Conditions To Be Satisfied To Establish Cause & Effect
- Specio Temporal Priority: It is assumed that cause and effect occurs in a world determine by time. For cause and effect to be established, it is in case that cause must occur before the effect. It is not possible for the cause of an event to come after the event. Water for instance cannot boil before it is heated. An object not thrown up, cannot come down. A house cannot be inhabited before it is built.
A cause must therefore occur before it effect. In other words a cause is always prior it effect within Space and Time. Effect always follows the cause, within space and time. This is the order of Nature.
- Specio Temporal Contiguity: This is an assumption that in a specio temporal world, a cause and effect share close proximity and effect occurs close to the cause. The relations of cause and effect will not hold, if the cause shares a special distance to the effect. For instance it is impossible for the water heated in Lagos to boil in Abuja neither is it the case that a person in Lagos could experience pain from a slap in Ife. For a billiard ball to communicate motion to the other, both of them must be closed to each other.
For there to be cause and effect both cause and effect must be closely conjunct together in space and time.
- Specio Temporal Simultaneity: It is that cause and effect occurs at the same time. That means, both of them share Specio temporal occurrence. While it is impossible for the cause to occur after the event, it is also impossible for the effect before the cause, it is also impossible for cause to be so separate from effect. For instance it is impossible for a stone thrown up at a considerable height to fall in weeks time. So also it is impossible for you to be slapped today while you feel the pains next month.
Whatever thrown up unsuspended in space comes down immediately. Immediately you received a slap, you experience the pain. Immediately the event of slapping occurs, the effect of pain occur immediately. In nutshell, Cause and Effect so occur simultaneously.
- Necessary Connection: Hume argues that all our beliefs concerning matters of fact presupposes a connection between the cause and it effect. This is because, it is believed that a particular effect is necessarily connected to a particular cause. It is believed that whenever a volume of water is heated, it must necessarily boil. The possibility of otherwise is not accommodated. Again it is believed that nourishment is necessarily connected with bread. That is, whenever you eat bread, you
get nourished or nourish able. Whatever goes up must necessarily come down. One billiard ball must communicate motion to another. By the force of the belief where we presented with either, we are so act to certainly infer the effect or cause therefore respectively. Before we can continue to hold the belief, there must be a means of justifying that belief.
For David Hume, since the four conditions are necessary and sufficient, each of them must hold for the relation of cause and effect to be justified.
The first 3 are only necessary but not sufficient to justify the relation of cause and effect, if the idea of necessary connection is not established, then the relation of cause and effect fails, then matters of fact is not justified. If matters of fact is not justified, then it means that knowledge is not possible.
For Hume, the question is, how can we justify the supposed necessary connection between cause and effect?
" All reasoning may be divided into two kinds namely; demonstrative reasoning or that concerning relations of ideas and moral reasoning or that concerning matters of fact and existence ".
For Hume, we have two source of knowledge acquisition:
Knowledge is acquired through relations of ideas and matters of fact . Similarly if any knowledge claims is to be justified, it follows that, there are only two available means of such.
It means that such claims can only be justified either by reasoning or rational argument or by relying on experience through the senses.