Talk:Fatalism

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Taoism[edit]

The given definition of "amor fati" fits much more closely with the practice of taoism than with the concept of "fatalism." 136.165.112.85 21:07, 20 February 2007 (UTC)jd "In life, nobody gets out alive."

Invalidated[edit]

So I am taking course on methods and problems of philosophy, and fatalism has in fact been formally invalidated. I do not remember exactly how, but it went something like this: 1. X happens, this is a contingent truth. 2. if x happens, then x necessarily happened (this is a necessary truth based on a contingent premise) 3. x necessarily happened (this is where the argument falls apart, and it is known as a MODAL FALLACY)

Because fatalism has been formally invalidated, i believe it is of utmost importance and priority to mention this on the page, since it is not there. I am not a wiki user or anybody reliable, but this is true, and you can confirm with a philosophy/logic professor before you dismiss me. Thank you, and i hope someone with authority on the wiki reads this soon! -Amir 160.39.110.137 (talk) 15:25, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


Is there still anyone available to continue this discussion? It appears the last entry was on 2/23/08. I am very much interested in having a discussion on fatalism (by any name) other than the continued disagreement on the correct definition. Anyone there?Zi14 (talk) 19:11, 1 August 2008 (UTC)Zi14


I am suspicious that the trouble lies not in the concept of fatalism but in the limitations of the english language or your choice of terms...

1.X happens 2.if X happens, then X, maybe not "necessarily" but rather "definitely and most certainly" happened based on the contingent truth 3.X has definitely happened regardless of whether or not it occurred out of necessity

If we had less ambiguous terms to work with it would be less clumsy, I'm sure.70.75.248.254 (talk) 01:54, 2 June 2012 (UTC)JungGun

The Idle Argument[edit]

Is there still anyone available to continue this discussion? It appears the last entry was on 2/23/08. I am very much interested in having a discussion on fatalism (by any name) other than the continued disagreement on the correct definition. Anyone there?Zi14 (talk) 19:18, 1 August 2008 (UTC)Zi14

I know that this is more of a discussion, nevertheless I would like to bring this up.

The Idle Argument states that if you are fated to recover, then you will do so even if you don't call for a doctor. However, would it not be perfectly reasonable to say that you were fated to call a doctor?

I don't believe it would be reasonable to say that you are fated to live or die, as that would be looking at things on such a broad spectrum. However, you can easily break down your 'fate' into smaller actions. Thus, you are fated to survive because you were fated to call a doctor. Or you were fated to survive a gunfight because fate entitled that you'd put on a Kevlar Vest.

I think that 'The Idle Argument' looks at things on far too much of a broad scale.

I'm not an avid wiki user, so do forgive me if I shouldn't be posting this here; I'm simply a 16 year old who'd like an answer to a question that he can't find by using Google.

Quick edit; I've made an account now. --DevilAsh (talk) 21:50, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


It should be known that the Idle Argument is supremely misrepresented in this article. It is not an argument for fatalism, but rather an argument given by Aristotle to demonstrate the irrationality of deliberation in a fatalistic world. Postmodern Beatnik (talk) 14:36, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Fatalism and Predestination[edit]

I think of fatalism as the following: You might be able to make your own choices, but those choices won't really matter because there will be events that you can't prevent from happening. Those are "fated" events. Fatalism might go so far as to say that the every event we can view as important is fated. This view of fatalism is clearly different from determanism because we could have free will in a fatalistic world.

Is fatalism really the result of predestination? I think determanism is the result of predestination. If I write this comment, but God already knew I would write this comment, then do I lack the power to refrain from doing so? No. I have the power to refrain from writing this comment as long as I could have refrained if I chose to. (The fact that I couldn't choose to is beside the point because we usually only care that we can do what we choose to do.) This is how some people argue that freedom and determinism are compatible. The same argument can be used when there is predestination in order to show that people can still make a difference in the world. --dragonlord 05:15, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

That isn't fatalism at all. It's defeatism or predetermination. Fatalism is simply the denial of free-will and chance. There's no choice, the outcome can only be one way. Defeatism says that you can't make a difference. Fatalism doesn't imply that at all. Predestination says that events are a result of God's will, or a supreme being who operates outside of causality. Events are a product of many different actions and processes. People can make a difference, but that doesn't mean they are free. Those are separate issues. What you think and what you do can change how you feel or even the world. There is no reason to believe in free will. It's a superfluous idea which fails the test of Ockham's razor. We can explain everything without reference to free will. Utopianist 09:29, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
You're wrong. Fatalism is not the same as determinism. Classically, fatalism (e.g. the Stoics) is the view that your choices are free but irrelevant to your fate. Act however you wish, you cannot avoid your fate. People who conflate fatalism with determinism usually have an "ax to grind." The oppose determinism so they like label it as "fatalism" because fatalism has more negative connotations. The distinction between determinism and fatalism is important and shouldn;t be glossed over because one doesn't like determinism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.231.239.139 (talk) 03:12, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
This is the first line of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on fatalism: "Fatalism is the view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do." The article goes on to identify three ways of arguing for fatalism, and notes that those who argue for causal determinism often forgo the term "fatalism" in favor of "determinism." This does not change the fact, however, that determinism in this sense is a species of fatalism. This could be made clearer in our article, but the current lack of clarity does not change the facts. Postmodern Beatnik (talk) 14:05, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Hello, I've read many of your writings and have gotten a good prospective of your opintions. Please excuse my bad spelling... now I will tell you on how I've preceved fatalism [note] these hyoposisis of mine could possibly be wrong or could be misunderstude.

