-1- wrote: ↑Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:03 am
Immanuel Can wrote: ↑Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:18 pm
{1}Really there are only two things one has to know: firstly, that time is linear, not cyclical; and that's empirically evident, so that part's easy. The second thing you need to know is the idea of causality...and of chains of cause and effect. Again, the evidence of the existence of such is empirical, so that's also easy. But if both are true, then {3}it is impossible to have an infinitely regressing chain of causes. {4} Such a chain, if we were on one, would never have gotten started -- and that's very easy to demonstrate mathematically.

{1} IS TRUE. {2} IS TRUE. {3} DOES NOT FOLLOW FROM {1} AND {2}.

Actually, it does. If 1 and 2 are true, then 3 is mathematically unavoidable. For as you say...

SUCH A CHAIN WOULD NEVER HAVE STARTED, TRUE,

Then you make your mistake:

BUT WHAT YOU IGNORE, OR WHAT YOU CAN'T IMAGINE, IS THAT THE CHAIN HAD NO NEED TO HAVE A STARTING POINT, SINCE IT EXISTED FROM FOREVER PAST.

Actually, that is the impossibility that we can rule out with absolute certainty, mathematically. An infinitely regressed chain of causes

has no starting point. And that makes it certain that if such a thing were posited it never started.

You can test it yourself, by trying the numbers test I suggested earlier in this conversation. Go ahead, and see if you can write any number while depending on an infinite stream of prerequisite numbers. Write the number "2" for example, but don't write it until you've already written 1, and don't write that until you've written 0, and don't write 0 until you've written -1, and don't write -1 until you've already written -2...and so on, to infinity.

When do you get to write "2"? The answer will turn out to be "Never."

SORRY ABOUT THE OVERUSE OF CAPS. MY KEYBOARD IS SICK.

No problem.