Friday, October 5, 2007


Fate. What exactly is it and does it exist? Is there a certain power that holds our future in its hands, manipulating us like chess pieces, and determining whether its check or mate? Is there a path that leads us to a certain destination that was preassigned to us by stars or something else the day we are born? Or maybe it is ourselves and the circumstances that things happen under that determine our outcome?

Here is a scenario: a young 18 year old man slams his car into a tree and dies in a fiery crash. Some may argue that this scenario was written in his unfortunately short book of life, and this was the last chapter. Others may say that his demise was brought on by himself, and if he wasnt speeding, or maybe drinking, or paid a little more attention to the road, he would have avoided the accident and continued enjoying his life. Then, if his life is spared, the first group may say that if he could have avoided that tree and stayed alive, it was his fate, and his book of life may continue. So who is right? The answer is that there is no answer. This is something that, no matter how hard we tried, we have been unable to prove or disprove so far.

Being humans, intelligent (mostly) creatures with brains designed for internal and external reasoning, we hold a certain amount of power over our future, but this power is not absolute. We can decide what steps to take to benefit ourselves and where those steps might take us. We realize that getting an education might lead us to a successful career, which in turn might lead to success in personal life, making our lives as great as possible. We think if we follow those steps, everything will go smoothly as we plan. As we think we are in total control of our lives, we go outside and get hit by a bus, which sends us into a vegetative state, followed by someone pulling the plug and getting us out of our mysery.

Our control over our life is oficially over. While we managed to control to a certain extent the steps we took, we could not control our final destination. Was it determined by fate for us to go out so prematurely in such an unflattering way? Or were we just a victim of an unfortunate circumstance which could have been avoided would we have looked both ways? Again, both reasonings could apply.

While we cannot control our life to the fullest, there is one thing that we do have control over: our death. If a human being decides to take control of his death and bring it on prematurely, he can do so at any time with a high level of success. When he has his finger on a trigger of a gun applied to his head, he has a full control of the outcome and can bring his death upon himself at any second.

But who is controlling him? Is it his hand that pulls the trigger on a gun, or is it a hand of fate that pulls his trigger and makes him predestined to die of a gunshot wound?
If we go to a fortune teller and she tells us that our demise would be brought on next Monday by a brick falling off the roof, we might try to cheat fate if we believe one exists and stay home that day.

However, if there is such thing as fate, all this could mean is that it was predestined for us to not go out on Monday and get killed by a fallen brick. Since there is no way for us to check this the day we are born, we may never know. It might also mean that you should not trust fortune tellers for they are nothing but scam artists. Whichever way of thinking you prefer, there is only one thing that is certain: whatever happens to us is either a product of fate, or circumstances.

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