Archive for July, 2009

Illogical origins of the universe

July 11, 2009

Logic usually starts with an assumption. Adding steps from there, we get to a conclusion.

Is the universe logical? It sure seems to be — things happen in linear chronological order, each event caused by a previous event, causing subsequent events. So if we start from the present, and go backwards through previous causal events, where do we get to? To infinite previous events,  going eternally back in time, or to the First Event, uncaused and coming out of nowhere, like a logical assumption?

Infinite previous events seems to break causality, because there is no beginning, no start. It doesn’t make logical sense — you can’t just keep going back forever in logic — you need to rest on an agreed-upon assumption in order to convince a rational person of your claim. A process that never begins breaks causality and is illogical.

Maybe a First Event makes logical sense, like an assumption that can’t be proven but is supposed for the sake of argument. The First Event is supposed for the sake of existence. But an assumption in logic can be challenged, and then you have to keep arguing, keep going back. An assumption isn’t really logical, it’s a truce to avoid endless argument — “Let’s just start somewhere that we both agree.” In actuality, all we know, all that is logical, is based on something else, as events are caused by previous events. So, a First Event isn’t really logical, and it breaks causality as we know it because it has no cause.

So what if the beginning loops around into the future? Infinite loops will break a computer program like circular logic ruins an argument. And there’s still no start, no cause, and therefore logical impossibility.

But there are no other choices, are there? Every possibility breaks logic and causality. That is, every possible origin of our universe is magical. You can’t escape it. Maybe you can deny it based on the semantics of “magic”, but you have to admit that our universe is at least illogical.


Why search for magic? (And, hello again!)

July 11, 2009

I am an atheist, and I don’t believe in things like unicorns, tooth fairies, angels, or even UFOs. So why do I have a blog about searching for magic?

Magic is to physical reality what a crowbar is to a cage. Magic is the ability to break physical laws, like a criminal is free to break civic laws.  If the law is unjust, isn’t it right to break them? If the physical world is full or suffering, isn’t it right to break it to fight suffering? Or at least to be free?

This is why the idea of magic intrigues me. It’s freedom from physical bondage. I don’t seriously think I’ll ever be able to have metaphysical powers like Gandalf or Superman, but maybe physical laws can be broken or at least bent with science or technology. I’m not looking for sorcery or wicca or voodoo that works, but hoping to push the boundaries of reality through rigorous exploration. I’m looking for a science fiction instead of a fantasy, I suppose. Like the warp drives in Star Trek, ripping Space in order to travel faster than light. Call it super-science, but it’s as good as Magic for me.

I think consciousness is on the edge of reality, so that’s a big part of this blog. I hope to write about some other subjects too, and to write better than I did in my old posts from years ago.