Regards - Lester



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