On Air: Do you believe in ” fate ” ?


Have a read of this tragic story.

An Italian woman, who arrived too late to board the ill-fated Air France flight 447, has since died in a car crash.

It’s the fastest trending story on Twitter ATOW with many people saying “when your time’s up, your time is up”.

Another says “makes you wonder about destiny”.

What about this for a wierd coincidence, two twin sisters, born in Mexico and adopted by different parents ended up growing up 25 miles apart from each other in a New York suburb. Was it fate that ment they were bought up in the same place?

Or how about this for a slushy love story?  Do you believe in soulmates?  When I typed the question into Google all I found was hundreds of links to dating sites, but it certainly seems to be something that a lot of people are striving for, which suggests that many people don’t want to leave finding a partner up to fate.

Do you believe in fate ? Or do you think it’s all just superstitious nonsense ?

189 Responses to “On Air: Do you believe in ” fate ” ?”

  1. 1 steve
    June 11, 2009 at 14:07

    Don’t want to be the one to break the news, but we’re all fated to die.

  2. 2 Ann
    June 11, 2009 at 14:24

    Yes Steve – but when and how and what might it all mean?

    Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

    Do you reckon it’s all chance happenings or is there some kind of governing principle?

  3. June 11, 2009 at 14:50

    Salaam Mark… I do believe strongly in fate, but I do also believe that your fate can change for the better if you do something good and vice versa… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  4. 4 steve
    June 11, 2009 at 15:25

    @ Ann

    Had that person not gotten on that plane, and not been killed in that car accident days later, they still, one day, like everyone else, would have died.

    Who knows if you left 5 minutes later than you did, you might have had a fatal car accident. But you’re still going to die one day. notice how every single person who survived the Titanic still managed to die, the last one being last week? It’s everyone’s fate to die.

    • 5 Ann
      June 11, 2009 at 16:49


      I do know that we’re all ‘fated’ to die – I live with an illness that will one day bring this life to an end – that’s if the proverbial bus doesn’t get me first – hope not! 🙂

      Still, whether our paths through life are mapped out, or whether it’s all just random is a fascinating question…

      I’m most convinced by the Buddhist idea that how much harm or good you do as you move through various lives, creates karma and that the karma you accumulate creates the conditions into which you will next be born. So maybe there is a kind of ‘fate’ if you like, but there is also choice and decisions.

    • 6 Ramesh, India
      June 12, 2009 at 10:57

      Steve, I agree with you. I also like to say it doesn’t matter how long I live but how I lived my life until death. Death is the ultimate form of socialism – rich, famous, powerful, poor etc are all treated alike!

    • 7 Matt Black
      June 12, 2009 at 16:54

      Rubbish. I intend to live forever.
      If I can just rememberwhere I left that dam elusive bottle of ‘spring of eternal youth water’ that I bought last week.

  5. 8 Anthony
    June 11, 2009 at 16:16

    I believe in something LIKE fate. We have no real choice as to what happens in this world. Just like we cant change the past, we cant change the future, it’s going to happen. Just like you can’t change the ending of the movie. Everything that happens depends on the past, where we came from, physically how we were born, and everything that happened to us up to the present. If you could go back in time, 1 day, nothing changed, the EXACT same day would happen, because the variables are the same. So we really don’t choose, we just do.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  6. 9 Tom K in Mpls
    June 11, 2009 at 16:21

    I have enough time to post quite a bit here. But I have no time to wonder about how and when I will die. Several times in my life I was very close to death and have learned that worry and thought on the subject is a waste of time.

  7. 10 bjay
    June 11, 2009 at 16:32

    I was driving down on the hi way late at night.
    No one was on the rod just Moa – Me.
    Ye, when this ‘MAUSE’ decide it to cross the road,
    but of course I ran ever the poor thing.
    Why me? Why I had to be this
    kreature ‘MAKER’?

    Now that is what I call ‘FAITH’ !


  8. 11 ~Rhoda in the United States
    June 11, 2009 at 16:54

    Yes I do.

  9. 12 Rob (UK)
    June 11, 2009 at 17:43

    People have evolved to see patterns where they do not exist because our survival is more likely to be negatively impacted by missing a real pattern than by seeing a pattern that does not exist.

    If we want to make rational decisions, we need to fight against this tendency in our human nature.

  10. 14 John in Salem
    June 11, 2009 at 17:48

    I believe in synchronicity, which Carl Jung defined as “meaningful coincidence”.
    A week before 9/11 my wife and I each experienced a sensation of impending disaster. When we compared notes on what it might mean she said it made her think of when someone bombed the World Trade Center, and I said no, more like someone flying a 747 into the World Trade Center in the middle of a busy day.
    Does that mean I “saw the future”? No – it was simply a classic example of synchronicity.
    The future does not exist, and if “fate” can only be seen in hindsight then it’s only an exercise in pattern recognition.

  11. 15 Peter SC
    June 11, 2009 at 17:56

    no date means not fate. If we know , it is or is it not fate. If we don’t have a used by date we expire by fate or is it by date. I’m confused..

  12. 16 John in Salem
    June 11, 2009 at 18:17

    Well said, but I fear people will be seeing animals in the stars and the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast for a long time to come….

  13. 17 Venessa
    June 11, 2009 at 19:44

    Life is just a random series of events based on the action or inaction of an individual. There is no destiny or fate. Life just is.

  14. 18 Jennifer
    June 11, 2009 at 20:27

    Re:It’s the fastest trending story on Twitter ATOW with many people saying “when your time’s up, your time is up”.

    Another says “makes you wonder about destiny”.

    Do you believe that ? Or do you think it’s superstitious nonsense ?

    Yes, I believe in fate!

  15. 19 john LaGrua
    June 11, 2009 at 21:12

    We all have an appointment in Samara but we know not the hour or the day. If we did we would try to escape as the servant in the ancient Arab tale did ,to no avail.We would live our lives in fear rather than accept our vulnerability as humans.and courageously face the future as best we can.Adventure makes it interesting.

  16. 20 Anthony
    June 11, 2009 at 21:42

    @ Venessa

    Are the events really random? There is a reason that a person does what he does, depending on how he was brought up, his physical make up, his state of mind, his past, everything everywhere in the world up to that point, so the person real has no “choice” in what they do.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 21 Venessa
      June 12, 2009 at 16:27

      I disagree. Of course our decisions are affected by the influences in our lives. It doesn’t mean that it was fate for me to marry a particular person or the reason I’m in a car accident. We all have choices.

  17. 22 Steve in Boston
    June 11, 2009 at 22:07

    Fate? I’ll let you know after “Lost” ends next season. For the time being, I’m completely confused about the subject.

  18. 23 J in Portland
    June 11, 2009 at 22:21

    I choose to believe that there is something to fate, things work out the way they are supposed to, it may not always be what we want. We meet people when and where we are supposed to.

    When I became ill and had to go to the doctor, it just happened that the physician ‘on-call’ at the clinic that day was the man who’d been my father’s oncologist many years before. It can be referred to as luck, destiny, fate, kismet, what ever you want to call it. But, no matter what, he was the perfect person for me to see, he was immediately suspicious of my symptoms and was instrumental in diagnosing and curing me of cancer. If he hadn’t been aware of my father’s cancer history, he may have overlooked and passed off my symptoms as something minor and I likely would not be here today.

    BTW my father died on Easter Sunday 11 years prior to my visit to the doctor. I was diagnosed on Good Friday. There are other things that were involved that seem to show that the ‘stars aligned’ in my favor that day. But I won’t go into them here.

    Yes, I like to believe in some sort of fate and destiny. I just don’t let superstition prevent me from seeing and experiencing people, things and events as they come.

    Life is too good to miss by being scared all the time.

  19. 24 J in Portland
    June 11, 2009 at 22:41

    @ROB (UK)

    Please clarify what you mean by

    “because our survival is more likely to be negatively impacted by missing a real pattern than by seeing a pattern that does not exist.”

    Are you saying ‘real’ patterns exist?
    How would our survival be negatively impacted?

    More information, please. I’m a little confused and would like to understand.

  20. 25 deryck/trinidad
    June 12, 2009 at 01:17

    Final Destination that’s what it is. When it’s time to check out you check out.

  21. 26 Ann
    June 12, 2009 at 09:49

    @Rob UK and John in Salem

    I understand and agree with you about the importance of rational thought and not getting carried away with ‘signs’ and ‘portents’ and imposing our picture of reality upon everything.

    But do you never feel there are times in your life when things happen that shake your faith in human rational thinking? You know that feeling of intuition? When you just KNOW something and no amount of rational thought convinces you otherwise – a small example which you may find unbelievable – I’ve been baffled by it myself…

    Many years ago, long before the beginging of any peace talks in Northern Ireland (and long before I knew much about the conflict) I woke up from a powerful dream. I was so excited about it and moved by it I woke my then husband to tell him the good news… “There is going to be peace in Ireland” announced I!! Understandably he looked at me as if I had lost the plot and said “you read far too many books, go back to sleep”. But I was utterly convinced and nothing shook that conviction, not even further fighting and bombing -I really felt peace would come. And it did thank goodness.

