Video Extra: Free Will Vs. Fate

Video Transcript

Hey guys.

Today I want to talk about kind of dichotomy with religion that I’ve experienced a lot in my own thinking and reflecting on spirituality.

But first, an even more important topic.

Some people asked me in the last video about my shirt, and it says “I’m silently correcting your grammar.” So as a proofreader I am silently judging people’s grammar, and some say not so silently, so take that for what it’s worth.

But okay, so the actual important topic of this video is the dichotomy between fate and free will. I fought with this a lot in my life and the ultimate resolution has been I’m just not going to think about it.

On the one hand, I believe in fate and that what’s supposed to happen will happen. And I feel like this belief spans religions, as well as for non-religious people. You know for as far as the Christian standpoint that God has a plan and what’s supposed to happen will happen. His will be done.

And my philosophy is more of a universal spiritual one. There’s something bigger than me out there. But that conflicts with having a sense of freewill and control in my life.

So if everything’s predestined, what am I doing here? Why should I even try? Why should I put effort in? Why should I try to make my life better when everything’s predestined?

I don’t know if you’ve had that kind of dichotomy, that back and forth, but I certainly have, really probably starting in college.

I’ve had an amazing life so far and I can’t pretend that that’s just because of me. Like obviously you have your parents involved (don’t tell them that I think they’re part of the reason that I’m so well-adjusted… Shh. Hi Mom). But I can’t pretend that that’s just like I’m responsible for that. There’s something bigger out there that you know it’s maybe leading me down that path. And sure, I’ve made a few really important pivotal decisions in my life, but I don’t know that I can necessarily take credit for where I’ve been and where I am.

And yet on the other hand I feel like I deserve to take some credit. I fought really hard for this life that I’ve made and to get to a point in my life where I’m truly happy. I think that’s me or maybe it’s predestined.

So fair warning, this video does not have any sort of answer. I don’t have an answer. It’s just me talking about this thing that’s kind of always been there. So the only resolution I’ve come to, like I said, is just trying to live the best life I can. Being good to others, giving back, leaving the world a little bit better than I found it. And if that’s all predestined then it’s all predestined, but I feel like I need to maintain a little bit of sense of control in my life. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I would love to hear if this type of a dichotomy has come up for you or how it applies to your own life. Go ahead and find the comments section below and post it there, or, again, if you’re not cool with the public nature of that, just shoot me a message and we can have a conversation behind the scenes.

Something to ponder and get you thinking.

And I will be silently correcting your grammar.

About Megan Horn

I'm spending portions of the next 365 days reading the Bible. And document my thoughts as I work through the Holy Book.

11 thoughts on “Video Extra: Free Will Vs. Fate

  1. Tenth paragraph down

    Why do I have to farm, because you had an amazing life? I mean I’m not against farming. I rather think it’d be joyous to have cattle and pigs. But, I don’t want to be forced into it.

    And it does take amazing strength, but also a great support system to be successful especially when factors beyond our control such as illnesses, etc throw these wrenches in our way.

        1. I think they’re in order now. But I didn’t do anything. The homepage has been doing this since I started. Back when I only had two posts, it had them in the wrong order.

  2. Great post! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this complex issue. Fate vs. Free Will is a topic with which I believe many people have wrestled and continued to wrestle (grammar check).
    The way I have come to think of it is that God knows everything – past, present and future. He knows the choices I will make and the paths I will take. However, I believe He leaves the choices to me. He doesn’t make them for me, but He knows my future. I also believe that there are times where He guides me toward His will instead of mine. But I feel it’s still my choice whether to listen or not. I’m not sure how well this addresses the fate issue, but it helps me to internally address the dichotomy.

  3. Megan, you are not alone in struggling with this question. Theologians have struggled all the same on this topic for centuries.

    The Bible teaches that both predestination (or foreordaining), as well as individual free will, exist hand in hand, even though by our perceptions they conflict and are contradictory with each other. As you will find out later on if you study them with any particular focus, all of the Doctrines of God face this same type of paradox, bar none.

    For instance, if predestination is occurring what is the point of our doing anything? God will just do it.
    On the other hand, if free will exists then how can God claim to be all-Sovereign if He is basing His decisions on prior knowledge of our choices and actions in a reactionary manner?

    The answer is, both are correct. However, the differences are we are limited to our capabilities and natures. We are unable to perform decisions and actions that we are unavailable to us. We are finite.
    However, God is infinite, limited only by His very nature. No, God cannot create “an object so heavy He cannot lift it”, and other such non-sequiturs. But He is not limited by time and space.
    As such, His sovereignty and design will be done. However, He also gives us free choice. Both are able to occur simultaneously, even though such a paradox makes no logical sense to us. His will be done, but our choices and actions are also required.

    *Trivia/SPOILER ALERT* – many people erroneously interpret “foreknew” in various writings of Paul in the New Testament as referring to “foreknowledge” – awareness of any event or decision before it happens. This causes them to believe that God knows what we are going to do ahead of time and as such acts accordingly. This is entirely incorrect. To do so would overrule Gods sovereignty, making as if we are calling the shots and God reacting to us.
    Paul uses “foreknew” in the same context as someone “knowing” their spouse *intimately* (I really hate how this blog doesn’t have the ability to created text in bold, italics, underline, etc. As such, emphasis requires creative measures). It is referring to those Christ ‘knows’, or those who are saved through Him and know Him intimately. It does *not* refer to the foreknowledge of future events.

    Many refer to these as the ‘Mysteries of God’. However, many make the mistake of choosing between two opposing factors, believing that both cannot exist simultaneously. By our perceptions, this would be right. But God is not limited by our perceptions.
    What God wants to happen will happen according to His sovereignty. He is in complete control and does not suffer from our inherent limitations. Simultaneously, we are free to completely make our own choices according to our limited nature and capabilities – and are also held responsible for our choices and actions.

    All of the above is Biblical, and I would be glad to provide scripture showing as such. I wish I could explain it in more simpler terms, other than to say “trust me” on this one :).

    Hope this helps.

    1. Oops, just noticed I wasn’t exactly clear on something –

      “This causes them to believe that God knows what we are going to do ahead of time and as such acts accordingly. This is entirely incorrect.”

      I should probably be more precise – Yes, of course, God knows what we are doing ahead of time. I wasn’t trying to imply otherwise.
      My point being, the use of “foreknew” in the context Paul is referring to is not ‘foreknowledge’, but that He ‘knew’ us in an intimate personal relationship, much as the Bible refers to spouses ‘knowing’ each other.

      I hope this clears up any confusion. I can’t find a way to edit my posts.

    2. Great insights as always, Jason.
      I’m not sure how to let people do bold and other formatting. Did bold show up as bold?

      If so, looks like html tags are the way to go.

  4. And yes bold did show up as being in bold

    I wonder if other tags like spoiler work? Hmm, let’s see.

    I peaked at the end of the bible The devil did it!

    1. Yeah so apparently spoiler tags don’t work. Sorry guys and gals, but I think we all already figured out who did it.

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