Length: 1117 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Pre-Destination vs. Self-Determination

People like to believe that they have the freedom to choose to be or do whatever it is that they want to be or do; it is, however, quite the opposite. This sense of freedom is called self-determination. At the other end of the spectrum, when no matter what we do seems to make any difference or when events just seem to happen and we think about them as being out of our control or somehow planned by some force unknown to us (such as a God), that is called pre-destination. Self-determination has its limitations as to what people are allowed to do, but pre-destination has no limits of any kind. Self-determination is, in fact, used to mask pre-destination, to keep people content in following a pre-set path that life offers. Without pre-destination, how do we know what the weather will be like, or if the sun rises, or if someone will stop at a red light? Without these paths where would our lives be going? People do these every day things that are simply there to keep them going down the path that they have always been on. When people get off that path, such as when they stop doing drugs, then their lives are on a new track. But the new track doesn’t necessarily have anything unique about it, it’s just a new path and already pre-determined. And once on a path, it is very difficult to veer away from the pre-determined, pre-disposed activities that a particular lifestyle requires.

Smith 2
Pre-destination, not our life choices, guides our lives. There is no other way to explain things such as people who grow up poor yet somehow manage to create a multinational company and become multimillionaires. Although some might say that these people chose to follow a particular path that led them to their fame and fortune. Instead, it should be argued that even if these people were born poor, they were they were destined to create that company. They were given the drive to make that company into what it was. Anyone can choose to start a company, but few actually have the ability to make that company a success. Choice does not have anything to do with ability: I choose to be a billionaire but I do not have the bank account to be one. Predestination explains almost ninety percent of what happens in the world, from birth to death, and even pure luck.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Destiny." 12 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Destiny Of Modern Life

- Destiny in modern life involves the idea that life takes an inevitable course and these courses are out of the control of humankind. What is often up for debate is how much of life is predetermined and how much is capable of being changed by free will. This is something that Paul’s new Christian converts often wondered and inquired with Paul. Personally, Paul believed he was chosen by God to spread the message of Christ. He thought his destiny was made by God and although he persecuted the Christians, it was part of God’s plan for him....   [tags: New Testament, Christianity, Destiny]

Research Papers
725 words (2.1 pages)

Manifest Destiny in America Essay

- The famous phrase “Manifest Destiny” was made up by a journalist in 1844. The idea of Manifest Destiny was that the people of the east had a divine and God-given right to settle in the west. God put the land there for the taking, and so the immigrants answered His call with westward expansion. My belief is that Manifest destiny was a necessary evil. The idea of manifest destiny expanded the west and provided homes and jobs. but on the other side of the coin manifest destiny ran the Native Americans out of their land and kept pushing them further and further west....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
677 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Manifest Destiny

- One of the largest and most wealthy countries in the world, the United States of America, has gone through many changes in its long history. From winning its independence from Great Britain to present day, America has changed dramatically and continues to change. A term first coined in the 1840s, "Manifest Destiny" helped push America into the next century and make the country part of what it is today. The ideas behind Manifest Destiny played an important role in the development of the United States by allowing the territorial expansion of the 1800s....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
1323 words (3.8 pages)

Manifest Destiny Essay

- In order to understand manifest destiny one should come to an understanding of the origins of the term and what it meant to Americans. In the middle of the nineteen century Americans were eager to move west. They had wanted to see the span of the United States from the Atlantic Ocean to the pacific. Americans felt that open land meant opportunity and potential wealth. They also believed that America was destined to be a great nation and by moving west, they could share their unique form of government, and the freedom it represented....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
865 words (2.5 pages)

Manifest Destiny Essay

- Manifest afterlife was interpreted absolutely literally. The amplification appear the absolute North American abstemious and to a assertive admeasurement alike the Western Hemisphere, was acutely an addendum of the absolute abutment congenital on alternative and amalgamated governance. It was blighted that these acreage would appear into control of aloft Anglo-Saxons who alike had God on their side, but backroom at the aback of their minds. Anders Stephanson, Frederick Merk and Thomas Hietala all agreed that the duke of God was perceived to accept played a role in the land-grabbing action of the 1840's....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
1316 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Manifest Destiny and American Politics

- During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the United States saw many problems come and go. Some problems were more important than others, however all led to further division of American politics. The most divisive issue in American politics during this time frame was the idea of Manifest Destiny, or territorial expansion. Manifest Destiny was the idea that it was the United States’ destiny to take over all of North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Most of the public was in favor of territorial expansion, though some politicians felt it contradicted the constitution....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
665 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Manifest Destiny

