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romansh

First Principles

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On the real Jesus thread I asked Paul why not work out what to do  (how to behave) from first principles rater than looking at ancient texts. He suggested that I go for it. Well here is my attempt at it. I hope this can be a collaborative effort. 

A few axioms first:

  1. I exist and by extension, we exist as well.
  2. A universe exists beyond me (and us).
  3. That my (our) experience is a reflection of that universe, though our "reflections" might not be totally accurate or possibly complete.

Any problems so far? Any other axioms we should consider?

 

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No problems with me.  Not sure of any other axioms that should be considered.  Looking forward to the discussion - I think it'll be fun to discuss.

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A couple more axioms:

  1. I exist and by extension, we exist as well.
  2. A universe exists beyond me (and us).
  3. That my (our) experience is a reflection of that universe, though our "reflections" might not be totally accurate or possibly complete

Consequently we need to take our conclusions with possibly a pinch of salt.

There seem to be three possibilities. The universe ticks to the beat of causality, it does not tick to causality or perhaps it is some combination.

  1. If causality is false we don't cause anything so consequently we are not in any sense responsible for any consequences of actions we take.
  2. If causality is true our actions are a result prior cause then we are responsible in the sense of proximate cause. Being morally responsible is a non sequitur because we could not have done otherwise.
  3. If it some combination of the one and two does not seem to let us of the hook.

OK so far?

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On the value of relying on reason alone as authority.

image.jpg

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4 hours ago, Burl said:

On the value of relying on reason alone as authority.

And the reason you are displaying here Burl has little value. We can agree on that. 

Thank you for your fallacy.

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17 minutes ago, romansh said:

And the reason you are displaying here Burl has little value. We can agree on that. 

Thank you for your fallacy.

Rom,

What is it,  a day, maybe 2 that a code of respect was initiated "derogatory remarks of a personal nature to any other member is not an acceptable" and here you are making a judgement and stating that Burl's reason has little value and you then call it a fallacy.

 

We wait and see if the rule has 'teeth' or whether you are given free reign, if the latter, then, I guess all is fair game. 

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You think applying informal fallacies as reason have value?

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10 hours ago, Burl said:

On the value of relying on reason alone as authority.

image.jpg

The average length of a giraffe's neck is actually 6', so it seems that reason has already be done away with just in this meme alone.

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5 hours ago, thormas said:

We wait and see if the rule has 'teeth' or whether you are given free reign, if the latter, then, I guess all is fair game. 

All rules have teeth and nobody is given free reign here to insult or put down.  And certainly, not all is fair game, ever. 

Sometimes comments may get a little heated or ruffled, but as mature adults we can work through these things without having to always take action for the slightest infraction.  So I would suggest at this point that we all just be conscious of our comments and how they can be interpreted by others and that we try to refrain from needling others or having a go at others.  

Thanks to all in advance

Paul

(As Administrator)

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1 minute ago, PaulS said:

The average length of a giraffe's neck is actually 6', so it seems that reason has already be done away with just in this meme alone.

Well the meme is not relevant (of little value) on many levels.

My disappointment with the position Burl presented was certainly not in the spirit of this thread … If he presented a reasoned argument against reason then he might have a point.

I was hoping we can move away from this derail … I should have ignored Burl's post in hindsight.

 

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I for one would like to continue with the thread to discuss reason, first principles, our experience as a reflection of the universe and causality (or not).  Please continue Rom - you've done a good job so far starting off a valuable discussion.  Hopefully others will continue to participate in the spirit of this thread.

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11 minutes ago, PaulS said:

All rules have teeth and nobody is given free reign here to insult or put down.  And certainly, not all is fair game, ever. 

Sometimes comments may get a little heated or ruffled, but as mature adults we can work through these things without having to always take action for the slightest infraction.  So I would suggest at this point that we all just be conscious of our comments and how they can be interpreted by others and that we try to refrain from needling others or having a go at others.  

Thanks to all in advance

Paul

(As Administrator)

I'll  be glad to follow your example Paul, lead on............

Edited by thormas

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8 minutes ago, thormas said:

I'll  be glad to follow your example Paul, lead on............

Just don't expect the world, Thormas - I'm only human too!  

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19 hours ago, romansh said:

A couple more axioms:

  1. I exist and by extension, we exist as well.
  2. A universe exists beyond me (and us).
  3. That my (our) experience is a reflection of that universe, though our "reflections" might not be totally accurate or possibly complete

Consequently we need to take our conclusions with possibly a pinch of salt.

