Friday, September 08, 2006

Fate v Freewill

As you look back on your life think of this...has your path been chosen for you or do you think you have the freewill to decide? Who is in control of you? Can you make any connections to Oedipus and his journey?

26 Comments:

Blogger Kyle G said...

I believe that I do have a lot of control over my life, yet I also think that God does influence my life greatly, maybe leading, or attempting to lead, me in a certain direction that he sees fit. But I don't like the idea that my life is determined already, and there is nothing I can do to change it, a little too Puritan for my taste. I do have plans for my future and I think that God, rather than making my destiny, is sitting back and watching what I do and the decisions I make. Maybe, like I said, interacting every now and then.

DISCLAIMER: this is my own personal opinion and my religion, I am not in any way telling people what to believe or think, so please, PLEASE don't do the same to me, or anyone else. That is so annoying, and insulting, let's keep it civil people.

September 08, 2006 3:56 PM  
Blogger levik said...

I like Kyle's idea that God guides us but also gives us the ability to practice free will. I believe that we are granted free will but somehow God knows what we will decide to do. The concept is complex and hard to understand but I believe it is possible. Don't ask me how because I would not be able to tell you; in my opinion only God knows how this is possible. I am not sure if people have specific destinies or are doomed from the start, as it seems with Oedipus. He tried to escape his fate but actually went towards it. This seems a little harsh but could he have escaped his "fate" if he had been more observant and not so ignorant?

September 08, 2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger Kurt W. said...

I tend to agree with Kyle, however I like to think that God has a little bit more to do with things. I think that he has a lot of paths laid out for my life, and I can choose to move between them. Here is a pic to show you what I mean:
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/362/2171/1600/paths.jpg
(Pardon the Paint picture)

The paths represent the ideas that God had laid out for my life and the Cyan arrows represent my choices and how they "move" my life from path to path. Does that make any sense at all?

September 08, 2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger Mark C said...

I believe (similair to the rest of you) that I have free will. I can choose to do whatever I want. These different choices influence the world around me and each choice has consequences. I also believe God knows what I will choose before I do so. It may seem confusing at first, but after a little thought the theory makes more sense. I have free will, it is just God knows what I will decide.

My belief is much different than that of Oedipus and how his life unfolds. The gods gave him a horrible destiny and no matter how he acted, it came true. He had no free will.

September 08, 2006 10:06 PM  
Blogger stephm said...

I believe that our free will leads to our fate. In the beginning of our lives we all have free will, but as our decisions become more important, they affect our lives more. I think that by the time you reach a certain age all you're left with is fate.
Jocaste and Lauis had free will until they made the decision to kill their son, thus setting forth their destinies for themselves and their son.

September 08, 2006 10:55 PM  
Blogger Scott M said...

I like to think that we live by free will. When I think about fate it kind of makes me mad that there is a possiblity that no matter what I do my life will turn out the same way. So because of that I believe we have free will. I don't think there is anyone in control of my life besides myself. I guess that puts me in the same position as Oedipus because he never believed there was anyone in control of his life and really there was. I just hope if there really is fate that mine is better then Oedipus'.

September 09, 2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger hannahm said...

I think that I have gotten to this point in my life because of my choices I have made on my own. Of course there are things that influence me like religion, but ultimately I think I am the one who controls my destiny. I also believe my life has a purpose but I don't think the whole outcome of my life is already determined for me. Without making choices on my own I won't have the opportunity to experience the things I want to. Sophocles had a different view of fate and I disagree with him because I think that there would be no point in coming to Earth if everything was already predetermined.

September 09, 2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger chrisg said...

I think that each person's life has a mixture of fate and freewill in it. You are given many choices, but with each choice there are many consequences. You can decide your fate to a certain extent. You can have freewill for a choice, but that choice will lead to a long line of fate. So in your life you decide where you go, but you only set it, you can not control every part of it. So freewill and fate are both a part of your life, and they both mix into your life.

September 09, 2006 5:03 PM  
Blogger sonnyw said...

