2017/02/15 On "controlling the chance reasonably"

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I read this article and several thoughts are whirling around in my head, but I will focus on just one of them: reasonable controlling of the chance.

I have a vicious tendency not to persevere until the end of a long article. So, I haven't read it through. But the first one third was enough to prompt me to write this article. In it, the author said poorer people around him or her are unable to or don't make conscious efforts to control the chance reasonably. This phrase makes me wonder what the term chance means. Previously, there was an article written by an entrepreneur, titled "in a world which is not deterministic nor chancy." This article makes me harbor the same question. Chance is not to be controlled. If it can be brought under control, it is no longer a chance. It is determined. They will say that by making efforts we can alter the likelihood of events. We can make less likely what we don't want to happen and more likely, what we want.

But what exactly are we to understand by this word "likelihood"? The author of the article says if you don't want to have your bicycle stolen, you can take it into your house and secure it, so that it is less likely to be stolen. OK. Let's do this. When I came home, instead of parking it outside, I took it into the room. Suppose the next morning, I woke up to find it is still there. This result is compatible with the hypothesis that it is less likely to be stolen. Let us suppose then that the following morning the bicycle is gone. This consequence is still compatible with the hypothesis. It was less likely but not impossible. Therefore, I don't understand what is meant by "altering the likelihood." You can never know whether you have succeeded in controlling it. How can it be called reasonable?

The position that I find more plausible was Hume's. He says that the world is deterministic. Everything happens here in this world is determined by laws. But we can never know them.