Saturday, March 27, 2010

There Is No Such Thing As Destiny

Those of you that come here for comics will be saying that I should just be drawing, but this has been sitting in my head for a few days, and this blog is also a home to skepticism, rationalism, and logic, so please bear with me. Those of you that here for skepticism, you're welcome.

James Burke used to host a program call Connections, which detailed how seemingly unrelated historic events of varying magnitude led to a major invention in use today. That's what astounds me, especially given some recent developments in my own life .

You'll hear people, especially people in love, talk about how their current position is destined to happen. Usually this is in relation to their relationships.  This is where the skepticism comes in. The natural exercise is that for two people to be destined to meet, fall in love, etc. then their parents had to be destined to meet, and their parents, and so on, until the beginning of time. See how I can have a problem with that?

If we look back at our own lives we see all of these seemingly random events and some of them quite tragic. I've had my share of tragic events - the death of a sibling, a divorce, bouts of financial hardship, pretty much the same things everyone goes through at one point or another. However, there have been really happy occurrences as well. Christians will say "whenever God closes a door, he opens a window." I find that extremely cruel. What higher purpose did the death of my brother serve? Even if it led to me winning a Pulitzer prize, it wouldn't be worth it. I still miss him, although the pain of that loss is greatly diminished today. For it to serve a vague purpose makes God a cruel deity in my opinion.

Even if we don't invoke the deity, calling it the universe instead, destiny, or whatever, you're not doing anything different. It's still invoking magic, and I think watching a few episodes of Connections will show you that there's no such thing as destiny, just a lot of stuff that leads to a series of decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment