Category Archives: Physics and Metaphysics

To Claim That Man is Caused is a Contradiction, and Thus Impossible

Before you can claim to be caused by some root determining force, like God or Natural/Physical Law, you must be able to define “you” as distinct from that force; otherwise “you” is merely an absolute (categorical) extension of the force which means that there is in fact no “you” at all but merely the determining force. And this makes it impossible to ask the questions “what caused me?” and “what am I?” (which in fact summarize the underlying rationale for claiming you were caused) because there is no frame of reference for “me” at all.

Of course once you define “you” as distinct from the root determining force then you have rendered the claim that you were caused by this force a ridiculous contradiction. The very assertion, in other words, that “X caused me” is rationally impossible.

Cause, Effect, and Movement Exist Only by the Cognition of the Observer

The human ability to conceptualize from the frame of reference of the Self is not simply an evolutionary extension of the mathematically determined machinations of an “objective reality outside” of one’s consciousness/cognition, but is integral to objective reality itself, at the most fundamental level. I submit that absent man’s ability to conceptualize the movement of what he observes (that is, man as the Observer) and to establish Self as the reference–as the constant–it is impossible that there is any movement at all, and therefore can be no evolutionary/mathematical “cause and effect” interaction of objects in the material universe.

To claim that there is any such thing as as object movement, or cause and effect interaction, once the observer is removed from the equation is impossible. Because once he who provides the reference by which any such cause and effect interaction and/or object movement has any meaning (including relevancy,  purpose, direction, velocity, distance, etc.) there is no rational argument for asserting or believing that it is happening at all in some “objective reality” that can somehow excludes the very thing that gives that reality any value.

In other words, once movement is no longer observed (and by “observed”, again, I mean not only perception, but the cognitive power of conceptualization), movement has no specific context; no reference by which it can be gauged as “movement” qua movement. This means that without a reference, all movement–and therefore all cause and effect interactions and their “mathematical” deterministic mechanisms–is relative not to a specific but to an absolute degree. And absolute relativity of movement–that is, relative interaction with no set reference provided by the conceptualizing observer–means that all movement of all objects “mathematically” sums to zero. Meaning that absolute relativity, by nature, instantaneously nullifies any movement by any object at any given moment. And if all movement in all moments sums to zero because of un-referenced relativity, then there is, in fact, no movement at all; because movement with zero value is the absence of movement, by definition.

For a simple example, let’s take object A and object B in co-existing in a vacuum (where all must exist if we concede a plurality of existence–that things which exist are utterly distinct from one another). Because of the relative nature of movement, existence in a vacuum demands that any movement by A is automatically and instantaneously transferred to B, and vice versa. There is no way in this vacuum, absent an observer, to claim that only A moves, and not B. In other words, because their existence is again necessarily relative, any movement of A is also the movement of B. And by this I mean that B’s movement is not a reciprocal movement; it’s not a corollary movement; it is the same movement; the movement of A is the movement of B. There is one, un-shared movement. B moves equally as A moves as though B were in fact acting categorically as A.

How can this be?

A scenario where two objects with a single movement by both but no reference to measure which object has moved contradicts the plurality of existence between A and B. There can be no interaction between such objects; no distinction. Any action of one is the action of the other…and because existence is an action, even rank co-existence is impossible.

In a vacuum with no observer, object A moving relative to B while B is not moving, demands the corollary that B is moving relative to A while A is not moving; which means it is axiomatic that objects A and B in the instance of any movement must have both moved and also must have both not moved at the same time. And what this means is that movement in such an absolute relative relationship is a context where the movement of objects and the absence of movement by objects are one and the same.

Which is impossible. The integration of mutually mutually exclusive properties (e.g. movement and non-movement) nullifies them both, rendering to them an existential, moral, and rational value of zero; of NOT; of VOID. That is, of a purely abstract, imagined, placeholder status.

The relative context then, and again, necessitates at a fundamental, axiomatic level the conscious perspective of the observer, who is able to conceptualize relative distinctions between objects using himSELF as the reference.

Now, Objectivists and other “empirical” philosophers will almost certainly accuse me of promulgating a Primacy of Consciousness metaphysic, but this is in large part because they suppose that one can separately categorize evidence and reason, which is not actually possible. There can be no objective, empirical evidence which is also a conceptual contradiction. Of course the light wave/particle paradox is often trotted out as a rebuttal to this assertion, but this is easily rebuffed using reason (which I won’t explain here).

I wish to be clear that I am not proposing a purely subjective, “ethereal” metaphysic…and frankly, this is an amateurish criticism. On the contrary, because rational consistency is necessary to the apprehension and definition of Truth, as the above discussion on relativity and movement indicates, it is impossible that one can claim any efficacious philosophical (metaphysics through aesthetics) positions based purely upon subjective standards. This is because subjectivism necessarily equals contradiction. And contradiction is NOT an idea, it is the absence of one.

Further, to argue that the individual conscious observer’s self-evidentiary and necessary inclusion in anything objectively true (self/evident because truth is only known by conscious individuals) is somehow a bias and a liability to reality is the very definition of absurdity. But further discussion of this is better suited to a separate article…the topic is too complex and involved to serve as a side note for this one.

The point of this article is that man’s consciousness–his conceptualizing ability–is much more than a perfunctory extension of some ethereal, evolutionary, determinative force in the “objective” universe–a force which must necessarily contradict itself by spawning such a consciousness in the first place. Rather, it is a fundamental component of rational consistency, and thus is indespensible in any definition or discussion of objective reality. Human cognition; consciousness; conceptualization; awareness of Self is inexorably tied to the metaphysical axiom–the irreducible Truth from which ALL things spring.

