Tag: Metaphysics

My Answer to the Quora Question, “Can we rationalize everything?”

The mind has many faculties of perception, intuition, and so on that are beyond the faculty of rationalization or reason. Reasoning is very limited; it only relies on facts that are obvious enough to be known to the analytical mind, as opposed to facets of a situation that are known only liminally, and it cannot “process” or work in a holistic manner. Consider the fact that artificial neural networks, a type of computer artificial intelligence, don’t work via a process of rationalization at all and yet are able to identify patterns with amazing success, and they are modeled after biological brains. And that’s to say nothing of the possibility that mind and its intuition and such come from more sources than just the neurological! (That’s a whole other subject, though. See Richard A. Nichols III’s answer to Is there a relationship between heart transplantation and recipient*s emotions and personality?)

Either way, just try completely rationalizing your emotional interactions with other humans.. you’ll come to a dead end fast!

The other factor to consider is that the universe is not necessarily completely mechanistic or otherwise straightforwardly comprehensible as rationalization would require. Nature is probably way too amazing, mysterious, enigmatic, magical and ineffable to fit into the box that analytical reasoning would like to put it in.

Why? Because for any frame of mechanism or causality you can put it in, that frame is probably open-ended and connected to higher, more meta frames (or potentially imaginable frames/models) because there’s no principle that would limit it. The universe is like an onion with unlimited layers to peel away to get to the center, just like the answering question of why some facet of physics operates the way it does can only lead to more questions, and asking why the universe even came into existence requires answering within the context of some larger field of existence.

To illustrate the part about answering a question only leading to more questions, say you want to know why things fall to the ground instead of rise into space. You may figure out that masses attract other masses with a force proportional to their mass and inversely proportional to the square of their distance. Then the question is why does it do that? Say you answer that with relativity, combining gravitational attraction with the concept of inertia and postulating that mass-energy bends space-time around it, thus changing the “world line” or quickest inertial route from one place to another. Why does it do that? Nobody knows. Some people have attempted to reduce gravity to a side-effect of the electromagnetic force. Why does the electromagnetic force exist? Nobody knows. If somebody did know what causes it to exist, the next step could only be to ask why those things that cause it to exist are as they are.

Or let’s say we figure out why two substances when mixed together create a third, completely different substance after releasing some smoke. We may explain that with the idea of atoms and chemistry. Why are atoms made the way they are and why do they behave as they do? We could explain that with the Standard Model, but why is the standard model the way it is? Nobody knows. If somebody did know why the Standard Model is as it is, the next step could only be to ask why those things that cause it to be the way it is are as they are.

Say you want to know where the universe came from or why it exists. Well, now we have the Big Bang to explain it. But why did the Big Bang happen? We could postulate, for example, the Eternal Inflation model, or some other model of a multiverse, or maybe just some kind of proto-time and “random” quantum fluctuations that happened before the Big Bang, but why did those things exist? The questions never end.

This is all just to point out that the universe is necessarily a never-ending field of Russian dolls, and the mechanics each doll (inasmuch as they even are mechanical) contains hints or implications of the nature of its containing doll and the doll(s) it contains, etc. (Of course, even the separation of the universe into discrete layers of dolls may itself be merely arbitrary, but the principle holds either way.)

To get back to the problem of whether the universe is even mechanistic or not (which the process of rationalizing it would desperately want it to be), science (as in, popular thinking among scientists) currently assumes that it is fully mechanistic, but there is no proof of this. We assume that it is because of the extreme efficacy of mechanical models in predicting and manipulating the world; however, these predictions are only effective in limited domains.

For example, we can very little predict specifically how someone will behave (even if you can, more or less, in some circumstances), how the weather will turn out, or which way a butterfly will fly in.. you can assume that this is all just the result of atoms bouncing around in a billiard-ball sense and its unpredictability is merely 100% the result of its immeasurable and incomputable complexity, but that would be begging the question: how do you know there are not non-mechanistic aspects to their behavior?

