Most people, atheists included, assume that causality is real. They believe that anything that exists has some sort of cause. This is the main premise for the Kalam cosmological argument. However, we don’t actually know that this is the case.
We see causal patterns all the time, and so we construct the idea of causality as if it is simply a law of reality. But we don’t actually observe causation at all. This is impossible. All we see are correlations, and as you know, correlation is not causation. I may have seen fire burn wood a million times, but it isn’t necessarily the case that fire will burn wood in the future. So why do these causal patterns exist so perfectly to deceive us? Simply because it is possible for this to occur. A non-causal reality can give rise to causal patterns, this is no logical contradiction, and is consistent with itself.
So the question “why does the universe exist?” or “why does something exist rather than nothing?” is just a nonsense question based on an assumption we can’t prove. I personally have no issues with this question anymore, I do not lie awake thinking about it, because there is no problem. I don’t have to consider infinite regresses and circular causes and necessary causes. Necessity is not necessary.
Furthermore, there is no need to explain the fine tuning of this universe, or the existence of life, etc. Surely this world could exist through non-causal processes? If there is no need for an explanation, then there is no need for an explanation. It may help to consider a multiverse of universes that exist. Some are chaotic and without “causality” while others have more order. As with biological life, universes are “selected” for and evolve and produce more and more complex and interesting universes. That’s not to say that this process occurs over time, or that universes are related to each other in some way, but it is just an analogy. You can view everything as evolution, evolution from chaos and disorder to order. If you roll a die infinite times then you are sure to find some interesting patterns there.
If you don’t accept causality, I don’t see a point in conversation. Respectfully, and I say this with no bad intentions: to throw causality under the bus is to throw your sanity under the bus as well.
Do you think it’s possible to jump and never fall down? Gravity doesn’t cause you to fall. The universe randomly decided that you’d fall every other jump, but it randomly changed its mind now.
If you see a car coming your way, do you move away? The broken bones of other people being hit by cars is a coincidence, it is just as likely for you to phase through the car, or simply stop existing or any other thing happening.
Why do you even trust your senses? When you see something, light doesn’t actually cause your eyes make you see, it’s all a set of coincidences that what you see and hear happen to align.
Your post is riddled with causal terms. For example, your very title includes the term “explain,” which is a causal process.
And your central thesis is:
> We see causal patterns all the time, and so we construct the idea of causality as if it is simply a law of reality.
The “so” here is causal.
I’ll be interested in your thesis when you can state it without repeatedly contradicting yourself. And when you exit your house through the third story window rather than the front door. Until then, my conclusion is this is nothing more than a bunch of sophistry that you yourself do not honestly believe.
Are there any observable things that act or exist without underlying causes?
I don’t think Hume’s definition of causality makes sense, and Stenger’s model for universes is just absolutely debunked in Collins 12
This is an interesting post. I think Hume called it “consistent conjunction” to express this idea that just because you saw wood burn 10,000 times before does not mean it will again (although it would give you good reason to expect that might be the case).
Our sensory apparatus is limited. That’s why in a complex world where we see only some aspects and elements, multiple causes/explanation could explain many observations.
However, due to the reality of non-contradiction we know for certain causality exists. The alternative is nonsense. Consider this: a red point appears in front of you. Could it have been created by itself. It would need to simultaneously exist and not-exist at the same time. So no. Could nothing have made it be? Nothing has no power to produce something, so it is impossible as well. Could it have always existed? Something that always exists must be infinitely self-sustaining, or else it would need a cause to give it existence. We observe that the red point is limited. Something that has boundaries to its very being cannot have an unlimited amount of power.
The only remaining possibility is that something other that the red point caused it to be, defining its boundaries, and sustains its continued existence.
if the universe just is, what is the objection in positing a god behind the universe and god just is? arent the theist and non theist both stuck in trying to end the regress? one just posits one more step behind the other. a theist holding the belief in god is not necessarily gonna be convince to believe the other way if the nonbeliever is merely positing the universe as is.
Comments are closed.