Why Authority (Violence as the Primary Means of Achieving Objectives) is a Direct Function of Determinism

The primary ethic and politic of determinism is authoritarianism. That is, once individual Will becomes merely an inexorable effect of a Singularity of Cause which decides all purpose, be it God, or Natural Law/Scientific Empiricism, Existence (what “is” as its own end, where “Existence” must necessarily subordinate all other definitions of all objects, rendering their distinctions moot), or Social/Cultural Construction, or any other garden variety ideal like the Common Good, the Underprivileged, etcetera etcetera, then man cannot by definition act purposefully, on his own, to any relevant, rational, or moral objective, regardless of how this objective may be defined. Thus, all knowledge and purpose can only be ascribed to some kind of transcendent (and rationally impossible) revelation according to those who proclaim themselves the ecclesiastical (ruling according to “spiritual” mandate) recipients of the “Wisdom” or “Truth” of the Great Cause (the Singularity of Cause).  Examples of this can be found in religious leaders who claim divine rulership according to “God’s Calling”, the Representatives of States who claim to act on behalf of the “People” or the “Common Good”, or Intellectual elites who claim natural insight or acumen with respect to the “language of the Universe”, where the universe speaks in the arcane vernacular of mathematics, statistical analysis, genetic and evolutionary processes, various research methodologies, etcetera, etcetera. In all of these cases, Truth, and thus necessarily all that Is, is a function of an abstract ideal which causes absolutely, and therefore categorically determines all that man does, and thus, by definition, all that man thinks. Man then can only be compelled and controlled by force (violence), since he possesses no real capacity for self-awareness and therefore no capacity for self-control. He cannot think, therefore he cannot choose. And therefore he must be ruled–and absolutely so, by those who DO think, and DO know: those, again, who are the self-proclaimed extensions of the Determining (Singularity of) Cause. In other words, they rule you, because they are, as far as you are concerned,  indistinguishable from that which determines you.

Why a Plurality of Existence is Impossible

“Existence exists”, not distinct existences, so the metaphysical premise goes.

So, let’s be clear about what this means. It’s not the tree which is the metaphysical primary, okay, but the existence of the tree. And since existence is the primary, and all things “objectively” exist, existence becomes a de facto singularity, not a plurality, since there is and can be no relevant difference between the existence of objects. In other words, if all things exist, and existence is the metaphysical  primary, then all things must exist equally. It cannot be said that on the primary metaphysical level one thing–one object–exists more or less than another.  Meaning that when it comes to existence, there are no relevant distinctions between the existence of objects…between that which equally–in equal measure–applies to all objects, regardless of what the objects are; regardless of the nature of the objects. And an irrelevant distinction is in fact no distinction at all. For nature does not trump the metaphysical primary in terms of describing the absolute, infinite, unchanging essence of a thing. Nature thus becomes moot if in fact the metaphysical primary is one of absolute and infinite equality.

Additionally, it is not the nature of objects which drives the supreme relevancy of existence, as though it functions according to its own separate paradigm. For in that case the metaphysical primary would be absolutely bound to “nature”, making it a direct function of existence. But in that case, how can there be distinctions of nature? If nature is in essence the metaphysical primary, and thus must apply in full and equal measure–absolute and infinite–to all objects, then how can any relevant distinctions be defined by nature?

They cannot.

So then, for nature to apply as a means to provide relevant distinctions between objects it really cannot have anything directly to do with the metaphysical primary.  It must apply particularly to specific objects, in varying degrees, and not equal amongst objects. But this becomes impossible and irrelevant to that which does apply absolutely equally to all objects–that is, the metaphysical primary, because that which IS all things, the primary, nullifies that which is in opposition to it–in this case, a “plurality of existence according to nature”–which attempts to subordinate existence, the metaphysical primary, to nature, in order to rationalize a plurality of existence. This is obviously contradictory, and thus illogical and impossible.

Nature, then, cannot be the one thing which all things equally share, but also by which objects can be defined distinctly, because this is a contradiction in terms. In short, nature cannot be rationally incorporated into the metaphysical primary of existence, which again must be singular, because it–that is nature–is considered a property unique and of various value or degree to objects. Since existence, the primary, must rationally apply to all objects equally, then by definition there can be no unique and ultimately distinctive properties amongst those objects.

In every case then, I submit, there can be no plurality of existence for the simple fact that there must be some singular and absolute commonality which binds all objects by forming the very essence from which they all are a direct function, and which resolves the existential mutual exclusivity of objects which are said to be “plurality” at the fundamental, primary metaphysical level really must mean mean is infinitely distinct…or infinite distinction. Which is of course impossible. For even what is “plural” in existence must have a common context whereby the plurality is not infinite distinction between objects–which again is really the metaphysic of the mutual exclusivity of objects–in order that actual efficacious interaction between and amongst objects can occur. And that context is the metaphysical primary. And it is not plural, but utterly and infinitely inclusive and singular.

There is No Reason For a Flat Earth Conspiracy Because There is No Reason to Lie: Why what is observed is irrelevant; it is what is philosophically assumed about what is observed that matters

This essay is primarily a response to commenter Wednesday’s World, who contributed a thought in the comments section of my previous post.  It can be seen here. I recommend checking it out prior to reading my relatively short response (well, too long for a reply in the comments section, but much shorter than my usual voluble yarns).

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Hi Wednesday’s World. Thanks for visiting my page and for commenting.

As one who avers that all movement between bodies is relative, how such movement is observed by the senses may not in fact describe the existent properties of said bodies which are moving.  In other words, how we observe things to move relative to us may not necessarily be a true representation of how those things actually exist in space; or rather, in a vacuum of themselves.

Take the duality of light paradox. Science says that light is both a particle and a wave. But this is only because human beings observe it as one or the other depending on the environmental context.  But I do not accept the premise that light can be in essence both what it is and what it is NOT simultaneously simply because we observe it that way.  And the reason I do not accept the premise is because it violates THE fundamental law of rational non-contradiction.  And to violate reason by asserting and inserting a full-on contradiction destroys the very foundation of existence; which precludes man from ever apprehending truth.  And this is a recipe for disaster, and is the clarion call for every despot and bloodthirsty tyrant in world history, bar none.

