Fate and destiny

On May 20, 2010, in Faith and belief, Philosophy, Serious, by Amiya

D: It is written.

That is how the critically acclaimed British film "Slumdog Millionaire" ended. You are free to show anything you want in a movie but when it comes to real life, destiny and fate is something too difficult for me to digest. There are a billion people clinging on to the ideology; some to veil their failure, some to reason the why yet some others just have a blind faith on it. In the 21st century science may have answered many a questions and made immense progress in the understanding of the universe yet we are far from understanding the human psych, spirit and consciousness. The human brain works in mysterious ways, the same mind that displays love towards someone can  garner strong hatred towards others. Every human is limited by his knowledge, experience and understanding (including me of-course), it is only logical that a large majority are in favor of fate and destiny. A guy can be pagan or a believer (or jump between them with time). If he is a believer he will be allied to any one of the categories I mentioned earlier. I will elaborate on each a little and why it is natural for someone to believe in faith and destiny.

  1. Veil their failure - This is the category of people who use fate and destiny as a cover to hide their weakness and shortcomings. Its a natural human psychology to unstow ones responsibilities on to someone in the wake of a failure. What could be better than blaming it on fate, no one could question it and to a certain extent it does give an impression(?) that you couldn't have done anything else. This may also be a natural trait that has been acquired through evolution over ages that allowed human to accept failure and situation that is not very comforting. Let me be very clear in one thing - I am in no way judging anyone.
  2. Blind faith - This is a bunch of hopeless people. People stuck in this category are stuck there for their entire life. In some way they may strike one as belonging to the first category but being a perpetual failure. But the guys in this category fail because of their faith while the other ones develop the faith because they failed; there is a big difference!! You don't want to befriend with one from this category.
  3. Reason the why - In my current company I have been part of many recruitment drives, one thing I learned over time is asking questions is very easy, answering them...a completely different ball game. The ones who belong to this category are logical in their reasoning but while answering them fall for the Occam's razor. Fate and destiny are compelling answers to a trillion questions just like the concept of God (I don't want to wander into that subject for now). People in this category have common lineament with those in first category but take broader look at life.

    Uncertainty Principle - the basis of quantum physics

This brings me to the other end of the spectrum, the infidels. The non believers are not very different from category three believers. They too are very logical but don't settle to a simple answer and are willing to explore the possibilities. To clarify let me give you an instance - A boy from a poor background who worked rally hard to support his family, never thought bad of anyone suddenly died in an accident. If I ask why? A vast majority will say its fate.  Now let me modify the question a bit, replace the boy with a scoundrel, cheat and thug. If I ask the same question again will you still say that it was fate? Our perceptions and interpretations are biased by our assumptions. In case of the boy we just make the assumption that good things happens to good people. How is an accident anyway related to what the guy did? We live in a chaotic world, our future is a consequence of our actions amplified by the pandemonium of the physical world. All whys may not have an answer and some whys may be absurd. There need not be a reason for something to happen. As quantum mechanics says our existence is dance of probability. There are lots of thing that we have control of (read karma) the rest is just the uncertainty principle. There is no fate no destiny we are like captain of ship struggling to move forward in the rough sea, the sea may knock us down but why should that stop us from moving on???

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