Also, if quantum mechanics has taught us anything it’s that events are fundamentally unpredictable, things just behave with relative predictability on the macroscopic scale when particles move in aggregate. We call quantum events “truly random,” but how do we know there is not a rhyme or reason to them that simply goes beyond our ability to model it, perhaps even our ability to rationalize about it?

Also, even if the universe is ultimately modellable with rationality, we’d be unlikely to have the proper rationality, or to use rationality in the proper way, to ultimately model it. That’s because rationalization carries with it many assumptions; it carries with it a certain worldview. For example, what if Berkeley’s idealism is correct and everything is ultimately mental, i.e., all there is is conscious beings interacting with each other? (See Entangling Conscious Agents, Donald Hoffman.) What if that means there are many principles of nature that thus work more like psychology, with all its inconsistency, its open-endedness, its free will, and its regular contingency upon interpretation, than clockwork? Common rationality would abhor this.

I say a lot of “what if”s and “probably”s, but I actually have no doubt that the universe is magical and not completely mechanistic; I just wanted to help lead others’ rationalities easily to my point of view by not confronting them with positive, likely objectionable claims, and the idea that the universe may be non-mechanistic, magical, psychological, or otherwise non-modellable to some degree is sufficient to raise doubt that we may not be able to rationalize everything.

“The man who listens to reason alone is lost; reason enslaves all whose minds are not strong enough to master her.” -George Bernard Shaw

“A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.” -Rabindranath Tagore

Notes on Existence and the Multiverse

  • The weak anthropic principle does not automatically answer every profound question about why the universe is the way it is, and it does not defeat the whole enterprise of cosmology as some scientists lament, because it requires a “selection principle” determining which universes come into existence. This selection principle itself begs to be explained, and its existence must be justified to assume that the weak anthropic principle explains, e.g., the fine tuning of the universe.
  • Multiverse theories such as the string theory multiverse or the quantum field theory multiverse may not cover all universes that exist. They could be a very small, perhaps infinitesimally small, fraction of all the universes that exist. There could be layers and layers of multiverses, perhaps in a tree pattern, where sibling multiverses share similar metaphysics/physics principles and subsets or more general levels of those principles are shared with parent layers and smaller subsets or even more general layers of principles are shared with parents of parent layers, etc. etc. It may also be less like a tree of different multiverses than a network or maybe just some unstructured plethora of them, possibly situated in different places within a much larger, non-mechanistic spiritual reality.
  • Our physical reality could be a paradigm of interaction based on a mathematical principle, instated for unknown purposes by a (probably enormous) spiritual entity. Of course, if the spiritual (or otherwise non-physical) realm or realms are infinite, then there is probably an infinite number of physical realms just by virtue of the fact that the creation a physical realm is something that sometimes occasionally happens here and there.
  • Even in a multiverse of an infinite number of universes, its metaphysics could make some possibility-bins (where the bin sizes and delineations are arbitrary) possibility more frequent, hence more likely, than others. This provides a basis for inference and extrapolation about states of things at one place or time based on states of things at another (i.e., prediction and memory). It could also be interpreted as an explanation for probabilistic causality as revealed by quantum physics.
  • Some, maybe even most, universes may not be physical at all, though it’s possible that the containment and separation required for the concept of multitude of universes only applies to physical realms, and that though the non-physical realm may be unlimited and may involve an unlimited number of more and less stark disjunctions or parts that are just fairly separated, there aren’t boundaries of the type that would justify the use of the term “multiverse.”
  • Why does anything exist, as opposed to nothing? I have a pet theory. It’s always the context of a possible thing or situation that determines whether that thing/situation is made manifest or not. This context includes all relevant factors, including local information, the physics of the universe, and even metaphysical principles. But there can be no greater/deeper context/metaphysics than existence itself to determine whether anything/everything exists or not. So, in the absence of any more-overarching metaphysics than the totality of existence to determine whether something is manifest or not, on that level, every possibility is manifest.

