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,” 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, “Dad, everything happens for a reason.”

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.

26 Responses to Riddle About Fate

  1. davidbdale says:

    1. I agree Zed’s remark indicates no belief in fate, but my impression is he’s making the statement as a challenge to Jay, meaning, “Weather, or bad eyesight, or a deep pothole, or SOMETHING caused this accident. Now tell me what it was.” Is that reasonable?
    2. That sounds right.
    3. We’re not looking for proof of fate here, just evidence of BELIEF in fate. Jay seems perfectly happy to attribute everything to fate because it absolves him of blame for his actions.
    4. That’s not how I read it. Zed’s toast to “good fortune” might just be casual language, but if he means it, it could also indicate he thinks they got lucky and owed their success to fate. To me, Dee’s reply is a correction. She thinks people “make their own luck,” a repudiation of fate.

  2. davidbdale says:

    1. To me the remark does not indicate a belief in fate, Chavanillo. We can differ, but my impression is he’s making the statement as a challenge to Jay, meaning, “Weather, or bad eyesight, or a deep pothole, or SOMETHING caused this accident. Now tell me what it was.” Is that reasonable?
    2. Agreed. She thinks her tragedy was fate’s way of correcting her behavior.
    3. I can’t resolve the contradiction in your Reply, Chavanillo. Jay either believes that he causes bad things to happen, or he believes that fate makes everything happen regardless of our actions. Your answer seems to want to have it both ways.
    4. The way you describe the Causal chain from Jay’s accident to the success of Teens at the Scene would provide good evidence of the hand of fate. But Zed seems to be willing to chalk up their success to luck. And Dee seems to want to take credit for their hard work. At least that’s my impression.

  3. davidbdale says:

    1. We’re not looking for evidence of fate here, Doorknob. The question is, “Does the same quote have different meanings when spoken by the different speakers?” In other words, when Zed says, “Everything happens for a reason,” is he expressing his BELIEF in fate, or is he challenging his son to explain HOW THIS ACCIDENT HAPPENED?
    2. What you say about Kay is clear and true, but how does it indicate her belief in Fate?
    3. OR . . . if everything is fated, what’s the point of trying to change our behavior?
    4. Dee does know they worked hard. Doesn’t that suggest that she believes people make their own fate?

  4. oaktree1234 says:

    1. not a belief in fate, he just didn’t have a good explanation for his actions
    2. belief in fate
    3. belief in fate
    4. belief in fate

  5. runnerd4 says:

    1. I do not think that this one is a declaration of a belief in fate. I think he has nothing else to say at this point because he knows he is at fault. He is truly declaring “well I am screwed and there is nothing else to say.”
    2. I also don’t think this one is a declaration of a belief in fate. I think she was using it as an excuse for her choices. She is truly declaring “I’m going to use this statement to cover up for my poor decisions”
    3. Belief in fate
    4. Belief in fate

  6. clementine102 says:

    1.) This is claiming that Jay is willingly admitting that he did wrong. He Is not recognizing his belief in fate because there was no turn around in this paragraph.
    2.) Believes in fate
    3.) Believes in fate
    4.) Believes in fate

  7. cardinal7218 says:

    1. Jay does not believe in fate. I think he’s saying that he had a reason for being reckless.
    2.Kay does not believe in fate. I think she’s saying that she’s thankful for the accident despite the pain because it allowed her to reconnect with her friends and family. She wasn’t fated to do so, but she was able to see a positive purpose for the accident in her life.
    3. Belief in fate.
    4. Belief in fate.

  8. cucumberlemonadee says:

    1 believes in fate
    2 she declares that “ fate “ is the cause of her bad decisions
    3 believes in fate
    4 believes in fate

  9. thecommoncase says:

    1.This is not an expression of fate but an statement that makes people feel better about what they could not control.
    2.This is an expression of fate since Kay views the accident as a result of her drinking problem
    3.This is an expression of fate since he believes that outside influences have control over his actions
    4.This is an expression of fate because although Zedd feels that he raised a irresponsible son he also became very successful because of his son’s recklessness, which is not the most expected outcome.

  10. rowanstudent24 says:

    1. Belief in fate
    2. I don’t believe this is belief in fate. I think this is her just saying that since she is going to fix her drinking problem to benefit her life in the future.
    3. Belief in fate
    4. Belief in fate

  11. SmilingDogTheProfWants says:

    1. Jay does not have an explanation for his actions so he defaults to the escape “everything happens for a reason.”
    2. Believes that the crash was meant to get her to stop drinking by rekindling the light in the relationships with her family and friends. Belief in faith
    3. Believes that accidents as tragic as this yet so precise in who was harmed must be divine work. Belief in faith (though extremely negative outlook on it).
    4. Zed does not have a belief in faith but in his actions, however, Dee may believe that it was destined to happen so they could save other lives.

