Every cause has an effect. And every effect has a cause. This is the universal law of cause and effect. It never fails. When a particular cause does not produce the expected effect the fault is in the expectation. There is still an effect. It's just that the effect is other than what is expected -- unexpected, but certain, nevertheless.
To put it in plain language, something happens and something else happens after that. You hit the light switch and the light comes on. Cause and effect. Sometimes you hit the switch and the light doesn't come on. Cause and effect. Cause -- you hit the light switch. Effect -- no light came on.
The law never fails. It's not necessary that the light should come on every time you hit the switch. The law simply says a cause is followed by an effect. And an effect is preceded by a cause.
Another example. The sun rises and you have a sunny day. Cause and effect. Sometimes the sun rises and you don't see the sun -- it's a cloudy day. Cause and effect. The same cause doesn't always have the same effect. But it does have an effect. That's the main thing.
You mess around with somebody, you get a punch in the face. Cause and effect. Nothing very complicated in that. The cause -- you messed around with someone -- or with someone's wife. The effect -- the punch in the face -- unless you duck in time.
It's not necessary to go into all the fine details of the scene or the sequence. Some people might not be the type to throw punches no matter what the temptation. Or some people don't like to throw punches at people bigger in size or meaner in looks. Those are all minor details.
But that doesn't detract from the fact that the urge to throw the punch is there. That is the cause. No, wait. That's the effect. Hang on. That's the intermediate cause. The original cause is the messing around. The effect is the urge to throw the punch. This effect in turn becomes the cause of the actual punch. If the punch isn't thrown for whatever reason, we take the urge as the effect.
And there you have it. Cause and effect. Explained as no scientist or philosopher has ever explained it because no one has understood it. But there's nothing very complicated in this, as I said. The complications come in when the cause doesn't produce the expected effect. But the fault, as I said, lies in the expectation. There is still an effect except that it's not what is expected. Only expectant mothers seem to get the expected result. And they never doubt the cause of it.
A typical complication is when the effect cannot be traced to the same cause each time. If you've had this problem of not being able to trace the effect, the fault could be the lack of deduction on your part. But that doesn't affect the law. Your faulty deduction is also a cause of something and an effect of something.
There are always exceptions to the rule. And these exceptions to the rule also have their individual cause. For example, the apple didn't have to be the cause of Newton's law of gravity. It could have been bird poop. And the effect didn't have to be the law of gravity. It could have been the harvest of apples or the shooting of the bird. As far as I'm aware, the falling apple was the cause of the apple pie Newton had that night. And the apple pie was the cause of thoughts of falling apples as Newton lay in bed. And who knows? Newton may have fallen off his bed that night and experienced gravity at first hand. So he connected the two events as you or I could have done just as well in his place.
To get back to the cause of this article, the main thing is that something happens, leading to something else happening, with all the variations all along the flow of events. Always remember this rule of thumb. Something happens. And another thing happens. You can work it forward or backward.
That is, you can begin with the first event and work it forward to the effect. Or you can begin with the effect and work it back to the cause. Every cause has an effect and every effect has a cause. Let me give you another example. I like to give lots of examples so that you get the point.
You sit on the toilet and some stuff comes out. Cause and effect. The cause -- sitting on the toilet. The effect -- the evacuation. There should be no doubt in the matter. If you didn't sit on the toilet there would be no stuff forthcoming. If you don't agree with this, ask yourself how often you've evacuated without sitting on the toilet.
Now, the complications. Or rather the exceptions. Some people sit on the toilet yet nothing happens. The cause is there but the effect isn't as expected. This is not a weakness in the law of cause and effect. It is a weakness in the digestive system. And this weakness in the digestive system is an effect of a cause.
After all that's been said, there will still be some who'll insist that a particular phenomenon isn't the effect of a specified cause. I agree. But the argument isn't about attributing specific causes to specific effects, or vice versa. The point is, there is a cause and there is an effect.
One final example. You feel hungry. That's the cause. You eat a hamburger. That's the effect. Another time you feel hungry -- same cause. You have a salad -- different effect. Yet there is an effect. Yet another time you're hungry -- still same cause. You don't eat because you're on a diet -- still an effect even if it's a different effect.
If you still don't get it, that's the effect of a cause. I don't think you want me to tell you what the cause is.