Friday, September 26, 2008

Blog #3 - Fate or Free Will

As we watched Lost today, we analyzed the Walkabout episode and looked at John Locke's stubborn refusal to accept the denial of his destiny of going on an Australian walkabout. We saw that his life back in America looked bleak - he was working at a box company with a jerk for a boss, wheelchair- bound, in a psuedo-relationship w/ a phone-sex operator named Helen. When the tourism company denied Locke the chance to go on his Walkabout tour, he felt that he was being denied his long-sought destiny or purpose to his life.

Now that Locke is on the island, he is beginning to see that crashing on the island is his TRUE destiny, and that the Walkabout vacation was justa detour to get him on this plane. Why else could he walk again? He has become the true hunter and leader he has always dreamed of being there on the island.

So, what's your opinion on fate? I'll pose a few questions, and it will be your job to pick one (or more) to answer with your well-reasoned words.
1. How much of life is just plain old luck, bad or good?
2. Why do bad things happen to good people?
3. Does everything that happens repeat itself eternally? Why?
4. Do we pay for our mistakes? Why or why not?
5. Does a person create his or her own destiny? Why or why not?
6. If you to fail, and then succeed, which have you done?
7. Do you believe in nature or nurture? Why?
8. Does karma exist? Why or why not?

Your comment should be a minimum of 200 words and be turned in before class on Monday, September 29.


    Bad things happened to good people because bad things happen to everyone, whether we feel like its karma and we deserve it, or not. Although bad things like divorce, death, and illness happen, rough patches in our lives shape who we are. Going though rough patches are a crucial part of our development as humans. For example, when I was nine, my parents divorced, and I felt like it was the worst thing that could possibly happen to me. I hadn’t made any major mistakes or committed any unforgiveable sins, and I didn’t understand why something so horrible was happening to me. However, now that I have lived with it for several years, I have found that the experience made me stronger. I have learned how to cope with change, along with many other things, and most importantly, my family is much happier than before. Going through hardships helps you mature, and many times I think bad things turn out to be blessings in disguise. We learn from mistakes that we (or others) made in the past, and we also learn to value what we have in our lives. Good people don’t deserve horrible things to happen to them, but bad things don’t always happen because someone deserves it. Sometimes, bad things really are good things, and it takes a good person to be able to recognize that there is some kind of good in every situation.

  2. I’d like to think that I’m in control of my “destiny”, but while I do believe that individual choices are important when it comes to determining the course of a person’s life, luck and extenuating circumstances have a lot more to do with it. Fate isn’t some guy sitting in the clouds making up a plan for each person, it’s blind chance and combinations of outside factors that affect individuals who have no control over them. For example, a huge portion of my life was determined simply by the fact that I was born in a well-developed country to middle-class parents. This is something I’ve obviously got no control over, yet it will probably have a bigger affect on my future than any individual choice I make.
    The economy is another example of this. I have no or very, very little control over the state of the financial system, but if the second great depression sets it and my parents lose their jobs, I’ll probably end up going to Oakland Community College. It won’t matter that I’ve worked hard and gotten good grades for the last four years so I could go to a good school; factors outside of my control will have decided my fate.
    Despite this, I believe individual choices are important factors in determining the course one’s life takes. Continuing the hypothetical situation above, if I’d tried just a little bit harder in school I might have been able to get a full ride scholarship to Michigan despite the economy going bad. Sometimes, however, things are just out of our control.

  3. 7. Do you believe in nature or nurture? Why?

    I believe that both nature and nurture have an effect on how a person turns out. No one is born inherently good or inherently evil; inherently successful or inherently a failure; inherently mean or inherently kind. On the flipside, however, two people raised in an absolutely identical manner (hypothetically speaking, of course, because in reality this is impossible) could turn out very different from one another. Both a person’s DNA and the outside influences on them from childhood to adulthood have a big effect on how they will eventually turn out, though I do think that the latter has more of an effect than the former.
    It would be foolish and scientifically inaccurate to say that nature has no effect on the development of an individual. While it is true (in my opinion) that there is no inherent good or inherent evil, some things are coded into us before birth. This ranges from IQ, which, very importantly, is the capacity for learning, not how “smart” someone is – because “smartness” is greatly affected by nurture; to height, which can have an effect on the athletic future of an individual; to race and gender, which are possibly the most important things determined by nature because they can have a major effect on how one is nurtured. Now, notice that all of these things determined by nature are important for one reason – they affect the nurture part of the equation. While nature is important, I believe that it is only secondarily important, because two people of different races or genders can be nurtured very differently based upon that inherent trait.
    Nurture has a much bigger effect on the outcome of an individual’s life. No matter what IQ, race, gender, or social class you’re born into, given the right circumstances, it is very possible for you to achieve the same thing as someone genetically opposite (relatively speaking, of course) yourself. Now, most people who praise the nurture side are fans of the free will over fate philosophy, saying things like “You can do anything you set your mind to if you work hard enough!” I don’t agree with this. Nurture is important, yes, but it has nothing to do with free will. I believe wholeheartedly in fate, and as such, I believe that the way one is nurtured is a work of fate. Perhaps someone born with severe disabilities is fated to overcome the odds and rise to the top, or perhaps someone born with every advantage possible is fated to a life of homelessness because of some poor decision making. Either way, it wasn’t nature that decided how their life would play out, it was nurture – but the outside influences that led to the individual’s outcome were set in motion by the hands of fate, as was the individual’s life itself.

  4. I don’t know if I believe that people create their own destiny or that it is already planned for you. I’m sure some decisions you make will change your so-called path which could in turn change your destiny, but I don’t know by how much. For instance, look at the Harry Potter series. Harry’s prophecy was right there on a shelf, already prepared for him. I’m sure he could have made different choices, but his conscience would keep him focused on what was right and what was wrong.

    Of course I believe in karma. I think everyone wants to believe in it when someone does something horrible that in the end hurts them. If people didn’t, I think a lot of humans would lose hope. The fact that if someone does something bad, it will always in some way come back to them, keeps humans optimistic.

    If you have to fail, and then succeed, you have succeeded. As long as you learn from your mistakes or realize what made you unsuccessful in the first place, then you will always succeed. With that thought, I can assume that in some way you do pay for your mistakes; however it can be a good or bad outcome. Of course if your mistake changes many aspects in your life, you have to live with the affects of that mistake.

    Leah Cenko

  5. Two questions which I feel are closely related is question 2 (Why do bad things happen to good people?) and question 8 (Does karma exists? Why or why not?)

    First off, I believe in free will 100%. Like Neo so elegantly stated in the Matrix, I just don't like the idea that I am not in control of my own life. I find it impossible to believe that in a world where everyone has the potential and ability to make their own decisions that our track are already lain and we are just riding the train.

    Why do bad things happen to good people? What makes them good? What makes something that happens to them "bad"? These are all questions which are too vague in order to respond in a complete fashion.

    I have complete control over my life. I cannot control the weather. I cannot control it if someone were to barge into my house and murder me. These things that I cannot control, is it fate? I don't think so. This is where religious and non-religious people differ in opinions. As a general tendency, people who are religious turn to religious deities for phenomenon they cannot understand.

    This is seen throughout history, for example in Greek mythology. The original Greek beings knew that there was some huge source of light and heat (the sun) but struggled to provide a logical explanation for its rise and fall everyday. So what did they do? They created a superior being, Helios, whom controlled the sun.

    For me, it seems illogical to, in the struggle to find an explanation for something, just say that it must be fate, or it must be the works of a superior god. It simply goes against my current understand of the world and how it functions.

    Going back to the question, why do bad things happen to good people, why shouldn't they? This is where the question collides with karma. Karma basically says what goes around comes around. Therefore, when a person does a "good" action, they shall be in a sense rewarded later on. Likewise, if a bad deed is committed, eventually the doer shall experience an equivalent negative experience.

    I simply do not see any truth in karma. I have seen to many bad things happen to good people and too many good things happen to bad people to be willing to accept karma. A common scapegoat for karma theorists is that even if you do not experience the positive or negative reward for such actions, you shall experience them in the afterlife. Again, this relies upon the belief in a faith, which is not how I see the world.

