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Friday, October 10, 2008

Faith in Fate anyone ?

One of the most important questions ever asked in my view is the inevitability of what is referred to generally as fate. Fate is usually defined as the state in which you will inevitably find yourself in any futuristic point. Please notice something here. In this piece, I am more interested in the belief in fate itself, not any religious beliefs. What I mean is essentially, do you as a person believe that there is a fixed unavoidable chain of events carved for you and that you are merely going to go through that path whether you like it or not?

I myself am not content with the idea of a prefixed path. I believe that we make our paths on our own. Each and every choice we make contributes to this path. However, I have to say that I am still uncomfortable with my own definition to this point. The reason for this is that, as we all know every theory has to go through a number of tests in order to be accepted.These tests are administered throughout a process known as the scientific method. Although this is a method usually used to explain scientific phenomena, I think it should also be used to prove or disprove any new statement, social and scientific alike.

The first step in the scientific method is to look through the surroundings and make observations along with a description. Next, we have to propose an idea (hypothesis that is) to explain the observations. The hypothesis should be able to explain existing conditions and (as accurately as possible) predict what might happen in the future. Finally, that theory has to be tested. The results of those tests will eventually prove or disprove the hypothesis.

I do not want the following to sound as though it is cant, gibberish chutzpas, therefore, I will try to be as concise and clear as I can. My original hypothesis is that we make our own choices and that they lead us through life. Here is an example: I decide to go to university. This in turn means that I want to receive a degree. It also entails that I am ready to go through all the hardships of college life. If I choose not to accept the burden of college hardships in all their forms, then I am reneging on the vow I made initially and therefore, cannot in any way achieve the initial goal, at least not as efficiently as I originally intended. However, here comes the real problem, pickle, or for those who are more acquainted with Physics, Shrudinger's cat. Some people are endowed with some capabilities that others do not possess. For instance, some people have a great affinity to mathematics or Physics and can excel at them. Others are really good at learning languages. Yet others do not possess either of these properties but are quite humorous and easily approachable (have charisma) and can therefore build social networks quickly and efficiently . What I mean to say is that one's decisions and choices are affected to large degree with what the person is endowed with originally. That conflicts with the main idea. Therefore, this merits rethinking the basis of the hypothesis itself.

This post is mainly the result of a conversation in which I was challenged to show that my hypothesis is true. The person on the other end of the conversation said that I should place my trust in God almighty. I in turn said that I do not mind placing faith in God. But that is as far as I am prepared to go when it comes to divinity. When something goes wrong, I need to identify the error and try to change the conditions which in my view caused the final result. In other words, I need to find a strong enough cause and effect link. Still, there was a chink in the chain and my opponent was quick to throw all her argumentative ordnance in that direction. Being docile, I kept from attacking the falsehoods in her own argument, namely that if we had our lives planned at the onset of our lives, then how can we gauge success. Anyway, although I did have to agree that my hypothesis had some holes in it to say the least, I still held my own and like many of the conversations of the philosophers in ancient Greece, the duel ended in virtual deadlock.

However, I still feel the wrath of being pushed in the corner. Usually, I do it to others but at that day, I tasted my own medicine and God help me it was quite bitter. I tried to present a new modified hypothesis. This hypothesis states that the real world is too wide and there are too many variables. Therefore, the myriad of possibilities cannot be narrowly explained by a simple concise theory. The new hypothesis somewhat amalgamated both of the hypothesis presented in this post to this point. It states that a person is endowed with specific advantages and constraints when he/she is born. Later on in life, the choices of the person will determine the efficacy with which that person can make use of his powers. The choices will also determine how well the person can control and reduce his/her inherent limitations.

I do not know how coherent the final proposal is. However, I would like to hear your ideas. I hope you can help unlock this mystery, wrapped in an enigma engulfed in a conundrum, in other words fate!!!

4 comments:

Sinan Taifour said...

One general comment, although not exactly pertaining to the issue at hand.

I don't think that it is possible to use the scientific method for everything. The scientific method works in science due to our ability to isolate effect and result, and map phenomena to a limited number of variables, or do so incrementally.

Unfortunately this is not possible (yet) in many fields, such as sociology. Many variables come into action. If you can't isolate events, recreate them repeatedly at will, I don't think you can study them scientifically.

Just a small comment :)

Featherless Toof said...

Thank you for your comment Sinan. As always, you can go deep into the argument. What I actually meant was that we may be able to emulate the scientific method in order to produce the best possible results. Though this might not be as dependable as it is in sciences, it is much better at least in my mind than just rambling around with incoherent thoughts which do not point in any specific direction.

Death artist said...

First, yea, I agree with you, fate doesn't control every thing, we always make our choices and fate cope with them, still there are choices we are not capable of changing or taking, like death for example, we can never know when will we die and where but this doesn't mean that we have to change our life according to that fact, for example, when I entered the university, there is a chance that I might die before it is done, there is a chance that I might not find a work when am done and live on the streets all my life, there is a chance that I will fail and get nothing out of it, still we do it
"work for your life as if you were living for ever"
That's a saying I like, a long with the butterfly effect, I support my point that fate only has a little control over our path.

Second, I guess I agree with Sinan, you can't always prove things in a scientific approach, "you can't prove God in the lab!".

I hope I was clear because am in a rush :S, good luck!

Marwan said...

To me fate is only the consequences of ones actions, and the divine part of it is that every individual receives the same amount of both joy and agony, and I can't say that I understand it fully but my argument depends on the fact that I can't understand the concept of Happiness or Sorrow within others, for everyone feels in a different way, there might be similarities of course like feeling full after a nice meal, but I don't think anyone could explain why do some people continue eating after they're full when they're sad, and some do that when they're happy, and others eat just because they're hungry and stop when they're full discarding their emotional status. and there is a good chance that we don't feel full in the same way from the first place, and I don't know of a way to measure that.

Looking at one persons life from an abstract point of view will reveal a lot of mistakes in it, yet living the same situations in ones life can produce other data, and the comprehension of a particular action at a particular situation in that persons life. and of course I am only investigating the path of the individual and neglecting the interactions with others, for then, every single action can be interpreted in a number of ways, according to the number of parties included in that interaction, and we have to consider then the influence each one of them have on the others, and the emotions resulting from it, which can lead to yet another set of data.

So the idea of God is necessary in fate because I don't know of one human nor a system that can accumulate nor process this amount of data, and the basic property needed in God is justice for this system to be coherent, otherwise everything crumbles, and I think it is a fair assumption.