The contradiction implicit within the wave/particle duality of light paradox is the idea that something is both what it is and what it is not–that is, the idea that an object is “both” and “and”, where something, for example, is both A and B while simultaneously being distinctly A and not B, and vice versa.  But what is proclaimed to be “both” and “and” is in reality nothing more than “is” and “is not”.  This is, by definition, impossible.  So I deny the paradox regardless of how we observe light because the philosophical conclusion which such a paradox renders is entirely untenable, and thus must ultimately destroy the very reality of existence.  If there can be “truth” within the idea that something can be both an “is”  and an “is not”, then truth is itself, fundamentally, a contradiction, and therefore cannot possibly be true.  Because to say that something both “is” and “is not” demands the corollary that that same thing is both simultaneously “true” and “false”.  In which case Truth (and Lie) cease to have any meaning whatsoever.  If truth is not necessarily true, then it is impossible for man to know anything at all.  Which renders all discussions moot, and “reality” and “morality” become nothing more than a matter of who has the biggest gun (or bomb, or sword, or stake, or dunking chair) and the willingness to use it.

You want conspiracy?  Try looking at the existential assumptions which drive the very meaning and relevancy and purpose of what is observed, and not simply at what thing is observed.  In fact, to ask people to spend so much time examining and questioning the physical nature of what is observed, as though ideas are a function of the sensory data and not of the individual ability to exist as a categorical and absolute SELF…well, that to me is the real conspiracy here with respect to the flat-earth issue.

Also, to your point about telescopes and horizons, and the heavenly revolutions of the sun and the moon, well…just because I observe from terra firma that the sun revolves around the Earth or that the horizon is flat or that a boat does not “dip” below a curvature on the horizon does not mean that I accept the Earth is flat.  This again is a function of my premise that what is observed does not necessarily represent the existent nature–the Truth–of the objects I am observing relative to me.

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To understand the true nature of ourselves and other objects which exist, we must examine our philosophical premises and develop irreducible metaphysical and epistemological axioms which are completely consistent, non-redundant, and non-contextual. It is only via this that can we claim to possess Truth.

Truth is not a function of science, as I said in my last post.  And thus I find it of little practical use to try to prove empirical scientific data false, simply because at the end of the day, science–with respect to empirical evidence–is going to destroy all contrary arguments, because A. they have MUCH better equipment than you or I do, and are MUCH better at math than everyone else (because they have to be), and mathematics is the single greatest–and, ultimately, the only relevant–means by which all empirically observed data can be classified as actual in the empirical sense and thus evident in the empirical sense; and B. they have no reason to lie or to cover up anything they discover, such as a flat earth, because, again, truth is not a function of empirical data but a function of the philosophical premises by which any of that data has any relevancy or meaning to humanity–or, more specifically, to the existence and the essence of the individual human being. In other words, scientists, or rather, scientific empiricists (because not all scientists are necessarily scientific, mathematical, and empirical determinists) only have to convince people that THEIR existential interpretive premises are the correct ones (e.g. causal determinism, consciousness as illusion, the reality and deterministic force of Space and Time, the material transcendence and universal “governance” of physical laws, the transcendent, autonomous and self-contained existence (and thus causal power) of Abstraction, such as mathematical proofs). After that, they can be perfectly truthful about what they observe as the physical properties of the universe and the objects in it. Because once you control the interpretive philosophical premises–once you are in charge of the axioms…the irreducibles–everything becomes a direct function of those premises. There is nothing then to be gained by lying about empirical data because all such data MUST inevitably and inexorably conform to the premises.

We need to understand that reality is a function of what we believe…or rather, our ability to conceptualize, and from this to formulate ideas, not our ability to observe.  Because of this, there is simply no reason to lie about the shape of the earth. There is no reason for a conspiracy. Control is a function of who gets to define reality according to the metaphysical and epistemological assumptions we hold about the nature of existence; and by this I mean the nature of HUMAN existence, and by this I mean the nature of individual human existence, because, really, that is the only existence which matters; the only essence which matters.  What reality looks like is besides the point. There is no reason to lie about the empirical data–the observed data–because what is observed must simply be the necessary and inviolable result of the premises, period.  The premise will and MUST define what is observed, regardless of HOW it is observed. Because what is observed is a direct function of the premises we hold about the nature of reality…of existence, of essence.  And this is because reality is not a function of empirical observation, but of philosophy; of ideas.  Philosophy…the ability of man to know himself and to know what he is not is the root of Truth.  Philosophy defines material reality as a function of man’s metaphysical essence.  And all that man observes MUST comport and WILL comport to the irreducible philosophical axioms, be they rational or irrational.  It is our job to make sure they are rational.  Then, when we do, we can know that what is observed can be described rationally, and reality can be established because Truth will have been bestowed upon what is seen.  But the form of what is seen is not the issue.  In itself, the form of the Earth is irrelevant.  Thus, there is no reason to lie about it.  There is no reason for a conspiracy.

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You observe something. You reproduce what is observed in various contexts in order to establish that its pattern is one of uniform consistency. Then you create an arcane (but practical and imminently utilitarian) mathematical proof for the observed event, substituting particulars (e.g. the apple, the tree, the ground) with abstract universals (e.g. x, y, and z). And then, suddenly, seemingly without regard to the destruction, war, torture, abuse, psychological obliteration, and bloodshed you are initiating you proclaim the mathematical proof not a conceptual abstraction devised by man to organize his environment to his own promotion and pleasure but as the “language” of an actual autonomous cosmic governing AGENT, or FORCE, which determines by its power every action (with respect to the movement in question…that is, the movement to which the mathematical proof relates) of every object in the universe.

Now, to be fair, this is most likely due to the sheer and staggeringly immense power of mathematics to enable man to manipulate his environment to his own will and whim and to codify it conceptually thus making it universally accessible to all men, which grants the illusion I think of  some kind of cosmic, causal universality.  And this rather than a form of intentional malevolence whereupon a certain group of impish nerds in lab coats and comb-overs wish to subject and subdue and subordinate the vast “unenlightened” masses to their whims and pleasures.  Alas, we have the institutional Church of ALL religions for that.  Satan is always in the place everyone has been convinced he is not, I suppose.

