Jan 302015


A Cause Cannot Have Multiple Possible Effects

An assessment that ties into the free will debate!

  • If X is both the cause of Y and not the cause of Y (e.g. of Z instead), X is self-contradictory.
  • Self-contradictions are logically impossible
  • X cannot logically be both the cause of Y and not the cause of Y

In other words:

If a cause has the properties that leads to an effect, for it to have the properties to NOT lead to that effect (but to another one instead), the cause’s properties must be different than the cause that leads to the initial effect. X fails the law of identity.

Note: X could be a specific cause, or it could be the entire state of the universe that leads to the next.

So what does this mean for free will?

It means that IF all events are caused (determinism), then our thoughts and decisions are events that are not excluded (they are caused as well). If that’s the case, our thoughts and decisions could not have been otherwise.

But what if some events are uncaused (indeterminism)? If such is possible, any non-caused event can never be up to (caused by) you!

This means the free will definition of importance:  the ability to have, of one’s own accord, done otherwise – is logically impossible!

There is much more to it, so if you are interested in the full case destroying free will, please pick up a copy of Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind! Right now it’s having a Kindle Countdown Deal so you can get the Kindle version for very cheap!



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'Trick Slattery

'Trick Slattery is the author of Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind. He's an author, philosopher, artist, content creator, and entrepreneur. He has loved and immersed himself in philosophy since he was teenager. It is his first and strongest passion. Throughout the years he has built a philosophy based on analytic logic and critical thinking. Some of the topics he is most interested in are of a controversial variety, but his passion for the topics and their importance drives him to want to express these ideas to others. His other passions include pen and ink line art and digital artwork.

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Comments (4)
  1. With indeterminism one cause could lead to more than one effect (in different instances). The important thing is that since we can’t control indeterminism, it does not offer a loophole for free will. In fact, having multiple possible uncontrollable effects makes the case for free will even worse than under determinism, where there is only one uncontrollable effect.

    • Right, but indeterminism implies an event that isn’t caused that changes the trajectory. A cause can’t without an acausal event to do such work. 😉

      • So you’re saying that it wouldn’t be the cause doing the causing? The cause may precede the effect in both instances but the cause isn’t causing the effect, because if it were then the effect would be the same?

        • No, it’s doing the causing, but based on the acausal starting point that leads to such. To put it another way, once an acausal event is “out and about” the causality cannot be otherwise than the entirely causal events that spring forth from that point on (unless another acausal event happens). Acausal events can be seen as “starting points” that can change a causal trajectory. In an entirely causal universe (one where no acausal events happen), there can be no “indeterminism” as all events must lead to a specific effect dictated by the entire line (rather than a line and an acausal event).

          For an effect to be different, the cause of such needs to be different, which means an acausal event produced that difference that wouldn’t have happened in an entirely causal universe. 😉

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