Monday, 26 May 2014

Chance or Miracles

There are only two ways to live your life: either by chance or by miracles. Only two. This binary option is not done for convenience. It is not done so as to simplify life. No. The way I see it, there are no other options. There is no middle ground because chances and miracles are mutually exclusive. The prevalence of one would necessarily exclude the other.
A life lived by chance does not
 and cannot allow for miracles - period. And a life lived by miracles cannot and will not attribute it to chance. This is somewhat in line with the great thinker Einstein's famous quote, "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; or you can live as if everything is a miracle."
At this juncture, one may be bursting at the seam with these questions, "How about the jackpot, lottery, Russian roulette? Surely, the turn of a pair of dice
 cannot be the deliberate work of a miracle maker? Where does he find the time? Surely they all happen by pure chance right? If not so, do we then have a divine croupier up there pre-determining the fate of every mortal gamble on earth? And who is he rigging it for, his votaries or just for his own amusement?"
Now, the questions are rhetorical I know. It's just not that subtle. But the point about a world 
predicated on miracles is that a miracle is self-actualizing and self-perpetuating. And every state that comes after that (and every state thereafter) is attributable solely to the birth of that one miracle  and no other. Let me explain.
Imagine a cosmic canvass all rolled out before the miracle maker. He then put his divine color palette to work by painting out an event and scripting the minutest consequences to follow from that event ad infinitum. He continues to
 do so until he fills it all up, leaving no canvass space untouched, that is, pre-crafting one grand beginning and allowing that mother-lode of all beginnings to give birth to the beginnings of many beginnings. 
In this way, each consequence arising from every single miracle (event) is accounted for; leaving no stones unturned, even for numbers that were predestined to appear on the face of a pair of dice after they have stopped spinning in the future.
 Then, the miracle maker rolls up the canvass with diligence, making sure it is rolled up air tight. And this brings us to the genesis of all miracle whereby the miracle maker starts the big bang of the grand unraveling. That is, the beginning of time and humanity; that one elemental event that birth everything big and small.
This un-rolling takes place in human time and space and it proceeds with calculated grace. 
Each event comes up at its own time and the consequences following it show up as self-initializing. All details, however inconsequential, unfold in the way that they should unfold including the spinning of a pair of dice, the evaporation of a droplet, the trajectory of a strayed bullet, the cracking of dawn, the wisp-like curvature of an escaping poison fume, the sinuous mutation of a chromosome, and the winking of an eye intend on murder. All of them happening at their own time 
in various past, present and future, either simultaneously, separately, concurrently, or divergently. Up to our present time, the canvass is still unfolding, and the events first scripted by the miracle maker on the canvas each takes their turn to become the manifold realities as specifically planned. There is really no room for chances here.
However incomprehensible this is to the human mind, a life based on miracles would be unraveled in this way. I guess the philosopher David Hume would
 roll in his grave if he came to know of such a canvassed possibility (pun unintended). But to a believer of miracles, an atheist's claim that he understands how it all works based on nature-aided randomness, and nothing more, would seem even more ludicrous. I guess one man's reality is another man's absurdity.
Now, how about a life lived to endorse chance in everything? What can be said about him? Well for him, the possibility of a
 world of miracles, more so to the lamest aspect involving the belief that the miracle maker had a painstaking hand in crafting the minutest variations in nature to account for the emergence of about 400,000 different species of beetles, is as remote a chance as trying to hit, with a medieval bow and arrow, a target no bigger than a pin's head that is perched on a pin of another pin and placed as far off as the most distant edge of the expanding universe. I know it's a mouthful here but simply put, miracles to an 
atheist is nature-defying and there is nothing more absolute than nature and her empirical laws operating in this world. So god has no part to play here. Neither does his magical miracle wand.
To such a life, chances and randomness rule everything; even the genesis of life as we have come to know. It is therefore a life that does not defer at all to the god hypothesis. And if one would to rewind the universe's clock back to the very start, what eventually turns up
 today may very well be different from what is seen today. Humanity may not happen. The world as we know it may be completely different. Life may not even exist. The earth may be as lifeless as Mars or anyone of Jupiter's 63 known moons. This is how a world of randomness and chances work, that is, a minutest variation by the decimals to such a daunting complexity like the emergence of our universe(s) would unavoidably produce results that differ greatly from
 one another.
But while such a life may make sense in the interim, at least to a certain extent, the herculean struggle lies with coming up with an explanation for the origin of this universe. A life of chance would be hard pressed to argue against the ex nihilo conundrum in this nagging refrain of “what started it all?” or “who started it all?”
 Personally, solving this great mystery by offering a chance-ruled world as the all-encompassing explanation is a little way off for me.
Considering that what we know is just the tip of the iceberg of what we don't know (being the whole iceberg under the water), I guess the odds would be slightly better when one attempts to shoot an arrow at a pin's target placed at the other end of the expanding universe as compared to
conveniently reducing it all to pure random luck as the ultimate explanation. Hyperbolically speaking, of course. And if I may be forgiven for being so X-file-ishly portentous to declare this, "The truth is (still) out there."
So, we have returned to Einstein's quote about miracles. Of course, the great discoverer of the most powerful equation of all time did not endorse a supernatural entity with that quote. But I can safely wager that between the two options, that is, a life by chance and a life of
 miracles, the life that hints to something far greater than pure and isolated chance is to me a better and safer bet for now. Cheerz.

* Image from "".

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