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Re: Chance

Posted by ESC on August 29, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Mountain fatalism posted by ESC on August 29, 2003

: : : : : Ive had numerous people tell me everything happens for a reason.. I have my own opinions on the topic, I'd like to hear everyone elses first. Thanks!

: : : : Are you asking whether everything that happens is part of a "great plan"? In my community a week ago, a flash flood swept away a house and drowned a mother and her six-year-old son. A man who survived the flood said he'd lived on that creek 53 years and it had never risen that high or that fast. Did he live and the woman and her little boy die for a "reason"? Well, his house was stronger than that of the woman. But as far as a cosmic "reason," I don't know and neither does anyone else. But my feeling is that sometimes things just happen. The luck of the draw. The woman normally took care of her little granddaughter. The girl wasn't there that day. She lived, the boy died. Why? Trying to figure out "why" can make you crazy. All we can do is love God and love one another. Loving each other includes working towards a society where people don't have to live in a rickety house by a creek.

: : : : That's about as profound as I can get this morning.

: : : : Bringing it back to phrases, the events in Alabama (a judge refusing to obey an order to take down a Ten Commandments monument on public property) made me think of the "Greatest Commandment." Nobody ever mentions that. Jesus only gave us two commandments and they are:
: : : : Matthew 22
: : : : 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
: : : : 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
: : : : 38 This is the first and great commandment.
: : : : 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
: : : : 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

: : : My opinion: Every event has a cause. In that sense, it has a "reason." But not every event has a purpose. Only events directed by sentient beings have purposes. Such events are called acts.

: : I like the notion above that every event has a cause. But to say every event has a reason gets rather heady unless one carefully defines event and reason. Consider this; I'm watching a tree with a thousand leaves and the wind causes them to move a thousand times, suddenly we've a million events. I've no problem attributing a cause to each event but a million reasons gets rather cumbersome to me.

: Yes, every event has a cause. Those two people died because it rained heavily, they lived in a poorly constructed house by a creek and had the bad luck to be home.

: But there are people who believe that they died for a "reason" -- it was God's will, part of God's plan. What a tangled ball of philosophical twine that is. And it's the center piece of the "mountain fatalism" that's been a plague on my people. Don't get me started.

Cue the Twilight Zone music. I opened up a library book just now and found this quote:

"There's no such thing as chance;
And what to us seems merest accident
Springs from the deepest source of destiny."
-- Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, "The Death of Wallenstein."

I'm not buying it. I am from the "sh*t happens" school of thought.