    I can’t explain it, but to deny it would be to lie to myself.

  22. 27 John in Salem
    June 12, 2009 at 14:19

    Everyone has feelings like mine and what you describe. The problem is that anecdotal accounts are NOT evidence. For every person who dreams that Aunt Martha has died and wakes up to find it’s true there are 10,000 others who have similar dreams and wake to find they were only dreams but you don’t here about them – all you hear about is the one amazing story.
    Statistically, there are good odds that more than one person on that plane would have been killed in an accident within a year had the plane not flown that day. The fact that this particular woman died is simply coincidence, and not a very remarkable one at that.

    • 28 Ann
      June 12, 2009 at 14:44

      Your absolutely right John, it’s not evidence in the scientific or empirical sense and I don’t expect or need anyone else to believe it 🙂

      For me though, experiences like this (there have been many others -some where what I dreamt or felt could never be described as coincidence) have forced me to keep an open mind about what we can and can’t know.

      I was once a hard-line empiricist and would have said no no it’s all coincidence, but such experiences have caused me to keep a more open mind!

  23. 29 emmanuel formely of makerere university
    June 12, 2009 at 14:57

    I strongly believe that each one has a set day when their life comes to an end, it cannot be changed by any twist or turn of events. In my tribe people have a saying that on your set date death rises with you in the morning, however i tend to think that that the manner in which you die may change but the bottom line is that you shall surely die when you time is up.

  24. June 12, 2009 at 15:05

    Life is a sequence of coincidences which makes it difficult to make it go according to plan.Thee are outside events that affect our plans. In case of a transport strike, one can’t reach one’s destination as planned which can have a disastrous effect as a golden opportunity can be missed.

    The fact that there are many people who believe in horoscope shows that they put their life in the hands of fate. They find their consolation when something bad happens by attributing it to it.

    Also as long as people keep their fingers crossed for anything they plan to do shows that there is no total assurance that everything can go according to their wish.

    There are people who are blessed with good luck. They find continuous success easily as there are those who are continuously unlucky. Which means fate decides for them. It can be a blessing for some and a curse for others.

    June 12, 2009 at 15:05


    It is good to reason these things out by trying to ignore them but still, there they are. We are products of our schooling or someone else schooling. For a long time, we have our cultures which have been educated by religion which in turn has been educated by science.

    Where are we now? In a civilization which has taught us when to say yeah and when to say no in odder to be seen to be correct; or what educations is correct. Despite all these sages, I have a feeling that fate indeed does exist. Even science has the Murpheys Law if you remember.

    What has baffled me over the years is a simple fact that wenever I lose my bunch of keys, the consistent thought of them and and the loss always occurs three days earlier and yet I am unable to prevent this loss. If I think about them lightly, I find them but if it is a deep thought about them, they end up getting lost for good.

    There is still a big knowledge gap in our education and even our world of matter is not fully explained if you ask the radio engineers; but it works. The thing is; will never know all the whys and why nots and that is why we have fate in every language on earth.

    We wish to partern our lives according to our educating but still cannot give coherent proof why somethings happen. If the word fate describe what is described above, I believe it exists and, I have no control, nor evidence to give to the judge when cross examined.

  26. 32 Jason
    June 12, 2009 at 15:17

    (With due deference to the late Italian lady) If Fate were really that powerful a force, it would have ensured that she did board the plane. I don’t think it’s possible that she had *just enough free will* to miss the flight but not enough to avoid the car accident. Complete determinism is plausible (in which case this argument itself was inevitable and meaningless). Alternatively, there does exist free will with random elements. However, I find it hard to envisage a sort tug-of-war between fate and free will. But that’s me.

    Also, with all this talk of rationality vs. belief, it’s interesting to read about the differences in perception of the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

  27. 33 brenda
    June 12, 2009 at 15:21

    You cannot run a way from fate it will follow u where ever you go thats it.

  28. 34 patti in cape coral
    June 12, 2009 at 15:23

    I honestly can’t come to any conclusion on whether I believe in fate. I met my husband when I was vacationing in Colombia when I was a teenager, fell in love, and we were not allowed to be together. About 20 years later I decided to move to Florida. A year after that, I ran into him. He didn’t even know I was here in Florida. Had I stayed in Chicago I probably would never have seen him again. Fate? I don’t know. Life doesn’t feel like fate while I’m living it and making the decisions that shape it, but when I look back on it, there do seem to be patterns and parallels. Looking back, my mother and I got married at the same ages, got divorced at the same ages, had children at the same ages, both gave birth to girls first, and both gave birth to mentally disabled boys a year after giving birth to the girls… kind of creepy.

  29. 35 John in Salem
    June 12, 2009 at 15:39

    And talk about amazing coincidences – Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease!
    I mean, what are the odds…?

    • 36 patti in cape coral
      June 12, 2009 at 15:59

      @ John – Ha ha, you so funny! Seriously though, I don’t see how to give a definitive answer to the question. There is really no way to know for sure. Maybe it’s like Rob says and we see patterns because that’s what our minds want to do, that sounds plausible. There is no evidence either way, I guess you just believe it or not.

  30. 37 Konstantin in Germany
    June 12, 2009 at 15:40

    Fate caused me to survive 26 years. All of you reading this are having a similar fate.

    Oh… and fate made me get wet in the rain today and i haven’t been struck by lightning by the thunderstorm here today.

    Look, just try to make the best of everything, that’s being thrown at you.

  31. 38 Slawek
    June 12, 2009 at 15:54

    I believe that fate is a kind of the psychological matter. Sometimes our appearance determines our fate.The handsome win more.The less wiser loose much.That’s how our world seems to be set up for us.If it is true ,so I neither wouldn’t like to be too ugly nor stupid.;-)))
    In my case I haven’t had a chance to find a proper partner so far,so it might mean that there is something wrong with the very basis of my lucky fate.But I certainly will not cry because of that and will not try to do everything to find my “second half.”
    I’ve noticed that if you try to get something no matter the cost,it doesn’t work properly in the end……Well ,some don’t believe in good fate….but it is certainly easier to expect something good to happen in our life.If you believe it makes you happier.If you get that something you dream about it makes you the happiest person in the world.I think it is worth living to hit upon such sweet moments in our lives.We might call it a fate,but does it really matter after all when you get it what you are waiting for?Your joy and happiness seems to be the best THANK YOU to that mysterious something or SOMEONE.

  32. 39 Art
    June 12, 2009 at 16:01

    Some things happen by coincidence. We know that. So, how could we tell the difference between something that happened by coincidence and something that happened by fate? Even if there was fate, we could never know it.

  33. 40 patti in cape coral
    June 12, 2009 at 16:12

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Art

  34. 41 Robert
    June 12, 2009 at 16:44

    Life is a series of events. Two will happen (I will die and I will pay taxes, both grudeningly). Some are likely to happen and some are unlikely to happen. Simply being unlikely doesn’t mean it won’t happen though. On a planet of 7 billion and with good communication links accross the world, there are enough of us to let unlikely events occur and for others to hear about it more frequently than we would naturally think. There doesn’t need to be fate for that to occur, just probability.

  35. 42 Jaker
    June 12, 2009 at 16:57

    This is a comment I sent to the Times Online site & it nearly caused World War 3.
    Even if you think you have missed your death-calling…sometimes you haven’t. That’s the power of God our Creator!
    May she rest in peace in his love?
    Jaker, London/Dublin, England/Ireland
    Then I replied to the comment rumpus with this comment.
    God, seems I caused a war here by citing your name, you do affect things it seems. Again, may the victim RIP!

  36. June 12, 2009 at 17:03

    There is much beyond our ken. Till we find the knowledge and the instruments to know them we give them other terms and explanations to define them. We have come a long way and a long way to go. Till we know better we should leave it open and not make them dogmas as most religions still do.

  37. 44 Bob in Queensland
    June 12, 2009 at 17:15

    No, I don’t believe in fate, just coincidence.

    However, if you’re looking for material for your show, check out the amazing case of Violet Jessup. She was one of the survivors of the Titanic disaster…but was then on both of the sister ships (The Britannic and The Olympic) when THEY both sank–and survived all 3 tragedies.

    You’d think she would have learned though!

  38. 45 Bob in Queensland
    June 12, 2009 at 17:15
    • 46 Jessica in NYC
      June 12, 2009 at 18:47

      Yeah, learned to wear a life vest. Some people are lucky and some not so much. Fate? Nope, simply fortunate coincidence.

  39. 47 bjay
    June 12, 2009 at 17:23

    YE !
    Such a tantalizing subject .com
    the essence ‘TO BE OR NOT TO BE’.
    The ‘NASSAU’ OR THE ‘ Humanity quest for the ‘Beginning OF THE END OR THE END OF THE Beginning ?
    Joe, please go home do not get involved, just pay your bill and get drunk with your homes- the end of the week. GOD BLESS YOU !!!


  40. 48 Scott [M]
    June 12, 2009 at 17:30


    These are called coincidences! The very fact that they happen is why they seem so special—because they are a rare occurrence. How many times do they not happen? How many times do we not see/meet people? How many times do we miss a major event because the randomness of life didn’t put us there. We only remember the times that are special and rare—when a random click sets two instances side-by-side. And, it seems magical because it is rare to us, not because it is fated or predetermined (in the strict sense of the word). When the lottery numbers are drawn; if you win it is fate, when you loose we take no notice.

