Riddle About Fate

“Everything Happens for a Reason.”

Does that quote indicate a belief in Fate? Consider the following scenarios.

  1. Jay causes a traffic accident that severely wounds another driver and her child but spares Jay any injury and barely even damages his car. He is however arrested on suspicion of recklessness following an investigation of the accident scene. After a night in jail, Jay has to face his father, Zed, who has come to bail him out. Before he agrees to pay, Zed asks his son for an explanation. “Everything happens for a reason, son,” he says to Jay.
  2. Kay lies in her hospital bed clinging to life. She had been drinking heavily the night of the accident, while driving her daughter home. Deeply shamed by her behavior and buoyed by the outpouring of love and concern from her friends who visit her bedside, Kay reconnects with her life and family and resolves to quit her irresponsible behavior. Suffering intense pain from her injuries, she nevertheless tells her friend, “Everything happens for a reason.”
  3. Jay has no contact with Kay during her hospitalization, but the death of Kay’s daughter fills him with guilt and remorse. He sees the accident as an indictment of his recklessness but senses the hand of God at work in sparing him. He doesn’t change his behavior in any way, but ever after believes that whatever occurs in his life is God’s will, over which he has no control and for which he has no responsibility. “Everything happens for a reason,” is how he describes the human condition.
  4. Zed regrets having raised a son as irresponsible as Jay and resolves to do a better job with his daughter Dee. Together they form an organization called Teens at the Scene that promotes safe teenage driving, accident prevention, and emergency responsiveness. After years of labor, they take the group national, score big, and become very influential, as well as rich. Zed proposes a toast to their good fortune, but Dee replies, “Everything happens for a reason, Dad.”

Exercise

Regarding the four declarations that “everything happens for a reason,” in a Reply below,

  • Number your answers 1-4.
  • Identify which of the four declarations are expressions of a belief in fate.
  • For those that are not, describe what they do declare.