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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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Reasons and Causes

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  • Reasons and Causes

    Are reasons the same as causes? Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because I don't want to wake up my wife. Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because the wind blows it shut. Are they really the same thing? Physics can study the second case but can it study the first? Reductionists might say that ultimately both scenarios reduce to the same kind of explanation, even though the first explanation is much more complex and sophisticated and involves neuro-chemistry, but can it ultimately be explained in the same way? I tend to say "No" but I'm eager to hear the other side.

  • #2
    Reason and cause can be the same thing but are not necessarily the same thing.

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

    My Personal Blog

    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
      Are reasons the same as causes? Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because I don't want to wake up my wife. Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because the wind blows it shut. Are they really the same thing? Physics can study the second case but can it study the first? Reductionists might say that ultimately both scenarios reduce to the same kind of explanation, even though the first explanation is much more complex and sophisticated and involves neuro-chemistry, but can it ultimately be explained in the same way? I tend to say "No" but I'm eager to hear the other side.
      Causes have reasons that result in the cause and effect outcome. Reasons(?) by themselves may apart of reasoning which do not necessarily have a cause and effect outcome.

      I think . . .
      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

      go with the flow the river knows . . .

      Frank

      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
        Causes have reasons that result in the cause and effect outcome. Reasons(?) by themselves may apart of reasoning which do not necessarily have a cause and effect outcome.

        I think . . .
        I was about to say that exact same thing.

        I think
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          It kinda depends on what point with which you begin:

          The rack broke because the cue ball hit it. Starting from there, reason and cause are the same.
          The rack broke because Bob started playing pool. Now reason and cause are separate.

          I hit him because he is annoying. Reason and cause are the same.
          He has a bruise because he annoyed me. Reason and cause are now different.

          I don't think this would necessarily apply to direct causality.

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            It kinda depends on what point with which you begin:

            The rack broke because the cue ball hit it. Starting from there, reason and cause are the same.
            The rack broke because Bob started playing pool. Now reason and cause are separate.

            I hit him because he is annoying. Reason and cause are the same.
            He has a bruise because he annoyed me. Reason and cause are now different.

            I don't think this would necessarily apply to direct causality.
            Maybe the same chain of cause and effect events from different perspectives.
            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

            go with the flow the river knows . . .

            Frank

            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
              Maybe the same chain of cause and effect events from different perspectives.
              Yep - but that's also how we normally view them. If we are talking direct causality, I think reason and cause would rarely coincide as the same thing - but I can't rule it out. And arguably, the reason sets cause in motion...

              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

              My Personal Blog

              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Yep - but that's also how we normally view them. If we are talking direct causality, I think reason and cause would rarely coincide as the same thing - but I can't rule it out. And arguably, the reason sets cause in motion...
                If you take this argument to a philosophical conclusion (Which has its limits in logic based on the premises) the Theist may argue for a first cause, ie God. The atheist or other materialist may argue simply that the eternal Laws of Nature are the reason and there is no first cause.
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                  If you take this argument to a philosophical conclusion (Which has its limits in logic based on the premises) the Theist may argue for a first cause, ie God. The atheist or other materialist may argue simply that the eternal Laws of Nature are the reason and there is no first cause.
                  No, it would not - you still have a singularity appearing from nothing. The case itself wouldn't support this conclusion - neither does physics. If anything, it makes it worse - why would a singularity be there at all? (Needing now both cause and reason).

                  And as I said, this may not occur at all in direct causality - which also eliminates this possibility.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Then there Hume:

                    Hume argues that assumptions of cause and effect between two events are not necessarily real or true. It is possible to deny causal connections without contradiction because causal connections are assumptions not subject to reason.

                    We cannot justify our assumptions about the future based on past experience unless there is a law that the future will always resemble the past. No such law exists. We can deny the relationship without contradiction and we cannot justify it with experience.

                    Therefore, we have no rational support for believing in causation. Hume suggests that our assumptions are based on habit, not reason, and that, ultimately, our assumptions about matters of fact are based in probability. If experience teaches us that two events occur together repeatedly, we will assume a link between them. So, Hume explains, we must be able to reduce all meaningful concepts to the simple impressions on which they are built. Since no simple impression of causation or necessary connection exists, these concepts might appear meaningless. Rather than dismiss these assumed connections entirely, however, Hume acknowledges their usefulness and limits them to being nothing more than simple observations of repeated conjunction between two events.

                    https://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/hume/section4/
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                      No, it would not - you still have a singularity appearing from nothing.
                      Yes it would based on science.

                      When you say 'a singularity appearing from nothing,' you need to define the 'nothing' you, and 'what is appearing?' are referring to. The science of physics and cosmology does describe the origin of our universe as; 'a singularity appearing from nothing,'

                      The case itself wouldn't support this conclusion - neither does physics. If anything, it makes it worse - why would a singularity be there at all? (Needing now both cause and reason).
                      As above you need to define your terms in terms of science, and not mix the philosophical 'nothing' with the concept as how nothing is used in science. At best all you can 'try' and do is 'argue from ignorance' and not science.

                      Come back again with a coherent science perspective.
                      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                      go with the flow the river knows . . .

                      Frank

                      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seer View Post
                        Then there Hume:
                        Hume is a moldy oldy. You would have to dig him up to give a relevant discussion on the contemporary scientific view, and not an old philosophical view base don old assumptions.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                          Yes it would based on science.

                          When you say 'a singularity appearing from nothing,' you need to define the 'nothing' you, and 'what is appearing?' are referring to. The science of physics and cosmology does describe the origin of our universe as; 'a singularity appearing from nothing,'



                          As above you need to define your terms in terms of science, and not mix the philosophical 'nothing' with the concept as how nothing is used in science. At best all you can 'try' and do is 'argue from ignorance' and not science.

                          Come back again with a coherent science perspective.
                          Nice try, but you understood perfectly well - pretending the problem isn't defined is just a dodge - and not a very good one.

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                            Hume is a moldy oldy. You would have to dig him up to give a relevant discussion on the contemporary scientific view, and not an old philosophical view base don old assumptions.
                            Shuny, you DO know this is in philosophy, not Nat Sci, right? The question has to do with whether reason and cause are the same thing - Hume is actually pretty on point - unlike your objection here.

                            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                            My Personal Blog

                            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                              Hume is a moldy oldy. You would have to dig him up to give a relevant discussion on the contemporary scientific view, and not an old philosophical view base don old assumptions.
                              Nonsense, this is as true today as it was in his day:

                              We cannot justify our assumptions about the future based on past experience unless there is a law that the future will always resemble the past. No such law exists. We can deny the relationship without contradiction and we cannot justify it with experience.
                              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                              Comment

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