    You may ask, “why isn’t the possibility of nothingness the one that’s selected instead?”, and the answer is that it is. Both the possibilities of nothing existing and everything existing are manifest, because in the absence of a greater context to determine eligibility, all possibilities are manifest, but of course, you can’t and don’t notice the nothingness. All you can notice is the somethingness.

    You could argue that possibilities are a mental thing, the product of speculation, and that supposing ontological possibilities is supposing an existing thing/situation/metaphysics that can give rise to possible states, thus contradicting the idea of every possibility being made manifests in the absence of any deeper context, but to ask why anything exists as opposed to nothing presupposes that there are possibilities and that nothing and existence are two of them. So, my answer is not supposing anything not presupposed by the question. We cannot escape our own episteme while exploring ontology. Due to the primality and non-empirical nature of metaphysics, at some point metaphysics and epistemology are inextricable from each other.

    I suppose you could argue that, in the absence of an overarching metaphysics beyond existence and non-existence, there’s nothing to determine that “every possibility would be manifest” (including the possibility of nothing) instead of “no possibility would manifest,” but maybe in the lack of an overarching metaphysics beyond existence and non-existence to determine if “every possibility would be manifest” (including the possibility of nothing) and “no possibility would manifest,” both manifest, and then you could then make the same argument again recursively, ad infinitum. What would be the end result in the case of an infinite regress?
  • In order for two things to interact with each other at all, they must share some common substrate or metaphysical design so that they have a basis/a set of rules/a protocol by which to interact. There must be agreement on how an action of one thing affects the other and vice versa. As the dynamics of a thing’s actions are presumably based in the laws of physics, and all things in our universe supposedly behave and even compose according to the same laws of physics , you’d think that as a general rule it’s probably underlying mechanics or composition of two things that they have being in common that engenders said agreement.

    If there were many different types of things—that is, different types on the level of being fundamentally incompatible—in the same “space” (besides the fact that spatial relationships probably don’t apply to things that are incompatible enough not to have a basis for interaction), you’d only know of those things that have a composition that’s fundamentally compatible with yours, because to know of something is for it to affect you. So, it’s possible that everything possible or some subset of everything possible exists “in the same space” and what we call the universe is only the set of those things that operate according to a specific modus operandi, that is, the laws of physics or perhaps the laws of physics as we know them.

    It kinda follows that what universe you’re in is a function of the organization principle of your being, or perhaps the mode of your perception.

    I say “in the same space” even though spatial relationship wouldn’t necessarily apply across different modalities of being, but the principle of space itself probably arises from a mode of perception or, equivalently, a common mode of being among objects in the same spatiotemporal universe anyway. So “objectively” they’re in the same space in a sense or might as well be, with respect to the idea that our mode of perception or modality of being selects for them.
  • Although the above reasoning was done with physical universes in mind, it could also possibly explain what’s often termed the “law of attraction.”

    If everything that can possibly happen happens, then there is some reality somewhere where any given person expects or desires for any given thing to happen. a principle that what you expect or desire on the deepest level tends to happen in the world would not be contradicted by the fact that everyone probably desires or expects different things, if there is some kind of organizing principle in effect where people on similar paths of desire or expectation share the same reality-state out of all reality-states. Thus major world events and developments can be more-or-less products of personal will or belief.

    I suppose if all possibilities are manifest, then that includes possibilities where many people strongly believe or desire different things, which would contradict personal will influencing world events and development, but it could be only a relatively small/rare subset of all conceivable realities that exist, or that exist according to the organization principle that allows for belief or desire to inform reality. (That last possibility goes back to the idea of layers of multiverses and metaphysical principles mentioned earlier.)

    Of course, it’s obvious that there are many different beliefs and expectations among people in the world about everything, including world events and development, but that is also known to those who already espouse the idea of the law of attraction. This implies that it is not “absolute” for lack of a better word; it may be in effect but may only apply in certain ways or circumstances. Also, people tend to believe and desire different things on different levels of their beings and at different times, producing mixed results.