I really liked Steph's explanation of free will leading to fate. The reason Oedipus collides with his fate so violently is because he is eager to discover his past. Even though Tiresias and Jocasta give him advice not to keep pursuing this goal, Oedipus trudges forward. By making the important decision of pursuing his true past, he seals his destiny of discovering his misdeeds. If we assume this is the case (that Oedipus, not the gods, pushed fate on him), would it have been possible for Oedipus to avoid it? If Oedipus chose to heed the warnings and avoid the important question of Laius' murder, could he have escaped the truth? Does prophecy require that a person comes to terms with their "fated" actions before the prophecy is actually fulfilled?

September 09, 2006 10:33 PM  
Blogger MarinaB said...

I believe it is half and half when it comes to our "fate" or "free will". I soal-heartedly believe that God gives us many different paths and He knows what will happen when we decide which path we choose to take. we all make different choices when we are faced with tough desicions, and sometimes we don't know what the out come is going to be. It could be bad or it could be good. I think God knows what is going to happen in every scenario. But that alows us to make our own choices. there is fate in every choice you make but you have the free will to choose which fate your going to follow. I dont really know if this is going to make sence to anyone but me, i just know it makes sence in my head...

September 10, 2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger melissa b said...

I really liked steph's explanation. I do think we start off with free-will, but later all we have left is fate. I believe that God is watching over us. He watches the paths that we choose. I like to believe that my life is not mapped out. Knowing I will make mistakes, and accomplishments is rewarding. The best part is i don't know the future accomplishments and mistake...

September 10, 2006 11:50 AM  
Blogger David L said...

I agree with Mark C in that I think that there is free will, but at the same time, God knows the choices we will make. If you believe in creationism, consider: if God made each of us himself, then it is reasonable to think that he will understand exactly how we will come to decisions and how events in our lives will affect us. I feel that life is more a series of coincidences that God knows what you will make out of them, instead of a foretold path that cannot be deterred from not matter how hard you try. I think that each of us has to believe in free will to a certain extent. After all, if all our actions are predetermined, what point is there in living life and deciding what you want to do?

September 10, 2006 1:22 PM  
Blogger CaitlinO said...

I agree with what most of you are saying in that we have free will but there is also fate. I feel like im making my own decisons everyday. I also think that God is watching over us, but is not deciding every move we make. In oedipus' case, his fate was planned for him, and he had no control over it.

September 10, 2006 2:40 PM  
Blogger ashleyg said...

I think fate plays a big role in everyones lives. Paths can also be chosen or influenced for you by your parents, and then it is your decision wher you are going to take it from there. Fate is having no control over your I guess you could say final destinaiton. I think everyone has some control, afterall WE are the ones that follow through on certain actions.

September 10, 2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger ZachM said...

I believe that we have free will in life. I believe that it is our own actions and decisions that lead us down whatever path we take in life. Sure things can happen that our totally outside our control but we can always control our reactions and feelings towards them. Our reactions towards the things we have no control over is what shapes our path in life. If you look at Oedipus and his story, the characters reactions to the prophecy are what cause the tragedy to occur.

September 10, 2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger DavidV said...

I'm gonna have to agree with zach on this one. For the most part everyone has the ability to decide the path they take in life. When you get outside the control of your parents all the decidions you make are in your control. If there is something or someone in particular that you want, it is entirely in your hands to pursue it. You can make the argument that it was fate because God knew you would make that decision, but what does that prove about free will? God gave you the ability to make decisons thus giving you free will to decide.

September 10, 2006 4:48 PM  
Blogger EmilyW said...

I think that everyone has their own freewill. I have a lot of control of the decisions I make and the outcome of them. I think their are many choices laid out for me, but ultimatly I have the choice. Oedipus has his choices to make in life and he can determine what he should do with it. The choices made by Laius and Jocasta were out of his control but, he has the choice now to make his own life for himself.

September 10, 2006 6:39 PM  
Blogger ashleym said...

I believe that everyone has their own free will to make your decisions. No one forces anyone to make a decision one way or another. However, I believe that everyone has a fate they are destined to fulfill whatever it is. It does not have to be trageic or heroic... it's just fate whatever it is. Everyone was meant to do something with their life. Evyone is here for a reason. You cannot control your fate but you can control your actions.

September 10, 2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger LeAnneC said...

I really do like Stephanie's explanation of fate and free will. I think that we have a choice of where we go in life but some things are planned out because of the decisions that we make. However in the case of Oedipus I believe that he really had no choice and that his fate was really just controlled by the Gods. I think that it was already in the stars that they would try to avoid their fate because that is what was in their human nature. I think that in some ways my mom has some control over what happens in my life. In my case my mom gives me the freedom to make my own decisions, so indirectly she controls what happens in my life but I ultimitely decide.

