Causality – Why anything exists?
As we go through our daily lives, we experience many moments of struggles, many moments of happinesses, many times passed as routine chores. Once in a while, we stop to think and ask what is all this around me ? Why is there something ? Where was I before I was born?
Different people with different ideologies give different answers to these questions. Atheists say you didn’t exist before your birth and that they don’t know why anything exists though. Religions give different views depending on their books. So, what answer do I accept?
Most of the time, some pressing work comes into the scene which distracts us from this line of thinking and takes our attention to some other task. We forget about this question and get on with our lives.
Deep down in our thinking, there are certain assumptions which we may not be aware of which work silently and give rise to our thoughts. We see that things change, become other things by joining or breaking. We attribute causality to these changes. Causality is taken for granted unknowingly. Whenever we see something, we “know” it’s in that form due to something else. If there is a cat in our room, we know it came from outside through the window. This is something which comes naturally to us. We feel this should be the case.
As some people had more time available to think, they started tracing the source of each such cause. What caused the window to be open ? Someone must have opened it. How did the window come to be? Because of the tree from which it’s cut… and so on. By question in this way, we come to the final question why anything exists or what caused this existence.
Now, some say God created this. Then question comes as to who created God? Answer comes as God always existed. Some others say this existence always is there. Some people get satisfied with these answers. But those who believe in causality cannot accept such an answer. How can it always be there or how can God not have an origin?
But maybe such people should be careful about applying causality everywhere. What guarantee is there that causality should always work? It’s just an empirical observation which always succeeds in our environment. We may not be able to apply it to all times.
But the problem with accepting that causality may not apply here leads to situations which defy common sense. Then anyone can say anything about the origin of everything and not be questioned about it. People can say a single God created this. Others can say a trinity created this and so on. It’s okay till this point but then they continue to say the single God wants all of us to do this, or the trinity wants us to do that. And these commandments conflict with our common sense.
But what exactly is common sense? Do we all have the same common sense? I think no. For a person raised religiously, God created this universe is part of his common sense. For a person raised otherwise, it’s not. So, how to deal with the before situation where they want us to behave along their particular doctrines? Well, we can say let’s take majority opinion along the lines of democracy but that’s just submitting to the majority common sense which may not be the correct view theoretically. Or some say let’s take the opinion of the intellectuals but we just doubted the application of causality at the origin of everything. Most of the times, people at this point say it’s beyond our understanding or we don’t know the answers yet and get on with their daily lives.
But for those who cannot do that they try to find an answer through causality to break the doctrines they find are against their common sense. So, we resort to causality again as it empirically works!
It looks like we are freed through these rational thoughts but are also bound by them!