Chance vs God
most Catholics in the region despised fortune games, which represented unknowability in a supposedly all-knowable world, one in which God pulls the strings. In The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius introduces a character called Lady Philosophy who explains that “chance” is “an empty word…what room can there be for random events since God keeps all things in order?” Similarly, in Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale,” the first of The Canterbury Tales, Theseus reminds his subjects after a series of misfortunes that “the First Mover of the First Cause” determines all outcomes in accordance with an overarching plan. This is the same notion that Voltaire would later satirize in Candide. The wise man, Voltaire argued, realizes that a reversal of fortune is not part of a divine plan, but rather a kind of horrible happenstance that sometimes befalls one, based on no wish or advice of divine beings.