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BoBo1946's avatar

Do you believe that by the "Laws of Chance," we are who we are?

Asked by BoBo1946 (15285points) October 7th, 2010

I or you, could have been born anywhere (Iraq, Iran, Japan, Eurpore, USA, or anywhere). I could be a dog, cat, etc. That is wild…thinking about a roach crawling across the floor, that could be me. (I’m not drinking this morning, or for that matter, any morning..loll)

Just saying! Be kind to all living creatures!

Your thoughts?

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39 Answers

thekoukoureport's avatar

To not is to believe in inteligent design.

Love the question, Yes it is completly by chance that all has occured in this universe, and because of the enormity of the Universe all chances are and have been already played out an infinite number of times.

Cruiser's avatar

Of course! How else can it be but by chance or as some might say…by the grace of God that we are who we are.

I am fascinated by the Butterfly Effect in that chance and chaos are always at play and the “what if’s” of life are a very profound notion to ponder.

BoBo1946's avatar

Dang Cruiser, the Butterfly Effect is deep stuff. Read some it.

Thank you @thekoukoureport !

Frenchfry's avatar

If I came back in the next life do you think god could make me a Eagle by chance? I would love to be a Eagle.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, it is chance.

CaptainHarley's avatar

No, I don’t think so. I’m a believer in the old saying that “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” There must be some truth to faith and belief, otherwise a significant portion of the human race is totally off base. I have personally witnessed at least one miracle, and if God wills, I will be one myself. : )

BoBo1946's avatar

@CaptainHarley oh, you know that I’m a believer also….but, it’s a wild thought that hit me! Guess i need to have another cup of coffee this morning!

Seek's avatar

Absolutely not.

I could not have been born in Iraq, as neither of my parents have ever set foot in that country. Now, had my father’s parents not died, the DNA that formed me might have remained in Ireland, and I would not exist. I certainly couldn’t have been a cat.

I wasn’t a disembodied soul floating in the ether until I found a suitable host body. I am my body – the product of my DNA and my life experiences.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Saw the question and passed it over. Read the details and answers, wow. That’s going to take some work from the gray matter. GQ

Aster's avatar

I didn’t know there was a Law of Chance. I believe we are who we are and what we are for many reasons, some of which we can’t know yet and some we do.

bob_'s avatar

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

Statistics means never having to say you’re certain.

Aster's avatar

You don’t think we should ever apologize? lol

BoBo1946's avatar

I’m lost…. did you understand that @Aster ? Think I’m going to make some sandwiches!

erichw1504's avatar

I think about this a lot. It’s weird to think I could have been born under a different nationality or a different animal. In the end, I believe that it is what it is.

Aster's avatar

@BoBo1946 “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I never understood it. I thought love meant always being able to say you’re sorry.
It’s too early to make sandwiches!! ick !

BoBo1946's avatar

@erichw1504 yep, too deep for my shallow mind!

BoBo1946's avatar

@Aster in relation to my question….went right over my head!

ucme's avatar

Chance chance wherever you may be
I am the laws of chance said he
And i’ll lead you all wherev….....oh god, erm…yeah. I must apologise, I couldn’t help myself you see. Moving right along :¬)

BoBo1946's avatar

@ucme ahh…forget it…tell “Bobalu” to fix us a sandwich!

Aster's avatar

Too early for sandwiches except for egg salad. Yum!

BoBo1946's avatar

@Aster ahhh…no back talk…you get us a sandwich!

ucme's avatar

@BoBo1946 Oh i’d much prefer an omelette!!

BoBo1946's avatar

ok, that will work… Think we can talk Aster into that!

ETpro's avatar

Most of us don’t know the half of it. The Planck Constant is a very tiny measurement—extremely, almost infinitesimally small. It governs how electrons behave and is the smallest possible measure of action at the quantum level. Yet tiny as it is, if it were 10% larger or smaller, the Universe as we know it couldn’t exist. A wrong value and the universe would have never coalesced into discrete matter, or it would have collapsed into black holes. Likewise, if the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force weren’t just what they are, stars wouldn’t be able to exist as they must for life to develop. They would either collapse under gravity and immediately supernova, or be unable to support the nuclear reaction that welds helium and hydrogen into heavier elements—notably oxygen and carbon. So the Universe would be nothing but helium and hydrogen, and life as we know it could not exist.

What is truly staggering is that on point after point, the physical constants and the orientation of the Universe, our Milky Way Galaxy, our sun’s size and orientation in the Milky Way, and the layout and planetary size and orbits of our solar system all have to be pretty close to what they are, or complex life couldn’t exist on Earth.

So there are a whole lot of coincidences beyond the simple fact of where we were born and who our parents happened to be.

Aster's avatar

You know- it -alls slice the mushrooms, peppers, onions and sausage, saute them and I’ll make the omelet. Someone get the toast going.
Hurry up.

downtide's avatar

Great question, and yes I think it’s totally down to chance, and I think I (and most people here) are very fortunate to have been born where and when they are. How much greater the odds of being born in third-world poverty.

wundayatta's avatar

This is, I believe, one of those “who am I” questions that attacks us all at different times of life. My kids were just asking me this a few months ago.

“Why am I me? I could have been so-and-so.”

Well, no, @BoBo1946, you couldn’t. People’s personalities are not interchangeable and they are not random. You are you because of a long series of experiences that made you into you. You could never have been born anywhere else, and you could never have had experiences other than the ones you had. And since those experiences are unique and could not possibly ever be duplicated, you are you, and only you are you.

We become ourselves gradually, and we are continually becoming ourselves. From the time a sperm from your biological father enters an egg from your biological mother, your personality is in development, and it will continuously be in development at least until you die. There could be no other sperm or egg that came together. It can only be the ones that did come together to form the embryo that would one day become you, @BoBo1946.

