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One In a Million (and Every Other Chance)

Updated: Feb 24

A beautiful Techinical house

Regardless of the topic or issue at hand, anything that has the potential to happen, no matter how likely or rare, is a possibility nonetheless, that can come into actualization without the necessary guidance from a supernatural hand. On the contrary, a guiding hand will only bias a possibility into making it likelier or rarer than it already has been, thus twisting the original chance of said possibility.

For example, a divine hand is not required in order to win the lottery. The devotion of a person to a certain religion will not necessarily increase their luck at winning this gamble (and vice versa) due to the fact that zealotry does not alter the chosen sequence of the numbers—both when picking the number and when the sequence has been declared at the end of the lottery.

In other words, one in a thousand can still happen like a one in a million, even if the chances are different. So, why should a one-in-a-million chance be any different than any other type of possibility, in regards to it actually happening, like any other normal or slightly unusual occurrence?

As written before, should we assume the existence of divine guidance, we will technically contradict the "natural" chances of possibilities—those that happen at random. Should said guidance declare that a miracle will happen, then its likelihood of occurring is massively reduced from "rare" to "common." This is problematic because miracles are, by definition, rare, not common. If we are to know that a miracle will definitely happen, why should we pretend that it is truly a miracle when it is not?

Of course, this is not to say that all miracles are random, nor that they are planned. Miracles happen due to a very fortunate possibility. It can come from an attempt or by sheer luck, but whatever may be the case, all miracles must have a low possibility in order to be regarded as such.

Have you ever heard, in fiction, of "chew toy" characters? Those whose entire purpose is to be laughed at by going through loops of unfortunate happenings, no one else has in the show or movie? Those are characters whose existence in real life is very rare, since it is rare to have one unfortunate happening after the other. Hence why we are supposed to laugh at their misery, as it is too unreal to be considered realistic.

Unlike the fictional realm, there isn't necessarily a divine hand that determines our chances at things, as these chances are first of all within our reach, and second of all, determined by others. We can, and we have the right to, believe in anything we want, but it should be important to mention that prayer alone will not play with your chances at things.

This is because those who are more devoted to faith are not necessarily luckier or more successful than their secular or atheist counterparts. Furthermore, if we are to adopt a theist approach, who are we to change the mind of a being/s far greater and smarter than ourselves?

Chance is called as such because it is not certain, and will never be unless the possibility will reach a full 100%. The overall problem with the deterministic view, AKA, that everything has already been decided, is that it doesn't leave any room for chance to occur, in a reality where things are more often than not are uncertain.

Every day comes the possibility of any one of us to die, and yet, some die, unfortunately, and the rest resume to the next day. Why do these people die, if they were good, kind, lawful, and so on, if they don't deserve death? That is because the universe is guided by chance, not by justice. It is, ultimately, apathetic to our conception of justice, and instead relies on possibilities, common as uncommon as rare as exceptional.

Who are the enforcers of justice? Humans, first of all, and then, if at all, the environment. To enforce justice we made the law, the court system, imprisonment, and at times execution—none of these were made by nature, so we can conclude that at least a large portion of what we see as justice, has been ultimately a human endeavor. Nature does not care that poor, soft animals are likely to die, and that's why nature is crueler than humans.

Just a few weeks ago, a street cat I know gave birth to a kitten. However, for some reason she appeared to have abandoned him, and he is nowhere to be found. Now you tell me, why are some innocent kittens left to fend for themselves while others are not, while both kinds have done nothing wrong to anyone? That is because of luck, of having a chance to be embraced by their mothers. If their existence was not necessary, then they would not exist in a deterministic universe.

Even if we are not cats, our existence too relies on lucky possibilities and unlucky encounters. It's not only fatally, but basically in any other field of life. Unlike cats, however, some of our "fate" can be altered if we have enough power and—again—luck. Because of our ability to change our possibilities to a degree, I personally find it hard to succumb to religion—of bending my head down and speaking a few sentences in hope that it will change anything.

Deeds ought to be done, plans to execute; none of them would matter in a deterministic world now, would they? Because then, no power from one would technically matter, as the future will be 100% certain, and thus no possibility for something else would be required.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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