Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fate or Coincidence...?


“Destiny, with unbiased hands, sows the seeds of fate.” ~ Helen Cifuentes

I have always been fascinated by the fate vs. coincidence debate. To me, there are two different types of people in the world: Those who believe in fate, and those who do not. Those who believe in fate believe that there is a reason for everything. A chance encounter, for instance, is not just a chance encounter to the person who believes in fate. They believe that there is no such thing as an accident or coincidence.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that we mistake coincidence for fate. That a chance encounter is just that, a chance encounter.  That life’s randomness is the simple explanation for things that other people mistake as fate.

Where do you stand on this? Do you believe in fate and destiny or do you think we mistake coincidence for fate?

122 comments:

  1. I believe there is fate and destiny AND randomness. It is possible for us to circumvent our destiny by making the wrong choices from the possibilities presented. Did you ever notice how when you go against what feels like the right thing to do and make an alternate choice there are so many roadblocks thrown up? That's the universe trying to get you back on track to fulfill your destiny. Ultimately, it's your choice.

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  2. I believe both as well. We have free will and our lives are not planned, but God knows what we will do and what will happen. So it's not really fate per se. And coincidences are often miracles.
    I guess the best way I can describe it is that we don't have a fate, but we do have a purpose, and God already knows if we'll fulfill that purpose or not.

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  3. I believe it is a mixture of both... mostly I think it is fate but when I examine every thing... sometimes it is just coincidence. Either way, I am grateful for how any of these opportunities come into my life.

    Interesting post Keith... made me think:) That's always a good thing :D

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  4. Interesting post. I don't have an answer to this matter. I wonder if some of us are destined and forced to go through experiences that challenge our own views and beliefs. Things are not as black and white as we would like them to be. I could write a book on this. After I went through a devastating experience in 2007, I no longer believe that we are responsible for everything. There are things that we don't control. They just happen and we have to deal with them. Now when I think about it I conclude that perhaps that was part of my fate, but why did it happen? I can't stop asking. There was so much transformation after that.
    We can decide to grow and transform after something happens. That is where we can become the artists of our own fate... to a certain extent. Or are we just the puppets of the show? I have the same questions that you have.

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  5. nothing is random, so really there is no coincidence other than my perception...i do believe in destiny...but i think we can miss it by the decisions we make...

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  6. I tend to believe both, depending on the situation. When it comes to love, I believe in fate and destiny. But when bad things happen or we lose a loved one, I don't think that's something that was fated to happen. I think sometimes accidents just happen for no good reason.

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  7. Honestly, I have no idea. I think I'd lean toward both, as many people here have. I need to give this more thought.

    Happy Saturday!

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  8. I believe that life is what we make it - it's not pre-destined, but shaped by our actions.

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  9. Both or neither. The Romans believed in Vertu and Fortuna and I think I do too. "Fortuna" luck or good fortune is missed by some because of "Vertu", virtue, the strength and character of a person. All this means we miss opportunity simply because we are not ready for it.

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  10. I believe everything happens for a reason. One of the oldest languages, can't remember which, doesn't even have a word for coincidence. I find that fascinating.

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  11. I believe in both. Some things in our lives are meant to be, and some things are simply coincidence. Have a nice weekend!

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  12. I think it's fate only in hindsight. In foresight, it's random chance.

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    1. Richard, you've given the perfect answer!

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  13. We have a certain amount of predestination built into our genes (we are what we are with certain tendencies)...the rest of it is by choice, chance, accident, and the laws of nature.

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  14. I like Richard's answer. :)

    I believe in both. Good question!

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  15. This is a tough one - and it's a subject that I have pondered for a long time without ever coming up with a reasonable resolution.
    The belief that things happen because of destiny or fate is rather fanciful and romanticized, and perhaps even preposterous. I tend to think that most things just happen randomly - - while we are under the delusion that they have some special purpose.

