Everything happens for a reason

DCF 1.0

I have heard this saying more and more over the years. It always seems to be uttered by people who are trying to cheer someone who is going through a particularly tough time in their life. Scientifically, this saying is true. It’s a dumbed down and generalized version of Newton’s third law of motion which states, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The folks who pepper their speech with this saying are also fond of espousing that they think, “The universe has a plan”.


Yes, these pompous idiots actually believe that the universe is a sentient being that, not only knows you exist, but actually cares about what happens to you. The level of arrogance possessed by the human race never ceases to astonish me. Sure, the universe has planned out every little fart in your life, just like the ocean has big plans for each and every grain of sand on its floor.

I do understand that we humans have an overwhelming need to answer every question, but what good is an answer that is obviously a load of crap?  No other species on earth has the luxury of being able to think beyond survival. We have that luxury and what do we do with it? We come up with trite little sayings meant to feed our already over inflated egos. But, it’s more than that, isn’t it? If everything happens for a reason and the universe has a plan, then we are not responsible for what happens to us. We can point the convenient finger of blame when things don’t go our way. Oh, it’s not my fault that I got fired, the universe (or Jesus, Allah, Vishnu etc.) has a plan and I wasn’t meant to have that job. Never mind that you stole from petty cash, sexually harassed a co-worker or disrespected your boss… it’s the Universe.

More of us should spend time looking through a telescope at the night sky in order to get a good healthy dose of just how insignificant we really are. A little humility would go a long way in this world. Perhaps, if we weren’t so puffed up we wouldn’t be so quick to go to war with each other. We might not go around belittling everything that is different from us by proclaiming that we are number one all of the time. We might actually realize just how little what we do, say and think matters in the grand scheme of things… and by grand scheme, I don’t mean the big script in the sky that has everyone’s roles all neatly written out. Conceivably, if we realized how unimportant and unnecessary we truly are we might spend more time on the questions that actually matter, like how can we live in better harmony with the planet that is hosting the parasite that we call the human race, as opposed to getting all caught up in blaming invisible forces or deities for our inadequacies. It would be a lot less of an effort to live and to take responsibility for our pathetically tiny lives if we just looked outside ourselves for a few minutes and saw just how little for which we are actually responsible.  I notice that these very same people who blame the universe never credit the universe and it’s plan when things go well in their lives… nope, they are perfectly happy to claim full responsibility when they have a success. So, which is it? Does the universe have it all planned out or not?

Or maybe, just maybe…


16 thoughts on “Everything happens for a reason

  1. Well you know I’m a Theistic Satanist so I do think there is kind of a plan and there is kind of deity; however… I think atheism is the most honest and productive stance most people can start with if only because it forces US to take responsibility for OUR actions. I also agree that people should spend more time looking through telescopes to glimpse how small and fragile our little world is in the grand scheme of things; and how huge and full of wonder the universe actually is. Overall, a lot of people could do with a change of perspective. Nice post!

  2. Unfortunately, the educational system and the indoctrination by parents, turns children and young kids, to gullible idiots.
    They only believe what their priest, imam and rabbi tells them, and everything that’s not in their holy book is considered a threat.
    It’s especially bad, when religion tries to force itself on science classes, with its dogma and finished thoughts i.e. “intelligent design” or “creationism”.
    This not just a problem in the US. I see this kind of behaviour here in EU too.

    1. I was encouraged by a 19 year old science activist from Louisiana who appeared on last night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. He is trying to get a Louisiana law that states that schools must teach creationism overturned. Proof that even the most indoctrinated among us can come to clarity and fight for reason.

  3. I have just recently been having these same thoughts, I find it so self centered to think that you are part of a bigger plan or to think that if there is a God they will change things to suit a prayer you have. I find it much more beautiful and inspiring to think that I am responsible for my insignificant corner and the only importance is what I decide to make.
    Thanks for posting this!

  4. Well said! I am so glad that I’m not the only one who feels this way. As an atheist who lives in the bible belt, I am constantly questioned about my lack of belief. I hate the response ‘everything happens for a reason’. I am equally appalled by ‘It’s in His hands’ or ‘I’ll pray for you’. To me that just says ‘I’ll think really hard and maybe, just maybe, something will happen. I’m not going to physically help you, I’m just going to think’.

  5. ‘The universe has a plan’ and other triteness is used by so many because they don’t know the answers, don’t want to find them, and have no hope of explaining the universe to other people. The trouble is that our brains are running a simulation in our heads and in that world EVERYTHING must have a satisfactory answer. ‘The universe/god has a plan’ is simply that person’s simulation saying that I don’t have a fucking clue how the world works, but I’ve found that if you sit back and don’t panic too much things usually work out okay. Don’t worry, be happy!

    So, now, when you hear ‘the universe has a plan’ you can translate that in your simulation of the world so that you hear the person saying ‘I don’t have a fucking clue but I don’t know how to stop my mouth from making noises’ and everything should work out just fine.

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