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Author Topic:   A Simplified Proof That The Universe Cannot Be Explained
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 126 of 342 (784494)
05-18-2016 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 6:09 PM


If that leaves anything to salvage from the OP, it is clear then that the OP defines 'explanation' as something that uniquely applies to the universe in a way that it would never apply to anything else.

If we are asked the questions "What would we find ten miles due north of X" or "What non-negative integer immediately precedes the non-negative integer Y", then we require a whole different kind of answer when X is the North Pole or Y is 0. This isn't because the definitions of "north" or "precedes" changes in those cases. The definitions stay the same, but the cases are special.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 6:09 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:22 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 128 of 342 (784497)
05-18-2016 7:24 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 7:22 PM


So why is the case of explaining 'the universe' different? I agree in principle with your proposition, but absent some reason for 'explaining the universe' to be a different concept from 'explaining the solar system', it appears to me that you are just pleading for special treatment.

As I said, because any proposed secondary cause would in fact be part of the thing to be explained, and so would not constitute an explanation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:22 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:40 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 139 of 342 (784508)
05-18-2016 8:18 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 7:40 PM


I submit that we don't commonly require such a thing as part of explanations, and I repeat my question of why you do require that kind of 'completeness' when explaining the universe.

In that case of why Fred killed John, where would we stop our inquiry into why Fred killed John? Is the answer because Fred stole John's money an explanation? Does it add anything to say that Fred is unable to control is emotions and overreacted? Why does not the answer require us to examine the origin of whatever mental state Fred had when he pulled the trigger. Why don't we have to further inquire into the events that led up to the events that formed Fred?

It is because we cut off the explanation and back tracking at some suitable point and not because any one thing is not a cause. Some particular event is considered a proximate cause suitable for the circumstance, and no further cause seek is required.

Yeah, you choose a cut-off point, you say, we will explain things further down the causal chain, but not the things further up it, which we will neglect.

But if you are being asked for the cause of everything, then if there are things you're neglecting to explain, then you are not in fact explaining everything, just the things down the chain from your cut-off point. It's not that the explanation would be the wrong kind of explanation, it's that the thing you're being asked to explain would not be the thing that you would be explaining.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:40 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 9:27 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 143 of 342 (784515)
05-18-2016 10:15 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 9:27 PM


I agree. But asking 'explain the universe' may not be synonymous with asking for 'the cause of everything'. That position would seem to be trivially easy to demonstrate if you are willing to concede that there might be things either external to or prior to the existence of the universe. Apparently the OP does concede exactly that.

That's not what I got from the OP.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 9:27 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 10:50 PM Dr Adequate has not replied
 Message 145 by kbertsche, posted 05-18-2016 10:53 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 149 of 342 (784538)
05-19-2016 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 5:22 AM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Non-reality can't be real (by definition).

Can the non-reality of unicorns be real?

Reality, then, necessarily exists in all possible worlds.

Surely what you mean to say is that reality is real in all possible worlds?

Therefore, reality is an uncaused first cause that requires no explanation.

Why would it be a first cause? For example, suppose the reality was that there were no things. Why would that give rise to things, such as the universe?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 5:22 AM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 155 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 3:02 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 157 of 342 (784558)
05-19-2016 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 3:02 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
No.

So where are all the unicorns?

The O.P. assumes the existence of a reality in which its reasoning works, which is why I'm putting forward the case for necessary entities, knowing full well that you will try to claim that there's no contradiction in what is defined as not existing (nothingness) existing (presumably nowhere).

I will also claim that there's no contradiction in the phrase "no unicorn exists"; and that anyone who claims to have found one is trying much too hard to be confused by what is not even nearly the most difficult aspect of the English language.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 3:02 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 4:33 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 159 of 342 (784564)
05-19-2016 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 4:33 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Your argument has become somewhat hard to follow.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 4:33 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 5:39 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 162 of 342 (784574)
05-19-2016 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 5:39 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
In order to make a proof like the one in the O.P., which requires there to be no necessary self-explanatory entity, the proof defeats itself if its argument relies on assuming any such entity to be necessary.

