in the following sentence, how should I take the meaning of the phrase ''blind chance''? Should I take as ''uncontrolled coincidence''? or what? especially the word ''blind'' makes difficult to know clearly.

'' He understood that the destiny of beings is not the outcome of mere blind chance, nor does it depend upon the arbitrary action of an imaginary creator, but that our destiny is to be traced back to our own former actions, or kamma.''

Page. 2

''Fundamentals of Buddhism''

by Nyanatiloka Mahåthera

2 Answers 2


"Blind chance" or "blind luck" means "nothing but chance". For example, if you are playing roulette, you win by blind luck. There is no skill at all. On the other hand, if you are playing poker, it's not blind chance. There is a mixture of skill and luck.

Here it is used rhetorically to make an argument, saying that destiny must either be "completely random" or "at the arbitrary whim of a supernatural god" or "the consequence of the law of kamma".


You could think of a commonly used representation of chance: There's a bag with some blue balls and some red balls. You reach into the bag and randomly take out one of the balls. You may get a blue ball, or you may get a red ball. You have (in an ideal situation) no way of knowing which it will be beforehand.

To further emphasize that you can't know beforehand which color the ball will be, and that you can't influence which color it will be, the person drawing the ball is often described as blinded. The person may close their eyes, or the person may wear a blindfold, or something similar. Human beings take a huge portion of the information about their surroundings from sight. If you take that away, you basically take away most of the danger that the supposedly random drawing of a ball will be skewed in any way.

So, it's a commonly used verbal image to further emphasize chance or randomness by describing it as "blind". It's not just "ordinary randomness", so to speak, but pure and utter randomness - or "blind chance".

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