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#26 2006-11-04 06:35:00

luca-deltodesco
Member
Registered: 2006-05-05
Posts: 1,470

Re: free will is a falacy

RealEstateBroker wrote:

What would be a valid test for the idea that every event has a cause? I other words: What test could you set up, the results of which would either confirm the idea of causality, or would falsify causality?

If you accept causality as an article of faith, then any time you are faced with a phonomenum for which you have been unable to discover a cause; then you can always say, "There must be a cause because nothing happens without a cause: We just have not found it yet." In that case, the notion of causality can never be put to the test, it is just something that you have to believe in.

i find it illogical to think that things can 'just happen' without anything causing it to happen

(no i dont think that because of this something must have caused the universe being God, i think something caused the universe, but calling it God is just silly in my mind)

The Beginning Of All Things To End.
The End Of All Things To Come.

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#27 2006-11-11 15:27:37

RealEstateBroker
Member
Registered: 2006-06-01
Posts: 45

Re: free will is a falacy

Responding to luca-deltodesco:

First I want to make it clear that I am not arguing against causality. What I am pointing out is that causality is different from a scientific hypothesis, because with a hypothesis you can state a test which, in principle, could falsify the hypothesis. With causality, you cannot do that because if you find an event for which you cannot identify a cause, you would simply say that we have not yet discovered the cause for that particular event but it does not falsify the notion of causality. Therefore causality is not a testable hypothesis, but rather it is a "leading principle," which makes it very much akin to faith.

How is causality akin to faith? If a person of faith finds an event which seems to be contrary to God's will, s/he does not have to conclude that therefore God is no longer on the Throne: The person of faith would just say that we do not understand God's Will sufficiently to understand His Holy Plan.

I hope that explains what I was trying to say. Now, I wonder if luca-deltodesco can explain something which I did not understand. Why is it "illogical to think that things can 'just happen' without anything causing it to happen?" I do not understand what logic has to do with it. Logic tells us what follows from what. Logic starts with particular premises and tells us what follows from those premises. So if you say that you find something "illogical," shouldn't you spell out what the premises are that you are starting with to derive your conclusions?

I have the feeling that luca-deltodesco meant that the idea that something can happen without a cause seems to him or her not to be in accord with common sense, and maybe the word "illogical" was just used to express that thought, rather than in the precisely correct meaning of "logic?"

Love is what matters most!

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#28 2006-11-11 16:07:56

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

I think what luca meant by "illogical" is that why does an event simply happen? How can it occur rather than not? Why doesn't everything stay the same and hence nothing new occurs?

Despite that we sometimes, most of the times perhaps, fail to point of what have cause it to occur, we still assume that it occurs under some reasons, and that a difference like this event must have been caused by something changed prior to its occurance, so long as we don't believe in some god scheduling it. Thus this inference is somhow within the framework of atheism, for if you assume everything is arranged by a god, there is no value to ask its material cause, which is just the extreme of doomism. Most people, however, choose some middle between atheism and doomism.

Ancient Greek philosophiers had studied atheism so far that Aristotle had reached a milestone. He argued that everything has a purpose-maybe many purposes in today's view- dominating its occurance, its development, its peak, and its deceasing, then the thing itself becoming another purpose. Naturally, there must be an original purpose to start all this, and he named it the ethos.

X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#29 2006-11-12 07:38:33

RealEstateBroker
Member
Registered: 2006-06-01
Posts: 45

Re: free will is a falacy

The issue that I was raising is not science vs. relition: It is about the place of the concept of causality in our scheme of things.

George Y is completely correct that causality is something we assume. That makes it fundamentally different from an ordinary statement about the world for one very simple reason: As an assumption, in principle there is no evidence which could come along which would falsify the idea of causality. Every scientific hypothesis or theory is subject to being tested. Even a very well confirmed theory, such as Newton's Theory of Gravity, had to give way to another theory -- Relativity -- when the measuring sensitive enough to discern subtle differences in measurement showed that, when put to the test, Newtonian physics did not correctly predict events in the world.

Newtonian physics seems to be in complete harmony with intuitive, common sense, and yet there was a way to put it to the test. But the concept of causality can never be put to the test because no matter what happens, we would always be able to salvage our concept of causality by saying: "Well, we just do not yet know the cause of this particular phenomenon."

And yet, we cannot discount the idea of causality, because it is an underlying foundation of science, which has shown itself to be very powerful and useful.

"Causality," because it cannot be tested, is clearly not a hypothesis or a theory, and yet it is a concept which we rely on. That is why it is consider to be a "leading principle" of scientce. "Leading principle," is just a fancy way of saying that it is something we assume.

Love is what matters most!

