Monday, October 18, 2010

Twitter Rant: A "Miracle" or "Good Luck"?

Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
         Call upon His name;
         Make known His deeds among the peoples! – Psalm 105:1

This is a twitter rant from earlier today as I thought about a back and forth exchange that I had with a friend about the Chilean mine rescue. Was it a miracle or just good luck?


In this post I suggested that the Chilean miners' survival was a miracle.

We have been so well trained to try to understand everything that we have abandoned miracles as things out of fairy-tale thinking.

It's as if only the least educated of those among us can believe in such silliness.

What happened with the miners was a mixture of scientific know-how and luck. Miracles don't happen anymore, if they ever did.

I disagree with this line of thinking. When I see a series of events go impossibly right I look to purpose rather than chance.

Miracles are at least as equally plausible as random luck. The difference is one's perspective.

If you believe that there are no purposeful outcomes outside of human understanding then luck wins.

Also it is more comfortable to deal with a belief in luck when we look at other situations where the victim is not so fortunate.

But this rationale, though strangely comforting in the bad cases is quite lacking in the good ones.

I readily agree that the logical problem that occurs when one tries to explain the problem of “good luck” arises when explaining God's purpose in tragedy.

The reason why I side with miracles in the end is because I do not dare to explain the purpose or reasons for anything.

Only in hindsight do we pretend to see, clearly, past events. And those too are rarely seen with 20/20 vision.

So for those who believe in luck I ask... why do you chose to believe this way? Does it help you understand the world?

Cause from what I see luck and miracles are the inverse of each other. One explains the good the other the bad. Both are logically weak.

Both luck and miracles require specific systems of belief regarding the existence and role of God.

Or lack thereof…


  1. Miracles happen and do so at a level that can not always be quantified or measured.

    Luck happens and is related to timing and circumstance.

    As stated in your prior post, how did so many events occur during this cave in that allowed cohesiveness and cooperation of the miners to exist. Science can not explain why the earth did not move in a way to level all of those miners. We think we can explain "nature". If we could do so factually, wouldn't we at this point be able to bridge the planetary gap between men and women as well?

    I digress.

    In short, miracles happen. Period. The above though is just my .02 .

    REACTION: Interesting

  2. As I try to answer this question, I tend to confuse myself. Is it luck, a miracle, or a THIRD answer? What would the third answer be? If a rock narrowly misses my head falling from a cliff, it's right place, right time. I tend to not call this luck. There were a series of events throughout the day that lead me to that "right place, right time." They were not ALL lucky moves. But were they miraculous? Could they be neither? This word comes to mind: happenstance, which basically means coincidence. We cannot ever define what caused it to happen. It just did.

    I think I'd rather believe in miracles because it's more exciting. Also in Judaism the negatives are usually placed on God in the sense that we don't know why bad things happen to good people. And as you elude to above, we cannot understand the entirety of God's plan.

    Why do miners in one cave survive and those in another die? Judaism would say we cannot begin to comprehend the answer to that. Logic tells me, it's just happenstance.

  3. @Alegria Thanks for your 2 cents :)

    @Danny Yeah man I think I agree with you 95%. The only part is the happenstance... I gotta think more about that. I've always tended to lump that in with luck.

    I remember dealing with that question of bad things happening to good people when I read Job. I was also learning it in other ways at the same time. There really is just no way to understand why bad or good things happen to people.

    I think the wisdom of Judaism is on point here. I was taught that with my Christian upbringing as well but hey.. sometimes a brotha just wants to know. ya know?


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