Originally posted by Melanerpes
Originally posted by twhitehead
[b]An excellent post.
I just want to explore the issues further.
A large part of what knightmeister is struggling with is his belief that everything has a cause and that existence consists of causal chains. I simply don't think we have good reason for such belief. His belief in causes leads him to see anything wit oyable, unlike others who found it to be boring and moved on to something else.
…I don't know if anyone can really visualize this - the whole idea of something existing or occurring without any cause totally defies rational thought.
How so? -are you vaguely thinking along the lines “if you cannot imagine it then it makes no sense”?
-my body is made of billions of atoms -I cannot mentally “visualise” exactly a billion of anything let alone billions of atoms that make up my body. Yet I presume you wouldn’t say the idea of my body being made of billions of atoms as something that “totally defies rational thought”?
….Everything seems to be explainable in terms of a set of causes .….
-with relatively ‘large’ things that you see every day -yes. But note that it is a logically unjustified extrapolation to assume you can just extrapolate this to ANY scale no matter how big or small because you cannot rationally know that different rules and different physics apply to a totally different set of scales than your everyday set of scales you mentally deal with in your everyday life and which your intuition has got used to.
-so there is no rational reason to believe that, on the quantum scale, everything should behave like your and my intuition says it should -and that includes the intuitive assumption that everything has a cause.
….And yet, logical reasoning requires that there must either be a "first cause" .…
If you are talking about the beginning of the universe -yes. There is no rational reason to believe that the beginning of a universe MUST have had a “cause” -and yet it caused every event that followed.
….or an infinite chain of causation with no beginning - and both of these violates logic...…
Firstly, why should there be a “infinite chain of causation with no beginning”?
Does anything in science or logic suggest this?
Secondly, how does there being a "first cause" (or should I say, "first causes
"? ) “violate logic”?
…Which is where the mystery comes in. It's not just that science hasn't found an answer yet, it's that the rules of logic themselves fall apart when trying to explain how "reality" came into being. ..…
Err, no. The “rules of logic themselves” do not “fall apart” when trying to explain anything. Pure deductive logic has never been demonstrated to be wrong or have been demonstrated to “fall apart” while inductive logic doesn’t give conclusions with absolute certainty and only deals with probability thus is not itself proven “wrong” when one of its conclusions of what it says is 'probably' so is demonstrated to be false. -so, whether you are talking about deductive logic or inductive logic -neither can “fall apart”.