THE EXISTENTIAL IMPERATIVE - JUD EVANS - LIBRARY OF PHILOSOPHY



 
THE EXISTENTIAL IMPERATIVE
Jud Evans. May 2006
 The University of Central Lancashire England

Eliminative Determinism is a new theory of causation. It is based upon principles of parsimony and simplicity. It is a natural corollary of the theory of eliminative materialism and its challenge to folk psychology.

ELIMINATIVE DETERMINISTIC THEORY INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING PROPOSITIONS
(1)  'Cause, causality, and  effects', are mythic human abstractions - only causal objects exist.
(2) Humans,  non-humans  and  every  sentient  and non-sentient  entity  is  a   causal object.
(3) Individual  human accountability as a causal-nexus  is an  anthropocentric  useful - fiction.
(4) Catenulate culmination  prescribes the   existential modality of all existent  causal objects.
(5)  Human causal objects are  subject  to  the physical  provisions of  antecedal catenulation. 

It may be deemed useful at the outset to provide some definition of what is meant by the term

THE EXISTENTIAL IMPERATIVE

ENQUIRY ONE:

The BIG question is HOW? What is it in 'nature' that drives 'change?' I offer as an suggestion [rather than an answer] that such is the immensity and complexity of the cosmos; such is the universal ubiquity of modal change, and such is the homogeny between 'change' and 'cause,' and 'causal objects' all of which is governed by THE EXISTENTIAL IMPERATIVE (or 'Nature' if you prefer) which peremptorily determines that 'to exist' is analogous 'to change and to cause change.’ In other words if objects could not or did not change - they could not and would not exist.

ENQUIRY TWO:

It seems to me that [apart from the religious and the transcendentally minded] not many people would argue against the proposition that nothing could exist unless it was capable of change? So let's proceed to the next problem.

This is the old hoary question - most well known from the Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger:

'Why is there something rather than nothing?'

It seems to me that the obvious answer is - 'Because there is no such thing as 'nothing' - 'nothing' could not exist in place of something.'

For me the 'is' in the sentence: 'Why 'is' there something rather than nothing?' applies to the 'nothing' in exactly the same way that it applies to the 'something.' For the mechanisms of the 'BE-word' see: Here

Compare: 'Why is there a banana rather than an orange?'

Compare: 'Why is there a banana rather than no banana?'

Compare: 'Why is there no banana rather than no orange?'

Compare: 'Why is there nothing rather than no nothing?'

Compare: 'Only non-changing causal objects cannot exist.'

For me then as now the answer to this questions [even when I was a child] seemed so obvious, that when I first came across the question being asked in a book by a famous philosopher I couldn't believe my eyes! - I was utterly astonished! For me - 'Nothingness' is not a viable possibility. The general idea is that the expression "There is nothing" fails to express a genuine claim unless something more is added that completes it but that any such completion leaves us with causal objects.

Now I know that the above does not provide an 'empirically proven alternative' to the 'God' and the 'Big Bang' suggestions, but it is supportive of Bertrand Russell's notion
(and Richard Sansom's insights if we are all indeed correct) where Russell opines that

'We may find ourselves compelled to admit that quantum transitions and radioactive disintegrations in single atoms have no invariable antecedents; although they are causes, they are not effects, and there is no class of immediate antecedents which can be regarded as their causes.'

Which is in effect what I am suggesting in my language of Eliminative Determinism.

In plain language, as I see it, the implications of what both Bertrand Russell, Richard Sansom and I are saying is:

'Only changing objects can exist.' or 'Only existing objects can change.'

'But wait! How can we explain why intelligent people, and clever philosophers in particular, have thought otherwise? Answer - I doubt that we ever can - it is inexplicable.

If we attempt to 'bring about a state of 'nothing' what happens? Let us try deducting one or more things from my house. Thus, I can get rid of this desk before me, by throwing it out of the window, this computer, this bookcase, and so on. If I carried on long enough there would be nothing but me in the house [the furniture would be 'taking up space' in the garden) and the state resulting is supposedly one where there is literally nothing. Not so, What remains is a house full of oxygen gas which has rushed in to fill the entiatic gaps. And in outer space? How 'off earth' do you 'get rid of something in outer space - you just cannot - you can explode it but the disparate bits of debris will amount to the same amount of material you started off with.

So the answer to people when then ask you...

'Why there is something rather that nothing?'

... is to answer - 'Because there is no physical or ontological alternative, and if there WAS - then you wouldn't be there to ask the question!'

That is what I mean when I refer to the Existential Imperative.

I find this most interesting in that it has the seeds of a notion that the so-called Prime Mover dummy could be shot down in one clay-pigeon shoot thereby saving ammunition?

This would free-up the deterministic idea that 'matter' has always been 'in existence,' and the cosmos is infinite. If Bertrand Russell is correct in his intuition [and I agree that at this stage that they CAN only be intuition] and there is no class of immediate antecedents which can be regarded as the originators of certain causal atoms causes - then it seems to follow that a dreaming up of a 'first cause' as in the case of religion - and the metaphysicalist cosmologists who promote a 'first cause' as in the Big Bang theory as prerequisites for entitic presence arducing redundancies?



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