Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fate or Free Will?

I haven't seen the movie yet, but The Adjustment Bureau explores the concept of Fate vs. Free Will. Which controls our lives? We make our decisions every day, don't we?  Paper or plastic? Decaf or high test? Medium or supersize? Did we really make our own decision or was it decided for us? If decided for us, then by whom or what? Is our path predetermined for us, or do we truly - really - make our own destiny?

I am pretty sure the movie will have the hero exercise his own free will and defy Fate (the 'Adjustment Bureau') and get the girl and live happily ever after. Kind of a David vs. Goliath thing. I found an interesting statistic at the movie's website though: 55% of the people surveyed at the site (as of today, 3-17-11) believe that Fate decides what happens to them every day. 55%!  I confess to being a little surprised. I really thought people would overwhelmingly say that they, themselves have their own free will and that nothing can get in their will's way. "I make my decisions and live by them. Nothing controls me. Gosh darn it, I'm an American!" End of story.

All of that leads me to this: why then do people object so much to an infinite, personal, Sovereign God providentially and lovingly, directing their lives?

Just sayin.' I'm curious.


  1. Interesting. I guess Fate doesn't require commitment. Hi Chris.

  2. Hi Marcia! Nice to hear from y'all (a little southern jargon there so y'all will feel welcome here in the frozen north).

    I wonder if it was fated that you comment?!

  3. I saw the movie (really because of your post.) I won't spoil it for anyone (it's not a great movie but it does bring up good discussion.) It's not really what Chris guessed, that we can all make our own choices, but more that romantic love conquers all. So it is almost a kind of fate--that if we meet the one we are "supposed" to meet, the chemistry we have with that person is more powerful than any fate or even the adjustment bureau. And the chairman of the adjustment bureau (aka GOD) is nothing like the God I know. He isn't all loving and holy and just. He's only omniscient. Not even really all powerful because, remember, romantic love conquers all, even the chairman. I wouldn't want my future in the hands of the chairman--but in the hands of the Lord or the universe is a different issue. The chairman is just a very powerful human; not God.

  4. I saw it last weekend, too (not because of your post - I just found this here today). I wholeheartedly agree with Nancy's analysis. It was an entertaining movie. I like the Bourne-guy actor. (I'm bad at actor names) He always seems to be in movies where he has to run a lot. And I will now be watching out for people in hats...

    Not so deep, but Nancy said all I would say. So there you go.

  5. Thanks for the comments folks. Guess what? I have to wait for the doggone dvd - its not showing in Rutland!

    So no more spoilers!!

    Of course my short-term memory is so bad, it wouldn't matter as long I don't come back here and re-read the comments....about...some movie? What were we talking about again???