Choice v. Chance
You have a choice… to believe in chance. Or choice. What do you choose?
Obviously it’s a trick question because if you don’t believe in choice you don’t have a choice, right? And you can’t choose if it’s all chance.
There is the illusion of choice, you say, choosing. Or, you say the other way, It’s really all so random. Another choice (of what to believe, what to believe…).
It is gray like this every day. In some circumstances you pat yourself on the back for a job well done. At other times you shake a fist at the sky and cry Why?! (The anger betrays disbelief in Fate, or victimhood, but not total belief in one’s own hand in the current negative situation/outcome.)
We argue for and zombie walk in a haze of Choice/Chance gray. We won’t pick one or the other because both suit our purposes.
Except for science.
There is no “Creator/Designer/Architect” that can be allowed in the equation there. No UberMind, or even Watchmaker. Or God forbid, free will.
So instead “Nature” or physics, math, biology, etc. become their own creators. Immutable laws and Reason to deduce—Universe itself—were just randomly set in motion (in the context of what? and by what pool cue?).
We dissect physical reality, finding everything in order—by Chance, by Randomness, not Choice. Objects exist and can be manipulated, by minds imagining new ways, but keep the subject, or the Why? and How? questions, out of the method.
It isn’t both. It really is one or the other. Choice? Chance? You cannot have it both ways. Somebody please draw me the line between events created by pure “accident” and ones for which we are responsible. We participate in each, but one just happened…
Each person drove to the accident. How did they get there—blindly, without a direction or sense of purpose? Only to coincide at that intersection like two random, mindless, choiceless particles?
“Accidents” happen. It’s just hard to take responsibility for being there holding that plate when it inexplicably slipped out of your hand. Some things just happen. No reason, right?
But where does “it just happened” become taking credit? Only when it’s a positive experience? And to top it off, there is a third option some choose, which is to believe in Fate—or destiny, God’s Will, “meant to be.”
In many interpretations this one is No Choice, not Chance, pure Puppet. Each direction we choose is inside a maze where the end is already determined for us. No matter which way we go, we have to end up at one destination, at only one possible time.
Cheeky story that one. Appearance of free will, none at all. Diabolical. Relax, sit back, and take it—whether it’s Heaven or Hell or a Soul Mate (both?). 🙂
Choice? Chance? Fate? There is a bright side coming. Unexpected answers will be revealed.
But until then, there is no wonder we suffer so much modern depression and escapism, violence and inertia, incessant gameplay and fantasizing. Ignorance has caused a lot of pain, and continues to do so.
When we consider the standard explanations into why bad things happen we have: 1) perpetrators using their free will upon helpless victims who have/had no choice in the event. Or 2) the bad thing/person/event came from out of completely nowhere, the radically random accident. Or 3) the bad thing was sent by Destiny. All three share the same thing, no Choice—also no meaning/reason/purpose/value/responsibility.
Choice? Chance? Bashert? Some Hybrid? We slide a slippery incline when we try to blend them to explain. Ye of so little (or so picked and chosen) faith…
Maybe it’s something we haven’t considered. Something unpredictable, yet meant to be…