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Free Will vs Fate

Do we have free will to control our own destiny or is everything written in the stars so that no matter what we do our fate is already preordained?

There is of course no answer to this question. No one knows and in all likelihood we will never know if our daily actions are of our own free will or if they controlled by some massive program that decides every aspect of the lives of the 6.5 billion human beings on the planet.

It has been a theme explored in literature for hundreds of years from the plays of Shakespeare to Samuel Beckett. In novels and plays it is intended to be thought provoking, to make us think about how we lead our lives and to come to some conclusion.

There is one thing we are all fated to do and that is die. This is perhaps where the feeling of inevitability of our lives comes from. The fact we have no control over our final fate that we all must face Death. The major religions provide some solace to believers in that this final fate is escaped in some part by the spirit living on or being reincarnated. This faith in an afterlife can transform individualsí lives and make the world seem less dark and tragic but to get to heaven they must behave in a certain way and to do this they must exercise free will.

I suppose the real argument is not whether we have free will or whether we are fated but rather which is the better way to live our lives? Is it better to be fatalistic, to believe we are doomed from the start or to believe we can make something of our lives? To wallow in self pity and rage against the stars or to take responsibility for our own life and destiny?

The problem with the Fatalist approach is that at its logical conclusion we would do nothing as there would be no point in doing anything, as everything has already been predetermined. This approach to life can lead to illness and depression. We need to feel we have power, that there is hope and that our efforts will make a difference over our lives for us to live to our full potential. Yes we have setbacks and the world can seem grim at times but hope rises eternally and we can pick ourselves up and try again.

We need to take full responsibility for our lives and our world and everything we do, it is only that way we can build a better world around us.

An aside

Astrology is a multi-billion pound industry full of quacks and charlatans. How could a few very vague, all-purpose sentences apply to half a billion people? It is utter nonsense. These people have nothing to offer, the hope is inside you. Donít read your stars, donít waste your time, it shows you are a fatalist and have not taken responsibility for your life.

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To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them