Difference Between Determinism & Fatalism

Determinism vs Fatalism

Fatalism and Determinism are philosophies or attitudes towards life, where both reject the idea of free will, believing it to be an illusion. Fatalism suggests that we are powerless and whatever is destined or fated will happen regardless of our actions, whereas determinism believes that a cause exists for every effect and that tomorrow is based on our actions today. These two philosophies differ from one another in various ways, and this article will explore these differences through an understanding of Determinism and Fatalism.

What is Determinism?

Determinism supports the concept of cause and effect, stating that whatever happens is a result of our past actions. It believes that even our present is a result of our past actions. This should not be confused with the term determination, which highlights the possibility of actions creating a change in the course of life. In determinism, the core idea is causality.

For example, if a person behaves in a particular way, determinists believe that there would be an effect accordingly in the future of the person’s life. The thoughts and actions of an individual are causally linked to their future. Determinism can also be viewed as a key principle of Behaviorism in Psychology. Behaviorists such as B.F Skinner emphasized that the idea of determinism can be observed and used when altering human behavior. According to this perspective, free will is seen as the opposition of determinism. The ability for humans to act upon their free will is completely rejected by those who believe in Determinism.

What is Fatalism?

Fatalism posits that all events in life are preordained. It claims that it is futile to oppose what is happening and that what is going to happen will happen, and is inevitable. Fatalists would argue that talking about the past or present being different is futile as everything has been decided beforehand, and humans are merely puppets being made to dance by the almighty. Fatalism firmly believes that whether we will be reborn or go to hell or heaven has already been decided, and we are merely following a course that has been charted for us.

There is some similarity in these approaches too, as is evident by the rejection of free will and views on events in life. While fatalism says that events are predetermined (all events are inevitable and one cannot do anything to prevent them from taking place), determinism says that events can be re-determined but based upon our actions in the past. A fatalist will not look sideways before crossing a road as they believe that what will happen will happen and is not dependent upon their actions. On the other hand, a deterministic person believes that every action is a result of some action in the past, and thus they can take action to avoid an accident.

What is the Difference Between Fatalism and Determinism?

Fatalism and determinism are two approaches in philosophy that have different views on events in life.

  • Fatalism trivializes all human actions as it says that events in life are preordained and what is going to happen will happen, no matter what.
  • Determinism firmly believes in cause and effect and justifies all events on the basis of actions in the past.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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