    In conclusion, I do not believe in fate or ideas such as karma. I do not believe them because I feel that I am in control over my life. For the things that I am not in control, such as weather, I am aware of the forces of nature and sciences to the point where my philosophy leaves no room for fate. I understand by looking into history that the origin of many faith-based phenom are rooted in the incomprehension of certain events.

  6. I believe in fate, but i also believe that it will only take you so far and then its up to you to make decisions. I believe in the chaos theory, something along the lines of that every little thing DOES happen for a reason, because if it weren't to happen it would set of the natural balance of the world. I believe in free will, but i also think that the decisions people make affect other peoples decisions and if that decision had not have been made, it would set everything off balance. If someone was to know their fate, then they would have the ability to change it or refuse it. I think certain things are 'good luck' or 'bad luck' but those things that some people may define as luck are actually the working of fate. If somehow someone has gotten off that path, i believe something else will happen that will put them back on this path. For example, if you leave the house, then turn around because you forgot your cell phone, and then on your route, you are stuck behind an accident that very well could have happened to you, that is good luck that you forgot your phone, and it is a coincidence. The person on the other hand who did get into the accident perhaps needed to get into that accident in order to realize something, or stop them from doing something destructive. I personally do not believe it is god who has set the paths of fate, similar to the fact that i do not think it is god who has set certain rules of the earth. Everything fits together perfectly, gravitational pulls, photosynthesis versus cellular respiration, etc. In the same way i think everything every person does on this planet counteracts just to make things work, or be 'normal'.

  7. I believe that God has a plan for everyone; however it is up to a person to live up to their potential. For example it is my parents plan for me I to go to school and get good grades but I can chose to skip school and never study. I’m not sure if people can truly know their destiny. I mean I could put the idea in my mind that it is my calling to be a surgeon and all things point to that however that doesn’t, make it true. People can manipulate the world around them to be what they want it to be. I think that everything happens for a reason. Every experience, good or bad, is a learning experience. Good and bad things happen to criminals and saints alike. As you collect experiences you learn how to handle life and the future. You don’t have control over what happens to you and when but you can control what you do about it. Basically I think everyone starts out with a plan for their life and free will. With that free will people can chose to make their lives and even have an influence on those around them. The main things people don’t have control over is what happens to them, they can however make themselves more prone to certain events. For instance smoking crack increases the chance of a person becoming an addict. I personally don’t feel in control of my life but the thought that there is a plan for my life keeps me going.

  8. If you to fail, and then succeed, which have you done?
    I believe if you fail and then succeed you have succeeded. When kids are younger and trying to perfect a skill their parents always tell them practice makes perfect. Eventually, after they fail once or twice they succeed. Success is something that takes lots of practice. Failing at something once doesn’t make you a failure. Accomplishing a goal, no matter how long it takes you, is still considered success to me.

    Does karma exist? Why or why not?
    I think everyone would like to believe karma exists. I believe it somewhat exists. I think if someone intentionally hurts you they will somehow receive the same treatment back. Karma could also just be something for humans to believe in. It’s almost as if it takes your mind off something bad that has happened to you because you begin to believe something bad will now happen to that person.

    Do we pay for our mistakes? Why or why not?
    I believe we pay for our mistakes. If someone does something they know is wrong it will eventually get them in trouble. I believe teenagers pay for their mistakes all the time. If we make the mistake of doing something an adult doesn’t like or approve of we will be in trouble. Not listening to someone or not following rules could result in you making a bad mistake which you will pay for.

    -Shayna Stillman

  9. If you fail, and then suceed, which have you done?

    I believe failing is part of the process that leads to sucess. You can't go through your entire life without having any setbacks, no matter how hard you try. Failing is a learning experience and just brings you that much closer to suceeding. If you never know what failing is, you can never truly know success.

    I also like to believe that the good out weighs the bad. In most situations, people are drawn to the bad. Every night, you can't turn on the news without hearing about a shooting or a wanted criminal. Why is it that our society would rather focus on failure than celebrate sucess? Generally people (especially girls) like to pick out the bad in people instead of stating their good qualities. I don't think this is a good way to live your life. It doesn't benefit you in any way and it only makes your mind more focused on failure.

