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Why is life so unfair!

The universe is in transition from almost complete chaos after the Big Bang to complete order. Even allowing for an exponential growth of knowledge and the rapid advances in technological expertise it is certain that we are at a very early point in the historical process.

There is, therefore, no reason to expect life to be fair. With only the underlying laws and promptings to provide ‘shape’, nature pursues its evolutionary experiments without regard for individuals. When people speak of ‘natural justice’ they make the assumption that there is an entity or a process which balances the scales. But there is no such thing.

Thus, an individual caught in an avalanche or felled by a falling tree is not paying for past sins, they just have bad luck. Nature knows no justice. Justice is a proper and necessary invention of self-conscious beings. We should use our growing power to minimise the harm done by nature but for the foreseeable future we just have to accept that disasters will occur. Nature is neither right nor wrong, kind or cruel. The only ‘reasons’ we need to find for natural phenomena are the forces which determine them.

The case is different, of course, with events which involve human factors. It is legitimate to ask questions about underlying unconscious causes of accidents. But this still does not lead to anything like fairness. The car driver who crashes because of a deep, unrealised drive towards suicide is not balancing any books for the others caught up in the disaster. They just have the bad luck to be there.



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