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Debate: Everything Happens For A Reason?

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posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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Ok - I'll keep this simple. I'm looking for intelligent debate and discussion on the assertion that 'everything happens for a reason.' I'm having a hard time of things right now (I won't go into details) and well-meaning friends keep telling me this.

It's almost verging on a belief in fate or some kind of religious plan-of-god or something.
So, if everything happens for a reason, why is there so much cruelty, misery and suffering everywhere?

A child less than a year old dies in a missile attack in Israel. A child and mother die in child-birth. What could the reason POSSIBLY be?!

Is this belief just something we use to trick ourselves into thinking things will get better? Sorry if I sound cynical and depressed, but well, my outlook is pretty negative right now....!




posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:01 AM
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You could look at it like this.

First of all death is very natural a good number of cultures actually celebrate death as a passing on to bigger and better things. They morn the people left behind but celebrate the person's death.

You can look at it in a religious sense that why did this death occur? Then extrapolate that maybe it occurred to teach someone something. Such as teach someone that life is too short so stop screwing it up and make something of it before you too go.

Concerning death I've been there and I can tell you it's way better than life. Only bad thing about it now is all I think about is what do I have left to do to be done here. Someone dies close to me nowadays I get quite jealous and question when it's my time to go. Of course then I kick myself wondering why in the heck I said I would come back stupid, stupid, stupid lol.

Hey if it was all neurons misfiring in my brain dead brain then that's OK too it was quite amazing.

In then end it's more of the proverbial question of how do you see the glass half empty or full? If all you focus on is the negative all you will see is negative because you pay no attention to the positive.

Example: A drunk bum dies. People see the negative of this bum on the street whom was a drunk and died homeless. What they don't see is the 15 different people whom walked by him and decided to take their lives in a better direction ending up with families and family generations afterwords. Where had they not seen this guy on a daily basis they all may have ended up right where he was at. Families never existing and people never born.

Cancer and the such gives a person the chance to make peace with their life and the people within it before they go. Glass is half empty or half full what you decide is what makes your life what it is.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by Millions

Ok - I'll keep this simple. I'm looking for intelligent debate and discussion on the assertion that 'everything happens for a reason.' I'm having a hard time of things right now (I won't go into details) and well-meaning friends keep telling me this.

It's almost verging on a belief in fate or some kind of religious plan-of-god or something.


Well, everything DOES happen for a reason, though not necessarily the type of reason that requires an attached meaning.

For instance, someone dies in an auto accident. The reason they died is because failing to buckle up, they took flight upon impact, negotiated the safety-glass applied as a windshield, and then physically merged with another vehicle's hood ornament. There is cause and effect for reason, but no outstanding metaphor... save that seat belts do serve a purpose besides giving the cops a reason to harass you and raise revenue for the city coffers.

In the realm of faith and such, God may or may not have willed the collision and of course, we have no way to know this for certain, either way. In fact, even worrying about any whys or wherefores in this category is about the same as beating your head against an old oak tree to see if you can get a thumb's up from the Almighty.

And finally, one a more serious note, I have personally lost two close family members to cancer over the last 32 months. The losses were emotionally devastating as any of us could do no more than watch them suffer a slow and agonizing death. The only reasoning to be found was that birth, life and death happen to us not collectively, but as individuals. It reinforces the notion of the single soul playing a single role on the stage of humanity. It also, for reasons I won't detail here, reinforced my belief in life after physical death.

Best wishes to you on your quest for understanding.

...



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 10:26 AM
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"Once upon a time in a village in far away China, a boy got a horse as a gift on his 14th birthday. All the villagers said, “Wow, that’s great.”

But the Zen master said, “We shall see.”

Some months later as the young boy rode up the hill, he fell down and broke his leg. All the villagers said, “That’s terrible.”

“We shall see,” smiled the Zen master.

A few years later all the young men in the village had to go to war. But because the young boy had bent his leg, he couldn’t go. All the villagers said, “This fellow is lucky.”

“We shall see,” replied the Zen master."

I think this quote really sums up our perspectives of things being "good" and "bad".
There literally is no good or bad, there is only what is. We go around instantly labling things, people, and situations, but in the grand scheme of things, we really have no idea.