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  16. I tend to lean toward fate as some bizarre meeting, etc have happened to me when I didn't always follow a mapped out plan.

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  17. My personal life-philosophy at this moment: if someone tries to live in the present, it is not so important why certain things happen. It is more important how you treat the people you meet for one reason or another, and that you watch out for your inner peace.

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  18. A very interesting and thoughtful post, I believe in both :)

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  19. I believe in fate. My husband believes we choose our path. To me it's a little bit of both.

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  20. Both i believe in too, as different things can occur with each. But what i find with the ones solely on fate is, they look and look and look until they find a connection. If you look hard enough you can find a connection, even the most miniscule.

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  21. Fate fate fate fate all the way :) Funny thing is .... you have heard 7 degrees to Kevin Bacon? My friends have always teased me by saying 7 degrees to Julie :) There is usually someone I know that links to another ... but I still see it as fate :)

    And to answer your question ... I started dabbing in scrapbooking when Adam was born 16 years ago... but got real serious with it when Brookie was born almost 7 years ago :)

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  22. I love Delores' answer. That's pretty much what I believe, too. Thanks to her comment, I don't need to restate all that again :)

    Great question! Enjoy your weekend :)

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  23. OMG OE! I opened up blogger this morning, and right there in front of my eyes was a message from the universe: Fate or Coincidence ... ? with the picture destiny/life. Blew my mind! You may or may not noticed that I've been in and out of blogger recently. I haven't been reading blogs, commenting on blogs, barely getting a rare post out. I can't help it. I've been dealing with a kind of crisis that had triggered many cosmic questions. I'm searching for answers, and I open blogger and see your post abstract front and center.
    Fate? No!
    Coincidence? Yes!
    Message from the Universe? Absolutely!
    Or is it my subconscious? MayB!
    Does it really matter which? I have no clue!
    Blew my socks off, I can tell you!
    I be back on blogger more when I work through wrestling with important questions!

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  24. A difficult question to answer, without sounding either supersitious or cynical.

    Believing in the interconnectedness of things, I subscibe to what Carl Jung termed "syncronicity," that are coincidences have underlying meaning.

    This is a little different than fate, which assumes some kind of prime mover and predetermined status. Instead, I believe that everything that happens is fuel which we're intended to use to fulfill a purpose we don't yet understand fully.

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  25. My husband and I have discussed this a lot. I believe we affect our own destiny by our choices and actions. However, by virtue of the fact something actually happens, it was fate because it always was going to happen....meaning our choices were fate also. So, I believe both. I guess I agree with Richard.

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  26. I am kind of in between believing in fate and not.

    When I can explain something, fate can get out of the room, otherwise, it is the explanation :-)

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  27. I believe that in everything there is a lesson, some could see that as fate. But could it just be? Now, if you believe in reincarnation, perhaps encounters with certain people are the universe's way of wrapping up connections with others. Which would be fate. I always liked William Ernest Henley's poem Invictus and the line "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." We can try and have control, but the reality is that life affects us in ways out of our control. The only thing that we can control, which is what I believe Henley is getting at, is our actions and thoughts toward the event/encounter.

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  28. Roll the bones chaos, mon ami. I find it impossible to believe there is some force governing my life and the events contained therein. Admittedly, sometimes, I've questioned whether or not there is some strange fate, but, empirically, I can see where it was just a string of wacky happenstance.

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  29. I agree with The Geezers'comment, "Carl Jung termed "syncronicity," that are coincidences have underlying meaning." Oh and my mom too, she always said things happen for a reason and you should fight it.

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  30. I am definitely a believer in fate! As Randy said- Everything happens for a reason".

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  31. I don't believe in fate, I think coincidences do happen and like everything else human beings need a reason. sometimes there just isn't one... yet. we may not understand some very impossible things but there is always a reason why things happen, and " fate" is the lazy man's way of figuring out why.

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  32. then there is that other word Karma...

