EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON: AND OTHER LIES I'VE LOVED

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You Are Good Enough

So you"re not a "10" in every which way. But you"re probably pretty spectacular in some way, và definitely good enough in most areas of life. If ever there were a time to stop beating yourself up for being human, it is now.


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You Are Good Enough

So you"re not a "10" in every which way. But you"re probably pretty spectacular in some way, và definitely good enough in most areas of life. If ever there were a time to stop beating yourself up for being human, it is now.


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Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Thinking everything happens for a reason can help people cope.

Posted Feb 11, 2010 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma


When people have khổng lồ cope with difficult situations in their lives, they sometimes reassure themselves by saying that everything happens for a reason. For some people, thinking this way makes it easier to deal with relationship problems, financial crises, disease, death, and even natural disasters such as earthquakes. It can be distressing to think that bad things happen merely through chance or accident. But they bởi.

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The saying that everything happens for a reason is the modern, New Age version of the old religious saying: “It’s God’s will.” The two sayings have the same problem—the complete lachồng of evidence that they’re true. Not only is there no good evidence that God exists, we have sầu no way of knowing what it is that he (or she) wanted lớn happen, other than that it actually did happen. Did God really will that hundreds of thousands of people die in an earthquake in one of the world’s poorest countries? What could be the reason for this disaster and the ongoing suffering of millions of people deprived of food, water, và shelter? Why bởi vì people find it reassuring that the Haiti earthquake happened for a reason such as the will of God, when such terrible events suggest a high degree of malevolence in the universe or its alleged creator? Fortunately, such events can alternatively (and with good evidence) be viewed as the result of accidents, and possibly even of chance.


The idea that chance is an objective sầu property of the universe was advocated in the nineteenth century by the great American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, who called this doctrine tychism, from the Greek word for chance. Scientific tư vấn for the doctrine came in the twentieth century with the development of quantum theory, which is often interpreted as implying that some events such as radioactive sầu decay are inherently unpredictable. 


Even if events that affect human lives vì not happen by quantum chance, many of them should be viewed as happening by accident, in the sense that they are the improbable result of the intersection of independent causal chains. The deaths in Haiti, for example, came about because of the results of many causal chains, primarily (1) the historical events that led khổng lồ millions of people living near Port-au-Prince, and (2) the seismic events occurring in the tangle of tectonic faults near the intersection of two crustal plates. These deaths were accidental in that the intersection of the unconnected causal chains was unpredictable. Neither history nor seismology are random, but their intersections often are so unforeseeable that we should hotline them accidental.

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The doctrine that everything happens for a reason has intellectual variants. The German philosopher Hegel maintained that in historical development the real is rational and the rational is real. Similarly, before the recent meltdowns in the financial system, it was a dogma of economic theory that individuals và markets are inherently rational. Some naïve sầu evolutionary biologists & psychologists assume that all common traits & behaviors must have evolved from an optimizing process of natural selection. In history, economics, biology, and psychology, we should always be willing to consider evidence for the alternative hypothesis that some events occur because of a combination of chance, accidents, and human irrationality. For example, Keynes attributed financial crises in part lớn “animal spirits,” by which he meant the emotional processes that can make people swing between irrational exuberance và pessimistic despair.


But if the real isn’t rational, how can we cope with life’s disasters? Fortunately, even without religious or New Age illusions, people have sầu many psychological resources for coping with the difficulties of life. These include cognitive sầu strategies for generating explanations & problem solutions, & emotional strategies for managing the fear, anxiety, & anger that naturally accompany setbacks & threats. Psychological research has identified many ways to lớn build resilience in individuals & groups, such as developing problem solving skills và strong social networks. Life can be highly meaningful even if some things that happen are just accidents. Stuff happens & you deal with it.


Post khổng lồ come: What makes life worth living?


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About the Author


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Paul Thagard, Ph.D., is a Canadian philosopher & cognitive scientist. His 3-bookTreatise on Mind and Societywas published by Oxford University Press in February,2019.

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