   The way I precive life as a fatalist is that life IS a jail sentance. The more years you live here on earth alive says how bad your crime was before you were born into this world... maybe in some kind of past life... It's unknown to me what REALLY happens to you when you die.
   From what infomation I've gathered, when you are born, the lenght of your life here on earth alive is the number of years you were sentenced to. For example let's say you live for 74 years and then die, that means you had a 74 year sentance. The word "sentance" refers to a jail sentance. The same sentance you would recive for commting a crime on this planet. The way, time, and the amount of pain you feel when you die usally tells you how bad your crime was in a possible past life.
   To die and come bad from the dead and tell people about where you go when you die is forbidden. Those who some how manage to die and come back form the dead and tell everone where and what happens to you when you die is stickly forbidden. The punishment for doing just that is unknown to me, but I'm guessing its prolbly very harsh. The term to discribe imformation you would possibly bring back from the dead is simpliy called "THE FORBIDDEN KNOWLAGE"
    There is rumored to be one "person" who did die and come back from the dead... Jesus Christ as noted in one of the many copies of the bible. But as far as I know he didn't tell anyone about the forbidden knowlage.
     Also if you are "sent" or born on earth, leaving here before your sentence is up is punishable by being reborn here the earth again. Porposly leaving or comminting suiside is a very bad and shamful escape form life. This is punishable by a full jail sentance and a slow, long, and very painful death.
     If you stop and take a look at your own body you will notice many things.

1. You can feel emotions which can cause a large amount of disconfert. 2. you can feel pain in many many different forms 3. almost every materalistic thing on the earth can hurt of kill you 4. many things in your life can happen to you or people that you love that can also cause you phyiscal and emotional pain 5. you could possibly be born or have some kind of cercumstance in you life that would give you somekind of handiecapp [note] I am not saying that its wrong or bad to have a handiecapp

   Think of your body of yours as a jail cell, and in that jail cell could possibly be your essents or your soul.

for more information contact me at joker8of8fate@yahoo.com

Fatalism and logic.[edit]

I am a disgruntled fatalist. It is my belief that the present is the only possible present, and that there isn't any other present there could be. I believe in one future or 'fate'. I believe that the past governs our future directly.

Aristotle said that: If it is fated for you to recover from your illness, then you will recover whether you call a doctor or not. Likewise, if you are fated not to recover, you will not do so even if you call a doctor. So, calling a doctor makes no difference.

What Aristotle didn't get into this is that whether or not your fated to recover, your fate also dictates whether you get a doctor or not.

Excuse my disjointed explanation.

Here's what leads me towards fatalism. Let's look at how to find the area of a square. B*H=A. Base times heighth equals area. Simple enough. This is never wrong. Base times heighth is always area. No matter what. If it's not the area then your square is screwed up, not the formula. And chances are that there's a formula for every shape possible in the second dimension. We might not know the formula, but it exists. Let's take this to the third dimension. Add width into our square equation and you have another infallible theory. Let's stray away from that for a bit and talk about something else. Suppose I take a piece of paper and write 3+X=5. I send it to a bank in Sweden and lock it away forever. I then shoot myself and everyone that knew about the paper. Because noone can solve our locked equation doesn't mean that it isn't answerable. Whether or not people find that piece of paper the answer is still X=2. What if X didn't equal 2? Then the universe and all reality would disapear. You see, reality is like a roman arch. Take out one mathematical law and the whole thing tumbles. If three plus two didn't make five than something is wrong with the formula, not the numbers. I wrote the numbers down. They are defenite. But maybe addition isn't addition and there are factors here that we don't know. That's when we get to my Swedish bank account. Whether or not we know the formula for something it's there, and whether or not we can measure things exactly, they weigh as much as they weigh. Here's what we have.

1.) Mathematics is a pure language. 2.) Whether or not we can solve a problem there is a defenite answer and no other answer is possible. 3.) Whether or not we measure something it still is just as much as it is. 4.) There is an equation for everything, whether we know it or not it is still there. 5.) It is impossible to measure every variable.

Next little part of my godless existance is chemistry. We can break things down into atoms. Let's say that we take some flourine (a set amount) and put it with some other reactant chemical (of another defenite amount). We can guess pretty damn acuratly at what'll happen, down to how much pressure is let off. And if we get it wrong then that's because something wrong with our formulas or measurements. Sound like something else?

So physics is math. Break things down to the smallest unit possible. Things act in a certain way because that's the only way they can act. Whether or not we know every variable they're still there. So let's say I drop a rock on my foot. It's falling in a certain place. We might not be able to tell exactly where it'll fall, but we can get damn close. Damn close isn't good enough for reality though. Look up at my roman arch metaphor. The answer must be exact, fate doesn't round to the nearest tenth.

