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August 30, 2006

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Iain

The jury's out on this one. I'm generally a 'random molecules' person, but I have been known to utter the words "this was just meant to be" and totally mean them. I've usually uttered them them when something has happened to me that seemed so huge (and 'undeserved') that it was impossible to grasp. Maybe it's just a way of dealing with the incomprehensible. When I can get my head around it, I think it's more a case of "stuff happens"...

David Welch

Fate is a figment that our imagination creates to help us cope with life's ups and downs. It can be a handy tool, as in Iain's example of when something terrible and undeserved happens to us, we cope with the feeling "this was just meant to be." Or, it can be an awful unmotivator, like if I decide that fate has it in for me, so why bother applying for a job I see in an ad.

Devine

I'd go somewhere between the two...but I think such a metaphysical discussion almost inevitably involves religion and then tempers flare.

Where is free will in the midst of fate and random molecules? I think if you involve free will, you start to see fate and random molecules as the same thing (or different definitions of the same thing, anyway). A big picture working behind the tiny machinations of a given person.

Me, I say a given person's life is (with absolutely no mathematical basis) 85% free will, 15% "bigger stuff you can't control", whether you believe that's the divine or the big bang. Mostly because I like to believe people can change things or themselves if they want to badly enough. It's funny how quickly "circumstances" can bring a life you think you've brought to order crashing down around you, though.

Dad

Fate or not it is what it is and in the words of the GREAT sports philosopher, Bill Parcells, "you are what you are". So just file this one in the "we showed up and played" column and "WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR". Or we can go with Yogi "It ain't over till it's over"!

David Welch

I like your first two ideas for where to file this one, Dad, and hated the last one, LOL.

I would like to begin a moratorium on any and all "it ain't over till it's over," "keep the faith," or "we believe." We should save those battle cries for when we really feel we have a chance!

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