There seem to be three possibilities. The universe ticks to the beat of causality, it does not tick to causality or perhaps it is some combination.

  1. If causality is false we don't cause anything so consequently we are not in any sense responsible for any consequences of actions we take.
  2. If causality is true our actions are a result prior cause then we are responsible in the sense of proximate cause. Being morally responsible is a non sequitur because we could not have done otherwise.
  3. If it some combination of the one and two does not seem to let us of the hook.

OK so far?

It seems to me that causality is a major illusion. One could say everything is happening of its own and really nothing is causing anything else. Reason and logic in my view are dualistically structured based on an axiom that there is a subject and object. Or a this causing a that. Logic seems to confuse a temporary sequence with  causation. The term cause could be considered an abstract hypothesis.  Cause to me seems to be a supposition by the mind in its requirement to satisfy it by asking "Why?" when there  in reality, is no why. All answers to the question "Why?" are then hypothetical suppositions from verifiable observations and intrinsically fallacious. I do not think "the universe ticks to the beat of causality".  It seems to me it is merely unfolding. Speaking contextually one might say there may be a source or origination of events and conditions but i would say, not a cause.

At least that is my 2 cents,

Joseph

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17 hours ago, JosephM said:

It seems to me that causality is a major illusion. One could say everything is happening of its own and really nothing is causing anything else.

Firstly if by "illusion" you mean not as it seems then quite possibly. But that does not mean causality does not exist. If by "illusion" you mean delusion, then that opens up a can of worms. In the first case we can move ahead cautiously, but in the latter case … everything becomes delusion. We can kiss any sense of responsibility goodbye. 

17 hours ago, JosephM said:

Reason and logic in my view are dualistically structured based on an axiom that there is a subject and object. Or a this causing a that.

Actually we can see it as monistically as well as patterns in the substrate. And the way you break it down here begins to imply some sort of causality. If we believe this causes that and the evidence points that way, it is not unreasonable to use logic and evidence. The interesting thing for me if the universe,  "is", is it a coincidence that it appears patterned after causality?

17 hours ago, JosephM said:

The term cause could be considered an abstract hypothesis. 

Statements  like these seem to be an axiom.  

17 hours ago, JosephM said:

Cause to me seems to be a supposition by the mind in its requirement to satisfy it by asking "Why?" when there  in reality, is no why.

Yet this supposition is based on evidence (observation). Newtonian mechanics are fit making predictions about simple meso systems.  If by "why?" you mean how then I disagree. If you what you mean is the purpose, then I have some sympathy. I don't think there is any grand purpose, but it is not unreasonable to ask say "what is the purpose of this PC forum?" 

17 hours ago, JosephM said:

 I do not think "the universe ticks to the beat of causality".  It seems to me it is merely unfolding. 

Well this could be just a turn of phrase. And I suppose it does depend on whether time is quantized or not whether there is a tick 🙂. Looking at the universe the second law of thermodynamics seems to hold. The universe is unfolding to a higher entropy state or at least it certainly appears that way. The underlying mechanics are a very good description of what is going on. 

Either way … if your view of the universe is accurate then "logic" dictates there is no "thou shalt".

My take on your two cents.

Edited by romansh

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5 hours ago, romansh said:

Firstly if by "illusion" you mean not as it seems then quite possibly. But that does not mean causality does not exist. If by "illusion" you mean delusion, then that opens up a can of worms. In the first case we can move ahead cautiously, but in the latter case … everything becomes delusion. We can kiss any sense of responsibility goodbye. 

 

The 'cause' of anything is always the same. It is the totality of all that exists now or ever has existed.

5 hours ago, romansh said:

Actually we can see it as monistically as well as patterns in the substrate. And the way you break it down here begins to imply some sort of causality. If we believe this causes that and the evidence points that way, it is not unreasonable to use logic and evidence. The interesting thing for me if the universe,  "is", is it a coincidence that it appears patterned after causality?

To the mind it is not unreasonable to use logic and observation. Yet the conclusion remains hypothetical supposition even from the observable. Possibly not a coincidence at all as mentation or dualistic thinking can see it no other way.