Let's put a lot of this together. Let's say I go to a simple math class and give them this problem. "Chicago is 100 miles from Detroit. A train leaves Detroit for Chicago at 9:00 and is going 30mph. At 9:45 a train leaves Chicago and travels towards Detroit at 40mph. Where will the trains pass? When will they pass?" the little mans would hop to it and give me an answer. But let's say that it's a windy day. I have the same problem but want to give it to some advanced physics students. I say that there's a 20mph easterly wind. They can crack the numbers and give me an answer. It'll be more precise than what the math kids gave me. Why? Because they know more variables. Remember my Swedish bank thingy? Whether or not we know the problem there is a definate answer. So let's say we actually take two trains and do that. The physics kids will be pretty close to right, but they won't be completely right. Why? Because they didn't have all of the variables.

Butterfly effect, a butterfly on one side of the world can cause a hurricane on the other.

So that means that there is an almost infinite amount of variables. Notice the word almost. Matter is only so big, and no matter how big it is it's a finite number. So there are a set amount of variables, they're just so staggering that no one can even comprehend how many they are. But look at our Swedish bank. We don't know all of the variables, but they're still there. We don't know the all of the formulas to put the variables in, but they're still there. And besides, if we break things down to the smallest pieces possible then we have nice round numbers, just a hell of a lot more variables. But whether or not we can solve this impossible math equation doesn't matter because there's still a definate answer.

Fate doesn't mean that we can see the future. It says that there is no 'if', and that there is nothing possible but what is.

So we have an impossibly big math equation just for these two trains. Now let's say we punch everything into our calculator. Put existance into the perfect calculator and you get fate. And because whether we can measure it or not doesn't matter. Whether we know what to do with the numbers or not doesn't matter either.

The only holes in this argument are me giving a bad explanation, and faith. We can fix the first one, just send me all of your questions. The second one is a little trickier though. It boils down to the question "Is there more to existance than reality?" No one knows, but all facts point towards "No." Why? Because that grayish brain of yours is still a physical thing, and thus must follow these impossible equations

So, Aristotle, there is no choice of choosing a doctor or not in the first place. It doesn't matter. Either you'll get a doctor or you won't. And whatever happens is fated to happen

The only viable argument that I've found with this theory is positive thinking. And pesimists are more often confused with realists than optimists are.

1. What you are talking about sounds like determinism, not fatalism.
2. Premise 4 (there is an equation for everything) is unproven. It is how we explain almost everything in science, but that doesn't mean everything can be explained in science. There is good reason to think this is false because some things appear to be irreducible. Searle's Chinese room argument concludes that you can't get sematics from syntax. Is he wrong?
3. What is the equation for the creation of the universe? Why would the universe exist instead of not exist? Any explanation for this will fail. The creation of the universe required energy, but where did it come from? We could assume the universe always existed, but entropy seems to make that impossible.
4. The fact that something is physical does not mean it is reducible (to mathmatics). --dragonlord 05:15, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

(To be read along the second bullet point above)Also see David Hume's Italic textTreatise On Human Nature'Italic text for a discussion on the limits of inductive reasoning in regards to causation. This will cause some problems for your belief in Science as having all the answers. Lastly, 'science' counts against your deterministic beliefs since quantum physics has found the movement of the smallest parts of the make up of atoms to be utterly indetermined. Tommy

Fatalism and determinism rely on the same premises, that events are inevitable and unalterable. However, determinists believe they can predict the future with enough information. They don't say everything is predictable. Quantum indeterminacy and uncertainty show there are things we can't predict. That doesn't prove that we're free, however. It also doesn't prove a truly random event. Just because we can't understand something or predict it doesn't prove that it's free or random.
In regards to your question of why the universe exists, my answer is that void implies existence (positive and negative). It has been proved that positive and negative particles are created from nothing all the time. The void implies all possible universes. That is why things exist, rather than not exist. Because zero implies -1 and +1, -2 and +2, etc. The energy to create the universe can be spontaneously created from nothing, just like quantum virtual particles. Utopianist 09:27, 16 February 2007 (UTC)



i don't like fatalism. I wrote this sentence; was that predetermined? I culd have made a speling error. Was that predetermined?


The answer is obviously yes, even if you did it deliberately. Anyone who believes or claims anything to the contrary has either not understood the issue or is dishonest. I don't mean to morally judge such people, the vast majority of humanity, in any way. That would undermine the philosophical view I embrace.

Among the small minority of people who seem to understand determinism and infer proper fatalism (not the Aristotelian idle-argument) from it, there is again a minority who actually likes fatalism. Most people do not like fatalism at all. I'm very puzzled at this, since fatalism is not hard to understand and also has some very positive aspects to it. In my opinion, peace of mind depends on accepting reality as it is, including the unalterable reality of all past and future actions of everyone of us. But how am I to accept it if I'm convinced things could really have been different? Only the conviction that things could not have been different at all -- fatalism -- provides a theoretical framework for unconditional acceptance. This means theoretical freedom from guilt and anger, although such reactions are often very entrenched and hard to get rid of altogether (which some say would constitute spiritual enlightenment).


