Posted by khuram on October 17, 2006
Such ‘associations of information’ that can be extended to other similar nature sets of information, if generalized become the cause effect relationships. For example, I see a meson constructing a building. This is ‘association of information’ because ‘construction of a particular building’ is associated with the efforts of a ‘particular meson’. But if I generalize this ‘association of information’ and say that all similar buildings have been constructed by the efforts of similar mesons or say that ‘buildings are constructed by mesons’, this generalized information, then would become a ’cause effect relationship’. This type of cause effect relationships which are usually the ‘generalized associations of information’ are first type of cause effect relationships and can be considered as ‘event flow’ type of cause effect relationships because according to these type of relationships, one type of event (i.e. the effect) would occur as a result of the application of another event (i.e. the cause). Since one type of event has been occurred due to the application or occurrence of another event, that is why these types of cause effect relationships have been termed as ‘event flow’ type of cause effect relationships.
It is important to note that in the case of some of these event flow type of cause effect relationships, humans also can get the ‘control’ over the flow of such events by practically applying these relationships. Humans, in this case also can predict about the future ‘events’ because in such relationships, the ‘effect’ event has to be followed by the ’cause’ event. For example to ensure the occurrence of a particular event lets say to construct a building (i.e. the effect), you need to acquire the services of a meson (i.e. the cause), in this way you can practically apply this event flow type of cause effect relationship. Similarly by having observed ‘lightening’, we can predict about the occurrence of ‘thunder’ etc. The nature of these first types of cause effect principles is that these are usually the generalizations of experience-based phenomenon. Note that ‘generalization’ is a form of ‘combination of information’. There is another sub-category of event flow type of cause effect relationships, which are not just ‘experience based’ but are the ‘analogical inferences’ by their very nature. The practical new ideas fall in this category of cause effect relationships because practical new ideas are analogical inferences and can be practically applied by human beings. But the analogy based event flow type cause effect relationships may also be invalid. The example of this kind of invalid cause effect principle is the similarity-based magic. In the similarity-based magic, wrong analogical inferences are derived in such a way that it is concluded that the occurrence of certain events would serve the purpose of cause for the occurrence of another particular event, i.e. the effect. Since the analogical inference is wrong so these ‘relationships’ most probably may not be successfully practically applied and in some cases, if the expected results are obtained by practically applying such a wrong principle then this ‘successful’ application in fact is just a ‘by chance’ occurrence.
There is another type of cause effect relationships, which is only pure reason based. This second type of cause effect relationships tells us the underlying scientific ’cause’ of what is observable or identifiable in nature. In this case, both cause and effect do not need any kind of human efforts for their existence. These types of cause effect relations are not ‘event flows’ but are in fact the scientific answers to the question why the event flows occur in such regular way. For example we see a ball falling towards the ground. This is an association of information. The separate pieces of information of (1) ‘ball’, (2) ‘falling’ and (3) ‘ground’, have been ‘associated’, in this case, in a meaningful way. Now we generalize this ‘associated information’ and say: “all objects fall towards ground”. This generalized knowledge is the ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationship.
Now we ask why all objects fall towards ground? The answer to this question, which is a ‘reason based knowledge’, tells us that object fall towards earth due to the gravitational pull of the earth. Thus a generalized representation of this answer which states that “all objects fall towards earth due to the gravitational pull of earth”, becomes the second type of cause effect relationship.
The real difference between first type and second type of cause effect relationships is that the first type is the ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationship whereas the second type cause effect relationships are the answers to the question why those event flows occur in such regular way? The other difference is that ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationships are the ‘generalizations’ of experience based ‘associations of information’ as well as the practically testable analogical inferences whereas second type of cause effect relationships are pure reason based.
The ‘event flow type’ cause-effect relationships can be of scientific or superstitious in nature. Event flow type cause effect relations, however cannot be metaphysical in nature. There can be no metaphysical event flow type cause-effect relationships because by doing the required act (i.e. cause) the task (i.e. effect) shall occur or shall not occur. In first case where the task has occurred, the cause-effect relationship is scientific because its practical validity has been verified. In second case where the task has not occurred, the cause-effect relationship is invalid and so is superstitious in nature because its practical validity has not been confirmed. Only above two situations are possible in the case of ‘event flow type’ cause-effect relationships. In case of event flow type cause-effect relations; there can be no such situation where occurrence of effect cannot be verified due to the occurrence of the cause. So there can be no metaphysical event flow type cause effect relationships. Suppose if the occurrence of the effect is not verifiable due to the occurrence of the cause then in this case, actually it is not an ‘event flow type cause-effect relationship’ at all because the effect event has not been ‘observed’ to be followed by the cause event.
The second type cause-effects are mostly scientific and metaphysical theories. Pure metaphysical theories are those that have nothing to do with the verifiable observable phenomenon whereas pure such scientific theory is one which has to fully account for the entire related observable phenomenon. If some elements of any ‘metaphysical’ theory tell something, which is verifiable or observable phenomenon, then those elements can be ‘scientific’, in case the observable phenomenon is verified as true, and can also be ‘superstitious’, in case the observable phenomenon is verified to be false. In case some elements of the metaphysical theory have been proved to be superstitious then that metaphysical theory is superstitious up to this extent. But in case the superstitious elements are the major integral part of that metaphysical theory, then in fact, the whole metaphysical theory is superstitious in nature.
If a ‘scientific theory’, in case of second type cause-effects does not account for the entire related observable phenomenon then this ‘scientific’ theory cannot be considered accurate. To some extent, this theory is metaphysical, in fact. But if such a ‘scientific theory’ does not rightfully explain the observable phenomenon then it is an inaccurate theory. It should be noted that in case of this kind of scientific theories, we couldn’t test their validity through laboratory method. All what we can do in this case is to see whether such a theory rightly accounts for and explain the entire related observable phenomenon or not. We cannot apply laboratory method in this case because these are not event flow type theories. In laboratory method, we only can verify event flow type theories because in the laboratory method, the controlled environment (which is named as ‘laboratory’) is designed just to study or to verify the occurrence of the expected events as a result of the application of the proposed events. Although to some extent, the term ‘laboratory method’ is applicable to the purposeful study of anything with the view to identify various components and functions thereof, of the thing under study. Anything whose components have been empirically identified as underlying ’cause’ of the observable phenomenon, such cause effect relations would belong to first type of cause effect relations for the reason that the study of empirically identified components and their functions would be a form of ‘experience based’ and so observable phenomenon, in fact. For example the underlying cause of various diseases are ‘bacteria’ but this ‘underlying cause’ would not belong to above-referred second type of cause effect relations because through the usage of laboratory equipment, the function of bacteria now has become an ‘observable’ phenomenon. On the other hand, ‘gravitation’, which is considered as the underlying cause of why objects fall towards earth, is not anything which could be ‘observed’ through any laboratory equipment. So the study of ‘gravitation’ is not the study of any observable phenomenon. The observable phenomenon is only that the “objects fall towards earth”. The underlying ’cause’ for the ‘falling objects’ i.e. ‘gravitation’ is a pure reason based concept and so the ‘causal’ relationship between falling objects and ‘gravitation’ would be one of above explained ‘second type of cause effect relations’.