# Cause and Effect - Finished infinity [closed]

I have a question it's best if I give you an example right away.

Our universe has its limits. in terms of the effect or cause e.g. if we kill a human for some reason will also have the effect. I'm getting closer to the question. Could there be an infinite number of causes or effects? As I said, they are finished.

I'm sorry about the broken English.

• Sure. When arrow flies its position at any moment causes its position in the subsequent ones. There are infinitely many moments. – Conifold May 22 '19 at 14:14
• @Conifold 1) You assume an arrow has a well-defined position at any moment. That's contradicted by QM. 2) You claim the position at any moment "causes" its position in all subsequent moments. How does that work, exactly? Only its position at a given time "causes" its position at subsequent times? So any two paths that intersect must necessarily coincide forever after? – user4894 May 22 '19 at 19:00
• What "causes" in your post means is a question for you. The old language of causes and effects is not really supported by modern physics, even classical, we just have evolutions unfolding according to laws. Nothing "causes" anything individually, killing a human included: something else has to get both of them there, produce the bullet or the knife, etc. Theoretically, the state of the entire universe is involved. But if you want to use that language, QM evolutions unfold in time with infinitely many moments, and its wave functions can serve just as well as the arrow's position. – Conifold May 22 '19 at 21:56
• @Conifold That's an interesting perspective. Can an accused murderer use the Schrödinger equation as a defense in a court of law? What do the philosophers say? – user4894 May 22 '19 at 22:44
• Physical and legal meanings of "causing" are two different things. The latter depends on conventional apportionment of "blame", and has little to do with ontology. Philosophers call this the problem causal responsibility, see Is it a logical flaw to blame someone for an event if they were simply its causal factor? – Conifold May 22 '19 at 22:58

This is an ill-posed question. When you refer to infinity ("an infinite number of causes or effects"), you are implying accountability, and that's not a physical fact, but a fact related with our human subjectivity.

If you touch a rock pebble with your finger, the pebble moves. But the pebble is not moving due to a single physical action (for example, one atom in your brain would be the simple final cause). There is an unaccountable portion of the universe that could be subjectively related to the action, and it only depends on a subjective definition of thresholds (for example, the number of "related" neurons that "apply more than X micro amperes" to produce the movement).

If you assume that the universe can be divided into a precise quantity of objects and a precise number of events, perhaps you can count the objects and events involved in the action, evidently, implying subjective thresholds. But that's not a physical reality.

The question is equivalent to asking how many arcs a circle has (a friend at the university failed a test when he answered "a hundred" to our calculus teacher).