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  33. I think coincidence and fate go hand in hand really. Some things are fate, some aren't. At the same time though I do like to believe there is no such thing as a coincidence.

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  34. I'm not a big believer in coincidence. I like agency, both of the person ... and of the fates. :)

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  35. Sometimes one, sometimes other - As Freud said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".

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  36. I believe in both, it's how you approach either. Some people can't see the forest for all the trees.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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  37. I guess I could argue it both ways but I think I'll go with the belief in fate...today. :)

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  38. I believe we we do make our own destiny, but it all depends whether we listen to what God wants us to do, and pray and ask him. If we truly want to do God's will, then what happens to us is never a coincidence, God is working with us and for us..if we only want to do our own thing,trouble usually arises because we cannot see the future or the big picture like God does, and I would rather put my future in the hands of my creator who knows everything.

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    1. Oh you said this so much better than I tried to say. I agree with all you say. : )

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  39. I haven't figured this one out yet. Which one do you believe in? :)

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  40. i believe we have choices to make, but that people are brought into our lives for reasons we may not understand. we have lessons to learn, whether we want to or not.

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  41. I'm so undecided on this one. I suppose I really think it's a mix of both, if that's an option? :)
    Also, did I miss it or did you ask the question without answering it yourself?

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    1. I always found myself a confuse girl.So,i must go with vapid's comment:D

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  42. Well since you asked - I believe that God has a definite plan for our life. Hope you have a nice Father's day. sandie

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  43. I tend to combine fate with intent and relate it very loosely with coincidence. Some enterprises are ill-fated by flawed design, but can be sustained by coincidence. For instance, gambling is not a good idea but sometimes sheer luck exploits its risks in a positive way.

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  44. I am definitely a believer in fate - I think our life is like a book that is already written for us.

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  45. Fate for sure. There are far too many things in my life that have turned out to be blessings in disguise for me to believe anything different.

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  46. I'm more on the coincidence side. Fate/destiny brings up some pretty heavy issues with free will.

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  47. I believe that God has a life planned for each of us but we still make our own choices to follow it or not. If we get off course and make wrong choices because of it, we just have to turn back to God and get back on track.
    I don't believe in coincidences, but they are all acts of God.

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  48. I believe life has a plan, but I also know we can influence our lives for good or ill. We have freewill, we aren't robots.

    However, I also believe God orchestrates events for our good. The problem is, we often don't notice what He's saying through the events in our lives.

    When we follow healthy principles we life always turns out better, even when it looks bad, it isn't necessarily: our perspective is simply limited.

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  49. Whew! That's an awesome debate. I'm of the opinion it's about 50/50. We live in a world where pretty much anything can happen, and does, but certain events are guided on a higher level--like for me, meeting my husband.

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  50. I do believe in fate and magical serendipitous moments, however I do feel that our fate is often or own decision, if that makes sense? And thank you for your lovely compliment on my blog, of course you can share my music on twitter! You can find me @maijamagpie by the way :)

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  51. I believe in fate. I truly think that things happen for a reason and that events usually (not always) turn out for the best. Could be wrong, but there you are.

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  52. Some things happen in everyone's life/lives which are beyond our control. It's not what happens that counts, it's how they're dealt with, I think.

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  53. I believe in destiny. I also believe, though, that there are sometimes coincidences. A mix of both!

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  54. To say there is fate is to say that there is something greater than ourselves with a master plan controlling the timing and placements of particular things in our lives. As great as it is to place some faith in that (you know, there is something kind of magical about destiny), I believe in coincidence. I think we deny ourselves of the credit we deserve for marvelous happenings in life. When we end up in some place, we can say we are "meant" to be there. While some would say you are meant to be there because fate wouldn't have it any other way, I say you are meant to be there because you worked hard to get there and whoever you are happens to fulfill that "meant to be" role marvelously.

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  55. I once heard coincidences are little miracles where God wishes to remain anonymous - I believe this is so, for the bible says God even knows the number of hairs on my head.

