Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer.
(If causality did not exist, it would have to be invented.)
For without causality, or causation at least, what holds meaning? Is a choice worth making or action worth taking if it effects nothing? The Western world answers these questions with blind resolve. Even the Zermuti-Fraenkel axioms of mathematics rely unquestioningly on causality to allow substitutes to be equal.
The principle of causality is an unfalsifiable premise on which the entirety of theoretical science depends for validity and vitality, just as Gödel's incompleteness theorem requires. The system of scientific logic cannot demonstrate its own consistency, which seems to follow the second incompleteness theorem.
Under similar conditions, like causes produce like effects.
This is effectively a tautology, for when it is violated by observable phenomena, we can say:
- the conditions weren't similar,
- the causes weren't alike,
- the effects weren't alike, or that
- there isn't a causal link between the elements,
and the principle of causality can persist without threat of invalidity.
This is also an imperative, for by taking the principle of causality as a logical premise for scientific inquiry, we position science as a proving ground for determinism, and a guardian of causality.
- it is "an implicit imperative, directing scientists to interpret evidence in such a way that deterministic descriptions of a causal nature are produced."
- ["The very task of [theoretical] science is to maintain the truth of 'like causes produce like effects under the same or similar conditions'."]
- That is to say, the principle of causality is the sine qua non of empirical and theoretical science.
Since it is an imperative tautology, the principle of causality is unfalsifiable.
"The principle of causality is unfalsifiable for the further reason that putative counter-examples are never to be construed as evidence against the principle, but rather as anomalies to be investigated, or, problems to be solved."
- [Paul Forster, "The Logical Foundations of Peirce's Indeterminism"]
: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43154829 "MILLER, JOHN F. "The Principle of Causality: Tautology, Empirical Proposition Or Imperative?" The Southwestern Journal of Philosophy 2, no. 1/2 (1971): 73-82."