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.

8 Responses to Riddle About Fate

  1. 1. Zed may believe in fate but it is not described here because it seems he is only saying it to calm down Jay.
    2. Kay does believe in fate because the quote acts as a life revelation for her to change her ways.
    3. Jay believes in the quote because he thinks God guides every event in his life even though he won’t change but it does not prove it is fate.
    4. Dee believes their success was brought from fate because, without the events that occurred before, they would never have gained their success.

    • 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. chavanillo says:

    1. This quote does indicate a belief in fate because is a lesson to learn. It could of been worse. Remember when we don’t try to listing the easy way we going to have to learn the hard way no matter what consequences or situation you are in.
    2. This also indicates a belief in fate because, the incident made her realize her responsibilities and wrong doings and because of it she manage to changed her actions. This is the point why “Everything happens for a reason.”
    3. Sometimes in life wrong things happen because we make them happen. This is why we always have to live our life like if it was the last day because you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Like Jay didn’t knew he was going to get into a accident. This is one of the reasons why this quote is very truth.
    4. This paragraph does indicate a belief in fate. First Zed realize the bad parenthood he gave to his son by getting him out of jail because of the incident. This led to him raised his daughter better and more responsible. Even, this led to form a organization called “Teens at the Scene that promotes safe teenage driving, accident prevention, and emergency responsiveness.” Dee the daughter realizes and tells the father that “Everything happens for a reason.” She beliefs that is god will to help this people understand the importance of responsibility when driving or the point og this paragraph that is being alert at the wrong things we do and really ask yourself “am I good to go out today?”

    • 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. doorknob9 says:

    1. A belief in fate is present in this situation because Jay faced the consequences of his actions by getting arrested and acknowledged what he had done, there is no fate in his father bailing him out because he was already imprisoned.
    2. Belief in fate is present here because Kay also knows what she had done is wrong and is trying to better things with those close to her.
    3. There is no belief in fate because Jay refuses to change his current lifestyle, even though he knows it’s wrong.
    4. There is a belief in fate here because Dee knows they worked hard to get where they were

    • 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. pomegranate4800 says:

    1. There is a belief of fate in this scenario because Jay has learned something he knows never to do again. There is a lesson learned from Jay’s action and it happened for him to realize he should not do it again.
    2. There is a belief of fate in this scenario because Kay too had to go through something to understand that she cannot continue to partake in this irresponsible behavior. She had a wake up call and was given a second chance.
    3. There is no belief of fate in this scenario because Jay knows he was wrong,and thinks he is going to continue to get free passes as he continues to live life. He does not decide to change his ways of recklessness, even though he knows it was wrong.
    4. There is a belief of fate in this scenario because Zed and Dee realize that without the irresponsibility of Jay, they would have not tried so hard to make Dee a better person and to spread their voice across the nation.

  5. davidbdale says:

    1. That’s not the question, Pomegranate. The question is, “When Zed says, ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ is he expressing a BELIEF in fate?”
    2. Agreed. Kay thinks she was put into the hospital by fate to teach her a lesson.
    3. Maybe not. A strong belief in absolute fate would give Jay license to behave without consequence, knowing that whether he acts well or acts poorly, better outcomes are beyond his control.
    4. That’s a valid reading, but I think she corrects Zed’s belief in luck by reminding him that they accomplished what they built through their own hard work.

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