Lisa: My spin on fate is related to my meeting Billy. My friend had come to stay for the weekend and we couldn’t
decide whether to go out or not. In the end at 10pm we did and we met Billy. I thought fate led me to decide to go out that night. It is all to do with what corners you take in life (George Michael song!!!). My life would have been so very different if I had not taken that turning. I read your spin on it and now I am very confused!! But was my fate to meet Billy that night, perhaps my fate was just to give me the choice? I just don’t know. Hindsight is the worst
thing in the world. If you look!
When I first looked at it I was very scared, but I am glad I have read it, for several reasons, mainly because I can see where you are coming from and some of it can relate to my own personal experiences. You seem to be very wise (?) but does it stop us from making mistakes? I firmly believe that you have to make your own mistakes to be able to learn from them – as hard as it ends up being. 

It would be lovely to live each day as if it were our last but…………………….. 

My motto for this year is stop worrying and start living – not doing very well so far! 

Me: I think another word for “Fate” could be “Choice” which I think I say in my website.
If your “fate” was to have the choice to meet Billy, then every other choice after that which took you down the Billy road was your “fate” along that path. If you had turned his advances down (not least of all because he’s from Stevenage) then those choices wouldn’t have arisen and you would have made other plans for the weekend after.
You were in control of your own “fate” and therefore any person who says they leave everything to fate really means they make their own decisions but choose to ignore the consequences of their actions, or the responsibility
for them. That’s why I don’t believe in Fate. It is basically “choice” but no-one calls it that because it is too inclusive. It would mean that I am making choices, whereas “Fate making them for me” is simpler and it means I can shirk the responsibility.
I also say that things don’t happen for a reason. They just happen. You met Billy. You chose to go with Billy. It didn’t work out. The lesson learned is not something that was predetermined for you to learn. It just didn’t work
out. The fact that you can gain a lesson from it shows your intelligence and your ability to learn. It doesn’t mean it was meant to happen, ergo “Fate”. It also shows the human need to assign meaning to everything. We place
meaning on our lives by believing in the existence of a “heaven”. We create a God to back this theory up. It would be inconceivable to us as sentient human beings if we didn’t have a bad experience and pull some meaning out of it. And should we live 70 years with nothing to show after we die, well, that would be unbearable!!!
I don’t believe in heaven nor god. I believe they fill a gap for those less independent of thought than myself.
If something bad happens to me, it is due to my own bad decisions or choices. The fact that I have been fired from 3 jobs in recent years and now think I am on the right path could be mis-interpreted as “they were meant to happen”.
Nonsense. I messed up and I paid the price for each bad decision. I have learned from my mistakes, as any normal person would which is why I am able to keep this job and be on better terms. Do you see? If you learn from previous errors, of course you are going to fair better in your current situation, whether it is love, work, family, cars… and because you are doing so much better now, you then assign meaning to your previous errors and say “they were meant to happen”. 

I hope that cleared it up for you.
I’m just kidding. I don’t purport to have any answers at all, just my own meanderings.
You can decide whether there is a God and if it gets you through the day, then so be it.
You can decide whether Billy was supposed to be a lesson learned, or if he was merely an experiment of some alien race and you failed the test… who can tell?!
But what is certain is that you are exactly where you are right now because you made ALL the decisions to get you there.
And I mean ALL of them. 

Lisa: I have made several attempts to answer this Email and rather than dump it, this time, I am going to persevere!!!! 

I agree that we have choices in life but who/what gives us those choices? Is there something in our make up which is created on the day we are born, that at certain times in our lives we will be faced with a bit of luck to help us through life? Sounds pathetic but …………… If there is a remote possibility that this crap explanation could be true it cannot be the same for bad things, because most bad things that happen to us can be explained – logically. Yes, most bad things happen for a reason (war, religion, sick minds, your own inadequacies etc.) but what about the bad things that seem so unfair?? I’ve already asked you this – what decides that someone should die?
You could argue that people die to control an ever growing population but why person x rather than person y????? 

Then to complicate matters, I read your bit on co-incidences. All these terms mean very similar things and it is very hard to clearly define them. Originally when I wrote to you I tried to argue that nothing is a coincidence but merely a series of events which someone created. However no matter how many times I tried to explain it, there is always an element of luck in every situation – so how does the luck get there? 

Let me try to explain what I mean!!!!! 

Situation: A girl fancies you, her computer broke and you went up to fix it. 

Is it a coincidence that because her computer broke she got the opportunity to talk to you? Not always. It only looks to be a coincidence on the surface but if you knew all the facts I would bet a large proportion of coincidences are carefully planned events! 

How about if she broke her computer on purpose in the hope that you went up to her desk? OK yes there would still be an element of luck to get you, but who is to say that she wouldn’t have found another problem until she got you or even someone else could have been involved the plan? 

What about the example where the woman meets the man of her dreams on a later train than she normally catches? Is that a coincidence or fate bringing these two people together? Of course there are explicable reasons for how both people ended up on the same train but what is it that brings those two people together?
Fate/luck/coincidence??????????? Or ………………… did the man wait outside the train until he saw her get on and it was a result of his decision that they ended up together?! 

So, I am not suggesting that god exists – far from it, I do not believe in god, but I do believe that there has to be a reason for everything…….. there has to be!! I am therefore coming to the conclusion that there is no logical
explanation for certain things that happen in our lives – maybe that is the way it is supposed to be. 

I am still debating dumping this and just giving it up. Your words make me feel quite inadequate but I am interested in what you think so I am going to send this quickly before I change my mind again!!! 

Me: You didn’t give me any indication of your thoughts. You went round in circles and I can do that on my own!!
Firstly, if a person actively pursues a goal, then that is not a definition of Fate. It is their choice, their action, their end result.
If you try to bring coincidences into it, it is still a matter of personal choice. And if you actively seek coincidences, are you really allowing them to happen or are you orchestrating it, which in effect, is you making those choices, taking those actions and getting the end result you have predetermined for yourself?
And saying “there has to be a reason for everything” twice does not make it so.
There doesn’t have to be a reason for anything we do other than personal growth. Or growth for the species (evolution?) as at the end of a species, that is all they tried to do: survive. We have brains, but they are nothing special. Dolphins have brains nearly as big as ours. They communicate etc. Do they have an understanding of the Id? Can they determine their own ego? The French philosopher Descart said: “I think therfore I am”. Does that mean dogs are and dolphins are, or is it just sentient beings with an image or understanding of themselves as an entity that “are”?
Why does something have to happen for a reason?
Why doesn’t it just happen?
God is the name we give to the unknown quantity that is our “destiny, fate, coincidence, karma etc” because we are ignorant.
Once we discover the real meaning, we will no longer need a name for “God”. God will cease to be and only our understanding will survive.
You say that most bad things happen for a reason. I say they just happen. Person X dies rather than person Y because person X chose a path that ultimately lead to his death. Person Y didn’t choose that kind of path. Whether it is a car crash or cancer, these things happen for no real reason.
If you have to have a reason, why do people find it so difficult to accept that Billy died of cancer because cancer is the natural way our species is culled? It’s as good an answer as any I’ve heard so far, but because it would mean that the life lost would have had no real “meaning”, it is not accepted.
What is luck? Define it better now you’ve read the above.
And the last bit of your mail which says you conclude that there is no logical explanation for our lives is the topic under debate, to which you agree and disagree.
What do you think?