  12. hailthegreat8 says:

    1.dont believe in fate. There is nothing to support what he’s doing.
    2. Belief In Fate
    3. Belief In Fate
    4. Belief In Fate

  13. shadowswife says:

    1. I do not think that this declaration expresses a belief in fate because Jay’s father is telling him that he wants to hear the reason why he caused the accident. It is more like he wants to understand whether it was Jay’s fault in the accident or not, but no matter who’s at fault, there is always a reason behind their actions.
    2. This seems to be an expression of fate because Kay is saying that these are the consequences of her actions so she was fated to suffer from a car accident and lose her daughter.
    3. This seems to be an expression of fate because it was mentioned how Jay believes that everything in his life happens at God’s will. God deciding what occurs in a person’s life is like it was fated to happen since someone else is still deciding what events occur.
    4. Dee is not expressing a belief in fate because she is referring to the hard work that her and her father have done to achieve good fortune.

  14. corinnebuck1219 says:

    1) I do not think is a belief in fate, but an attempt to make an excuse for actions.
    2) belief in fate
    3) belief in fate
    4) belief in fate

  15. BabyGoat says:

    1.Not a belief in fate, he just didn’t have a reason explanation for his recklessness
    2.Not a belief in fate, she just didn’t have a reason explanation for her recklessness
    3.Belief in fate
    4.Belief in fate

  16. 612119d says:

    Not fate just messed up and want something to call it
    belives in fate
    belives in fate
    belives in fate

  17. sonnypetro29 says:

    1. This is not a belief in fate, the was no explanation from Jay on why he crashed the car.

    2. This is a belief in fate

    3. This is a belief in fate

    4. This is a belief in fate

  18. dayzur says:

    1. not a belief in fate, Jay was just told that to make himself feel better and to believe that the accident was not his fault entirely
    2. belief in fate
    3. belief in fate
    4. belief in fate

  19. gabythefujoshi18 says:

    1. Not a belief in fate- trying to avoid to give an explanation regarding the accident
    2.Belief in Fate
    3.Belief in Fate
    4.Belief in Fate

  20. gooferious says:

    1. Not a belief in fate, in my opinion I believe Zed is trying to get Jay to see how his recklessness causes harm to not only himself but those who are unfortunately to be around him at the time.
    2. Belief in fate
    3. Belief in fate
    4. Not a belief in fate, Dee and Zed accomplished these feats by expressing their hard work and determination to prevent accident’s like the one Jay was in from occurring.

  21. l8tersk8ter says:

    1. not a belief in fate, declares that people can be reckless and harm others and shouldn’t think much of it because its just what was supposed to happen, just an excuse for bad behavior
    2. belief in fate
    3. belief in fate (but not a good one, he is choosing to live carelessly)
    4. belief in fate

  22. pardonmyfrench13 says:

    1. Believes in fate. What happens just happens sometimes.
    2. Not a belief in fate. This is instead a declaration of her bad decisions and trying to cover that up by sort of saying “it is what it is.” Now she will turn things around since past bad decisions put her here.
    3.Believes in fate
    4. Not a belief in fate. They both worked hard in order to become successful, the world didn’t just give them what they had.

  23. bluntwriting88 says:

    1.) Not a belief in fate, but rather a non-sequitur
    2.)belief in fate
    3.)Not a belief in fate, rather, psychological deterioration
    4.)Not a belief in fate, rather, belief in causality.

  24. comicdub says:

    1.) I don’t believe this is a belief in fate. Zed says this to try to comfort his son who just spent the night in jail.
    2.) Belief in fate.
    3.) Belief in fate.
    4.) Belief in fate.

  25. aquarela says:

    1- Although he believes in fate, he uses it as an excuse, because he didn’t have any reasonable explanation for his behavior.
    2- She believes in fate, yet it’s not an excuse for her to ignore her irresponsible behavior. She is aware of the consequences.
    3- Belief in fate.
    4- Belief in fate.

  26. mhmokaysure says:

    1. Jay does not have a good explanation for what he had done, instead saying everything happens for a reason as a way to end the questioning. Thus this is not an expression of belief in fate.
    2. Kay appears to see the wrong in her previous actions, fueled by the loss of her daughter she sees that she must change her ways. Thus this is an expression of belief in fate.
    3. Although not necessarily used in the right way, Jay does believe that everything happens at God’s will, while refusing to take responsibility. This is still an expression of belief in fate.
    4. This is not a belief in fate, instead it is proof of the hard work Dee and Zed put in to make this organization successful. There was no luck or higher power stepping in, instead it is a show of hard work.

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