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Poll

Do you believe in fate?

Yes, things are meant to happen.
10 (35.7%)
No, my destiny is not mapped out thankyou very much!
18 (64.3%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Author Topic: Fate - is it a myth?  (Read 12970 times)

Offline Matt Emery

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Fate - is it a myth?
« on: May 28, 2007, 06:58:10 PM »
How many time do you hear somebody say "oh, it was meant to happen" when reflecting on a misfortune?

I hear it occasionally, and I find it fascinating, because by making that statement the person is actually implying some massive presuppositions.  They include:
  • Belief that life is intelligently controlled by an ethereal power
  • Belief that they are part of a "grand" or "divine" plan

Are these people just whistling in the dark?  Too afraid to face the terrifying prospect that life is chaotic?

I say YES, it's fear based rationalism, although potentially harmless (or is it?).  Being an Existentialist, I believe that live is meaningless until you make it meaningful.  In other words, you make your fate, limited only by luck, or bad luck.  So if you believe your life is not mapped out, you are actually implying that you rebuke the list above, and you are also implying the following:
  • Life is what you make it
  • You take responsibility for your actions and consequences
  • Life is chaos

So where does religion fit in with all this?  Well... anywhere really.  Your God could have created an organic chaotic world, or your God could of created scenarios that you must live out in order to learn some lessons.  It's not a question of "does God exist" or "is God dead", beliefs vary wildly amongst faiths - choose your poison (so to speak).

My personal view is this; if indeed humans are the only species to provide self comfort through imagination (religion) then what are we comforting ourselves from?!  It seems to me the very thing we are terrified of is vulnerability; the fact that we are an animal in an animal kingdom.  That thought may be terrifying because the animal kingdom is frightening!  Imagine being hunted by other species on a daily basis...  the life of an animal is an amazing struggle for survival and procreation - it knows no evil.

So I say:  embrace the terror, feel it for what it is - a healthy intrinsic force that provides energy and enlightenment.  Be like an animal; unassuming, unpretentious, honest, real, and above all... alive!  Animals cherish their life with amazing dedication, perhaps it's because they feel the terror?

The struggle for survival is where the beauty in life lies - the gift of giving, sharing, supporting each other, being part of a tribe,  and most of all, understanding that as an animal; you have the right to exist just as much as anyone else, you are completely wonderful and its your choice what you do with that... so what do you choose?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 07:06:21 PM by Matt Emery »
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Offline Sass

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2007, 04:35:55 AM »
Well well, the age old dabate question of fate.

My view is that there are many pathways that we can take in life.  I believe that we have the power to choose what happens in our lives and what our perspectives are on those happenings which helps to determine whether we will view the path as a positive or negative one. 

Whether we choose to take responsibility for our choices or blame them on someone or something else is our choice as an individual.  If we take responsibility (for BOTH the good and bad things in our lives) then we are perhaps in a better frame of mind to learn from those experiences. 

These learnings help us decide which future pathways to take.

Of course, the initial pathways we take I feel are influenced by our predetermined genes, environments and personalities.  These somewhat complex combinations and variations as they develop/evolve as we learn through others and ourselves help determine what paths we choose.

So perhaps the reason some may feel that we can predict certain outcomes in retrospect is because in looking back (and sometimes when trying to predict) to some extent we can analyse our responses based on our understanding of ourselves.

So here's a test for you: The next time you wake up to a new day make a choice to be happy about it.  Then the next day choose to wake up with a unhappy perspective.  See how your respective days play out.  You will be surprised.

Offline Foxy

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2007, 06:41:24 AM »
I'm not in a philosophical mindset at the moment (have a math asso to complete later so I'm more analytical right now), so contradiction alert! :D

I personally believe in fate, real fate, not the 'I stepped in dog doo, it was fate' or 'I'm having such a bad day that I'm taking up smoking again, it's fate' sorta crap. This is simply people doing what people do, finding blame for their own shortcomings in other things/people.
However I've come across too many a wierd situation with too many factors that come together for it to just be 'coincidence'. Take for example the booking clerk in java who saved the lives of my family and myself.
I cannot recount this story in the first person because at the time I was but a mere thought in my parents mind. You see I was actually yet to be born at the time and my mom was three months pregnant with me. The story goes that my family, my parents and my two older half brothers, had to travel from java to bali. The trip involved a 30 or so hour bus trip and at the booking station my parents had run out of luck, the clerk told us that he only had the two seats on the one bus. My two older brothers would have to sit in the aisles. Just as our family were leaving the station on the way to the bus the clerk rushes out and tells us he's found another four seats on a different bus. Elated, my parents gladly accepted them.
However the new bus wasnt without it's certain, charms... It broke down a few hours into the trip, stranded by the side of the road with hoards of mozquitoes laying claim to anything they landed on. Only when the news came through via radio that the bus that they should have been on had crashed and headed off a cliff, with no survivors, did they realise how close they came to death. I enjoy hearing this story as it somewhat humbles me.
To me, fate does exist, not to the extent of blaming your bad days on it, but in the sense that when something totally inexplicable happens, where there are so many factors involved that it seems almost impossible, then there, at least I feel, there is something that engineers things to happen this way.

