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Mike11

Speed of Light?

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Meaning is about knowing the cause and effect. It's not merely about being able to predict effect.

Shayne

'cause' and 'effect' are outdated ways of looking at things. Very little in life can be analyzed in such simple terms.

Cause and effect are too simple, therefore we should leave out causes and just look at effects?!?

Michael's right, you look like you just climbed out of the wrong end of Atlas! (That was a good one!)

Shayne

Oh I get it now, very funny. Is this is how objectivists argue when they disagree with something? This thread is in the Science&Mathematics section, if you don't want to discuss science and mathematics why do you have this section Micheal?

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"Cause" is a relative notion, it's merely the hypothesis of the most encompassing theory that is known at the time. When we find a more encompassing, "deeper" theory with a hypothesis that describes ("explains") the fact that we previously called a "cause", we call that hypothesis the cause of the previous "cause". Example: when an apple falls from a tree, we can say that the fact that it falls to the ground is "caused" by the gravitational force. But in fact this is only an description of the regularities we observe in nature, condensed in a model. With a more detailed theory of gravity we can say that this theory "explains" why there is a force, what the "cause" of that force is. But again this is only a model that gives a more detailed description than the previous one of the regularities we observe. There is no such thing as a "real" cause, there are only models within models of increasing sophistication, like Russian dolls. The only "explanation" we have is the best theory we have at the moment.

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Oh I get it now, very funny. Is this is how objectivists argue when they disagree with something? This thread is in the Science&Mathematics section, if you don't want to discuss science and mathematics why do you have this section Micheal?

Science is about causes. Michael has no voodoo section so maybe you'll have to ask him to make one.

Really, I don't know that there's much else to do but make fun of those who bought in to the screwy idea that cause and effect is fiction. It's evident almost from birth that there is cause and effect, it's only a perversion that some people can grow "sophisticated" enough to reject it. Without seeing the particular perversion you subscribe to, I can't really argue about it. You probably have some sort of idea that causes are illusory. That's an assertion that you have the burden of proving; the Aristotelian has no such burden since he's not asserting that, he merely asserts that things are as they seem: you kick a ball and it moves.

Shayne

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One person punches the other in the nose.

The could be called information transfer.

The cause? The guy who did the punching. The effect? Information was communicated to the other guy.

Cause and effect.

I don't see were hypotheses, suppositions, testing, new theories and all the rest can improve on that meaning.

:)

Michael

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Dragonfly,

Whenever the non-existence of cause and effect is proposed, sophistication only covers up the absurdity. Simplifying the discussion with something practical or cockeyed highlights out the absurdity.

Once we agree that physical thoeries are about cause and effect and not some kind of endless random guesses, we can easily get back to the sophisticated part and they will make sense. Otherwise they don't and I don't like faking it.

Let's start with a basic law: entities are causes. Not the only causes in the universe, but being a cause is part of their nature. Do you agree?

Michael

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One person punches the other in the nose.

The could be called information transfer.

Yeah, maybe in Aristotle's day that was information transfer. :P

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GS,

Are you saying you would not receive information from a punch in your own nose?

:)

Michael

I would say communication has broke down in that case.

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I would say communication has broke down in that case.

GS,

In other words, you got the message?

:)

Michael

Depends what you mean by 'message'. Usually it entails some symbolism, ie. "a communication (usually brief) that is written or spoken or signaled". Of course then there is the McLuhan view that the medium IS the message which I suppose applies in this case.

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Dragonfly,

Whenever the non-existence of cause and effect is proposed, sophistication only covers up the absurdity. Simplifying the discussion with something practical or cockeyed highlights out the absurdity.

Once we agree that physical thoeries are about cause and effect and not some kind of endless random guesses, we can easily get back to the sophisticated part and they will make sense. Otherwise they don't and I don't like faking it.

Let's start with a basic law: entities are causes. Not the only causes in the universe, but being a cause is part of their nature. Do you agree?

No. First we should be more precise about what we mean by "cause". We can distinguish two kinds of causes: temporal causes and what I'd call "vertical" causes. A temporal cause can be described as: at time t1 we have event A and at time t2 with t2 > t1 we have event B; if event B would not happen if A didn't happen, we can say that A is a cause (not necessarily a sufficient cause) of B. A "vertical" cause is what I've discussed earlier in this thread: while it may refer to temporally extended systems it concerns an in principle timeless relation, namely that between a more encompassing model and that of a less encompassing model or a simple observation (the falling of the apple is "caused" by gravity, gravity is "caused" by the curvature of space-time or by gravitons). So it had nothing to do with the temporal causality in your nose-punching example and I never said that cause and effect didn't exist, only that the ("vertical") cause (or explanation) is a relative notion.

