Points of Controversy

11.7. Of the Causality of Things

Controverted Point: That a cause of things is predetermined.

Theravādin: Is then the cause of causes predetermined by something else? You deny. For if you assent, you commit yourself to this: that, because of the continued eventuating due to endless causation, there can never be an end made to Suffering, nor any cutting off the round of rebirth, nor any Nibbāna free from the residual stuff of rebirth.

Again, is the cause of any one of the five aggregates (body, mind) predetermined? If you assent, you commit yourself to the admission that the cause itself is predetermined by something else. And if you deny—and I insist, and take no denial—you, assenting, commit yourself to this—that there is, for this endless causation, no making an end of Suffering, no cutting off of the round of rebirth, no Nibbāna without stuff of rebirth… .