In Buddhism, is the effect ontologically independent of the cause? I'm not asking if the effect makes the cause, which I think would amount to "ontic" dependence; but if the effect can exist without the cause. I can't remember the word for this, but take smoking. It causes cancer, and some people's cancer is caused by smoking: but not all cancers are from smoking.
And what has that got to do with 'emptiness', in any Mahayana tradition?