An entity in itself (for example a single electron) doesn't "cause" anything, "cause" is not some intrinsic characteristic, that would be something like the proverbial one-hand clapping. It seems you're using the term "cause" here as a synonym for "properties". We might speak about properties in terms of cause and effect, but that doesn't make a property the same thing as a cause. When we speak about a cause, we're referring to the interaction of that entity with other entities, and there are zillions of different interactions possible with zillions of different effects. We can only get a grip on all those possibilities by creating a model of those interactions, in which we could pinpoint cause and effect relations if we wanted, but that is seldom the highest priority of the scientist, they are inherent in the model itself.

Edited by Dragonfly

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It would be interesting for Dragonfly try to recast a simple sentence about cause/effect in that pseudo-scientific jargon. Such as: "I kicked the ball too hard, causing it to hit and break the window."

Shayne

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Shayne

It would be interesting for Dragonfly try to recast a simple sentence about cause/effect in that pseudo-scientific jargon. Such as: "I kicked the ball too hard, causing it to hit and break the window."

What exactly is "pseudo" about DF's scientific jargon, Shayne?

Edited by Daniel Barnes

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Shayne
It would be interesting for Dragonfly try to recast a simple sentence about cause/effect in that pseudo-scientific jargon. Such as: "I kicked the ball too hard, causing it to hit and break the window."

What exactly is "pseudo" about DF's scientific jargon, Shayne?

Since you admit that the jargon is useless for describing trivial causal behaviors, there's no reason for me to expand further. Case closed.

Shayne

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Shayne:

Since you admit that the jargon is useless for describing trivial causal behaviors, there's no reason for me to expand further. Case closed.

It is very odd of you to say this as I didn't "admit" anything of the sort. I merely asked you simple question. Here it is again:

What exactly is "pseudo" about DF's scientific jargon, Shayne?

Are you going to answer it?

Edited by Daniel Barnes

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Shayne:
Since you admit that the jargon is useless for describing trivial causal behaviors, there's no reason for me to expand further. Case closed.

It is very odd of you to say this as I didn't "admit" anything of the sort. I merely asked you simple question. Here it is again:

What exactly is "pseudo" about DF's scientific jargon, Shayne?

Are you going to answer it?

I'll have nothing more to add (except that your question is a waste of time) until my question is answered first. After all, I did ask it first.

Shayne

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Shayne:

I'll have nothing more to add (except that your question is a waste of time) until my question is answered first. After all, I did ask it first.

It's ok Shayne, I'll answer it for you. There is in fact nothing "pseudo" about DF's description. It's just scientific jargon, not pseudo-scientific jargon.

If you want to know what pseudo-scientific jargon actually looks like for future ref, I suggest you familiarise yourself with the works of perhaps Deepak Chopra or Jean Baudrillard, for example.

Sokal and Bricmont have written a reasonably good book about it: Fashionable Nonsense

At any rate this should give you a reasonably clear steer as to the difference between the two.

Edited by Daniel Barnes

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It's ok Shayne, I'll answer it for you. There is in fact nothing "pseudo" about DF's description. It's just scientific jargon, not pseudo-scientific jargon.

Then take my (implicit) question in post 38 and answer it. How would you frame that causal statement in your jargon?

Shayne

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I think I've made my point, Shayne. Just be a little more careful before you accuse people of being "pseudoscientific" in future, ok?

Again, in other words you can't answer the question. You have no idea how to apply the jargon to everyday statements. Therefore you don't know what it means. You're just a pretender.

Shayne

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Again, in other words you can't answer the question. You have no idea how to apply the jargon to everyday statements. Therefore you don't know what it means. You're just a pretender.

No, I'm not a scientist, I'd probably get the jargon wrong. Dragonfly, who you originally aimed the question at, would be better at answering it.

Now, I believe it's your turn.

Again: what is "pseudo-scientific" about what Dragonfly wrote, Shayne?

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Again, in other words you can't answer the question. You have no idea how to apply the jargon to everyday statements. Therefore you don't know what it means. You're just a pretender.

No, I'm not a scientist, I'd probably get the jargon wrong. Dragonfly, who you originally aimed the question at, would be better at answering it.

Now, I believe it's your turn.

Again: what is "pseudo-scientific" about what Dragonfly wrote, Shayne?

LOL

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More stalling...

You don't even know what the hell Dragonfly is talking about. You are not qualified to ask me questions. And again, I'm the one that asked the first question in this line, I won't answer any until I get an answer.

Shayne

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