Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cause and Effect LBC 09/15/2017 cause

Why do things happen? Does A cause B?  Consider the following - a boy enters high school. He is given an option by one of his parents - either try out for the football team or get a job. He chooses to try out for the football team.  During the course of that season, he finds he really enjoys playing football and continues to play all four years of high school and college. He does so well he is selected  ALl American and wins the Heisman Trophy. He is drafted by the NFL and signs a multi-year multi-million dollar contract. Is his newly earned wealth the result of that first decision all those years earlier to try out for the freshman football team? Partly. Many other decisions made after that first one led to that result.

Cause and effect can be defined as the concept that an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event; also written cause-effectcause/effect.

Cause - the US president is elected by a electoral college resulting in the possibility that a president can be elected in spite of losing the popular vote by nearly three million votes. POTUS 45 is the latest example.

Cause and effect is a large part of Buddhism, expressed through Karma.
If X is a necessary cause for Y than the presence of Y indicates the prior presence of X.  However, the presence of X does not necessarily mean Y will follow.

So how do cause and effect affect our lives? Every effect has a corresponding cause so it stands to reason that changing the causes will change the effects. To change your life change your choices. Perhaps the desired effect really requires multiple causes. Simply adding a new cause may be all that is necessary to achieve a desired effect.  At a restaurant, the menu includes your favorite cut of steak but a satisfying meal requires more than just meat so you order sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, and a dinner salad. Now in my case, a double Glenlivet added to that order would achieve the desired effect - a satisfying meal.

There are some who believe the two recent powerful hurricanes that hit in Texas and  Florida were the result of climate change. We have never had two such hurricanes come ashore in the same year let alone within weeks of each other.  Surely climate change has caused an increase in size and intensity of the hurricanes.

Unfortunately, the only thing odd about the two hurricanes is that they came ashore.  Of course, the evangelical right thinks that was God punishing us for things like gay tolerance and the general disintegration of our cultural mores. The fact is hurricanes of that size occur annually, they just do not all come ashore. They typically spin out to sea.  The Weather Channel experts suggest there is still much work to be done to link hurricane size and intensity to climate change - man made or otherwise.

Cause - I have discussed the weekly topic. Effect - that's all folks - tune in next week for another LBC blog. To see what the other LBC bloggers have to say check their blogs:  RamanaPravin & Ashok. Maris is on holiday in Ireland.


  1. I am a great believer in the Indian theory of Karma. I have not yet found any other logical explanation for the cause and effect mechanism that we see all around us. Since I also believe in rebirth the endless aspect of karma also appeals to me.

    Scientific explanations for all phenomenon are only superficially scientific. If one considers all creation as being subject to the laws of cause and effect, typhoons and other natural phenomenon that occur periodically also come under the karmic cycle. Why some living beings get affected, some more than the others etc are all explainable only with the theory of karma. There is no other logical explanation for many of the world's problems and non problems.

  2. I am becoming more and more convinced you are 100% correct about KARMA

  3. "The only thing odd about the two hurricanes is that they came ashore...".

    Isn't a difference or "oddity" also the fact that the ocean waters are warmer than usual? As for the example of the hurricanes. My understanding is that since they've been recording data on our weather, the ocean water is documented as being warmer thus making hurricanes stronger. Given that and other record-setting weather conditions in our country alone, is it just weather as usual? Not a weather change? Not a climate change? Too soon to know?

    As for the general idea of cause and effect, that can frequently not be established because there are often many variables that enter into the happening of events. There may be relationships, but that's the best that can be said. We humans seem determined to believe and/or seek a reasoned explanation for everything. Is it possible there is no explanation for some things?

    Believing in rebirth is more appealing than a strictly heaven and hell concept, although maybe the two are integrated. Do we have to believe in a specific after death experience for it to happen, or will it happen anyway? I believe a lot of what happens to us in actual life occurs as a consequence of self-fulfilling prophecies -- based on what we believe influences/causes(?) it to happen.

    1. Oh yes......whatever happened to all the concern over the ozone layer in the atmosphere becoming larger due to manmade causes? Does that adversely effect our weather?

    2. Apparently that ozone "hole" is closing - so it is not spoken of as often. Imagine that.

  4. The explanation on hurricanes I watched agreed that yes the
    oceans are warming but the direct link between that and hurricane strength and numbers had not been established yet. He made the point about how large storms appear frequently but do not come ashore - now perhaps they will try to establish
    a link between the directionality of hurricanes - who knows. I doubt it will take long for an answer regardless.

    I think cause and effect can be shown for everything - yes some causes are a complex set of many things.nI tried to explain that with thefootball player story - half mine, half fantasy. IEVen if something is entirely random is that in itself not a cause?

    I agree completely that our lives are dictated completely by our actions and we do indeed - each of us - have many self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives. I know I have several. As to a static afterlife or rebirth - that is an interesting point. Does my extreme interest in sunken ships relate to a previous life/death experience? Good question.

    1. Oh, I recall hearing the ozone level decreasing in size but forget to what that was attributed.

      My bro was interested in sunken ships in his later years I learned when visiting him a few years before his death. His focus especially was accounting for WWII ships lost at sea and submarines since he was in that Navy service.