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This seems so common sense, but so many people refuse to see it.

The radical moral implications of luck in human life


By Benthoven8
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It isn't simply luck. We have social, economic, and political structures that reinforce the "luck" in being born into a particular class. That isn't simply a function of chance.

I agree. When a former partner and I were new to the US and looking for our first home the agent said he had found one for us that was a little out of our price range (at that time). We looked at it and bought it and it turned our perfect. But I constantly asked myself, what if I were from a minority group, what if I or my partner didn't have college degrees, what if we hadn't had good credit scores and on and on.


The value of plain dumb luck in life can't be overstated. It's often the difference between success and failure, misery and happiness, life and death. The problem is no one ever tells you that. They sell a feel-good story of hard work and positive thinking as if these things will make all the difference. These things are certainly useful but luck is what takes one to the top. Ringo Starr had it, Pete Best didn't. Stephen King had it, HP Lovecraft didn't. Pablo Picasso had it, Vincent Van Gogh didn't. There are literally millions of example throughout history.

I agree but I also wonder what if this spate of good luck keeps on happening. It's got to be something else because it is doubtful that one can have good luck constantly.

@JackPedigo It happens. Some people win constantly. Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford come to mind. If you know about the luck factor in their lives it almost makes one believe in destiny. Chris Pratt is another. Some people just seem to be chosen by Fortuna.

@Sgt_Spanky sometimes, what looks like bad luck, later turns out to be good luck. I once get hit in the eye with a racketball racket. There was some minor damage. 15 years later it turned into a trauma cataract. I was very nearsighted and that meant surgery (on both eyes for balance). I went from almost blind to 20/20 vision thanks to that accident. This has been the story of my life pain and then gain!


I have had A Lot of physical challenges in my life and feel strongly that any "luck" i was ever issued has been used up in keeping me in one piece.

Sometimes I feel that, as the old song goes, "If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all." But I have definitely had those right place, right time kinds of moments. I've also had wrong place wrong time moments as well.


The bottom line on fairness/justice is that it can of course never be achieved. BUT having said that, you are either working towards it or you are not, and if you are not, then what else could you possibly be doing with your life that is worth the effort.


I was always a devotee of chaos theory anyway, not only is everything due to luck, but luck is too complex to ever be understood as well.



Luck, privilege, equality, empathy all in one amazing article! I think I'll be re-reading and thinking about this for awhile. Thanks!

kmdskit3 Level 8 Mar 7, 2019

does a good job explaining why most well off people could not care less for the less fortunate.
the most despicable are those that get to the top from humble beginnings & then don't understand why everyone else couldn't be as successful.


The more I think about the concept of fairness the less it makes sense. Everything is random and chaotic from birth. It is not possible for things to be fair in anyway. Of course if things were fair then they would be exactly equal and predictable for everyone and that would be boring, so i wouldn't have it any other way.

There is no "synchronicity" or is there? It does seem AS IF but when you share time in similiar life circles positive things can simply click; it remains important to choose one's friends, wisely.


Eh. I bought a lottery ticket today. Has to happen to someone. I prefer to think of it as a donation.


Old aviator saying;
"Better to be lucky than good".
I was lucky. smile009.gif

Even better to be lucky AND good. My son is a Harrier pilot. I know he’s good. But every day, I hope he is also lucky.

I'm told, one of the most difficult critters to fly.

@MissKathleen Or maybe not unlucky. A lot of that will depend on his skills.

@JackPedigo a fighter jet pilot needs luck, in addition to skill.

@MissKathleen I would think the more skill the better the luck.

@JackPedigo Have you ever been a pilot of any kind?

@MissKathleen No so I guess I'm not in a position to say. I am assuming luck is about the mechanical conditions of the plane.

@JackPedigo yes that, and the abilities of the maintenance crew who care for the plane...and the capabilities of the enemy to shoot you down. The Harrier often provides what is called “close air support” for ground maneuvers, because they can not only fly, they can hover. When they hover, they are a stationary target. The Harrier is a jet that can launch vertically. This is accomplished via the force of blowing air through a hose to lift the jet straight off the ground...a very dangerous action. When the Harriers first started flying, they were called “widow makers”.

@MissKathleen I know about the Harriers (they are a British design). Yes, I can see your point but I still maintain skill can have a big part in determining one's survival.
I was once driving my aunt along a road and noticed a car coming off of an exit ramp on the freeway onto the road I was on. I felt something and was prepared and, sure enough, he didn't stop. I swerved and was able get around him (my aunt almost had a heart attack). Safety often involves being alert.


Luck is real but it is random. I bought 2 lotto tickets tonight. The randomness of "luck" would say my chances might be the same if I bought 4000 or more. Luck is totally random and has no moral implications. See my new book "Why Good Things Happen To Bad People."


I prefer the term randomness over luck. smile009.gif

EvanK Level 4 Mar 6, 2019

I read an article in a chess magazine that not only made the case for it but classified luck into 3 types.


Yes! A realistic acceptance of the part luck plays in our existence feeds strongly into empathy.
"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

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