      June 12, 2009 at 18:40

      @ Scot; you cannot ignore the fact that some of us can foretell a recurring event from our databanks bearing similar caracteristics. It is not scientific really but it does happen to some people in all the known continents.
      We are all here in the universe in our diversity and classes. Fatelists do exist in all known doctrines and disciplines and languages from the primitive to the civilized; and there reasons not to ignore them.

      Coincidence Scot is not a science either but I cannot blame you. Science itself and its rationality talks of things we are not sure of. How many of us will ever see a Black Hole so much talked about in science. The thing is that it seems as if it does not exist but its effects are tangible.

      Rationality is not everything or plausible either. Why is it that only some fractions of us are artists? Music and poetry; who knows what that is without education? Appart from sketches no knows even how an atom looks like and yet we believe the atmomic and molecular structures.

      • 50 Scott [M]
        June 12, 2009 at 19:13


        Just because many believe something doesn’t speak to it’s validity. Many can see a mirage and it is still a mirage. Many were deceived by The War of the Worlds, it didn’t make it true.

        I believe in fate in a deterministic sense (that everything has causation), but that is not the sense this program is talking about—it is talking about fate in a willy-nilly spiritual sense.

  41. June 12, 2009 at 17:38

    Fatalism is defeatist. I can’t buy that the future is planned and I am only along for the ride. On the other hand, I do feel that human nature makes the best of whatever confronts him/her, which might let some surmise “fate”… but only after the fact.

  42. June 12, 2009 at 17:40

    I haven’t had time to read through all the comments so apologies for any redundancy. I thought it was a fascinating topic and wanted to bounce in to throw my two cents in.

    I do believe that there is a good and guiding force to whose ends events are progressing, but I also believe absolutely in free will and the randomness that implies. Both would seem to be mutually exclusive, but for me it is one of those areas that I trust my intellect is far too small to parse and reconcile, but that nonetheless it is true. So….I don’t think anyone is “fated” to die on a certain date or anything. Even those of any judeo-christian persuasion that would point to the Bible as proof of specific fates for each person should note that in the Hebrew scriptures, Yahweh actually changes his mind several times. He gets so frustrated with the Israelites and threatens destruction and then relents and literally changes his mind…so there’s goes that theory from that perspective.

    I think that it’s one thing to have a strong, and even mystical, sense of purpose in life, as I would say I do. I think it’s another and enters on superstition to say that some divine record-keeper is holding a cosmic playbook complete with my birth, marriage, career, and death all mapped out. Whether one takes Genesis as a factual document (I don’t) or as a mythical explanation of the ordering of spiritual realities – ours to Gods – probably bears on one’s take on this. Anyway, According to my belief, we were created because God found, after Creating the Universe that something was lacking…God wanted companionship. God created human beings and created them to have free will, because after all who wants a companion whose friendship is compulsory?

    So our time, place, and existence are a blend, incomprehensible to us, of a Divine Creator who has ordered things through all space and time, and a time, place and existence, where that order is constantly altered by each decision of free will. When we die is no more ordained then when we burn our tongue on a cup of coffee, but that is not say it goes Divinely unnoticed.

    That’s my opinion y’all!

  43. 53 Luz Ma from Mexico
    June 12, 2009 at 17:49

    Yes, I believe. There are things that you cannot control, no matter how careful you are or how hard you work to avoid them. There are other things that you brought upon yourself.

    There are tragedy in this world. Some tragic events cannot be prevented, like natural disasters or unpreventable diseases or accidents. But there are others that are completely man-made, so I don´t think that people dying in wars or in accidents that could be prevented or situations derived from negligence (for instance, the 44 children that died due to negligence in a daycare center in my country) were fated to die.

    And regarding good things. I believe that there are some kind of situations that presents to ourselves, but that require taking the opportunity and make the most of them.

  44. 54 Chad from Virginia
    June 12, 2009 at 17:50

    When it comes to fate, I like to think I make my own. If I stayed in bed this morning, I’d be fated to lose my job so I get up and go to work. If I stay in bed too long and miss the bus that crashes and burns on the side of the road, does that mean that I was supposed to die? I was in a crazy car accident three months ago. Was I supposed to die then? Maybe I would have if I didn’t wear my seat belt… is wearing your seatbelt fate?Who’s to say?

    With 8 billion people on the planet, am I supposed to believe that there is one and only one that I’m supposed to be with? What if she hadn’t met me and married some other dude, not realizing that she was destined to be with me and then I die because I was destined to die and so I am denied my blissful existence. I can’t say that I believe in fate mostly cuz of the soulmate thing. Plus, even if there was fate, it’s a cruel, malicious S.O.B. and I don’t wanna be its friend.

  45. 55 Tracy Fox
    June 12, 2009 at 17:56

    I believe in fate and free will. There are things we are destined for. But we can choose to walk through the doors that open for us, or turn away. My soulmate was on his way out of state to live elsewhere before we met. His sister and my brother had repeatedly tried to get us together. If not for a troubled young man taking his life we would have never met at his funeral, that was a few weeks before Adam was to leave to live in Colorado. But if Adam hadn’t decided to call me several days later we wouldn’t be together today..

    Tracy in Portland
    Dungaree Adam’s wife

  46. 56 steve
    June 12, 2009 at 18:06

    I really do think this show is silly, this is easily answered with that everyone dies. People have said that the Kennedy Family is cursed, because Joeseph Kennedy Jr. died in WW2 when his airplane exploded, JFK got assasinated, RFK got assasinated. Cursed? They were very successful people, one was the President of the US. Everyone dies. Even the poorest homeless person dies, just like the richest person on earth dies. Was it the “fate” of the Sullivan brothers to all die on board the same ship? I doubt that’s why they were put on earth, but that’s how they died. It just happened, and the navy learned a lesson. Nobody is cursed, there is no fate other than the fact that because you were born, you must die.

    • 57 patti in cape coral
      June 12, 2009 at 18:24

      @ Steve – You would be right if it was just about death, but it is also about how people meet, etc.

  47. 58 archibald in oregon
    June 12, 2009 at 18:09

    Is it fate that some have and some have not, I do not think so. Some of the best people can be found in the most adverse conditions imaginable, though I have met few who live in abundance, in any sense of the word, other than an abundance of love, who seem worth the paper their lives have been printed on.
    Fate implies destiny and that is a wholly different discussion which suggests predetermination by an external force, a concept which seems to be driving this planet into the gloom of self destruction through a seemingly righteous hand (ie. religion).
    Fate also implies a finite, I believe that we simply move into another sphere of existence atomically, never truly “dying”, just being reabsorbed into the primordial ooze of the universe. Whether the random reappearance of someone or something after that “death is fate, see paragraph two.
    That being said, I have declined airline travel because it felt wrong. I have also been on a plane that I thought was going to crash before it took off and nothing happened.

  48. 59 Mordecai Shapiro
    June 12, 2009 at 18:12

    The paradox is this: everything that happens is absolutely predestined by the very nature of time as a fourth dimension, and yet we as individuals must choose and act as if we had free will.

  49. 61 Tom D Ford
    June 12, 2009 at 18:12

    @ Bob in Queensland
    June 12, 2009 at 17:15

    “No, I don’t believe in fate, just coincidence.

    However, if you’re looking for material for your show, check out the amazing case of Violet Jessup.”

    On looking back over those three sinkings, isn’t it obvious that they should have kept her off all three ships, because she is the common thread and so must have been the cause?

    Henh, that’s the logic of fate believers! They make wrong conclusions based on the evidence.

    I remember a story from a science class about research on a flea. The scientist set the flea down on the table and said “jump” and the flea jumped. Then he pulled off one leg and repeated “jump” and the flea again jumped. That continued until he pulled the last leg off, set the flea down and said “jump” again, and the flea did not jump. His conclusion?

    A flea without legs cannot hear!

  50. 62 Shunjing
    June 12, 2009 at 18:13

    Examples of fate.
    > this person who never won anything in his live died collecting his 1st ever price.
    >a woman tried to end her life by jumping off a building survived while killing a man she landed on.
    > when America tried to contain China but made China stronger instead.

  51. 63 Mers
    June 12, 2009 at 18:14

    I think the idea of “fate” is just another excuse for humans to shirk personal responsibility. Humans don’t seem to be able to accept chaos. They have the need to feel in control over every aspect of their environment.

  52. 64 brinda,India
    June 12, 2009 at 18:14

    Yes.I do beleive in fate and destiny. Have come across a couple of incidents to say that.

    But do not beleive in soulmate. that is a load of bull crap. Love is all okie but how long it will last after marriage is what matters.

  53. June 12, 2009 at 18:14

    Fate or karma is the hand you are dealt. Free will is how you play the hand.

  54. June 12, 2009 at 18:15

    I believe that we are the creators of our experience and that we attract what we think and talk about. It’s mind over matter. It is not fate. We are the creators of our own experience.

