In fact, even contemporary observers thought this might have been a conscious decision.
Jefferson is also said to have refused his usual laudanum on the night before he died, which might have affected his ability to cope with the pain. Conspiracy theories about their concurrent deaths have also circulated, both at the time and in the centuries since. Even those quite unconnected to the deaths wondered if something more sinister, or planned, had been afoot.
But all of these explanations have limitations of one sort or another, particularly as the historical evidence is so scarce. Whatever the reason behind it, these deaths, and their date, were a remarkable concurrence—and one made even more striking five years later, with the death of James Monroe on that same auspicious date. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.
This Day In History. Dictionaries usually define it as two or more events coming together in a surprising, unexpected way without an obvious causal explanation. Embedded in the definition is a hint that there might be an explanation. Many believe that Fate or Mystery, or the Universe or God, causes coincidences. Their faith in something Greater provides them with a cause. Since God causes them, the cause is known. Therefore, there are no coincidences.
Statistically-oriented people believe that coincidences can be explained by the Law of Truly Large Numbers, which states that in large populations, any weird event is likely to happen.
They are not coincidences, just random events. Those who believe in Mystery are more likely to believe that coincidences contain messages for them personally. Each of these two explanations take responsibility for coincidences away from you!
Jeffrey Epstein signed his will two days before his death. Was that a coincidence?
Each suggests that you are powerless in the face of inexplicable forces. Randomness says you have nothing to do with creating coincidences—stuff just happens because we live in a random universe. When God is called in to explain coincidences, you are the recipient of divine grace.
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If you think you had something to do with it, you are deluding yourself. Randomness and God are extreme positions in a coincidence dance that usually involves you, to varying degrees. Probability plays a necessary role. Some coincidences are more unlikely than others.
Mystery plays a role because our minds cannot grasp the multiple stirrings hidden behind the veil of our ignorance. Here lies some of the beauty in the study of coincidences. They make us wonder. How much do we have to do with them, and how much is beyond our current concept of ourselves in the world? Coincidences exist. Coincidences are real. Saying that there are no coincidences stops inquiry. Challenging the statement forces us to make sense of its ambiguity and explore our potential involvement.
You can choose the random perspective and with a wave of a mental hand, dismiss most coincidences as not worth further attention. As you explore, you may uncover the latent abilities hidden within you. Also chance? Can we affect matter with our minds? What is consciousness.
We don't know. Thanks for your comments. It appears that the term coincidence is a cover for many things including psi events like precognitive dreams and picking up the thoughts of others. When there is a possible cause, there is no coincidence anymore. The belief that coincidence means two or more events coming together in a surprising, unexpected way without an obvious causal explanation comes from the writings of one man, Sir Thomas Browne in the s.
Coincidence means happening at the same time. Coincidence is everywhere. Every time you go to the shopping mall, there are shoppers there, each with his own cause, shopping with every other shopper. Even when something seems to be a shared cause, e. Thanks for referring to the origin of the word "coincidence".
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Perhaps you will find this article of interest:. Does Bernard Beitman MD think that coincidences are similarities? Surely, to believe that coincidences are similarities suggests escape? Yes, reaction occurs at the same time as something that develops - but, in humanity, neither reaction or stimuli are necessarily natural events. There is, most likely, a source that preceded both events.
If the reaction is real and the stimulus is true, then coincidences cannot be similarities. When I talk about how incredibly luck we are to be alive, all the billions or more things that just happened to happen for us to exist. People bring up God. As an Atheist, I debate them. And they bring up the fact that all those random things had to happen and to do so, is not possible. So I ask if they are a golfer, if they are, I say, what is the chance that that golf ball will land on any certain blade of grass.
They say, very very remote. And I say exactly, but it has to land somewhere doesn't it? As much as they hate to admit it, it makes sense.
This statement is a paradox.
If you don't have a way to convey randomness to someone, it normally goes right over their heads. The entire question of why we live in a Universe that has certain laws of physics allowing life does require a science response. However that very response is itself metaphysical and can never be proven. That is, there are branching realities or multiverses. I happen to believe we are a simulation of some kind, a drama. Allen watts preferred to believe in the world being drama! You are a tiny component of its expressions. The nature or full extent of nature's expressions including consequences cannot, except in the most gross incidences, ever be perceived.
I liked your article. If people take you at your words than you are a giant.
If they choose to take you at their interpretation of your words then they contort your views and misunderstand what you are trying to convey. You ignored the deterministic conception of coincidences. Everything that happens, including coincidences, ultimately happens because the initial conditions of the cosmos pre-determined them to happen.
Coincidence - Wikipedia
In other words, coincidences have nothing to do with you, because the cosmological constants guaranteed that they would happen. Perhaps your third possibility is another way of saying God. The two ideas have in common being First Causes. Predetermined and Fate also are ways of describing how God and the Cosmological Constants resemble each other. If you are assuming a deistic conception of God, then the cosmological constants being the observable manifestation of God's will acting on us and our universe makes perfect sense.
If you are assuming a pantheistic God, then it makes more sense to say that the cosmological constants are themselves properties of God. However, a traditionally theistic God who acts on the world through miracles seems to make invoking the cosmological constants redundant, and vice versa. You can see conscious awareness as a machine, one thing creates yet another. I have always thought in one Universe all things in some way must be connected.
The fact we are not able to trace the path doesn't mean its all on the spot coincidence. The Universe may have had initial conditions. If they were any different than what you experience now might never be or the past could never have been. This was a very interesting read on coincidence.
I never really looked at coincidence as being not really a coincidence.
If God caused it to happen, therefore that being the known cause, it really was not a coincidence because of the "known" cause is a very interesting way to look at it. We discussed something similar in our class on Personality when discussing dreams. If one dreams of a goat then sees a goat the next day, that really is not a coincidence nor is it a sign related to dreaming of the goat. Some random occurrence was the cause of us seeing a goat.
Great read. Sherri, I can say some of these things make my hair stand on end. Example, my mother now deceased, never used the phrase, " carrying coal to Newport" I a few days before had read this in a novel I was reading and it was rather stuck in my head.