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Finally–and this is not nearly as important as the aforementioned points–I still insist that the most glaring “scientific” flaw in the flat-earth theory is the fact that gravity is uniform upon the world. That is, no matter where you stand, you weigh the same. This could not be possible if the earth were flat. A disc shaped earth, or a one dimensional earth, would demand an entirely different gravitational rubric. This would affect everything in the universe–from the revolution of the sun and the moon to the position of the stars in the sky to how you looked to what you could do to how you identified yourself as “human”, if there could even be such a thing (there couldn’t, I guess is my point).  In other words, if it weren’t for a round earth you could not take issue with the scientific data, or claim your own as a counter-proof, in order to deny a round earth because the data wouldn’t exist in its present condition in the first place.

Flat Earth Conspiracy: I understand the skepticism, but don’t let this distract you from the real fight

Yeah…this flat earth conspiracy thing just isn’t real, man. There are real conspiracies, but this isn’t one of them.

There are several obvious problems with this theory; the biggest problem, however, is: the uniformity of gravity precludes such an earth; gravity would be categorically and self-evidently different if the earth was flat, or disc shaped.

The real question I suspect leads one to consider this flat-earth idea has in actuality nothing to do with a geocentric or heliocentric astronomical construct, but how we actually define what is “center” in a universe which cannot have any location or any age in and of itself because time and space were created AFTER the Big Bang.

You see, if we want to make the earth the center of the universe, we must first realize that “space”, or “location” is not the true plumb line. The real plumb line is not a scientific one, but has to do with how we define man’s metaphysic. If man is absolutely HIMSELF (which he is), then everything revolves around the individual, since the context of YOU, or SELF, is the only existential constant. In fact is the only non-abstract, non-theoretical constant, period.

Thus, to make the planet of Man the center of the universe is a more rational way to view existence philosophically, which, again is where the real fight for freedom happens.

We must all remember that science has nothing to do with Truth; it is an organizational abstraction. Period. Full stop. There can be no scientific “cause” of anything, because before you can have a cause, you must have some THING to initiate causality. This means that the initial cause will itself not be subject to the laws of physics; which makes them fundamentally irrelevant with respect to explaining the nature of existence–and our inability to defend the nature of existence from scientific determinism, the prevailing philosophy today, is precisely why the hordes of authoritarian collectivism march to and fro upon the world almost entirely unopposed .

Anyway…

Since human existence predates science and the concepts it employs, being a function OF man, it cannot have created him.

Again, this is the real fight. This flat earth stuff is just a distraction. Don’t let it.

What Makes America So Fascinating is Also What Makes it So Terrifying

What makes America so fascinating and terrifying? Here’s one thing:

Literally within the span of a couple of weeks we go from a national dialog on the nature of race and how it is defined by individuals as an expression of their own personal self-identification; a dialog which had the potential of radically changing the very root philosophy with respect to race, most likely to the benefit of ALL human beings everywhere–that is, a rejection of collectivist anthropology which can only divide, never reconcile individuals–to what we have today. Which is this: a seedy, obtuse, collectivist demagoguery of the issue altogether, and the feral, mindless, intellectually inhibited demand that the government use its overwhelming physical force to ban public displays of patently subjective symbols and implicitly morally blackmail private retailers into likewise banning said symbols.

This does two things, neither of which are remotely edifying, and neither of which do anything except lead ALL races down the primrose path of blind, zero-sum philosophy to inevitable misery and destruction at the hands of an absolute central Authority which destroys humanity for destruction’s sake alone. The first is that it eschews rational dialogue–that is, reason–for rank violence (state force) as the ultimate (and thus only legitimate) moral imperative; and second, it drives a wedge of animosity and distrust between a large segment of US denizens and their “representative” government.

Naturally, and predictably, this is the tragedy that never makes it into the public consciousness. And why should it? Guns and sophism have always been more effective at changing the world than reason and thought. It’s what we are most comfortable with. And just as Huxley predicted, comfort bought with the currency of murder and oppression is the only real mark of “existence” when we concede the nihilist consequences of an irrational metaphysic: Since man is not of himself, he does not own himself

The Unholy Determinism of a Causal Universe

It is important to understand that when someone refers to the Universe we live in as “causal”, what they mean by “causal” is “cause and effect”.  That is, specific causes result in specific outcomes, which can be empirically verified by both observation and experiment.  The broad category of “cause and effect” is formally broken down into subcategories of the Laws of Physics, such as the Law of Gravity, the Law of Wave Mechanics, the Law of Thermodynamics, the Law of Energy Conservation, and so on and so forth.  These Laws are specifically called “Laws” because they are understood to be..well, causal, and exist utterly independent of man’s observation or thinking.  Hence, a “causal” universe.  So in this sense then the various cause and effect Laws are said to govern our Universe.  Which means they are not inventions of man’s conceptualizing mind, they are “discovered”.  They are not descriptive, they are determinative.  They have an actualizing power which is realized in the non-random, specific, determined manifestation of object interaction, which includes the development and evolution of human beings.  So, again, when someone speaks of a “causal” Universe, they are speaking of the Laws of Physics which create an “objective” reality governed by very real, very actual, very determinative forces that are to be credited with giving everything that exists its specific identity, even man and his mind.

