The fatalism is a belief holding that all the events are produced by the action of the destination or for a predetermination that cannot be avoided. According to fatalism, events go beyond human will.
The human being, within this framework, is subject to forces superior to or independent of him. These forces, which can be natural or supernatural, determine the facts without anyone being able to prevent it.
It is important to mention that fatalism does not exclude causality in the future of things. Fate can even be understood as a causal chain of events, where the causes are linked to each other and produce effects in others.
Arguments against fatalism have been raised from various philosophical currents. It has been postulated, for example, that if the premises of fatalism were true, there would be no need to act (since the consequences of the actions would depend on the destiny and not on the individuals) and there would be no moral (If the destination were responsible for the acts, the subjects would not have any responsibility).
Let’s see these arguments in greater detail. First of all we have the lazy argument, called this way because laziness is the destination to which a path of total inactivity leads us. Ancient morality maintains among its essential principles the idea that certain things are linked to our actions, that they depend on it. This has been affirmed by the different schools of philosophy throughout history.
This argument does not accept that everything depends on destiny, since in that case human beings would live in the immorality, in addition to laziness. We should also mention the moral argument, which focuses precisely on the apparent opposition of fatalism to morality. He wonders how to hold an individual responsible for his actions if they were caused by fate itself. What’s more, invalidates both sanctions and praise and honors, since none of that should be directed at people.
If everything really depended on fate, our judicial system could not convict criminals, because rapes, murders, and all the rest acts despicable would be the work of fate and not of the individuals who carried them out.
Fatalism is also called the attitude of someone who resigns himself to the reality because he does not believe that it is possible to modify the development of adverse situations. The fatalist, therefore, does not make an effort to change any scenery, convinced of the invariability of contingencies.
Suppose a man stays unemployed. Due to the difficult economic outlook, he thinks that no matter how hard he looks for a new job, he will never get it. He also maintains that if he starts a venture he will fail for sure. This fatalism leads him to adopt a passive attitude, when he could intervene to improve his position.
This type of attitude, which we can identify with fatalism, is also described using the term pessimism, although there are different nuances. While the latter is defined as the tendency to see the less favorable side of events, fatalism is not necessarily linked to negative outcomes, but rather to their inevitable nature.
It is important to study its etymology to understand that fatalism is not a negative vision of the future but, as expressed above, the idea that our actions cannot modify the chain of events that surround us because their causes are independent of our Will. The root of fatalism it is fatum, which in Latin is defined as “destiny”; we should not confuse this with the meanings we give to the term fatal when we understand it as something “bad.”