Locke wrote:Hello David,
While true that I can't ignore the causal relationship of objects within this universe I believe that there is inherent randomness in the system that can't be predicted. The proponents of Determinism seem to ignore this. An example being star light that travels through interstellar gas. The light is on a set path when it leaves the star; but, when the photons encounter, lets say, a hydrogen atom. Specific photons are absorbed by the electrons around said atoms. When that quanta of energy is emitted back as a new photon it now travels in a random path that is not predictable. This of course diffuses the light and gives us spectral lines to read.
What makes you think that the new photon has been uncaused?
Predictability and determinism aren't synonymous terms. The fact that a particular event isn't predictable doesn't automatically mean that it is uncaused. We can't predict what number a rolled dice will show, for example, yet causality still governs its every movement.
Everything that you describe above is causal in nature, including the fact that we are (currently) unable to predict the new photon's movements. What you call "inherent randomness" is simply a region of causality that we have trouble modelling or measuring, for whatever reason.
Locke wrote:Moreover, far from being "self-limiting", the recognition that causality drives utterly everything, including all aspects of our own behaviour, is incredibly liberating. For through it we can open ourselves to our infinite nature, which is the most amazing thing that a human can ever do.
I say " self-limiting" because while browsing the boards; causality seems to have become a catch all answer. This seems to have limited discourse.
They may well be some truth to that. But I would say it is more often limited by those who lack the courage and conviction of mind to grasp what is a perfectly straightforward truth (albeit a profound and lethal one). They are the ones who keep bringing up blatantly irrational objections to a matter they are deeply afraid of, thus keeping the conversations stagnating in this area.
I would like to see a time when the human race fully understands and accepts the truth of causality, and yes, has moved on.
You mention that this is liberating. Do you have an example of your constrained thought compared to your liberated thought?
Thoughts can be constrained by any number of things - fears, worries, attachments, biases, mental blocks, immaturity, habit, social pressure, pain, ignorance, etc. An obvious example is the fundamentalist Christian who constrains his understanding of science in order to preserve his attachment to his irrational belief-system.
Conversely, the less attachment and fear a person has, the more free his thoughts will become. Fewer and fewer areas of his mind will be "off-limits". Fewer and fewer distortions will affect his thinking. Fewer and fewer anxiety-driven mistakes will be made.
In other words, immersing oneself in causality is liberating in many different ways - intellectually, psychologically, emotionally, existentially, philosophically, spiritually. Sadly, not physically or financially, though. :)
I'm not sure what you mean by man's " infinite nature." Could you elaborate on that a bit?
It is what we are - beginningless and endless, beyond life and death, formless, utterly free.
Was our nature around before man evolved? Or even before this solar system came into being? Or, is it infinite from this point forward? Or, possibly when you said "our" did you mean the universe's nature?
Same thing, at bottom. The universe's nature is identical to our nature. Being beyond life and death, it has always been around, and will always be so.
Sorry for the rapid fire questions but I am truly interested in the appeal of this line of thought.