What is coincidence, what does it mean?July 2, 2021
external cause. The metaphysical thought system has contrasted chance with necessity, in other words, it argues that what is accidental cannot be necessity and what is necessary cannot be accidental. This assumption is completely wrong, accident can be necessity, necessity can be accident. For example, it is a coincidence that the train derails due to negligence in the maintenance of the tracks, but if the tracks continue to be neglected, the derailment of the train, which is a coincidence, becomes a necessity. On the other hand, death, which was obligatory in some infectious diseases before the discovery of antibiotics, was a coincidence in the same diseases as the use of antibiotics.
Some metaphysicians completely ignore chance, according to them, chance is necessity whose causes are unknown. This argument is also fundamentally wrong, knowing the cause of coincidence, as seen in the example of the train derailment, does not change its coincidence nature. Moreover, necessity and causation cannot be equated, they are different categories. To deny chance is to reduce necessity to chance.
Some metaphysicians ignore necessity altogether and argue that every event is accidental. This assertion is also fundamentally wrong. Every event is the product of necessity; A child is born, the tree grows, it rains. In cases where the necessary conditions are present, the child cannot be born, the tree cannot grow, the rain cannot fall. But in every necessary process, coincidence has its place.
Some metaphysicians also equate chance with freedom. For example, according to Spinoza, everything happens with an absolute logical necessity, just as there is no free will in the mental domain, there is no such thing as chance in the physical domain.
Like many philosophical concepts and categories, the category of accident is clarified only in dialectical materialist philosophy. According to dialectical materialist philosophy, ‘chance’, which is the product of ‘external cause’, is tightly dependent on the category of ‘necessity’, which is the product of an ‘internal cause’. Just as one cannot exist without the other, one can become the other. Every phenomenon and event in the universe necessarily occurs under the influence of its internal causes (or relations). But every phenomenon and event in the universe is also affected by external causes (or relationships). We call the effect of these internal causes ‘necessity’, and the effect of external causes ‘chance’. Because external causes are not fundamental and decisive like internal causes. It is possible for them not to come across a certain phenomenon or event as well as not to come across it. External causes or relations are necessary for a certain phenomenon or event, as well as those that are not necessary. For example, an external cause of heat is necessary for an egg formed by internal causes to hatch; but the external cause of stone, which fell from the wall and broke it, is, far from being necessary, destructive. Whether the external cause is necessary or not, it is always accidental. For example, lightning is necessarily caused by its own internal causes, but it is a coincidence that lightning strikes a tree and burns it, because lightning is an external cause for the tree. So, in order to understand whether a fact or event is a necessity or a coincidence, it is necessary to determine whether it is the product of an internal or an external cause. Every fact and event is at the same time necessary and accidental; For example, the same lightning, which is accidental for the burning of the tree, is imperative for the atmospheric conditions of the region. Man can destroy coincidences by taking the necessary precautions; For example, it eliminates the lightning coincidence by making lightning arresters, prevents the train’s derailment by providing maintenance of the rails, and makes the necessary heat coincidence necessary for the egg by making chick machines. Even most of the accidental coincidences that are thought to be unavoidable can be prevented or reduced to a very small extent by scientific measures; A perfectly made and properly inspected plane does not crash, and in a country where traffic rules are meticulously enforced, the number of vehicle accidents is very low.
Fortune, luck, fate, etc. This is also the case for concepts used synonymously with coincidence, such as coincidence. Man can create his own fortune. It is luck (coincidence) to be born in an enlightened part of a backward country and with the opportunity to get an education. But there is no such luck in a country where every region is enlightened and every individual has the opportunity to receive education. Winning a jackpot in a lottery is considered luck, but buying a lottery ticket is necessary to get such luck. Especially in a lottery with a thousand tickets, winning a prize is not a coincidence but a necessity for those who own a thousand tickets.
As one master put it, “chance is a manifestation of necessity” and is its complement. In reality, there is no non-essential process in nature and society, but this does not prevent necessity from appearing in the form of coincidence in some places. There is chance, and in a certain sense it will always exist, it is objective, that is, in a certain sense independent of human thought and will; but this objectivity does not mean that people will never be able to touch it, as seen in the examples above.