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Old 01-03-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,177,677 times
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Hi.

This isn't some veiled attempt to "prove there is a God". I feel the need to say that, because I've seen the accusation thrown out a few times.

I was thinking about some things in my personal life today. I was thinking about life and taking chances/risks. One of the things we religious folks do is pray. But some of us believe in a little bit of luck too. Some don't.

Some how my thoughts wandered to wondering what atheist feel about luck, which somehow lead to my wondering if any atheists are superstitious.

So atheists, would you care to answer that for me?
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,500,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4answers12 View Post
Hi.

This isn't some veiled attempt to "prove there is a God". I feel the need to say that, because I've seen the accusation thrown out a few times.

I was thinking about some things in my personal life today. I was thinking about life and taking chances/risks. One of the things we religious folks do is pray. But some of us believe in a little bit of luck too. Some don't.

Some how my thoughts wandered to wondering what atheist feel about luck, which somehow lead to my wondering if any atheists are superstitious.

So atheists, would you care to answer that for me?
I am not superstitious and I don't believe in luck (at least in the sense that the cosmos is dealing you bad luck or good luck or that you can control it by rubbing rabbit's feet, etc.) I believe unexpected things can happen to you that you can see as beneficial or harmful.

I think as a general rule, we are awful at accurately predicting the real odds of something happening to us, especially after that thing has happened to us.

For example, according to the National Weather Service Lightening Safety website (http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/medical.htm ), the odds of you getting struck by lightening in your 80-year lifetime is 1 in 10,000, and only about 10% of people who are struck by lightning are killed. So, those are the true odds. But, let's suppose you were one of the unlucky ones hit by lightening. After the event is over you might wildly underestimate how likely that was by adding all sorts of other conditions such as: It was a clear day on the day I got struck, and I was only in the area because I made a wrong turn and I had made a joke about God striking me down last weekend for laughing at a nun. Wow, the odds of all of that happening must be astronomical, therefore, it must have been God, or a witch's curse, or bad luck, or whatever supernatural thing you believe in.

But, you see, if you did that, you would be making an error. Each of those things have their own independent odds. You can't after-the-fact start combining their odds together like that. The only way you could fairly combine their odds is if you or someone else made a prediction that all of those things would happen together before they actually happen.

Last edited by Hueffenhardt; 01-03-2012 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:08 AM
 
39,203 posts, read 10,880,280 times
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I actually researched luck a bit and found that it was a delusion. I still find it naFate and desgging at my mind, trying to deceive me, telling me that I miss a bus by a minute or three go by on the other side befor one comes on my side. Keep a record and you find how easily you forget the buses that turned up in a couple of minutes.

Fate and destiny are also superstitions. The realization that whatever came about, no matter how many times you changed you mind or plan, could be regarded as what was 'Fated'.

The idea of a plan or destiny of any person, group or nation is superstition: a delusion. We can plan, but Random factors determines the ouitcome.

'For want of a nail, the war was lost'. Perhaps Chaos theory and the butterfly effect has more to do with the way our lives go than any pre - determined plan,
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: FL
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When bad things happen despite the best of planning, do you look back and try to figure out why, or do you just move forward? I realize the answer to this will be different for everyone. I am just curious.

Do you get angry with yourself because you may have missed something? Do you look back and hope to learn from your mistakes and do better next time?
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:49 PM
 
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I call it chance and probability. I'm in the military, and when I was married, my wife and I wanted to be stationed in Florida. We were sent to NJ instead, and a month later, there was horrible flooding due to a hurricane that hit right where we would be. My wife was going on about god watching us and pure luck........I simply told her Florida has a history of this due to basic geography and meteorology lol.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:00 PM
 
16,611 posts, read 14,094,246 times
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Luck doesn't exist. Probability explains the phenomena we call luck completely.

That being said I am a hypocrite and don't name my fish (I have a 450 gal salt tank). It is bad luck to name fish. I know it isn't really bad luck but we still just call them by their type I.e tang 1, yellow gobi, etc.

But at least I know it is BS.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Seattle bound
284 posts, read 421,633 times
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I know you asked Atheists, and I'm Agnostic, but I'd like to answer. I don't believe in luck or destiny per se just as I don't believe or disbieve in God. But I won't bring a broom from one house to another (bad luck) and I'll clean my house on New Year's Eve, because, you know... just in case. ^_^
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:53 PM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,177,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aganusn View Post
I call it chance and probability. I'm in the military, and when I was married, my wife and I wanted to be stationed in Florida. We were sent to NJ instead, and a month later, there was horrible flooding due to a hurricane that hit right where we would be. My wife was going on about god watching us and pure luck........I simply told her Florida has a history of this due to basic geography and meteorology lol.

lol
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,177,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Luck doesn't exist. Probability explains the phenomena we call luck completely.

That being said I am a hypocrite and don't name my fish (I have a 450 gal salt tank). It is bad luck to name fish. I know it isn't really bad luck but we still just call them by their type I.e tang 1, yellow gobi, etc.

But at least I know it is BS.

I don't know about that bad luck naming fish. Most of the ones we named lasted longer than the ones that we didn't name.

Or maybe it's cuz Cichlids are just awful fish to try keeping?
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,177,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wscottling View Post
I know you asked Atheists, and I'm Agnostic, but I'd like to answer. I don't believe in luck or destiny per se just as I don't believe or disbieve in God. But I won't bring a broom from one house to another (bad luck) and I'll clean my house on New Year's Eve, because, you know... just in case. ^_^

I never heard about not bringing a broom from one house to another.
I heard something about sweeping stuff out the door. I don't remember the details.
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