1. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 05:12
    I am not sure if this should be here or in Science, but it is about things usually discussed here.
    This claim comes up over and over in this forums:
    "Everybody knows that everything in the universe is caused"
    or its cleverly posed in another form:
    "Show me something that is known not to have a cause"

    It is my claim that the vast majority of events in the universe are uncaused and although this cannot be trivially proven it is my claim that modern science and the concept of randomness rely on the fact that many events are either uncaused or indistinguishable from being caused.

    So I will try to present my reasoning as to why I think that when I throw a dice, the resulting number is totally uncaused, and I would like to hear from anyone who thinks they have a convincing argument that there is reason to believe that all events in the universe are caused.

    I think I should point out a couple of pitfalls. I remember knightmeister believed in universal causation, but he then had extreme difficulty explaining free will. He also at one point admitted the necessity of the existence of brute facts (ie uncaused facts). Some people try to get round it by putting God as the sole uncaused cause and explaining that by claiming he is eternal - and thus avoiding the problem of having a time prior to his existence.
  2. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 07:16
    It is my belief that if an event is random, then it is uncaused. Causation to me, implies an effect and thus a pattern. If no pattern exists (random) then there is no cause.

    Now science and things like quantum dynamics, the uncertainty principle etc tell us that most events at small scales are random. In fact the whole wave nature of light is founded on that principle. So if random events did not happen, refraction wouldn't happen and your spectacles wouldn't work!

    So, if anyone disagrees and feels that all events are caused - then where am I going wrong?
  3. Standard memberDasa
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    14 Feb '11 08:161 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am not sure if this should be here or in Science, but it is about things usually discussed here.
    This claim comes up over and over in this forums:
    [b]"Everybody knows that everything in the universe is caused"

    or its cleverly posed in another form:
    "Show me something that is known not to have a cause"

    It is my claim that the vast major ...[text shortened]... iming he is eternal - and thus avoiding the problem of having a time prior to his existence.[/b]
    A dice has 6 sides, so when you throw it, you are causing one of six sides to show up.

    If you were skilled enough, and you could throw the dice with the same angle, the same velocity, the same spin, the same height and when it left your hand have it in the exact same position.....you would find it to show the same resut many more times.

    When you throw the dice you are causing it to show one of six sides every time.....but the only thing you cannot do, is predict every time with accuracy which side will show up.

    You could even do this........Tell some one you are going to throw a six, and then throw the dice, and keep throwing the dice until a six shows up....you have caused a six to show up and all the other throws were mistakes (caused mistakes)

    Or you could do this....say to someone that you will throw the dice, and tell them that you predict that the dice will show either a one or two or three or four, or five, or six....you will be correct every time and you would have caused it.

    Actually you can confidently say to some one.....I will throw the dice, and I promise you that without a doubt I will cause one of six sides to show up.....you could even bet money on that and win every time.

    Vedanta informs us that everything in existence has a cause......but there is a first cause, the primeval cause, the cause without a cause, an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent all knowing cause.

    The first cause is eternal, and there was nothing before that....but eternal means eternal, so there is no such thing as "before". when discussing eternality.
    \
    The material and spiritual worlds have been doing what the material and spiritual worlds do, for ever, and there was never a time when they did not exist, in their manifest or unmanifest forms.

    Science have a big problem with their big-bang theory because they are struggling with ...."before" ....and have not come up with any proven therory to explain what was existing before that big bang, and it would mean that the big bang is first cause (for the science person) if they continue to remain in the dark about that.
  4. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 08:471 edit
    Originally posted by vishvahetu
    If you were skilled enough, and you could throw the dice with the same angle, the same velocity, the same spin, the same height and when it left your hand have it in the exact same position.....you would find it to show the same resut many more times.
    So you believe in a fully deterministic universe.
    However, science disagrees with you. Science (through quantum dynamics and the uncertainty principle) says that it is impossible to know the exact angle, velocity, spin etc and therefore impossible to throw a die and intentionally get a given number.

    Vedanta informs us that everything in existence has a cause......but there is a first cause, the primeval cause, the cause without a cause, an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent all knowing cause.
    So your only counter argument so far is that Vedanta tells you that everything has a cause?
    Do you have any reasons for believing this to be the case other than what you have learned from Vedanta?
    (and please refrain from throwing in all the extra preaching, it achieves nothing and only serves to waste both your time and mine).
  5. Lowlands paradise
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    14 Feb '11 09:23
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is my belief that if an event is random, then it is uncaused. Causation to me, implies an effect and thus a pattern. If no pattern exists (random) then there is no cause.

    Now science and things like quantum dynamics, the uncertainty principle etc tell us that most events at small scales are random. In fact the whole wave nature of light is founded o ...[text shortened]...

