This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Alan Birnie 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #4388

    Socrates
    Keymaster

    What is the power of fate?

    Fate is a common theme within ancient literature, especially in Oedipus Rex.  At the end of the play he seems to believe that we ought to be humble and submit to whatever destiny befalls us. Should we still accept this sort of mentality? Or can it be said that we still have a say over our lives, that we are, in part at least, the authors of our own stories?

    #4477

    Henry Peterson
    Participant

    Haha, I actually brought this up in the previous forum topic!

    I remember reading a book on Aristotle where they asked something similar.

    I think he proposed a situation where two men are arguing over whether or not there will be a ship battle tomorrow. One man says there will be a ship battle, the other says there will not be.

    Sure enough, there is a ship battle.

    So I think the problem became, not only is the first man right, but he was also right before the ship battle even happened. Because the statement “There will be a ship battle.” is necessarily either true or false. We can see that it was true, and so it would seem that there was never even the possibility of their NOT begin a ship battle.

    I think the same problem appears with Oedipus.

    If he was ALWAYS going to kill his father and marry his mother, then how can it be said that there was any say in the matter? If the statement “Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother” is true and has always been true, then how can Oedipus take any real blame? Seriously, can anybody else tell me?

    #4485

    LaunaDavila
    Participant

    I feel like the concept of fate in today’s world is more akin to being ‘predisposed’ to something. Like the station in which you were born – poor-rich-first world-second world… but it’s something you CAN fight against. Like the caste system. The majority of people will end up according to their caste – according to their fate – but some do fight against it… and depending on what station you were born in, would affect how much you fight against it.

    #4489

    GeneSmalls
    Participant

    You can’t fight against fate… so don’t even try!

    #4497

    Alan Birnie
    Participant

    Albert Bandura’s “Social learning theory” states that people learn from the social envirnoment they live in. This suggests that we should consder how the Oedipus’ social environment influenced his decisions in life. Bandura suggests that personality is an interaction between: the social environment; behaviour; and, one’s personality. This raises two questions in my mind. Firstly, to what extent are we now trying to judge the actions of Oedipus in the context of the social envirnoment we now live in? Secondly, dowe we also need to consider how are own actions are influenced by our social environment, and vice versa.

    #4567

    Linda Oreilly
    Participant

    Hi,
    Here’s a link to look at.

    http://www.egs.edu/faculty/friedrich-ulfers/articles/nietzsches-amor-fati-the-embracing-of-an-undecided-fate/

    I like this. Life/fate is tough, you can guide yourself along if you’ve got the wherewithal (Bandura’s suggestions, I think: environment,personality, behavior) but it’s not always going to be kind.
    Work with what you have &
    Learn to love the struggle.
    Simplistic, but easy to remember when the weather gets heavy.

    #4568

    Linda Oreilly
    Participant

    At the end of the play he seems to believe that we ought to be humble and submit to whatever destiny befalls us. Should we still accept this sort of mentality? Or can it be said that we still have a say over our lives, that we are, in part at least, the authors of our own stories?

    ~The KeyMaster (above)

    We are still the masters of our lives and humility plays quite a part. Corralling the passions and thinking is good per the Masters and it helps a lot to submit to training and education to prepare for the corralling and thinking. This is hard for me.
    Again, it depends on the resources available to a person at the particular time and place.

    #4573

    Alan Birnie
    Participant

    An ancient Chinese philosopher, known in the west as Mencius, differentiated between fate and destiny. He believed the Gods determined the length of our lives and our potential achievements. He wrote that our innate knowledge should be our guide. However, our fate is on our own hands according to the decisons we make. For example, if a person risks his life by standing beside a “tottering wall” the Gods will be unable to help.

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