Tag Archives: Cause and effect

What Does it Mean to Violate Identity, Philosophically Speaking?

The violation of identity is the assertion that an object (a material concept, like “shoe”) or an idea (an abstract concept, like “left”) is or does two or more mutually exclusive things. Examples of this are:

“You cannot separate the individual from his community.”

An individual cannot also be the group. This assertion violates the identity of both the individual and the group, because it attempts to synthesize the antonym into each. Therefore, this assertion is entirely false.

“An effect is the direct function of the cause.”

This is interesting. It’s what I call a false corollary. It is an attempt to synthesize¬†these two mutually exclusive abstractions into a singularity–“Cause and Effect”, which is then often asserted to be a natural governing force…or a physical “law”, as it were. What really happens by inseparably combining the one with the other is that both are nullified. So instead of summing to 1, as in, say, “Ability and Action”, which is a true corollary, the relationship sums to zero. So, the assertion that “Cause and Effect” is monolithic (summing to 1) is really nothing more than the violation of the identity of both abstract concepts. If “cause” equals “effect” then there is, in actuality, no such thing as either.

“Cause and Effect” then should always be rendered “Cause” and “Effect”. Because they are two completely distinct concepts; which, among others, man uses to describe a particular manifestation of the relative movement of objects he observes in his environment.

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Why is Causality (Cause and Effect) Not Determinative? Because It’s Not Real: The purely conceptual nature of “cause and effect”

With respect to the determinative power of causality, I submit that there is none. ¬†In support of this assertion I have developed the following explication, which reveals the nullifying contradiction of “cause and effect” when it is extracted from its purely conceptual ¬†context:

There can be no cause qua cause until after ¬†the effect is manifest. For what is a cause without an effect? It is certainly not a cause. For if a cause has not actually caused anything, then it is not a cause by definition. ¬†In this way, then, anything which we would qualify as¬†cause is categorically dependent for its rational and efficacious definition as a “cause” upon the effect.

Furthermore, we must also assert that there is no effect then which can exist except utterly independent¬†of the cause. For unless the effect exists independently of the cause, it must be considered a direct and absolute function of the cause. ¬†But if it is a direct and absolute function of the cause, then the distinction is eliminated, which then obliterates the very root essence of “cause and effect” in the first place, relegating it to irrelevance, and thus nonexistence…for that which is existentially irrelevant contradicts itself right out of existence.

Speaking of contradiction, note the following:

By the previous logic, cause and effect, being entirely distinct from one another, must therefore have entirely autonomous, separate existence already, prior to the confluence which is defined as “cause and effect” qua “cause and effect”. ¬†In other words, there can be no effect unless the effect is an effect alone, absent any cause, before any cause manifests itself as a cause. Which then makes, by logical extension, the cause only a cause if it itself exists as such autonomously, absent the effect, before any effect manifests itself as an effect. In other words, each one must exist already¬†as a prerequisite for “cause and effect” to ¬†meet any sort of rationally consistent criteria in order to be defined as such: the¬†effect is an effect prior to the cause causing it; and the cause is a cause prior to it actually having caused anything.

The cause needs the effect to be defined as the cause; and the effect needs the cause to be defined as an effect. But the effect cannot be a direct function of the cause without eliminating the distinction; and the cause cannot be given its absolute meaning and relevancy by the effect without likewise eliminating the distinction. But if the effect exists as the effect utterly independent of the cause, and the cause exists as the cause utterly independent of the effect, then what we assert is that an effect doesn’t actually require a cause to be an effect, and a cause doesn’t actually require an effect to be a cause. ¬†Which…destroys the definitions of both, nullifying their “autonomous”, “independent” existence.

The point is that no matter from which angle approach it, you inevitably run into an impenetrable wall of contradiction.

And so it goes when we attempt to incorporate mutually exclusive conceptual abstractions into the non-abstract material universe of actual objects by assuming and imagining that they are likewise, themselves, in possession of a material, actual essence.

The solution to reconciling the contradictions now becomes apparent. We must not consider cause and effect an actual, catalyzing causal force…like we spuriously do with the laws of physics when we describe them as “governing”. ¬†We must recognize cause and effect for what it really is: a concept human beings use to describe the relative movement of objects in the environment, objects which are fundamentally neither caused nor effected but are rooted in the infinity of their own absolute and infinitely singular material essence, in whatever form it happens to be observed, and as a function of whatever relative context in which it happens to be observed.

Indeed–and in conclusion–the presence of relativity in object interactions precludes any actual ¬†(materially “existent”, for lack of a better term) cause and effect; yet it necessitates a¬†conceptual cause and effect that the self-aware agent engages as a means to define and identify both what¬†an object is, and how¬†it is observed (i.e. its position relative to the observer at any given moment).