I get asked often how to logically prove the concept of cause and effect, so I thought I would write some about it.
The basic outline is this: there are three possibilities. Either things are random, God makes everything happen, or results have causes. Often, if we investigate our own minds, what we find is that we are using all three: if something good happens to me it’s cause and effect (I deserve it), if something bad happens things are random (bad luck), and if I really need something I ask a higher power for it.
But these are contradictory, so if you want to be logical, you have to pick one. But the first thing to do is to analyze the situation and see for yourself if you agree with these three categories, to make sure there are not others. To be fair, there are, but if you think about it you’ll be able to fit them into one of these three. For example, the law of attraction is an attempt to describe a kind of cause and effect. Science is either deterministic and therefore another attempt to describe cause and effect or where it gives up (singularities or describing why you got cancer and not someone else) is equivalent to arguing for randomness. But you have to explore this for yourself.
Once you’re okay with the three basic categories, then we start to explore them. The basic framework will be to prove that randomness and “God makes it happen” are illogical, leaving cause and effect as the only reasonable alternative. At that point, then we have to logic out what cause and effect really is.
Okay, so why are things random? Because if they were, you wouldn’t be able to make anything happen. You go to work, raise children, and build relationships with family and friends, because you believe that something will happen as a result of that effort. I tend to use a silly example, but let’s run the tests and see if it’s true or not:
It’s not true,
Because if things were random it could start raining monkeys right now.
True or false? Run the tests: is there a relationship between #1 the subject (randomness) and #3 the reason (if that idea were true it could start raining monkeys). Yes, if things were truly random then at any time it could start raining monkeys. (That would be pretty random, wouldn’t it? Yet fun; I almost wish it was true.) What about test #2: is it true that it must be the case that (#3) because it’s could not start raining monkeys right now, the world is not random? I think so, unless you really believe that it could start raining monkeys. Test #3: if things were random, would that mean that it could start raining monkeys? Yes, if there were no cause and effect, if things were truly random, then at any moment it could start raining monkeys. Or you could turn into a monkey, a monkey could turn into you, or the moon could turn into a monkey, or any number of wonderful, yet impossible, monkey scenarios could happen.
If you don’t think that’s possible, then you don’t really believe things are random, or as we say colloquially, “sh!t happens.” Sh!t does not just happen; if sh!t happens it’s because there is a cause for it.
And if you don’t believe that, I have a monkey umbrella I can sell you.