    Another thing that could bring people/spirits together into the same quantum reality is parallel choices or actions they’ve all made, resulting in the same consequences.
  • It’s also possible that, for some reason, in order for one’s path through the multiverse to remain appropriate to their choices, beliefs and desires, sometimes a person must end up in a reality whose past physical timeline differs from that of the reality they were previously in, hence giving rise to the Mandela Effect. (I’ve had personal experiences with the Mandela Effect I’ve described here.)

    One possible contention with this theory of the Mandela Effect is that, if presumably memories are stored in the brain, why doesn’t switching into another timeline also change the state of the brain’s memories (along with the rest of that timelines history), hence making it so that nobody ever knows they switched?

    Possible answers are that not all of memory is brain state and it’s only the physical aspect of the timeline that switches, or that some of the brain state remains the same when everything else shifts, in accordance to how closely intimate the brain state is to the person’s being; i.e., maybe the mechanics of this timeline switching are “organic” in a spiritual sense or up to open-ended interpretation by consciousness, as reality is ultimately made up of consciousness, and the lines between what’s changed and what’s not changed are drawn in convenient/graceful places rather than things being more strict and absolute like what we normally observe on the gross plane.
  • If our consciousness can transition to, or otherwise just find itself in, any extant reality just as long as it accords with their path, beliefs, desires, expectations, karma, choices/actions, or whatever, then it’s possible that we could find ourselves in a reality of any possible past, except there would apparently be selecting principles in place, such that the reality must conform to your memory about it, and that the past must be more-or-less consistent according to some principle of causality. I say more-or-less because you never know, miracles could happen.
  • It may seem contradictory to think that desire generally influences reality, because in your experience it doesn’t. But there are different levels and kinds of desire. In fact, what you want is repelled from you, because wanting something entails a belief that you do not now have it, which is then reflected in your experience. But there are other levels of what one truly desires, which one may not even be aware of. Also, in my experience, desires are often realized when they’re just preferences without need attached. Usually, I’ll get what I want as soon as I totally, genuinely accept not having it as being “okay” and then forget about it, ironically.
  • “At the quantum level our universe can be seen as an indeterminable place, predictable in a statistical way only when you employ large enough numbers. Between that universe and a relatively predictable one where the passage of a single planet can be timed to a picosecond, other forces come into play. For the in-between universe where we find our daily lives, that which you believe is a dominant force. Your beliefs order the unfolding of daily events. If enough of us believe, a new thing can be made to exist. Belief structure creates a filter through which chaos is sifted into order.” —Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune
  • Conversations with God book 1 by Neale Donald Walsch has a lot of interesting info on how and why God created the universe, what came before it, and what our purpose here is.

Cascades of Flux (Brief Version)

All matter/energy is constantly in flux. What appears to be solid, such as a desk, is actually made of trillions of tiny atoms, each one vibrating in place, and each one made up of waves of electron fields around nuclei that are made of vibrating protons and neutrons which are in turn made of moving quarks. Force fields are in flux because they emanate from matter which is in flux, and force fields aren’t matter or energy anyway—they’re just mathematically defined causal relationships between physical things.

The laws of physics appear to be static, but they all boil down to two aspects: 1. the aspect of it that is necessarily true just because it’s logically consistent with the of physics. This aspect is why we’re able to do derivations in physics; and 2. the aspect of it that comes purely from observations. The first aspect is necessarily static just because logic itself can’t logically be any different, but there’s no justification to assume the other is static just because the observations seem consistent over time.

Since everything else we observe is in flux, chances are that those things are in flux as well—they just change too slowly to be noticed. Add to this the fact that there’s no ultimate way to distinguish between the physics of matter and energy and the physicality of it. The so-called “laws” of physics are not a separate thing “acting on” matter and energy. The closer you look, the more these two things blend together. One way of saying this is that form is function. How can you know the form of something other than through how it interacts with the observer? And how it interacts with the observes is its function. And the functionality of matter and energy is the physics of it.

