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Does the absurd exist?

  1. Jul 23, 2003 #1
    Does the absurd exist?

    All things known to exist, exist as natural phenomena, and exist in causal connection with everything else. Outside of that, any postulated existence can be attributed as absurd, and can not be claimed to exist.

    Let us explore this some further. What can we in fact know, and how can we know things? Firstly, the things we know in first instance are the things we can perceive through our own, or artificial senses.
    This thus means that there must be a causal connection between the thing we observe, and the observer, else the observation can not take place. But there are things, we can not directly observe. Are they therefore inexistent? No, not necessarily. We can know about things also through indirect observation. We can for example postulate the existence of astronomic objects which are not directly detected, due to the influence this objects has on other, observable objects. Depending on the trustworthiness of the indirect observation and the causal connection assumed in that case, requiring the existence of that object, it can be said that that postulated objects exists.

    The world of things that can be known to exist, therefore are limited to the fact that either they can be observed directly, or indirectly. This will limit concrete knowledge.

    Apart from the knowable world, in theoretical debates, a lot of things outside of that domain can be postulated to exist.
    One class of things that can be distinhuished of things that could in principle exist, is the class of speculated objects/things. These are objects or things that are not known (either through direct observation or indirect observation) at the time, but might exists, and are in theory knowable to exist (through either direct or indirect observation).

    A specific class of objects or things, is defined in such a way that even in theory, this thing or object can not become part of the world of knowable things.

    We shall name this class of objects and things: the absurd.

    Objects and things that belong to the absurd can for instance be the defined actors outside of matter, space and time, which by definition are things that can not even in theory have causal connection with anything else that is known to exist, which makes their existence not even speculative, but absurd, since it is by definition unknowable.

    The objects and things that belong to the absurd are therefore declared as inexisting.

    Formal reasoning:

    • [1] Absurd things don't exist
      [2] God is absurd
      [3] Therefore: God does not exist

    Note however that even though the absurd misses real existence, this does not withdraw any mind for nevertheless postulating their existence, writing about it, etc. Even though (or perhaps: precisely because!) the absurd misses real existence, they are a great source for storytellers, comic writers, and movie makers. In this way, it can be said that the absurd has a secondary form of existence: that of the mind. So, don't be surprised that even when Gods belonging to the absurd don't exist, still a lot of stories and tales are told over and over again.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2003 #2
    Oh pleeeeease. If you are going to try and use logical reasoning to prove the non-existence of God you are going to have to do a lot better than that. You say that we know what we can perceive. Ok we see a world, we see people, what caused them? Answer: God.
  4. Jul 23, 2003 #3
    What caused God? Answer: absurdity.

    Heusdens just can't get past the "Change is the only constant" thing. Some people just demand a coherent answer for everything, whether one exists or not! :wink: :wink: [?]
  5. Jul 23, 2003 #4
    Sure you got absurdity. 2+2=5 is pure absurdity. The formula still exist though, it's right there.
  6. Jul 23, 2003 #5
    I am real. I exist.

    I have knowledge of and perceive of the absurd whether it be God or dreams or imagination or pure fantacy.

    These absurd perceptions have an effect and affect on me. I mentally and physically respond.

    I am effected by the absurd. this effect can be measured, perceived, directly or indirectly; therefore, the aburd exists and is real.

    I don't buy this for a minute but it is consistent with your logic.

    If your logic is faultless and your conclusions are aburd, impossible, examine your premise.
  7. Jul 23, 2003 #6
    Judging from this thread, yes.
  8. Jul 23, 2003 #7
    Ok. So let us dig into this "logic" of you.

    There are two statements in your argument.

    p = God exists

    q = A world in which we live and which we observe, exists

    Your formal argument is then:

    p -> q ( p implies q )

    We know that q is true. But does that necessarily mean that p is true?

    In fact, the conclusion you make only makes sense, if also the negative would be true:

    ~p -> ~q ( not p implies not q )

    But..... the statement ~q ( the non existence of the world ) can not ever be true (that is: q can not be false, ever!) Besides the fact that a "nothing" can by definition not exist, if we are not there, there is noone to verify the "truth" of that statement.

