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Prove that All unavoidable things are not always fate

  1. Sep 24, 2008 #1

    Lately I have been wondering what "fate" encompasses. I am going to start with a definition.

    Fate- something that is unavoidable. the prescribed order of things.

    So, according to this definition, Fate is something that is unavoidable. I am going to re-write this thus:

    If it is fate, then it is unavoidable.

    By definition, this is true. But, how about the converse?

    If it is unavoidable, then it is fate.

    At first, you might say "yes , it is true". But in what sense is this meant? You mean one of the following:

    1.) Yes, it is always true.
    2.) Yes, it is neccesarily true.
    3.) Yes, it is generally true.
    4.) Yes, it is sometimes true.

    Which one do you mean, exactly? I am only concerned with #1 and #2. If you agree with these, then you are saying the statement is a tautology, so every single form of the statement is always true (converse, negation, contrapositive...etc). I am only concerned with the case in which the converse is true....which assumes that is is always, neccesarily (i.e., inherently) true that all unavoidable things are fate.

    So I have been trying to contradict the idea that the converse is always true. Why? Simply because I am curious. My question is therefore: Are all unavoidable things fate?

    Here is one attempt to disprove it.

    First of all, keep the second part of the definition for Fate in your thoughts...it was "the prescribed order of things" (which are unchangeable, therefore unavoidable).

    Taken literally, the concept "unavoidable" encompasses everything that is not preventable. Now, the key is the word "everything". According to Chaos theory, the concept of entropy, quantum mechanics, etc, we know that randomness is inherent in everything. In particular, chaos theory tells us that randomness is an emergent property of an underlying order. Therefore, at a certain point of emergence, things are no longer predictable, and are purely random. If things are purely random at a particular point in the process of emergence, then the prescribed order which underlies the randomness is an approximation of the nature of that randomness...in other words, in a state of pure randomness, things are unpredictable from ALL prespectives, by definition. The definition of fate lies under the assumption that there is a preexisting order of things such that something is unavoidable, which means that the event was ALWAYS unavoidable. If an event is ALWAYS unavoidable, then from an early stage in the development of a given emergent system (which goes from a state of order to a state of randomness) has always had the end product of that unavoidable event. But this is a contradiction, because the end product of that emergent system would a occur in a state of randomness, in which case something "unavoidable or unchangeable" would not exist because of the nature of randomness.

    [sigh] i'm pretty sure the logic here is flawed. if you can think of a contradicting statement to "all unavoidable things are fate", please suggest it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2008 #2
    I disagree with your definition of fate. Fate isn't unavoidable. Most people view fate as foreshadowing. If you have prior knowledge, you can most certainly avoid the subsequent outcome from coming to fruition.
  4. Sep 25, 2008 #3
    This isn't MY definition of fate, it's an accepted definition from dictionary.com.
    So based on that definition, is it possible to refute the statement that all unavoidable things are not always fate?
  5. Sep 25, 2008 #4
    The original definition tells you that the word "fate" has the same meaning as the phrase "something unavoidable". It tells you that these terms are equivalent. You are the one who changes this equivalence into an implication when you say that "fate" implies "something unavoidable" but not necessarily the reverse, it's not what the definition was initially telling you.
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