My friend and I got talking about fate the other day. I don't believe in "fate" as in somebody or something has pre-destined me to do certain things, however I think that we can create a "fate" for ourselves, and for others.
Obviously decisions I make affect more than just me. Where I spend my money, who I talk to, what I say to them, these are just the more obvious things.
Suppose then in the future I will be faced with a decision. I have options A, B, and C.
I can do something that will eliminate possiblity A, and then somebody else can do something that will eliminate option C. Therefore B could end up being my only viable option.
Rather crude example I know. However, I think its analogues to evolution and the "Blind Watchmaker" idea Dawkins came up with.
There is no "fate" as an overriding being, or destiny. However, with every decision that we make, or don't make, we shape a kind of fate for ourselves. "Fate" like evolution, works with the environment and materials it has.
"Fate" is kind of flying by the seat of its pants. To imagine myself, and every living thing that has ever lived on this planet, as being the engine of fate is kind of inspiring, though its also extremely scary.
Ah, the old existential dilemma! This is a nice start to an interesting subject. Decisions can be made fatalistically, or not. I guess I am sort of a “meta-fatalist”, then. Not to decide is to decide.
It certainly is. We are constantly making decisions, we just don’t always like to think that we are.
Keytard, I like much of what I read with your name attached to it. Self fulfilling prophecy I think it exists within all of us.
I got the PDF of Dawkins God Delusion, I presume it is a real treasure of a book, no matter what religious affiliation we are talking about?
I would say whether or not there is “fate” in the sense of predestination is something beyond our abilty to know, as we can’t know the future. So we have to act as though we have free will - even if we “really” don’t. That is our fate 8)
But, since “shit happens,” I recommend fatalism as the best attitude to handle it, in the sense of “que sera, sera” or “when your number’s up, your number’s up.” Really bad shit will happen, inevitably, so best simply to take it in stride and avoid self pitying and puerile “why me?” histrionics. I’ve been tested with cancer and a few other serious health problems; works for me to date.
In the end, it’s really “why everybody.” As the great Bard said in Julius Caesar:
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste death but once.
Of all the wonders that I have yet heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it come.
A priest asked: What is ‘Fate’, Master?
And he answered:
It is that which gives a beast of burden its reason for existence.
It is that which men in former times had to bear upon their backs.
It is that which has caused nations to build byways from City to City upon which carts and coaches pass, and alongside which inns have come to be built to stave off Hunger, Thirst and Weariness.
And that is ‘Fate’? said the priest.
‘Fate’? ... I thought you said ‘Freight’, responded the Master.
That’s all right, said the priest. I wanted to know what ‘Freight’ was, too.
—Kehlog Albran, “The Profit”