Destiny’s Child: Does Believing in Destiny Undermine Free Will?

Destiny’s Child: Does Believing in Destiny Undermine Free Will?

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…

 

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50 thoughts on “Destiny’s Child: Does Believing in Destiny Undermine Free Will?

  1. Here is a spin on what you wrote. In my younger days I met a woman who was attending a college near where I lived. She was from another state. Sparks flew. The day she went home for the summer, she promised to write(no email in those days) me with directions to her house. Two months passed without a letter. Right before summer’s end, I received the letter with a postmark from two months ago. The Post Office had misplaced the letter. I wrote her, hoping she’d understand, but she didn’t and I never saw her again.

    In retrospect I should have called her, or maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I find that relationships have a destiny factor which leads to the question: when is a destiny relationship successful? Duration? Intensity? Children? And don’t forget to enjoy.

  2. Indecisive as usual 🙂 I prefer to think that some points or meetings are destiny. But it is still up to you what you do with that opportunity and what you do in between those “destiny milestones”
    Destiny may have given you talents for writing, singing, dancing, management (whatever). But it was your decision to go for the writing. Had you not done that you might be a rock star today, who knows :-9

  3. It’s such an interesting topic. I know that I never would have met my husband if I had chosen to pursue a Journalism degree when I finished school. Instead I chose to work for a law firm, which is where I met his brother. And then him. Everything else is history. I never got my Journalism degree but I became a freelancer. Destiny or my choice?

    1. I think about Evelina (wife) being born in Poland and then the circumstances that brought her to the U.S. then to North Carolina. Then me being born in Mass and coming to NC. Then…the events that brought us to the same restaurant on the same night in Charlotte NC. So many variables, yet we met. Destiny?

  4. Consider this on your beautiful Carolina morning…Maybe you were part of each other’s life once/many times before? And as such, destined to find each other in this lifetime. I was raised Catholic, in denial of any form of reincarnation. Studies of comparative religions, particularly Eastern philosophies, opened my eyes to the possibility. Just a thought.

    1. This also parallels Plato’s theory of split- aparts. Not sure if you are familiar, but the basic idea is one being is split into 2 parts, which then spend their existence (through time) searching each other out.

      1. The soul seeking itself. Yep, it’s interesting to ponder. I am certain that some of the people in my life have been familiar to me for a very, very long time. 💕

      2. I get that sense as well. My friend Steven and I can sit for hours and talk about everything or nothing. As if we have been friends for 1000s of years.

  5. Fascinating topic. What feels right to me is that opportunities are destined, while free will determines what we do with the opportunity. As I’m likely the eldest to comment I’ll do my best to let you all know as soon as I find out. 😉

  6. Hmmm. I believe in both. I think that our choices aka free will lead us to our destiny. I think our destiny is our destination and our free will is the route that gets us there. Your wife for example is your love destiny. Had you not met that night, the choices you both made would have enabled you to meet during another chance encounter. Can I prove that? No. Do I believe that? Yes because that is how destiny and free will work in my mind 😉 great topic choice Danny.

    1. I like your perspective. It has been a fun topic to talk about. There are no right and wrong answers to philosophical questions. That’s what makes them so much fun!

  7. I believe destiny provides us with opportunities which depends on our free will. If we take it, we are destined to do it, if we don’t, well, it provides us with another opportunity which leads us to another path which then becomes our destiny. In short destiny is shaped according to our free will even if it has somewhat of a rough outline designed. Hope I make some sense!

  8. I tend to think like Suchi in that I believe each path we set ourselves on by the choices we make has its own predetermined destiny. However, my current relationship kind of points to each of us already having a predetermined destiny that we can’t change. I went steady with my current girlfriend in high school and really liked her, but she was my first girlfriend and things just didn’t work at that time. As adults we tried dating again, but I misinterpreted her quietness as not being interested and went back to the gal I had been dating, who is now my ex wife. After all these years I’m back with the first first girlfriend I ever had and who I’ve always had feelings for. So is that destiny, or just a series of free will decisions that happened to bring us both together for a third and hopefully final time?

    1. “So is that destiny, or just a series of free will decisions that happened to bring us both together for a third and hopefully final time?” Maybe the answer is yes.
      Jerry

  9. I am not inclined to believing that destiny “controls” the life of a person. Everything in the future, whether it is a second away, a minute away, an hour away, or a day away, is “by chance” and is a result of what you have chosen or have done right at that moment. I would rather see it as a “reaction” to an action… A cause and effect thing and not something that can be influenced by the stars, the moon, and the movement of the planets.

