Cause Plus Effect Always Sums to Zero, Therefore “Cause and Effect” is Not Actual, it is Conceptual: Why “cause and effect” is purely a human cognitive notion used to organize what man observes, and is not a “force” which governs how material reality interacts

This will be a short post, because this is fairly simple to explain…well, it is now, after boiling down a very long hand-written post to its salient and self-evident points.

Cause and effect are mutually exclusive ideas…that is, what is the cause cannot also, simultaneously, be the effect; and what is effect cannot also be the cause.  Each notion has an absolute definition which must remain consistent in order for “cause and effect” to have any meaning in the first place.  At the same time each notion depends on the other for its value and relevancy.  What this means is that the cause is not actually a cause without an effect.  There is no such thing as a cause with no effect, by definition; and the converse is also true.  So, in other words, each notion obtains its value and meaning as a direct function of the other.

For instance, a cause is only able to be defined as a cause and observed as a cause via the effect, which makes the cause merely a direct extension of the effect, which I have already explained must be absolute (i.e. the effect is absolutely and utterly the effect…it cannot simultaneously be a cause).  And this renders any actual distinction between cause and effect impossible.  The distinction is purely conceptual; a product of the human capacity to conceptualize what he or she observes. The converse, naturally, would also be true.  An effect is only able to be defined and observed and identified as an effect via the cause; its value and relevancy a function of the cause, therefore making the effect merely a direct extension of the cause; and the cause must be absolute (i.e. a cause cannot simultaneously be an effect).

This renders any actual distinction between cause and effect impossible.  Such a distinction can only be made conceptually, as a product of the human conceptualizing brain, which is uniquely able to organize the environment in such a way.

And from here you can see why the title of this article makes sense.  “Cause” and “effect” are both everything (i.e. absolutes, which must possess a consistent and ineluctable definition at any given moment) and nothing (i.e. each one deriving its value and relevancy as a direct function of the other, rendering each one a direct extension of the other, thereby making moot both concepts altogether).  Everything and nothing are mutually exclusive, which means that everything and nothing cannot possibly be the existential state of any object or force in question.

To write the equation mathematically, everything is 1, and nothing is zero.  1 x 0 = 0.  The product of both “cause” and “effect” separately is zero.  And thus when you couple them together as “cause and effect”, or rather, cause plus effect, in order to complete the notion, you get, presented abstractly, 0 + 0.  Which of course equals zero.

The point is to show that cause and effect is not an actuality…is not a causal force which somehow, outside of man’s conceptualizing brain and therefore his life, exists as some actual, tangible, efficacious objective reality and causal power.  But rather, the material universe is what it is, and it is a singularity, not ruled by “laws of nature” or other forces which are in reality human-derived concepts, much like “cause and effect”, and another one of my favorite punching bags, “chance” (which we will look at later).  The material universe, being an infinite singularity, makes all objects within it likewise infinite singularities, parsed and given meaning and relevancy and truth by those who possess observation coupled with an innate ability to make a conceptual distinction between SELF and OTHER (whatever object or objects are observed to be NOT SELF).  And thus, truth is a function of the truly self-aware agent: God and Man.

He who is able to know and define SELF as SELF is the Standard of Truth for all which is observed; and is likewise he who gives value to everything in the universe, and is the most valuable.

Reason thus demands that all castes and hierarchies, and distinctions of all sorts, must inevitably crumble under the weight of infinite individual human worth.  Because these castes and hierarchies and distinctions are not actual, they are conceptual.  Therefore all human beings can only be judged according two things:  their own self-ascribed values, and how they wish to freely exchange those values as a function of their individual attributes and desires (excepting, of course, the decidedly irrational desire to exploit and violate a fellow human being, or God).  In this sense, then, one having “judged”, has not been in the least judgmental.

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22 thoughts on “Cause Plus Effect Always Sums to Zero, Therefore “Cause and Effect” is Not Actual, it is Conceptual: Why “cause and effect” is purely a human cognitive notion used to organize what man observes, and is not a “force” which governs how material reality interacts

  1. A pastor-friend recently labelled me a “Lone Ranger” which is ironic since I was talking to him about church. We are one and we are not. Nondualism makes much sense to me.

  2. A Lone Ranger is just another way of saying that you are a non-collectivist. Which means you reject that evil and brainless philosophy.

    But no worries. Ironically, you are in good company, Jason.😊

    Jesus, among other great historical figures, was an excellent Lone Ranger.

  3. Ahh. The senior pastor-friend explained that we all need to submit to authority and that we all need someone to tell where we are going wrong. He has people in the church and more senior people outside of it to bring him back in line.

  4. Can being a church member ever be a brotherhood of mutual submission? Some kind of Christian Anarchist may have the answers, but hierarchy is natural and submission is conceptual and voluntary for the more informed.