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  56. I wouldn't call it fate but sometime things or people come into your life and it is more than coincidence. That said we do also have choices that have to be made. These are beyond fate.

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  57. For me, I believe in Karma, and Magick, and that I can will what will happen to me in this life and my next one to come.

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  58. I think a pure belief in fate or density allows those with power to maintain it and those without power to remain powerless. An acceptance of fate allows the poor to remain in poverty, the hungry to go unfed and the ill to remain sick.

    I think its a fundamental human right to at least have the possibility of being in control of your one life - if we resign our self (or more often, others) to the capricious will of chance we job the world of human potential - and I think we are in enough strife already without doing that.

    Well, I go that off my chest.. Stewart M

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  59. You have a talent for picking interesting topics, definitely get me thinking :) I think believing there is a reason for things that happen (fate) to us makes us feel less like a boat adrift in the ocean.

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  60. Fate exists and presents us with opportunities, for better or for worse, I've witnessed this already within my own life experiences. When presented with these opportunities, we still retain the ability to ultimately make choices for ourselves. Sometimes though, the opportunities arrive so swiftly and so unexpectedly that there is hardly any time to make any sort of choice at all.

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  61. I go with coincident! For me things just happen...

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  62. Things that happen, people you meet, incidents, (coincidences) those 'woo woo' moments, I'm convinced they happen in our life, to teach us, to make us aware, to help us see the bigger picture. They can also be used as problem solvers, in the school of life.

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  63. Things might be random but we choose and attract events and people in our lives ~ Where we can shape things, I believe in carving our own destiny ~ Where fate finds us, so be it ~

    Happy Sunday ~

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  64. I like to believe in
    I'm the master of my fate
    and captain of my soul
    philosophy..

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  65. I believe in both. I really do believe things happen for a reason, but we also can't just sit back and wait for things to happen to us. We need to be a little proactive in helping out our "destiny".

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  66. Oh I am all for fate and destiny! Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Sunday,
    Nathalie

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  67. I don't believe in fate. "There is no destiny or dead ends." That's my motto in life. Everything strange that happens is simply a coincidence.

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  68. I am honestly never sure what I truly believe to the core because I think my beliefs are always changing a little. However, I like to think that I believe in destiny if that makes any sense at all! :) It only seems right that of the billions of things you could do and of all the millions of people you could meet and be born to, that the very place you are at in life is what it is!

    And of course, if you ever have any linkup questions let me know! I know how to do them, but am in the process of trying to get the word out there! A lot of what is behind a linkup is patience and trying to get the word out so people actually write a post to linkup!

    Have a great Sunday, dear Keith! Stay inquisitive!

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  69. As a rationalist and atheist I think that there's a lot of coincidence in the world. As a very spiritual person, however, I do think that there's a force out there. It's only that I think it's related to our brain and not to a deity or similar figure. I believe that fate can play a minimum role in our lives, as long as we shape it. Great post. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  70. That is a good question. I really think it depends on the situation. So, I guess I believe in both!

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  71. I believe that Life's Randomness can bring about such joy that one is helpless to believe that it can't be anything other than fate.

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  72. Keith dude,

    I believe it was either fate or coincidence that you were destined to get a comment from me.

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  73. Who knows. Life is too complex to think of it in black and white. It can't be either fate or coincidence. Sometimes it's both. Sometimes it's neither.

    There are things that are just mysteries and inexplicable. Then there is serendipity and happy coincidences. And free will.

    We do have some control over our lives, a positive outlook takes us in the right direction, faith and believing in ourselves.

    Sometimes we have to let go of control and just trust all us well. It's not easy.

    But all we can do is the next right thing and hope for the best. :)

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  74. I believe that life is half fate, half coincidence. But then, I've always been sort of a fence sitter.

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  75. If one person is standing in a crowd at an event and lightening only strikes them, I think it is fate. But if I go down in a plane full of people, I would think coincidence. I just happened to be on the same plane as someone meeting their fate. I too get splinters from fence sitting.