  10. I strongly believed in destiny until a few years ago. Now I believe we have the ability to forge our own destiny through free will. We just suffer the consequences, bad or good! But it’s a future we created through our decisions.

  11. I have thought about this before, and it’s an interesting concept. Like a lot of things, it depends on what we mean by the words we choose (for example, to describe something as an ‘immovable object’ merely means that it has not been moved so far). ‘Destiny’ could imply a controlling force (e.g. God) ensuring a certain outcome, yet it could also mean that this god knows what our choices will be if we exercise our free will – the god does not influence our free will, merely is aware of what the results will be. Then, there is no conflict.

  12. What if we each followed multiple paths simultaneously, but on different levels of consciousness? Could I possibly follow both path A and path B when faced with a decision? Are there multiple me’s existing simultaneously while exploring all the possible experiences resulting from my choices?
    Jerry

    1. I have read about theories on this subject. The idea of time existing in many planes is so intriguing. Many believe that each time you make a decision between A and B, two different planes of existence are created. This concept is incredible to think of.
      Danny

  13. Everyone come to their lifetime with a predetemined course of action. we set up everything in advance! What karmas we are going to work out, what lessons we are going to learn and arrange with our friends who is going to hellp us learn what.
    Once here we don’t remember the preplanning and set about our lives.
    Free will is always in play. We can choose to either learn or not learn a lesson we came here to learn. You could have mande the decision to not skip work in favor or a game. Another event would have worked itself out where you would have met up with your future wife again, and again it would be up to you to make that connection.

  14. The Stoics believed that human decisions and actions ultimately went according to a divine plan devised by a god. They claimed that although humans theoretically have free will, their souls and the circumstances under which they live are all a part of the universal network of fate.

  15. “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.”

    Wonderful description of a law of nature that creates the destiny – All objects in the universe are simultaneously and continuously interactive with each other for all past, present, and future times. Take a look at the destiny chapter in the free book on Soul Theory at the blog site https://theoryofsouls.wordpress.com/

    “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.”

    Yes, that is how we can recognize the destiny. But if you observe your life, moment by moment, very carefully, you will find every moment is destiny, and not just major events.

    Have you ever done anything without any reasons? No, you have not. But your reasons come before your actions. That means your past controls your present – which is the definition of destiny. Thus freewill is an illusion.

    There are some important consequences of destiny law – There is no God, no good and bad, no concept of morality etc. Destiny law also proves we are souls not our bodies; and our bodies, including our brains are just dumb mechanical objects, memory is not in our brains, it is in the universe.

      1. For dray0308 (Author) on April 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        The simultaneity law says that all objects are connected by destiny. If anything in the universe moves then everything moves. The German philosopher Nietzsche also said the same thing. This is also part of Bible and Vedas. This law creates the global destiny. Form this global destiny our individual destiny can be derived. Events come to our life from this global and universal plan, which spans over multiple life times.

        Thus nobody can change the destiny of any object, not even God. So, the existence of God becomes irrelevant. God and destiny are contradictory concepts. You can say that the global destiny is God because it controls the entire universe. The difference is that the global destiny is also precisely predictable and has been demonstrated by many examples, as documented in the book.

      2. I guess my issue is your leap from a god being irrelevant and contradictory, to a god not existing. But I do like how you argue. And when all is said and done, you could be right. Who knows?!

      3. Laws of nature are the only truth. Thus truth is unique and universal. These laws are generated by the objects of nature and their characteristics.

        Nature has a unique characteristics that it always demonstrates its laws. It is surprising that sitting on earth we cannot even imagine that earth is moving. Not only it is rotating around its axis, it is also going round the sun. Yet, the nature revealed that truth to at least one person, Galileo. I call such persons as yogis.

        In the same way, nature demonstrates that we are all individual souls. Every object in the universe has a soul. Nature also demonstrates the characteristics of all these souls. Destiny is of course one such characteristic. Reincarnation and yogic powers are two other characteristics of souls. If you investigate the examples of such demonstrations it will convince you that we are created by our individual souls. That means you are created by your soul and I am created by my soul. Thus God did not create us, and therefore there is no such object that created the entire universe.

        If you replace the word God in both Bible and Gita by your soul or my soul or just soul then you will not find any inconsistencies. On the contrary both books will appear meaningful and understandable. There is no God in Vedas. Vedas describe how soul creates every object. For more you may want to look at the book.

        The foundation of Vedas is yoga, yogic meditation, and yogic power. If you acquire divine vision by yogic meditation, then you will be able to see all the laws of nature using your own eyes (called third eye). Such high caliber yogis are called Seers. Thus Vedas and also Bible represent the eternal science. Whatever is in Vedas is there in Bible also. Destiny is clearly in Bible.

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