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How I believe fate and free will are connected

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Dec 2, 2022.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    This is my personal belief, not something I can prove. It is derived from my religion but only according to my own understanding of the Baha’i Writings. I have no doubt that other Baha’is have different understandings since we are all individuals.

    I believe that God’s will and human free will are connected. What I mean by that is that we can only exercise our free will and make choices to a certain extent, but if it is not our fate (God’s will) that certain things will happen, they will not happen. In other words, I believe that whatever is God’s will is what is meant to be, and whatever is not God’s will is not meant to be, so it will not happen, no matter what we try to do by exercising our free will.

    So, we have to make certain decisions and act as if we have free will, hoping something will come out of our decisions, but if something is not meant to be (God’s will, fate) it will not unfold the way we hope it will.

    Part of my belief is that if we pray God knows what we want, but even if we do not pray God knows what we want since God is All-Knowing. I believe that God also knows what we need (which is what is best for us) because God is All-Knowing and All-Wise. So, we might not get what we want but we will get what we need. I also believe that if we pray God will guide us and help us make decisions, and God will help us act on those decisions if and when it is the right time (God’s will) that we do so.

    I could cite numerous examples of how I ‘believe’ this has played out in my life.

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately because I am hoping something is going to happen and I have done all I can to make it happen, but I know I have to accept it as God’s will if it does not happen the way I hope it will.
     
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  2. Wildswanderer

    Wildswanderer Veteran Member

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    Is this for everyone or just believers?
    I think quite a lot happens that isn't God's will. It might be that allowing one thing is necessary to avoid something worse, but I go by scripture and it says that the Israelites refused to do the will of the Holy Spirit. That's pretty plain, IMO.
    I don't really believe in fate.
     
  3. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    It's my personal conviction that we find peace only when we honestly try to align our will with God's, and do as we think He would have us do. And when we try, like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, to impose our will upon the winds and tides which govern the world, disaster is inevitable.
     
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  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    That's a good question.
    I think that how God's will and free will are connected applies to everyone, but the part about praying to God for what we want applies only to believers. Whether or not God guides nonbelievers I don't know, but even if He does, thye would not recognize it as God's Guidance.
    I m not implying that everything that happens in this world is what God desires, only that it is what God allows to happen, which is God's will. I mean if God did not allow it to happen it would not happen because God is All-Powerful, so God could stop it from happening.

    Many people go against what God wants them to do because God gave us all free will to choose, and sometimes God allows us to act on our free will without intervening, but sometimes what we 'try to choose' never happens because God does not allow it to happen. In other words, I believe that God stops some things from happening 'before' they ever come to fruition.

    So when the Israelites refused to do the will of the Holy Spirit then that is something that God allowed to happen, but not what God desired to happen.
     
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  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I agree generally, but the problem is that we cannot always know what is God's will. As far as doing good works, we can try to align our will with scriptures, but for the hard decisions of everyday life, we cannot know what God's will is for us, because there is no way to know what God is thinking.
     
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  6. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    Isn't it a fact that believers are to pray for God's will in their lives and not necessarily anything to do with what believers want out of life. So a believer must align their will to God's will whatever that may be.
     
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  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    That is what believers should do, pray for God's will, but that is not always what they do, some believers just pray for what they want.

    Ideally we would align our will with God's will, but since we cannot always know what God's will is, that is hard to do.
    We can only generally know what God's will is for us, through scriptures, but we cannot know exactly how those apply to our lives.

    For example, I want to get married, but I don't know if that is God's will for me. Even though Baha'u'llah enjoined us to marry, I was already married and widowed, so I don't know if it is God's will that I get married again. If I do, it will only be because I looked for a man and made myself available, but that does not guarantee that I will find a husband. If I do, it will be because that was my fate, God's will, and it will also have to align with the fate of the man I marry who as looking for a wife. Thus lots of things have to be perfectly aligned in order for this to happen. What are the chances? Only God knows.
     
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  8. Exaltist Ethan

    Exaltist Ethan Synverse Shaper

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    Fate is the free will of nature and free will is the fate of humans. They are meant to come together and intertwine with each other, that's how we as a species slowly develop ways to create divinity and God, both as a part of nature and also as a part of ourselves too.
     
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  9. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Yes, there is good reason for this to be on your mind lately. It's all complicated, but I agree with you. That's a good attitude have concerning whether what you want to happen, will happen.
     
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  10. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    That's true sometimes, not always.
     
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  11. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    That's more like it.
     
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  12. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    I agree with that, too.
     
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  13. Left Coast

    Left Coast The Fabulous
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    It seems to me that whether one prays or not, and whether one believes in God or not, good things happen to all of us and bad things happen to all of us. Some of us lead very happy, blessed lives and some of us lead deeply unfair, tortured lives. "God's will" can encompass everything from winning the lottery and having the happiest marriage ever or being raped and beaten and tortured and homeless. And of course, at the end of the day, we all die. So I don't see how anything could happen to someone that a believer could not somehow rationalize as "God's will." It seems to just be a way of saying, "What will be will be."

    Rather than focus on what we cannot control, better (for our happiness and well-being, as well as that of others) to focus on what we can.
     
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  14. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    We can’t know for certain, and we will surely go on making mistakes, for we are human. But we can ask God in our daily prayer and meditation, to guide our actions and direct our thinking. Though the mind is ill disciplined and often leads us astray, we can also learn, with God’s help, to recognise when this is happening, and choose a better path. Like learning to ignore the voice that tells us we’re not good enough, etc. Or that this or that person is our enemy and must be defeated, when co-operation and compromise can yield a far better result.
     
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  15. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    Why do you think free will means everything should also go as you will? I don't think free will means the same as omnipotence. It means only that you can freely want whatever you want.
     
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I do not think that. You will see that if you go back and read what I wrote in the OP.
    In short, I believe that sometimes things go as we will and sometimes they don't.
    I agree that free will means that we are free to want whatever we want. I would add that sometimes we can act on what we want, but other times we cannot act on what we want.
     
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