Does believing in destiny undermine free will?
Can you believe that both exist at the same time? Or is that a conflict that cannot be overcome?
Dictionary.com defines destiny as the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events. I am conflicted philosophically when I think about life, free will and destiny. On the one hand the way I met my wife seems like the events were destined to happen. On the other hand, destiny appears to undermine humanities free will.
I have always believed that every man and woman has the power to change his or her future with the power of a single thought; one single desire can alter the course of a person’s life. And this belief is central to my own actions, as well as, my writings. To say that life is predetermined negates my ability to alter my path. Right? After all, if I am not free to dictate my future then what is the point in making an effort? And I know from observing other lives that individuals have dedicated themselves to a certain goal, have worked diligently, and achieved the goal. Would not destiny negate their hard work and dedication?
This topic has puzzled mankind since the earliest of days. The one event in my life that encourages me to accept the existence of destiny is how I met my wife. The events leading up to our chance meeting were so interconnected that if one decision in a long chain had been different, we may never had met. My wife was actually supposed to meet a guy she was dating on the evening that our paths crossed. I was supposed to work that day, but agreed to play hooky and meet a friend to watch a soccer match. Evelina’s date cancelled, PJ and I went to Trio, a restaurant in Charlotte, and that is where I met my future wife. Destiny? I am not sure, but I can say that I needed her desperately in my life, even though I did not realize it at the time. She saved me from myself and I am not sure any other human would have been able to do so.
The argument of destiny versus free will is very complex, but I love the back-and-forth battle in my noggin when contemplating the pros and cons. Which way do you lean? Or have you never considered the topic?
It is an interesting discussion either way. Something to think about on a beautiful Carolina morning…