    In order to get to where you want to be, you're going to hit a few bumps along the way. These obstacles only make you appreciate your sucess more. I believe if you have failed and then suceeded, in the end, your sucess is all that matters.

    I think that becoming who you are is a combination of nature and nurture. A lot of who we are does have a lot to do with the environment you’re in, but I believe that a lot of who we become has more to do with who we already are as a person. We discussed this topic in AP Psych; I used the example of my dad’s life growing up. Both of his parents came to the United States from Greece, and neither of them really knew how important an education was. Therefore, my grandparents never forced an education on my dad and his brothers. One of my uncles figured that since his parents aren’t stressing school, then he won’t bother going. Now he has numerous financial with a very low paying job, due to his low education. On the other hand, my dad graduated from med school at Michigan State and is now successful, living a happy life. Since he grew up in the same environment as his brothers, I believe that his success was because his internal drive. His brother, on the other hand, let his environment take over him, and did not bother applying himself to have a better future. I don’t doubt that environment plays a pretty large role in our futures, but overall, more of who we become is because of our beliefs, morals, and our internal drive to succeed.

  11. If you to fail, and then succeed, which have you done?

    I believe that you have succeeded; the failures are just on your journey to success. To fail is to learn and if no one failed then technically, we would all be idiots. There are many examples of people who have turned failures into successes. Thomas Edison invented many uses of electricity. He did not come up with these uses on the first try. It took many times to get to his answer. I didn’t fail ten thousand times. Thomas Edison is quoted saying, “I successfully eliminated, ten thousand times, materials and combinations which wouldn’t work.” Thomas Edison is using ten thousand of those failures to succeed. Thomas Edison is not the only person who has used their failures to succeed. Michael Jordan is quoted saying “I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot... and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why... I succeed.” Each time Michael Jordan missed a shot, it taught him how to make a shot. I believe that this is true for everything. Failure makes us grow, it makes us better. I believe that “failure is not an option”. We say this on the swim team and it is very true. Each time we race and do not make the goal, we as some might say fail. However, after that failed race we know exactly what not to do next time. I believe that it is just a way of teaching us to succeed.

    Allison LaSota

  12. 2. Why do bad things happen to good people?

    Every person, whether they like it or not, have good and bad times in their lives. It is bound to happen. Is it fate? Is it free will? I don’t know the answer to questions like these. However, I do know that if you leave yourself open as a person to experience these things, some positive thing is bound to come out of a negative situation.
    I know that from personal experiences that when horrible things occur, it is very hard to find reason in them. When suffering from the loss of a role model, leader, director, and very close friend, I felt lost. I had witnessed his death and an experience like that will change somebody forever. However, this trauma resulted in a massive formation of me as a person over the past two years.
    Directly following the accident until about a half year later, I was solely grieving for Jeff and trying to reason that there was nothing that could have been done. Once I came to accept that, I was much more emotionally stable and have grown from my bereavement. I developed life-long friendships with inseparable bonds, began to relish in the beauty of life and all it has to offer, and chose to be “intense about the present” (Jeff Grey).
    It may not be easy to reason with yourself as to why bad things happen to good people but if you look hard enough into any situation, good things tend to grow from the bad.

    -Henry M.

