Search This Blog

Saturday, January 03, 2015

"It Was A Terrible Accident"

Detail of "Christ Carrying The Cross"
Painting by Hieronymus Bosch

It dawned on me this morning that most people seem to use the word "accident" in the sense that there has been a bad sequence of events, and it was set in motion by Satan, the devil, an evil Jinni or Ifrit, or one of the thousand demons that stand on our left and right sides according to the Talmud.

Most accidents seem to come from outside evil influences.

No accidents come from our own actions.

For example, if person A were to drive his car into a concrete abutment at 100 miles per hour, the most reasonable causality language these days would be to say that the "Devil indeed made him do it.".  It is horrible, totally not understandable, and it is a random tragedy.

In fact, we find the primary distinction between Randomness and Deviltry in whether we like/support/desire something versus whether we abominate/hate/dislike something.

If we like a certain thing, and there is a very unfortunate event involving that certain thing, then the Devil caused the accident. Or the inherent tragic nature of the universe. Or why do awful things happen to such good folks, like us? Pure deviltry and Boschian demons.

If, on the other hand, we dislike a certain thing, and there is a very unfortunate event involving that certain thing, then the object of our dislike or hatred caused the unfortunate event.
If the object of our dislike is a dumb device, then the tragedy came from the bad device and someone's baneful attraction to the bad device, and they should have listened to our good advice!

Most of the time, we get off scott-free. Our actions were, at worst, neutral.

Thus, society is in a very good place, causality-wise.
The bad outcomes of its actions are attributed to otherworldly demons or influences, and no one is the wiser... many, however, may be sadder. The actions were are approving of merely provide fodder for the Beast, and randomly tragedy will rip apart and create potholes in the worldly road of our good intentions.

I, however, found that most often my personal tragedies that derived from my actions were my own fault to a very large degree.
That's why Society is chutzpadik, and I am merely a schlemiel.



knutty knitter said...

However, there is a point at which an unfortunate set of events cannot easily be assigned a perpetrator.

For example, I was given a drug for a minor problem last year. I took some doses and it affected my judgement (I thought I was going senile!). This would not normally have mattered too much because the next time I saw the doc He would have stopped the meds and remembered to tell me the side effects.

Unfortunately we were doing renovations and I couldn't deal with things appropriately so a cowboy builder ripped off all our finance.

So who to blame.
Myself for being incompetent.
Myself for taking the meds
The doc for forgetting to tell me about the side effects
The builder for ripping me off.
The drug company for trying to foist meds on all and sundry.

The point is that we live in a web of humanity so all of the above have some portion of blame. And probably a few more could be added. Like the system that qualified the builder (which we checked). I would call this set of happenings an accident in slow motion.

But then I have to ask what it is about me that attracted those happenings. Am I too naive, too trusting? Is the universe trying to tell me something? Murphy's Law?

I don't have an answer to that.


Montag said...

I understand. It occurred to me as I wrote that I was talking about a specific subset of events.

And your comment is a fairly thorough condemnation of a society which can not live up to the lofty pretension which justify its wealth.