What is Necessity and Chance?July 2, 2021
Necessity is a basic and internal, accidental, non-essential and external form of connection. However, by necessity accident is in a dialectical unity and dependence. The same phenomenon is both necessity and accident. For example, the phenomenon of hail, which is accidental for the death of the plant, is a necessary consequence of the atmospheric conditions of the region, in other words, it is a necessity.
They can also transform into each other in a necessarily accidental dialectical dependence. For example, shopping, which was an accident in primitive society, has turned into a necessity in capitalist society. By necessity, chance does not exist in isolation from one another. Chance is a manifestation of necessity and complements it. Chance always hides a law. For example, gas molecules in a closed container collide with each other and with the walls of the container, but the gas pressure in each wall of the container is necessarily the same. Thus, the physical and chemical necessity of the gas appears under the random motions of the gas molecules. That’s why science always keeps coincidences in mind and tries to minimize them, thus protecting humanity against harmful coincidences. For example, scientific maintenance of railways minimizes accidental accidents and can even be eliminated altogether if certain conditions are met.
Metaphysics and idealism are unaware of this dialectical dependence of necessity and chance. It either absolutizes necessity and becomes fatalistic, or absolutizes chance and falls into essentialism (indeterminism, free will). Because according to metaphysics and idealism, if one exists, the other does not exist, and necessity and coincidence cannot coexist. Engels says: “Wherever surface coincidences prevail, there are inner and secret laws which determine these coincidences. The problem is to find and uncover these laws.”