Fate/Destiny... do you believe our paths are already made..?

I heard a brilliant quote from the genius physicist Stephen Hawkings...  "its funny how people who claim to believe in fate still look before they cross the road"





  • It's funny how people think they had a choice as to whether to look.

    : )

  • I don't believe in fate at all.

  • Maybe you were destined to write that image

  • Ian M wrote (see)

    Maybe you were destined to write that image

    If that's the case I wish destiny would rustle me up a cup of coffee. Preferably brought to me by Natalie Portman who has decided I'm the very man for her and we're going to have all the babies!!

  • Natalie Portman...   mmmmmmmmmm!    image


  • No, I think everybody has free will. I do think some things happen for a reason though.

  • Screamapillar wrote (see)

    No, I think everybody has free will. I do think some things happen for a reason though.


  • If we have free will then we cannot be "fated" to follow a certain destiny.

    However, I believe that some things happen at certain times in our lives in order for us to evaluate certain things about ourselves or a situation. 


  • Who/what controls when those things happen at certain times?

  • "Free Will" cannot happen IMO, even if there is no "higher power" controlling our destiny, or some sort of cosmic plan, we are wired to react to situations and follow a certain pathway in life by culture and genetic loading.

    I do think we have free will to a certain extent, along with that comes the responsibility to live life in the best way we can. By that I mean, we have the freedom to make life choices. I've been looking again into Buddhist principles which seems to suggest this, by living the best way we can is to do no harm to anyone, including ourselves. We have the freedom to make such choices, but then we cannot have free will if we are to live by those principles.

    Dunno if that makes sense or not, but I know what I mean image

  • I don't know... this is just another thing I'm agnostic about!  The thought of not having free will is a very scary one, but then if we have free will where does that leave the theory of cause and effect, and the universe behaving itself according to natural laws which we think we can describe? 

    I had a deep and meaningful (i.e. drunken) conversation with my brother about this and I think my get-out clause was that the universe is actually an infinite mix of different possible universes, each with sensible cause-and-effect natural laws where people do have free will, and when you make a choice you're simply deciding at that time which deterministic universe you carry on living in.

    I do have a book called Time and Free Will which I started reading once but really couldn't get my head round.  Maybe I'll give it another go, but it might just freak me out too much.  image

  • There are lots of things which are outwith our control, but in terms of how we live our lives as individual on a day-to-day basis, we have free will and free choice.

  • Intermanaut wrote (see)

    Who/what controls when those things happen at certain times?

    I guess the questions are slightly more complicated though. Maybe for starters.

    Do you have free will?
    Do you believe you have free will?
    If you belive you have free will, does that give you free will?
    What is free will? 


  • Random is just a non predictable fate though. 
    If I toss a coin. The result will be random and un-predicable, but if it lands heads, it lands heads, thinking that maybe it could have landed tails doesn't change the fact that it landed heads. 

  • What does it matter?  Would you change anything?  Could you?

    Laplace's Daemon is a conjecture by the great mathematician that there could be a being, or a machine, a mind large enough to comprehend everything in the universe right now, which would then be able to apply the laws of physics and mathematics to determine any situation in the future.  Laplace unfortunately didn't know about Quantum Physics which has a principle that effectively means that you can't know both where everything is and where it is going, at the same instant.  So the Daemon could never know the starting point that would enable it to conjecture the future.

    Even if you knew all the laws of physics, those same laws mean you can't predict the future with any detail because you can only guess the starting point.  So, if everything is fated, we can't test that - we'll never know.  So fate or free will, we'll never know the outcome, and therefore choose the one you prefer to believe!

    I like to think I choose to look both ways before crossing.

  • Laplace was only bringing a theory, as with many theories the concept is admirable but cannot be achieved in the real world. This was ably demonstrated when his wife starred in deep throat
  • free will or free willy then?

  • I think if you strictly look at physics, it is clear that we cannot have free will.

    However it is also clear that we do.

  • I remember at school being given the question in pure physics a bumble bee could not fly, so what did it tell me, my answer was that we don't know as much as we believe we do, and it still applies.
  • @EKGO - that's the thing with science - it doesn't have all the answers.

    As for the bumble bee... clicky

  • This is a development of the car crash story above; but when I think back to the series of events that caused me to meet my wife image it is amazing to think that such a momentous event could turn on a series totally insignificant events. The question being would we still have met if they did not happen? The person who died in the car crash made an insignificant decision that led to his death..... Many people talk about how they missed trains, planes (and how annoyed they were) only to hear that the train, plane crashed; family members talk of the events that led to the death of a loved one. It would be interesting to think of having parallel lives that you could dip into now and again to see how decisions you made in the past have influenced your life today; where destiny is concerned they should all be the same? But would they? As far as bumble bees are concerned they fly like 'Chinook' helicopters do!

  • "However it is also clear that we do."

    No, It's clear that we believe that we do, which ain't the same.

    Unless you redefine free will as the belief that we have a choice. 

  • Ian M wrote (see)

    "However it is also clear that we do."

    No, It's clear that we believe that we do, which ain't the same. Unless you redefine free will as the belief that we have a choice. 

    Even that's a bit dodgy isn't it?  How can you be certain that the initial thought in your brain leading to an apparently free choice being actioned wasn't itself pre-determined?

  • Bionic Ironwolf wrote (see)

    SideBurn - I can relate to your story. I met my husband at a party that had been re-scheduled from the previous week. If the party had taken place as originally planned he would not have been there, he was in Spain!

    That's the thing though isn't it.  A zillion apparently insiginificant events needed to have occurred for you to have met your husband.  For example, your husband's great-great-great-great-great-great-great... grandparents bumping into each other 498 years ago in a candle shop.  If your husband and his ancestors had never been born you'd probably just be having the same thoughts about being married to a different person, and whether that was a question of fate.  It's just an accident, but one which takes on significance as it shapes the rest of your life.

  • But with fate the question is would the event have happened anyway but in a slightly different way? In my case, my wives' family nearly emigrated to Australia but were prevented by a ship-wreck! If is was not for a bit of wind and rain, would I have felt the need to tie some corks to a hat, sing waltzing Matilda and jump on a plane?

  • Bionic Ironwolf - don't forget - it would be more weird if coincidences didn't happen.

  • Ian M wrote (see)

    "However it is also clear that we do."

    No, It's clear that we believe that we do, which ain't the same. Unless you redefine free will as the belief that we have a choice. 

    Well, good point.  Actually it's very hard to provide an objective definition of free will. My opinion is that by any reasonable definition, we do, but I'm not sure I can prove it.  (Also, I can't come up with a reasonable way to define it such that it could exist, and we don't have it! )

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