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Chance vs Destiny

Updated on February 8, 2016

Time Travel

There are several theories out there about time travel:

- Whether or not someone can actually travel into the past verses solely in the future,

- The argument of a parallel universe

- The existence of alternate dimensions and realities

...All interesting theories...

Then, of course, there is the argument of whether reality can be altered or unchanged:

Butterfly Effect vs Predetermination

The butterfly effect is based on a concept called chaos theory. This so called chaos defined as any event that is not rational or predictable can drastically change the events surrounding it. With such a theory in practice, if someone were to travel in the past and "change" the events (however minute the change) the consequences of such actions could be extraordinary. Is this true? Possibly...throughout life, we as humans witness some unbelievable events, time and time again.

Movies that explore chaos theory or altered realities are: The Butterfly Effect, Back to the Future, and the Terminator trilogy.

Predetermination, on the other hand, is a concept defined as every event, including human cognition and action, that is predestined and cannot be altered. If a time traveler were physically able to travel into past, then there is no possible way to change history, according to this theory. Inevitably, in this particular scenario, someone or something would prevent the time traveler from altering the events in the predestined timeline. It's a theory based solely on destiny, faith, determinism. A concept that lies in the hands of God, the all-knowing...past, future, and present.

Examples of predetermination used in movies are: Time Machine, Fetching Cody, and Twelve Monkeys.

Final thoughts on Chaos vs Destiny

I believe in the concept of free will. Meaning, everything "we" as people matters. Our lives are not written in stone and we have the power to determine our own outcome...our destiny.

Do I believe in God?...sure. I believe there is something bigger than us out there, waiting for us to tap into our full potential. Whatever the heck that is!!

What do you believe?

Which do you believe?

See results


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    • ptosis profile image


      2 years ago from Arizona

      I didn't answer the question because it only gave 2 answers. Predestination, Free Will & Quantum Superposition, Vlatko Vedral explains in his book, 'Decoding Reality, the Universe as Quantum Information that about Random Determinism and how the two are not mutually exclusive. People feel with every fibre of their mind, body and soul that free will is not an illusion. -

    • QESdunn profile image

      James Dunn 

      5 years ago

      Google Search: "Building Universes" Relativity from Quantum Causality

      The consequences of String Theory is that it represents a mathematic-like model for predicting outcomes of quantum causality systems.

      String Theory may become useful as a tool in making the presence of God Testable.

      If all of the Universe is modeled, and a cognitive function is necessary for manipulating the stabilization of evolving systems of physics constants (warping spacetime), then at least one form of God (or advanced species) exists within all of us if our cognitive functions are neutralized by other cognitive efforts.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      There must be something more. Here is why. My free will effects those around me. If I were to make a bad decision (I don't mean something horrible, just like choosing the wrong school or something)then I might by my absence or presence at a given location lead to the death or life of someone else. Stupid minor little things can have tremendous effects. Things like choosing to change your socks before you leave in the morning might lead to a traffic accident on your way to work, or it might avert one. So can we really have free will when in essence all of or decisions are made with little or no knowledge of what those decisions will lead to? Doesn't that make those decisions random? Aren't random actions determined by complex fractal equations which are are part of...... you guessed it CHAOS THEORY. So in fact aren't the two views the same, and in neither are we really free?

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      haha...okay...let me think on that one for a second. It almost sounds like a "Quantum Leap" theory of time...or string theory. It's interesting...(goes and ponders)

    • profile image

      The Doctor 

      8 years ago

      XD (like your comment)

      Alright, for obvious reasons I can't fully explain what I call the fixed/fluxed theory of time travel without creating another page. But to reconcile the butterfly effect and the predetermination in short, when you interfere in minor events (predetermination, sort-of) a sort of altered time-line occurs that only exists as a sort of dominant version of what previously occurred changing the events of time though only until a fixed point in time occurs setting the timelines back in sinc and nothing else Is changed in time. With the fixed points in time (butterfly parts) these are points in time that all of history is based off so if changed the whole of reality changes with it. I realize the point of this article is to describe the difference between the butterfly effect and predetermination; and what I said doesn't nessecarily conjoin the two but it is a theory of time and I personally prefer it over the others. :)

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      The Doctor ~ Thanks for responding...valid point, but according to the butterfly affect, any minor/minimal change to an event would have drastic consequences on the eventual outcome.

      And, also, in a "predetermined" state, it doesn't matter what you do, you were going to do it anyway. In this 'point of view' you only have one choice and that's the choice you make. The choice you were destined to make.


    • profile image

      The Doctor 

      8 years ago

      Well, I don't see why we can't have both theories. Why can't certain events be fixed that are incredibly hard to change and have drastic consequences if we interact with them, and have other parts where it's constantly in flux where the effects are minimal and eventually lead to a similar outcome where the separate timelines converge again. I got this from a series called Doctor Who (hence the name

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Angela ~ Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I like the idea that I can control my own destiny...Whatever the answer is, I'm sure we are all wrong! (shrugs)

      Thanks again!

    • Angela_1973 profile image


      8 years ago

      I like the butterfly effect, nothing is set in stone.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Free will doesn't really make us free, it just gives us the ability to choose between what is set before us. A predator doesn't choose it's body, it's designed that way, in fact, much of nature is cruel and is designed badly with little regard for the suffering of living things. If we could change the past through time travel - maybe we could make all life infinitely valuable - that is, find a way to cure death - not only in the future, but past loves and lives that are gone also.

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks for your post, wrenfrost...It would be nice, or lovely even, if fate stepped in from time to time...I think I always fail to see it! =)

    • wrenfrost56 profile image


      8 years ago from U.K.

      I love these kind of questions, I think on the most part our lives are left to our own free will, however now and again fate pops in to say hello and offer us an oportunity.

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Mike...I think a lot of people run into that predicament. They want to accept God, but they also want free will. Maybe it's just a matter of perspective. From 'our' perspective it is our choice.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      9 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      The butterfly effect challenges the existence of an all-knowing God, of course. If there is a Supreme Being that sees all and knows all, then predetermination is the only choice. However, I can't accept that I have no free will and every event in our lives is predetermined. So, butterfly effect for me.

      Thanks for the post. Like Mistywild above, now my head hurts also. :))

    • mistywild profile image


      9 years ago from Houston, TX (Proud Texan)

      great hub, makes you think, and now my head hurts :))

    • metaphysician profile image


      9 years ago

      I picked butterfly effect. Nothing is fixed unless the human fix it.


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