If we say "Good luck" to someone, where do you think this luck will come from? Is it like believing in a luck god who might decide you are the good samaritan who gets good fortune? Do you view it mathematically by using probability as a factor? Do you consider it contradicting to the atheist belief system in regards to superstition as an outlet for the paranormal?

Views: 249

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

That does make me wonder where that phrase comes from, but I personally like it when people wish me good luck, because then I can blame the outcome on luck.

I don't have an 'atheist belief system', I don't even believe in good luck.
I do frequently wish others good luck or ask for others to wish me luck. It is one of the most innocuous ways to casually form a bond and to let another person know that you are thinking of them. I don't think skeptics believe in luck as superstition, but social animals (like me) love a nice dose of moral support and encouragement.
Let me know if you find a better way to phrase it, until then... Good Luck :)
It is a nice way to interact with another human. Afterall, how many others do we meet that think like us here on this site?
I view luck as a factor of probability. So I would view it mathematically. So luck to me is :

The extent to which something is probable; the likelihood of something happening or being the case

The extent to which an event is likely to occur, measured by the ratio of the favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible

An atheist is someone who has no believes in deities. I know of atheists who believe in reincarnation, astrology and conspiracy theories. A more general term for someone who does not believe in any supernatural phenomenon is naturalist, i.e. someone who only accepts natural explanations.


That being said, believing in luck is believing in supernatural and is not naturalistic. We naturalists must fight every day against natural instincts to perceive agency when there really isn't one. I try to fight all thoughts of fate and luck, which try to creep into my thoughts. The more of these silly thoughts we accept, the easier it is for others to creep in. There is no luck, there is only probability. Sometimes things happen to our advantage, but usually they don't unless we are constantly trying to set the odds on our side.

"Luck is probability taken personally" - Chip Denman, manager of the Statistics Lab at the University of Maryland
"Good Luck" to me means "I hope you beat the odds".  Ergo, mathematical.
For atheists who were never deeply indoctrinated, perhaps, saying religious words is not a problem. For me, having been indoctrinated twice by fundy religions as a child, it is a daily fight for me to keep religious words out of my mind because they can lead to thoughts of fear of Hell, even after 35 years of atheism. It is a discipline that I exercise to sharpen my critical thinking skills.
Sorry to hear that, Rudy. You seem to have been traumatized as a kid but you fought through it, luckily.
Thanks. The fight seems never ending, but it grows easier, even after 35 years.
When I wish someone "Good Luck" it's more of a have good fortune or I'm pulling for you. Perhaps "may the cosmos smile upon you" would be apropos. Just a show of support nothing more nothing less.
Nicely stated, Ronin. Nothing technical, just a nice phrase that warms the heart.  :)



Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


© 2017   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service