(Older post moved here, original date 12/11/05)
Do I believe in fate?
Well, it sort of depends on how you are defining it, but essentially, yes.
I believe that things in the future are fairly predetermined, but not sure much of fate as a force which is causing them to happen as they do.
My thinking starts first with those who are close to me. I know them well enough to have a very good idea how they will react in certain situations.
But when you really think about it, how much do I really know them and what truly makes them tick inside? Probably a whole lot less than I would like to admit.
So if I can predict their responses with as little as I know about them, imagine if I were able to know everything about them. If I could read their minds, and had been around them since forever? (While I’m playing hypothetical, I also have a perfect memory and remember everything!)
I would think I would be able to predict about anything about their actions in a given situation. Even on decisions that they are really unsure of and bounce back and forth before ultimately deciding. It not so much that I know the future, it’s that I know them so well.
Now continue imaginging that I know this about everyone. I would then be able to know how they are going to interact, to know what one is going to do and what the other is going to do about it.
Imagining I also know each object in the world just as well. I know this evaporation is going to cause this cloud, and this wind will turn it into this storm which will go this direction and hit this area and effect this person in this way. Even weathermen can try to do this to some extent, even as limited knowledge as they really have when it comes down to it. Imagine knowing anything you needed to know EXACTLY what would happen though.
So, I know how each person is going to react when the storm hit. When each person is going to decide to evacuate, and which people won’t be able to get out. I know the weaknesses of each location, so I know what damage each will have. I know the weaknesses in each person’s body and their choices the will make to know who will not survive.
And such the future progresses.
So, to me, it’s not so much that there is a power named fate that controls things. It’s that things that seem unpredictable with limited knowledge are not truely unpredictable. The knowledge to predict them is just not something that is able to be humanly possessed.
Do we have free choice? Yes. We still make the choices that make life progress. But, if someone knows us literally much better than we know ourselves, the seemingly random choice is no surprise. It’s not that we were forced by fate to make it.