6 hours ago, romansh said:

Yet this supposition is based on evidence (observation). Newtonian mechanics are fit making predictions about simple meso systems.  If by "why?" you mean how then I disagree. If you what you mean is the purpose, then I have some sympathy. I don't think there is any grand purpose, but it is not unreasonable to ask say "what is the purpose of this PC forum?" 

 

Yes, Thank you for the sympathy. 🙂

6 hours ago, romansh said:

Well this could be just a turn of phrase. And I suppose it does depend on whether time is quantized or not whether there is a tick 🙂. Looking at the universe the second law of thermodynamics seems to hold. The universe is unfolding to a higher entropy state or at least it certainly appears that way. The underlying mechanics are a very good description of what is going on. 

Either way … if your view of the universe is accurate then "logic" dictates there is no "thou shalt".

My take on your two cents.

I would agree there is no "thou shalt".  Limited choice and consequences to those choices is satisfactory to me.

Thanks for your take on my two cents.

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4 hours ago, JosephM said:

The 'cause' of anything is always the same. It is the totality of all that exists now or ever has existed.

Well possibly … but that is not a lack of cause.

4 hours ago, JosephM said:

Yet the conclusion remains hypothetical supposition even from the observable.

I can "mentate" and suppose all I want about the reality of stepping into the path of the oncoming bus. The results are evident to the object, subject and observers. I am not planning on being some hypothetical here. The consequences are real even if they are illusory.

You did not address my immediate question … did you mean delusional when you described causality as illusion?

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7 hours ago, romansh said:

Well possibly … but that is not a lack of cause.

I can "mentate" and suppose all I want about the reality of stepping into the path of the oncoming bus. The results are evident to the object, subject and observers. I am not planning on being some hypothetical here. The consequences are real even if they are illusory.

You did not address my immediate question … did you mean delusional when you described causality as illusion?

Never said there was a lack of cause just that there wasn't a  "this " causing a "that" as our mind commonly attributes it. I meant as i said illusion (not as it seems) not delusion.

Consequences are indeed real, it is the "cause" that is inaccurately mentated as a mere "this" causing  a "that". ( The stepping in front of the bus causing the death )

The 'cause' of anything is always the same. It is the totality of all that exists now or ever has existed.

Hope that answers your question

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2 hours ago, JosephM said:

The 'cause' of anything is always the same. It is the totality of all that exists now or ever has existed.

I am having difficulty seeing the difference between what I am saying and what you are saying. Stepping in front of the bus can be seen as a proximate cause but in reality the proximate cause is a result of a myriad of causes that stretch out into the universe, the past and perhaps the future. 

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8 hours ago, romansh said:

I am having difficulty seeing the difference between what I am saying and what you are saying. Stepping in front of the bus can be seen as a proximate cause but in reality the proximate cause is a result of a myriad of causes that stretch out into the universe, the past and perhaps the future. 

That's because there is no difference. I wasn't disputing , just giving my 2 cents and answering your question.

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OK not having given any major objections so far other than perhaps too much reason and not enough of the other stuff. 

Assumptions I have to make 1 to 3 and 4 is a consequence.

  1. I exist and by extension, we exist as well.
  2. A universe exists beyond me (and us).
  3. That my (our) experience is a reflection of that universe, though our "reflections" might not be totally accurate or possibly complete
  4. Consequently we need to take our conclusions with possibly a pinch of salt.

There seem to be three possibilities. The universe ticks to the beat of causality, it does not tick to causality or perhaps it is some combination. My interpretation of Joseph's two cents is the universe is more of a megalithic tock rather than ticks. For the moment I'll treat this as point 2 below. I really don't know how to tease the two apart or if it in deed matters at this stage.

  1. If causality is false we don't cause anything so consequently we are not in any sense responsible for any consequences of actions we take.
  2. If causality is true our actions are a result prior cause then we are responsible in the sense of proximate cause. Being morally responsible is a non sequitur because we could not have done otherwise. 
  3. If it some combination of the one and two does not seem to let us of the hook. 

Lets look at 1 in slightly more detail. 

  1. On a day to day basis we certainly are unaware of our underlying causality at least for the bulk of our actions. We might be aware of somethings that have caused our emotions … eg a child does well at school, we might feel pride, happiness etc. We don't choose to be happy in any normal sense of the word. We are completely oblivious to the underlying mechanisms (the ticks or the tock). But if the lack of cause is true, then our pride and joy are totally unwarranted in that our child did not cause their success nor did we influence their success. So in summary if cause is false, we don't cause our actions, we don't help, hurt or insult other people, other people are not helped, hurt by us or in deed insulted by other people's actions.

