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Fate or Free Will

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by INFJesus, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. INFJesus

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    Are our lives predestined
    Or is life just a series of random events that we attempt to give meaning to?

    I seem to be stuck in the middle on this one.

    Part of me always looks for meaning and sees synchronicity and connected patterns. I believe everything happens for a reason.

    But at my very core I fear this is all just some random accident and there is no meaning to anything,save for what we make of it.

    I would love to hear your opinions on this.
     
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  2. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Free Will.
     
  3. BlinkandThink

    BlinkandThink Community Member

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    I don't think life means anything at all. I think people create meaning. And I don't think that's a bad thing.
     
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  4. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    It's probably just a random combination of events, over which we have limited control. Not that you can't enjoy it anyway, that you can't find it fulfilling. But I don't believe there is any underlying reason for everything that happens. More likely because there are so many different physical forces working in coordination, we can't decipher the pathways of every one, and it's easier to believe it's all controlled by something bigger than us.

    sorry if this doesn't make sense, i'm really tired.
     
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    #4 TinyBubbles, Jan 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  5. bamf

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    Essentially what I was going to say.

    The 'meaning' of life is to give meaning to meaningless things. Free will. We are not 'destined' to be anything.
     
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  6. GaiaGraha

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    There have been times that I have wanted to believe in fate, but I truly believe, to my core, that there is no such thing as fate or destiny, and that we make our own choices and our own path.
    I also agree with existential French philosopher Jean Paul Sarte that we must give our life it's own meaning.
    I think that is why I struggle with decisions and regret so much, because I know that it all comes down to me, and I am very harsh on myself for all my screw-ups.
     
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  7. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    Little bit of both? You have certain abilities given through your body chemistry and such, and that could be interpreted as fate. What you do with it, is free will.
     
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  8. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Fated: physics (considering multi-dimensional theories), philosophy, and religion seem to agree that our destinies are set. For instance, from the religious perspective, whether one ends up in heaven or hell is already known to God.

    Free will: from our perspective and ability to act, we are definitely free, in that we can decide our actions and execute them for ourselves.

    A matter of perspective. So while we might not be free in an absolute sense, we are entirely free from our own position. True, we don't have the freedom to act or think outside our nature (for example, we cannot traverse large distances instantaneously, nor can we consider all history as a single concept), but within the abilities of our nature, we are free.

    Ultimately, freedom is a point of view or a perspective of reality - an ant in an ant-farm is free to do as it wishes, ignorant of its restrictions - likewise, we are free, even though we may be conscious of our restricted nature. The very fact that we can be conscious of restrictions due to our nature suggest that our minds are greater than our bodies.
     
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  9. Tulip

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    God already knows whether one will end up in heaven or hell only means that He knows everything, be it in the past or in the future. There is no indication on whether God has decided on every individual's final destiny. If that is the case, no one needs to hold responsibility for their final destination, and that there is no such thing called free will.
     
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  10. EvenIfLove

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    My view on this is somewhere along the lines of this excellent mind-bending documentary series. You have to watch the whole thing to get the punch-line in the end.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEpZFEIDHdc"]YouTube- BBC - The Secret Life of Chaos (2010) (Part 1/6)[/ame]

    In essence (I think), everything really is chaos but from all this combined chaos comes a pattern, which is what we perceive as 'free will' vs 'destiny'.

    It's hard to understand, but would we expect any less from life? :m159:
    Also, no matter which way it is, everything is still the way we think it is, ie you can feel what we call God, you can feel happiness and sadness, you can change some things and can't change other things. People living 10,000 years ago who had no idea of this were probably just as happy/unhappy as we are today.
     
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  11. Sithious

    Sithious Well-known member

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    We can choose not to follow our fate
     
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  12. Tulip

    Tulip Community Member

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    Things happen as a consequence of many people's choices and decisions. These things combine with further choices and decisions of different people lead to other subsequent events.

    For example, when you decided to start this thread, a decision was made. Then someone else decided to post a response to your thread. Then someone else read this response and has made a decision in real life to do certain things. This decision has affected the people around him. Then these people who are affected made a choice to change how they normally do things...this could go on and on forever.

    So we can say, we have the free will to make a choice and to make a decision at a certain point in time, but we do not have absolute control over what our choice and decision will lead to.

    God is able to alter these events from their normal course if He chooses to do so. But if God has decided to interfere with the normal course of events, there is always a purpose.

    So to answer your questions, I don't believe the events being random.

