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Fate And Pre-Ordination Versus A Belief in God

  1. Nov 19, 2003 #1
    I'm pretty new to all of this, so please excuse my lack of correct terminology/misuse of language.
    Just a quick question!
    One of my friends believes in Krishna Consciousness,(which as I attempt understand it),is at least partly,a belief that everything in life is pre-ordained.
    I may be mistaken,but I assume that this involves the need for some form of God,or Supreme Being,in order for this Pre-Ordination to exist/work.
    Which begs my question...
    Is there a theory/school of thought/belief system that allows for a theory of pre ordination,without the use/need for a God figure.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2003 #2


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    The theory you are asking for is called determinism. It does not require a deity or supernatural support. It says that everything works by cause and effect, and everything is determined by prior causes. So there is no choice and the future is predetermined.
  4. Nov 19, 2003 #3


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    Indeed. Many physics models visualise a static space time, representing everything that has, is and will be. Then past and future have meaning only from the path an observer takes through this space.
  5. Nov 20, 2003 #4
    Thank you gentlemen for both of your replies.
    Looks like I'm going be looking into the
    ideas of Hume and Kant for a while then.
    Thank you once again,

  6. Nov 30, 2003 #5
    Of course now all we have to do is pretend like we don't have a choice in the matter. And, although we are typically "persuaded" not to go against the grain, we are still free to do so, but are also free to suffer the consequences.

    All of which I think coincides with the idea of Adam and Eve and the God of the Bible.

    While there are also those who, based upon God's knowing the future, insist that we can't have anything but predestination. This, I think is where the issue lies, albeit the idea of predestination tends to favor the idea of "no God."
  7. Dec 2, 2003 #6
    Yet, even going against the grain may be percieved as preordination... Nes pas!?

    No matter what you choose to do, when it comes to the end of your so called life... You have done everything you were suppose to.
  8. Dec 2, 2003 #7
    You can't change the past once it's done, so in that sense I suppose you can say everything has been preordained. And yet neither can you live in the past nor, can you live in the future, because neither one exists, outside of the "present moment" that is. Which is to say, life only exists within the here and now, and there's nothing about it that doesn't involve making choices. Hence the notion of free will, and suffering the consequences of what you do.

    So, even though we have what appears to be preordained, it would all seem to be predicated upon "free choice."
  9. Dec 3, 2003 #8
    There is nothing wrong with compatibilism: the world is absolutely determined, and we have free choice: we chose freely though we could not act in any other way. The Frankfurt cases show this really well...

    Frankfurt’s scenario:

    Say there is a guy, lets name him Jade, who really hates this other guy, Karl. He hates him so much he wants to kill him. Now, there is also this other psycho crazy mad neurosurgeon called Jim who also hates Karl, and wants to see him dead but does not want to go through with it himself. He knows that Jade has plans to kill Karl, but wants to make sure that he goes through with the job. So the insane neurosurgeon kidnaps Jade, and inserts a chip inside his head, so that if Jade decides at the last minute not to kill Karl, then Jim can set off the chip that will make Jade kill Karl regardless. The time comes, and Jade kills Karl anyway, the chip was never fired.

    There you have it: An action done out of free will that had no other possible alternative, although it seemed as if he did - compatibilism.

    As for determinism and God and prophecy... What need to be known here is whether God is within or outside the determined field: Maybe God set up everything and is kicking back watching its course, or maybe God is stuck within the determined field, and is simply trying to manipulate what he wants through out the world to his will. It’s not clear which of these is the case: it could be either. Neither would affect his status: a superior being who can manipulate the earth? Well, that’s still a damn sight better than we can do. Basically, prophecy cant really be used as an argument for determinism or free will, which is not a topic that this thread deals with, so I shall leave it at that.
  10. Dec 3, 2003 #9
    On a quantum level, particles have degrees of freedom based on the concepts of probablilty theory, right? Wouldn't that (at least somewhat) promote the idea of free choice, kinda like compatibilism as said by Dark Wing.
  11. Dec 4, 2003 #10
    But how do we determine whether Free Choice is just another illusion or not. I didn't choose to be born or even concieved... Yet I was voted on by my family in which my mother voted against... So it was their choice, but not my mothers even though she "went" with it. And it wasn't even fully their choice to begin with.

    Sixteen years later, I chose to commit suicide by taking 70 pills and downed them with Jack... And there is NO reason why I should have failed, yet I did and I'm still here today... So what happened to that choice!? About all it did was confuse the hell out of me for a while!

    How much is choice really ours... EVER!? Even if its simply the choice to "Live"!?


    My favorite thing to question in the universe... Is ME!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2003
  12. Dec 4, 2003 #11
    That’s the thing about all of this... we will never know if it is an illusion of if it is real. The illusion may be so overpowering that it sears into every aspect of what we know, but this means nothing... no matter what we think it is, it will always look the same. We have absolute free will? This is what it looks like. We are completely determined? This is what it looks like. We live in compatibility? Looks around you! This is what it looks like.

    We only have our own universe, and our own planet to look at. Since no comparison can be made, and we do not know what our current state is for certain, then there is little we can ever know on this subject. So is the curse of epistemology.

    Hegira, I too have suffered a similar fate. How can this be so, and what does it say of the world around us, we cannot say, but it is so and with this we must deal with. The world is like the world is. We may never figure it out, but hell, let us give it our best damn shot.
  13. Dec 4, 2003 #12
    It often becomes extremely aggravating when so many people have and continue to tell me that I waste my time pondering anything outside the confines of conventional "society". Like all I should ever worry about is paying my bills, building credit, getting degrees, holding on to "ball and chain" careers, go to church on every single Sunday (then live my life crappy the rest of the week) because these are the things expected of me and these things make me successful in life.

    Yet none of them seem to be happy with their lives because they hardly understand how they affect themselves or others by the choices that they so selfishly and blindly make. They hate their jobs, neighbors, balance the checkbook or get away from their spouces by going to church (then live crappy the rest of the week). Years later they live alone, forgot about love, fun, excitement, etc... Feel sorry for themselves cause they feel as though they never really did anything with their "life", and simply accept it as FATE once they shut their eyes for the last time or become swarted just like a bug on a windshield, all because they believed in things that they were TOLD to believe.

    I have no troubles with my apparent responsibilities... I gain most of my enjoyment from providing and tending to my family, educating myself in any way I please through extensive personal research, I play music in many fashions, create art in whatever manner I choose, multi-lingual/intelligent, I push both my mind and body to limits that I hardly could've contemplated when I was younger... All this and more is what I'm passing on to my offspring and those who ever know me. Overall, I am and always will be my biggest believer, since only I have bared witness to my own personal miracles. Evidently to me, I am evolving towards godliness...To the world, I am nothing... just another clone! I am never satisfied with the world around me and choose not to compete with anyone besides myself, this keeps me going and through all of my misery and pain and disbelief... I continue to believe in me, which gives me hope for the world around me, which gives me faith, then possibility of an endless nature and "life".

    As long as I have that, then I will remain happy... With myself, with my life, and all I think I know! In their world, all of us are fools! In ours, they seem mindless. In mine, everyone and everything has its own potential and purpose... but it seems that it doesn't always relate to choice... It only seems as though it does. It may not matter! We may not be meant to figure all of this out, but nothing would really be fun if there weren't those that tried. And even if we did or could find the answers to every question we ever ask... What would remain? What would be next? What would we do with ourselves? Fade into nothingness and finally experience TRUE PEACE? Sounds like the only heaven I can think of!

    I try to think of everything only to find that I never KNOW anything!
    My favorite thing to question in the Universe... is ME!
  14. Dec 4, 2003 #13
    I hope you were not refering to me in that statment as that is not what isay at all. i agree with you completly - i have dedicated my life to this finding of somthing, and i am always told that it is a waste of time.

    see, fate was never meant to let you abondon responcibility... even if we have a completly determined furure, whether via a god or some physical determinante means, there is still responsibility for action. so although you are not freely choosing action, you may still be freely choosing your reasons. lack of question is lack of mind but does not imply lack of responsibility.

    well, that final suggestion would suit me just fine.
  15. Dec 4, 2003 #14
    Originally posted by Hegira
    It often becomes extremely aggravating when so many people have and continue to tell me that I waste my time pondering anything outside the confines of conventional "society".

    Posted by DarkWing
    I hope you were not refering to me in that statment as that is not what isay at all. i agree with you completly - i have dedicated my life to this finding of somthing, and i am always told that it is a waste of time.

    Not intended towards you in the slightest... Rest easy, I'm on your side!
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