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  76. I always knew you'd write about this :)

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  77. You always get the brain cells going, Keith!

    I think we have free will. We have choices. That said, we can't control what goes on around us. In that realm, I think things do happen for a reason, but I don't discount coincidence. Now, how all that fits together? I haven't figured that out yet.

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  78. It's all coincidence. Nothing more.

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  79. I don't know... sometimes things feel like they happen for a reason and other times they just seem like some big empty abyss that should never have happened and really have no reason other than to make life a living hell.

    But to think that things are just a coincidence and it's all random makes me feel sad... I mean is everything just random points in time with no meaning what so ever? Could be... I don't know.

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  80. I used to always think that everything happens for a reason. I'm not really sure how I stand on the topic now. It is a very interesting thing to think about. All I know is that a lot of the "worst" things that have happened to me in my life have lead me to the best things in the end. A lot of people would call that fate I suppose. :)

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  81. First, thank you for this! I don't really believe in fate if it means that everything is pre-destined for you. Yet, I do believe that everything has a reason and that everything that happens comes from some wish or thought that we have sent out to the Universe... and I totally get excited with coincidences- for me they are just signs that we are getting closer to what truly resonates with us. In short- Magic!
    I wonder still if really there is something that is destined for me, something that I am unable to see just because I say I don't believe in it. Sometimes I wish I believed in it- it is much more simpler and easier than taking responsibility for everything that happens...
    Well, I shall leave it at that while I work towards a life filled with magical moments increasing in frequency exponentially. Wishing you the same too!

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  82. i believe in happy coincidences! that's it...

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  83. I go with fate, that there are no accidents in life. Whatever happens, happens for some reason, even if we never find out. Sometimes it takes years to realise what the reason is... The Universe just seems to be an ordered place, where everything and everyone has a reason for being, and doing what they do.

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  84. Hi Keith,
    Another thought provoking post. I believe in fate with free will. We choose for our self and it plays out in the universe. The only mistake we make is one we learn nothing from.

    What do you think?

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  85. I'm more of a "life" kind of girl. I love the romantic idea of fate, but it just doesn't jive with my brain. I think life just has many twists and turns, but I don't think there is some outside force working to pull it all together.

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  86. I don't know where you get your ideas...: )

    I sort of walk in between the two positions...I feel that we are free to make our destiny within the boundaries set by our capacities, talents, how we apply ourselves, ...this is how I feel about it for myself...sometimes, in others, especially those tested with great difficulties, I wonder if fate had a part? I have to admit that I don't know.

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  87. is it weird that i WANT to believe in fate, but i lean more towards coincidences i guess.

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  88. It's actually quite nice to think that everything is fate because it takes all the responsibility out of one's hands!

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  89. fate is inescapable.... I do not believe in it. As a christian I know we have choices. I do believe in coincidence...it just experiencing an event that seems to have been planned.

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  90. I believe in fate and destiny. That being said, I believe we create our own fate and destiny through our actions, reactions, thoughts and beliefs. I believe we can change our fate if we believe we can. Good post, Keith! xo

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  91. I'd be more on the fate side than coincidence, but I don't really believe in fate. I believe that there's a plan for our life, but that we're able to change that plan based on the decisions that we make.

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  92. one of my all time favorite questions! My dad told me that to believe in fate was pagan..that as Christians our life is mapped out for us each and every single day..from start to finish. As a hippy Christian, I get the biggest kick out of the wonderful little happenstances that occur in my daily life...it is destiny that I am here where I am now and I have a huge role to play. The question is...to me...are we able to change our destiny or is it set in stone? Can other's choices change our path? I love this question and love that I don't know the answer, but that I will someday.

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  93. I believe we're moving toward a fate each day that we have made.

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  94. wow, i love this subject--it fascinates me--i believe there is so much more to most things in our lives, than we will ever know!

