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When we ask someone "why do you do that?", we are asking for her/his reasons.

It someone asks me "why do you play tennis?" and I say "I like to stay fit and I like to have fun. Tennis is good exercise and good fun, therefore I play tennis", I am giving my reasons. (It doesn't matter if having fun actually is a form of suffering. My reasons are still my reasons.)

In light of Buddhist philosophy, would it be right to say that my reasons are the causes of my behavior?

Is there any general agreement across tenet systems? Or is it one answer for Vaibhashika, one for Sautrantika, one for Chittamatra and one for Madhyamika?

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    It may be helpful to specify which Tradition, as some specific traditions( or individuals ;) ) don't take rebirth literally, whereas some do, and would say that your behavior now has been conditioned over many lifetimes – Ryan Dec 10 '15 at 10:36
  • OK, Ryan, I'll try to be more specific. Cheers – Mr. Concept Dec 10 '15 at 10:42
  • My suggestion is to carry around with you the phrase "connected causes" and it will make sense eventually. The awareness will cut through everything that gets in the way. why why why - it is a question you ask yourself. – user2341 Dec 10 '15 at 13:27
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Reasons like in your example seem more like rationalizations than causes. We have a certain behavior that is based on forces that operate hidden from the intellect and then the intellect invents a story for the behavior to make sense.

The cause is craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming (something - a role), craving for non-becoming (when I don't want to be something anymore).

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    Yes! It has been said that consciousness is like the part of the iceberg that is above water, and such a huge amount is going on below the surface that we are not aware of. As we progress, the Imaginary Iceberg rises slowly higher, and an enlightened person is fully aware, with nothing hidden from their sight. How about that analogy? I don't think that we need to nail down causes and reasons or try to change them. Simply become more aware, and they will untangle themselves. We are already perfect in essence, so the 'dirt' just falls off. Hai? – user2341 Dec 10 '15 at 13:24
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    @nocomprende Great analogy, as we become more & more aware we see more & more of the iceberg. I agree that we don't need to nail down causes and reasons, we can accept them and let them go. Let them cease as it is natural. – user4878 Dec 10 '15 at 14:22
  • Reasons are rationalizations in a non normative sense. If by rationalization mean excuses that's not what I mean. Of course there are forces hidden from the intellect, that's not the point. I am asking about mental causation – Mr. Concept Dec 15 '15 at 12:10
  • "In light of Buddhist philosophy, would it be right to say that my reasons are the causes of my behavior?" I tried to argue that reasons are created by the intellect to explain behavior. – user4878 Dec 16 '15 at 10:04
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When we ask someone "why do you do that?", we are asking for her/his reasons.

This basically looks like to fulfil ones own curiosity. Our intellect is the sphere of our mind and our mind delights in experiencing and knowing. Our past desire or craving to know what creates our current mind faculty.

It someone asks me "why do you play tennis?" and I say "I like to stay fit and I like to have fun. Tennis is good exercise and good fun, therefore I play tennis", I am giving my reasons. (It doesn't matter if having fun actually is a form of suffering. My reasons are still my reasons.)

When you say your reason you are seem to have attachment with your reasoning. Also taking pleasure in playing a game or another hobby or anything else which you call fun.

In light of Buddhist philosophy, would it be right to say that my reasons are the causes of my behavior?

Your behavior is conditioned by pratice not necessarily practice. Also mental constructs which we cling to.

Is there any general agreement across tenet systems? Or is it one answer for Vaibhashika, one for Sautrantika, one for Chittamatra and one for Madhyamika?

I do not understand this part hence will leave it for someone else to fill in for this.

See: Mind, the three words by Piya Tan, 2 paragraphs from the end of page 1 onwards. What is discussed here to attachment to politics, religion etc. but this can be interpreted to attachment to my reasoning, my idea, my view, etc.

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