The Issue at Hand

How did our universe arise?

From the Big Bang, one might reply. Or from a multiverse, one could theorize. Or from the action of a First Cause, often identified with a God, or a particular God.  https://spboasia88.xn--6frz82g/

Where did those causes arise, you press on.

The Big Bang emerged from nothing, one might reply. Or the multiverse never emerged, but rather has eternally replicated with no beginning in time. Or the First Cause needs no explanation, as the First Cause created itself.

We could press on, such as how can something emerge from nothing.

At this point, let’s step back. Let’s step back from the question of how did our universe, our actuality, how did that arise. Rather, let’s ask whether the logic we use, the rationales with which we attempt to answer the question, whether those are sufficient to the task.

We can use logic to deduce the chances in Blackjack, or figure out why the light in the bedroom doesn’t go on, or more globally engineer the great infrastructures which underlie our modern societies.

Can we use logic, however, to discern the greater question of the origins of our actuality, to understand that which caused our fundamental existence?

Let’s offer an answer to this greater question, then look at some possible issues with that answer, and finally work to draw some conclusion.

An answer

If our issue centers on the sufficiency of logic, where does logic come from? Let’s start with the proposition that logic emerges from the existence in which we find ourselves. We observe our world, and record through our senses and our instruments, the actuality around us. Then with our intellect we fit our observations into patterns and rules and create logic to formalize and validate the rules.

Take circles. The logic of circles emerges from the presence of circles in our actuality. Certainly we have extended logic of actual circles into esoteric realms of analytic geometry, topography, manifolds, Hilbert spaces and beyond. But the logic, math and science that built those realms remain grounded in the core attributes of actuality.

In short then, in this view, our logic emerges from, and remains connected to, our existence.

But what question lies before us? What do we seek to answer? Existence itself. The how and why of existence, or in other words what came before or outside of or around or at the genesis of existence.

I have just offered, though, that the origin of our logic is our existence. Our question, though, asks what enabled existence. If we bring logic to bear on the enabler of existence, we ask, in effect, that logic discern and elucidate that from which logic itself came, to turn back on itself and explain itself.

That descents into circularity. Existence explains logic, and now we ask logic to explain existence. In other words, A explains B, but now we want B to explain A.

Take causality. Causality underlies in essence our basic ability to live. That water grows food, and lumber supports structures, and electricity operates machines and lights, in short that nature follows a highly predictable pattern, reliably, permits life. That our core existence relies on causality gives rise to the logic of implication, in other words, that if A, then B.

Now step outside our actuality. Does causality still apply? We might answer of course it does, causality lies at the core of everything. But we have just accepted, for this line of argument, that logic emerges from within existence. When we step outside our actuality, what status does causality have? By the line of thought here, that our logic applies only within the bounds of where it emerged, we cannot make any definitive statement on the applicability of causality to the origin of existence. Or for that matter about the applicability of any element of logic.

Questions That Arise

By yanam49

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