Attention students-of-life. Have you noticed in your research that Effect does not always follow Cause…?
This may shock the left-brained empirical thinkers who usually have this journey known as living all neatly mapped out. Guys like Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, and our genetics teachers are famous for this. However, on the actual trip itself, things are never that neat. Some examples….
You’d assume (well, I assumed) watching MTV’s smarmy “The Jersey Shore” would have a negative effect on Americans’ view of New Jersey; but according to TV Guide, it hasn’t…! You’d assume (well, most kids assume) parenting would have an important effect on children; but according to economist Bryan Caplan in the National Review, it has “little or no effect on overall personality and happiness in adult life”….! You’d assume (well, Tea Party ideologues assume) cutting $12 billion and 200,000 jobs in the US Postal Service would yield the improvements promised from “smaller government;” but the stats show the Service continues to lose money….! You’d assume (well, anyone in the Midwest would assume) this year’s 66 new all-time heat records would convince decision-makers that climate change is real; but the doubters in DC still outnumber the believers…!
Oh, here’s another failed cause-and-effect dynamic, You’d think in a nation where the vast majority say they believe in God, they would give Him better ratings. But according to the latest Pew Survey, only 52% of Americans “approved God’s performance,” 40% hedged their bets, and a vociferous 9% gave the big guy failing grades.
At this confusing point, you sometimes turn to a smart philosopher to make sense of it all. All right, what about the ever-popular Kierkegaard? “Life can only be understood backwards, but it has to be lived forwards….!”
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