  55. June 12, 2009 at 18:15

    I liked Allen in Ireland’s way of explaining it. I think that’s a healthy and likely somewhat accurate slant.

  56. 68 John
    June 12, 2009 at 18:16

    First, welcome to Portland. I’m very happy that you are broadcasting from our beautiful city here. I’m just over the hill in Beaverton/Hillsboro, Oregon.

    I am a safety and health professional, and do not believe in “fate” as many think of it. I do believe in coincidences. But we have a lot of ability to make decisions which influence what we experience. We are not “fated to die,” but have a limited lifespan. What we do with our lives, what decisions we make on a daily, even a minute-by-minute basis, influences that types of experiences we have. In accident prevention, we emphasize trying to anticipate hazards before they happen. By doing this, we can recognize dangerous situations in many cases.

    There are some systems which are so complex that as individuals we cannot anticipate the hazards. We rely upon the controls that are built into these systems to keep us safe. Accidents such as the Air France flight have causes, which need to be understood so that those types of accidents can be prevented in the future. Once the causes (usually multiple) are understood, then we can develop mitigations to those causes. But if we think everything is “fate,” we will not learn from these situations and will not be able to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.


  57. June 12, 2009 at 18:19

    Our lives are outcome of the choices we make and the fate or destiny of those choices.

      June 12, 2009 at 19:03

      @ Alan in Arizona. I have since come to a scientific conclusion that I have lost the power to become a frog despite my love for its music. I have to endure my fate. No rational choice is left.

  58. June 12, 2009 at 18:19

    Maybe we don’t understand time. It could be that past, present and future are all rolled up into one. We can look at time as a river. Sitting on the bank, you are outside of time. Then you jump into the world of past, present and future.

  59. 72 steve
    June 12, 2009 at 18:20

    Think of fate from the persepective of different people. HMS Hood was sunk during WW2, and only three crew members out of 1418 survived. All of whom have since died. Was it their fate to survive, or was it fate for the 1415 to die?

  60. June 12, 2009 at 18:22

    12 June 2009

    Fate is secular rhetoric synonymous with superstition which is the core of religious orthodoxy. Fate as it is being discussed does not exist.
    At the core of the workings of the universe,of all funtions in the universe are cause and effect. Cause and effect is the machineworks of all that occurrs. Nothing happens without a cause and everything that happens is an effect that results from cause and in turn becomes a cause. Since every effect must also be a cause; and since every cause must be an effect there can be no first cause or last effect. Cause and effect is an eternal unbreakable chain.
    Everything and every person is as we are as a result of cause and effect.
    James B. Tinsley,
    Arkansas, USA

  61. 74 Tom D Ford
    June 12, 2009 at 18:22

    If there is fate, that is if the universe is deterministic as in Newtonian mechanics, then no one has any say in their own lives, they are without free will, their lives are out of their control and they cannot do anything to change themselves or their lives.

    But modern Physics show that the universe is not deterministic, and so the idea of fate is wrong.

      June 12, 2009 at 18:56

      But modern physics is not a conclusive science in every angle. We have not yet come to the end of experiments despite the fact that they have been conducted for ages. Theres always room for more.

      Why do I sound like this tonight? Its fate Tom.

  62. June 12, 2009 at 18:23

    I’d suggest that your listeners read Leonard Mlodinow’s The Drunkard’s Walk (Vintage Books 2009).

    He clearly addresses this issue. People don’t understand randomness and probability and tend to associate things in their minds to make “complete” pictures. But they are all bogus.

    People remember selectively and simply over time accumulated “coincidences” and forget all the times that there were no coincidences.

    From “lucky” streaks to winning the lottery mathematics explain the results better then fate.


  63. 77 Tracy Fox
    June 12, 2009 at 18:23

    Once you open yourself up to the wonder and magic, you can see the patterns and influence in you life. Like people who “know” they are lucky and always win gambling. It’s blind faith. If you don’t see and feel it nobody can ever explain it to you.

    Portland OR

      June 12, 2009 at 19:14

      We still don’t know what confidence is plausibly but we cannot ignore its working; its enabled me to be on this BBC blog even when I do not fully know what BBC is. Is BBC real when I cannot touch it?
      I have no quarel with nay sayers because the knowledge or universe is wider than we think. Why should I? Just as we have so many inventions in the world that other folks can discover we cannot honestly deny there is a wide range of mental inventions that continue to have plausible impact on our life and the world around us.

      What is a digit? Our ignorance has not prevented us to be digitized though. Are we less superstitious?

      By the way BBC, Thanks for the true democracy. When in this blog I feel like a full citizen of the world with full rights — guaranteed. Period.

  64. 79 Layle
    June 12, 2009 at 18:24

    I think before you an ask the question you must settle on a standard definition for fate? Our language is so flexible that we could have 3 people say they believe in fate but because they can define fate with slight diferences each actually means something different.
    How do you define fate?

  65. 80 Scott [M]
    June 12, 2009 at 18:26

    “If determinism is true, then our acts are the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of those things (including our present acts) are not up to us.”

    —Peter van Inwagen

  66. 81 Mark
    June 12, 2009 at 18:27

    If you wait long enough, plane crashes happen in threes. If you wait too long, it’s in fours.
    One can reach all sorts of conclusions, and interpret them however, but this does not amount to fate.

    Thank you,
    Nokomis, FL

  67. 82 Brad
    June 12, 2009 at 18:27

    We are all compatible with certain kinds of people. Happening upon one is almost inevitable. Match making services have consistantly proven that.

  68. 83 Emily in Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 18:28

    it’s easy to believe in fate when you’re finding your true love or long-lost sister, or winning the lottery. but what about hundred of thousands of people being raped and killed in darfur? is that their fate? does fate only exist for people in the first world?

  69. 84 Lauren
    June 12, 2009 at 18:28

    @ Chad- don’t give up on the whole soul mate thing; maybe you’ll find her on WHYS ; )

    As for the ‘fate’ thing, I think it falls under the same category as ‘prophecy’. People only seem to notice it after the fact. I believe in karma that is passed on from a previous life but I don’t think that it dictates how I’m going to live my life or how I’m going to die.

    Fate after the fact does nobody any good- you’re either already dead, sick, in love, a millionaire, etc. Perhaps fate is less of a “grand scheme” and more of a lesson in acceptance and living your life as it happens.

  70. 85 Zach
    June 12, 2009 at 18:30

    Somebody in the 20th century said we exercise very little freedom in our decision making. Because the discussions we make now are a result of our experiences which are largely out of our control. I don’t believe in fate but I think we have lot less control of our lives than we think.

  71. 86 mary
    June 12, 2009 at 18:33

    i live in eugene, oregon.
    my husband & i were high school sweethearts, went on to marry others, have our children. 20 years later my mother was ill & i went to our town in california to be with her. i saw his step-father in the hospital, from whom my husband was estranged. the step-father said you should call bill. he’s not with his wife any more. they lived in norther calif.
    the morning after i returned to eugene, bill phoned me saying he’d had a dream that my mother was ill & that i was trying to reach him. he’d called my mother found that i’d been with her the day earlier & called me.
    i returned to calif. a couple of months later with my son, we met, that was now 23 years ago.
    fate? it feels unusual, sometimes magical.

  72. 87 steve
    June 12, 2009 at 18:34

    Um, given the 50% divorce rate in the US, you’d think that the only fate regarding marriage is that people are meeting the wrong people more often than they are meeting the right people. Maybe it’s fate to get divorced these days given how common it is?

  73. 88 Count Iblis
    June 12, 2009 at 18:35

    There can be no such thing as “fate”, as all possible histories that are theoretically possible are actually realized:

    So, this means that the people who died in the Air France did not die in a parallel world which is as real as this world. And there exist worlds where died before we reached our present age.

  74. 89 Kit
    June 12, 2009 at 18:39

    I’ve always thought there was a sort of “tree fate” at work in life — at least it seems that way. Meaning, there are certain events that are “fated” to happen in our lives, but we are free to determine our response or choice in those events. Our response sends us down one particular branch, where there are other different fates and choices awaiting us.

    I can look at my life as one example. In my twenties, it is highly likely my current husband and I met. We have looked back and determined that we were in the same place at the same time, and most likely encountered each other. But we both went on the marry other people, and did not meet again for several years. The kicker is that I married a man with the same childhood nickname that my current husband has, and he married a woman who could have been my twin sister. Were we “meant” to meet all those years earlier? Who really knows?

  75. 90 Bruno
    June 12, 2009 at 18:41

    I don’t believe at all in fate.

    Unique events happens at each second of our life but we just don’t notice them.

    For example if I stroll in a street in Bangkok, I pass next to a black car belonging to a German tourist named Mr Shroler and a brown cat cross the street… Is it fate ?

    If I come back two years ago, what were the chances of me going into this situation, at this precise moment ? 1 on infinity ? yet it happened all the same..

  76. 91 Troy in New York
    June 12, 2009 at 18:41

    The concept of “fate” and “destiny” are archaic excuses for not taking responsibility for our own lives and for absolving us of accepting circumstances we may or may not be able to change or control.