I completely agree with you, aside from where you say "my godless existance"; I fully accept fatalism and all theory surrounding it HOWEVER I would not say that this should lead one to believe there wasn't (or even isn't) a 'God'. In my view 'God' should be looked at as the force that brought something from nothing. The cause of the first, and LAST truely random event: the creation of the universe. I don't know enough about creation theory to make detailed analysis, however the 2 elements that 'started' the universe could easily be looked at as the God-Devil metaphor maybe?

Here's a quote from Einstein:

"Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper." - Albert Einstein

- posted by mookid on 27th feb 2006

The void created something from nothing. We don't need to posit the concept of God, any more than we need to posit the concept of free-will or chance. The void implies all possible universes. It is proven that positive and negative quantum virtual particles are created from nothing all the time. We can go from that to the idea that the whole universe is just one of infinite possible universes. In the beginning, there was the void. "And then nothing turned itself inside out." Utopianist 08:13, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


As an Objectivist who simply reads these articles to laugh at their clear irrationality I say that the topic of this discussion is a contradiction. Fatalism is entirely opposed to logic. Please, please read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand70.151.125.19 (talk) 14:56, 11 April 2008 (UTC)Arbiter099

Even if fatalism is illogical, it still deserves an article. Or were you just spouting off? Postmodern Beatnik (talk) 02:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Einstein did not accept quantum dynamics. Quantum electrodynamics shows us,in simplest form,that we know 4% of light is reflected off of one flat surface of one side of a piece of glass, but we can never know which individual photons they are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stevequark (talkcontribs) 03:26, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Revamp...[edit]

I am not an expert on fatalism, but I feel this article could be drasitcally edited. I am thinking of elaborating a bit on what fatalism is, move the "idle argument" to it's own page, and talk more about fatalism and less about the examples associated with it. What does everyone think? Any helpers? --Kevin L. 03:15, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Please, do. We need to get rid of this clown (Peter D Jones) who keeps hijacking the whole article with the straw-man "idle argument" and saying it doesn't matter what you do. That is not fatalism at all. Fatalism is the belief in only one possible past, present, and future. Every thing that happens is inevitable, unalterable, fixed, predetermined... I don't see the idle-argument as a justification for fatalism or a conclusion of belief in fatalism. It has more in common with Defeatism, and Divine Predestination. The strict definition of fatalism does not imply that human actions are pointless or that things just happen, outside of causality - as this author continually asserts. He is posting a biased concept of fatalism. Utopianist 08:35, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

In response to Dragon Lord[edit]

That still isn't fatalism. I think you're confusing your definition of fatalism with certain aspects of determinism. The determinists on naturalism.org, (who are extremely well researched and thought-provoking, give excellent explanations of determinism and provide a great way to live meaningful, moral lives while relinquishing free will. They argue that free will isn't a necessary illusion like some people believe.) would vehemently disagree with you.

Then again you wrote that about 5 months, but I just wanted to say my piece.

I would have to agree with you that what User:Dragonlord reffered to was in fact determinism rather than fatalism, in the belief that all events, including human action, are pre-determined and that this world is the only world that could have formed. However, a question that this provoked me to ask is; can certain fatalists believe in free will, yet also hold the belief that a person's choices are so inconsequential that no matter what they do, thier decisions cannot alter their fate? I ask this because, if so, it seems as though there should be a mention on this page that where determinism and libertarian free will are mutually exclusive, that may not be the case for fatalism. (Note that I do not hold the aforementioned viewpoint, I simply want to bring into question whether or not the reltionship between fatalism and free will should be mentioned.) 66.24.229.233 01:49, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Fatalism and free will are incompatible. People can't choose anything. This doesn't mean we can't change anything. We can change our minds. We can influence other people. We can do things. Fatalism doesn't imply defeatism or feeling that events just "happen." There are some things we can't change, but we can undermine them or disengage from them. Those who oppose fatalism mostly misunderstand it. There is nothing depressing or negative about accepting that events are inevitable. Utopianist 08:31, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Would editors please refrain from deleting material they personally disagree with, and from inserting their own opinions in line with the normal WP:OR policy. If you think something on the page is wrong, find a reliable source to back up your claim.1Z 00:25, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

The idle argument is a straw-man. It doesn't represent what real fatalists believe. It should be deleted entirely. No rational fatalist would argue that human action has no effect on reality. The main feature of fatalism is denial of free will and chance. Your information should be deleted and will, no matter how many times you post it. Get your head out of your ass, peter d jones. You don't understand fatalism at all, and using straw-men arguments just makes you look silly. cal
I didn't write that argument in this page, or originally. It is on the page because it has long featurd in discussion of the subject. It is not a-my-opinion-versus-your-opinion issue, it is an opinion-versus-fact issue. If you can find citations to prove that your version of fatlaism is more correct , you can amend the page accordingly. Otherwise not. 1Z 19:44, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that you deep-link within the article and emphasize ONE argument for fatalism, which has long been discredited and criticized by real fatalists. The idle-argument is a straw-man, and it doesn't deserve to be emphasized as if it has anything to do with fatalism. In fact, it is inconsistent with the definition of fatalism and the first paragraph of the Stanford article. This should not be emphasized like it is, dominating the whole article.


