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Old 08-14-2019, 09:02 AM
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AHunter3 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
If you do not reject the notion of causality...
I do not reject the usefulness of thinking in terms of causality but causality is like the flat earth model. I use the flat earth assumptions for most everyday navigation when I'm traveling -- pretending that I'm on a flat plane with east over there, north hither, west thither, and south yon. I know it's an oversimplification but it's a highly useful one; thinking about the curvature of the earth and keeping in mind that east and west will collide or will disappear as I approach the poles doesn't help me get to Huntington or Philadelphia, so I mostly ignore it, even though it's true.

Ultimately though, no, we do not live in a causal universe. It's an illusion.

please join me in the thought experiment:
My arm moved.
Why did my arm move?
You wanted it to

I willed it to move.
Why did I will my arm to move?

I chose to will my arm to move.
** nods along with you **

If you keep asking "why?" I suspect you will have to look into the past and therefore establish a chain of causation, even if everything is self. There can be more than one reason. Would you care to continue the introspective dialogue, or point out where you disagree?
Somewhere between 12 billion and 15 billion years ago both space and time came into being; there was no "before", and there was no prior cause. Even these sentences are of questionable construction (we almost lack the language to express it; "came into being" isn't quite accurate). The division of everything that has happened over those 12-15 billion years into events is, like the flat-earth navigation thingie, a useful thing but those divisions aren't intrinsically objectively "there". We impose them, mentally, on what is the only "event" (see previous disclaimer about the limits of our vocabulary) that has ever taken place. We are a part of that event. So if I do as you say and look in the past, I do not establish a chain of causation, or at least not until I arbitrarily slice up the entirety into Event A and Subsequent Event B and pretend that one causes the other.

See also Alan Watts on the "head-tailed cat".

Last edited by AHunter3; 08-14-2019 at 09:03 AM.