If they keep asking me to answer questions like this, I'll never finish this course...
This is a response for class participation something-or-rather...
Journal Question 1:
Are we controlled by fate? Is our life predestined? Or, do we have the freedom to follow our own path in life?
If all our lives are predestined, meaning the life of every single individual of the grand total of 6.8 billion individuals inhabiting the earth is already known and planned out, then we are merely pawns in ONE being's game of chess. I wonder if they wouldn't become bored (especially playing by themselves) or overwhelmed by the multitude of people in existence? And what happens when the game is over? It already is for countless people.
Children die because that is their fate; it is someone's will, some believe. Or perhaps they die so they can affect others which will later change their course in life in order to meet somebody else's desire. To what extent could we say every action we take has been planned?
"I was meant to eat this salad." Of course, every action, every thought and every moment is connected to another.
"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." But does it have to be because someone else magically makes it happen? And why would they feel the need to?
For example, let's say you had slept in and missed the train to work. If you hadn't, you would have been in the fatal train accident where 167 commuters perished. Is that because someone is watching over you; something made you sleep in? Because... you're special and the 167 other people were not? What if you were simply tired, and if you hadn't stayed up until 1AM reading last night you would have gotten on that train and died just like the others? Some may argue that a supernatural force could have caused you to read longer than usual... while I'd argue that it was merely the brilliance of a new author whose writing you've just come to adore.
If each of our lives are pre-planned then free will does not exist. It's self-contradicting to have both in one world; they cancel each other out.
We have the freedom to choose. And whether you choose to realize that or not, it's because you have the freedom to do so.
(This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy watching the film Serendipity, of course! ;) )
There was a girl who replied with several quotes from the bible, which got me thinking, naturally. They were quotes about how god knows the plans he has for all of us. And then I realized at some point he gave us free will. How about that! -_-