    So, the fact shows up that q can not possible be false.
    What then about p? Well we can insert whatever we want for p, as long as it is not known to be false.

    So, I could for example state: A Big Onion created the universe.
    Since we don't know what exactly caused the observable universe to be what it is now, and can not trace down about what was before a certain point in time, we can not state to know that this Big Onion did not exist then, and did not cause the universe.
  9. Jul 23, 2003 #8

    I see no contradiction with my claims in my first post.

    You just have to make the distinction between existence in the mind, and outside of it.

    Do in nature ducks exist that can talk? No, they don't.
    Does Donald Duck exists as a comic figure? Yes, certainly does.
  10. Jul 23, 2003 #9
    However the statement ~q is logically valid and so to is the
    statement ~p -> ~q and follows if no God; no World.

    As you show ~q is obviously false there ~p is obviouly false.
    You have by your logic just logically proved that God exists and the statement that God does not exist is absurd as proved by the fact that the world does indeed exist as we on it do


  11. Jul 24, 2003 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    Why does God need a cause?
  12. Jul 24, 2003 #11
    Good points, if not taken as absolute.

    good example. First conclusion depends on finding single contrary example. Can you claim that within 30B lightyears radius there definitely exists not a single duck that can talk? :wink: (next you can say definition of duck constrains its brain capacity so that talking duck isn't duck).
    Second example shows how absurd becomes natural :wink:

    When unknown becomes known, absurd is observed to exist, and absurd becomes logical

    So, the only answer to question "Does the absurd exist?" is "it is not known until observed."

    But that is not really deep enough. Anything we could classify falls into class that CAN be talked about. Given that our language and imagination is constrained by all that we know, there is a good chance for possibility that there might exist something we can't comprehend, describe, define, talk or even think about, perhaps not even notice. It is tempting to say it does not exist. But if it does, it can't care less about what we say or can comprehend.
  13. Jul 24, 2003 #12
    You are wrong. First of, the example of a natural duck that can talk, if you extend nature to all of material existence, and find a way of talking about ducks in general as a kind of animal that lays eggs, lives in/on the water, is a bird that can fly, etc, I would agree with you that in theory such an organism could exist, and could talk.
    We merely would have to assume that like the primates developed into human beings, on a hypothetical other planet it were ducks that developed into consciouss beings that developed speech.

    So, the existence of a talking duck ain't absurd, but speculative.
    It could in theory exist.

    In theory, anything could exist, but to exist would at least include that it could interact with known material forms.

    Suppose we would postulate the possibility of a new form of matter, in the form of h-particles. h-particles (h from hypothetical) were defined as residing in the same spacetime as normal matter, but with no interaction with normal matter whatsoever.

    This would mean: even in theory the existence of h-particles would be indectable.

    Now, does this h-particles exists, yes or no?
    Is it speculative or is it absurd?
  14. Jul 24, 2003 #13

    Anything of which we could not know that it was false, could be put as p.

    So, it would also proof then that a Big Onion created the world, a Big Pink Elephant, and all other kind of things which have not been proved NOT to exist, could form same wise the 'cause' of the universe. Now which is it? God, the Big Onion, the Big Pink Elephant?

    The fact that q can not possible be false, means only one thing: that it did not depend on God for it to exist!

    So the fact that the world does indeed exists, and can not possibly not exist is a fact which is not in any way dependend on anything else. No Big Onion, Big Pink Elephant or God to account for it.
  15. Jul 24, 2003 #14
    Why does causality need God?
  16. Jul 25, 2003 #15
    The Pink Elephant, The Big Onion, and God all exist. they are not physical, but mental, and who is to say that mental existince doesn't count. All three, elephant onion and god are now effecting the physical world in that as the evidence to prove or disprove anyone's theory, they have affected the thought of indiviuals reading this thread, and consequently, mantain a casual connection with that person's mind and thought. If the thoughts became widespread, then as in an other thread, our thoughts might dictate what we see, and perhaps we would see giant onions or pink elephants. All that we have today exists only because it was a thought before.
  17. Jul 25, 2003 #16
    Thats because 'in theory' defines 'exist' by requirement to interact with 'known to theory' forms. It accepts phenomena as existing only if it has been included into theory. How about unknown forms?