September 10, 2006 7:23 PM  
Blogger Amy K said...

I guess I can't really explain what I think on this subject..I just kindof leave it up to faith. I believe that we have the option to make decisions and we decide our own actions but that it is already predetermined by God. He knows what I'm going to do before I even do it. It's kindof like one of those webs in magazines (LAME EXAMPLE) but you can have all of these different outcomes and you pick which one you'll have without knowing in the beginning where you end up. I think we have God's guidance throughout the journey, and that it's our decision, but he knows before we get there :)

September 10, 2006 9:03 PM  
Blogger jeffg said...

Well, this sure is a thought provoking question. I think that it is quite obvious that Oedipus had no control over his long term plans. I think that he had control to make the small decisions, but even those decisions were guided in order to keep him on the main path towards his forced destiny. Oedipus really had no chance from the very beginning. We however, are different. I believe that we are foreordained by God to fulfill certain responsibilities and duties while here on earth, however, it is ultimately up to us. We have the right to make all of the little decisions. All of our small decisions will play a role in our future, and dependent on how we acted, they either will or will not lead us to our foreordained responsibilities. I think that we have certain duties that we are expected to fulfill, yet it is our choice in the end as to what we do.

September 10, 2006 9:52 PM  
Blogger ClaireL said...

I believe whole heartedly that a greater force is guiding us through life. While we may think that we are in charge of our own lives and our decisions it is my personal belief that every single thing that happens in our life happens for a reason and has been pre determined. From the very second we are born I believe that God has a plan written out for us, of things we will do and mistakes we will make. I think that Sophocles shared these same beliefs because Oedipus' entire life is based entirely on the belief of fate. Oedipus was born with a curse placed on him by the gods, try as he might he could not escape this curse or the outcome of it. Everything that was prophesied to come true did, Oedipus and OEdipus' parents tried to reverse the curse but there efforts only ended up making matters worse.

September 10, 2006 10:06 PM  
Blogger Haley C said...

I think that everyone has fate. even if people think that they have freewill, they are probably doing something that they were destined to do. Just like Oedipus had when he left the parents that raised him. He left thinking he would escape the orcale, but in reality he just made it come true.

September 11, 2006 6:47 AM  
Blogger Marie P said...

This blog is really about our religious background. My point of view is that God has a path for us but often times people try to undermine God and try to take over their own life. That's how the horrible beyond horrible things happen like murder and suicide. All those people have so much pride and arrogance that they take over God's will and take their own route. If people were to give their life to God and live for him all of our paths would be clear and precise. There would still be struggles, there would just be fewer. I think everyone just needs more hope. There is no such thing as coincidence...just places where people's paths cross.

September 11, 2006 9:45 AM  
Blogger sonnyw said...

One of Marie's statements roused a question for me about Oedipus. Marie wrote, "Often times people try to undermine God...That's how the horrible beyond horrible things happen like murder and suicide." I would say the gods planned Oedipus' destiny, and a crucial part of that destiny was the murder of his father. Is it ever possible for God (or in Oedipus' case, a god) to choose a path for us which involves violence? Hate? Murder? If a hateful act is "ordained by God," is it still bad?
(I'm not trying to attack your beliefs at all, Marie, I just thought I'd put those questions out there).

September 12, 2006 6:01 PM  
Blogger Richw said...

Although Marie's point about letting god or whoever is the figure head of your religion control your life has merit in that something bigger than us controls billions of aspects but in a harmoneous manner, but if this is true, than what are we, actors in this play of life, puppets, computer program, I really like to think that I am in charge of my life and where I want to go, career, knowledge ,personal enlightenment and that there is no predetermined place i will end up, my destiny that all roads of my life will lead up to that climax. I think that people who believe that god or an almighty being has control of their life may lead them to make actions of their own but with the idea that it was gods will. I think the reason why Oedipus still ended up fufilling his fate is because he had that belief in the back of his mind that the gods were in control of his life and he knew that so his mind maybe subconsioucly wanted to fufill that. I belief that everyone has their own choices to make in life and we have total control over who we want to be. Sorry if this blog is a little hard to read.

October 05, 2006 11:36 AM  

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