There is no such thing as cause and effect.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by swarm, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Cause and effect are just artifacts of how we think about action.

    Causes are the parts leading up to the moment we are considering which we know about and find significant.

    Effects are the parts leaving the moment we are considering which we know about and find significant.

    But reality is not actually segmented like this. It is a continuum of action. Nor is something significant because it catches our fancy or trivial because we missed it.

    Also causes presume that there is a difference between caused and uncaused, that there is a moment of beginning when a transition occurs. But there isn't. Everything is always already in action. This action can change but it has no stopping or starting. No beginning or ending.

    The fallacy of the unmoved mover its that the universe started at some point.
     
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  3. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    No, I think you're wrong. Yes, I understand what you're trying to say, but while reality is or seems to be a continum, we can and do see it in segmented acts and effects. The trigger is pulled which causes the cartridge to explode which causes the bullet to be shot out of the barrel of the gun and into the heart of the victim which causes the victim to die.

    Essentially, I think you're just over-analyzing things so as to confuse yourself into thinking that there's no such thing as cause and effect. Like the gun event above ...you could analyze it all the way back to the beginning of the universe and say, "See? It was all a continuous action." But that's just good ol' fashioned philosophical bullshit.

    Baron Max
     
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  5. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    So spake the mighty Buddha.

    But if you're going to keep following this line of logic, then all supposedly philosophical problems are merely strange artifacts of human language and perception. And as such they're more or less pointless.

    But Wittgenstein already pointed that out. Sorry, you're about 60-odd years late.
     
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  7. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    For each and every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is something that goes a little beyond human conceptualization, if it weren't true, we would not be.
     
  8. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks for reiterating what I just said.

    Yes we like to look at gross, segmented, physical actions we can arbitrarily assign as "causes." But nothing there is actually discrete as a cause. We just pick out what we find significant and call it a cause

    What we think of as discrete causes are more like evolving interference patterns.
     
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  9. Tnerb Banned Banned

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    Quite an interesting idea. This is actually probably my favoriate area of philosophy.
     
  10. Xylene Valued Senior Member

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    Cause precedes effect--In the case of any living thing, the cause is your birth, the effect is your life--and if the cause is your life, the effect is your death. So if a person were to invent a time machine and travel back in time to before he or she was born, do they have to worry about dying before the day of their birth? The theory being that the effect (one's death) cannot precede the cause (your birth).
     
  11. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    So I wasn't alive before I was born?

    At which point exactly am I not alive?
     
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  12. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    "Semi" on topic - an oldie but goody:

    If am moving towards a (stationary) wall, with the intended effect of reaching out and touching it, do I not first have to cause such movement that I reach a point half way between where I started and the wall? Will I not then have to cause such movement that I create the effect of traversing half the remaining distance, or 3/4 of the distance from where I first started, to the wall? If i continue causing movement bringing me 1/2 the remaining distance to the wall, how will I ever achieve the effect of actually reaching the wall? Won't there always be 1/2 of the previous remaining distance to traverse?

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  13. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    You're just playing little psycho-babble word games, that's all. If you enjoy such silly, childish word games, please continue.

    Baron Max
     
  14. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Yes they do, since on their own personal time-line their birth has already occurred.

    If the person exists (at whatever "time" in history) then they must have been born previously on their own time-line.
    The actual date is irrelevant.

    That's like claiming that any time traveller going back into history would forget everything they knew, since their entire memory would consist of events and experiences that hadn't yet occurred from the perspective of whichever date they visited.
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    You do know what Buddhists (you being one, no?) say about speculating about the origin of the Universe and its exact workings?
     
  16. Xylene Valued Senior Member

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    That depends how you define life, swarm; bioelectric activity starts fairly early in the fetus--I'm not a doctor nor have any medical experience, so I couldn't tell you how early.
     
  17. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps everything are causes?
     
  18. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Zeno's paradox for those not familiar with it.

    I would simply say that you don't have to start moving / traversing distances because you already are. It only seems like you are stationary because the entire immediate area is moving together. By using friction and the common ground you can traverse the distance faster than the wall, catching up to it at the expense of energy.
     
  19. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    If everything is a cause then "cause" is just another way to say everything and it lacks and particular meaning of its own.

    What it seems to boil down to is everything is in flux and if we notice something in the past we call it a cause and if we notice it now we call i an effect and if it doesn't catch our fancy we ignore it. But I can find no actual difference between what we ignore, what happed and what is happening beyond how we arbitrarily like to talk about it.

    In the trigger pulling example, is the finger moving more or less of a cause than the heart beating? Is the first part of its movement not a cause since it doesn't actually fire the bullet?
     
  20. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Let me clue you in. Your DNA has been alive for the last 3.5 billion years.

    You are just the latest in a long series of "fruiting bodies" grown for reproduction. Once you serve your purpose, you die while the next one takes over.

    The DNA itself however is effectively immortal.
     
  21. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    You should look it up.
     
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  22. swarm Registered Senior Member

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    Only if you want them to.
     
  23. Bluecrux Light Bearer Registered Senior Member

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    It just seems logical to be for there to be cause and effect or the world would be a total disarray . Of course there's no proof for it but noone can disprove it too .
    Imagine a world without cause and effect, would it do justice ?
    I always find life peculiarly similar with the science around us .
    Like Newton's second law , what goes around comes around .

    Don't you work hard towards something expecting a desirable outcome ?
    It's simply just because you believe in cause and effect .
    Otherwise as I said, the world would be a total disarray .
     

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