On 7/3/2011 11:46 AM, Jason Resch wrote:

On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 3:44 AM, Constantine Pseudonymous <bsor...@gmail.com <mailto:bsor...@gmail.com>> wrote:

    it seems to me that there are certain preconditions that need to be in
    place in order for us to exist, and that furthermore and taking a step
    back, those preconditions necessitate further preconditions to have
    been in place in order for them to exist.

    so the real question is, is there perhaps a subtler order of
    preconditions that is or needed to be in place that could account for
    the subtler order of phenomena we perceive in the first person etc.

If you agree with the idea that everything that exists either has a cause or does not have a cause it leads to the conclusion that there must be some self-existent thing. So long as something has a cause, it as you said, necessitates the existence of other things. If you followed this chain of causes far enough you would find that it either stops or goes on forever. If it stops then you have found that self-existent thing (which exists without any prior causes). If it goes on forever, it is either a loop or an infinitely long chain. Either the causal loop or the infinite chain may be considered self-existent objects, as they themselves have no ultimate cause.

If you take mathematical truth to exist without a cause, for example, the fact that Pi is less than 4, or that 28 is a perfect number, or that the 12th element of the Fibbonacci number is 89, then you can see how mathematical truth defines mathematical structures. For example, the truth of where /z/_/n/+1 = /z/_/n/ ^2 + /c/ diverges for any point on the complex plane defines an infinitely large and varied structure known as the Mandelbrot set. Likewise, various solutions to the equations of string theory may define the mathematical structure much like our observed physical universe.

Mathematical truth seems like a good stopping point in the chain of causality, because it is difficult to see how the truth of 1+1 = 2 could have a cause.


This seems to be category mistake. The kinds of things that make up causal chains are events. The kinds of things that are true are sentences. To ask what is the cause of the truth of a sentence is to ask whether what it refers to is the case. Something like 1+1=2 doesn't have a cause, but neither does it cause anything, except the truth of a descriptive sentence.


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