You asked why the little boy had to die by missile fire, thats because you assume death is a "bad" thing when it is not. It all comes down to faith. If you focus on all the "bad" things that are happening in this world, you will start ot see more of it ion your everyday life. My favorite example of this is if you get a new car, say a jeep, you start seeing jeeps everywhere because it becomes a focus of your life. Thats how it all works.

So you can choose to focus us being alone on this awful suffering rock in the middle of space with no inherent meaning and feel that way your entire life, or you can have faith in the good or divine side of people and start seeing more of it in your life.

Don't let your mind instantly label things as good or bad and you will start to see that it all does happen for a reason. We can make it hard on ourselves and say "Hey this shouldent be!" or we can accept it for what it is and stay focused on the only thing we really have, this moment right NOW.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 03:06 PM
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Hello, Millions!

My own view and it's answer are as simple as the question's proposition.

All thoughts are action. The act of thinking is action. Most thoughts, if not all, occur as the result of the catalyst that was the previous thought. That catalyst is the reason for the next thought. Therefore, from my limited view, everything happens for a reason. Maybe not a fatalist viewpoint but more of the Butterfly effect.

To stop it (the perceived negative/positive action/thought) would be as simple as recognizing the original catalyst and implying it's counter thought or perhaps an action of neutrality to stop creating on that level altogether only to begin creating anew in another aspect or concept in the realm of thought. Until duality is no longer perceived or necessary as a realm for the ego to perpetuate it's own existence, thoughts from the heart and their applied actions are good counter catalysts to that which is perceived in a negative bent.

In Lovingkindness

=)Namaste

Erik

Edited to address the correct name of the OP. Ooooops!

[edit on 22/AugpmMon, 10 Aug 2009 15:09:11 -0500/08 by redwoodjedi]



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 03:33 PM
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I believe everything does happen for a reason. Sometimes that reason may not show itself in the short term and one must wait months or even years to see it. Unfortuanatly by the time that reason has presented itself the bad thing that led up to outcome has been forgotten.

Example.

In 99 I joined the Army.

In 00 I met my first wife.

In 03 she got orders to go to Germany and we married.

In 03 while she was in Germany I met a woman and we started to date.

In later 03 I followed my wife to Germany.

In 04 we got divorced because she had a boyfriend that she didn't want to give up.

In 05 the woman I had been seeing in 03 called me up and we dated long distance for a few years.

In 07 I got out and joined the reserves to be close to her

In 08 we got married.

In 09 we are extremely happy and are expecting our first child.



Now if I hadn't joined the Army I wouldn't have met my first wife. If we had gotten married sooner then I would have had joint orders and would have left for Germany the same time she had and I wouldn't have met my second wife. If I hadn't met my (now) wife then I would most likely not be as happy as I am now and be expecting my daughter in a few months.


This is the reason I feel everything does happen for a reason. We just have to be patient and connect the dots when things do go right to see it.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by Millions
 


There is a difference between something happening for a reason and the reason something happened.

The first implies that something happened for a greater purpose or cause that will unfold. the second implies that it exists as everything does on our plane of being. just dont mix the two up



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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The idea that things only happen to for fill some predecided reason would mean there is no such thing a free will.

- Who decides what the reason is?




[edit on 10-8-2009 by VitalOverdose]



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 04:24 PM
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The presumption that there is a reason for everything is what drives science itself, always seeking to refine our understanding.

Until everything is resolved to the onething (no-thing) there is always going to be some "reason" for something, for anything.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 04:33 PM
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I'm sorry, but I find "everything happens for a reason" to be a cop-out and one of the most abused concepts in religion/ethics/philosophy.

This is the attitude many extremely wealthy idle people have to the poor: "oh well, I am rich and comfortable because I am a virtuous person; they must be poor because they are bad people and God is punishing them, or for some other cosmic reason." There are thousands of smug, jewel-encrusted and absolutely hideous people behind gates and hedgerows in places like Palm Beach and the Hamptons who feel this way, covertly or overtly. They are morally grotesque persons whose advantages in life simply come from being born to a rich family. But in their minds, their wealth is a result of their great inner piousness.

Not to single out Christianity...the doctrine of "karma" is a similar line of thinking and has been used to perpetuate all sorts of injustice in Buddhist and Hindu Lands. "Get back to work hauling blocks of alabaster for the Maharaja's summer palace, slave! If you do what you are told and live a virtuous life, maybe someday you will be reincarnated as a Maharaja, but for now you get to live the life of a filthy, bent-backed slave because of your sins in a past life."