  77. 93 Bob in Queensland
    June 12, 2009 at 18:42

    My marriage story:

    In 1997 I was married and working in London. Through contacts, a tour of our facilities had been arranged for an employee of a sister company in Australia–I was delegated to do the tour and buy her lunch. We had a good time and got on well, but both of us were married and she left for Aus the next day.

    Three years later, I joined an internet site for fans of a certain SF author. On that site I began to exchange messages with another member. Over many messages, we gradually got to know each other but it was more than six months before we worked out that we were the people who had met at that lunch in 1997. It also turned out that we were both now divorced and available. Many instant messages, phone calls and a visit later, we ended up married.

    Fate or coincidence…I say coincidence but it was a big one!

  78. 94 Jessica in NYC
    June 12, 2009 at 18:42

    People like to romanticized life and death, because death is unknown with notions of fate and destiny. Blah, circumstances and personal choices have a much of an effect as anything.

  79. 95 steve
    June 12, 2009 at 18:42

    A friend of mine’s father was killed on the Long Island Railroad by Colin Furgerson back in the 1990s. He was in the wrong place, the wrong time when a crazed racist went on a shooting rampage. It wasn’t fate, it was bad luck and a horrible, horrific person committing a horrific act.

  80. 96 Chuck Hulsey
    June 12, 2009 at 18:43

    I’m not superstitious/religious. For me religion is just organized superstition. I don’t think fate exists. This is the 21st century and it is amazing to me how people are so ready to believe certain things. We are an advanced society. Come on people.

  81. 97 Kurt From 1.75km Away
    June 12, 2009 at 18:47

    I would be willing to bet all the people who say they believe in fate are religous or at least consider themselves spiritual, people who think faith is a virtue. Wake up there is no magic, no supernatural forces. If you can’t get your head out of your little dream world keep it to yourself. Just because science hasn’t explained a phenomenon yet doesn’t mean it never will.

  82. 98 Curtis Edson
    June 12, 2009 at 18:49

    So if you believe in fate for the human animal, how do you feel about other species and fate, e.g. if a deer is hit by a car on the highway, was it the deer’s fate?

    I don’t see how one can hold humans higher than other animals, e.g. humans go to heaven or hell, but there is no such place for other species.

    I don’t believe in fate, just like the deer who happened to be in the highway at the wrong time, the Italian woman happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but she was at the wrong place at the right time in missing the Air France flight.

    • 99 Riaz Hussain
      June 13, 2009 at 05:17

      Yes, I agree there is no such thing as destiny or fate. We make decisions and choices that impact other events. As human we are genetically programmed to put the blame in something else to exonerate and exculpate ourselves from the guilt of responsibility.

      We can make our world the way we want it but again there are events that just happen and change the outcomes we desire yet with choosing the best line of action could prevent many unwanted stuff that happens to us.

  83. 100 Jami
    June 12, 2009 at 18:49

    The belief in fate is just another form of superstition. It is a view of events and meaning that can only be formed in retrospect. Things happen… when they connect to things we care about, we tend to see them as having a bigger meaning than the myriad random events happening to us 24 hours a day. How can it be “fate” to die after missing an airplane that crashes, but also “fate” to miss a plane that crashes but subsequently live?

  84. 101 steve
    June 12, 2009 at 18:50

    Two of my best friends both died on June 11, in prior years. Both were very young, one died in 2005, the other in 2007. The one in 2007 left behind a wife and a daughter. He died in the parking lot of a hospital. If there is fate, then whoever sets this “fate” is heartless and evil.

    • 102 Jessica B.
      June 12, 2009 at 19:09

      Could it be that we get angry when we don’t understand the greater reason behind the choices that have been made for us, i.e. “fate”?
      The fact that it doesn’t make sense is a reflection of our humanity.

      Truly, I am sorry for your losses.

  85. 103 Jamiu
    June 12, 2009 at 18:51

    Of course things happen by fate if what you mean by fate is that things are destined to happen. Or how do you account similar things happening to different people in similar circumstances with different results. President Reagan was shot in the head but didnot die because it was not his time yet. But you have so many others dying from from such shots or even shots not as dangerous as that.

    However, before ascribing anything to fate one must have put in his best effort to avoid/achieve a particular outcome and after the outcome still look for ways of improving such efforts afterall no one has seen his fate beforehand.

  86. 104 Michael
    June 12, 2009 at 18:52

    The fact that we can make choices means we are in fact god like. Saying we don’t have control is wrong. Saying we have a destiny that we can’t control our destiny is wrong. I pose a god like man, but please excuse any blaspheme in the notion of it but; Did Jesus walked into Jerusalem knowing his fate?? I think no due to the fact that fate is uncertainty and unawareness..

  87. 105 Chris
    June 12, 2009 at 18:52

    Hi Ros,
    It doesn’t come down to fate or coincidence it can be happenstance. Ian Fleming in one of the James Bond books said that if it happens once it’s happenstance, if it happens twice it’s coincidence, and a third time it’s enemy action!
    Great programme, Chris, Wales, UK.

  88. 106 Jessica in NYC
    June 12, 2009 at 18:52

    @ Venessa in Portland, speaker.

    I agree. As tragic as your father’s murder is, fate did not have that in store for him. My mother was killed by a medial mistake. It was an error not her fate to be killed, destiny or any of those other romantic notions people use to make sense of the senseless.

  89. 107 Scott [M]
    June 12, 2009 at 18:52

    “Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”

    (BC 43 – AD 18)

  90. 108 CJ McAuley
    June 12, 2009 at 18:52

    The truly sad thing is that so many people still believe in something called “fate” in 2009! In fact it is something worse than sad: it is pathetic! I recognize that people must try to make some sense out of what happens to them. I am taking care of my 83 year old Mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease(AD). Is that fate? To that I would like to say something I will not type! For if I believe one thing, it is this: we are alive for a time, we live our lives as best we can and then we are DEAD! PERIOD!

  91. 109 Jen, Oregon
    June 12, 2009 at 18:52

    Last night I happened to watch a bad film called final destination. Today you are talking about fate. Does that mean I am going to die soon? Fate is a coping mechanism, an emotional crutch for people who need to explain and justify their world whether they have a positive outlook or a negative outlook. Was I fated to marry my husband, was I also fated to divorce him and have a child with another man? Everyone on your show has an “amazing” experience. How amazing is it if it is so common amongst us?

  92. 110 Tom D Ford
    June 12, 2009 at 18:52

    Ros, ask those PDXers to show you the salmon sculpture that looks like it is swimming through the corner of a building, it is way cool! Henh, It is your fate to see that.

  93. 111 steve
    June 12, 2009 at 18:53

    Ros, death is a 100% certainty, the question is just when. Whether you go mountain climbing or not, you are going to die, just like everyone else. I think what he’s saying that it’s predermined that we die, just not when we die.

  94. 112 Rajiv, Nepal
    June 12, 2009 at 18:53

    What is coincidence? What makes coincidences happen?

  95. 113 Kristin, Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 18:54

    why is it more difficult for people to believe in chance when it is more reasonably explainable than an imaginary force that cares about what happens in an individual’s life. It makes more sense to say that events happen. But why do people constantly need to add a cause? If they can believe in the imaginary, why can they not believe in the reality.

    Kristin in Portland (working so I can’t get to the square at the moment)

  96. 114 Shane, Salt Lake City
    June 12, 2009 at 18:54


    I believe fate is not valid. A previous caller from the UK that hitched a ride with the serial killer said that it was fate that she was not killed but was she better than the other women that were killed by the monster? I think we created our own fate or destiny and it is up to us. Life is full of chance and we free agency to choose our future.

    • 115 Hope; Portland
      June 12, 2009 at 19:21

      However, did the woman who was bumped from the plane flight but died in the car crash “choose” this as her own free agent as you allude to? I would speculate that this was not the case. We are not as large as the universe (although sometimes we think so), and we cannot control everything.

      One more question..if life us full of chance (as in your last sentence), then how are we able to choose our own future (also in your last sentence)?

  97. 116 Patrick
    June 12, 2009 at 18:55

    Hello from Portland,

    I believe that a wind blows thru our busy lives manifest as synchronicity.
    I meet my wife, save a child’s life( I practice Medicine),why was I there?

    These events are everywhere. Remember ‘as a butterfly flutters it’s wings, a candle flame waves in Tibet’? we are all connected

    Many things are inexplicable, call them magic. There are very real.

  98. 117 Vijay
    June 12, 2009 at 18:55

    Do you believe in “Fate” kismet and karma No , not really,
    mind you I remember a statistic about social mobility in the UK
    95% of people born working class will die working class .

  99. 118 Alissa, Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 18:56

    i believe that the notion of fate is a mechanism that we use in order to attach ourselves more firmly in a situation- be it marriage, another relationship or where we are in our lives.. perhaps a way to tell are selves to that everything is okay, and to be content and grounded. is fate “real”? i’m sure for some people it feels real.

  100. 119 Scott [M]
    June 12, 2009 at 18:57

    “Free will” and “determinism” have been fairly well reconciled by “Compatibilism.” Which proses that “free will” is compatible with “determinism.”

    Check out the extraordinary philosopher Daniel Dennett.