  13. There is no kind way to define destiny, ergo I will make no pains to try: destiny is a by-product of man’s intelligence; a complex constructed to make man feel more important than it really is. Despite this glaring fact, it is easy to “prove” destiny: I was relocated to a monstrously obscure place where I met Suzie Q, who is now my wife. Had I not been relocated, there is no circumstance in which I could meet Suzie Q, ergo I was destined to meet and marry Suzie Q, ergo destiny exists.
    The most aggravating aspect of this argument is that it cannot be disproved, however proves nothing. As destiny must be a supernatural entity transcending the constraints of probability or luck, any reasonable arguments against it can simply be refuted with the claim, “Well I think it exists, so it does.” Crimes against logic! It proves nothing! Perception can be a powerful thing, but at the end of the day the cannoli one perceived to exist didn’t fill their stomach and they’ll be hungry come dinnertime. If perception was all we needed, Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo’s cultist followers wouldn’t have been caught sacrificing people when they believed they were invisible. The sheer belief in destiny does not in fact mean it exists. Please stop saying it does.
    Probably the most formidable argument against fate is that of the future: what if I had gotten drunk and called Suzie Q a tart, thus leading to my introduction to Betty Lou whom I love more than Suzie Q? How can I know that I love Suzie Q the most? Or even Betty Lou, for that matter? When we include destiny in this equation, it eliminates this uncertainty and allows mankind to continue its complacency. However, the most aggravating thing about something like destiny is that it can merely be said that calling Suzie Q a tart is a result of fate, because Suzie and I just weren’t meant to be, but because I don’t meet anyone after Betty Lou, she and I are written in the stars. This is a case of post hoc ergo propter hoc and non causa pro causa coagulated into a wholly unsatisfying debacle.
    So to answer the question: yes, man does make his own destiny, since destiny doesn’t exist. The only exception to this rule is the concept that we are ruled by the chemicals in our brains; it can be interpreted that the chemical exchanges in our heads are merely fate’s medium (since supernatural things can, apparently, utilize scientific devices as proverbial mouthpieces—this was news to me). But even with this considered, I believe sincerely that a section of our brain that we don’t use can be utilized to manipulate at will these chemicals. So eventually, should the chain of evolution be left unhampered, humans will be completely free from any form of destiny, be it the secular or superstitious kind.

    -Derrick H.

  14. Bad things happen to good people all the time. I personally believe that these bad things happen for a reason. You learn something new everyday through many ways. some people learn things by someone teaching them or learn from themselves from teaching others. "Bad things" to me, are also a way of learning things. The way i see it one bad thing always has a moral to the story of it or you can learn something. Locke in Lost has the disability of his legs. Some might say that him not being able to use his legs is a bad thing. I feel that his disability creates the motivation and the determination he has. Although him being not capable to walk is a "bad thing", to me, that is just teaching locke to have more motivation to do things and to never give up. Bad things do happen to good people, just for a good reason. All things do happen for a reason, and those things are what make people what they are today. These good or bad things only makes each person stronger. What does not kill you makes you stronger and that is the main factor when asking these two questions.

    Ryan Bertrand
    Hour 5

  15. I'm just going to jump the the "root" of these questions. Fate... or Free will?

    My answer is not exactly in favor of one side, for I tend to think that a mixture of the two seems more logical. I believe that humans are destined to be individual, however, I believe that without the devotion to a certain area of life, the matter of “Fate” becomes nonexistent. We as people have our likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams… but if we were to truly want something, we would work hard to achieve it. Like I said in class, “As you sew, so shall you reap”. The harder one is to work at something, the more likely they are to succeed at it. An example of such is the factor in school. When someone is to enter a subject, they are not fated to get an “A” by any means possible. One must work and truly want an “A” if they are to receive it in the end. There are also people in society that are “Fated” to succeed and become something of great Importance in the future. This statement is countered by the fact that “Anyone can make a difference”. People have fought what fate and society has expected them to do. Another way to say it is that people choose their fates by the actions they choose to do when given the chance to do something extraordinary. In the end, I would say Free will wins because “fate” has been defied, refused, and (terminally) changed.

    - August Orlow
    5th Hour

  16. All of these questions are hard to answer without bringing in more questions. Life being plain old luck (or lack there of)? I believe that there is some kind higher power that has a fate destined for every person. There is a universal pull that guides people towards their fate, regardless of if it is “good” or “bad”. In addition, I believe that people can control their lives, and thus their destiny, to some degree. I have the free will not to smoke, drink, manipulate, and hurt. I have the ability to make decisions on my own, but I believe that my fate will always be the same. It’s like this: if God only has one path for us to follow, then why did he make two? You’re destined to take a path, but you have the choice of which path will take you to your fate.
    When it comes to nature vs. nurture, I have my own view. Being adopted and seeing all of the similarities that I have with my adopted parents (both in personality and looks), I take a stance on nurture. The surroundings that you are encased in are societies that you will model yourself after. However, I do believe that nature plays a role in our lives. I look like my adopted parents from spending 17 years with them, but I have anemia and colitis, and am high risk for cancer because of my genetics (my nature). For me, I refuse to be defined by my genes. I am who I am because of the people who adopted me.