From that instant, experiences happen. Maybe you mother drinks a lot some night. Maybe she only eats lettuce. Maybe she lives next to a nuclear power plant. Maybe she gardens all the time. Whatever—that is the start. Then you are born, and you start learning stuff. Maybe your mother breast feeds or bottle feeds. Oh God, @BoBo1946, one could go on and on about every specific event of your life that went into you becoming the person you are now.

It could never have happened to someone else. You could never have been born in Thailand. You could not have be a dog or a mayfly. You could not have been Ronald Reagan, the cowboy president, or Jack the shoeshine man, who secretly masturbates on peoples shoes while he shines them.

But none of that is really the point. What you are asking is why are you really you? Who are you really? It seems so random, and in many ways it is random. Yet that is what makes you. Your personality isn’t decanted from some drug store when you are born. You, @BoBo1946, are not like anyone else (for which some are surely grateful, and others are saddened).

So my advice is that you try to accept this. You are you and will remain so even if you get amnesia or have a brain operation. It’s not magic, really. It is awesome to be alive, but it is not magic. I think you should be grateful that you are who you are. You may be a thorn…. naw. That’s not even true. It’s delightful to have you here, with your gentle humor and innocent demeanor. I think we all should be grateful that you are who you are… and that everyone else is who they are.

BoBo1946's avatar

@wundayatta oh, it’s not a problem with me who I’m… Sure, i develop into the person i am by my life experiences, that is a given. My point, initial conception was by chance, not who I became from life’s experiences!

Seek's avatar

@wundayatta Thank you for corroborating my answer.

It really, really bothers me that so many people think that not believing in Intelligent Design means we must believe in random chance. Nothing happens by random chance – there is always a series of events that make it so.

Like I said before – if my father hadn’t moved to New York and been adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Carlin, I wouldn’t exist today. Period. I wouldn’t have become someone else, nor would someone else be here in my place. I just wouldn’t be here.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Is it not possible that God uses the laws of chance to partially manage the universe? It seems to me as if natural laws are God’s way of telling us that certain things are better managed by a good operating system than by hands-on. : D

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Our parents chose to marry each other for the reasons they had and by the luck of the draw (laws of chance) one of the millions of sperm combined with an ovum and each of us was born. Each of us have a unique combination of traits that in combination with our experiences with the environment shapes who we are and what choices we make. So its a combination of chance and choices.

thekoukoureport's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr nothing happens by random chance? All the events that you described happened by chance. If you try to personalize your life you can always find comfort in some pattern that may randomly appear. But everything happens by chance.

You are correct I would not be EXACTLY who I am without my life experiences. But my life and all life happened by chance. All the rationalization in the world won’t change it. Sorry to bother you so much but till someone can tell us for sure I guess you’ll have to deal with all the opinions that are shared. Try not to let it bother you so much we all can have a opinion, no?

CMaz's avatar

“I or you, could have been born anywhere ”
No we couldn’t or we would have.

To hypothesize in this manner is fantasy. The reality of it is biased on where we WERE born and what has transpired, getting us there.

“We could have been” is insignificant. Because we are not. What we are is what matters.

Seek's avatar

@thekoukoureport No. It did not happen by chance – a series of events led up to the event’s occurring.

Even a roll of the dice is determined by the angle it was thrown, the force with which it was thrown in which direction, the relative gravity, the angle of the table, the weight of the die… It doesn’t just happen.

I am not Alyson, born in 1985 New York City by chance. I was born in New York City because that’s where my parents lived. She’s my mother because she and my father met and had sex. They met because they went to the same high school. They went to the same high school because (for different reasons) their parents moved into neighborhoods in that district.

Where’s the “random chance”? It seems a very obvious cause—>effect relationship.

thekoukoureport's avatar

So in a town of 4 million people, it was a planned event that your mother met your father.
every step you take is a chance. The odds are slim but the odds are there, thats why its chance. Every day is a chance, every time you step on the brake of your car, There is a mathematical possibilty that such and such will happen. that is called chance.

@ChazMaz Sometimes by looking at different sides of a fantasy argument like this one, it becomes possible to truly see what a wonderful CHANCE I recieved. As well as the pride of Seek who finds reassurance in her belief system. Thats not to bad a thing is it?

remember are differences are only skin deep but our sames go straight to the bone (marge simpson)

Seek's avatar

I did not say it was planned. I said it was “not random”. The terms are not mutually exclusive.

To believe being born in one city as opposed to another is due to “chance” is to believe we are more than a material body – that something outside of our DNA makes us up – that if the proverbial dice had fallen differently, the “thing that makes you, you” might have been a farmer in Mediaeval Scotland instead of an IT professional in 2010 Milwaukee. That is simply not the case. The DNA that created you did not exist in Mediaeval Scotland, thus, you could not have been born there. It is simple fact.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Your body is an electrochemical engine therefore you are energy of some sort. You are locked into the constraints of the body. We are all connected to the same machine… Earth so you may have been generated many times. Theres a chance…;)

Seek's avatar

^ @thekoukoureport

“It has been amusingly estimated that every pint of water you drink contains at least one molecule that passed through the bladder of Oliver Cromwell (surprising as this is, it follows from the fact that there are far more molecules in a pint than there are pints of water in the world).” -Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion

thekoukoureport's avatar

Don’t forget Agon gas as well. an inert gas that resides in the first six feet of our atmosphere. With a limited number of atoms and the fact that your entire cell structure is replaced every seven years, your cells contain the molecules of Cesaer, Leonardo Divinci, and everyone else.

.

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