Ours Is Not to Reason Why …. January 13, 2014

There is an often said phrase that well meaning people deliver to those who suffer tragedies or disappointments: “Everything happens for a reason.”

Thankfully, this phrase is absolutely false.

tornadoA tornado takes out a suburban neighborhood. earthquakeEvery house is destroyed but one. Many die. Try telling the distraught why their families had to be eliminated by mouthing “Everything happens for a reason”. I hope you like knuckle sandwiches. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, hurricaneand even accidents have no accidenthidden reason behind them, no noble goal.

What reason could there be for a small child sitting in a cancer ward under a death sentence? What lesson cancercould be in session? Only the sick minded could imagine a reason for such a tragedy. We are not discussing cause. A cause of cancer could be genetic or one of many others. But, there is no reason.

The cause of a tornado or a hurricane might be a low pressure system. The cause of an earthquake could be a slipping and sliding of subterranean rocks. The cause of an accident may be a moment of inattentiveness. But, there is no reason. Reason implies that there is a force behind the event, a conscious force, a malevolent or scheming force. Random events occur. You might plan ahead to avoid them, like being out of town when the hurricane hits. Like driving defensively and with great care to keep your attention riveted upon traffic. However, some events funeralare like a funeral, in that, you cannot be out of town for your own. Yet, there is no malice behind them. No active entity or force schemed to bring them on. There is no “Final Destination”. 

I would be extremely angry at someone or something if the phrase were true and a reason existed for every malady and misfortune to which humanity is inclined.

Though the planet often seems more like some laboratory in which someone or something is attempting to ascertain just how many ways a human being can suffer and die, the simple truth is that sometimes (and you can substitute the other four letter word) “crap happens”.

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3 Responses to Ours Is Not to Reason Why …. January 13, 2014

  1. john zande says:

    We have a tendency toward teleological thinking; to ascribing purpose to random things and events. From an evolutionary perspective this might have helped us in the prediction game (increasing our chances of survival by predicting outcomes long before they occur), but the residue of this “skill” (trait might be a better word) seems to be a favourable bias to more grandiose imaginings.

  2. drenn1077 says:

    Such a predilection is tragic, don’t you think?

  3. john zande says:

    On the upside we can overcome it now that we can recognise it.

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