  17. The Question of Karma!
    I strongly believe, and have seen the effects of karma throughout my lifetime. Karma may be categorized and defined differently, but the way I perceive it as a aspect of life that creates balance, equality and consequence for every action. It is the essence of life and I guess can be considered Chi. I strongly believe in this idea because I have *always* seen it occur in my lifetime. After every good or pleasant time, comes the downfall, or the depression of something. Maybe it is solely me, but this always occurs, and it even becomes predictable at times. After a fall, there is a rise, after a rise, there is a fall, after dusk there is dawn, after dawn there is dusk. Maybe this is related to a spiritual sense of mind and body, but it also follows the idea of “For every choice there is a consequence”. Karma and balance, and chi are all the same thing in sense of equalizing the reality of our lives. As long as I live, I personally will always believe in a balance, and I try my best to see the truth in this aspect, but also to avoid, and possibly prevent certain events from occurring. Once you are able to see the flow of negative and positive, and right and wrong, I believe you can get a sense of predictions and future consequences, which in result allows you to help yourself and others. Maybe I am just way to far our and beyond with the spiritual side? But I believe life holds a balance of things, and I have some ability to see a partial sense of this balance. And I am thankful for that fact.
    ~Dmitry Ionan

  18. 3.
    Upon first hearing that "everything in life repeats itself eternally", the idea sounds somewhat absurd. We look at the past and comment on how far we've come, on what we've moved on from. Now women have equal rights, as do members of all races. However, thinking harder, certain events and circumstances seem astonishingly familiar. We still have wars based on very little concrete evidence, despite our insistence that we've learned from our mistakes. Whether or not gay rights should be allowed is a matter of opinion, and we know that being gay is much more acceptable today than it was in the past. However, evidence also suggests that homosexuality was accepted a long time ago. While women have equal rights now, it wasn't like that for the last few hundred years. Yet again, we have evidence that shows that women were treated equally a very long time ago (Sparta is one example, women were trained in combat as well as the men). Some evidence even hints at societies being matriarchal. While society does advance, I feel as though some group of people judge how another society is living, and then try and reform them, and though that isn't necessary or right, it's bound to happen. It seems that as things are reaching the point of acceptance, that that is when a force outside of that society comes and represses it, only leaving them to strive for what they once had.
    -Kate Kelly

  19. If someone was to create his or her destiny then they have not created anything. The destiny refers to a destiny that has fate. If there is fate then nothing can be created for yourself because it was destined to happen. For example in the show Lost all of the survivors on the plane that make it say that they were destiny to make it through the crash and land on that island. They can make the best of the situation, but they cannot change their destiny. One of the main characters in the show, John Locke, is one of the main supporters of destiny on the island. He believes that all of the survivors should stay on the island forever because they were destined to get there. So he is trying to create his own destiny by sabotaging the other attempts to get off. Locke was trying to change the destiny of the others, but it was their destiny to get off, and six did. Using another example, from the movie Matrix, Neo is told that he can change everything that he knows by going with Morpheus, but Morpheus already knows that Neo will go with him. So nothing changed for the destiny of either of the two.
    Patrick H.

  20. Fate vs. Freewill
    Mark Young

    Dear Mr. Wickersham, please forgive me, I do not know the exact question, however for the blog I shall write about the topic as a whole.