All of physicality boils down to matter, energy and fields. Matter is in turn a pattern of seething energy, and fields can’t, even in principle, be defined or observed in any way other than as causal relationships between matter, so it’s safe to say that fields are merely an aspect of physics. And what is energy other than behavior patterns, and what determines its behavior if not the internal logic and mechanics of it which is what physics reveals?

Also, as I mentioned in this essay, Emmy Noether proved that the conservation of energy logically follows from the consistency through time of the laws of physics. And what is the concept of energy other than an invariant? What sense would energy make if it weren’t conserved?

So, everything physical is in flux, and there’s no ultimate way of distinguishing between physics and the physical. And physics is derived from only from a combination of observations and pure logic, while we can only observe the physical and most of what we observe seems to change constantly. So, all of this would seem to suggest that the constants in physics, such as the speed of light and the gravitational constant for example, aren’t actually constants but are only assumed to be because they’re so slow to change.

This essay is the third installment of essays of mine conveying basically the same idea, for some strange reason. One can be found at the link above, the other can be found here.

Cascades of Flux

Inasmuch as physics equations are based in pure logic, it is illogical to suppose that they might change over time. There is also an aspect of these equations that is not determined purely by reason, but by observation. Let’s take the example of F=ma. It seems to be somewhere in between the two aspects: physics that’s determined by reason, and physics that’s discovered through observation. Without empiricism/observation there would be nothing to apply the equation to, and it may be conceivable that there could be a universe where the equation is slightly different, although it seems it would be an absurd one that dynamically bends backward in every situation over satisfying the modified equation.

On the other hand, there’s a large degree to which, given the context of the universe as we know it, F=ma is merely a tautology. It’s merely consistent with the rest of the given rational framework. (Einstein said, “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”)

A more interesting consideration might be that, since the implications of a Newtonian universe versus a relativistic universe seem to differ only slightly (consider the fact that, in in the past, we had mistaken the universe for being Newtonian), the universe might evolve from one to the other, say, from a relativistic one to a Newtonian one.  However, this doesn’t work for several reasons.

First, the implications of the equations go deeper than the slight differences observed in our everyday world. For one, space and time would have to evolve from being inseparable to fundamentally distinct. Since space and time in this universe are epiphenomenal, and also fundamental, this is no small step. The universe would have to completely change, the old universe becoming nothing but a memory before the new universe comes about—as opposed to smoothly slipping from one to the other. 

Second, it’s possible that reason alone can arrive at the conclusion that space and time are intrinsically connected, by virtue of their metaphysical co-dependence, and that Newtonian physics was therefore merely shortsighted/illogical to begin with.

Third, a shift from one modus operandi to another would be more of a sudden, dramatic paradigm shift for all matter in the universe travelling at relativistic speeds and for any perspective that more elucidates relativistic effects in the universe, such as one that simply sees across more distance thus highlighting the vast separation of light cones. 

Fourth, large-scale change characteristically happens through analog continua, and a change from Newtonian physics to relativistic or vice versa would be more of a gratuitous, massive binary shift since there are the only two possibilities in this arena of consideration, and they are discrete, because they are paragons of internal logical self-consistency, thus with no wiggle room, and no continuity between one paradigm and the other.

A tentative argument to most of these points would be that, if the speed of light were to increase, the universe would gradually become more and more Newtonian in behavior as c approaches infinity. However, c cannot become actually infinite by gradually increasing. A finite value plus a finite value is always a finite value. Therefore, the relativistic equations would always remain more true and more accurate than the Newtonian equations, subsuming and superseding them.

It is also noteworthy that it is the relatively high value of c that allowed us to think in Newtonian terms to begin with, thus that argument illustrates the essential illusion behind this “interesting consideration”: inasmuch as the universe could transmute to being Newtonian, it was already there, and vice versa, because it is the value of c that sponsors the apparent proximity between the two systems.

Traditionally, the laws of physics are considered to be immutable and the states of affairs that they act upon are considered to be in flux. To me, this seems to be regarding the laws of physics in an almost religious way, although it’s understandable because reality does appear to be this way. 

