So here we go: The controversial debate about free will versus destiny. Is the whole concept of destiny too farfetched and does it even exist? Do we go through our whole lives trying to attain a certain goal to find out that it doesn’t matter because we are predestined or geared towards point B instead of point A? What if point A is what we have been working on our whole lives? What happens to our plan? Where is our free will? Well, the concept of life being predestined makes more sense to me than having free will. I see people who have planned out every inch of their lives and suddenly realize the direction they are going is far from their original plan. What happens to the plan? Life happens. At any point in time, an unexpected chain of events can occur to alter your life forever. Our lives are planned out to a certain extent and sometimes not even completely by us. Parents, family, and friends play is significant role in how our lives are shaped. Many factors play a role in our development such as environmental, biological, and psychological factors. So my question again is what about our free will? Sometimes I think the concept of free will is too good to be true. We like to think as individuals we can make our own choices and construct the path we want and have worked for in our lives. But, what if there is some kind of force pushing us or “adjusting” our lives in the way it is supposed to be?
The movie the Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, is a romantic thriller that addresses all the questions I posted above. The “Adjustment Bureau” is a group of people who intervene in Damon’s life in order to make sure everything goes as planned. They try to change certain encounters he has in his life because they do not follow the path he is supposed to lead. In the end, he tries to show these people he has free will and will do anything he can in order to prove it and he does. His free will outshined the way his life was supposed to be, or simply put, his fate.
Until I can remember, many movies and books have been written in order to evaluate these two contrasting views. Was Oedipus predestined to kill his father and marry his mother or was this his free will? Was it Odysseus’s determination or destiny that allowed him to return home to reunite with his family? Homer definitely does not take a clear stance on this through his book the Odyssey.
These questions will always be posed through out history and no one will ever really find the answer. Everyone has his or her own opinion that can be supported either religiously, biologically, socially, or psychologically. Maybe life is a balance of both our free will and our destiny. Perhaps both don’t exist. It is always up for debate and most people have developed their own standpoints, which can never be considered right or wrong.