    You know how hard it is to detect a neutrino? Suppose h-particle together with h-like g-particle can form n-particle that can interact with matter. Does h-particle exist now? Suppose h-particle interacts with earth matter once in a million years. Would we notice? Would we claim it doesn't exist? Suppose it interacts with neutrino in some weird conditions not found on earth. What do we have to say about such particle? Based on our theories, it does not exist. Is that a final conclusion? Such particle isn't needed for our theory, it doesn't exist within our theory, but this doesn't mean it is impossible in reality.

    Extrapolate, and assume that there might exist alot more than what we possibly can become aware of on earth. I'm not first one to say that reality is alot more bizarre than we could ever possibly imagine. Reality isn't limited by our theories. Our theories are limited by our imagination and what we can interact with.

    Take particles that do not interact in a causal connection, but still do interact. What can we say about them? wow, and we apply probability waves, that allow us to find same particle on either side of universe.. Isnt that absurd brought into existence?

    p = Man exists
    q = Baked bread we eat, exists
    argument: p->q
    ~p ->~q No man, no bread.
    but q!
    You proove that baked bread did not depend on Man to exist, because it does exist and we can't imagine life without sliced bread.

    You seem desperately trying to proove yourself that god doesn't exist. No need for that. Like h-particle, you don't need it for your theory, its too limited to include god anyway. Better realise that there are limits to comprehension, and that those limits are ours not reality's.

    Think more about instant separating nonexistence and existence. Consider logic nonexistent aswell.
  18. Jul 25, 2003 #17

    Oh, that name would also be good.

    You showed that the h-particle can make its objective existence clear, although not direclty, but indirectly.
    So it would not be completely unknowable then.
    Hence: not absurd.

    But do you consider theories that are about 'acausal' existence in principle acceptable?

    Well, this position is already taken as an interpretation of quantum mechanics. It is an interpretation that says that even in principle the behaviour of the quantum events is unknowable, and can only be approximated with statistics.

    I go from the point of view that causality exists as an overall feature and all including feauture of reality. One of THE most basic features of reality.
    A quantum event is indeterministic to US, because we have no practical way to determine the system. The system itself is however determinate. Since we don't know the hidden parameters, we approx. with quantum mechanics.

    Both man and baked bread can be non-existing.

    I don't think the dinosaur ate baked bread.

    So, this is not the same case.

    But I think that you have a point in that my logic is not absolutely waterproof.

    The point about my previous argument is of course, that we would need to have the world to have primary existence of it's own. That would mean, without the world to exists, there would be nothing, which is however impossible, since that would not account for there being something now, because from nothing comes nothing.

    Thereby it (the primary substance of the world) would not be dependend on anything else.

    What instant are you referring to? Existence of what? That of matter or that of consciousness?

    Logic nonexistent? Non-existence can not be, therefore existence must be?
  19. Jul 25, 2003 #18
    Yes, but notice the catch - we can ever detect only n-particle. Our 'theory' knows only it, assigns it some mystical property, and thats it. To even talk about h-particle, we must assume that it could exist without any chance for us to even detect it. In frame of your definition, it is extremely difficult to justify introduction of such particle. Basically, you must accept existence of something you can never detect. It is absurd until you are happy with introducing it into your theory, after that act, it becomes logical. But, as you can not confirm it, you are left with many possible h-like particles that could all fit into your theory, and you'll be unable to know which of the zoo is actually real. You can't even know if any of them is real. You're detached from it, and you simply can't know.
    You have to believe in one or another.

    yes. I'm unable to discard that possibility.

    nonzero probability of finding same particle anywhere over the universe at any time is very bold statistics to be viewed as causal. What can I say, there exists nonzero probabilty that g-like god exists anywhere in universe at any time with property of being never detectable directly, but only as a result of clash with h-like hell particle that results in n-like existence we can detect...

    yes, but if you can imagine non-existing bread, why can't you imagine non-existing anything?