Evil, dark thinking all, that seperates us from acknowledging what we share with our fellow man.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 05:48 PM
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Another note...these debates can get murky because words like "meaning," "casue," or "reason" often have multiple meanings. Its easy to find yourself arguing at cross-purposes with this kind of question.

For exmple, Aristotle identifed the "Four causes" that each provide answers to questions about cauality and meaning in different ways. For example, take the simple question "what is the reason for that bridge over there" ? According to Aristotle, the question could have four different and equally valid anwers, depending on how you define the word "reason."

1) Mterial cause: "The reason the bridge exists is that thousands of men in hardhats brought thousands of tons of steel and concrete here anchored it to eaither shore, etc."

2) Essential cause: "The reason the bridge exists is to connect the two sides of the shore."

3) Efficient cause: ""The reason the bridge exists is that the town hall decided it would be a good idea to enhance the speed of business flow and also to help all the out-of-work bridgemakers."

4) Final cause: "The reason the bridge exists is that mankind has a need to trasnport human bodies and goods in cars and trucks over rivers, and this is the most efficient way to do it."


See how twisted and tortured that one little word "reason" can become when you look at it from different angles? How much more so when we are talking metaphysics rather than bridgebuilding?



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 05:55 PM
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Ye sometimes it seems everything happens for a reason..
After High School i failed entrance into College.. But it was the best thing that could happen.. If i had entered at the right time i would have studied with people that i would not like..
One year later, when i entered it, i got most of my best friends today

That made me think that yeah.. everything happens for a reason



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 07:29 PM
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It's a timeless question, but I do not believe that there is a simple answer, because whereas I believe that reality is based on subjective experience, you or somebody else might believe in an objective universe. How can we possibly arrive at a definitive conclusion?

Part of the reason I believe in a subjective universe is because this question is not answerable. I assume (and it is an assumption) that if life were objective, it would be evident to me. My experience tells me that it is not. But somebody who believes in the objectivity of reality might chock that up to a mental defect that causes me to believe this. It doesn't matter, because I can only perceive my own life and experience, so I have to take things based on that.

Meaning as a concept is inherently subjective, even in an objective universe. Unless you really do believe that there is a personal god of some kind determining everything (who can say?) and therefore has predetermined all meaning to everything, it doesn't really make sense unless you put it through your own filter. There are no shortage of philosophies and religions which address this problem (in fact, ALL of them do, as this is one of their chief purposes) and picking which one (if any) makes sense to you has to be based on what you have experienced in life. Why did someone die? One school of thought might tell you that they chose to die on some level. Another might tell you that a divine being of some sort decreed it. Still another might question the very idea of trying to find meaning in the event. You're really on your own.

Personally, I believe everything that happens in my life does so for a reason, whether or not I enjoy a given event. That reason comes from a combination of my conscious and unconscious selves.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by Millions

Ok - I'll keep this simple. I'm looking for intelligent debate and discussion on the assertion that 'everything happens for a reason.' I'm having a hard time of things right now (I won't go into details) and well-meaning friends keep telling me this.

It's almost verging on a belief in fate or some kind of religious plan-of-god or something.
So, if everything happens for a reason, why is there so much cruelty, misery and suffering everywhere?

A child less than a year old dies in a missile attack in Israel. A child and mother die in child-birth. What could the reason POSSIBLY be?!

Is this belief just something we use to trick ourselves into thinking things will get better? Sorry if I sound cynical and depressed, but well, my outlook is pretty negative right now....!


A reason isn't therefore something that makes it right.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
The presumption that there is a reason for everything is what drives science itself, always seeking to refine our understanding.

Until everything is resolved to the onething (no-thing) there is always going to be some "reason" for something, for anything.


I think its more like the presumption that there is a cause for everything is what drives science.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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Everything goes back to the old saying "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger". I assume that you have taken some pretty valuable lessons away with you after bad things happen in your life, right? Now, everything may not happen for a reason. Alot may just be random bad luck. But regardless, if you survive it, you learn something valuable and do your best not to let that situation happen again. It is part of the learning process.

All bad things have a good outcome at some point in time. You may not realize it immediately, but eventually you will.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:50 PM
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I think so, but it's not a nice thing to say when something horrible happens to someone. You won't really understand why until you die I think.



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