This is important to understand because when you speak to people who hold to the view of an objective reality OUTSIDE of man, it is precisely the idea of a causal Universe to which they are referring (atheists are famous for invoking the “causal” Universe theme…this allows them to claim creation can occur without God…which, it really doesn’t, but then they aren’t the deep thinkers they’d like you to believe they are).  Now, they will seldom define this the way that I have here, wherein all things in the Universe exist and move as a direct function not of themselves, but of the Laws of Physics which govern them from beyond (outside).  And when you point out the inherent and necessary determinism this perspective implies, they get very creative in how they equivocate their message.  Because obviously if all things are truly determined, then nothing can really can exist at all.  For all things are a direct consequence–an absolute consequence–of the Laws of Physics.  And since nothing can exist of its own accord, there can be no man to observe the Laws of Physics which govern, because “man” is merely, like everything else, a complete function of the Laws themselves.  This necessarily dampens the message of individual free will and self-ownership, and creates a contradiction which they cannot rationally overcome.  Thus, the cavalcade of perfunctory “rebuttals” wherein they invoke all manner of arguments, but no consistent thinking.

So, when someone like John Immel speaks to you of a “causal” universe, know that what he is really saying is that the universe is determined by Laws of Physics, and yet, somehow, man can exist utterly independent of this determined Universe to obtain an identity of his own (hence the endless appeals to Aristotle and his Law of Identity (another “law”…sigh) as though only a truly bloodthirsty Kantian, Marxist monster would ever dare to question Aristotle), and to observe these laws, to function by them, and by this claim himself a “rational” being.

An “objective reality OUTSIDE of man” is a determined reality, by definition.  And this reality then is, also by definition, beyond the reach of man’s powers of observation and understanding, because it directly governs his existence from a place he cannot go.  Hence the untenable contradiction John must contend with.  It is of little wonder that he resorts to monologues heralding the intricacies and enigmas and ocean-like depths of the philosophical arts, of which, he says, no one really has the time to fully understand.  And if they did, so the refrain implies, they’d see that one can’t really call into question the consistency of his ideas without enslaving mankind to the Workers Utopia.

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Causal = Cause and Effect.  Now, in order to have a “cause” and an “effect” the specific distinction between the two must be known.  However, if we use our brains to ponder the definition of such a model of universal interaction, not suspending disbelief and applying some consistency to our thinking, we quickly realize that, since action is cyclical according to Newton’s mechanical laws (e.g. every action has an equal and opposite reaction), all causes are also effects, and all effects thus are also causes, which means that it is categorically impossible to specify between what is a cause and what is an effect without making relative distinctions.  And these distinctions require a self-aware observer to serve as the reference point.

And this is a big–and likely the biggest–problem for advocates of a “causal” Universe.  They cannot claim to define a specific cause from a  specific effect because by their own definition of “objective reality” they make irrelevant man’s observation, because he is a product of an OUTSIDE “Universe”. 

“Causes” and “effects” are relative, subjective terms, only knowable in a given context, which man alone can define.  But within the broad scope of Universal interaction and Universal existence, beyond man and his mind, “cause and effect” notions of how our “objective” reality works become impossible and irrational.  So “cause and effect” then, ceases to be a real force, with any actualizing powers, capable of determining outcomes or relevant universal interaction and instead becomes precisely what people like John Immel have been skewering me for rationally conceding: a purely  human concept, meant to organize man’s environment on a cognitive level to his own ends, and is not a “discoverable” force which has some sort of autonomous existence in its own right by which it exhorts absolute determinative force over man and his life.  Therefore, it logically follows that Laws of Physics then likewise must be conceptual, not actual, given that they are wholly predicated upon the belief in the power of “cause and effect”.

Now, riddle me this.  How does one who specifically denies that concepts and conceptual paradigms have any actual power to effect the material universe and therefore are not to be credited with the functioning of man’s brain and thinking and will, and thus cannot effect his ability to be aware of himSELF and thus his infinite right to claim himself alone as that which gives value and meaning and relevancy to his environment; which therefore makes rational the claim that the individual is the sole owner and purveyor of himself and that his senses exist as the vehicle by which his self-actualization can be pursued and validated by his own body and by others…yes, please explain how someone like that can be rationally labeled a “conceptualist/nominalist” leading to the full-destruction of human cognition, culminating in the bloody atrocities of “peak” Soviet Russia?

Because that’s exactly what Immel thinks.  He thinks you either accept the rank determinative power of the Laws of Physics and concede a reality OUTSIDE of yourself and kneel before the corpulence of the mighty Causal Universe, or you are the philosophical corollary of one Joseph V. Stalin.

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All causes must also be effects when we apply consistent thinking to the concept of “cause and effect”.  For the cause begets the effect, which then becomes its own cause which begets another effect and so on and so forth.  In order to make sense of cause and effect, then, one must define them relatively, that is conceptually…that is, within a specific context qualified/quantified by a self-aware observer, as I mentioned earlier in this article.

For example:  You crack the egg and the yolk escapes.  Cracking the egg is the cause, the yolk running out is the effect.  Because unless you specify the cause and the effect distinctly in this relative context, you are left with a scenario of a series of infinite causes and, on the other hand (because what’s the difference, anyway) a series of infinite effects.  This, to anyone even slightly awake, renders the entire cause and effect equation utterly moot.  The the cause is the egg cracks, causing the yolk to escape, causing the egg to cook on the pan, causing the pan to burn, causing the pan to need soaking, causing the water to be run in the sink, causing the sink to overflow, causing the house to flood, causing a prohibitively expensive repair bill, causing the couple to fight, causing a divorce, causing them to marry other people, causing other children to be born, causing more eggs to crack, causing more yolks to run, causing the egg to cook on the pan, causing the pan to burn…and so on.  Or, simply replace the word “causing” with “the effect is”.  The effect is the egg cracks, the effect is running yolk, the effect is the egg cooking on the pan, the effect is the pan burning, etcetera.  The point is that there isn’t any difference between cause and effect in this scenario.  Both terms lose their meaning entirely because no relative relationship has been defined by an observer who is able to specify a context whereby cause and effect can be seen to have any efficacious value.

