Why Bad Things Happen

The world is complex and governed by certain rules, like physical law, and perhaps other laws we do not yet understand, having not yet sufficiently studied and proven them.

If there is a powerful agent controlling the world, it would make sense for it to choose to obey these laws of the world, in the world, because in the long run this is better.

Perhaps these laws could be otherwise; perhaps the set we have was lit upon by such an agent after much trial and error; whether it is the best I certainly could not say. However to alter it would mean to alter us, irrevocably–at a minimum knowledge of such a different world would necessarily be outside of our experience.

Because there are these rules, one event impacts another, which impacts another, which impacts another still; the effect, as we measure it, of events in what we can think of as a chain like this can vary drastically from link to link, depending on the length of time between them, and likely other factors as well.

But this is a perilous contemplation: on one side beset by fatalism; on the other by paralytic awe of the consequences of our actions; furthermore limited and confused by the notion of causality, itself quite flawed.

Resolution can be found by carefully separating cause from intent, and consequence from corollary. The fire does not burn because I lit the match: it simply burns afterwards; lighting the match was an event I intended, while the burning of the flame was not.

And so we could choose to say that there is no causality, only an on-flowing world of happenings, parceled to enable us to act. This act of choosing, however, represents a change in such a world, attributable exclusively to our choice, whatever its constraints and inputs. Therefore I choose to say there is no cause but choice.


(Lady that I first met tonight, I am so sorry for your loss.)