General Question

tata12's avatar

Must a cause be at least as great as its effect ?

Asked by tata12 (101points) February 20th, 2010

what do you think about it

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

mowens's avatar

No. At the simple push of a button, we could destroy the world.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It depends on how far back you want to trace “cause”.

Consider an avalanche of snow, for example. Is the “cause” the trigger that sets it off? Maybe a sound, or a skier or hiker who breaks the surface tension of the snow and precipitates the fall? Or does the cause include the snowfall in the first place, perhaps occurring over many days or even weeks? Or does the cause extend back to the evaporation of water from the ocean, leading to cloud formation that later returned to Earth in the form of snow? Or does it include the plate tectonics that formed the mountain to force the cloud to give up its moisture as snow, and to create the high place where an avalanche would “fall” instead of just rest on a flat plane?

tentaclepuppy's avatar

I’m pretty sure hurricanes are bigger than butterflies.

Conversely, if you trace the causality back far enough, hurricanes are much smaller than the Big Bang, which you might regard as the hurricanes ur-cause.

TheLoneMonk's avatar

thanks for increasing the magnitude of my hangover CyWasp

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@TheLoneMonk at least I’m not the cause of it…

Cruiser's avatar

The Yin and Yang of the universe is the great equalizer…no way around it.

frigate1985's avatar

Nope…a simple quest to find a better way to do sth might turn you into a billionaire..who knows? And a brilliant answer by mowens haha

Willowisp's avatar

Yes. Cause is always equal to effect. Causes are also equal to affects. The apparent size of the elements of cause have nothing to do with the size of the relative outcome. A very small cause could have great effect, but that is still an equality. A small prism, for example, angled in sunlight could start a fire that could destroy half of California. The same prism on a cloudy day might not be able to do so. The cause has to cause something, the angle of the sun, the cut of the prism, the presence of dry materials are all, collectively, cause. One can’t say that effects would have changed if causes were altered. Of course they would. Had President Kennedy sneezed, Oswald’s bullet may have missed. But that does not mean that, because there was no pollen in Dallas on November 23, Kennedy did not sneeze and was, therefore, assassinated. Cause always exists before the present.

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