  5. “Can being a church member ever be a brotherhood of mutual submission? ”

    No. Mutual submission is a contradiction in terms. You can’t be submissive and submitted-to at the same time. Submission is a specific position; absolute. SomeONE has to be in charge.

    And we all know who that is: the mystic “standing in God’s stead”.

  6. “Ahh. The senior pastor-friend explained that we all need to submit to authority and that we all need someone to tell where we are going wrong.”

    First, how is wrong defined? What’s the reference and WHO gets to define/interpret it?

    Next, look at the metaphysical assumption behind this idea: you WILL go wrong. You can’t help it. Because you are totally depraved. Which means you must have an authority to force you into right behavior, because the root of your sin is your very existence.

    Run from this thinking. It is as evil as it is paradoxical.

  7. “We ‘choose’ to obey authority in the church like we obey traffic police outside.”

    Choice is impossible according to orthodox metaphysics and epistemology. Also, it is impossible according to “omnipotence/omniscience”.

  8. “First, how is wrong defined? What’s the reference and WHO gets to define/interpret it?”

    Love these questions! This may be a bit off-topic, but WHO defines reality for each of us?… One thing I try to remember and hold onto, something that helps me stay sane, is this very basic idea: No one owns my mind. Ownership of my own mind, how freeing it is!

  9. Well…that’s the crux of things. What is reality and who defines it? Reality is a concept, plain and simple. So he/she who is able to conceptualize (i.e. human beings) get to define it. Which means that “reality” may be relative…or “subjective”. The only OBjective standard is that of TRUTH, and its corollary, morality. Concepts/ideas/doctrines/philosophies are true only if they affirm individual human life. Actions are only good if they affirm, promote, and do not violate individual human beings, including and especially your SELF.

    And yes, only YOU own you, both body and mind. If you are not the owner of SELF, then you cannot know truth. But ownership is really inapplicable with respect to man in any context. Man owns things, period. He, himself is never owned; he doesn’t even own himself because the very concept is irrelevant in that context. Man owns things, period. If man owns man, by any definition, destruction of life soon follows.

  10. Argo, actually I wasn’t and am not happy with the word “ownership,” but I was in a rush. 🙂 In a rush right now, too…but want you to know that I love your comment a whole lot and appreciate it very much. I think we’re in total agreement.

  11. Oasis,

    Yeah…it just so happens that I’ve been pondering the idea of man “owning” himself; that’s why I went there. But yes…I think it’s perfectly fine to insist that we own our bodies and minds. Most people get the profound implications of that idea. Which is unfortunately why so many “Christians” are quick to deny it.

  12. “No. Mutual submission is a contradiction in terms. You can’t be submissive and submitted-to at the same time.”

    But “Paul” says “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Eph 5:21) (Smurk)

    Of course its a translational issue. Yield or defer, not submit. Mutual submission is nonsense. Mutual yielding, i.e. a little give and take, makes much more sense.

    And this very idea of mutual yielding demolishes the idea of authority, since the so-called “authority” has to yield you as much as you have to yield to him.

    I don’t understand this idea of an authority in church commanding you to obey. Obey what? Not Jesus’ commandments, because I know these “authorities” hate those. Not the law, because I know they hate that. What are they commanding people to “obey” exactly?

    “The senior pastor-friend explained that we all need to submit to authority and that we all need someone to tell where we are going wrong.”

    Commanding people to “go” some “where” like commanding them to go knock on doors and preach? like the have their compulsory door to door ministry?

  13. “I think it’s perfectly fine to insist that we own our bodies and minds.”

    But “Paul” says in 1st Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

    Of course, all he means is that as Christians we aren’t supposed to be using our body for sin but to obey God. He certainly doesn’t mean that “the church” or some “priest” or “pastor” owns out body. And what God’s will is, is ultimately your business in your own interpretation of the Bible not what some pastor tells you. After all 99.9% of pastors have apparently never read 1st Thessalonians 4:3-7

    3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

    4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

    5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

    6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

    7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

    I guess this Paul had never heard of the faith alone doctrine of the other “Paul.”

  14. I read Relevant Magazine online as unlike the other xtian mags it is not the demesne of old farts solidified in their stupidity. One of the latest articles was a 3 pointer on ex church people. Very kind and generous. I loved one of the first reader comments. To paraphrase: “Why not start with cynicism?” God can handle it!

  15. Dave and Arg, I was paraphrasing the dude and to be honest he is not sly or lacking kindness. I may have been listening and not hearing. More to come. Some day at the judgement seat I fo not think my sins will be covered by some God appointed human authority.

  16. Jason…

    That was, er…disturbing on so many levels. 🙂 I’m not sure which is worse, the underwear, the body hair, or the combination of the two while he was swinging from the subway ceiling rail, his ass coming right at me. Lol!

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