  101. 120 Ahmed, California
    June 12, 2009 at 18:59

    Fate is what will come your way, but your destiny is the choices you make as you circumvent these events. We have control over our destiny without a doubt, but we do not have control over things beyond our own being. And of course every event has a scientific explanation which is not necessarily exclusive from the idea of fate.

  102. 121 Norman Babbitt, Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 18:59

    I think that the primary question of fate relates simply to the question of from where and from whom you are born. What a difference it would make to be born in social milieu of a Bill Gates, rather than a slum in Mumbai.

  103. 122 Mike
    June 12, 2009 at 19:01

    Ros, the idea that instances are meant to happen in itself means we don’t choice. That’s just not correct. We always have a choice, therefore we are always making fate. Expect the unexpected.

  104. 123 Paige Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 19:01

    Fate: Everyone talks about fate retrospectively. Unfortunately if we could PREDICT what we were FATED to do, then it would seem more feasible that it is in control. But its always used in a “looking back” context. It is a way to weave a purpose and narrative into our lives events. I think it is something people use to derive meaning, which is fine. But is it in control? I doubt it. If it is, we are far too small to understand it.

    I’m sorry I can’t come down today! I am stuck at work. I hope you enjoy our beautiful city & return again soon!


  105. 124 Daphne, US
    June 12, 2009 at 19:02

    It seems that if fate is driving our lives, it would do it in a much
    more direct way. All of these stories seem very convoluted to have
    been directrf by fate and seem much more likely to be attributed to chance.

  106. 125 Jessica B.
    June 12, 2009 at 19:03

    I believe that “fate” is a product of circumstances created by each individual psyche as it reacts to circumstances created by the psyches of other individuals.

  107. 126 DeWayne in Kentucky
    June 12, 2009 at 19:04

    I don’t believe in fate, I believe in faith. I believe that faith in Jesus can impact a person’s life in a positive personal way. I have many stories to share how my faith in Jesus has charted my destiny.

  108. 127 Mike
    June 12, 2009 at 19:05

    Hey Ros, love the topic. When talking about fate and whether or not were bounded to an event that let say must happen, you have acknowledge the simplicity of having faith, something everyone does have. If you hold faith in some idea, or unquestioned knowledge as I like think of it as, you end up following a relatively simple path that we accept as possible and sort of run down that path blaze like. Fate to me, is simply, a little bit of luck or lack of luck on that path and we accept its possibility. Whether your fortunate or unfortunate by some fate we accept the simple risks because the possibility.

    You can not say fate is literally unknown because you can not say you’re unaware of the possibility of some fate.

  109. 128 Mark Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 19:05

    Fate is often just the name we give to the things that have happened to us that we’re grateful for. We feel glad that we’ve met someone special, or that we’ve made a life-changing career move and we attribute it to fate or God because we feel like we ought to be thanking someone for those things. In reality, though, there is no fate. If you hadn’t met that special someone, you would have met someone else just as special. If you hadn’t made one career move, you would have made another. In the end, fate is just a way of denying ourselves the blame or the credit for our own choices and of making the randomness of life seem less impersonal and scary.

  110. 129 Mark, Texas
    June 12, 2009 at 19:07

    In 1967 I survived a student residence fire at Cornell University. My roommate died. I have always held that, with a slight change of circumstances, I would have died and he would have survived. I can see no benefit or role in some divine plan that is served by my survival or his death.

    I wonder if his parents regard their son’s death as an act of fate or divine will or whatever. It’s the survivors and the fortunate ones who regard themselves as important enough to be favored by fate.

  111. 130 Hope; Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 19:10

    After listening to the comments on the show, it seems that those who do not believe in fate have a somewaht narcissistic view that they are able to control everything in their life. Yes, we have personal responsibility to control our decisions and actions of the moment. However, there is a whole universe outside of our individual little spheres of life and there is contantly information and data streaming around and through us. To say that things aren’t fated to happen is to say that we control more than we actually can.

  112. 131 Vijay
    June 12, 2009 at 19:10

    The USA had a “manifest destiny” to occupy “All Oregon” it was obviously fated by God so thats what they did (Oregon Treaty 1846)

  113. 132 Fatima
    June 12, 2009 at 19:10

    I believe that when it is your time to die you will……….regardless.
    The circumstances may be tragic but you will die.

    I have experienced a close call…….in SAfrica where I come from…… on the Sunday
    that the first bomb blast by the opposition of the then apartheid govt. took place….
    I went into work at the office. I orginally parked in front of a post box..sat a few minutes and
    then decided to move the car. I cannot explain why I did this.

    However I left and went up to my office….10minutes later the bomb exploded.
    The bomb was in the post box……where I originally parked ………Fate yes!

  114. 134 Daniel, China
    June 12, 2009 at 19:11

    I believe in fate and I believe that God knows everything even before happening.

    My living in China today gave me a stronger believe that fate is real because majority of Chinese people didn’t have any education about been black and this can make life to look like hell sometimes in China. In fact in my first 2 months here I felt I had to get out of this country.Traveling around the world today my body often feels like a visitor and before feeling at home, I have to get back to my home in China

    If not fate, a black man like me will not be living in China since 2004

  115. 135 Andrew, Australia
    June 12, 2009 at 19:12

    Is it Fate that drives all the bad things that happen to you?

    I hear people talking about Fate as this great thing happened that great thing happened. But then what of the bad things? Fate works both ways then.

    It is just coincidence and a coming together of favourable elements that produce what we consider Fate especially the good kind.

  116. 136 Charley in Portland
    June 12, 2009 at 19:13

    I don’t believe in “pre-destination”, but I do think that one’s attitude can strongly affect one’s fate.

    For good or ill, if one believes that a certain outcome is inevitable, then the chances of that event happening seem to be much greater.
    “What you believe, you perceive, and ultimately receive”.

  117. 137 Kevin New York
    June 12, 2009 at 19:14

    free will and fate are cocreators, not opposites. the choices we make shape our consciousness. over time, it becomes more likely that wes see and create the things which reinforce our identity, things which “were meant to happen”.

  118. 138 Kalypso, Vienna
    June 12, 2009 at 19:16

    i personally believe that everything is in the hands of God. as Christians, we should always try to discern the will of God and act accordingly. that should be our greatest apsiration.

  119. 139 Kip, Oregon
    June 12, 2009 at 19:18

    I personally don’t believe in fate, but I do believe things happen for a reason because of the choices we make.

    An interesting conundrum- scientists would argue that fate is an esoteric concept and impossible to prove scientifically; but if you believe in an infinite universe with infinite possibilities equaling infinite number of parallel universes- it would dictate that all choices we make have alternative choices made in the alternate reality so essentially, every possible decision we could make and every possible outcome to every possible event will/would have happened which pretty much = fate.

  120. 140 John
    June 12, 2009 at 19:48

    It is appointed for man once to die and after that the judgement.
    No man is a master of his own destiny. God rules in the affairs of men. God orders our steps, as well as our stops. But within the sovereign providence of God works the free will of man.
    Since everyone will
    die some day, it behoves us all to choose to live a life that enriches humanity and to leave a good legacy. Life is not in its duration but in its donation.

  121. 141 SSONKO George Wilson
    June 12, 2009 at 19:50

    Dear Ros,

    Fate does not exist. It is like believing in reincatnation and dejavu. The decisions we make in eralier in life affect our later situations. So to me life is about cause and effect.

    Kampala, Uganda

  122. 142 audrey
    June 12, 2009 at 20:00

    Even though I really don’t think I believe in fate, I have always wondered about fate and luck and coincidences. There seems no doubt that some people are more lucky, in some things, than others. For instance, my friend wins prizes and lotteries on a regular basis. I have never won a thing in my life. Why does she always win when I can’t seem to win, no matter what?

    On the other hand she has always been subject to illnesses of one kind or another, whereas I have never been sick. What kind of luck would you rather have?

    It seems life is a lottery and the dice falls where it will. Sometimes you win and sometime you lose or, then again, maybe not!

  123. June 12, 2009 at 20:29

    Amour fati. Just what does that mean?

  124. June 12, 2009 at 20:50

    I do believe in destiny in terms of karma that is. A life as a human being on this planet, does relate to past lives and future lives, and in a way that very relationship is the purpose of life. Yes, in the duration of our life we face numerous choices, and the decisions that we make, or the instincts that we follow, present yet more choices to be made, but it is all an infinite net of choices that extends far beyond one’s self. So unimaginably vast to our human understanding, that believing in destiny is in no way avoiding responsibility for choices past and future, or a capitulation of our humanness.

    In terms of science and the idea of its intrinsic opposition to destiny, karma, happenstance, whichever way you choose to perceive it, dichotomy seems to be the default of how we humans process information, for better or worse.

    Something to chat about during Happy Hour tonight, don’t you think?


