Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lines to Remember 20 (Unnatural Consequences)

"I returned and saw under the sun,
that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong,
neither yet bread to the wise,
nor yet riches to the men of understanding,
nor yet favor to men of skill,
but time and chance happeneth to them all."

We do observe instances where superior individual capacity is not the measure of failures and successes. Most of us would have experienced the joy of success not through merit but by luck and conversely we agonize over what seemed to be undeserved failures.

These occurrences seem to be injustices that do not bear out the moral consequences; that virtue prevails over vice, that wisdom triumphs over absurdity, the learned succeeds against the ignorant and preparedness wins against apathy.

While we are witnesses to these non sequiturs happening in amazing regularity, the virtuous and the upright among us should not be dismayed. The flukes or outliers (in statistical terms) are real phenomena but should be regarded only as such, a freakish happening an accident contrary to the nature of things. The reason they seem so prevalent is because their unnaturalness make them sensational and spectacular, thus, memorable. Some amount of the unpredictable element must be taken into account but not considerably. In the normality of things their probability of happening is small.

I imagine that if we were to tabulate and compare all the instances in the world of the prevalence of good over bad we can conclude that good will win at a 99.9% confidence level; but there is still that .1 % chance that it will not be true.

I’ll take my chances with the good.


g_mirage said...

Ecclesiastes 9:11...I am no believer of luck, be it good or bad. But unforeseen occurences make some events happen for which the causes are not readily evident. True, what one concluded cannot be 100% absolute. =)

wayfarer said...

Hi G_M,
Thanks for dropping in. Life will be boring if everything is a certainty.