Very commonly people ask “why do bad things happen to good people”, “why is there so much [insert bad thing here]”.
I find that the only ways to really explain “why does x happen” questions is by finding a mechanical reason. Why do people slip in the shower and crack their heads open? Because a wet shower is slippery and gravity is a constant on earth.
This may seem unsatisfying, but here’s where chemestry/physics comes in. If you know anything about physics and chemestry you know that “good” and “bad” chemical reactions happen because of the same elemental properties. In other words the same properties of carbon and oxygen that allow your house to burn down also allow you to metabolize food and breathe air and allow us to send rockets to the moon and millions of other things. Just like the same gravity that killed that poor shmuck in his shower and yanked some guy off a scaffolding to his death is the same gravity that allows you to walk across the room and play basketball or just go outside without floating off into space.
See the more I study science the more I realize that whether some spooky god-like being determined the properties of the universe or for reasons we can’t fathom there can only be one or a few types of universes or even if it’s just a crap shoot and we happened to end up in this kind of universe – regardless of how it got to be like this, it’s a package deal. Good, evil, happiness, sorrow, nuclear bombs and VCRs, you can’t have the potential for one without the potential for the others.
When we study atomic physics we find that all of the elements that make up all the chemicals and basically determine the properties of everything in the universe, are just different combinations of protons and electrons (and neutrons, but those are just two protons fused together). So what this means is that the properties of just these two particles determine the properties of everything else. Which means if you “fine tuned” the properties of one of these two particles, it would change the properties of every single element and chemical.
It’s like a slide-rule:
You can’t change one without changing all the rest.
What this means in philosophical terms is that you can’t have a universe where you can make a VCR but not a nuclear bomb, or you can make penicillin but you can’t get cancer, or any other combination of things. The universe was no more “fine-tuned” for life or for beauty to exist than it was fine-tuned for assault weapons to exist. Because the universe doesn’t work that way. The universe is just nearly unlimited potential. Nature can make things like us just like we can make things like airplanes and supercomputers and who knows what else. And you can’t live in a world where anything complicated is possible without there being the potential for complicated bad things too. Because it’s a sliding scale.
So we will never have a universe where it’s impossible to make nuclear weapons, but we can dismantle the ones we have to make our world a little better. And we will never live in a world where it is impossible to get cancer, but we can come up with better and better ways to treat it.
So yeah, that’s why shitty shit happens and wonderful stuff happens. Because it can. It ALL can. And will, given enough time. But we can take care that good things happen more often and bad things happen less and try to enjoy the ride.
Hope you enjoyed this blog, and I hope it makes sense outside of my head.