If you can cite a verifiable source supporting your version of what "real fatalists" think,you can add it to

the page. But the relevance of the Idle Argument is already supported, so it should not be removed.1Z 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Your statement that fatalists believe in defeatism is also contentious and not relevant to the issue of fatalism. Please stop posting contradictory information. YOu cite an article that says in the first paragraph fatalism is the belief that all events are inevitable, but you say instead that fatalists believe you might as well not DO anything, because whatever happens TO YOU is fate. That's a distortion of what fatalism means and you know it. Deep-linking proves that you are trying to give a distorted picture of fatalism. Just link to the beginning of the article and let people read for themselves. You should not emphasize an ancient discredited argument. Utopianist 22:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


It's not "my" statement. 1Z 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with anonymous. From the first source, SEP, "Fatalism is the view that we are powerless to do anything other that what we actually do." This does not mean that "actions are pointless and ineffectual in determining events," as this article current says, but merely that when we determine events, we cannot determine them any other way. The idle argument is a defeatist attitude possibly resulting from fatalism; it is not an argument for fatalism, but "a corollary of the conclusion," as Aristotle says in that source. These misinterpretations appear to violate WP:NOR. Pomte 06:44, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
You may not like these interpretations, but it is a historical fact that they have been made and that is justification for referring to them in an encyclopedia article.1Z 20:07, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Those arguments have been discredited and ignored by real fatalists, they are not necessary to fit the definition of fatalism in the dictionary, and they are so flimsy as to be straw-men. You are emphasizing those arguments and views, which are not essential to fatalism, and saying that's what fatalism is all about. Saying that action and deliberation are pointless is NOT the same as saying that events are inevitable and people can only act the way they DO act. Whoever put forth the idle argument apparently didn't understand fatalism or believe in it. It's a straw-man. There are vastly more compelling arguments for fatalism, and esp dismissing the idea of free-will. Utopianist 22:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


Explain where you are getting your information about "real fatalists".1Z 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. All that talk about "truth" is also meaningless and irrelevant. Peter D Jones obviously has a biased agenda and he is not describing fatalism accurately. Any dictionary refutes him. I do not see defeatism as a corollary to fatalism or a consequence of it. Fatalism means accepting the way things are, were, and will be, because that's the only way they could have been. It doesn't say "human deliberation and action is pointless and ineffectual." Fatalism doesn't imply sitting by and letting things happen. That's defeatism, plain and simple. Utopianist 09:30, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
"All that talk about "truth" is also meaningless and irrelevant".
It is mentioned in the SEP artivle by professional phuloosphers. What is your authority?1Z 20:12, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Philosophy is frequently nonsensical, arguing that we can learn about reality based on word games and semantics. All we learn from that is the structure of language, or a tautology. The whole argument that if God knows the future, then it's inevitable, is a fallacy. Knowledge or prediction does not imply inevitability. Utopianist 22:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
That is clearly your personal POV. You have no right to amend the article to match. 1Z 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
"I do not see defeatism as a corollary to fatalism or a consequence of it".
What you "see" is your own personal POV. It does not entitle you to remove other POV's from the article. If you think the article is unbalanced, add material putting forward the other POV, don't censor what is there.1Z 20:07, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
It's a neutral POV. Find me some fatalists who say the idle argument is a credible reason for believing in fatalism. You deep-linked the article at Stanford and created a very distorted idea of the idle argument's importance and relevance. Read the first paragraph and inform your views based on the basic definition of fatalism. The idle-argument is a straw man. It does not follow from the basic definition of fatalism that one believe it's pointless to DO anything or THINK about anything. The idle argument is not a credible justification of fatalism. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone else who endorses it. In fact, it's easy to find arguments that debunk it. Utopianist 23:10, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
"It's a neutral POV."
Obviously not, since some people disagree.1Z 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
If these interpretations are indeed historical consensus, please cite sources in support. Take another claim, "Fatalists think that even if you could change the present or the past, the future would still be the same." Why would fatalists even consider that you could change the present/past in the first place? If they did assume that, then they would have to grant the spontaneity of the future as well. Please provide reliable sources that fatalism is as forward-looking as this sentence claims. All content should be WP:NPOV. You have just admitted that your additions are POV, so adding opposite POVs won't help. It is policy to "censor" POV. The lack of reliable sources is key here. The onus is not on others to find sources to disprove you, but on you to back up your content. Pomte 20:32, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
"Please cite sources in support".
The sources in the original article supported the claim,
The article at Stanford says "Fatalism is the view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do." That is hardly consistent with your contentious definition of fatalism. You are over-emphasizing one discredited argument and its conclusions. The idle-argument is not a necessary component of fatalism. It's ONE argument out of hundreds. In fact, it has very little in common with the strict definition of fatalism as believing that events are inevitable. You should not emphasize the idle argument as if it's the definitive argument or conclusion of fatalism. It's merely a straw-man or tangential issues to the topic of fatalism. Utopianist 22:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
"Why would fatalists even consider that you could change the present/past in the first place"
Not relevant. The antecdent of a hypothetical propostion does not have to be true.
Fatalists believe that the past, present, and future are inevitable. That does not mean they believe human action or deliberation is irrelevant and pointless, as you have suggested. That is obviously your own POV, because it contradicts the source cited at Stanford. I'm a fatalist and I don't believe that human action is irrelevant, because things will HAPPEN, "despite causality" to use your words. That is a contentious definition of and argument for fatalism. It's a tangential issue to fatalism and a misguided straw man. Utopianist 23:04, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
It's not "my" suggestion. You have still not explained why your statements about the beliefs of fatalists are more authorative than those of professional philosophers.1Z 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
You have just admitted that your additions are POV,
No. And all I have added is a paragraph emphasising soemthign that was already impplicit. I did not write the original article.
What you have emphasized is not implicit to fatalism or the original article. It's ONE argument and has been widely discredited by fatalist and non-fatalist philosophers. Deep-linking an article about fatalism shows that your position is biased. You should start with the agreed on definition of fatalism from a dictionary, then start at the BEGINNING of the article, not deep-link into it. The beginning of the Stanford article completely brushes aside arguments based on science and says it's only going to discuss logical or metaphysical arguments. The first paragraph of that article is also inconsistent with the idea that human action and deliberation is pointless. That is not a necessary argument for fatalism or a conclusion of it. Utopianist 22:48, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
"You have just admitted that your additions are POV, so adding opposite POVs won't help."
NPOV means citing all POV's with significant support, so it does help.
The orginal article was appropriately sourced.1Z 21:04, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Deep-linking is not an appropriate means of citing a source. Writing 5 paragraphs about one straw man argument and some obscure philosophical issues is a distortion of the whole topic. It's not at all neutral or appropriately sourced. I suggest you read up on fatalism and tone down considerably any talk about the idle-argument, which is NOT a necessary or implied component of fatalism. Utopianist 22:49, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The second revision of the 15th of Feb was had appropriate external refs, it ws not "deep linked".1Z 14:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Towards an Understanding of Fatalism[edit]