When concepts such as “cause” and “effect” are not contextualized by a self-aware agent, like a human being, they become their own absolutes, in a sense.  Unattached to a specific material context, they become infinite.  What is “black” absent something, some material objected defined by a self-aware agent?  Well, black is black…is black is black and on and on.  What is a “cause” absent a specific object or action identified by a self-aware agent as the cause?  The cause its the cause is the cause and…you get the idea.  In the example of the cracked egg, unless you specify a particular component of the endless chain of events when attempting to apply “cause and effect”,  ALL events become a direct function of absolute cause, which can then beget only other causes; or ALL events become a direct function of absolute effect, which can then beget only other effects.  But of course if you are going to apply “cause and effect” to reality, then both cause and effect must be represented in their meaningful, reciprocal relationship.  For how can you define something as a cause if there is no observed effect?  And how can you define the effect if there is no observed cause? Therefore a specific, contextual circumstance must be made by an agent capable of making the relative (which ultimately means “conceptual”) distinction.

And this is, interestingly enough, the whole problem with the theory of an “un-caused first cause”; whether that first cause is God, or gods, or the Big Bang, or the Laws of Physics.  An un-caused first cause–where “cause” is not considered merely a conceptual description but a fundamental existential actualizing force inherent to the agent or entity– is an absolute cause, which, being absolute, can only beget extensions of itself.  Only causes can proceed from an absolute cause.  It doesn’t create any effects, it merely begets extensions of itself…which allows for no discernible difference between the cause and any effect, because there can be no effects from an absolute, infinite cause.  So, what this really means is that if there is indeed an un-caused first cause, nothing else beside this “cause” can logically be said to exist.

A universe which is “causal” then, means either there is an un-caused first cause, which precludes the rational existence of anything else but the cause itself; or there is no such first cause but reality is instead an infinite sea of causes and effects, which makes it impossible to define one from the other.  And both of these ideas are fundamentally deterministic.  In the first instance, “man” as a distinct and autonomous agent cannot actually exist, and therefore anything we may observe ourselves or others doing (or thinking, or believing)  is not really us or them doing it, but the Cause which absolutely defines us–and therefore controls us.  And the second instance is just like it.  If man is simply a product of an endless sea of causes and effects, but man cannot actually know which is which, then he is by his very nature unable to rationally organize his existence and environment on any level, which precludes him from any ability to define himself, nor to claim that he can in fact know anything at all.  Man is utterly at the mercy of the cause and effect “reality OUTSIDE” himself…where “self” cannot even be defined in the first place.  In both cases, man is nothing…obliterated by “objective” reality.

This is the fundamental conclusion of determinism, and only ever determinism.  I submit that even nihilism is fundamentally deterministic.  Whatever we do or think, or whatever anything else does, is meaningless, because everything winds up the same, which is exactly how it began.  As nothing.  The functional nothingness of existence determines the conclusive nothingness of observed universal behavior.

Now, with all of that in mind, consider this comment from John Immel of Spiritualtyranny.com.  Note that the comments in brackets are mine.

“My point is that the crux of the argument is tied to the Problem of Universals within Argo’s nominalist/conceptualist formulation [which doesn’t even remotely describe my ideas, but it helps John’s argument for him to think so].  Without first addressing the crucial issue within the field of Philosophy [I have pledged no allegiance to such a field, because doing so almost certainly prohibits new and better ideas] it is impossible to understand why a causal universe does not render man a helpless lump in a sea of cosmic “Laws”.”

I will admit that, in a sense, John is right.  Man, strictly speaking, is not a “helpless” lump.  But this is because John’s idea of a causal Universe renders man’s existence impossible; any definition of himself superfluous.  Man, because he is wholly determined by the “objective reality OUTSIDE himself”, is nothing at all.  His mind and thoughts an illusion.  His body merely a drop in an infinite blackness of governing cause and effect Laws of Nature/Physics.  And this is why John can, with a straight face, write that last sentence.  Since there isn’t actually any such thing as “man”, then truly ,”a causal universe does not render [him] a helpless lump in a sea of cosmic “Laws””.  For there isn’t even a lump to speak of.

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A Universe wherein cause and effect runs amok beyond any conceptual framework created by man is a universe where the Laws of Nature determine all things.  Which is precisely why scientists such as Hawking, Einstein, Sagan, and Lederman all conceded that these Laws govern, not describe; that they are discovered, not invented.  But when I argue that man needs a conceptual framework to define and value his environment, this is hardly me arguing that only concepts exist (the actual existence of concepts I have denied literally from day one of this blog) in the vein of conceptualism/nominalism of which John accuses me.  On the contrary, it is the purveyors of a causal Universe who give actualizing, determinative power to man’s concepts, like the Laws of Physics.  It is John’s philosophy, not mine, that makes gods out of human cognitive concepts and subordinates material existence, including man and his body, to an utterly conceptual one. 

Either man is he who gives value and truth and purpose to the infinite amount of relative material distinctions he observes in his environment–which is a natural product of the SELF/NOT SELF (or SELF/OTHER) dichotomy–via a conceptual paradigm he alone creates by his mind, or he cannot be a SELF by definition.  If man’s SELF has all of its value bestowed upon it by an absolutely causal Universe, then there is no dichotomy possible. And thus, there is no man.

The Fork in the Existential Road: Good and Evil are separated by mutually exclusive existential notions, and all philosophies are either one or the other

There are really only two ways to describe the nature of the material universe; and this divergence is the root of all philosophical disagreements, and ultimately, of all wars and other violent conflicts.

Let’s discuss Option A and Option B.

Option A is to consider all objects, including man, to be the absolute source–or ABILITY–of their own existence, and the singularity of all of their actions and reactions. In other words, at the root of all cause, effect, space, time, distance, speed, etcetera is the object itself.

So, in the case of cause and effect, for example, one might say that an object IS its own cause and its own effect. It causes upon another object because of its root ABILITY to cause upon; and it is caused upon by another object because of its own root ABILITY to be caused upon. A tennis ball hits a racket because IT is ABLE to hit the racket; and the racket strikes the tennis ball in return because the ball is ABLE to be struck by the racket. The ball itself is the root of why it can both hit and be hit; it is ABILITY. The apple is on the tree because it is ABLE to be on the tree; and the apple falls to the ground, not because of gravity but because it is ABLE to be caused upon by gravity. That is, without the ABILITY of the apple to exist, and this absolutely of itself, neither the tree nor gravity could have any effect on it. Gravity, in other words, is not the real cause of the apple’s falling. The real and singular cause of the apple’s falling is the innate ABILITY of the apple to fall in the first place. Existence is completely of the apple, and existence is a prerequisite to any other object or “force” possessing any influence upon it.

