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The belief that some things just happen. No one is at fault and there is no cause. Kind of like what I’ve heard described as “an act of God” but I don’t care for that phrase. Is there a word for this? Thanks!

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  • Do you mean fate or destiny? Try reading about Greek tragedy.
    – Lambie
    Nov 12, 2022 at 17:37
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    Since you've tagged this as a single word request, you should include a sample sentence demonstrating how the word would be used. Nov 12, 2022 at 17:49
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    In legal texts, an "act of God" is often used as a hyponym (a sub-category) of force majeure.
    – m.a.a.
    Nov 12, 2022 at 18:37
  • It something is an act of God, how can it "just happen"? Beyond the legal meaning of force majeure.
    – Lambie
    Nov 12, 2022 at 18:50
  • @Lambie I'm afraid that if I board your train of thought, it will take me out of linguistic territory and into philosophy... I'm staying on my platform for now...
    – m.a.a.
    Nov 12, 2022 at 18:57

2 Answers 2

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A single word could be chance. Merriam-Webster has

chance
1 a: something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause
1 b: the assumed impersonal purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings
1 c: the fortuitous or incalculable element in existence

For example

I was saved from drowning at sea by a chance encounter with a fishing boat.

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Weather Vane has provided a solid suggestion.

Judging from the opening line of you query, though, it might be that you're looking for a word that connotes "the belief that some things just happen", i.e. the belief in chance.

If this is the case, I reckon accidentalism is a nice alternative:

In philosophy, accidentalism denies the causal closure of physical determinism and maintains that events can succeed one another haphazardly or by chance (not in the mathematical but in the popular sense).

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