The word “contingency” is used to refer to a future event which may or may not happen. Whether it will happen or not depends on the circumstances prevailing at that future time.

Now at this moment these future circumstances are not known for certain. We are ignorant of them. We can simulate the future and guess them but the guess may be wrong. Right or wrong, it is important to realize that it will be the actual circumstances prevailing – and not our guess – that determine the actual outcome.

Weather forecasting is a classic example of this. The actual unfolding of the weather itself determines whether the weather forecast is correct or not.

Belief may play an important part in the unfolding process of many human activities but there is also a possibility that even in such cases this future event is an impossibility (in addition to our knowledge of it being absent). In such a situation no amount of belief is likely to have any influence. Because under no such circumstances could such an event happen.

So when we declare that a future event is contingent, it means we do not know now what circumstances will prevail in the future and whether it will happen or not.

see randomness

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Page last modified on Thursday 13 of November, 2008 [23:04:22 UTC].

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