Here is my justification for fatalism. "We can't change the past. We can't change the present. The future hasn't happened. It's nonsensical to say that we can "change" the future. Human actions and deliberation have important effects, but we can't show that they involve free will. It's easier to assume that everything is inevitable. Free will is superfluous." Utopianist 00:21, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for sharing your personal beliefs, And for keeping them out of the article.1Z 14:43, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

by P. Roman[edit]

in the absence of religion, human beings attempt to answer what they cannot answer by stating that what is was always determined to be, and what will be will be because it was fated to be. kind of a circular argument. even though human existence cannot escape its limitations of space and time, does not mean we have no free will. does anyone think evolution affirms free will? the idea that human beings have no free will is a good way to control the unwashed masses. Human beings do have free will by virtue of our intellectual birth.


Theological fatalism[edit]

I'm not sure if you'd want to merge these necessarily, but they are obviously related (and did not link to one another). --24.57.157.81 01:45, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

These views are related and they should definitely be linked to one another. I don't think it matters whether they are merged. Do you think it would really help people to tie these ideas together that closely? I don't see why, but I could be missing something. I also suspect, having looked at the talk pages, that combining the two pages will lead to extensive and unhelpful discussions - but maybe this isn't relevant. Anarchia 10:20, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

French wikipedia article[edit]

The article on fatalism on the french wikipedia (entitled 'fatalisme') is labelled as an "article de qualité" - I'm a novice at this stuff so what I want to know is how do I go about using it as a source/shamelessly copying it? Julian Roberts 08:50, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Free will, morality, and such[edit]

People do what is inevitable. Tell a Christian to start sinning... or to stop sinning, for that matter. If they say they care about a chance – about indeterministic, random, fatal events – then it is a gigantic lie... Everything has value only because of what it causes: that their moral determination has effects is the only reason it was ever introduced – and the only reason to keep it.

(Let's take deterministic brain as the starting point. Now, if you add some randomness to this picture, what actually does it change? Of course, you can say that the true thing is beyond materialistic world etc., but still -- what does it change?) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.115.47.252 (talk) 17:53, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Famous Fatalists?[edit]

I don't know much about the subject and came to the page to look for possible philosophers or just famous people that were fatalists. Do none exist? If there are any I think it would be fitting to list them, or if none adhere to the belief at least put philosophers names that developed the idea. 207.255.62.9 (talk) 06:03, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

See also recent entry (entries) on the talk page of Theological fatalism.

77.114.107.233 (talk) 18:29, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Bell's Theorem and the Aspect Experiment[edit]

In particular, it would be nice if someone included a section on Bell's Theorem and the Aspect experiment on the topic of fatalism. It is well accepted within the Physics community based on Bell's Theorem and the subsequent violation found when tested that bivalence of future propositions MUST be rejected.

