1. ## Ti question. Causality

this might count as philosophy right? Maybe not all my nonsense is relegated to anything goes.

I labeled this a Ti question because I don't want to be yammered at about common sense. Give me the beef.

I'm rewatching dark (in season 1, don't spoil anything!)
And it's raising questions in my mind about time.
The chain of cause and effect occurs in a sequence that occurs in the order of past>present>future and cannot happen in a different way ie present>past (lying in textbooks doesn't really count)
Is there some logical formula that proves this to be true? Is there proof? Or is it just taken for granted?

Please excuse any ignorance on my part and aim for a substantial+plain English response. Thank u

2. There can't be no logical formula that proves it because time is a concept, it doesn't have to be linear. It depends where you look at it.

3. If there exists an objective law that can be absolutely proven [and such things can only be found in math textbooks usually - as reality is based on its own axioms and we have no clue about those, science being only a crude way to explain things] then yes but as there is no such thing it goes like @myresearch told it.

4. Causality itself is not logically necessary, so I don't know if you could prove that there is a certain direction to events by logic alone.

The closest thing I know of that answers your question is the second law of thermodynamics, but of course, even that comes with asterisks.

But as far as whether there is something metaphysical to time other than how we want to look at it, idk. There are people who have tried to say there is, but it's pretty easy to demolish their arguments as wishful thinking tbh.

5. Some do even argue that time does not really exists. E.g. Julian Barbour in his book The End of Time argues that all possible configurations of the universe exist 'simultaneously', for the lack of a better word, and thus that time does not really exists. If that is true, then time is just a creation of our brains. It then also doesn't matter in which direction time flows, because or brains will make the experience of time seem like it's progressive anyway, when it might 'in fact' be regressive. Our brains are quite plastic in accepting our perceptions and conceptions as 'undeniably true'. For all we know, the current linearity of time we think we perceive is in fact regressive.

So to the question if we are taking it for granted: there definitively is a possibility that such matters are social constructs.

Based on a peak experience I had many moons ago, I do not believe in the existence of time or space other than as cognitive means of my brains to make sense of reality.

6. There is no experimental proof that causality flows in one direction. It seems to make logical sense that it would, but that is not proof.

There is no proof that time flows in one direction, either, other than the fact that we remember the past and not the future. However, if you imagine that the world is like a tape running through a reader head, you could imagine that when the tape goes forward into the future, you are building memories of the past, and if "God" decides to run the tape backwards, your memories of the immediate past would erase as you passed under the reader head, and you'd never know that you were going backwards because we only have the Eternal Now along with a set of memories. Then God could run the tape forward again, re-installing those memories, and we would never know that anything "unusual" had happened at all. However, this model assumes the existence of a static Universe, in which the outcome of every tiny interaction always turns out the same, and that's not the way the Universe seems to work. So this is a false argument.

The laws of Physics, that we have constructed, work the same whether you run time forwards or backwards, so they don't have anything to say about a preferred direction of time. Film a billiard ball bouncing off a bumper and run it forward and backward and there is absolutely no way to tell which way time was actually running in that film.

There are two things which indicate that time has a preferred direction.

One, if you film an egg falling off a counter and hitting the floor, anyone will be able to tell you which direction time was running when you filmed that. That's because none of us has ever seen a smashed and broken egg on the floor reassemble and jump up onto the table.
Most people don't realize that the laws of Physics do not prevent that from happening. They just say that it's very unlikely. But it is not forbidden. it is not forbidden by the laws of Physics as we have guessed them to be.

Physicists cover their asses here by making up a new law. They count the number of ways that the parts of the egg can be arranged when it is sitting on the table (yolk inside, surrounded by albumen, surrounded by intact egg shell = 1 way) and then count the number of ways that the egg can be arranged splashed across the kitchen floor (yolk inside albumen or not, albumen inside egg shell or not, yolk inside shell or not = 6 ways), then they call the number of ways that you can rearrange the parts of the system and still basically have the same situation and they call that number "entropy" and then they say that in all situations, the number called "entropy" will probably increase. Not decrease.
The key word here is "probably", because entropy CAN decrease in some situations. Nothing prevents that smashed egg from spontaneously reassembling and jumping up onto the table. It just isn't very probable.

