Sivad wrote:Well there's something metaphysically prior to everything until you get to a necessary something which has the reason for its existence within itself and couldn't not exist or be anything other than what it is. When you start contemplating what kind of thing might a necessary something be that's prior to all contingent things you wind up at the God of the philosophers.
I think Sivad's point here is about God being self caused (casua sui) takes things a step above the question of First cause in a linear causality. Because causality can only explain things up to a point and is why things end up at a brick wall where the infinite regress meets a point where it seems impossible.
So instead, something must somehow be it's own cause.
Hegel showed that causality is extremely limited in its explanatory capacity, because the invocation of causation leads to an infinite regress. Efficient causes are always of interest, but a phenomenon is only understood when it is grasped as a cause of itself (a causa sui), that is, the relevant process is seen to create and recreate the conditions for its own existence. But even then, explanation often takes the form of Reciprocity of cause and effect. Hegel (1831) grants that “to make the manners of the Spartans the cause of their constitution and their constitution conversely the cause of their manners, may no doubt be in a way correct,” but still explains nothing. But Reciprocity is as far as Causality can go. The understanding of a process as a cause sui means grasping it as a concept and usually incorporates an investigation of its origins and development.
To which some of the myths about the origins of the universe adopt a view in which there is no true beginning.
I call the "no-beginning" myths those without a single beginning of time. Within those, there are two possibilities: an eternal cosmos, without beginning and end; and a cyclic cosmos, where the cosmos is created and destroyed in cycles that repeat throughout eternity, with no moment of creation more important than any other one. The Jains of India espoused the eternal cosmos, while the Hindus espoused cycles of creation beautifully represented in the dance of Shiva.
Even in the cyclical process there is a kind of active intervention of some kind.
One could say that this text expresses archaic, premodern contents wrapped in the language of classic philosophy, science, and dialectical materialism. The indicator of this mythic content is, especially, the theme of heroic self-sacrifice and “global fire,” a familiar Promethean motif. When I sent this text to Boris Groys, he offered a much more radical reading of its paganism, calling “Cosmology” “a revival of the Aztec religion” of Quetzalcoatl, who “sets himself on fire to reverse the entropic process.”
It seems that whatever it is, it must be supernatural and beyond the physics and reason of our reality, it is beyond it somehow.
I guess those without a beginning are simply unsatisfying to the causal outlook with a necessary beginning.
- Andy Blunden