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  95. This question goes hand-in-hand with the "predestination vs. free will" debate. If one examines the world, and truly sees the symmetry in crystals, the perfect design within a molecule, and the layout of our solar system and beyond, it's very difficult to ascribe any of these things to mere coincidence. So how could OUR existence, or anything about it, be explained by it? Yet, if we believe in free will, how can we believe our path has already been set in stone? Can we excuse any shortcomings we may have and any mistakes we make by calling them "fate?" I do believe we have a "best path" we can take through life, but I also believe we have the free will to stray from it. So, like most others, I'd have to lean toward a combination of both factors. Fate, or a predestined clear path may be laid out for us... but we have the right to leave it and stroll through the brambles.

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  96. I guess my beliefs would sound more like fate. I believe in God, who has every planned out and is guiding it all. He knows all that is going to happen, which is a comforting thought.

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  97. I do believe in fate. I do believe that somethings happen that are designed to help us, guide us, humble us, correct us, show us love and hope. I do also believe we have the blessings of free will. I do believe everything happens for a reason.

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  98. I'm not sure. Sometimes i believe one way.. sometimes the other. :) Today, i think i believe in fate, but tomorrow i might change my mind. (I'm not kidding.) As i approach age 50 this August, the more i realize i don't know. I like to think about things. The whys.. the what ifs, etc. Great post!

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  99. I have always believed that our nature determines our fate. I think there can be a kind of destiny in our own hearts, because of the way we are constructed to think and feel. If we can change ourselves, we can change our fate. Whether we actually ever can change our own nature, though, I am not sure. I think I would lean more towards the pessimistic Emile Zola school of thought, and say not.

    Thank you very much for your kind comment on my blog, by the way :)

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  100. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. We are never given more than we can handle.

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  101. I believe in destiny and that everything happen for reason.. This is good post, Keith:)

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  102. I believe in meaningful coincidence...C.G. Jung called synchronicity. If youbhaven't studied him, I think you'd like to :)

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    1. Sorry about typos...."it" is missing and "b" should be missing!

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  103. Recently a couple that were over 200 miles from home on holiday drove through our village and stopped to Ask me directions
    The wife...... Was a reader of Going gently
    Ad had no idea she was in trelawnyd
    She knew me immediately

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  104. I bestow upon you a bonus comment. And being such an altruistic type dude, I also bestow you, yes you, Keith, loved and adored by millions, the, "Fate or Coincidence...?", blog award.....

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  105. I honestly don't know! I think we make choices and so I guess I believe more in coincidence. But I also think that God plays a role in our lives so he could put things into place that we would find incredible. Interesting question!

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  106. Our faith tells us that our fate is decided even before we are born.
    When asked about our choices of good and bad deeds, our prophet gave an example of a horse that is tied up with an extra long strong rope and left in a huge yard of a barn and left to do what he wants within that barnyard and within that length of that thick rope. Again, what about what kind of dangers and temptations are within that scope? I never got the answers as the teachers probably did not know what to tell me. Also I was the one to ask too many questions any way.

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  107. That's a big question Keith. I think it depends on a particular circumstance. I have met people over the years who I thought were part of my "fate" but looking back, it seems that usually this was a romantic notion I had conjured up at the time. Interesting to consider this question though.

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  108. I was a believer in destiny. Now I wonder if it just was not me who moved my life in a particular direction. Destiny sounds better though, so I guess I will still claim to believe. Smiles.

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  109. I believe in fate- too nay times I hve had chance encounters that ended up being "happy accidents"
    Have a lovely day!

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  110. Not to be a bummer but I'm in the middle on this. I believe that some situations are definitely fate and others are coincidence.

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  111. If I wasn't a fate believer before I became one after recent experiences. Too much happens at just the right time for it not to be fate!

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  112. I believe in the flow of energy. I don't know if it's necessarily fate, but a cause and effect type ripple that happens and intertwines us all.

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