Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nothing is Random

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?
- Jean Cocteau

Are there random events? This philosophical, religious, scientific and spiritual debate has given us many logical and magical answers to the enigma of chance and randomness. As you may well imagine, scientist can prove with their equations that there are indeed random events. The decay of radioactive material and other sub atomic processes are random, although governed by statistical laws there are no clear evidence of action and reaction. That is: what cannot be seen under a microscope or explained using numbers, symbols and jargon normal people will never understand or find interesting, will be considered as random until further notice. I say until further notice because we all know that science (the great gift to humanity that it is) is not infallible.

On the other hand, for less lineal thinkers, science will never be able to explain the substance of the universe, how beautiful blue days end in golden dimness, or at what hour the milk man decides to get up. It is unable to explain free will or examine and measure the hearts and thoughts of men. Science is unable to explain meaning. In a spiritual universe there is constant action and reaction, where is there room for randomness?

Every thing happens because something made it happen. From a religious perspective the reason for all is an almighty creator, Allah, Buddha, the Christian God, his Son Jesus and their mortal enemy Lucifer, the Jewish God, Selassie, Brahma, Zeus, etc. Here faith gives meaning to everything.

From the perspective of reason, one can deduce that if the universe was created from energy (the source yet scientifically unknown), that would imply cause and effect, and thus an absence of randomness. It is known that the universe was in a far hotter and denser state than it is now. The current state is the result of constant expansion due to cooling, again action and reaction. Now holding in mind that the definition of the universe is “everything that physically exists: the entirety of space and time, all forms of matter, energy and momentum, and the physical laws and constants that govern them, or in a slightly different contextual sense, denoting such concepts as the cosmos, the world or Nature;” i.e. everything. There fore it is reasonable to assume that everything in existence is the result of something else and thus is not random. The question of scientific proof is strictly another.

In a magical universe, very similar to a religious one, there are things that exist that are beyond our reason, beyond science and even beyond the tangible -ness of our world. From this perspective the explanation is even less relevant. Things just are and every thing from the sands of the ocean to the dreams that you have at night are connected. The act of existence is the explanation. Luck and randomness are just simply terms used to cover huge gray gaps in human understanding. The factors involved are numerous and largely unknown, but never random.

The question of luck or chance or randomness is an old one, and one I believe will never be reduced to one universal explanation. But the above was my take on it all, and in a nutshell, to make my opinion clear, I do not believe in luck or randomness. My reason is neither religious nor scientific, it’s just how I feel. I suppose that that would qualify as magical. I can't have lived the life that I have, and not believe that there is a connection between all things physical and intangible,nor can i believe that everything can be explained by us, humans who only know and use a small part of our own physical and mental resources.