Friday, August 03, 2007

Worldview: Hazard

I cut my teeth on Hemingway, I dig Sartre, and I rounded myself out with Fowles. Whether they taught me, or whether they appealed to me based on what I already felt, I can't know.

But I believe Hazard guides most of our lives. Random, unguided, indifferent chance.


A bridge collapses on a given day at a given moment. Why that bridge, why that moment, why with those people on it (rather than the people who just crossed it or the people who were just about to go onto it or the people who took a different route). There is no reason or explanation for this. Why some were on the bridge and others weren't. You can speculate on God's plan. You can lay blame on human failure to recognize the bridge's problems. But at the end, why it collapses that day, at that moment, with those people on it, can only be chance.

Your life could be entirely different, had one moment gone differently. A moment out of your control. A moment guided not by providence or the machinations of men. A moment guided by nothing. Actually, there are thousands of these moments. Thousands of moments that may or may not change or life, and whether they do or do not depends entirely on chance.

Random hazard.

Meaningless, random hazard.

Even as I write this, I don't consider it an atheistic worldview. No, I believe in God (or at least I want to believe). I consider myself a Christian (after a fashion, I suppose). But when I consider the age and size of the universe, I don't believe God is doing much to interfere. Mostly, our lives are left to chance and whatever bit of will we can contribute to it.

You can try control your own life. You can try to take precautions. You can do what you can to be safe, you can make plans. You can try to force your will onto your existence. You can pray for providence, for divine protection and guidence.

But you still might end up on a collapsing bridge.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:09 PM

    i don't know why it can only be chance. from our point of view i suppose.