The following quotes are from http://www.etymonline.com . destiny - c.1325, from O.Fr. destinée (12c.), fem. pp. of destiner, from L. destinatus, pp. of destinare "make firm, establish" (see destination). The sense is of "that which has been firmly established," as by fate. destination - 1598, "act of appointing," from L. destinationem (nom. destinatio), from destinare "determine, appoint, choose, make firm or fast," from de- "completely, formally" + -stinare, related to stare "to stand." Modern sense (1787) is from place of destination, where one is "destined" to go. fate - c.1374, from L. fata, neut. pl. of fatum "thing spoken (by the gods), one's destiny," from neut. pp. of fari "to speak," from PIE *bha- "speak." The L. sense evolution is from "sentence of the Gods" (Gk. theosphaton), subsequently "lot, portion" (Gk. moira, personified as a goddess in Homer), later "one of the three goddesses (Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos) who determined the course of a human life." fatal - c.1374, "decreed by fate," from L. fatalis "ordained by fate," from fatum (see fate); sense of "causing death" is c.1430. Fatality "disaster resulting in death" is from 1840; fatalism appeared 1678 as the philosophical doctrine that all things are determined by fate; fatalist in the general sense of "one who accepts every event as inevitable" is from 1734. The following quotes are from http://dictionary.com . destiny – 1. The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one's lot. 2. A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control: “Marriage and hanging go by destiny” (Robert Burton). 3. The power or agency thought to predetermine events: Destiny brought them together. fate – 1 a. The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events. 1 b. The inevitable events predestined by this force. 2. A final result or consequence; an outcome. 3. Unfavorable destiny; doom. 4. Fates Greek & Roman Mythology. The three goddesses, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who control human destiny. Used with the. Is there such a thing as destiny? Is there such a thing as fate? In this short essay, we will explore these issues. First of all, to fix our definitions, we will define destiny as the inevitable or necessary fate to which a person or thing is destined. Since this definition is self-referential, as well as a reference to fate, we will add that destiny is a predetermined course of events. Fate is the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events as well as a final result or consequence, i.e., an outcome. Using this definition of fate, we see that the definition of destiny becomes this: the inevitable or necessary final result or consequence, i.e., an outcome, to which a person or thing is destined. We suppose further that destiny is the inevitable or necessary final result for a person or thing in accordance with predetermination. The question then becomes this: are events predetermined? Are all events, some events, or no events predetermined? In the case that all events are predetermined, let this be called strong predetermination. In the case that some events are predetermined, let this be called weak predetermination. When no events are predetermined, let this be called no predetermination. Either we have strong predetermination, weak predetermination, or no predetermination. In the first case, the answer to the first question will be yes and in all other cases either a qualified or an unqualified no; likewise for the second question above. A preliminary result is this: if an event is predetermined and involves the choice of a person (or conceivably a thing), then that person (or thing) can not know in advance what the outcome is. To show this, suppose that an event that involves the choice of a person (or thing) is predetermined. To arrive at a contradiction, also suppose that the person (or thing) whose choice that event involves can know in advance what the outcome is. Then the person (or thing) could simply choose to change the outcome going against the predetermined outcome; this contradicts what it means to be predetermined and, therefore, the person (or thing) can not know in advance what the outcome is. We proceed to assume we have strong predetermination and see what results we can obtain from this assumption. This case can be ruled out immediately by considering a person dropping a ball on the ground. If all events are predetermined, then what the person does with the ball is predetermined. Either the person drops the ball or the person holds on to the ball. Since this event involves the choice of a person, and it is predetermined, that person can not know in advance what the outcome is. This means the person themselves can not (not just “does not”) know whether they will drop the ball or not; this is absurd. This absurdity implies that not all events are predetermined. Thus we have our second result: we do not have strong predetermination. To establish that we don’t have no predetermination, let us consider the event that a person correctly solves the equation “x+5=2x.” We see that a person has no choice, when done correctly, but to discover that x=5 (modulo equivalent answers such as 5=x). This outcome was determined before the person solved the equation and, therefore, it was predetermined. This shows that at least one event is predetermined. Since the choices strong/weak/no predetermination are exclusive, and we’ve ruled out the first and last cases, this means we have weak predetermination. Some events are predetermined and some are not.