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Ontology, Free Will, Fate and Determinism Essay

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Updated: Mar 23rd, 2020


Philosophy is a very wide field dealing with human thinking and reasoning capabilities thereby providing the ultimate platform for making decisions and solving problems. It is a study involving general as well as fundamental problems like the ones closely associated with knowledge, mind as well as a language among many other aspects.

In this context, however, the focus narrows down to following argumentative terms in philosophy, which include fate, determinism, ontology and free will. From the normal definition, it is evident that determinism is simply the philosophical position assigned for every event such that there are conditions or factors that could not cause any other event. In real life situation, determinism is commonly referred to as cause and effect (Hospers, 1997).

On the other hand, fate is simply the predetermined course of the events or the predetermined future. In many circumstances, people ask more about free will than fate. However, free will is the central ability to make a choice between separate courses of action. There may be constraints, but limits do not form any barrier.

The four conditions put any person in a big dilemma especially with regard to determining the course of action or self-identity. Situations may sometimes be too tight, and this may call for an action that may be termed as philosophically sound or not sound.


People need to have the freedom to decide their course of life. They should be able to choose who they want to be, what they want to do and become the person of their own choice in life.


Determinism favors the causal principle. The principle leans towards the aspect of every occurrence being aligned with a particular cause. The question that one needs to ask himself or herself is whether everything that happens has a cause? In some situations, the answer is yes. Religious people are of the belief that anything good must be influenced by particular external forces.

Theological determinism will state the fact that everything happens through the will of God. In this case, God is the source of every outcome (Hospers, 1997). On the other hand, scientists may have the same dimensional thinking stating that everything that happens is as a result of prior causes existing in the natural world. Furthermore, mechanistic determinism will state that every event taking place must have been influenced by other conditions (Hocking, 2010).

It is true that since ancient times, people believed in causes. In the contemporary society, a person stealing will be termed as a thief because the action itself is against the relevant law. Determinism receives immense support from laws. Laws in physics put in place some situations that will determine a particular phenomenon. A leaf falling off from a tree must have been driven by the law of gravity.

An earthquake happening in some regions of the world must have been brought by the centripetal and centrifugal forces. The science world and the world of religion seem to have created their own platforms that they both base on in determining the cause of everything. The argument about death is such an example that brings forth the involvement of the scientists and religion. Scientists would state the cause of death as diseases and other biological factors while Christians will say it is the will of God.

In most cases, however, determinism fails at large to mention the kind of causes that must have led to a particular occurrence. Determinism fails to be specific and will state anything as being the cause. The case where the bulb goes on and off may be such an example where different parties could not give the reason for the unpredictability. Another example is where the glass is dropped for the first time, and it does not break.

However, when it is dropped for the second time, it breaks. In such circumstances, the problem will have no cause. In some situations, children fail to achieve their dreams because of the parental influence. A child must have a different identity from that of its parents (Campbell, 2004). If the parent is a lawyer, it does not mean that the child should not be a footballer. In such a situation, the child is not influenced in any way by the parent’s career.

Free will is closely associated with the freedom to choose. Every human being must have the free will to make judgments, choices in life and what one wants to do. People have talents and passions (Hospers, 1997). Doing what one desires is much healthier than doing what one is forced to do. In philosophical statements, freed men are productive compared to the enslaved ones.

The aspect of conscience describes the cognitive influence of human actions and emotional frustrations. In some cases, people commit suicide because they are left with no chance to make their own choices. Dictatorship, for example, may be one of the factors that limit one’s ability to take action. Someone held at gunpoint may have limited alternatives.

This limits the influence of the free will. It is evident that systems have been fighting for the democratic free will that favors an individual’s decision rather than allowing authorities to determine what people should enjoy or what they should not enjoy (Nagy, 2015). People will always feel good if they are not constrained by any conditions.

However, it must be noted that the aspect of free will should not go beyond some limits. There are some factors that naturally limit free will. For example; human beings do not fly though people have the freedom to fly. This means that some individuals will want to fly, but their natural capabilities cannot allow them to do so. Apparently, natural capability forms a barrier to making the flight.

Under the common law, claims made by an individual of being hindered to fly are absolutely not genuine and may lead to punishment. Under different circumstances, the age factor is also an unavoidable factor. A child of four years will not be allowed to make decisions of his own.

This is because the cognitive development of this age may not allow the child to make sound decisions, and if allowed, the decisions may lead to harm. In situations where the child is allowed to make awkward decisions, parents ate always held accountable, and the law may term them to be irresponsible.

Fate largely complies with determinism and may have similar arguments (Gillies, 2000). Fate reflects on the predetermined future. This means that there are conditions that define the probable future. It also implies that there is a cause that will later on bring an impact, and people are certain about the impact. For example, an individual suffering from cancer may probably die in the end because there is no reliable cure for the disease. People may even set dates for the death, and some of them will start preparing the burial.

However, the judgments made by people may not be valid in case the person survives. In other circumstances, people tend to accept their fate based on the prevailing conditions. A student who has been failing exams will end up accepting the fact that he is a failure. in most cases, he or she may end up doing nothing about the same. Teachers may be certain about the student’s performance and may have their own predictions about the final performance of the student.

However, it may come as a surprise if the same student tops the class. In such a situation, the student is said to have changed what seemed to be the fate. Combining this with determinism, it can be said that the outcome does not absolutely depend on the cause as some conditions may change the prediction.

Ontology is a philosophical aspect that largely intermarries with free will or freedom. It clearly states the situation or the state of being. It therefore, establishes the reality of the situation. Ontology can exclusively be described from the linguistic perspective. People from different environments may have different pronunciations and usage of words.

One can call a chair a cup and vice versa. This may sometimes be problematic. However, people around the world speak different languages meaning that they have their own way of understanding things in their environment (Achinstein, 2005). People are never forced to learn new languages. Their interest and level of understanding allows them to do so.

However, circumstances may force one to learn new languages. An example is where students meet in an institution. In such a situation, a common language must be established to bring in the aspect of understanding each other between different parties. However, in such a situation, the environment forms the compelling force and not the involvement of strict rules, measures and regulations.


Philosophy brings in the idea of weighing situations with human beings forming the central roles in such kind of circumstances. In this context, the central focus narrows down to the argument of allowing people to make up their own mind without being restricted by law, measures and regulations among other external factors.

The discussion brings in the ultimate debate of four significant concepts in philosophy. The concepts include determinism, ontology, free will and fate. Based on the discussion, fate and determinism borrow so much from each other and as a result bringing about the concept of cause and effect. This means that in whatever that any given person may have done, the outcome should have been influenced by something else.

The big failure of determinism revolves around the fact that specific causes are sometimes not stated. On the other hand, free will and ontology have features that are almost similar. They both suggest that the condition or something decided upon by one defines his or her real state. It is pragmatic that people should not believe in the cause and effect. Rather, they should accept a person’s real state and the decision that an individual makes.


Achinstein, P. (2005). Scientific evidence: Philosophical theories & applications. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Campbell, J. (2004). Freedom and determinism. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Gillies, D. (2000). Philosophical theories of probability. London: Routledge.

Hocking, A. (2010). Fate. Charleston, S.C: CreateSpace.

Hospers, J. (1997). An introduction to philosophical analysis. London: Routledge.

Nagy, E. (2015). Freedom of choice. London, UK : Bloomsbury Academic

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