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Thread: Reasons and Causes

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    tWebber
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    Reasons and Causes

    Are reasons the same as causes? Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because I don't want to wake up my wife. Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because the wind blows it shut. Are they really the same thing? Physics can study the second case but can it study the first? Reductionists might say that ultimately both scenarios reduce to the same kind of explanation, even though the first explanation is much more complex and sophisticated and involves neuro-chemistry, but can it ultimately be explained in the same way? I tend to say "No" but I'm eager to hear the other side.

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Reason and cause can be the same thing but are not necessarily the same thing.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Are reasons the same as causes? Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because I don't want to wake up my wife. Let's say the door to my bedroom closes because the wind blows it shut. Are they really the same thing? Physics can study the second case but can it study the first? Reductionists might say that ultimately both scenarios reduce to the same kind of explanation, even though the first explanation is much more complex and sophisticated and involves neuro-chemistry, but can it ultimately be explained in the same way? I tend to say "No" but I'm eager to hear the other side.
    Causes have reasons that result in the cause and effect outcome. Reasons(?) by themselves may apart of reasoning which do not necessarily have a cause and effect outcome.

    I think . . .
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Causes have reasons that result in the cause and effect outcome. Reasons(?) by themselves may apart of reasoning which do not necessarily have a cause and effect outcome.

    I think . . .
    I was about to say that exact same thing.

    I think
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    It kinda depends on what point with which you begin:

    The rack broke because the cue ball hit it. Starting from there, reason and cause are the same.
    The rack broke because Bob started playing pool. Now reason and cause are separate.

    I hit him because he is annoying. Reason and cause are the same.
    He has a bruise because he annoyed me. Reason and cause are now different.

    I don't think this would necessarily apply to direct causality.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teallaura View Post
    It kinda depends on what point with which you begin:

    The rack broke because the cue ball hit it. Starting from there, reason and cause are the same.
    The rack broke because Bob started playing pool. Now reason and cause are separate.

    I hit him because he is annoying. Reason and cause are the same.
    He has a bruise because he annoyed me. Reason and cause are now different.

    I don't think this would necessarily apply to direct causality.
    Maybe the same chain of cause and effect events from different perspectives.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Maybe the same chain of cause and effect events from different perspectives.
    Yep - but that's also how we normally view them. If we are talking direct causality, I think reason and cause would rarely coincide as the same thing - but I can't rule it out. And arguably, the reason sets cause in motion...

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teallaura View Post
    Yep - but that's also how we normally view them. If we are talking direct causality, I think reason and cause would rarely coincide as the same thing - but I can't rule it out. And arguably, the reason sets cause in motion...
    If you take this argument to a philosophical conclusion (Which has its limits in logic based on the premises) the Theist may argue for a first cause, ie God. The atheist or other materialist may argue simply that the eternal Laws of Nature are the reason and there is no first cause.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  9. Amen Teallaura amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    If you take this argument to a philosophical conclusion (Which has its limits in logic based on the premises) the Theist may argue for a first cause, ie God. The atheist or other materialist may argue simply that the eternal Laws of Nature are the reason and there is no first cause.
    No, it would not - you still have a singularity appearing from nothing. The case itself wouldn't support this conclusion - neither does physics. If anything, it makes it worse - why would a singularity be there at all? (Needing now both cause and reason).

    And as I said, this may not occur at all in direct causality - which also eliminates this possibility.

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    Then there Hume:

    Hume argues that assumptions of cause and effect between two events are not necessarily real or true. It is possible to deny causal connections without contradiction because causal connections are assumptions not subject to reason.

    We cannot justify our assumptions about the future based on past experience unless there is a law that the future will always resemble the past. No such law exists. We can deny the relationship without contradiction and we cannot justify it with experience.

    Therefore, we have no rational support for believing in causation. Hume suggests that our assumptions are based on habit, not reason, and that, ultimately, our assumptions about matters of fact are based in probability. If experience teaches us that two events occur together repeatedly, we will assume a link between them. So, Hume explains, we must be able to reduce all meaningful concepts to the simple impressions on which they are built. Since no simple impression of causation or necessary connection exists, these concepts might appear meaningless. Rather than dismiss these assumed connections entirely, however, Hume acknowledges their usefulness and limits them to being nothing more than simple observations of repeated conjunction between two events.

    https://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/hume/section4/
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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