Why is there random?
Is there such a thing as random?
Everything has a cause then why random?
With the bulk of unexplainable things happening around the world in this modern day era such as catastrophes, natural calamities, genocides, chemical warfare, computer hacks and viruses, chemical and nuclear warfare, or simply the scent of a blooming flower in the morning makes, has man really found the fundamental meaning of each? Have man exerted all possible manners in searching, tracing and proving to even a simple cause to all those mentioned above? And has the modern man, while bearing and suffering the consequences to all these happenings, bothered to trace their individual causes? Much so, why is it that everything that happens, manifests in or on a random manner or behavior? The following discussions will attempt, on a rather much “common” perspective, to join everyone in the pursuit of answering the questions above.
According to dictionary.com, the word “cause” is a noun and a verb which means a thing or a person that exists so that another act or thing happens as a result. It is the producer of an effect, in a more typical and comprehensible manner. It answers usually with the question “why?” In philosophy, (a field of study which dwells on issues such as these things), cause is the end or purpose for which a thing is done. The Ancient thinker Aristotle believed that in order for a thing to exist, the presence of the four causes should be present. These four causes are the material cause, the efficient cause, the formal and the final cause.
With that of the Aristotle’s idea of existence and cause, a vast and deeper understanding of, as well as the explorations of the study has been and is, up to now, being undertaken. Since its formulation, philosophy’s “existentialism”, “determinism”, “indeterminism”, “compatibilism”, and such others, have emerged and filled our books and study halls. With its core studies, many believed that it is the external world’s foundation for all thought and knowledge. Discussions and discourses on the nature of this idea of causality varies, gives more emphasis and meaning to almost everything. Such of these factions is the very existence of a supreme being, which is being debated as of writing. St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Uncaused Cause” (Summa Theologica) and Aristotle’s “Prime Mover (the Laws, Book X), are some of its classic and most well-discussed topic within and outside the academic circle. Its influence even gave birth to major religion and sub-religious sects, and different religious denominations over the world as well.
The study of determinism is the one that is more closely related to the study of causality. Informationphilosopher.com clearly describes determinism as the idea which states that everything happens through the determination of prior events. One of the most celebrated and well discussed example in which determinism plays a major role is the Big Bang theory for it generally tells that the existence of the universe came from the possibility that something was caused by something and this something was caused by nothing. Most argue the former by chance. Since determinism would imply a possibility of a result of the future, its correlation to chance maybe different as according to informationphilosopher.com, chance would imply an unpredictable future. Chance merely opens, like gamblers often do, alternatives and completely deviates from what is intended. According to them, there is also such thing as “soft” determinism which tends to bend with the idea of chance. A classic example of this is the flipping of a coin. Its result will greatly depend on chance, and even though there is uncertainty on the outcome, determinism barges in at the very initial cause of the action which is the act of flipping of the coin although its results are undetermined.
Then how about randomness? If the study of determinism tells that everything that happens is already determined, can the idea of randomness and its existence be proven? Again, we must seek first what the word “random” and this “randomness” thing that our philosophers are trying to co-relate with determinism.
An ordinary dictionary would define “random” as a haphazard course (Merriam-Webster.com). “At random” would further mean something without definite aim, method, direction or rule. In the world of philosophy, the study of randomness would imply the lack of purpose, the lack of cause or the lack of predictability. Randomness is, as always, part of a man’s life. A concrete example of this is statistics. Randomness is being used by statistics to determine statistical properties. It is utilized to signify the absence of bias and correlation.
With what was explained above, our problem gets more serious as the possibility of the co-existence of cause and random are on the spotlight. It therefore gets deeper just by simply going back to the question above that since everything happening around us has or have a cause or intended meaning, why is there such thing as the existence or the emergence of being random, or randomness? And what has the experts and scholars have to say about these? And even if there is or there are answers to our puzzling question, is there any that is more simplified and cognizable way of presentation present for the common man?
According to an anti-creation website, Talk.origins, existence and creations of things in this world have purposes even if its origins are due to chance. With that being stated, it follows the purposes are not determined by origins. The former argument here becomes incorrect as purpose implies of aim and intention. And who could or would better determine the intention or aim than the origin itself. The website also made mention of the importance of randomness in the causes of existence of everything present. The website further explained that humans were not created purely by chance. This would further refute Mr. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by saying that nature alone and nature itself has no conscience and no mind. And since nature does not have anything such as the mind, it cannot create any direct will or intention, much so, a purpose. Its incapability disables nature of its “selective” feature of creating at will or at purpose and thus, random.
With that being carefully laid out in a manner much welcomed (although not all), the aim of both cause and random of ever having to exist side by side is becoming clear. As common and as simple as we are, we can now safely say that there is such a thing as “cause” and there is also such a thing as “random”. They both do exist not just on our sub-conscious, but they are as well also present in our conscious state of mind.
It would be simply saying that they both co-exist. Can they exist and manifest at the same time? They cannot. Both cannot also be deficient at the same time. Cause and the determination of its result are mainly based on or rely on its meaning which is something with an intention or will. In the other case, the determination of random results mainly in the lack of cause. Profoundly and on a more typical note, random is the absence of cause. It would be impossible if they exist all at the same time. Yes, they do co-exist. One must be absent in the presence of the other. A typical example is those natural calamities that were described before. We all know, with the aid of science, its causes but with the way things are happening as they are, we have no exact knowledge in the order or way they are happening. Their randomness is quite hard to fathom and explain. All we know mainly are the causes of each. It would also be even safe to state that not unless such is something metaphysical or paranormal in nature, one is deprived of knowing such cause initially. Science also incorporates these manifestations in their studies, particularly those with relation to atoms. Movements and positions of these small wonders are sometimes being calculated through given propositions, theories and laws (which pictures the cause). Still, with the presence of exact and proven theories that are being practiced by science thru physics and quantum physics, the existence of both are inevitable in the said field of study. Atoms, on the other hand, with its present conditions and unpredictable behavior due to its composition and nature, results are most often than not, assumed (now enters the random).
With much have been discussed and presented above, still the philosophical minds are yet to find and discover ideas on the possibility of combining both cause and random to exist at the same time for as stated above that it is the lack of the other that the other exist. But with the realization that both are existing, man’s rationale is again faced with more debates of the mind and self challenges in order to present to the modern world proven and answered ideas and information regarding randomness and causality.