Would you agree?

Seems reasonable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 5:39 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 8:04 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 164 of 342 (784583)
05-19-2016 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 8:04 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Then, the O.P., in informing us that because the first thing doesn't have a cause, it can't be explained, assumes a reality in which things can't be self-explanatory. If such a reality is considered a self-explanatory thing, the proof fails, and if it isn't, the proof is unfounded.

Er ... no?

There's a lot of leaps there.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 8:04 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 165 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 9:37 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 169 of 342 (784593)
05-19-2016 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 9:37 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
In 3 and 3a and 5 and 5a the O.P. tells us that the reason the first thing can't be explained is that it can't have a prior cause. So it gives us a universal law that things can't be explained if they don't have prior causes.

Do you agree that the law is necessary to nano's proof and that he has made it clear that it would apply to any first thing (including laws themselves, which are suggested as possible first things)?

I wouldn't have called it a law so much as an observation on the definition of an explanation. If one asks "Why did that happen?" one is necessarily asking for a cause just as a question beginning with "When" requires a time.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 9:37 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by bluegenes, posted 05-20-2016 6:26 AM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 171 of 342 (784619)
05-20-2016 8:54 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by bluegenes
05-20-2016 6:26 AM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
In plainer language, he assumes that it is true. Which it is: and this truth is independent of the existence of anything.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by bluegenes, posted 05-20-2016 6:26 AM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by bluegenes, posted 05-21-2016 5:06 AM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 185 of 342 (784689)
05-21-2016 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by bluegenes
05-21-2016 5:06 AM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
As it is, many people will have taken "explained" in the broader sense, which would include your interesting explanation of a necessary truth above (I'll add logic and truth to reality and existence in my list of necessary entities).

Why? They're not entities.

In this sense, that the universe could never be understood, he doesn't have a proof. You offered what the O.P. needs when you attempted a proof against necessity, which would require the existence of nothing as a possible "world". A non world without truth, logic and the existence of reality.

Your meaning is obscure.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by bluegenes, posted 05-21-2016 5:06 AM bluegenes has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 191 of 342 (784740)
05-22-2016 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 190 by bluegenes
05-22-2016 11:13 AM


Re: Uncaused things don't need prior cause explanations.
A. A universe would necessarily exist in all possible realities, because there has to be at least one thing to be real.

Why isn't it possible for no thing to be real?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by bluegenes, posted 05-22-2016 11:13 AM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 192 by bluegenes, posted 05-22-2016 11:47 AM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 193 of 342 (784742)
05-22-2016 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 192 by bluegenes
05-22-2016 11:47 AM


Re: Uncaused things don't need prior cause explanations.
Ask Nano to explain why it is possible.

Because it is logically consistent: there is no contradiction to be derived from applying logic to the proposition ¬∃x : x=x.

If you want to claim that it's impossible, the ball's in your court, if you want to conjure universes into existence a priori, then you may have to do some actual work. You may indeed find it beyond your powers: no-one has as yet deduced so much as grain of sand by mere ratiocination, so I should be surprised if you could deduce a cosmos.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 192 by bluegenes, posted 05-22-2016 11:47 AM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 194 by bluegenes, posted 05-22-2016 12:29 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 195 of 342 (784745)
05-22-2016 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 194 by bluegenes
05-22-2016 12:29 PM


Re: Uncaused things don't need prior cause explanations.
You would need to demonstrate that your logic can exist in the absence of existence and describe the non-place that it non-exists in.

Since I do not claim that, I don't need to demonstrate it.

How is a non-existent reality a possible one?

By virtue of, y'know, being possible. For example, the reality in which I am wearing my underpants on my head is possible, according to any meaningful usage of that word. Yet that "reality" is non-existent. If you object to your usage of the word "reality" in this context, you should probably stop using it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by bluegenes, posted 05-22-2016 12:29 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 196 by bluegenes, posted 05-22-2016 12:54 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
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