    :ranger:
     
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  13. DefectiveCreative

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    I'm with a few other people on this thread in that I think it's a combination of both, pre-destiny in that our options are limited by that which has come before us, free will in that we can still exercise choice between those options.

    For example, I cannot choose to become a millionaire right at this moment. I can exercise my free will to chose between the options of "try to become a millionaire over time" and "don't try to become a millionaire", but the option to "become a millionaire at this instant" is not available to me due to the previous events of my life that have lead up to this moment in time.

    However, if a man came up to me now and offered me a million pounds the option to "become a millionaire at this instant" would then become available, giving me more options to exercise my free will of choice over than there were before.
     
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  14. randomsomeone

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    I think it is both as well. We have a destiny that we can follow as a matter of free will. Thing is, our destiny has less to do with externals and more to to with our internal life and our capacities as a human being. Everything else flows out of that.
     
  15. OP
    INFJesus

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    Some good thoughts in this thread thanks for the input


    This is an interesting concept and a meaty post in the respect that my brain is working overtime to grasp its meaning.

    I watched this on TV the other night. Fascinating stuff, and something I had an abstract concept of before seeing it.

    However it shatters any faith I might have in a higher power and that depresses me just a little :(
     
  16. OP
    INFJesus

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    I wanted to give everyone a REP hit for responding but it says I have given out too much and wants me to wait 24 hours, I will get you eventually,.
     
  17. Faye

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  18. IndigoSensor

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    In general, I believe in free will on the microscale, and fate on the macroscale.
     
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  19. Soulful

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    I believe life is predominantly about exercising our free will. I think there is a degree of predisposition, but not predetermination or predestination.

    To use an analogy, imagine we are each cross-country walkers, and all we do in life is walk. We may be wired (predisposed) to walk north, and that's what feels most comfortable to us, most inherent, but we have the free will to alter the course at any moment and walk in another direction.

    We start out with a direction in life, but by no means do we have to keep it. So I believe both are present, but free will has greater dominance than predisposition. It 'trumps' predisposition, so to speak.

    I think the purpose of life is growth and learning, so that is the reason for all situations. Having said that, I think everything does happen for a reason but that reason is neither static nor singular. A situation has the potential to mean a variety of things to one person depending on how we decide to let it impact us. I don't believe events happen randomly. There are probably multiple layers of meaning to each situation. We probably tend to grasp a few of them, based on our current level of understanding. So it's probably both. I don't think we're fully pawns nor do I think we're meaningless dust particles floating around. I think trying to ascertain ALL meaning is like a fish trying to figure out why someone is tapping on the fish-tank. Most people simply don't have the perspective. Much like the difference in view while being at the base of the mountain versus partway to the peak. However, I think there is reason and purpose to being alive, and we make sense of what we can while we're alive (hopefully). Hopefully, the more consciously we live, the more we evolve through this process, and expand our perspective and ability to 'see more' to each situation and consider different meanings. The greater this ability, the more likely it is that we'll be able to make life go smoothly for us, climb out of ditches if we've been thrown in them (ex. as children), or climb out of existing potholes. I.e. The more effectively we'll be able to exercise our free will to meet our desired outcomes, regardless of predisposition.
     
    #19 Soulful, Jan 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  20. NeverAmI

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    I believe we are on Earth to learn lessons, I have always felt this way. That we have to struggle to become better. I believe in a conscious entity beyond the confines of earth and the physical realm.

    I believe there is something bigger in life than being "monkeys" or a "hunk of meat" or simply surviving.

    Humanity is naturally flawed. Some argue that humans are the only beings on the planet that are flawed. We recognize these flaws, our impulses to spread like cancer and consume without care. I believe we are meant to overcome, to understand, respect, and work with the planet which gives us life. If we can move to other planets, great, but for the moment we really need to take a step back and open our eyes.

    Life is complex, we all have down times and issues. Ultimately, I believe we are here to help one another, to discipline ourselves, and to rise above the animals we are so fond of calling ourselves. Whether this is directed by a conscious entity that we cannot see, I do not know. I feel that there is, or perhaps I only WANT to feel that there is, or I feel that there simply cannot be nothing.

    Regardless, we have to move past ourselves and see the beauty of the world, in others, in nature, and even in our advancements. Life has always been about struggle, perseverence, striving to overcome what makes us apathetic and unwilling to help. At least in my mind.

    I believe we have free will with expectations.
     
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    #20 NeverAmI, Jan 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
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