- Manifest Destiny took place in the US in the mid-1800. Manifest Destiny was used among the Americans in the 1840’s as a defense for U.S. territorial expansion. It is the presumption that God had destined the American people to at divine mission of American movement and conquest in the name of Christianity and democracy. In order to understand manifest destiny we must first find its’ origin. John O’Sullivan first initiated manifest destiny into America in 1845. This New York editor wrote the phrase that captured this mood when he attempted to explain American’s thirst for westward expansion he wrote: the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence fo...   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
688 words (2 pages)

Manifest Destiny Essay examples

- Introduction Many Americans in the early 1800s believed that it was the destiny of America to control all of the North American continent. This belief was called "Manifest Destiny." The term originated from a New York newspaper editorial of December 27, 1845, which declared that the nation's manifest destiny was "to over spread and to possess" the whole continent, to develop liberty and self-government to all. In the eyes of the Americans, it meant that it was God's will that Americans expand their territory from coast to coast....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Manifest Destiny Essay

- In the mid-19th century, the West drew increasing numbers of American settlers despite the hardships of the journey and the difficult living conditions that waited them at their journey’s end. Thus Americans were immediately sized on the phrase “ Manifest Destiny”- believing that United State’s destiny is manifest, inevitable, to expand to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican territory.      Various factors in the United States in early 1800’s caused the nation to become grabbed with the Western Expansion....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
1457 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Manifest Destiny

- The United States of America has never been content with stagnation. The landmass of the Thirteen Colonies was enough to rival that of the Mother country from which they separated. The forefathers believed that it was the manifest destiny of this nation to eventually claim the expansion from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. By 1890, nearly a hundred years following the original claim of Manifest Destiny, the land that was once open, was now under American control. But no sooner was the Great American Frontier closed, than was the door to East Asian expansion opened with the great gold key of American diplomacy....   [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]

Research Papers
1130 words (3.2 pages)

Related Searches

Self-determination cannot: you cannot self-determine yourself to have the good luck to win the lottery; but it may very well be that you are pre-destined to win the lottery because you have good luck.
Self-determination, like the Army saying, “be all that you can be,” is a lie that has taken over the human race like an epidemic. It is used to incite us to do things or behave a particular way and to cover up or make more palatable what people do not want to believe. Children in the United States are told over and over that if they just try harder, they can become whatever they want to be. Part of our cultural legacy is the legendary hero who “drags himself up by the bootstraps” to become famous, wealthy, or powerful. Look at the example of Abraham Lincoln. What are children told about Abraham Lincoln? All the stories about how he studied by the light of one single candle (because his family was so poor) but rose up, conquered, and became president, champion of the world, reinforce the viewpoint that it is through self-determination, choice, hard-work, and dedication, that people can re-make themselves into anything they want to be.

Smith 3
Even more insidious are the lies children are told about physical abilities and hard work. Through hard work and determination and practice, practice, practice, you too can become a professional athlete or a singer in a rock band. This is not true. Beyond the adage of having to be “in the right place at the right time” (luck? Or maybe it’s pre-destination.), the physical prowess or ability that is required to be a professional athelete or somehow perform with a physical “gift” as in a voice, is genetically determined, and not a matter of choice. It is also said that self-determination controls not just one’s physical actions, but creativity in the mind. If that’s so, then why isn’t everyone born with the ability to draw or paint? There is a simple answer: they were not born for that purpose; they were put on the earth for some other purpose not having anything to do with art. In other words, for as much as someone wants to paint a pretty picture, it will not be his/her destiny no matter how many art lessons are taken.
The ruse of self-determination also allows us to cope with events outside of our control by allowing us to “blame” other individuals for things that happen to us. For example, it is said that murderers have the “choice” to kill. In other words, all people are accountable for their actions and no matter what, a person gone bad should be held accountable for them. So, if a victim’s relative can think of the murderer as choosing to do this heinous act, then the death of a loved one is often easier to cope with than if the victim’s relatives have to face the truth that it was just their loved one’s time to die. Although it is true that, for example, after a terrible plane crash, we should look for mechanical failure or other “reasons” for the mishap, that is not all of the reason why we search and search for the magical “why” of a bad event. We humans have a need, a desire, for reasons and for explanations. Self-determination helps us to understand our world by allowing us to implicate others’ actions as causes for unfortunate or disastrous events that happen to us. Never do we talk about the victim’s “time to die” as a logical (because it defies logic) explanation for a volcano eruption.

Smith 4
Self-determination and pre-destination are, obviously, competing ways of looking at or explaining away what happens to us in life. If I’m hit by a car, I am simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (pre-destination) but I can fault the driver of the car who hits me because he/she has failed (self-determination) to operate a vehicle safely. Self-determination and pre-destination, although at opposite ends of the spectrum, often work together to allow us to rationalize the irrational, to understand the complicated, and to come to peace with events that happen to us that are just simply unbelievable to imagine.

Return to