... you are using a quantum-mechanics concept of "cause". This is very different than the philosophical concept of "cause" ...
... you are using the quantum mechanics concept of "nothing" which is very different from the philosophical concept of "nothing".
I see nowhere in nano's syllogism where he/she chooses to define these terms as anything other than the concrete basic terms as science would use them rather than some wishy-washy philosophical treatment where the terms differ in meaning depending on the particular philosophy of the philosopher attempting the definition.
If we are attempting to "explain the universe", as per the OP, then we must use the definitions for "cause" and "nothing" in the way QFT defines them since QFT is one of our present best theories for explaining the operations of this universe; unless you're alluding to some other philosophically twisted definitions of the words "explain" and "universe".
quote:... you are using a quantum-mechanics concept of "cause". This is very different than the philosophical concept of "cause" ... ... you are using the quantum mechanics concept of "nothing" which is very different from the philosophical concept of "nothing".
This indicated to me that kbertsche was saying nano had some different definitions for these concepts that would negate QFT, specifically a quantum fluctuation, as a possible first cause that had nothing before it yet could explain the existence of this universe.
If this was his intent then I was hoping he or nano would show me what the differences are between the QFT and these "philosophical" definitions of "cause" and "nothing". That would require some definitions that would preclude QFT, what philosophy was used to arrive at these definitions as well as why that choice of philosophy among the various others.
Suppose the laws of physics was the first thing in the universe. Their existence can't be explained, but QFT would be a second or greater thing able to be explained by the existence of the laws of physics.
You're assuming the "laws of physics" are some set of physical-like things that need to come into existence before QFT can operate. But the laws of physics are our mathematical models of the way we see the universe operate. At present we have no evident explanations of what preceded the universe so it is impossible to tell what processes there were or were not. But to explain this universe, as per your syllogism, all it would take is the operations of QFT or some QFT-like process.
It may be that the "first thing" was caused by a quantum fluctuation operating from nothing.
3. This first thing was caused by a quantum fluctuation operating from nothing.
a. Therefore it can be explained.
4. Therefore the universe can be explained.
We just don't presently know for sure if the explanation is correct.
Where did the quantum fluctuation come from? Perhaps it was the first thing in the universe. As such, it has no cause and cannot be explained. Therefore the universe cannot be explained.
A quantum fluctuation is not a "thing" but a process that happens on its own volition. It's not like you need a loaded quantum fluctuation ready to pop before it happens. I suppose, in a sense, one might argue a quantum fluctuation comes from the void, but, it's not like one was just sitting around waiting to go off.
The process, not the thing, could have produced the first thing in this universe and it could have done so from the void. In this way the first thing in our universe may very well have a cause and may very well be explainable.
I know, the next question is where did the process come from. Might as well ask where the void came from.
Discussing the innate nature of nothing is like discussing the color of my unicorn.
There is lots to discuss about Invisible Pink: wave length, intensity. I can imagine different people would perceive these differently thus forming differences of opinion which could be heatedly discussed. Is that Invisible Barbie Pink or Invisible Brilliant Rose?
I'm not ready to take the ultimate step, but I like your thinking.
Just like Schrdinger's cat.
Erwin Schrdinger put forward his thought experiment as a rather tongue-in-cheek slap at Neil Bohr's interpretation of Schrdinger's wave function equations and Paul Dirac's treatment of Bohr's interpretation as superposed states. Next thing he knows his insult to the ideas became the defining example of those vary ideas.