12 Pages

The Naturalistic Principle of Karma

In the first place, the phrase "the Law of Causation" is highly misleading. There are two well-known senses of "law," and in neither one does the doctrine under discussion, viz., "every event has a cause," state a law. The "Law of Causation" is not a prescriptive law, since a prescriptive law presupposes a lawgiver. If there were a lawgiver for the "Law of Causation," it presumably would have to be God. But consider a God who promulgates the Causal Law "Every event must have a cause." Why should he promulgate such a law? A prescriptive law is intended to compel people to act or restrain people from acting in certain ways, and this edict can do nothing of the kind. God may have created the world in such a fashion that every event indeed does have a cause, either by some necessity within the scheme or even as a result of his continuolls and direct intervention, but it does not follow from that, even if it be true, that he issued a prescriptive law to that effect.