Including this under "The logical argument" would be nice. I would do it myself, but I don't have enough eloquence with words to portray how the violation of Bell's Theorem necessitates the reject of bivalence (as it pertains to future events) Eluusive (talk) 22:15, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

In Popular Culture[edit]

No, I'm not complaining that this section exists. I want to call attention to the drastic lack of evidence for the claims in the IPC section. These are broad statements about the natures of several fictional characters with no sourcing or evidence. One of them, about the character Tweak from South Park, is phrased as outright conjecture. Unless some of this can be shown to be more than conjecture, I don't think it belongs. It's rare, but I'm currently on the side of voting for this section to be removed. I'll leave most of it untouched until it's discussed, but I'm going to remove the Tweak statement immediately. 207.178.110.153 (talk) 05:40, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I would second a motion to scrap or extensively revise most of this section. It appears to have been written predominantly by one person, as a lot of it is expressed through categorical modality, which really isn't appropraite given that most of the statements are interpretations of fictional material. I can't say I'm familiar with the majority of the examples given (some of which seem fine, albeit lacking evidential material or sources), but two of the examples I do know need revision: The Matrix and Donnie Darko. The former is expressed incorrectly; fair enough, Morpheus probably is a fatalist, but it would be better expressed by saying something along the lines of 'Morpheus believes in a fatalist prophecy'. The latter example is just terrible; firstly, you just cannot say a literary text is 'about' a certain type of interpretation. You could say, for example, 'Donnie Darko is about a teenage boy' because that is factual, but stating 'Donnie Darko is about fatalism' is terrible phrasing. Secondly, to me the film expresses the complete opposite to fatalism; (SPOILER WARNING) Donnie goes back in time to die so that the girl he becomes involved with after that date doesn't get killed, which happens as a direct result of their being together. I'm no philosophy-whizz, but that seems to express Donnie's reliance upon causal logic as a means to save the girl and I always thought fatalism and causality were like binary opposites (correct me if I'm wrong, however). The Coj (talk) 22:45, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Removed Section on Modern Science[edit]

I read this today, and noticed there were no citations to any sources (not to mention the lack of reliable sources.) Thus, I have removed the section. This sentence particularly troubled me: "Philosophers who write the idea off with arguments that stem from the arbitrary dictates of human reason should educate themselves further on the tragedy of modern science." Regards, Lazulilasher (talk) 20:33, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I wrote the section on modern science and was expecting it to be eliminated. There aren't any reliable sources to back this up for a few reasons. The major reason is that nobody has ever really thought about it in those terms before (there are several extant texts discussing the current mutual level of ignorance that philosophers and scientists have of each other) and the secondary reason is that fatalism in these terms completely contradicts the concept of free will that developed in western thought during the enlightenment, which despite arguments to the contrary is largely a reformulation of biblical concepts using classical methods. To argue in favour of fatalism in this manner would be to completely abandon our philosophical heritage as meaningless bickering. It may sound extreme, and from a philosopher's perspective it may even be frightening, but advances in 20th century physics actually necessitate precisely this. The logical proof against fatalism is correct; experimental evidence proves that logic is useless in understanding the universe.
It's very frustrating for a philosopher to conceive of the idea of fatalism. Yet, many physicists have difficulty with it. How did free will arise? Let me take a step back.
Consider a lifeless universe, which was of course the state of the universe before life evolved. I don't think an argument is necessary to demonstrate that such a universe would be wholly fatalist. Without intelligence, there is no choice - illusory or not. So, there's obviously only one way that it could possibly arise. Probabilistic arguments do not suggest indeterminacy; probability theory is a tool in determining determinacy when it is unclear what the precise factors actually are.
If you wish to prove that humans have free will, you'll therefore need to find a scientific mechanism that proves that free will can arise out of a fatalist universe, which would be very difficult because it is a contradiction in terms.
You will not find a physics textbook that discusses the concept of free will. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.254.121.196 (talk) 04:03, 17 February 2010

Bias[edit]

Wow this article is biased and one sided. The uncertainty principle is a mathematical proof of fatalism? If you're going to make a claim like that, you might want to explain it first. And then later on in that paragraph, it says (likely written by the same person) "Philosophers ... should educate themselves further on the tragedy of modern science." Not saying the person who typed that is right or wrong, but before we even discuss the validity of it, how about the condescending nature of such a statement? It doesn't belong on wikipedia, especially if you're not going to provide an explanation backing it up. --97.112.121.215 (talk) 12:09, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I noticed this as well while reading the article. I removed the offending section. Lazulilasher (talk) 20:35, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
The reason that the uncertainty principle is a mathematical proof for fatalism is that it proves that causes can be separated from their effect; things happen for absolutely no determinable reason, which means they could not happen in any other way. This was not the conclusion initially drawn and it does remain controversial. The above logical disproof of fatalism is correct (I am a logician). However, the uncertainty principle (and the totality of modern physics in general) is also a strong argument against logic. Logic works very well in the attempt to understand numbers so long as you don't try to formally axiomatize it (see Godel) but it does not work very well in the attempt to understand the universe because we've conclusively proven that the universe does not follow the logical laws that we've arbitrarily constructed in our own minds over the last several millennia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.254.121.196 (talk) 04:03, 17 February 2010
The Uncertainty Principle does not state that "things happen for absolutely no determinable reason", it merely states that our accuracy in measurements can never be 100%, particularly with subatomic particles (Electron orbitals for example). Thinking that the Uncertainty Principle implies that "events happen for no determinable reason" is a common misunderstanding of the principle. Furthermore, even if this were true, it would disprove fatalism, not prove it - since fatalism states that free-will could not exist due to the fact that everything is deterministic. I also doubt that you have any sort of proper credentials for your self-proclaimed title of "logician". As someone mentioned earlier on this talk page, irrefutable proof that disproves fatalism has already been formally presented years ago. "Free-will" is supposedly negated if the process it follows is deterministic and can be predicted with 100% accuracy. However, according to the Chaos Theory, it is impossible to make such measurements. Only from an objective perspective (essentially synonymous with "omniscience") could such an accurate deterministic measurement be taken. Furthermore, any information from that hypothetical 'objective perspective' would be too large to be contained within our universe; for obtaining a complete objective perspective, the energy required would be something like "The net total of all energy and matter in the universe multiplied by the speed of light cubed." Therefore, free-will exists for everyone who does not have an objective perspective (so, everyone in the known universe) - since the minds of these individuals will rely on estimating the probable outcomes of events, but never being able to determine them with certainty.--71.13.22.201 (talk) 11:56, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


