So to believe that there are no coincidences, that nothing ever happens by chance, means that whatever happens had to happen exactly as it happened; if two events share a common characteristic, that characteristic is shared by necessity. Thread by @jposhaughnessy: @naval 1/ I think we both mutually admire @KapilGuptaMD who said "There are no coincidences." Meir, your chavrusa's words are closer to what the Or Sameiach (Rabbi Meir Simcha haKohein of Dvinsk, Lithuania 1843–1926) says in his commentary on the Rambam's Laws of Teshuvah, in an excursion titled "HaKol Tzafui vehaReshus Nesunah -- all is foreseen yet freedom is given" (the title is a quote of Rabbi Aqiva). We can debate whether those opinions are dominant or authoritative, but to say that it is a Christian idea is blatantly wrong. Rav Avigdor Miller repeated this frequently. In the religious context of this discussion, to say that there are no coincidences implies that everything that happens had to happen because God willed it to happen. John 5:1-7 “Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. When I wore a much younger man’s clothes, I believed there were no coincidences but because of the issues he raised, I’d moved to maybe there are coincidences but the challenge is to find proper messages in everything that happens to you. Now one might say that this problem, the conflict between the necessity that God’s will be realized and human free will, exists regardless of whether or not one believes that coincidences are possible. After all, Islam means submission (to God's will) and the deepest theological sense of the word is exactly that man is NOT a free agent. Shannon L. Alder > Quotes > Quotable Quote “There are no coincidences in life. It is very comforting, particularly if one does not attain the degree of success that one aspired to, to state that all is bashert, or predetermined. don't you pray more than once a year that Our Father, Our King should annul any decree we perceive as "bad" for us? William S. Burroughs The administration of the universe is not based on serendipity. He writes that G-d's knowledge of the future doesn't change the present any more than his knowledge of the past does. Ergo, free will goes out the door. God’s foreknowledge means no more than that He knows in advance which of the many possible worlds will become the actual world of our experience, not that no other worlds were possible. Only what is necessary. There is, after all, an old and well-known conflict between God’s knowledge of the future and the possibility of human free will, a conflict that has occupied the attention of Jewish as well as Gentile philosophers and theologians. There are no coincidences. on the one hand they seem to be the source of our greatest irrationalities--seeing causal connections when science tells us they aren't there. By which I do not mean to assert that there is something G-d does not know. Is it simply a colloquialism that signifies our faith in God’s Divine Providence, His ability to intervene in earthly affairs to ensure that His is carried out on earth? In the Garden of Eden, G-d says that Adam and Eve must be expelled lest, having eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad, man might CHOOSE to eat from the Tree of Life and become immortal and G-dlike. S... Those who say there are no coincidences in the world should answer to all the mystery this gallery holds. Thus, while God’s foreknowledge is compatible with human free will, it follows from Plantinga’s argument that free will is inconsistent with a world without coincidences, for if there are no coincidences, everything that did happen had to happen; the actual world is the only possible world. Although Catholicism embraces the Thomist doctrine of free will as consistent with God’s foreknowledge, the founders of Protestantism, Luther and Calvin, held that God’s foreknowledge implies predestination. The idea that God’s knowledge of the future is identical to His willing the future into existence, an idea that has perplexed philosophers and theologians for centuries, has been shown by the philosopher Alvin Plantinga, using Leibniz’s notion of possible worlds, to be based on a confusion. With God, there are no coincidences! Embedded in the definition is a hint that there might be an explanation. Share this with those who disbelieve in coincidences. In the religious context of this discussion, to say that there are no coincidences implies that everything that happens had to happen because God willed it to happen. Arieh. A chavrusa, decades ago, expressed the gist of Micha's comment pithily: "Hashem doesn't know what you will do to morrow; He knows what you did tomorrow.". Not long ago in a casual conversation, I heard an Orthodox acquaintance of mine say matter-of-factly that we all know there are no coincidences. The author may have been better served by taking a harder look at Platinga's arguments. — Doctor Tony Hill, Wire in the Blood "In the immortal words of Leroy Jethro Gibbs [puts on a deep voice] 'I don't believe in coincidences'." First, the term used in the literature is בחירת חפשית, which means "free choice." For a religious tradition, like Judaism, which holds that human beings are endowed with free will, such a conclusion poses … Therefore, to say two events are not coincidental means that despite the apparent lack of causal connection between them, there was some underlying cause that made it necessary for the events to happen just as they did. Patterns the conscious mind can't perceive. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. The existence of many worlds is not core to his defense of free will. Get the "most common" idea of God away from your thinking, and everything becomes clear, scientifically and philosophically evident. The author completely ignores the fact that the idea that there are no coincidences has a strong basis in the Talmud and midrashim. But for Jews to embrace it as a religious tenet, much less elevate it to an ikar emunah, seems like quite a stretch. But if all is predestined, then that opens that path to contention with God for having wreaked such havoc and cruelty as the Holocaust. (For one example of many see TB Chulin 7b, אין אדם נוקף אצבעו מלמטה אלא אם כן מכריזין עליו מלמעלה.) However, when we use the term "free will," I think that's inaccurate on a number of levels. There are no coincidences in socialism, it’s what they do. The RaLBaG's contention that God does not "know" future contingent events answer's this conundrum better than anyone else. This is crucial because to say human beings have "free will" means that they have much more control than they can. When human beings make a decision, they are merely choosing among a couple of options in front of them, but one cannot choose something outside the realm of possibility. Neither would He be the God of the Lurianic kabbalists and many Jewish theologians, for whom an essential part of creation was God’s deliberate self-limitation (tzimzum) in creating man in His own image, a creature endowed with free will. But I am more interested in understanding just what the saying—the fledgling principle of faith, that there are no coincidences—actually means. Why not? A wonderful, fictionalized discussion of this issue can be found in the novel HAAZINU (LISTEN UP), published recently by Gefen of Jerusazlem. So Einstein was wrong when he said, "God does not play dice." But Muhammad rejected it outright, holding that not only does Allah decide (not foreknows, 'decides') how humans react to circumstances, but that the sun will only rise tomorrow if Allah, once again, orders it to do so! G-d doesn't know now what I will do tomorrow even though He is Omniscient because He has no "now". . Posted in Blog. Divine Providence and God’s intervention in nature are certainly widely accepted tenets of Jewish faith. For a religious tradition, like Judaism, which holds that human beings are endowed with free will, such a conclusion poses something of a problem. But the conflict between God’s omniscience and human free will may be only apparent, as suggested by both Maimonides and Aquinas. I once heard a lecture on mathematics in in which the instructor, after pointing out an interesting relationship between two classes of numbers, asked his audience whether they thought the relationship was a coincidence. Those who say there are no coincidences in the world should answer to all the mystery this gallery holds. This too is a decision. David Glasner is an economist in the Washington, D.C. area and writes about economics on his blog It might help if the Tanakh was consulted before Aquinas! Why not mention Islam's attitude to the issue? If I meet someone at a party and find out that we share the same birthday, what we mean by calling that situation coincidental is that our being together at that moment was the result of chance, not necessity. That would be a world of absolute necessity, a world in which everything was predestined, or pre-programed, from the moment of creation; a world in which human agency and freedom are absent.

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