    **Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this essay are offensive at best. Those uncertain of their delusions should look away**

    As my personal opinion and preference I do not believe that fate is real. It is a superstition of the uncreative mind. The belief in fate is much akin to a pyramid of cards in which the base is founded firmly upon the assumption that all life has purpose and beyond that that life as a whole has a mysterious and unknown purpose. Take away this unfounded assumption and the whole deck collapses. As every card above relies on each card below so does fate rely on the assumption. My question now is this.... Why should life (as a whole) have a purpose? A question I'm certain centuries of philosophers have entertained in there drawing rooms, sitting by the fire. Who set us to this purpose? Are we to battle some great cosmic evil? Or more interestingly are we destined to become that evil? While these questions pose some interesting questions themselves, I would like to continue with the fulcrum question of life having a purpose, a reason for the endless generations that have past, and the ones that are to come. There is no purpose other than personal advancement as an individual and advancement as a whole. The idea that there is a purpose to every man and women's life is simply a fairy tale to keep our sidewalks clean from human raindrops. Again, another unfounded, un-provable, uncertainty, but lets look on the bright side, I can't be proven wrong. (In the future I shall call this descriptor the "Three U's of Philosophy")

    As another opinion that applies too the "Three U's" I will state my belief that human's are simply smart monkeys with a far greater ability to adapt due to our advanced intelligence and abstract thought. If each human has a fate does every zebra have a fate as well? Well, that's an absurd suggestion, you scream. But is it really.... What makes us so special. Does opposable thumbs really set us so far apart.... Any creature with the ability to learn and to adapt has the potential to become just advanced (or lack thereof, should you entertain certain opinions**) as us given the time and environment to do so. We were simply the first. But, alas I've sidetracked. To sum things up I believe that there is no such thing as fate.(An un-provable sentiment) The belief that there is such a thing (Also an un-provable sentiment) is silly at best and until an ounce of proof is provided I will continue to believe in it's absence. I refuse to believe in that which has no proof, lest I begin to believe the world is made of lime flavored jell-o.

    **Certain people (NOT ME) believe that man is in fact the stupidest creature alive, based upun the fact that as a race we cannot co-exist peaceably with our envirement.(absurd)

  21. It is very hard to explain why bad things happen to good people. You can say good people don’t deserve for bad things to be put on them, but at the same time you can make the argument that when bad events happen to people its how they respond that makes them the person they are. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, I feel everything happens for a reason. I look at something bad happening to a good person as a learning process that only makes them better people down the road. I feel good people are not punished by god, so when bad things happen to them it is gods way of making them stronger. I also feel people create there own destiny, we have the complete control and power to do what we want to do, we have the ability to accomplish are dreams and goals. It would be foolish to say we don’t control our own destiny. It would be foolish to say we don’t control our own destiny. So when people blame fate or bad luck on things, I just turn my head. We are given so much opportunity and chance to prove ourselves and make success out ourselves that people who aren’t as successful have no one to blame but themselves.

  22. Does a person create his or her own destiny?

    I believe that our thoughts create our reality and that our reality pushes us in the direction of our destiny. What I think my destiny is today, could surly change in the blink of an eye with the opportunities that present themselves. We run in circles, hit roadblocks; get sent back to go and sometimes we get the green light. What we chose to do with the opportunity will determine our direction. It’s a puzzle, but the pieces have always been there. We have to sort them by size, shape and color. We put the pieces together to create a picture that fits into our lives. Our wants and needs change as we push further for the truth and gain knowledge. We remember our mistake and try not to repeat them. We hold onto our deepest desire and stumble toward the unknown. We remember that we were created by a creator so we also have the ability to create. I don’t believe that destiny is a career or something tangible. I would like to believe that our destiny is a state of being and the knowledge to understand the true meaning of humanity.

    Katie Grundy

  23. Do we pay for our mistakes? Why or why not?
    It is human nature to make mistakes; if we didn’t make mistakes, it would be difficult for us to learn certain lessons. I think that we do pay for our mistakes. The most obvious example would be making a mistake on a paper. If we make a mistake, we pay for it with a lower grade. It can work the same way with relationships, if we were to make a mistake and say, yell at someone we loved, even though we would recognize it as a mistake, we would pay for it when that person was angry with us, or our relationship with them was strained. That’s not to say that a situation in which we make a mistake is beyond repair though, however. Going back to the test analogy, we can take another test, not make that mistake, then achieve a higher grade. In a relationship with a friend, we can learn to control our anger, not snap at them, and work things out rationally. While we do pay for our mistakes, they are in turn lessons that we need to go through and learn to fix ourselves.
    -Kate K

