Regarding Philosophy (Closer To Reality: Philosophy)
Everybody, including readers here, have personal beliefs. Almost by definition, if you have a personal belief, you believe that belief to be obviously true. You are not an exception to that rule; I am not an exception to that rule. Part of the construction of personal beliefs is adopting definitions that re-enforce those beliefs. You seem to think that each and every term or phrase has a unique one and only one definition that is carved in stone.
If things were that clear-cut, it would be impossible to have debates since everybody would have to absolutely agree on the unique one and only one possible definition before-the-fact of each and every term that will be under discussion. Thus, 100% of everybody would agree on 100% of everything. Somehow the world doesn’t seem to work that way. Sorry ’bout that.
Actually I suspect not everyone will be mentally capable of answering any and all deep existential and metaphysical questions. I also suspect not everyone who is mentally capable of coming to terms with what you consider to be deep existential and metaphysical questions will actually give a stuff. The highest priorities or interests of some of the great unwashed often has nothing to do with what you or even I might term The Big Questions.
Philosophy (of causation or anything else) is not a subject whose postulates are set in stone, absolutely fixed, pinned to the wall and not subject to debate. Philosophy is full of debatable waffle, so there is probably no such thing as any central point, but rather central points depending on what side of the fence you are sitting on; maybe even sitting on the fence.
If you’re sitting on the left side of the fence you’re going to miss or misunderstand the central point put by someone sitting on the right side of the fence – and vice-versa. There is no such thing in philosophy as “has to be”, otherwise it wouldn’t be philosophy, which for all practical purposes is a something that “has to be” something that everyone can agree to disagree on, hence debate.
The Accidental Meta-physician gives the thumbs down to those who wax lyrical outside of their field(s) of expertise. If you’re not a formally trained professional philosopher therefore, you have little street credibility when it comes to dealing with the Big Questions. Nix to that viewpoint.
It would appear that everyone with FORMAL training in philosophy have had no luck in answering the Big Questions. It that had been the case, all of those Big Questions would no longer be a part of philosophy but reside in cosmology or physics or neurology or the law or elsewhere. There would be no debate about a before-the-Big-Bang or the Copenhagen (or Many Worlds) interpretation of quantum physics or free will or dualism or morality.
Now if professional philosophers adopt drastically differing positions on any one Big Question, ranging from one extreme to the other extreme, then sorry, there’s no rhyme or reason the rest of us great unwashed can’t enter the fray. Formal training in philosophy leads no closer to truth than the average John Doe pondering the same Big Questions.
Philosophy is one of those fields where anyone can join in and strut their stuff, unlike say medicine or law or various other professional fields that really do require expertise. Closer To Reality: Philosophy ,We’re all experts in philosophy since we all apply philosophical principles and positions to ourselves and the world around us. I’d better not practice unlicensed medicine on myself, and I’d better not be my own lawyer, but I’m quite okay in pondering my own free will, or lack of it.