Monday, January 24, 2011

Fate vs Chance

'Your mother's story is your grandmother's story and it is also your great-grandmother's story. It's your great- aunt's story too. Their lives are intertwined and that's what we really mean when we talk about fate in Greece. Our so-called fate is largely ordained by our ancestors, not by the stars. When we talk about ancient history here we always refer to destiny- but we don't really mean the uncontrollable. Of course events seem to take place out of the blue that change the course of our lives, but what really determines what happens to us are the actions of those around us now and those that came before us.'
Extract from 'The Island' (page 43) by Victoria Hislop

Do you agree with this interpretation of what fate is? Why? Why not?  


  1. Victoria Hislop's point of view of fate is interesting. I quite agree with her. First of all, it should be clear that I am not a determinist. I think that everything is fluid. I firmly believe that chance depends on external circumstances of our lives. Believing in fate or chance makes our lives more interesting and spicy, but also dangerous because we may give up struggling about them and we may accept them as they are passively. However, fate can seem to be like a common rope which connects all people, but without being predetermined. We make/ create our fate which depends on our decisions and actions. I would like to add to this that chance depends on every objective condition and fate depends on every individual who fights about a better future because everyone tends to keen on progressing during their life. The tendency to progress seems like a primitive instict, does it not?

  2. I love the interpretation you have given! Yes, I can surely say that determinism is not a proper outlook on life, but the way Hislop put it in her book made me think: any minor detail in our ancestors' lives may play some kind of role in our life, for example the place they decided to live and give birth to their children. What is more, the way you talk about making progress instinctively is magnificent!

    Sotiria, do you think that there is a person in your life that has determined it somehow? If yes, please explain a little! :)

    Some teenagers' responses to this extract are quite interesting to read: