This seems to be a core part of the majority of people’s world views. They feel that if something bad happens, it was there to teach them a lesson, or had some other purpose. I guess they might think that if something good happens, it’s a just reward for whatever positive things they think about themselves.
This belief seems utterly ridiculous to me, because it falls completely apart on the first attempt at scrutiny.
I suspect people hold the belief because they don’t have a high standard for actually examining their beliefs to see if they make sense. They just mentally gloss over this fundamentally important part of their world view, and just accept whatever will give them the warm fuzzies. It’s pretty hard to accept that the world is a cold, random place without meaning.
But the idea of holding a belief that makes no sense is alien to me. I can understand people holding a belief I feel is wrong for logical reasons, but I can’t understand people who don’t put the effort forth to even remotely consider the rationality of their views.
So I’m asking someone who holds this belief, or any sort of belief in fate, to explain it to me, in a logical fashion.
Who, or what entity, controls this fate? How does it decide by what reason to make things happen? Does it want to teach people lessons? Ultimately reward the good, and punish the bad? What is the goal?
By what mechanism does this actually work?
The actual mechanics of any sort of fate are mind boggling. Because everything affects everything else in infinite and subtle ways, the complexity required to subtly manipulate reality in order to make specific things happen is incomprehensible.
Let’s say a guy is fated to meet his future wife on vacation. A vacation he took because he had arrived to work a few minutes early and happened to look up information on scuba diving, which fueled an interest and a hobby. But let’s say that wouldn’t otherwise happen, because a traffic jam would’ve caused him to be late for work, taking away that time he would’ve used to become interested in that hobby. He never sees the scuba website, the thought passes, he never takes that vacation and meets his future wife.
So what does fate do? Force the other drivers involved in the traffic jam to leave earlier or later, thereby spreading around the traffic? Does fate step into all of their individual lives, and manipulate the way their day is going, in order to make that happen? What about the billion subtle effects that would have on their lives, possibly making them miss other situations in which they’re fated? What if one of the guys forced to go late to avoid making the traffic jam for the other guy gets a speeding ticket, putting him a bad mood that day, which causes him to piss off his boss, miss a promotion, and affect the rest of his life? Which in turn affects the way he lives his life and the way he affects other people, which in turn affects how those people affect other people, etc.
To make this one fated thing happen, you’d have to set a trillion other possibly fated things in motion. And this is just one guy, arriving at work early vs late. Just making one fated thing happen, involving one person, is complex beyond what the human mind can really comprehend. Throw in a few billion people, and the natural environment, all working towards their own individual fates, and you’re talking about an absolutely incomprehensible amount of complexity. How does this entity pull this off?
Does it manipulate the universe supernaturally? A person slips on some ice, and because they’re 20 seconds late to getting in their car, they avoid a car accident. Fate saved them. Yipee. Did it create the ice out of nothing, violating natural law?
If someone was fated to die, but somehow avoided death, does fate reroute the lives of many people, and the working of the natural world, to carry this out?
Does it manipulate people’s minds to take certain actions in order to facilitate something happening? What are the actual mechanics of going from the fate entity willing something, and actually making it happen?
So please, someone who holds a belief along these lines (and it seems like the vast majority of people), explain in a logical manner how this could possibly work.