Not neccessarily, asshole!
Am I a heartless, soulcrushing jerk for telling you that this idea is fucking retarded? This might come from humans’ inabilities to cope with futility and chaos, but mostly I think it’s just our refusal to be held accountable for the things we do. Really, everything happens either because it just fucking happens or, more likely, because someone made it happen.
Oddly enough, it seems the most likely people to start spewing this shit about divine intervention are… (drumroll, please)… Christians! Because, after all, everything is just a part of “God’s plan” for us. But I’m curious. When you stub your toe on the corner of the couch, do you think this is Big Bad God trying to warn you not to go to the fridge for another beer? When you find that the tires you need to buy for your car are on sale, is this really just Jesus trying to make sure you still have money for cocaine later? When an apeshit dictator commits genocide on 6 million humans, is this just because… what, are Jews really just a bunch of rats that had to be exterminated in order to bring God’s plans to fruition?
Don’t get me wrong, this is an ill-conceived notion that spans many belief systems, regardless of religion. There are Atheists that believe in this too. Even 90% of my Irish Catholic family (they believe in God, but they hate “him” for making them so miserable) believes that there’s a behind-the-scenes framework of pulleys and weights that are making everything happen all day every day.
At the heart of this issue, it’s that the Universe functions within a system called “Cause and effect.” For example: Your mom died of a heart attack, not because “God wanted her up in Heaven with the rest of the angels,” but because her fat ass refused to put down the Cheetos. Or maybe you didn’t get the work promotion your rightfully deserved. That is not The Universe conspiring to teach you about patience and humility. Nope. What’s really going on, despite your hard work and ass-kissing, is that you’re a fucking geek with no social skills.
Cause. Effect. Cause. Effect. Makes sense, right? And when life’s events turn out ironically, swimming upstream away from the realm of cause and effect, this is called… Shit Happens.
But really, there is no such thing as “shit happens” if you think on it for a second. I was just reflecting on a time a few years ago where I could have been stabbed but I wasn’t. It was 3 in the morning, I was drunk in Portland again, went down to the Plaid Pantry by my house to buy some more wine. A crazy-eyed wild man rolled up in there with a big ass kitchen knife and robbed the place. At one point, I was standing between him and the wine section. This man, apparently, was also ready to do some more drinking. He raised his big knife at me and so I got out of his way. But. What if this guy was just a little closer to the proverbial edge, or what if he had just slid over it? I could’ve easily been stabbed in the face until I died on the spot. And if that had happened, the reason (on my bloody end of the knife) would have been that this man’s desperation got the best of him. On his end, perhaps it would’ve been that his girlfriend berated him for days about making more money, or perhaps the guy had an emergency and he needed money and cigarettes to be able to pay for his baby’s doctor visits. Who knows? But. That’s it.
So really, what’s going on is this. One man’s “shit happens” is another man’s “cause and effect.” There’s no weird angels hanging out, watching what you do, trying to make sure you get a great deal at Wal-Mart. There’s no cosmic interference out there that really wants/needs you to be decapitated in a hideous car accident.
Take a look at the 6 billion other folks in the world. We are all here together. So the things others do, they can and will deeply affect us at times.
As for your baby mysteriously dying in its crib, well maybe there is a special “shit happens” that waits for that situation to come along or maybe this happens because of mattress bugs.