Correlation is a relationship between two variables; when one variable changes, the other variable also changes. Causation is when there is a real-world explanation for why this is logically happening; it implies a cause and effect. So: causation is correlation with a reason.
There you have it.
A definition for the troubles afflicting our society.
The final word ‘reason’. Is a heavy one. It’s something a person ‘does’, as well as, the decided culprit or impetus for a result.
“I reasoned that the reason/cause for my lateness to work was the heavy traffic.”
But, can anything be honestly boiled down to a single cause? Well, reasoning further, takes effort and time. We humans tend to grab the closest correlation then carry on with our busy lives.
An investigation, that is, an intellectually honest one (not the political clown shows we’ve been seeing) might come up with other correlations to the the same problem of being late for work. Sometimes there are so many that a direct ’cause’ isn’t clear. Let’s take a look…
Things the person who was late for work might ask:
Was I up later than usual last night and, therefore, moving more slowly this morning?
Did I respond to my alarm clock the first time?
Had I laid, or should I have, laid out my clothes and made my lunch last night?
Had I forgotten it was a long weekend and the traffic was predictably heavier?
Etc. Etc. Etc.
The heavy traffic may have had less to do as a ’cause’ than the person thinks?
But, certainly, blaming the heavy traffic was something tangible and easier to concluded. It was so easy that ‘being late’ could be excused and forgotten.
When it comes down to it, there are few problems that can be reduced to a single ’cause’. I can’t even imagine one off hand. But in our modern fast paced world people need answers! The simpler the better. This has reduced us to constantly grasping ‘correlations’ as ’causes’.
It would be delightful if problems had clearly defined causes. We’d adjust or eliminate the cause and “voila!”… problem solved.
“Make abortion more accessible, and we’ll have fewer struggling single mothers.”
“Trump caused middle class people to complain. Get rid of him and everyone will get along.” (Hmm… I think they mean ‘go along’?)
“Open our borders and the World’s poor will be better off.”
“Spend more money on inner city schools, and those kids will be able to compete.”
You get my drift (and my political leaning) by now. So, is there something wrong with my reasoning, or is my voting record the ’cause’ of this post?
You decide, if you’re not too busy to investigate.