Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Just a bit on "chance"

"If chance is defined as an outcome of random influence, produced by no sequence of causes, I am sure that there is no such thing as chance, and I consider that it is but an empty word, beyond showing the meaning of the matter which we have in hand. For what place can be left for anything happening at random, so long as God controls everything in order? ... We may define chance as an unexpected result from the coincidence of certain causes in mattes where there was another purpose. The order of the universe, advancing with its inevitable sequences, brings about this coincidence of causes. This order itself emanates from its source, which is Providence, and disposes all things in their proper time and place."

[Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy 101-102 (tr. W. V. Cooper)]


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