The maker of causes

The idea that truth will free us from contradiction owes to our belief in logic as a basis for assessing the facts.  Logic has shown us a universe where up cannot be down, curved cannot be straight, one cannot be two, right cannot be wrong, facts cannot be fictions, after cannot come before etc.

However, more relativistic realisations lead us to understand that things are not necessarily either/ or – that a fact may be both one thing and another: uniform and diverse, clear and fuzzy, fixed and fluid, true and false, explicable and inexplicable – and that there are ways of understanding facts that defy the language by which we try to present our explanations as logically consistent.

Indeed our pride in being logical may actually be a source of ignorance.  For instance, if we are to understand the origins of the universe we may need to rethink the logic of causality, which errs towards the embroidery of our observations of change – as if the nature of the cause explains the nature of possibility, as if the cause equates to the ensuing difference, as if nature and possibility are explicable in terms of things as they were – as if it is the possibility of change that is ‘caused’ when that possibility is, in fact, the maker of causes.  Then, when the gaps in explanation gape and all else fails, we say the cause is chance, as if chance might be sufficient to explain the origin of everything, including the nature of possibility – including the possibility for chance to exist.

Likewise, no ‘cause of life’ has proved sufficient to explain the change that comes about, because whenever the change is attributed to pre-existing causes, it leaves unexplained a difference that cannot be found in things as they were – in the entirety of those unliving causes.

Mike Laidler

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