Fate is the most potent weapon in a the arsenal of determinists like Stephen Hawking. To contend, as determinists plainly do, that the outcomes of events are pre-determined is essentially the same as saying that the ebbs and flows of history are all dictated by fate. Actors, whether animate or inanimate, have no control over the manner in which they proceed, or influence and interact with events. Actors are merely pawns in a vast drama that is “directed” down to the minutest wobble of sub-atomic particles by the omnipotent intervention of fate. Determinists make much of the intricate twists and turns of fate that, in hindsight, seem to portend the ultimate success or failure of particular events. For example, had John Frederick Parker remained at his post instead of sneaking out to a tavern, he would very likely have foiled John Wilkes Booth’s plot to assassinate President Lincoln. However, in a deterministic universe Parker was never in control of his fate, nor for that matter were Booth or Lincoln. In spite of any lamentations to the contrary, determinists would insist that Parker was destined to shirk his responsibilities and, thus, Honest Abe’s fate was sealed long before he, Parker or Booth ever arrived at Ford’s Theatre.
Believe it or not, Darwin began his career as a credulous disciple of creationism. Consequently, it would have made sense for Darwin to assess facts, cling to established truths, and normalize anomalies in a fashion very similar to Georges Cuvier. Yet, rather than creatively reinventing his guiding paradigm and, thus, preserving and validating the truths that buttressed creationism, Darwin struck out in an altogether new intellectual direction: Darwin posited a biological, rather than a divine explanation for the origin and extinction of species.
Cite This Article
Timothy McGettigan (2012). Elementary My Dear Watson! The Beauty (and Baloney) of Being Right about Everything. The Socjourn. [https://sociology.org/elementary-my-dear-watson-the-beauty-and-baloney-of-being-right-about-everything/]
Lila, the RevolutionaryBy: William T. Hathaway
Lila, the Revolutionary is a fable for adults about an eight-year-old girl—smart, charming, and tough as can be—who creates a world revolution for social justice. No one ever told her she couldn't end poverty and inequality, so she doesn't doubt that she can Just Do It! Starting with the Nike shoe factory where she works. Like the boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes," Lila can see the reality that adults are blind to. And she's not shy about pointing it out. Her story is a call to action: If Lila can do it, so can we. She convinces us that Yes, a better world is possible, and we're the ones to create it.
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