Playing with the idea of a Theory of everything, I thought "If something can happen, it does.".

This does not explain the origin of our world and it's not a TOE but a concept in that direction.

Some examples:


You could say "I can jump right now, but I don't" and I tell you "no you can't jump right now"! The notion of proving me wrong prevents you from jumping. Maybe physics and anatomy allows you to jump, but in this very moment, your mind stops you.

Maybe now you jump... okay... that's a psychological reversal which stopped your mind from blocking your jump, now it's really possible.


"We could feed the world, but we don't." Yeah, technically this is possible, but globals politic and the way capitalism works prevents this.


This house could collapse, why doesn't it? Simple. It "could", but it can't because it's stable. Maybe one day, if it's condition gets worse, it will.

Basically my idea means that everything will happen, if there's no counter-force. This also counts for the rise of systems like molecules, society, cities, solar systems and their collapse.

Thus fragile or stable only means "How much is preventing something from happening?"

Are there any examples of things that really can happen, but don't? This condition means that nothing prevents it from happening.

  • 1
    What exactly are you hoping for someone here to explain to you? What does an answer to this look like in your mind? --It can also help to spell out the philosophical context and motivations behind the question: what might you have been reading that might have made this an important or interesting problem for you in your study of philosophy? What has your research uncovered so far?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Jan 7, 2015 at 14:35
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    While I see that there is a question at the bottom of your text, the headline and text suggest that you're not looking for references or an answer to a certain question, but want other people to comment on what you think. That's not "within the scope defined in the help center" and therefore off-topic. I'm sure you can rephrase that and make it a real question, though, in which case I would certainly take back the downvote.
    – iphigenie
    Jan 7, 2015 at 15:32
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    Votaire mocks Liebniz (by making a character, Dr. Pangloss, his adherent) for believing exactly this. He deduces from it that we live in in the best of all possible worlds, so God cannot be blamed for the world's evil. If it were better here, it would be worse elsewhere, or better solutions would be possible, and if they could, they would. The point I think, is that the logic is so facile as to be useless, even if true.
    – user9166
    Jan 7, 2015 at 15:41
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    Please see Should we explain downvotes?.
    – user2953
    Jan 7, 2015 at 16:47
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    Voted you down because of your comment "If you vote me down, tell me why". Downvote is downvote and doesn't require an explanation or justification.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 8, 2015 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


"If something can happen, it does?" That is technically true, and it would happen without delay. No Wile E. Coyote standing in mid-air off the edge of a cliff.

If something is preventing a possible event, then is not truly a possible event.

To take your example: This house could collapse, if it were not stable. But it is stable so there is no simple hypothesis that it could collapse.

Statements of possibility, ordinarily speaking, are contingent on their barriers. They are contingent possibilities. "The house could collapse, (if ...)".

How about "The house could collapse if the conditions are right."? If the conditions are right it not only could, but does collapse. If they are not right it could not collapse.

Even seemingly chaotic, random events (e.g. radioactive dacay) presumably have unseen deterministic reasons for happening, so the logic is universal.

  • I was about to answer, but found your answer said what I wanted to say, and better. One minor thing though; it isn't generally accepted that quantum events have deterministic reasons. There are those who believe it is random all the way down. I think the idea that it's deterministic at heart is the "hidden variable hypothesis". I won't say that hypothesis is discredited, but it's not in vogue.
    – R. Barzell
    Jan 8, 2015 at 19:34
  • @ R. Barzell - thanks, I agree the causality of quantum events is unknown, as far as I know. Jan 8, 2015 at 21:31

I think quantum mechanics provides a pretty good counter-example: a qubit in an in-between state when resolved has a 50% chance of resolving in one direction and 50% chance of resolving in the other. Both can happen, but only one does.

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