    I guess we've been there. Your deepest belief is that there is no place for acausal in this universe. I can't discard this possibility, so your reasoning looks closedminded to me. You assume many things here: that not single event can be acausal, that single acausal event would exclude causality completely, that you can apply logic to non-existence, that logic exists even if nothing else exists, that everything always existed and that this needs no 'reason' aka cause to be questioned.

    Let it go for a while, and think what if it all had beginning, logic, matter, universe, all the fish. Then there would be an instant that separates nonexistence and existence. Whatever you think of, matter, logic, conciousness. Discarding this possiblity just because today everything seems so causal might be unwarranted.
  20. Jul 25, 2003 #19

    In fact, isn't this (assumably) precisely the situation that occurs when we see those quantum random events? We see something occur (like virtual particles) but don't see a cause. Maybe there is a cause for it, but it is undetectable (as of yet).

    How does that feel? Don't you think the universe, all of existence somehow must make sense?

    I feel myself rather uncomfortable with the idea.

    Is 'acausality' in fact knowable? I mean there is an important difference between 1. not knowing the causes for an event and 2. knowing that it has no causes.
    How can you rule out possibility 1. ever?

    Why do you think so?

    Look at it like this. We have some complex system, which we observe, and everything makes perfectt sence. It is completely acausal.
    But then, doe tho the scale on which we want to observe, the information content of what we observe, is gradually lowered.
    And as it is lowered to such an extent that we don't see the acausal connections any more, we might think the system is acausal in nature.
    But it isn't. It is just that we don't get every information from observing the system.

    I do think, it works that way. No need to see some mystery. Only acknowledging the fact that we see we very small portion of all events, and don't see the causal connections any more.

    What would I need to imagine to not exist?

    My argument against acausal would be that if the universe would be acausal, then it would be in that way fundamentaly, and which makes all of the notions of causality, a mere coincidence.
    The law of gravity, everything fits perfect in place, but it is just a coincidence.
    Please dig into this some more, you can of course argue FOR acausality, but then you can not at the same time maintain causality.
    It would all be a mere coincidence.

    That is why I oppose acausality. The world could not be what it is now, when the universe would be acausal.

    About this issue (why is there something, instead of nothing), see my thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3703"

    It seems that the current paradigm shifts to that viewpoint (a begin of matter, space and time).
    But to me it is still unthinkable, and I think the paradigm might shift again to theories that say something meaningfull about the causes of the Big Bang.

    And most of all: I don't think that there is any physcis / cosmology theory that states in the absolute sense that the Big Bang denotes the begin of time. It is a popular belief, but not based on what the actual theory states.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  21. Jul 25, 2003 #20
    perfectly maybe. And when someone comes up with absurd idea, it well maybe have a 'place' in some theory..

    I don't. I just don't rule out 2. either.
    How I feel? I feel that universe can't be exclusively causal OR acausal. I feel it must be partly both. And it is more comfortable than knowing that everything is predetermined or is nuthouse. Macro objects definitely fully obey causality. They are complex, result of recuring relationships. But some fundamental stuff, the cause of it all, itself has hard times to be explained causally. Laws, relationships, constants, they just exist. What cause can you find to their existence?
    Do you feel like existence somehow makes sense? :wink:

    I don't think so. Just there exists nonzero probability..
    Though, you almost agree that there might exist particles that interact with us only indirectly. But why stop here? Why not allow for there to be whole world of particle beyond what we can detect? Complex world, interacting with itself, perhaps even concious. What would you say if 'h-like' particles together forms complex intelligent being, that happens to be the cause for matter and all laws in our universe? That is not mystery. What is mystery, is where the hell from did these particles come from?


    No. There is no black&white in this world. It is full of dualities, opposites, causal/acausal is no exception by me. They have equal rights in this world. I don't accept either option as exclusive. World is more like sum of all possibilities.

    why? Say that laws of nature are here in the end acausally. But once appeared, they rule, and create causality. The only coincidence is that the laws happened to be such that allowed us to be here. Better pray that this wasn't a plan. :wink:

    Thats not important. Possibility exists. Either case is weird anyway.
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