Saturday, May 3, 2008

What is Random?

The concept of Random chance is one of the cornerstones of atheism. It presumes that our existence comes as the result of random events impacting other random events rather than some sort of conceptual direction. The only problem is, random doesn't exist.

When we say "random" what we mean is that the outcome of an event is unknowable because it results from processes either unknown or so complex that they are virtually unknowable. That's a far cry from saying "stuff just happens". Stuff doesn't just happen, stuff happens as the result of other stuff.

Computers are really good at complex calculations, and among computers there is no such thing as random. For programs where we wish to introduce a random element, computers use a random number simulator because they cannot calculate random numbers on their own. It is just a simulation though, if you know how the random number generator works, then the outcome is completely predictable.

Now, saying there is no such thing as random is a long way from proving an anthropomorphic, paternalistic "God" who punishes sins and runs our lives like some sort of giant puppeteer, but knowing that nothing is truly random and that all things have a rational cause makes the existence of a higher power of some sort logical.

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