Spiritual Atheist : Life’s Dice
Probability just made a big killing, if you go by recent research: as many as two-thirds of cancers are caused by random mutations of genes. Only one-third are supposedly due to heredity and environmental factors. The statistical model developed by scientists at Johns Hopkins University suggests that genetic lottery plays a much bigger role in causation of cancer than suspected.
That conclusion reminds your columnist of what Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote in his best-selling book, Why do Bad Things happen to Good People, “God does not cause our misfortunes. Some are caused by bad luck. Some are caused by bad people, and others are simply an inevitable consequence of our being human and being mortal, living in a world of inflexible natural laws.”
Having lost his young son to a rare disease causing rapid ageing, Rabi Kushner found peace by concluding that “there’s no ‘grand design’ to our suffering”. There is no particular reason why one person gets afflicted, he wrote, “(Such) events do not reflect God’s choices. They happen at random.”
Making peace with randomness tends to soften its blows. But it does not diminish the role of choice and free will. While we may not have a choice in the matter of our maladies, we do have freedom of response: to react with stoic courage or to break down.
Also, so-called ‘natural’ laws are not immutable. By eschewing smoking, one drastically reduces the chances of developing lung cancer. Similarly, just seven minutes of running every day cuts heart deathrisk by half! Moral? Don’t worry: just be happy!
Source : http://www.speakingtree.in/