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Re: The 'Moment'

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Posted by Harvey on August 29, 2003 21:32:52 UTC

Let's assume that causality can exist without time. That is, there's temporal causality where an event X precedes event Y by a few seconds, and we say that X caused Y. Then there's another type of causality where we say that X precedes Y, and X causes Y. We encounter these kind of causal relations in mathematics, logic, and other kinds of formal systems.

So, if there is a 'before' the universe that is not time, then you might mean that something causally predates the universe, but does not necessarily temporally precede it. Is that correct?

I am of the belief that there was an "Absolute Beginning" when neither GOD nor TIME existed. How did it "really" start, well, that is left for "The Imagination, Common Sense, and an ounce of faith" at this point, until other evidence presents itself...

Let's say that God is primitive, in that case God is Aristotle's 'First Cause' or Prime Mover since God initiates all other effects in the universe. However, in your scenario, God is not a first cause (i.e., God is not primitive). In this case, something else is primitive and God is an effect of this primitive cause.

The problem though, is that whenever you deal with a primitive like this, the primitive in this case is logical versus material, and therefore it depends on there being a logical truth in order for a statement to be either true or false. A true or false statement requires the concept of satisfaction (at least according to some accounts of a definition of truth), and satisfaction borders on a mental-mind term. For example, if we consider the test situation: X=X, then conclude that this is true because X satisfies all the conditions of being equivalent to X, and therefore according to some axiom of identity (which is connected to some definition of truth?), we can say that since all the conditions of truth have been satisfied, X=X is actually true. But, notice that X must satisy all the conditions of being equivalent to X, and here is where the mental-mind characteristics come into force. What decides if truth has been satisfied?

In an objective world, we might answer this question by saying that it isn't a matter for something to decide if truth has been satisfied, it just is satisfied. However, that implies that there are theorems that exist which prove that this truth has been satisfied. These theorems, though, are about proof, and this is tricky since computers and animals can't prove theorems (as far as we know), only human minds can prove theorems, so it leaves open the question on what kind of theorem exists that is able to formally prove that a truth requirement has been satisfied.

This smacks at causal reasoning since in order for there to be a cause, there must be an explanation. But, explanations require understanding and understanding requires mind.

So, I'm not sure if you can so easily not treat God as primitive to any causal based formal system that exists and happens to cause the universe. It seems to me, that truth, cause, and even God might be holistically tied together concepts (and perhaps many more concepts are all tied together such as logic, math, etc).

I tend to think that a truth principle (i.e., the kind that actually exists) is primitive, but because truth implies more than just token words, I wonder if mind is tied together with it in an inexplicable holistic manner.

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