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When Bogey lit up another Lucky Strike, none of us kids at “the pictures” (the cinema) on Saturday arvos in Sinney would have wondered about the name of his favorite brand. Even Americans no doubt could care less, as they incongruously say, that the marketeers meant to suggest that striking a match to smoke a Lucky was a stroke of good fortune, equivalent to finding gold in them thar hills : every cigarette was a Lucky Strike for the future cancer victim, comparable with finding an enormous nugget or seam of gold during the Rush.

An ex-smoker who actually once panned for gold in Arizona (the whole truth and nothing but, in my Blog), I must confess that the famous brand takes me back further than the forties, back in fact 65 million years, when the Earth suffered a most Unlucky Strike. We all know about the dinosaurs and their extinction, and sometimes wonder when the next giant meteor is going to strike. So far we have been lucky. Matter of fact, our whole history has been one of luck, beginning with the Big Bang.

Have no fear, I am not going to get into trillionths of nanoseconds and all that. The BB happened to happen, and later, much later, 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth did too. Quite recently we also happened to happen. We call Oz the Lucky Country. But we all live on a Lucky Planet in a Universe that is the product of chance.

I say this purposely, of course. God did not make the world on purpose. Nobody did. No point in arguing. Believe that the world and we have a purpose if you like. Everything indicates that it and we don’t. But if, for a moment, we atheists admit that it and we do, you have to wonder about that meteor and the dinosaurs. You have to worry about all the volcanoes ready to erupt, all those tsunamis that could wipe out millions. Does a Divine Architect, an Intelligent Designer, and Omnipotent God of Love do or even allow things like that on purpose ? I suggest we not waste what little time we may have left – depending on forces beyond our (and obviously “God’s”) control – discussing the teleological “proof” for the existence of God, or trying to argue one way or the other about Purpose in Creation. Let’s just get on with our lives, as long as our luck holds out.

RIDENDA RELIGIO

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