Virtue by chance, not choice
Sometimes the difference between doing the right thing and the worst mistake in your life might be chance. Sometimes it's choice. But isn't choice dependent on chance? Wouldn't eliminating chance eliminate the possibility of committing that dreadful mistake that you might regret for years?
Many parents don't allow their children outside of the house after dark, especially in places like Jordan. Because chances are, the possibility of something going wrong multiplies later at night. What they try to do is eliminate the chance of something going wrong. Removing one of the pillars of sin/err/mistake
Most of the crimes are committed when the circumstances are plausible, and supportive of it happening. In addition to having the motive (a synonym of choice)
To further explain by abstraction, consider these broad definitions:
- Choice is usually the verb/action in the issue
Steal, Cheat, murder, assassinate, lie ..etc
- Chance is the situation (time/space/conditions ..etc)
Husband is away, Money untraceable, leaving the country, or the most famous one "no one is watching"...
- Motive is always some materialistic pleasure or forbidden relief
Money, Power, Lust, Jealousy, rivalry ...etc
And now to explain by example. Lets say someone sees a lot of money in a safe, and very weak security and the ability to get away with his crime. Some will hesitate (trying to make a choice), some will think "NO WAY" (made a positive choice) while others will find this encouraging to go ahead and possibly steal that money (made negative choice). In all cases, if the money wasn't there, it would be enough deterrent for most not to attempt to steal it.
We have a saying in Arabic (Loose money, teach thievery or المال السايب يعلّم السرقة) If we look at this saying we will discover that people figured out long ago that removing the Chance from the equation, makes the rest all fall in line.
How is this related to virtue, you might ask...
Many people would claim to be virtuous, righteous and extremely loyal. Upon closer examination we discover that such people had never had the temptation or chance to stray. Which makes you wonder, if that was the case, how do you guarantee that when the time comes and the temptation AND chance are both there, what would their choice be?
The issue of Choice and Chance is really deeper than we think. In Islam for example, everything is counted based on the intention, not the action or the result although those are taken into consideration. But the thing that matters the most is intention. Which is another form of premeditated choice. Islam goes one step further when it considers the choice (even if it's not obvious) and the reason as well. If it was for the sake of god, then that's the purist of intentions.
How many people we trust so blindly to the point that we know for sure that given the chance, they will make the choice that would please us? Would they do that all the time? These two questions would simply cast their shadows over any trust-based-relationship. Which leads to the next realization, trust is just like security, an illusion.
The issue is not IF people will betray your trust. It's more like When. That's why, no one should ever be over trusting, and question anything, that doesn't add up or make sense! The difference for a good or a bad spouse/lover/friend/significant-other might only be chance!
Here's a clarifying update, since some people thought that I am expecting everyone in the world to be bad..
If you look deeper than the words above you will discover 6 types of people
- Good by determination(even when presented with bad choice, AND a chance to do it, opt to do the right thing)
- Good by nature (choice at a subliminal level)
- Good by Chance (never had a chance to do bad)
- Bad by Chance (impulsive case of bad choice)
- Bad by nature (When presented with a choice, they choose bad)
- Bad by premeditation (Make the choice to defy chance)
Only in the cases 5+ you are presented with criminal mind. For others, they're usually good people