    So, if anyone disagrees and feels that all events are caused - then where am I going wrong?
    Randomness and causation belong together; they are two faces of the same event. The outcome is uncertain, but the percentages are predictable. For specs you need randomness and causation.
  6. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 09:291 edit
    Originally posted by souverein
    Randomness and causation belong together; they are two faces of the same event. The outcome is uncertain, but the percentages are predictable. For specs you need randomness and causation.
    So do you agree that the exact outcome is not caused?

    [edit] I feel I must point out here that the percentages are predictable precisely because they are totally random ie individual results are unpredictable and contain no pattern (a pattern would indicate a cause).
  7. Standard memberDasa
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    14 Feb '11 09:451 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So you believe in a fully deterministic universe.
    However, science disagrees with you. Science (through quantum dynamics and the uncertainty principle) says that it is impossible to know the exact angle, velocity, spin etc and therefore impossible to throw a die and intentionally get a given number.

    [b]Vedanta informs us that everything in existence h ...[text shortened]... all the extra preaching, it achieves nothing and only serves to waste both your time and mine).
    There is no counter argument, I was commenting about the dice, and the when I finished with that I began to talk about the other thing....I should have put a line between the two comments to show that. (but the two comments do have a relationship though)

    Anyway, I can present much information about many things because I have subscribed to an authority.

    If I asked you about mathematics, you could answer any question with confidence, if you had as your reference, the "World Professors Journal of Mathematics." by your side......likewise

    Vedanta is the reference for all things spiritual and religious, and I have studied this for some time, and this is by my side as well.

    Now... if you ask me a question of a religious nature, I would respond with knowledge I have gained from this reference point.

    If you didn't accept this reference point, then I have a problem, dont I ?

    So really..... I would be asking you what is *your reference point, for rejecting my authorized reference point.

    You could say you have studied this Vedanta yourself for years, and you believe it is all nonsense.....and this would be a valid comment by you.

    You could say that you dont care for my reference point, because you do not have confidence in anything written in books by men.....but wait a minute, you and others have accepted things written in books many many times before, and in fact everything you know has come from a book or other person.

    Or you could say you dont accept my reference point, and not give any reason.

    So you can see that I have a real problem, if you are not willing to accept my reference point, and I dont know how I can answer any queries for anyone actually, if they reject my source of knowledge.

    So now I am in a predicament, that my only course of action is to present my comments anyway, even knowing that the person does not accept my reference....and then, I could only hope that anything I present is some how appreciated.

    So a bit later, I shall post something up to respond to your post....but it will be based on the authority of the only spiritual authority....Vedanta.
  8. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 09:57
    Originally posted by vishvahetu
    So you can see that I have a real problem, if you are not willing to accept my reference point, and I dont know how I can answer any queries for anyone actually, if they reject my source of knowledge.
    If all you have is knowledge obtained from Vedanta and not corroborated by any other source, then all you have to do is state "Vedanta says .....". and leave it at that. It is then up to me to accept or reject your source.
    In this case, you have already stated that Vedanta says that everything has a cause. That is enough. I am not particularly interested in what else it has to say on the matter unless it is able to back up that claim with logic, reason or evidence other than its own authority.

    So just to settle it, is it the case that your only source of information on this matter is Vedanta, and if it wasn't for Vedanta, you would have no reason to believe that everything has a cause?
  9. Lowlands paradise
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    14 Feb '11 10:361 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So do you agree that the exact outcome is not caused?

    [edit] I feel I must point out here that the percentages are predictable precisely because they are totally random ie individual results are unpredictable and contain no pattern (a pattern would indicate a cause).
    So do you agree that the exact outcome is not caused?
    If I understand you right, I agree at the physical level, especially at a (sub)atomic level.
    But I wonder what you mean with 'exact outcome'. In our physical world exact outcomes (in the sense of 100% predictable) are impossible.

    "I feel I must point out here that the percentages are predictable precisely because they are totally random ie individual results are unpredictable and contain no pattern (a pattern would indicate a cause)."

    The outcome of an event would be unpredictable if the percentages of chance would be random too, but they are not. It is not the randomness itself that makes outcomes predictable but the regularity in their random behaviour.
  10. Standard memberDasa
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    14 Feb '11 10:53
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    If all you have is knowledge obtained from Vedanta and not corroborated by any other source, then all you have to do is state "Vedanta says .....". and leave it at that. It is then up to me to accept or reject your source.
    In this case, you have already stated that Vedanta says that everything has a cause. That is enough. I am not particularly interested ...[text shortened]... nd if it wasn't for Vedanta, you would have no reason to believe that everything has a cause?
    Actually I have realized many things without Vedanta, and only later when I discovered Vedanta, I found that it was saying the same similar thing..

