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fatalism


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The doctrine that what will be will be, or that human action has no influence on events. ‘Either a bullet has my number on it or it does not; if it does, then there is no point taking precautions for it will kill me anyhow; if it does not then there is no point taking precautions for it is not going to kill me; hence either way there is no point taking precautions.’ The dilemma ignores the highly likely possibility that whether the bullet has your number on it depends on whether you take precautions. Fatalism is wrongly confused with determinism, which by itself carries no implications that human action is ineffectual.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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