submitted by Landon DeCrastos
When many talk about the subject of fate, all too often this talk turns into some sort of argument regarding spiritual development. Fate has to do with the idea that a person's life is pre-planned or mapped out ahead of time. This would mean that there would have to essentially be a higher power that is the sort of technician of an individual's life. Others believe that people choose their own fate, and that does not necessarily exclude the concept of a Deity. To be quite honest there are very good arguments for both sides of this controversial topic. In the overall issue of fate, however, there are different areas that could be discussed. These simple divisions could be between spiritual fate, personal- physical fate, and perhaps even environmental fate. Even with these levels there still are different varying opinions.
The aspect of fate that can be conveniently called spiritual fate is often argued between Christian movements that only slightly differ in doctrine. The Armenian spiritual movement clearly states that God gives humans a full free will and we choose whether or not to follow him or turn away into a life of sin. These followers also believe that Jesus died for the transgressions of all so that anyone that chooses to repent of his or her sins could receive forgiveness and redemption. The Calvinists believe quite the opposite. This movement believes that God has full control over every human's life and pre-destines a person for salvation. The followers of this movement believe that God has chosen an elect few for Heaven. Calvinists say that Jesus only died for the sins of these few and they will be the only ones redeemed.
The philosophical reasoning that relates to the personal/physical aspect can easily be learned in a basic level health class. It is the idea that we control our overall health by diet and exercise, and it is our responsibility to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This division could also be in directly linked to spiritual fate depending on the depth one would want to go in explanation. Sin could be described as something that exists within the physical being. On one hand, most Christians believe that God picks the exact time in which a person dies, and that is a reasonable point. On the other hand, God calls humans to treat their bodies as a temple, which gives the impression that humans are in control of the fate of the flesh or physical body.
The last plane of philosophy regarding fate can be described as environmental fate. The book of Genesis implies that God gave humans the Earth to use wisely and the plants and animals to be used as meat. One can assume by this that we control the fate of the material things that are around. For instance, if someone decided to cut down a tree it would then be his or her choice to decide the fate of that piece of the environment. Perhaps this could also be related to the environment of a person growing up. If a family lived in a dangerous neighborhood, and didn't want to subject their children to that type of environment, they could move and thus change the environment that their children would otherwise grow up in.
How could each of these different divisions all be applicable into one "generic" human? This can be answered with a simple scenario. Perhaps a person becomes angry with God for some reason or another. Suppose this same person, out of pure anger, decides to burn down a forest. This person consequently ends up dying, because he gets trapped in the fire in which he started. This scenario takes pieces of each level of theory and combines it. First, the person became angry with God, and, for the sake of argument, turned away from God to pursue a life of destruction. This shows an aspect of spiritual fate and free will. This person then chose to burn down this forest, which points out the aspect of environmental fate controlled by humans. Finally, as a result of all of these things, the person died, because of his or her actions. This could show the personal-physical level of fate.
Overall, it is evident that there are different stages of theorem that could describe fate. These different stages can coexist simultaneously in the "generic" person. They can be described as spiritual fate, personal-physical fate, and the environmental fate.