  125. 145 John, Lagos, Nigeria
    June 12, 2009 at 22:14

    The life that wins and leaves a legacy is the new creation life
    which a person receives by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Saviour.
    Faith in Christ not only gives meaning to life on earth, but also guarantees eternal life
    and joy in heaven. The Bible let’s us know that we cannot understand all the mystery
    of life on earth but that when God shall bring into full manifestation His Kingdom
    we shall know as we are known. Life may be full of mysteries and we may not be able
    to fathom the mystery of why things happen the way they do, and we may not
    be certain about fate and destiny, but faith in Almighty God through the Lord
    Jesus is the key to unravel these mysteries when at last we see Jesus.

  126. 146 Imre Ilyes
    June 12, 2009 at 22:17

    So the woman doesnt die in the plane crash but then dies in a car accident a short time later. This is a bit troublesome, as far as faith conversation goes, for a number of reasons to me, but one small point i would like to make is that labeling this faith attributes some interesting characteristics to faith. One is that it is not etched in stone. It seems you can, for a short time anyways, avoid this thing that was predetermined. Thats a bit of a contradiction. Second, the fact that she died being attributed to faith, also implies that faith is this all powerful coordinating mechanism that can right wrongs at will, or whatever it needs to do. In this case, why did it take the all powerful act of faith five days to right the wrong. Did it have to recalculate all the effects of this screwup?
    This particular conversation regarding this woman and faith should go something like this:
    A: Wow, i guess her faith was to die five days after that plain-crash. Do you believe in faith?
    B: Whats the point in arguing anything, that by nature, can not be disproved.

    I did really enjoyed the show today, but its just a hard conversation to have

  127. 147 Imre Ilyes
    June 12, 2009 at 22:18

    P.S. If our history teachers start believing in faith then were in a bigger trouble then i thought.

  128. June 12, 2009 at 22:39

    First of all, it was amazing being part of the program today. So glad you could make it to Portland.

    Now, getting back to the discussion at hand…

    Posters have referenced that we are fated to die. Is it fate or is it merely fact? I think we tend to throw the word fate around to explain the unexplainable. It is human nature to want everything to be explained in neat little packages.

    Oh, and Kip, I agree with your stance on things happen based on choices we make.

  129. 149 Lu
    June 12, 2009 at 22:56

    would this prove that sentence that everyone says when you say you’re afraid of flying? are you more likely to die in a car crash then a plane crash?

  130. June 12, 2009 at 23:37

    It is not fate, luck good or bad and not even destinty.

    It is Christ interacting with the world He created ( Your hands have made me and formed me give me understanding to learn your commands Psalm 119:73) and taking home those he chooses to take home at the time Christ Himself has appointed. (My times are in your hands… Psalm 119:73) All things have a set time and purpose; defined and deternimed by Christ alone.

  131. June 13, 2009 at 07:51

    What happened to an Italian woman who came very very close to taking the ill-fated Air France flight last week and has died in a car crash, is just a coincidence.
    Whether she deliberately chose not to take the Air France flight, or was forced to do so, is just one of the circumstances that led to what happened.
    We are all surrounded with various dangers, seen and unseen, of which we are aware and of which we are not aware.
    We pray to God everyday saying : ”deliver us from the evil one”
    When things turn to our disadvantage, we are inclined to accuse fate in order to cover our negligence or our ignorance, in other words we decline responsibility for our actions by trying to find excuses for our behaviour and saying it is fate.
    Our free will is certainly one very decisive and important factor for what happens to us. Otherwise, what is the meaning of responsiblity, and why will there be a judgement day, why is there recompense and punishment, etc…..?

  132. 153 Kakule kiza celestin
    June 13, 2009 at 08:52

    I completely believe in fate, nothing happens when it is not the right time for it to. I experimented many times events that i tried to make happen but they did not go through. I think we are living as per God’s predestination whose most fatal fact is death.

  133. 156 Ann
    June 13, 2009 at 09:57

    WHAT A GREAT DISCUSSION THIS HAS BEEN! – It’s brought out questions about:

    1)The nature of time itself.

    2)How should we define ‘fate’? Does it mean that the future is already written? Does it mean karma that we humans play a part in, or does it mean just plain old Newtonian cause and effect with no moral/ethical principle at work?

    3)What are the moral implications of predestiny or karma – eg if some god holds the puppet strings what does that say about god? Or do we create our own destinies by what we do?

    4)And questions about what the limits of human knowlege are. Is science and reasoned thinking the only way we can know things? Or are we actually quite blinkered and maybe there things beyond our little minds?

    5)And last but not least – the way we have a tendency to make judgements about and equate people’s personalities or intelligence by what they believe. (Maybe because of 4 we should do a little less of 5?)

    Not to mention those silly fleas that couldn’t hear! 🙂

  134. 157 Des Currie
    June 13, 2009 at 11:12

    Through Biblical reasoning the words “lest I” preclude a fate, leaving your own actions in your own hands, saving prayer should have
    Lest I come and smite thee with a curse.
    Des Currie

  135. 158 James Loudermilk
    June 13, 2009 at 11:47

    I agree with those who say that “You’re only fated to die.”
    Other then that I would say that the course of your life is determined by the choices you make and sometimes the choices the people around you make.
    I think by laying blame at the feet of fate you are trying to reduce your culpability in your life, good and bad.
    Nope, no fate just a series of life choices, yours and those of others around you.
    But I think that is a common sense answer that most people will conclude. No real revelation.

  136. 159 Lusayo
    June 13, 2009 at 12:29

    much is known but then again much more is unknown, certain things are beyond the scope of the human mind and therein lies the genius of the Supreme Architect of the universe. Fate is just one of those things – the work of Manly P Hall sheds more light on this topic for the truth seekers out there.

  137. 160 Emile Barre
    June 13, 2009 at 12:34

    No. I believe the future is happening now which is completely different.

  138. 161 Dinka Aliap,Kampala
    June 13, 2009 at 13:59

    This topic is senseless and it has no aims and objections.What a Shame

  139. 162 clarence mcmullen
    June 13, 2009 at 14:38

    ‘The moving finger writes and having written….’ Death is inevitable but like an Indian saint poet have said: You came in this world crying, but live a life that when you die, you die laughing and the rest of the world is crying

  140. June 13, 2009 at 17:46

    Fate is an interesting concept. To subscribe to a deterministic universe where by your ultimate demise is out of your own hands. This does two things, alleviates personal responsibility, and induces a sense of helplessness and laziness.

    In the case of the Italian woman, it is difficult to argue against fate in a rational sense as people will say “ohhhh fate” if she hadn’t been killed either. There are many coincidences in the world like these that have people up in arms about this concept of fate. Take for instance the twin towers. One of the employees wives watched the incident unfold on TV crying as her husband was working on the upper floor of one of the towers that day. She called her husband crying and screaming asking if he was ok, the husband replied “sure I’m ok darling, i’m just working away”, which to her relief and bemusement prompted the question “where are you” to which the husband replied “in the office”. Turns out the guy was sleeping with his mistress that day instead of attending work and was laying in bed with his lover several miles from the scene. Is this fate? Why is it face and not circumstance?

    I think we can say whether you believe in fate or fortune will depend on your philosophical views on whether you believe in a world of free will or determinism.

  141. 164 globalcomedy
    June 13, 2009 at 18:06

    I believe in intuition and karma. Good karma going out leads to good karma coming back. Intuition can be used like wi-fi: pick up on others thoughts, emotions. And then use that to make your decisions.

  142. June 13, 2009 at 18:26

    Upon all our knowledge, we are “underlings” to life! our philosophies and ideologies are mere instruments that leads us through life riddles, not solutions, not TRUTH1.
    Fate is nothing! For good outcomes we call blessings, bad outcomes we call fate. Evryone’s gonna die. what matters is the manner. If a mine is maliciosly kept and you inadvertently steps on it, it explodes, wounds or kills you, depending on the level of harm. Fate emanates from incidences that are perpetrated out of bad will or ignorance.
    Fate is more to nonsense or real. You aren’t predestined for an outcome. no one is. You arent foolproof against “outcomes either” What makes the difference is your belief.

  143. June 13, 2009 at 18:26

    Upon all our knowledge, we are “underlings” to life! our philosophies and ideologies are mere instruments that leads us through life riddles, not solutions, not TRUTH1.
    Fate is nothing! For good outcomes we call blessings, bad outcomes we call fate. Evryone’s gonna die. what matters is the manner. If a mine is maliciosly kept and you inadvertently steps on it, it explodes, wounds or kills you, depending on the level of harm. Fate emanates from incidences that are perpetrated out of bad will or ignorance.
    Fate is more to nonsense or real. You aren’t predestined for an outcome. no one is. You arent foolproof against “outcomes either” What makes the difference is your belief.

  144. June 13, 2009 at 18:32

    Well. I do not belive in fate for we are offered way out for omens riddles troubles. Do we accept it

  145. June 13, 2009 at 18:49

    my first post dissapeared from this blog!!!!!!!!!!

  146. 169 Vladimir
    June 13, 2009 at 19:39

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I’m greeting you from Moscow, Russia

    I thing that my life represents an interlinked chain of events, whether coloufull or full of sadniss. Oh, how many times I have got up in the morning with strong intention from this particular day to be strong and wise… and nothing changing. I’m still the same. This is my fate, isnt it?

