When we begin looking at causes for things, we’re talking about actions. Whereas the law of identity is an interpretation or a restatement of the verb "to be," the law of causality is an elaboration of the verb "to do."
Let’s rephrase Forrest Gump, "Something is what something does." In sequence, something does what something is. That’s the law of causality. More formally as follows: "The actions of an entity are determined by the nature (identity) of the entity and the nature of the entities that act upon it."
Again, the law of causality may seem intuitively obvious to the casual observer.
But mystics of church and academe through the ages have toiled mightily against causality. Like a lot of ordinary people, they’d prefer certain actions not have certain consequences, that a dieter can eat his cake and not have it (its calories), too. :) Or in politics, say, run up a huge national debt and the people not suffer any hardship in its repayment.
On a practical level, people who adhere to the law of causality recognize that actions have consequences, such as:
- productive work is necessary to achieve life and happiness
- supernatural explanations do not improve SAT scores
- "if the lion lays down with the lamb, the lamb will not get much sleep"(9)
A man of causality, like the man of identity, is known by honesty.
But the honesty is more about awareness of what’s going on, like keeping track of the bean in a shell game. Making sure the game is straight. Our guy’s motto is the classic Missouri saying, "Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s rainin’." He is not easily misled, and he is a man for whom actions speak louder than words.
ReasonToFreedom.com, Reason 101
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