Thursday, 5 November 2015

It's Random, Sort Of.

Why? Why me? A couple of pointless questions I catch myself asking of myself. Of course there is no why. As to the why me, we don't know that either. ALS is a disease where you have to get used to the idea that you will never know why it happens, or why it happened to you in particular. It is a severe test of our ability to live with the randomness of it all, to live without any knowledge of cause and effect.

This is an awesome plight for a human being, to live without cause and effect. We are engineered to find cause and effect, programmed to look for the reason in things, so much so that we find it where none exists. When we cannot find it, we look for mystical reasons, metaphysical reasons. We invented gods to help us with this, to give us an assignment of things for which we have no known cause.

Thunder and lightening are the work of Thor in his chariot crossing the sky. The volcano erupts because the gods are angry and demand a sacrifice. The storm comes because of the sea gods, the rain comes because of the rain gods, we live and die because it is the will of the gods. We even went so far as to simplify this process, creating one single god who was responsible for everything, who is responsible for everything.

For some, our need for this god to explain things away is still so great that they will ignore the facts, the knowledge of science, the reality of things around them. They are so grounded in their willingness to not know, their fear that they might not have an answer, that they turn to this god as an explanation for all things, including ALS.

I know this blog entry may offend some of my friends of faith. I know that their belief in God, or Allah, or Yaweh sustains them. I know they find comfort in prayer and belief. Oddly enough, so do I, within myself, find comfort in my own thoughts and prayers. Yet I am also tremendously comfortable with knowing that I don't know, and probably will never know. I am okay with the randomness of life. I seek no patterns where they do not exist, no reasons which are not real.

I don't need god to explain away my ALS. Why did I get it? We don't know yet. We may know one day, but not any day soon, and certainly not soon enough to help me. That's perfectly acceptable to me. In fact it only seems random at this time. Statistically, about 5 in 100,000 people will get ALS. That's not random; that's a statistic, almost a fact. Now all we have to do is fine tune that number.


  1. The Book of Job gives God's answer to the 'Why me?'question. But it's not very satisfying to our linear, cause and effect intellects.

  2. I am not much comparison to Job as an example of the eternal fight between good and evil.