  147. 170 Ibrahim Bahati
    June 13, 2009 at 19:41

    Indeed, fate is everyone’s anatomy willed will-nilly to face; we cant lie about it; what i know and love about fate is that; Nothing Lasts forever but damn it when it comes to good and wanting splendid, awesome to love things,it leaves me grizzled in battles of finding new hopes to catch the next train of life!
    Every minute of your life is fate itself!

  148. 171 violetlover
    June 13, 2009 at 21:31

    Fate is connected with time.And time is like an endless river.You have two option ;
    a)You can close your eyes and leave yourself to flow of river or
    b) you may try to reach to the shore .
    Both option is smilar at the end .You will die .

    There is no more reality.But if you look back of the coin you will see the different story.If you can smile at the end of the last breath you are the lucky one.

    My motto is “pray like you die tomorrow and work like you newer die , but what ever you do and how many hours you work a day share a time for make you happy .The time you saved to make you happy like listening live music ,
    watch the sunset or sunrise with your gf or bf or listening soft breeze while drinking tea under the trees or watching the bollossoms of the violets you plants , will never come back again …

  149. June 14, 2009 at 02:05

    Yes, I do believe in fate. After all, one of the Christian radio programs touched upon the subject of predestination!

  150. June 14, 2009 at 07:18

    NO! Fate is a failure of someone to admit they are the ruler of their own lives, superstitions black cats and the like.. even religion too. I see control exist by closed minded fearful individuals, a lot of mind control and cultivation but fate is in ones own hands. So speak your mind, write your own book of life and read it out loud.

  151. June 14, 2009 at 11:58

    Its all about the person’s prespective ,for one this may be the result of fate or god or likewise for others it may be purely a coincidence.And hence both are right in their prespective.

  152. 175 J. Valjean
    June 14, 2009 at 13:30

    If we accept that every cause has an effect (determinism), then the future is theoretically predictable and every event can be said to be a result of what happened before. In this sense, nobody can escape from what has been written in the fabric of matter since the Big Bang.
    On the other hand, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that the very act of observing a phenomena changes it. Therefore, my practical conclusion is that since we can’t predict it due to the enormous amount of variables, it is as good to affirm that fate does not exist.

  153. 176 J. Valjean
    June 14, 2009 at 14:05

    If “God” knows the future, then he knows in advance what we will do with our lives on earth. Therefore it is unnecessary to wait for “The Final Judgement”. He should change the rules and give everyone speedy trials by offering us plea bargains and public defenders.

  154. 177 Paul
    June 14, 2009 at 14:35

    Yes we are all FATED to die someday but there is no black book containing the names, dates and places of our deaths. We have control of our own destinies and we make our own choices. Fate is just a word used as an excuse for failure, or for coincidence that just happens. There is no God and there is no set path to walk. Take responsibility for your own choices and stop laying the blame on stupid superstition.

  155. 178 J. Valjean
    June 14, 2009 at 14:44

    In a few microseconds every letter that I’m writing here will belong to the past and every signal from my neurones will follow the same path. The present is so elusive that we can’t catch with it. We are living in the boundaries between, past, present and immediate future. This is due to our preconceived ideas about time itself, thinking that it flows like a tape in a movie or a voice recorder. Our inability to comprehend modern concepts of space and time is the result of our limited experience in everyday lives. Mathematical descriptions are necessary when we can’t visualize concepts or “unnatural” behaviour in nature.
    It took many years before the best minds of the past century accepted Einstein’s description of space, time and gravitation in his Special and General Theories of Relativity.

  156. 179 Vladimir
    June 14, 2009 at 19:19

    I believe in the 21st day of December, 2012.

  157. 180 jo
    June 15, 2009 at 07:11

    Fate has Its way wheras huamn beings are many times tormented beacuse of fate which means that fate is a creation of the mind that views events in a serial manner,that is the subjective perception whreas objective perception may be far from this.

  158. 181 Erik Simmons
    June 15, 2009 at 14:00

    i am sure that after we all read these comments from people who we have nerver met,never will meet or live thousands of miles away from us, our way of thinking will change causing our lives to take a slightly different path…..is this fate? After reading this i am sure we look at lie from a different point of view…which could be wat will cause or death…or prevent us from dieing

  159. 182 violetlover
    June 15, 2009 at 14:15

    Fate is connected with time.And time is like an endless river.You have two option ;
    a)You can close your eyes and leave yourself to flow of river or
    b) you may try to reach to the shore .
    Both option is smilar at the end .You will die .

    There is no more reality.But if you look back of the coin you will see the different story.If you can smile at the end of the last breath you are the lucky one.

    My motto is “pray like you die tomorrow and work like you newer die , but what ever you do and how many hours you work a day share a time for make you happy .The time you saved to make you happy like listening live music ,
    watch the sunset or sunrise with your gf or bf or listening soft breeze while drinking tea under the trees or watching the bollossoms of the violets you plants ,(the time) will never come back again …

    One of my teacher had asked at the class ;

    “If you had a chance to see your true love which has written on your fate ,would you like to see her or him?”

    i was in dilemma ?!!!!

  160. 183 Marcus Vinicius Pinto Schtruk
    June 15, 2009 at 14:35

    I think there’s no thing such as fate.
    Our daily decisions impact our destiny.

  161. 184 Marcus Vinicius Pinto Schtruk
    June 15, 2009 at 14:37

    In the above comment consider “I think there’s no such thing as fate” instead of “I think there’s no thing such as fate”.

  162. 185 Rajendranath Mehrotra
    June 15, 2009 at 15:23

    Dear Sir,
    Yes I believe in fate but what is fate? In my opinion, the fate is nothing but our punishment or reward ordered by the supreme justice of the world ,GOD the almighty. Whatever we did in previous life or in past, had been credited to our bank account with GOD and the returns on our deeds ( good or bad ) are according to strict and unfailing system of GOD which can’t be fooled or hacked.
    Prayers fro the soul of our heart are the on the only way to modify it like a mercy appeal to the President of our Government , who has been given a right to change the Supreme Court’ order of – ‘ Hang till dead” to life imprisonment.
    To clarify further, we; in our present life start saving money thru’ different routes for different causes and needs like, marriage, house, education of children, health care and various other types of Insurances in order to make our future comfortable and our these saving, earn us different return rates and at different times. Some mature in this very life time but some mature after death like a ” Life Insurance” policy/Long term Deposits /Shares etc. etc. Similarly whatever we do or even think or plan, gets recorded in our account with the GOD and earns us returns accordingly which we term as ” Fate/ Luck or Destiny. Be sure that the entire world can be fooled but not GOD, the almighty.

    With due regards and expectation of a reply,

  163. June 15, 2009 at 16:51

    Certain occurrences attract our attention because they are rare, strange,odd etc.
    They can be classified as natural phenomena and therefore and as such call for a rational explanation.
    Some people give them a name i.e. fate and are content and offer mostly metaphysical causes for them. Calling supernatural powers for example.
    Others, including people who have a certain familiarity with mathematics especially
    concepts related to statistics, the laws of probability, of large numbers and so on.
    The end result is a sentence like for instance : “The chance of such an event occurring is say: one in a million ” and that ‘s it.
    The number of times the same incident has happened depends on the frequency the events occur in a normal way.
    After all how many do aircraft fly per day or year and how many times does a person change flight per day or how many people die on the road etc etc

  164. 187 milla
    June 15, 2009 at 17:05

    Just as a goal post has two poles,so is life.we are all fated to be born and die but in between the is free will and open.

    imagine believing that we are fated and we remove trafic robots in in all our cities, what will happen?

    or think of the person i know who went for an HIV test
    after a wayward life of debauchery and after testing negative went to drink to “celebrate” but ala when going home had an accident and died.

    it all unforseen occurrences

  165. 188 Colleen in US
    June 15, 2009 at 17:34

    The fates do not decide our path; but they lay the road out before us… and we, individually; decide which direction to take on that road. We choose who we respond to each situation that is presented to us; and where we go from there.

    I also believe that there is a purpose/a reason/a positive in everything that happens; but it may not be something that is obvious or immediate. Sometimes; it takes years to see the silver lining of something long past. Even to the phone-in caller on the day this show aired; who said that her brother dying so young could not be a fateful happening and that there is nothing good from his death – maybe there is and it isn’t apparent yet, or maybe there isn’t – but I believe there is. As I don’t know the entire situation; I can’t speculate as to what it might be, but it could be something that may not be known for some time.
    I had a grandparent that died from cancer and it was painful to watch the body whither away – and the mind… however, as far as cancer patients go; she did not have to suffer with it for long… only a couple of months and her body finally gave up. However, the good part of this is that, the cancer took her fast enough so that she did not have to live long with alzheimers – of which she had been diagnosed a 2 months before the cancer. She never wanted to have lost her mind and memory.
    I also had a relative that was hit by a car while crossing a street at night. He was banged up pretty hard; but, if it hadn’t been for that fluke accident – he would not have found out that he had a type of cancer (I forget which type). However, it was discovered soon enough to be removed and treated with chemo and allowed him to live much longer than it if had remained unnoticed.
    Bottom line is that we choose our direction; which modifies fate’s path.

    Maybe even a little karma can be the reason for what options are given on the path you have….

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