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With a faint sigh the priest's eyes opened and seemed to gaze for a moment on the crucifix standing in the bright light of the lamp. An expression of wonderful gentleness and calm overspread the refined features. "Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis." The words came faintly from the dying man's lips, the last syllables scarcely audible in the intense stillness.

This is the famous "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" fallacy. Other relations must be weighed and the possibility of common causation must be seriously contemplated. Such sequencing is, conceptually, not even necessary: simultaneous causation and backwards causation are part of modern physics, for instance. The former is formal, the latter, presumably, physical, or mental.

"Well, listen to your Uncle Stalky who is a great man. Moreover and subsequently, Foxy's goin' to let us drill the corps in turn privatim et seriatim so that we'll all know how to handle a half company anyhow. Ergo, an' propter hoc, when we go to the Shop we shall be dismissed drill early; thus, my beloved 'earers, combinin' education with wholesome amusement."

For, hark ye: granting, propter argumentum, that I am a talker, then the true reasoning runs that since all men of sense should avoid me, and thou hast not avoided me, but art at the present moment eating herrings with me under a holly-bush, ergo you are no man of sense, which is exactly what I have been dinning into your long ears ever since I first clapped eyes on your sunken chops."

And now to be wrenched away, sold to supply Man's humblest, meanest wants, sold the last symbol of such a past! It was indeed "/propter vitam vivendi perdere causas/." He would have starved rather, but the child? And then the child rose up and came into play.

And it requires your closest observation to know what are the consequences of what for the consequent by no means follows immediately upon the antecedent and coarse observation is utterly at fault. Almost all superstitions are owing to bad observation, to the post hoc, ergo propter hoc; and bad observers are almost all superstitious.

Namque stultorum aliqui Paganorum huiusmodi adorant animalia propter colorum, odorumque virtutem. Proposui retrahere calamum a describenda nobilitate, gubernatione et ministrantium frequentia, atque Imperatoris magnificentia: attamen quia coepi ego, propter incredulos, et nescios, ac inerudibiles, non dimittam in toto.

Mirabilis Deus mirabilia propter semetipsum creauit, vt scilicet ab intellectualibus creaturis suis intelligeretur, et per hoc diligeretur, atque in hoc ipse creator, et creatura se mutuo fruerentur.

As for the mental mechanism that, set in motion by this desire, produces the vain images of the superstitious, it implies: A deep idea of causality, reduced to a post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

"Matutina ligat Christum qui crimina purgat, Prima replet sputis. Causam dat Tertia mortis. Sexta cruci nectit. Latus ejus Nona bipertit. Vespera deponit. Tumulo completa reponit. Haec sunt septenis propter quae psallimus horas." "At Matins bound; at Prime reviled; Condemned to death at Tierce; Nailed to the Cross at Sext; at None His blessed Side they pierce.