TED Conversations

Kent Spencer


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Explain why you think life is destiny or choice


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    Sep 15 2011: Can I say neither? I would say that we are bound by a universal succession of cause and effect so we don't control the flow of our life with our choices but the other way around. On the other hand, destiny suggests that the future is set, when it isn't really until all the universe in it's present state has reached the next state. This next state is unknowable until it happens. I also find the word destiny to be loaded with all sorts of spiritual connotations.
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    Sep 20 2011: Both. Hi Kent,

    This is a very important question and I am so happy to be here responding to it right now. Life is an amazing journey. Actually it is Awesome !! So many things ceaselessly bombard a person since birth, externally and internally, particularly today, with so much misuse of public media tools and accessibility, that it is challenging to stay connected to the truth.

    In our life we can create greatness by choice and the hard work of our own minds and bodies. But the Awesome-ness
    is from the higher up, above our human reach. When observing the truly awesome, and repeatedly experiencing our own participation in it, we can know this truth.

    Stay connected is key.
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    Sep 15 2011: Choice. Because I simply choose and don't add some super consciousness on my actions.
  • Sep 15 2011: We must consider first where we are placed during our first breath. Through that early stage of life we will live according the choices of our parents, and we start making a few simple choices. For example: the colors of toy we like. So lets say that i was borned in a wealthy home environment. I can choose to take a positive advantage of that condition or not.
    On the opposite side lets say i was borned in a non-wealth situation. The road to success will be harder but the END will be almost the same. That "END" is what we call sometimes destiny, but in a 90% its the result of our choices or previous actions. And all based on a series of choices. The wealthy boy chose to study become a professional and took advantage of all the opportunities he came across with. The poor boy chose to work hard during the day study at night and also took advantage of all the positive opportunities he came across with. The result in both cases if not equal, most of the time is similar. I think the only "destiny" based facts are where we are borned and how or when life is going to end. You are sorrounded of doors every door is a choice, and every choice takes you through a different path.
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    Sep 14 2011: Choice(s) that becomes our destiny.
    • Sep 17 2011: Well said! However, what if a human baby was born into an horrific life existence? ie, abuse, poverty, starvation, etc. Let us hope this baby grows up to be, let's say12. Are these humans able to choose their destiny? OR, are they still a victim of their birth? Let's say, these humans survive till 16. Do they now have the ability to choose their destiny? OR, are they a victim, once again? I was fortunate to have decent parents, food, born in the U.S. and last but not least, decent parents. I have chosen my destiny. It is my choice to overcome past bad choices. Does that make sense? All humans must eventually make a choice on their path in life. This choice, will be their destiny. It is too bad, that so many humans do not stand a chance in hell, on having that ability to choose a righteous destiny in life.
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      Sep 18 2011: "Choice(s) that becomes our destiny" .... this makes the most sense. I really like the way you put it Sidharth.
  • Sep 20 2011: I don't like vanilla, and I like chocolate. Between vanilla and chocolate, I choose chocolate. Life is choice.
    But... can I choose to prefer vanilla? No, I can't: to choose chocolate is my destiny!
    Are really choice and destiny opposite things?
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    Sep 19 2011: the fact we can even ask such a question would leave me to think its choice.
  • Sep 15 2011: I have seen that a lot of people take a stand on either side often based on their faith systems.

    For example, some Christian denominations believe all events are guided by their deity and so there is no free will. (Destiny)

    Others attribute destiny to the laws of the Universe in some form of causality. So all events that have happened could happen no other way because a long series of cause and effect.

    Some people can stand back and say, "I do not know."
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      Sep 20 2011: I'm totally on board with "I do not know". I'm mostly reading this to see what other people think because I am a thinker, and I love to process things. For that, I guess I can say that thinking is something I am destined to do, but I know that I also choose to do what I am not bound to do, and since thinking is what I am bound to do, I could choose to not think, which is something I have thought to do.

      That is why I don't know. I'm comfortable, for now, with saying that perhaps the two coincide and inform each other. Thoughts?