Why Ask "Why??"
This paper suggests the notion that awareness
of the concept of causality is a prerequisite
for the ability to reason by inductive logic,
deductive logic, or by analogy.
I suggest that prior to the time someone becomes
aware of the notion of causality, one is unable
even to pose
the following question:
I become aware that every time I see event A, I also see
They form a pattern, they go together, it happens every time.
In my memory, I
A with B thus: A -- B.
Does it ever occur to me to ask the question,
"Does one come first and
I submit that if I am
ask the question of causality, because
I do not know enough to ask the question.
I must be taught
(by someone who already knows)
that it is very important
to ask the question.
What Happens If I Ask The Question
If it occurs to me to ask the question,
I would have to admit,
I do not know.
I would like to know
(emphasis on the feeling that something exists which I want)
I then must go to the outside world to find the answer.
or I must do an
I submit, that there are exactly four possible answers to the question.
If I am to know the answer, I must determine which of the four
When I have answered
I will have
two bits of information.
which of four possibilities is
about the real world where the events occurred.
I will know which of the four pictures to store in my memory:
A -- B, neither one causes the other.
(They must both be caused by some common earlier event.)
A --> B, A causes B, but not the converse.
If A then B.
A <-- B, B causes A but not the converse.
If B then A.
A< -- > B, A causes B and B causes A.
If A then B
if B then A (A if and only if B).
I submit, that until one's memory includes the
there is no such thing as
from premise to conclusion.
Until one is aware of the direction of time
between two closely related events,
of a possible course of action.
At best, one can only follow a set of
preprogrammed (or accidentally discovered)
tells one what to do.
If one does not know what to do,
choose at random
some untried method to react to the observation
of A and B seen together.
If it works, keep it until it becomes unworkable.
Then search for a better way.
When one does not know which way to put the arrows
of causality, could it be that one
which way to put them, and the direction and strength of a feeling
is just the direction and strength of belief that one has put an arrow
That is, one
one's way toward knowledge (certainty) that one knows one's world.
It is when we guess wrong on the direction the arrow between cause
and effect that we make errors.
Could it be that lack of awareness of the Scientific Method
of Discovery is responsible for the apparent frequency
with which people arrive at puzzling beliefs?
Could such common fallacies as
post hoc, ergo propter hoc
(after the fact, therefore because of the fact)
be so pervasive in everyday thinking that people routinely trap
themselves with false beliefs?
(In Skinnerian conditioning, this type of adaptive learning
is well known.
It is easy to spot instances of it by merely asking the question,
"How do you know that?"
If the question is taken rhetorically rather than reflectively,
one may legitimately wonder if the item of "knowledge" was
acquired adaptively rather than cognitively.)
The Process of Coming to a Perfect Accommodation
It now appears that it may be possible for two warring
parties to think and feel their way toward harmony,
provided one of them (or a mediator) is able to follow
a certain protocol.
When two people, or two organizations, or two countries
become adversaries, could it be that each of them have failed
to discover the existence of an arrow of causality (denoted "-->"),
which, if they knew about it,
could enable them to break the deadlock?
Consider, if you will, two acts of aggression,
one party against another.
When event A occurs, the first party defends himself by causing
event B (which is intended to be an act of defense).
Event B is indeed taken as an act of aggression by the second
party, who takes the blow but does not retaliate.
Later, the second party may offer a token of appeasement,
and things return to "normal."
After a while the second party starts giving a lot of little
presents of things he has an abundance of, which the first
party does not have at all.
Then the second party makes a mistake and offends the first party.
The mistake is another occurrence of event A.
What went wrong?
Both parties know that A causes B (A --> B), because
the first party is deliberately causing B in response to A.
The second party is aware of A, but doesn't see how
it could be such a big thing.
Unbeknownst to the second party, the string of little
presents are unwanted and/or unneeded by the first party.
So why does it continue?
The first party does not want to offend the second party
by telling them their presents are unwanted.
Finally, when a real mistake occurs (event A), the first
party lets loose with a bomb (event B), that is all
out of proportion to the offense.
It should be clear that the first party is holding back
information about the undesirability of the string of presents.
The answer is that the presents are too advanced.
Examples: Giving an FM Stereo Receiver to someone
who lives in a backward place where they only have AM broadcasting.
Giving a book on philosophy to a young man who is interested
in becoming a star halfback.
If the giver is unaware of the circumstances, the gift
By asking the person whether they would be interested,
they reveal their feelings which tells you where they
are in their growth.