Fatalism and Determinism

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The way in which life is viewed can change the way in which one reacts to scenarios and interacts with other beings. Although I do not think simply learning philosophy can change the way I live, I know that learning and exploring deeper into specific philosophies can completely alter my outlook on life. Life is a particular type or aspect of people’s existence and all beings are living this life as far as we know. The question I often find myself asking is whether or not we are the ones making our own choices, living life as we so choose, with no free will at all (determinism), or with our fate set out for us (fatalism). I would like to believe I am in charge of making my own choices and everything is either luck of the draw or things come to people who work for them, but Richard Taylor has made me believe otherwise. Perhaps, he has even changed my view on life. Metaphysics is the philosophical teaching to find understanding in the nature of being and the world, but cannot be proved. Richard Taylor wrote a book titled Metaphysics explaining theories such as determinism, fatalism and more.

Taylor explains determinism as, “…everything, including every cause, is the effect of some cause or causes; or that everything is not only determinate but casually determined,” he continues, “…if true, it holds not only for all things that existed but for all things that do or ever will exist,” (Taylor, 36). Fatalism, on the other hand, Taylor explains as, “the thought that what is happening at a particular moment is unavoidable, that we are powerless to prevent it,” (Taylor, 54). To expand on fatalism, everything past, present or future are written and we are powerless to its will. The simple difference between these theories is clear. Fate is based on everything, future included, out of our control and determinism is that everything that is, or will, happen has come to be because of causes and those causes have their own causes. Determinism does not remove the belief that...
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