    For example I have believed that everything has a cause before I knew of Vedanta.

    I also believed (before knowing of Vedanta) that if there was a God, then this God would have to have nothing coming before it, or otherwise that other thing would be God.

    Then of course I found many things from Vedanta that I had no clue of in the past.

    You see I believed in God at a young age before I ever new of a Bible or of Vedanta.

    I was born with a knowing.

    Just like Mozart was born with the knowing of music.

    You see because reincarnation is a fact....there is a lot of knowledge coming into the new birth, for the person to immediately embrace and make their own.

    Have you ever wondered how a person can be born, and very easily they have a maturity beyond their years, and have a knowing beyond their years as well like no other person....well this is because they are bringing across their knowing from previous life.

    If Vedanta is the only authority of the spiritual, then how could there be another source of authority that you are requesting for me to put forward

    Would you accept the Bible as that other source, with all its error.

    Look.....I may only be able to present what I can and not answer anyone's queries, if they are rejecting the authority.

    I might just post up Vedic info and if someone appreciates then good, and if they dont then I have no say.

    Understand this one point please....you have come into the spirituality forum, and you are making enquiries like everyone else, but you are talking to someone whom is telling you they have received knowledge from the authority of this subject, and with no strong reasoning you are not accepting....what are you expecting to hear from someone when coming to this forum, are you actually surprised that someone has knowledge from a spiritual authority, is it something you did not expect, and now you are attempting to discredit this authority for some personal reasoning instead of giving the authority fair judgement.

    Even to give fair judgement, a person would have to qualify themselves first, because most persons only have their conditioned mind as an instrument of determination.....it would be like a 10 year old giving an appraisal of the history of the human race.
  11. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 11:051 edit
    Originally posted by souverein
    But I wonder what you mean with 'exact outcome'.
    I mean there is absolutely no reason why the die I threw showed a 'six' and not a 'one'. It had nothing to do with anything that happened or existed in the universe (or elsewhere) prior to my throwing the die.

    .... the regularity in their random behaviour.
    Thats really funny once you get it.

    The outcome of an event would be unpredictable if the percentages of chance would be random too, but they are not.
    So, the chance of my die coming up with any given number is 1 in 6. The percentages of chance are not random, they are known and are exact. So, I am going to throw my die. You claim that the outcome is predictable, I claim it is unpredictable. To prove you are correct, all you have to do is correctly predict what number I will get. To prove I am correct, all I have to do is point out that you fully admit that you not only cant predict the outcome, but you admit that it is impossible to predict the outcome.
  12. Standard memberPalynka
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    14 Feb '11 11:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is my belief that if an event is random, then it is uncaused. Causation to me, implies an effect and thus a pattern. If no pattern exists (random) then there is no cause.

    Now science and things like quantum dynamics, the uncertainty principle etc tell us that most events at small scales are random. In fact the whole wave nature of light is founded o ...[text shortened]...

    So, if anyone disagrees and feels that all events are caused - then where am I going wrong?
    Doesn't the uncertainty principle tells you that you can't know position and movement? I interpret this (and Bell's theorem) to mean that a probabilistic description is as close as we can get to describing quantum reality not that reality is necessarily random.
  13. Donationrwingett
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    14 Feb '11 11:221 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I mean there is absolutely [b]no reason why the die I threw showed a 'six' and not a 'one'. It had nothing to do with anything that happened or existed in the universe (or elsewhere) prior to my throwing the die.

    .... the regularity in their random behaviour.[/b]
    Thats really funny once you get it.

    The outcome of an event would be unpred t only cant predict the outcome, but you admit that it is impossible to predict the outcome.
    Of course the roll of the dice are caused. The angle of the wrist, the position of the dice upon release, the speed of the release, the surface upon which they land, these are all factors that caused the dice to land in the particular spot they did. Change any one of them and you will change the outcome of the roll. The dice roll only appears to be random because we cannot we cannot tabulate, or replicate, all the causal factors that went into its outcome.
  14. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 11:46
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Doesn't the uncertainty principle tells you that you can't know position and movement? I interpret this (and Bell's theorem) to mean that a probabilistic description is as close as we can get to describing quantum reality not that reality is necessarily random.
    If it was the uncertainty principle by itself, you might have an argument. But you mentioned 'quantum reality'. In quantum physics, it is not that you don't know the exact position of a particle, but that it doesn't have one. A deterministic model is therefore impossible.
  15. Cape Town
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    14 Feb '11 11:47
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The dice roll only appears to be random because we cannot we cannot tabulate, or replicate, all the causal factors that went into its outcome.
    Quantum physics and the uncertainty principle say otherwise, and without those, we would not have refraction and my glasses wouldn't work.
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