One of the main philosophical questions is: Is everything in life predestined or not?

In my view, everything up the smallest detail must be predestined. Here is the explanation for it: If one looks back and views the course of your life you see exactly how it has proceeded second by second. Your life has run a certain path. That is the way it went. What difference does it make at what point in time you look at it looking back or forward? Life will go as it will go. I believe everything is predestined - not only decisions, thoughts, actions but also the growing of a plant, the flow of a river... everything you can think of.

I find nothing concerning this thought in published works of philosophy. Do you know of any works that talk about this?

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    Welcome to Philosophy.SE! Since we are looking for questions that are objectively answerable, I edited your question a bit to focus on a reference request rather than on 'is life predestined or not?' I hope you're okay with that - if not, feel free to roll back the edit.
    – user2953
    Jul 3, 2015 at 13:58
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    There is in fact a very large corpus of philosophical literature on the concepts of determinism vs free will. It is one of the most prominent questions in all of philosophy, and many major philosopher, including Spinoza, Kant and Hume, have written on the concepts of determinism and free will.
    – Cicero
    Jul 3, 2015 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


From within a wide offer, here are references to two classic philosophical works, that discuss predestination and freedom extensively, one ancient and one modern:

But as it is, though we admit that it does not rest with ourselves whether we are quick-witted or dull, strong or weak, yet the person who thinks that it necessarily follows from this that even our choice between sitting still and walking about is not voluntary fails to discern the true sequence of cause and effect.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Fato (On Fate)

It is universally allowed that matter, in all its operations, is actuated by a necessary force, and that every natural effect is so precisely determined by the energy of its cause that no other effect, in such particular circumstances, could possibly have resulted from it. The degree and direction of every motion is, by the laws of nature, prescribed with such exactness that a living creature may as soon arise from the shock of two bodies as motion in any other degree or direction than what is actually produced by it. Would we, therefore, form a just and precise idea of necessity, we must consider whence that idea arises when we apply it to the operation of bodies.

David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, VIII: Of liberty and necessity

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