unfortunately, you have the whole thing backwards. it is thinking that the uncertainty principle merely implies a breakdown in the ability to produce accurate measurements that is the deep misunderstanding of the principle as it eliminates any possible corollaries. it's difficult to deal with, but modern physics really doesn't accept causality. i would suggest that you begin here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/ as it has a decent discussion of the situation.
your concept of fatalism as being deterministic is a deep misunderstanding of fatalism as well. this is what so many people on the talk page have been pointing out and why we've all been so frustrated by this article. fatalism is NOT determinism; in fact fatalism is the precise opposite of determinism. determinism suggests an ordered universe where everything occurs as the result of a series of chain reactions. fatalism suggests that things happen for absolutely no reason, cannot be modified and cannot be guided. fatalism is the view that the world operates upon a principle of pre-determined randomness. we can neither predict the future nor can we modify it. that last statement is essentially a summary of quantum physics.
i have deleted your unfounded personal attack. free will is a concept that is viewed with derision throughout the scientific community, despite it's acceptance in the philosophical one. just read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will#In_science.
i'm not going to address your above philosophical "proof" because scientists and mathematicians do not accept "proof by rhetoric" as a valid proof technique. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.254.121.196 (talk) 03:51, 7 March 2010

Introductory text[edit]

I've undone the revision by 85.226.151.39 which completely replaced the introductory text with new text (including spelling error) as there was no justification cited nor apparent consensus that there was need or benefit from a change. The new summary definition of "fatalism" was a significant change. Additionally, the quotation cited was not found by Google anywhere else on the web (even with the spelling corrected) and so its authenticity is dubious when combined with the change in meaning of fatalism. StephenDawson (talk) 11:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Sounding it out.[edit]

Fatalism sounds like "Fatal Ism" correct?--Dana60Cummins (talk) 17:05, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Quantum flapdoodle[edit]

The uncertainty principle, or anything else from quantum mechanics, cannot prove or disprove fatalism or any other fundamental issues from philosophy. Therefore, I propose to delete the first and the third paragraphs from the Criticism section. Also note that there are no sources or references in these paragraphs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hulten (talkcontribs) 12:39, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Stanford citation [1][edit]

I object to the wording "philosophers usually use the word to refer to the view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do.[1]" in the opening description, on three counts:

1. Stanford is a highly politicized institution notorious for ideological bias and conflicts of interest in it's staff.

2. That it is the usual reference made by philosophers when using the word 'fatalist' is a subjective opinion at best. At best the statement "philsophers usually..." refers to philosophers that Stanford recognizes, which is without doubt a small subset of the philosophy fraternity. At worst it may refer only to those philosophers Stanford approves of. The task of polling the set 'philosophers' on their definition and subsequently collating would be prohibitively monumental.

3. The view quoted is ambiguous in that it may be read as suggesting that we have no influence on the future which is easily empirically falsified, thus it is unlikely that anyone holds such a view, elsewise we might expect to see fatalists everywhere, lying in gutters and so forth waiting for the end. Our very engagement in the world we perceive contradicts such a view.

At best the paragraph makes an oblique reference to the question of freewill, which I suspect few philosophers regard as being one that has been settled. I therefore propose that the statement be revised to say "some philosophers use the word..." and append "though this does not imply that we have no influence on the future".

94.194.67.172 (talk) 10:42, 19 December 2011 (UTC) § PxKirwani § 94.194.67.172 (talk) 10:42, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Fails to distinguish itself[edit]

Although it currently has a whole section on Determinism, Fatalism, and Predestination that attempts to address how these are distinguished from each other, it fails miserably. The average reader will be as confused if not more so as to the differences after reading. The key difference/s need to be stated clearly and simply in one sentence each and in such a way that the contrast is apparent. I would recommend dividing the section into paragraphs according to type of fatalism being contrasted. Similarities should be noted here as well, just not to the extent that the contrast is hidden. As it stands, it fails to clarify where these 3 overlap as well. It also states, "Fatalism is a broader term than determinism," which is not an entirely accurate insight; it is not broader but different. It would be less misleading to say something to the effect of "what excludes determinism does not necessarily exclude fatalism." --PrincessPimpernel (talk) 08:28, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

arabic interwiki[edit]

Arabic interwiki is wrong, because arabic article "قدرية" is about the same subject as "Qadariya" and should be linked to it --Andrushinas85 (talk) 16:59, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Fatalism and 'space' colonisation[edit]

Could someone please provide evidence for this section? I fail to see how the conclusion is justified? Surely if it is 'willed' that colonisation should happen, why is it that 'fatalism' implies it cannot?