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?

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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 :)
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.
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.
I have found that phrases such as, "good luck", are just a part of common sayings being ingrained into our every day speach. Hell. . ..I say "goddamnit" a lot despite the fact that I don't have a belief in God. It's along the same lines as saying, "bless you" to some one who has just sneezed; just something we say. I bought a book awhile back that was about the history and origins of the common phrases and words in our modern language and how a lot of the every day things we say actually have religious origins.(wish I could remember the author) Very facinating though. Good topic to bring up btw. . .gets my gears-a-turnin'!!
Strangely, for a depressive, I realize (cognitively) that I have been extremely "lucky" all my life.  Good parents, good public education, good college, job I loved......  I mean I did some work, but, starting with that particular sperm hitting that particular egg on that particular month (going back thousands of generations), I've been lucky.

So, really, luck is just how well a particular being faired in the game of chance.
We could not say the world was lucky I was born, just that I was lucky I was born. In this case, luck is just a statement of amazement that, for once, chance went in my favor. When you consider luck in the same way a gambler views luck, you are making a statement about probability. If you wish someone good luck, you are implying that you or someone or something can control the outcome. Really, when you wish someone good luck, you are just saying, "I will be happy for you if chance happens to your advantage, "

although, I admit that does not sound as supportive as good luck.




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