The latter position does seem counter intuitive. The default position seems to be as we are largely unaware of our of our underlying causality (should it exist) then we appear to ourselves as automatons in the original sense of the word … having the ability to act independently of the environment.  

Any comments so far? I apologize for trying to make this as logical as possible and based on evidence.

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There may have been an event before the emotion but that was not the cause. As i said The 'cause' of anything is always the same. It is the totality of all that exists now or ever has existed.

In that case, our joy or pride are neither warranted or not warranted. It either is there or not based on the totality at that moment. It will be different of course for different people based on their myriad of experience, genetic , the universe,  etc. etc  . In summary we play a part in insulting, hurting, etc but the event/part that we attribute as cause is not the real cause. The consequence requires both a victim of the hurt and a obliging perpetrator yet the perpetrator is not the cause of anything. He/She is merely part of the balance or sequence or dance of the universe that is unfolding. It is very possible that we are in a sense complex interconnected automations.

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On ‎2‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 5:48 PM, JosephM said:

There may have been an event before the emotion but that was not the cause. As i said The 'cause' of anything is always the same. It is the totality of all that exists now or ever has existed.

This is a bit of a straw man (I think) Joseph. I don't think anyone is arguing for "the" cause. Higher temperatures cause chemical reactions to speed up. Of course we have underlying causes for the temperature increasing, whether it be human or a star going supernova. We have proximate causes which we can use to predict (sometimes accurately) future events. I am not arguing against that existence is a mesh of causality. 

On ‎2‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 5:48 PM, JosephM said:

In that case, our joy or pride are neither warranted or not warranted

I don't think that follows Joseph. It boils down to luck. I am happy to retract the joy part … I may well be warranted to feel joy in my luck, put being proud of my luck will require some convincing from a rational point of view. Though to be fair a person who is oblivious to her luck may well feel pride (or guilt). 

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6 hours ago, romansh said:

I don't think that follows Joseph. It boils down to luck. I am happy to retract the joy part … I may well be warranted to feel joy in my luck, put being proud of my luck will require some convincing from a rational point of view. Though to be fair a person who is oblivious to her luck may well feel pride (or guilt). 

Warranted or justified to me is just an illusion of the mind. Our emotions are a mental state associated with thoughts, feelings or behavioral responses. There is no real need for  justification or to consider them warranted or not though admittedly  most are considered by many to be a natural responses to stimuli . We all seem to have an inherent need to be justified, warranted in our actions, or vindicated or proven right. It seems to me, if we are truly aware of the subjectivity inherent in knowing anything we would not create a narrative about the world that reflects our beliefs about the kind of person we are and assign to this narrative a ‘truth’ which does not, in fact, exist. Self-justification is a portrayal of the mind and despite it assumed intentions , is not interested in truth but rather self-preservation.

So goes my 2 cents

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16 hours ago, JosephM said:

Warranted or justified to me is just an illusion of the mind

If they are illusions (not as they seem) then I can't say my pride is justified or warranted.

16 hours ago, JosephM said:

Our emotions are a mental state associated with thoughts, feelings or behavioral responses

Which in turn are a product of brain chemistry, which in turn is a product of our immediate and distant past environment. which in turn are a product of the cosmos. I don't think we are disagreeing here.

16 hours ago, JosephM said:

We all seem to have an inherent need to be justified, warranted in our actions, or vindicated or proven right. It seems to me, if we are truly aware of the subjectivity inherent in knowing anything we would not create a narrative about the world that reflects our beliefs about the kind of person we are and assign to this narrative a ‘truth’ which does not, in fact, exist. Self-justification is a portrayal of the mind and despite it assumed intentions , is not interested in truth but rather self-preservation.

All this is or seems fair enough … and to me seems to agree with pride is not warranted. We can focus on the subjectivity and end of the day pretty much any opinion (including ours) is subjective, this does not mean some opinions are not a more accurate reflection of reality than others.

For example Burl's recent comment to Paul about spoon feeding to me seems to fall into this general category of self justification. Clearly self-justification is an illusion, and to be fair, at times we all fall prey to this. In terms of self-justification, excessive use of this behaviour is not conducive to self-preservation.

Edited by romansh

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