I would like to point out, first, that the entirety of the “states of affairs” is in flux. Matter is a process. Atoms “bounce off of” each other constantly, electrons travel around the nucleus, the quarks in the nucleus are moving around, etc.  Every time we see stasis we are merely objectifying repeating patterns of motion that are too small to be seen. The atom appears to be a constant object because its internal processes remain within certain parameters. This doesn’t mean that the parameters themselves are “states of affairs” that are not in flux. The parameters are merely limits that derive from the logic of physical law. The earth has a certain abstract delineation in space because it is held together by gravity, but its breadth on the microscopic level is constantly in flux, as its matter is in motion. 

To focus on the “energy” side of things, light, or an EM field, is of course a propagating wave, thus in motion. The staticity of a force field like gravity or electrostatic charge is not really a state of affairs because the force field only exists insofar as it produces an effect. It is not a thing-in-itself. It is an aspect of the way material interacts with other material across distance, which is a manifestation of the laws of physics themselves. It would be superfluous to posit the existence of a force field in-itself when (a) its state is completely supervenient (in the philosophical sense) upon the state of the matter that engenders it, and (b) it can only be known/detected or influenced through its effect on matter. Secondly, since the mass that manifests a gravitational or electrostatic force field is constantly in motion, and is itself a process, the gravitational or electrostatic force field actually consists of uncountable tiny waves of force propagating outward at the speed of light and averaging out to a practically static field. 

Universal flux is given rise to by the causal interconnectedness of everything. Unpredictability is given rise to by two things: 1. Causal, chaotic systems, and 2. quantum indeterminacy/”absolute randomness”. You can predict some things better than others, but certainty and precision can never be 100%, and thus stasis can never be 100%.

Another point I want to make is that physical laws do not “control” or “act upon” matter and energy to “make” them do what they do. If a law acted upon matter, there would have to be an active agent and that active agent would have to have further laws that to control its own animation. Or, for law X that says matter must behave in a certain way, there would have to be a law Y that says that matter must behave in accordance to law X, and a law Z that says matter must behave in accordance to law Y, etc. At the bottom of this pile of turtles there would have to be a set of rules that maintain themselves just because, and it’s equally (actually, more) likely that matter maintains its behavior just because.

Furthermore, if time is sponsored by laws “controlling” matter and energy, there must be a meta-time that makes it possible for these laws to commit the process of exercising this control. 

Also, control and action as we know them require an expenditure of energy. “Control” is a very humanistic concept that essentially requires intended result and active manipulation to narrow down the possibilities in the flow of energy/matter from many to a selected few. This requires energy expenditure in nearly the same way that Maxwell’s demon does, so if physical laws “controlled” matter then it would grossly violate conservation of energy.

So, how does physical “law” “work”, or limit what we think is possible, or act as the selector of possibilities, such that the selected is not forced and thus doesn’t require energy expenditure to actualize, or actively select, the selection?  The answer is that the process of behaving in accordance to physical law is the process of being logically self-consistent. For the universe to violate a law of physics would be illogical, and one would recognize the specific absurdity if one were able to apprehend the entire situation on all levels. In other words, anything one imagines to be a possibility that physics won’t allow is no more logical than a square circle. (Notice that physical laws are described in the form of mathematical equations, and math itself is nothing but a big tautology of pure logic.)

Therefore, the only immutable aspect of the laws of physics is what is derived from pure logic. Everything else is subject to the states of affairs/the flow of time/change. Of course, some things change more slowly than others. (See the ‘the entirety of the “states of affairs” is in flux’ argument above.)

If you were to do something that a naive philosopher might call “violating a law of physics,” such as by figuring out a way to travel faster than the speed of light, or by inventing an anti-gravity machine, what you are really doing is utilizing a higher order of physics that supersedes the “law” in question.  If you thought that Newtonian mechanics was the true law of the universe, you could violate it by flying two atomic clocks around the earth in opposite directions in fast airplanes.

