Imagine your finger pushing over the first in a long line of dominos. When the last domino falls, can you say what caused it? In part, the second to the last domino caused it. Then again, the domino before that caused it. Keep going and you eventually get to your finger, then your arm, and ultimately to your desire to push the first domino.
Which is right? In a sense, it's all right. Then again, the domino manufacturer made the whole thing happen. There's no arguing that the guy who set them up made it happen, too.
In fact, the car that got you to the building played a role, as did the refinery for gasoline, the tanker ship that hauled the crude, the pump in the oil field, the oil company who paid for the drilling, the satellite that discovered the deposit, the computer chips in the satellite, the computer chip manufacturer, the engineer who designed it, the HR person who hired the engineer, the mother of the HR person, the mother's maternity doctor, the philanthropist who donated the maternity ward, the bank who delivered the funds, the pen that wrote the check, the tree that made up the paper, the deer who carried and deposited the seed, the rain that wetted the ground, the storm system carrying the rain, the jet stream bringing the storm, the earth whose revolution causes the jet stream, gravity for perpetuating the revolution, and quantum mechanics that cause mass to attract.
It's easy to see how chaos theory came about – flapping butterfly wings can cause tornados if you play out the right scenario. It's fun, though the number of players to a single event is staggering to consider.
There's another thought out there at says the human brain is a cauldron of chemical reactions, each scientifically responding to each other and external stimulus.
There's another implying our actions are the result of psychological and physical (like genes) qualities that mandate certain responses.
Each of these (and others) implies that the real issue to understanding is knowledge, and with enough knowledge we could understand why things occur. The "why" is a real holy grail because once we know why we can know "what" – specifically what's next based on the players in the equation.
Some people say this is how God knows the future. Because he knows all the causes he has a clear picture of what the effects would be. In fact, because of his special place in time he would have the ability of knowing the first cause ever and the reactions from then to eternity.
But what's the problem? I'll post about it a little later. Care to guess?