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#30 2006-11-12 07:39:43

RealEstateBroker
Member
Registered: 2006-06-01
Posts: 45

Re: free will is a falacy

CORRECTION: I did not mean to write "relition," I meant "religion."

Love is what matters most!

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#31 2006-11-12 15:05:16

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

If the change cannot be caused by exterior things, like common causality we assume,
it should have been attributed to itself-Hegal's Philosophy.

Hegal pointed out that a thing naturally changes itself because of the interaction between its components.

X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#32 2006-11-13 17:46:46

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

Okay, I admit I have a causality preassumption in my mind.
I don't believe:
A change could happen out of the constant.

I believe it should have been caused, either externally or internally.

X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#33 2006-11-13 20:47:47

Dross
Member
Registered: 2006-08-24
Posts: 325

Re: free will is a falacy

luca-deltodesco wrote:

i find it illogical to think that things can 'just happen' without anything causing it to happen

Do you really find this "illogical"? I think it might be more accurate to say that you find it "contrary to everyday experience". There is nothing strictly illogical about an event occuring without a cause.

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#34 2006-11-15 03:52:45

Toast
Real Member
Registered: 2006-10-08
Posts: 1,321

Yes there is

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#35 2006-11-15 05:25:49

Dross
Member
Registered: 2006-08-24
Posts: 325

Re: free will is a falacy

Toast wrote:

Yes there is

How so? That an event must have a cause is merely what we've come to conclude from our everyday experience of the world, not what you can derive from logic alone. There is nothing illogical about an event without a cause, and by that I mean that this is not self-contradictory. It may contradict other things which you take to be true (that you have derived from your time on earth, and gained through empirical means), but not anything which is an a priori tautology, and hence is not illogical at all. Inconcievable? Just plain wierd? Maybe - but not illogical at all.

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#36 2006-11-17 14:02:33

RealEstateBroker
Member
Registered: 2006-06-01
Posts: 45

Re: free will is a falacy

I have been reading the comments, interested to see what people would say. But now I think it is time to give some appreciation and support to Dross, who has been contributing clear, analytical, and correct comments.

On this math site, I would have expected precision about how terms are used, and I have actually been quite surprised at the amount of fuzzy "Well, in my opinion..." sort of comments. In a discussion about basic philosophy of science issues, such as causality, all opinions are not equal. An opinion worthy of discussion should be grounded in facts and logic: Not simply, "I feel that..."

Dross has given clear explanations, soundly based on an understanding of the logic structure of science.

Love is what matters most!

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#37 2006-11-17 18:14:42

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

Here is a counterexample:
Most of things exist today the way they existed yesterday- if there is no causality, how can this happen rather than randomly occur?
The constant itself is cause-effect. The later status copies the previous one, rather than randomly occurs. And this is neither coincidence nor could pass the statistically insignificance test.
Since most of things remain virtually constant and we humans have found a lot of sound explainations for the exceptions, or changes, it is fair to say most of the world behaves in cause and effect.

Last edited by George,Y (2006-11-17 18:15:00)

X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#38 2006-11-18 17:06:42

RealEstateBroker
Member
Registered: 2006-06-01
Posts: 45

Re: free will is a falacy

I think we've gotten beyond the subject of free will, and are really discussing causality.

Anyway, does anyone think that it is possible for an effect to precede its cause? Doesn't something like that happen in a well-confirmed, quantum mechanics experiment?

Love is what matters most!

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#39 2006-11-18 17:18:02

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

Quatum mechanics is so popular only because it is the mere case that defy causality. The nuclear more or less obeies the causality and stay more or less the same at where it were.

X'(y-Xβ)=0

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#40 2006-11-18 17:49:01

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,659

Re: free will is a falacy

Does causality mean that the cause must precede the effect?

There was a young lady named Bright
Whose speed was much faster than light.
She set out one day,
in a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#41 2006-11-18 18:06:57

Ricky
Moderator
Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: free will is a falacy

Quatum mechanics is so popular only because it is the mere case that defy causality.

Quantum mechanics is popular because it is a testable science which has shown to produce positive results not only in furthering theories of physics, but also in developing technologies.

"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#42 2006-11-18 23:00:19

George,Y
Member
Registered: 2006-03-12
Posts: 1,306

Re: free will is a falacy

Uh-hahh! I didn't say that today is caused by yesterday. Instead, I said anything constant defies coincidence.

Quatum mechanics is so popular only because it is the mere case that defy causality.

Quantum mechanics is popular because it is a testable science which has shown to produce positive results not only in furthering theories of physics, but also in developing technologies.

Sorry, but I meant in this topic people like to site quantum machanics to disprove causality, and ignored the larger part in our world in accordance with causality.

X'(y-Xβ)=0

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