In regard to higher orders of physics, how high does it go? Perhaps it goes all the way up to pure logic. (Or maybe, metaphysically, there simply layers and layers of what I’ll call “world texture.” Or some combination of the two.) If you can use a higher order of physics to violate or affect a lower one, then in between the higher order and the lower order is the input of state of affairs—meaning that the lower order of physics is an implication of the higher order given a specific current or typical state of affairs, which is what you are controlling if you are “violating a law of physics.”

So, again, the only immutable aspect of physics is pure logic.   

The issue that I’ve been driving at here all along is the decision to include “constants” such as the speed of light and the gravitational constant in with the supposed immutability of the laws of physics. You use a constant by plugging it into an equation. The constant comes from observation of the states of affairs, ultimately. It is arbitrary to consider the constant a part of the actual “law” and all other inputs to the equation merely parts of the states of affairs that the law acts upon. (This is also quasi-religious thinking: “We don’t know why c is the value it is, but we know that it will never change and has never changed. It is God-given.”)

It would be easy to say that it could go either way, maybe it’s changeable, maybe it’s not, if it weren’t for all of my above arguments. Everything is in flux but the laws of physics, and those are only constant inasmuch as they are manifestations of logic. (Re the “metaphysical world textures” comment made above, there’s no reason to assume such a texture would be constant.)

It follows from everything I’ve said that including “constants” in with the supposed immutability of the laws themselves is simply incorrect, unless the values of c, G, Planck’s constant, or whatever can be derived from pure logic. The best I can imagine is that it would be derived from pure logic given another “constant” to base it on, thus making it supervenient upon that other “constant” (with the possibility of that constant being derived from another constant, etc.), in part because these constants are necessarily in arbitrary units of measurement.

Perhaps c can be derived from G, or vice versa, or both, or they can both be derived from some other constant(s) (but I think this would imply you could derive one from the other as well), thus if they changed they would have to change together. Perhaps not. If they can’t, we can only assume that they are independent, and if they are independent there is nothing to keep them in constancy with relationship to each other, except “inertia” (e.g., of the “metaphysical world texture”). (If they are not derived via logic, they are somehow handed down from the states of affairs, and if they are not logically dependent on each other, they are handed down from independently variable states of affairs.)

c and G change so little that we don’t consider them variables, and they may change so little that no significant change in them has happened in the life of the universe. But for them to be exactly the same would require an immutable reason that they are what they are, and the only reason that fits that bill is logical necessity, and we (probably) can’t derive c or G from logic alone. It’s unlikely that they can be derived from logic alone because they are such seemingly arbitrary and large/fine numbers.

I suppose it only makes sense to say that they are intrinsically large (or fine?) numbers with respect to some kind of quantization to afford an objective unit of measurement, and this quantization would have to be incorporated into the axioms of the logic at hand. This would, of course, make it much easier to derive their values through logic. However, without some kind of intrinsic quantization, perhaps they’re still baseless with respect to any logical axioms.  

Now I will attempt to go more in-depth in regard to the speed of light being a state of affairs. 

Imagine the universe as a completely dynamic cascade of change, some aspects changing faster and some changing slower. We have no choice, personally and evolutionarily, but to wrap our minds around the more slower changing aspects as a reference point for the faster changing aspects, lest we be lost in confusion. We thus perceive the more slowly changing aspects as the structure of the universe.

The more consistent patterns of behavior in the universe, i.e., the ones that repeat themselves, are slower-changing aspects to the degree that they’re exactly the same behavior repeated, which is a limited degree because every situation/event has its specific properties.

Well, they say that all electrons are identical, so maybe this “folding consistency into deeper structure” applies not only across time but across space too, when entities are considered to be identical to each other. In other words, maybe there is only one electron, and it is part of the deep/slowly changing structure of the universe.

So, what we have is basically a cascade of change, with the fastest/most chaotic changes at the figurative top, and the slowest/most uniform changes at the figurative bottom. The speed of light can probably only be at the bottom.

I wrote a more brief version of the same basic concept expressed here, and another one here.