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Thread: Self-determination/free-will V's predestination/fate

  1. #1

    Default Self-determination/free-will V's predestination/fate

    I'm just wondering what people's beliefs are on the issue self-determination v's pre-destination are.

    From the Islamic perspective we believe that Allah is the creator and planner of everything and predestination is one of the articles of faith in Islam. This isn't to say that we don't have free will. We can make any choices we want but Allah knows what these choices will be. I know that some Muslims struggle a bit with this and it can lead some people into having a fairly fatalistic world view.
    Our free will exists in our choices everyday but whilst the consequences of these actions are often unknown to us they are always known to Allah.
    Of course it's much more complex than this...

    I'm sure that between us we have a fairly wide range of views so I'd love to hear other people's perspectives.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I believe that we have a pre-determinted fate (I think!) but the path we take to get there is entirely up to us. I do believe that alot of things happen for a reason. Life is just a series of choices really. We have the power to make our own choices in life from the little things as to what to eat for lunch to the big things like relationships, how we treat people etc and how we feel or more specifically it's our choice on how we react to situations and people. That gives us our free will.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ontario, Canada


    My view sounds pretty similar to yours Chloe - I believe, though I cannot fully comprehend, in God's 100% sovereignty and man's 100% responsibility. God has EVERYTHING completely in His control and works it all according to His plan. And yet, people are completely responsible for the choices they make, and we believe that God responds to our prayers.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    South Eastern Suburbs, Vic


    (just to preface, as usual, I'm coming from my Christian perspective)
    To be honest, it's not something I try to think about too much - because firstly, I suspect it's one of those things that only God understands for sure, and also because I've seen people who are supposed to be united become divided because of issues like predestination.

    Some people think (as far as I understand, in regards to salvation through Jesus) that God chooses who is saved. My thoughts are more that God knows who is saved, because he's outside of time, he knows who will choose him and who won't, and every other decision we make. Already he has knowledge of every single person who will know him, and who won't. I don't believe that God chooses some and not others, because the bible says (don't know where off the top of my head) that he isn't willing that any are lost.

    I believe that anyone can make their own choices, that God gave us free will, and that we can choose to follow him and make other choices. I base that on verses that talk about salvation being available to all. (I'm talking about salvation, because that's what most Christian 'predestination' debate seems to centre around.)

    Having said that, there are parts of the bible, like in the story of Moses where the bible says God hardens Pharoah's heart, and similar situations, that I find difficult to grasp, in light of aforementioned beliefs.

    Which brings me back to my first statement. :P I'll never understand it fully, and understanding predestination is not critical to my relationship with God, and I've seen people go round and round in circles about this kind of issue, and lose sight of the important thing - the good news of Jesus, and loving God and others.

    (Is that kind of what you were after?)

  5. #5
    paradise lost Guest



    I don't belong to any Faith group.

    I believe the map is there and my route across it exists, but only to a certain extent. Like, if you think of a map of Aus and you on your feet - there's only so many places you can walk in a day. So i believe my potentials are mapped out already, but the path i take through them is mine to choose.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    This is a hard question and a hard thing to understand, I agree with Nelle, I think it's something we can't understand fully.

    I am Christian and I think I basically agree with Chloe's view (although talking about the Christian God)

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2007


    This is interesting, good topic!

    I believe that we've all got predetermined lessons to be learnt, which are based on our past existence/s. I don't think there are specific events planned in our life (but thats the scientific side of me thinking about all the variables and my mind boggles at the thought of every variable or 'random event' being predetermed).

    Anyway, I think we're all got lessons that we need to learn, and that our self-determination and choices are the factors with influence how we are given/learn these lessons. I also think that theres no planned outcome. If we don't learn a 'lesson' from on event we have another go (either in this life or the next).

    Which, in the end, leads to the learning of all lifes lessons, and holding all knowledge (which is Buddhism is enlightenment) which leads to existence in Nirvana (the end of Samsara - moving from one life to the next). (Of course, with karma influences as well, but thats another topic altogether).

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    A Nestle Free Zone... What about YOU?


    Great topic Chloe!

    I believe that we I have lessons to learn in this lifetime. I believe that the Universe sets scene for those lessons to be learned. Weather I chose to step up to the plate is my free will.

    I think much like Leasha as my belief system follows Buddhist philosophy. I have karmic lessons and debt...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    In The Land Of Wonderful...


    I believe along similar lines to Bec, Leasha and Deb...

    I don't belong to a 'group' as such either, but I do believe that we do have a fate... I also believe that whilst it may be 'set out' for us, there are routes we can choose to take, and routes we can choose to leave.
    Consequently, we end up 'where we should be' at this point in time.. If that makes sense?

    I believe that you can make of life what you like - and so I put a lot of belief into free will - I also believe along the Buddist lines of self determination and free will in terms of lifes lessons.

    I would like to think that we are faced with challenges because of lessons we are yet to learn.. and master - whether I learn it in this lifetime or another, who knows... hopefully I'll 'get it' in this one so I have greater challenges ahead of me later on...

    I'm a little contradictory in my beliefs - I take a little from this and a little from that and form in my own mind what I think is important to live by.

    I'm a big believer in making of life what you choose, learning lessons along the way - and then enjoying the benefits once the lesson have been learned.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW


    I think I share the Muslim/Christian perspective: That Allah/God is outside of time and while we have Free Will our journey is already known. Doesn't mean our free will is hindered. It's not that our fate is "determined" it's just that it's already known. I can understand why people get tied up in knots about it! I don't believe in "fate" but I believe God knows us in our entirety. One thing I am pretty sure about is that anything that says it can tell us our "destiny" can't be trusted. Just my belief, don't mean to offend. I guess you can predict a person's likelihood of doing certain things but saying that it's "pre-determined" is a stretch. Just because God knows my life in full doesn't mean that he has "driven" it. The Bible says otherwise... God doesn't 'drive' our lives, he just "knows" about it.

    Regarding sources of information like Astrology/Numerology. I think they are interesting (I read my horoscope! LOL) but ultimately to be taken with a grain of salt. I think that astrology, for example, at best describes a person's tools rather than how they use them. Just my thoughts.

    Great thread Dachlostar.

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