The same could be argued for time and space; distance and speed, and so on. The reason an object exists at a specific time in a specific location or moves at a specific velocity because it possesses the innate ABILITY to do so. This makes the root of ALL of these forces the object itself. That is, any given object IS its own time and its own space; its own cause and its own effect. All of these forces then are and can only be direct functions of the object; which means that the object’s infinite and absolute ABILITY to be what it is, is the source of how and why it can be observed to possess any physical property or move in any specific way. This then relegates physical laws, or the laws of physics/nature, to mere conceptual descriptions of the object as it exists relatively to another object or other objects at any given moment.  And I say “relatively” because an object’s ability to exist must be absolute and infinite.  That is, its existence is a function of its infinite ABILITY to be whatever it is. Since it IS, its IS, which is merely a derivative of its ABILITY to be, must be infinite; must be absolute. To declare otherwise is to declare that the object exists not of its own ABILITY to be, but as a function of something else. That is, its ABILITY is not its own, it is of something OTHER…something outside of itself.  Which means that it really isn’t itself at all, but is something else. And this view makes all objects merely a function of some other thing…and so nothing which which is said to exist really exists at all.  Everything is something that it is NOT; which means that everything is really nothing. That is, objects we observe to be aren’t really what they seem. They are an extension of whatever it is which allows them to be (which is wholly unknowable, and we’ll discuss this in a bit); which of course removes the objects from the existential equation all together.

So, the idea that all objects are their own singularities…the root source of why they can cause and be caused upon, or have time and space and speed and distance and mass and temperature and so on, makes the metaphysical irreducible primary of all objects their own ABILITY; that is, themselves, as a function of their ABILITY to be however and whatever they are observed to be.

This of course makes the observer…

Well, wait…let’s define “observer”.

An observer is he who possesses, as a direct function of his own ABILITY to be, the ABILITY to be aware that he is, which demands that he likewise possess the ABILITY to be aware of what he is NOT, which demands the ABILITY to observe both himSELF and what he is NOT.  And this means that there will be an immediate mitigation of the infinite of himSELF into relatively finite relationships with another object or other objects he must observe as he likewise observes himSELF. For there is no ABILITY to observe one’s SELF from what he is NOT if what is he is NOT is not observed.

What I am attempting to explain is that the root of all objects is the infinite SELF of the object; or, the infinite, indivisible, inseparable ABILITY to be what it is, and that this infinity is only parsed by an observer…that is, man, who, as a function of his own ABILITY to be is ABLE to know that he is, and that this demands then that he know what he is NOT. And it is thus through man’s awareness of him SELF that the infinite is made relatively finite, and from this is derived an efficacious reality.

This of course makes man the reference for all TRUTH. The SELF of man then is the source of all concepts which must be employed in order to organize the infinite “relative finity” which he observes into a cohesive conceptual framework so that he can propagate and perpetuate his own SELF as the Standard of what is TRUE and thus what is GOOD. This then makes notions such as time, space, distance, speed, up, down, etcetera merely a part of man’s conceptual framework by which he organizes the objects he observes in order to serve him SELF; because it is by him SELF and only him SELF that anything has any meaning or relevancy at all. Beyond the conceptual framework of man’s ABILITY to know SELF from OTHER there can be no TRUTH. “Objective reality” then, being a concept, is rooted, like everything else, in the absolute standard of TRUTH and MORALITY which is man’s life. Outside of man’s life there can be no such thing as “objective” or “reality” or “objective reality”, because absent he who is ABLE to make the distinction between what he IS from what he is NOT there is only the infinite ABILITY of objects to BE, which cannot amount to any separation of objects at all, because ABILITY is infinite, which makes the the objects infinite, and there can be no distinction between infinity (infinity times object A + infinity times object B = infinity) absent the ABILITY to make that distinction; and man alone of all God’s creatures possesses that ABILITY, revealed in his use of language which is entirely conceptual. Man alone makes the conceptual distinction between SELF and NOT SELF. Thus, man alone is the root of TRUTH; and within this TRUTH is the idea of “objective reality”. That is, “objective reality” is only true and only good if it affirms the standard of TRUTH, which is man’s life.

So here we have a summary Option A: Man’s life is the source of reality.

And now, mention this to someone.  Anyone.  And notice how little time it takes for that someone to cry “subjectivity” or “moral relativism”. This is an indication that the detractor does not grasp the argument. Man’s ABILITY to be is inexorably tied to his ABILITY to know he is; and this is inexorably tied to his ability to conceptualize that which he observes, both him SELF (his body) and whatever he is NOT. Which means that man’s ABILITY to be is his ABILITY to conceptualize his existence.  And “objective reality” is indubitably conceptual. You see, without man, “objective reality” is irrelevant TO him, which makes it irrelevant, period.  That is, man’s existence is what makes “objective reality” relevant; is what gives it any truth or meaning.  And if this is the case “objective reality’  cannot be claimed to be either “objective’ or “real” except as man qualifies it and man is affirmed by it.  “Objective reality” is a function of man, not the other way around.

So when we realize that man’s life is the only rational standard of TRUTH and MORALITY (which is sort of redundant because morality is in fact a function of truth, metaphysically speaking) then we have rightly identified the only objective reference for any idea or action.

The truth is that those who preach an “objective reality” outside of man are the real subjectivists (which ironically makes Objectivism in fact, Subjectivism, because it has no rational nor consistent explanation for how it is possible for man to in fact BE man, and therefore to know anything). They are the ones who, at the end of the day, must appeal to mystery as the root of their existential ideas, because knowledge is impossible, and the ABILITY of man to be him SELF is due to “forces” outside of him, which destroys man at the metaphysical level entirely. If you are an Objectivist, you can be forced to concede (unless you are as stubborn as the mystics you deride) that according to your own beliefs, man cannot possibly exist at all.

And, apropos to this, Option B, which is the philosophical root of all evil, and it is by far the most common view with respect to how existence and the universe are understood.

Which is…depressing, really.

*

In this instance, reality is defined this way: Objects are not in and of themselves the singular sources of their own existence. Their ABILITY to be is not a direct derivative of themselves, but is a direct function of something outside of them…beyond them. That they are an absolute effect, and some external force or thing is the absolute cause. Now, this makes the existence of the material universe wholly dependent on these external (and thus unobservable) forces which create it. In other words, objects in the universe have no singular innate ABILITY to be what they are. Their ABILITY to exist, to cause and be caused upon, etcetera, is not in fact their own, but belongs to some other force or agent which, again, exists wholly outside of them. And in this case, of course, “objects”, or “material universe”, includes man.

For the moment, I will avoid a digression into why those who claim that we, and the rest of the material universe, are some kind of “grey area” of existence.  That is, there is no such thing as the kind of “black and white” reality I am discussing; indeed, they recoil at what they perceive as my “either/or” philosophy, arguing that reality is never so starkly divided.  But I will say this:  There is no rational argument for a “gray” existence…that is, there is no rational argument for one who argues that man is a conglomerate of him SELF and the forces of nature/the “sovereign Will” of God which govern/determine him.  For I submit that no one who professes such a perspective can tell you just where each component to man, or any other object, begins and ends.  Ask them to tell you just where man ends and “God’s Will”, or the “laws of physics” begin.  I promise, you will get nothing but the “mystery” argument, if they bother to answer you at all.  In my experience, either subterfuge, ad hominem, or a termination of the discussion altogether is the common response.  The reason for this is because the fact is, whether people are comfortable conceding it or not, reality is black-and-white absolute.  Either an object is it SELF or it is not.  Either man is man or man is not man.  To pretend that a metaphysically distinct singularity can be born of mutually exclusive existential causes is foolishness, nothing more.  To argue that what is–with IS being its metaphysical absolute–is both a product of itself and something outside of it is nonsense.  It cannot be both, period.  If something is itself, it must be of itself.  If it is not of itself completely, then it is not of itself at all.  Which means that it is, in fact, something else…which means it doesn’t actually exist.  If we say that the red rubber ball exists, then the red rubber ball must have the innate ABILITY to exist.  If the ball does not have the ABILITY to in fact be a ball, because it is an absolute function of some unseen force or forces outside of it, then we cannot rationally declare that the red rubber ball exists.  The forces from which it is absolutely derived are the only thing which exists (and these, again, are not observable, which reduces “objective reality” to subjective nothingness).  The red rubber ball is a phantom…a lie.

Moving on.

In various religions, it is “god” or the “gods” which cause all things to be; which is the singular ABILITY allowing for the “presence” of the objects in the universe. In atheism and atheistic philosophies, it is the “laws of nature” or the “laws of physics”. Occasionally you will meet a religious scientist who claims that both “god” and the “laws of physics” are causal; or that “god” created the laws of physics, which are then causal. Not only are both of these perspectives redundant, they also defy any rational explanation.

Attempting to be as laconic as is possible (for me), I will point out the fundamental weakness of the perspective that all material objects including man are a function of either the sovereignty of “god” or  “gods”, or the “laws of nature”:

Those who promote such an existential viewpoint are obligated to explain just how man, whose existence is a full extension of forces outside of himself, is able to exist at all, let alone know anything and therefore promote a specific philosophy or idea, or criticize another as being false. By their very own metaphysical definition, man is NOT HIMSELF. Man is merely a direct function of some other absolute, like “god” or the “laws of nature”, which determines the entire sum and substance of his existence, which must include his thoughts, beliefs, and actions. For if you cannot separate the body from the forces which utterly compel it, then you cannot separate the mind from those same forces; and this is because it is impossible to make a rational distinction between the body and the mind. The mind and the body are effectively the exact same thing. You possess no observation, no thought, no feeling apart from your body. Those “out-of-body” experiences you hear about? What is the singular reference for them…that is, how does the person know that this experience is “out of” body? Because they have a body as the absolute reference for their existence. If they didn’t have a body, they could not qualify the experience as “out-of-body” in the first place. It is the body which is the absolute reference for all we know and feel and do. Everything we experience is a direct function of our bodies, period.

And I submit that “out-of-body” experiences are all fictitious and irrational anyway. Without a body, there is no YOU. If you observe, then you must be SOMETHING. There must be a distinction between you and what you observe. And that SOMETHING which is observing, is your body. No one knows anything apart from a material manifestation of SELF. A mind needs a body with senses, otherwise there is nothing it can know.

So if the things man observes are inexorably governed and caused by unobservable forces which utterly determine them, and man is likewise a material object subject to those same forces, and thus his brain, which is his mind and thoughts, is also subject to those same relentless, determining forces, then how is it possible that any man can rise above these absolute forces of “objective reality’ and proclaim that he knows of them? By his own existential definition there is no HIM to know. Both he and what he knows or believes has nothing to do with him, but are merely another extension of the forces which compel all things as functions of themselves. And therefore there is no such thing as “objective reality” because there is no such thing as anything at all. Any idea or belief or notion is purely an illusion…awareness of SELF is a lie; a phantom. There is no man, so there is no one to claim that “objective reality” has any relevancy or meaning at all.

And enter the mystics, who claim to have somehow, by divine inspiration, risen above their metaphysical, illusory ether to know this or that or the other thing, and to proclaim “truth”. And just how they do this or know these things is…well…who can say? Only they know. You cannot understand because it defies reason, and because you are not them.

And from this we get moral equivalency, and from moral equivalency we get all manner of death and destruction and horror.