Two, physicists are trying very hard to make fundamental models of the Universe from scratch. They start with very simple things, simpler even than space or particles, and then they add rules and let the universe play out on their computers. Most of the rules that they dream up result in Universes which do not look like the one we are in. They assume that those aren't the rules for building a Universe. At lease, not our Universe.
One of the rules that they had to put in to make anything work was the rule of Causality. It wasn't in there at first and the Universes would not last very long. Once they added Causality, which is the idea that one thing causes another and not vice-versa, the Universes started coming out looking close to what we have.

So it is likely that Causality, and a single direction of time, is baked into the Universe on a very fundamental level. Possibly because not having those two things results in Nothingness, but why that should be the case is beyond anyone at this point.

So watch what you do. It has real consequences. Lol.

7. I'm not a fan of time travels theories and when watching movies about them I start getting itchy noticing all the paradoxes and the protagonist can't go back in time and save the gf or else he wouldn't even have to get back in the present and no he can't go back and die to save humanity or else same thing, but really... yeah, it's fascinating to know of time paradoxes in the universe, that if you were to communicate with your sister who's on holiday on alpha centauri the time you'd spend to call her and she'd probably be back already and so if time is tied connected to space as it is, we can hazard that it's not necessarily linear everywhere in the universe and maybe even in ourselves, that the soul is boundless.. and sometimes you realize things now, in the present that change your view of the past and that new consciousness can shape your future too, as can dreams, which are future oriented but have the power to shape the present, which is already passed

8. I haven't seen Dark, but somebody mentioned it involves quantum entanglement theories, but I won't talk about that, since it will probably spoil it. And yes, I made an account to answer this because it caught my attention.

I think what it comes down to is that reality seems to be "local", meaning that changes are felt in the things closest to us before they are felt in things farther away. This is generally why things can't go faster than the speed of light because that's the maximum speed that changes propagate. It also means that time is a function of what's around us. So if we warp space so that the localized objects around us have a harder time interacting with us, our time will pass more slowly compared to the time of the objects around us, as if we insulate ourselves from them. So we know that time is relative, is always shifting, and is potentially different for everyone, so we can't really define time in strict units or a linear progression. This is not necessarily a problem, but if the unit of time is variable in itself, then how do we describe it or know that it exists?

Well it does seem that reality has a localized "progression" to it; so maybe we notice that over a period of time that something happened or changed and say, "okay, time passed", even though we can't be sure exactly how much time has passed. However, that's probably a bit of a cognitive bias because if something did change, how do we know we didn't go back into the past? If we did go into the past, it would still be a forward progression from our mind's perspective. And then to add to Adam's analogy of a tape player playing in forward or reverse, you could think of reality made up of many of those tape players, where they can be played in reverse or forward; in chemistry, for example, there exist easily reversible reactions. So maybe certain things go into the past all the time. And maybe the conclusion here is that there probably isn't a past or future, but only a "present" reality that is in constant flux.

Kinds of reminds me of an often misquoted quote from Einstein, regarding another person's death
"Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." - Einstein

I'm probably going to have to watch Dark now, since everyone keeps talking about it and you got me thinking.

9. Originally Posted by ashlesha
The chain of cause and effect occurs in a sequence that occurs in the order of past>present>future and cannot happen in a different way ie present>past
Physics has hypotheses about back-time influence possibility. Also can be multi-dimentional time with similar flows where processes go faster or with some step ahead to take the data there.
The example of where common cause -> effect dependence breaks is the influence of an experimentator in quantum physics theories. Among explanations of this can be many dimentions.

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