In Search of Causal Relationships

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm hoping for some help finding an alternative forum for this search. As a non-physicist pathologically curious about admittedly philosophical questions regarding physical concepts, I often come to PF for clarification of ideas that I'm chasing. Unfortunately, these ideas almost always boil down to a search for causal relationships. Even more unfortunate is my conclusion that causation is ultimately a metaphysical topic and not one that is appropriate for an academic forum such as PF. While this disappoints me, I fully understand the conflict with the PF mission.
Metaphysical discussions, by their very nature, often involve ideas or arguments that are "not even wrong"... not in the typical derogatory since of the phrase, but simply meaning that the idea is not testable because it makes no testable predictions. This is really not avoidable. Yet, the discussion of these concepts can also involve ideas that are simply "wrong"... meaning scientifically inaccurate. The learned PF moderators, that so generously give their time and attention, have frequently helped me in the past when I stumble over one of these "wrong" ideas. My hope is that an alternative quasi-academic web forum exists that provides similar scientifically authoritative "oversight", but still allows for the pursuit of admittedly metaphysical discussion.
Is anyone aware of such a forum that isn't just a site for those spewing "new age" or "religiously biased" silliness? I'd very much appreciate any guidance in this regard.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
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Good luck finding such. I can't say for sure but my belief is that the lack of rigor on such sites ALWAYS leads to their being what amounts to surrogates for Deepak Chopra and his moronic ilk. The lack of this kind of nonsense is one of the major advantages of PF, although it certainly does, as you are well aware, disallow some possibly interesting discussions.
 
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You seem to be one of those people (like me) who continuously asks "why" to the point of annoyance to those who are doing practical work. Yet, I think it is going to take thinking like that in order to answer the questions of the ultimate nature of reality that will give us a theory of everything. When we ask ourselves why this math is so necessary to the description of reality, some of us find ourselves gravitating towards the very nature of math and reality. What concepts can be so fundamental as to form a basis for both math and existence. Both seem to require logic to understand. Statements of math are either true or false. And things in reality either exist or not. So this leads some to ask what logic ultimately describes reality.
 
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Yes, that's the sort of discussion is like to pursue with like minded participants, and yet still have the advantage having the "scientific" validity of the discussion enforced to the degree that "false" arguments will be corrected accordingly. If I propose an idea that is patently "wrong", I'd very much appreciate it if a more knowledgable authority would stop me in my tracks and call me out on that. That's the whole point of the discussion to begin with.
Despite this, I fully recognize that PF is not the appropriate site for that discussion. I'm also under no delusions that an ultimate consensus regarding the nature of "reality" will be obtained through this type of discussion. Yet, I sincerely believe that conversations of this sort are not simply intellectual masturbation, but can help establish "big picture" direction for actual scientific research.
 
  • #5
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Good luck finding such. I can't say for sure but my belief is that the lack of rigor on such sites ALWAYS leads to their being what amounts to surrogates for Deepak Chopra and his moronic ilk. The lack of this kind of nonsense is one of the major advantages of PF, although it certainly does, as you are well aware, disallow some possibly interesting discussions.
Phinds has pretty much summed things up. It would be nice if the site that you're looking for existed, but as far as anyone knows, it does not. We do know, having tried it, that Physics Forums cannot be that site.
 

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