  24. When adressing this specific blog question one must consider his/her culture/ upbringing. A scientist would answer differently then a priest, and a rationalist probably will answer differently then a scientologist. Personally I tend to view the question of fate in a number or ways; primarially that usually nothing is "meant to be."
    I view occurances in one's life as simply events that occure, and if these such events stimulate a positive response then great, if not then it's not because it was meant to be, or G-d wished it that way, or fate it's because that is simply and plainly what just happened. Now however, as contridictory as it sounds I am a believer in karma, not because i truly in my heart of hearts believe it to be true, but because like judaism, i like what it represents. Karma, or the golden rule keeps people good and kind, for the most part at least. Also, the thought of the people I really hate getting a taste of their own medicine, does make me a little more content. Life, although occasionally repeating is certainly a game of luck and chance, however the results were not a curse brought against you, nor were they the result of your awsomeness, they ahppened because you were in the right ( or wrong) place at the right ( or wrong) time. So when you sit down to examine why your life has taken the path it is on, remember, you do effect some events in your life, no body with a huge grudge on your family is making things bad things happen, and sometimes taking like with a grain of salt is the best way to live and die a happy person.

  25. When adressing this specific blog question one must consider his/her culture/ upbringing. A scientist would answer differently then a priest, and a rationalist probably will answer differently then a scientologist. Personally I tend to view the question of fate in a number or ways; primarially that usually nothing is "meant to be."
    I view occurances in one's life as simply events that occure, and if these such events stimulate a positive response then great, if not then it's not because it was meant to be, or G-d wished it that way, or fate it's because that is simply and plainly what just happened. Now however, as contridictory as it sounds I am a believer in karma, not because i truly in my heart of hearts believe it to be true, but because like judaism, i like what it represents. Karma, or the golden rule keeps people good and kind, for the most part at least. Also, the thought of the people I really hate getting a taste of their own medicine, does make me a little more content. Life, although occasionally repeating is certainly a game of luck and chance, however the results were not a curse brought against you, nor were they the result of your awsomeness, they ahppened because you were in the right ( or wrong) place at the right ( or wrong) time. So when you sit down to examine why your life has taken the path it is on, remember, you do effect some events in your life, no body with a huge grudge on your family is making things bad things happen, and sometimes taking like with a grain of salt is the best way to live and die a happy person.

  26. Does a person create his or her own destiny? Why or why not?

    I think people definitely create their own destinies. I also think that the belief in a destiny is somewhat of a security blanket for a lot of people. It is definitely comforting to think that God’s got your back and that s/he’s planned out your entire life leaving you with nothing to worry about, but I highly doubt that’s the case. It definitely sucks to realize that a person’s misfortune is the result of making mistakes, but thinking it’s just part of “God’s plan” and was meant to happen is, to me, an obvious way of shifting blame and letting oneself off the hook. I think that our lives are the products of the choices we make. There are obviously some things that we don’t have control over that play a role in our destinies, such as genetics, other people’s choices that have impact on us, etc., but I don’t believe any of this was planned in advance. Actually, I seriously hope our lives aren’t planned in advance, because I wouldn’t be too happy to know that something like the Holocaust was “God’s Plan.” I once saw on the news this girl talking about how God must have been watching over her and her friends when this tornado ripped through her town and killed a few people but completely missed her school and she said that she knew God was watching over them that day, and that kind of made me laugh because if God could control this tornado and save those kids from it, why would s/he have created it at all? It’s just illogical to me to think that there is somebody designing 6 billion different lives. I hate to think that we could be stuck in this plan and that everything good that happens isn’t because we did something right, it’s because God felt like making it happen- if there is a planned destiny, then nobody even has anything to be proud of because no one would have succeeded at anything on their own if God plans our lives. I find it more comforting to believe that we can actually not screw stuff up because we can, not because we were manipulated to do so. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit as humans, the only creatures we know of with the ability to reason and even think about destinies. Is it so crazy to think that we are actually capable of deciding how our life is going to go? If you ask me, pre-planned lives sounds a little crazier.



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