And on my thoughts of god, God will exist aslong as people believe he/she is real. I personally am not a overly religious guy, however I do believe in a higher power, god if you will. However I personally dont believe in religion. Or rather, what religion has become. It's a poor state of affairs when people kill and die in the name of god. I'm sure that he/she, after putting so much energy attention and care in creating, would not appreciate such distruction and blatant disregard for life.

just my two cents

Owen

P.S. forgive any spelling mistakes, it's late hehe
While there's no 'I' in 'team'. There's 'me' in 'good times'.

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 12:23:45 AM »
Thanks for your input Owen, that was indeed a humbling story - very sobering.
Thanks again,
Matt
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2007, 12:26:07 AM »
So here's a test for you: The next time you wake up to a new day make a choice to be happy about it.  Then the next day choose to wake up with a unhappy perspective.  See how your respective days play out.  You will be surprised.

Sounds cool, i'm going to give this a try - starting tomorrow  ;)
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Sass

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2007, 08:08:47 PM »
So Matt,

How did you fair with the 'waking perspective'?

 ;)

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2007, 12:52:32 AM »
How did you fair with the 'waking perspective'?

I haven't tried it yet!  I'll let you know when I do though.  I think it will work best when i'm on a more even keel - at the moment I have a lot going on.
"Be true to your biology"

Offline viking

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2007, 11:17:59 AM »
If fate is defined as events taking place that noone can change or affect, then no.  Everything can be affected.  But are there preordained things that WILL happen to you?  Yes.
I'm a Bible-thumper, so I have the opposite take.  As far as your life is concerned, everything is malleable.  You have the free will to make your own choices, for good or evil.   But God is active, and he's placed events in your life (or he will use such events) to try and wake you up to the reality of Jesus. (I don't want any of you to perish, and he doesn't either) But is your life controlled or mapped out?  Nah.

why are religions created?  I have a much more detailed opinion, but here's a simplistic version:
1. People sense that something is wrong with them
2. They sense that something outside themselves is needed


Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2007, 07:02:13 PM »
why are religions created?  I have a much more detailed opinion, but here's a simplistic version:
1. People sense that something is wrong with them
2. They sense that something outside themselves is needed

The Human animal's unique ability to 'imagine' has created this basis for superstition.  In other words, we have an amazing ability to comfort ourselves, using imaginary thoughts.  I wonder if other species have this ability, or at least, the ability to dream?

We live in a conundrum... we have the neurological ability to comprehend so much, yet we don't have the degree of intelligence to answer the questions that would satisfy our pathological curiosity.  As a result, we live in a state of awareness that is often too confronting, and baffling.  Could this be why we feel (as you put it) wrong?  And could the sense of needing something outside of ourselves be a result of our acute awareness of how vulnerable we are?

Perhaps religion and science satisfies our curiosity - and as a result, alleviates our basic primal fears?  This urge or need to comprehend our world is an interesting phenomena.


PS Welcome aboard Viking - it's good to get another perspective, I hope to see you back here soon.  ;)
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Joe

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2008, 06:42:26 PM »
Philosophical:

   Those who believe their destiny is spelled out have the ability to remove personal responsibility. In the US, and especially the west cost, I have observed our future generation has a sense of entitlement which also cases this issue. If you believe you are not truly in control of your actions, how can you be responsible for them?

Scientific:

   Time is relative. Some believe that what is happening has already happened and can happen in no other way. But at the end of the day, you are you, and the choices you make are your own, regardless of the iteration.
I would rather be born with luck than skill; You can always acquire skill.

Offline Matt Emery

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2008, 09:32:15 PM »
Philosophical:
Those who believe their destiny is spelled out have the ability to remove personal responsibility. In the US, and especially the west cost, I have observed our future generation has a sense of entitlement which also cases this issue. If you believe you are not truly in control of your actions, how can you be responsible for them?

Scientific:
Time is relative. Some believe that what is happening has already happened and can happen in no other way. But at the end of the day, you are you, and the choices you make are your own, regardless of the iteration.

That is Existentialism in a nutshell  :)
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Joe

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Re: Fate - is it a myth?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2008, 11:41:58 PM »
I was going to put that in, but no way can I spell Existentialism on my own. lol
I would rather be born with luck than skill; You can always acquire skill.